My name is Sarah Keartes and I have a problem.
When insomnia hits and I’ve had my fill of cat videos and British animal voice-overs, the urge to peruse the precious cargo of “DudeIWantThat” takes over. What can I say, the “geek’s gift guide of gadgets, gear, novelties, and zombies” tugs at my nerd-heart (and wallet).
Should you not have $50,000 to spare, or share my love for geekery—fear not my fellow students! There is something here for you. And, dude, you want this.
During my last late night search, I came across something that I couldn’t resist: the Ostrich Pillow, described as creating “a micro environment in which to take a warm and comfortable power nap at ease. It is neither a pillow, nor cushion, bed or garment, but a bit of each all at the same time. It’s soothing cave-like interior shelters and isolates both your head and hands, perfect for a power nap.”
“Soothing cave-like interior.” That was enough for this nap-lover. I wanted my portable cave, and I wanted it fast. I clicked. I bought. I slept.
Though the pillow will have you looking more like Squidward from Spongebob Squarepants than a giant bird, the name stems from tales of ostriches burying their heads to escape stressful situations. Heads up (and out of the sand, eh?)—this is only a myth.
Claustrophobics beware: the pillow, which is made from soft, breathable cotton, is like a sleeping bag for your face. Once inside, you see nothing. The design features a large opening for easy mid-nap breathing, and an innovative hand hole on either side of the headpiece which allows the user to lay belly down without the risk of double-dead-arm or forehead-flattening.
The pillow is perfect for a between-class hallway snooze, a power nap at 10,000 feet, or when you need a quick escape from daylight. That said, there are a few design flaws.
The Ostrich Pillow’s breathing hole lies directly over the mouth, leaving the nose covered. Now, while mouth-breathing is effective in maintaining oxygen flow to the brain, it lends quite well to excessive drooling. The body of the pillow is padded for comfort, but because of this, is not very portable—rolled up it takes up one-third of a standard size backpack.
Several reviewers have targeted the pillow’s lack of eye-holes as a major problem. With your head buried in cotton you are certainly unrecognizable, and the unlikely target of unwanted chatter from passersby—but that soft fortress of solitude does mean that you are completely unable to keep an eye on your things. “Nothing screams ‘rob me’ like essentially wearing a bag over your face while in public,” points out one reviewer. Though I understand the concern, I would love for someone to explain how they watch for run-by robbers while sleeping without the pillow.
Despite these factors, I thoroughly enjoyed my Ostrich experience. If you are a nap-loving, mouth-breathing, non-claustrophobic person who can handle the guarantee of social-suicide, the Ostrich Pillow might just be the solution to your finals week brain-fry. Should you desire full body coverage, and even more nap-anonymity, there is always the Sleep Suit.
Nap on, UO. Nap on.