January 14th, 2016
UPDATE 11/1/16: In October 2016, MyPillow agreed to stop marketing its pillow as able to treat or cure a variety of diseases and as the “official pillow” of the National Sleep Foundation as part of an agreement with California consumer protection officials aided by TINA.org’s findings. The company will also pay more than $1 million in penalties.
To be the “official” anything, bolsters a product’s reputation. To be the “official pillow” of a national sleep organization when the average American literally sleeps away more than 22 years of their life, is cause for celebration.
“Now I’m proud to announce that MyPillow is the official pillow of the National Sleep Foundation,” says Mike Lindell, inventor of MyPillow, in a recent TV commercial (though, in truth, the “official pillow” designation, which we’ll get into later, came in June 2014). “To celebrate, I’m giving you a very special offer,” Lindell continues. “Go to mypillow.com or call now to order one of MyPillows. When you do I’ll give you a second one absolutely free.”
But consumers should, a-hem, sleep on this supposed buy-one-get-one-free offer, in which you pay $99.97 for one MyPillow and get another MyPillow “free” (plus $19.95 shipping and handling, of course). A TINA.org reader’s recent email summed it up nicely:
When you get to the website the price is double what they charge if you buy a single pillow through the same website.
Indeed, the MyPillow homepage directs to a page whose sidebar advertises a promotion for one MyPillow at $49.99. And while you need a promo code to get a single pillow at that price, one is easily attainable by googling “MyPillow” and clicking on the company’s sponsored Google search result. Moreover, MyPillow sells single pillows on Amazon for $49.95, or half of what the company advertises as the “regular price.”
Others have complained to the FTC about the flawed BOGOF offer. Stated one complaint:
They have TV ads all day long, saying buy one pillow and get second one free. This is not true, they say their pillow is $99.97 and you get one free. But you can buy the same pillow on Amazon for $49.95 and even on My Pillow website they have a link … and the price is $49.99.
Citing consumer complaints such as these, the BBB in January 2017 revoked MyPillow’s accreditation and lowered its rating from an A-plus to an F. Meanwhile, a pending class-action lawsuit filed in October 2016 alleges that MyPillow inflates the regular price of the pillow consumers buy in order to offer the second pillow for “free.”
Here are a few additional reasons why MyPillow may not be “as cool as the other side of the pillow,” to quote an ESPN catchphrase:
- The National Sleep Foundation (NSF) declined to comment on whether MyPillow paid the group for the “official pillow” designation it bestowed. Tom Clifford, vice president of marketing and development for the foundation, said in an email that the NSF hears “from many different manufacturers” and “works to select products that are a good fit for our organization.” The NSF sells the MyPillow on its own website, a king for $69.95 and a standard/queen for $59.95.
- MyPillow says its cushions are stuffed with a “patented adjustable fill” that “keeps your neck supported and aligned to your exact individual need.” It claims to treat everything from snoring to insomnia. But there are zero clinical trials backing up these claims, which the company admits in fine print on its homepage: “Claims for MyPillow are based on medical opinion and user experience and not on actual clinical studies.”
- So, then, what does a “user” have to say about their “experience”? Tom Clapp, for one, swears by his MyPillow, testifying in the TV commercial embedded at the top of this article: “MyPillow is the greatest pillow in the world because I wake up rested every single morning.” But might this be the same Tom Clapp identified in this March 2015 local news article as the president of the Michael J. Lindell Foundation? (They certainly look alike.)
- Lastly, MyPillow’s 60-day money-back guarantee: In short, you have to give money to get some back. The company requires that you foot the cost to return your original order. Once received, MyPillow says it will refund the purchase price less original shipping.
This article was updated most recently on 1/3/17.