A most 'thoroughly' thought out pillow

Saturday, March 31, 2007

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - Contour Living, a 16-year-old company that has focused on making products for the mainstream ergonomic market, entered the world of sleep disordered breathing recently, debuting a pillow designed to let CPAP users snooze on their sides and stomachs.
"This is probably the most thoroughly thought-out pillow design that I've ever seen," said Contour's President and CEO Scott Davis. "A few doctors who are involved in sleep research saw it and said, 'Oh my God. When can I get one? I have all these patients who could really use it because of compliance issues.'"
The CPAP Sleep Aid has hollowed-out areas on the pillow's sides that accommodate a patient's CPAP mask and hose. This, along with other features, improves comfort, helps reduce mask leaks and allows for side and stomach sleeping, according to Contour Living.
Manufacturers have developed products to help accommodate side sleepers--nasal-pillow masks, for example (See HME News March 2007)--but traditional bed pillows often push and envelop a CPAP apparatus, breaking the mask seal and making it uncomfortable to wear. Over the years, products designed to address this issue--products like the Sleep Aid--have come and gone, and as yet none have gained widespread acceptance, say HME providers.
Case in point, courtesy of Alan Cross, co-owner of C&C Homecare in Bradenton, Fla.: "(Right now), a four post bed is the best thing you can have with a CPAP because you can bring the hose across the headboard and drape it up near one of the posts, which kind of holds it off you so you can move around."
For provider Joe Guilford, the Therapeutica cervical pillow has been a "very stable seller."
"I've used one for six or seven years," said Guilford, a CPAP user, who also runs cpapman.com, an Internet company that sells CPAP units, masks and supplies. "It sure makes it nice to be able to hang my face over the edge of the pillow and not have it push on my interface."
While many of Contour Living's products--orthopedic pillows and back supports, for example--are sold through more mainstream retail outlets, Davis said, he sees HMEs, because of their involvement in the sleep market, as the primary distributor of the CPAP Sleep Aid. The product retails for $79.99.
"This is unique, and I think it solves a problem in a category that hasn't been completely addressed," he said. "There is even a small indentation for your ear, which you will never see anyplace else."