I’m the person with two body pillows, two king-sized Euro pillows, five standard pillows—two plush, two firm memory foam and an old hollowed one—eight throw pillows, one wedge cushion for beneath my knees, one ergonomic contoured pillow for between my knees, extra-soft cotton sheets, one king-sized electric heated blanket, a down comforter and one more overpriced throw blanket because it looks fabulous draped at the foot of my bed. I also have my sights set on a snoogle loop pregnancy pillow and, no, I’m not expecting.
It all adds up to a 28-square-foot sector of sweet negligence I call nirvana. It’s also my bed, where I used to find three to four hours of uninterrupted sleep each night, waking every so often to the sensation of freefalling through the dreamland that was my heap of pillows and into the coiled springs of my mattress. And where I arose every Sunday to my own gasps of “What day is it?”—staring intently at the 4 am displayed on my clock and convincing myself that the a was a p, it was Monday evening and I’d slept through an entire night and next day of work.
So, I bought myself a new mattress—one without springs. I ordered a soft-support 10-inch memory foam mattress…with a bonus pillow set, of course—a steal at 70 percent off, free shipping and delivery in a compressed box. The additional pros: No springs to pierce my back, and the foam shapes to my body when I sink into it. The cons: I was still waking up every hour on the hour thinking it was 2017. And I didn’t know why.
So I looked forward to checking out airweave, a top-selling premium mattress topper in Japan that’s endorsed by Olympic champions Meryl Davis and Charlie White here in the States, and catching up with founder and CEO, Motokuni Takaoka. I figured since this company sponsors the USA Olympic team, it’s either deceitfully spoiling sleep for American athletes in a strategic effort to boost Japan’s own standing, or it’s a great brand that is rightfully looking to expand its market share. I also figured that if Olympians are using it and evidently digging it, it’s probably a good move for me.
Two weeks ago I received my classic airweave—the most popular model—in a full, which has an $820 price tag in addition to a $190 fixed shipping cost. At a total of $1,010, this thing costs more than most mattresses. It looks like a quilted mesh of polyester and cotton sandwiching a web of brain cells on a poster in your doctor’s office, except 3-D and made of entwined resin fibers, with the consistency of bubble wrap—because that’s kind of what it is, air and plastic. I didn’t think this was ideal but, to my surprise, it is.
The airweave, which is 90 percent air and the rest polyethylene, simply sits atop your existing mattress. I put this thing on, remade my bed, sat down and tested its bounce by dropping my legs deadweight on the bed and watching my feet spring into the air. The airweave is described as a “high rebound” bedding topper, and that’s accurate.
Despite the rebound, it felt firmer than I thought I’d prefer, like if you were to put ultra-soft carpet on a hardwood floor and then put that hardwood floor onto a trampoline and then put the trampoline on a box spring and call it your bed. Like a soft hardwood trampoline bed… you know?
But the airweave does something right that none of my mattresses or toppers have been able to do before: It distributes my weight evenly and responds far quicker to shifting motions, transferring pressure when I toss and turn in the night. Basically, if I press onto my memory foam mattress, my handprint rises super slowly back up. But if I press into my airweave, there is no handprint; the topper moves with my hand immediately. So when I toss and turn at night, it’s not as jolting; the cushioning moves with me.
The dispersion of body pressure has so far reduced physical strain, especially after my kickboxing classes. When I crash on my bed after a class, I feel like my vertebrae all line back up, like the equal dispersion of body weight takes some pressure off parts of my back that hurt.
The topper also dissipates heat and moisture generated by my body during sleep, thus regulating my temperature—which is awesome because I sleep with my bed pushed up against an air conditioning unit in my totally crammed NYC apartment.
I can add that I don’t wake up in the middle of the night anymore, at all. I wake up feeling super rested and recharged, both mindfully and physically. I fall asleep with unexpected ease and my boyfriend doesn’t snore.
In conclusion, the airweave is a deceptively miraculous mattress topper, probably worth the money if you’re in the market. Otherwise you’ll end up spending the money on a makeshift cloud of pillows anyway…or maybe that’s just me.