I came across the Byre folding wedge pillow and was intrigued by its versatility, while loving the general vibe of this small UK business. These guys have been incredible and they’ve very kindly gifted me one of their superb folding wedge support pillows in return for a review. I have a feeling this is something that others with chronic illness or pain might find very beneficial for their own use, so I’m thrilled to be able to share it here.
Spoiler alert : This is a game changer & I love it!
About The Brand
Byre is a small family business in the UK. Customers are treated as individuals, product design takes into account user needs, and the manufacturing process pays attention to the details. The end result are top quality products that solve a need for real people.
Byre’s first pillow, the original U-Shaped Support Pillow, was sold in June 2019. The Folding Wedge was first sold in July 2020. Fast forward a year and by mid-2021 they now offer 10 pillow formats, from bed wedges and seat cushions to foot rests and pregnancy supports.
In my interactions with the Byre brand, I’ve found them to be absolutely fantastic. They’ve been friendly, responsive and generally just a pleasure to deal with.
In this day and age, it’s wonderful to be able to support small businesses, and this is a local one for those in the UK that’s very deserving of support.
The Byre Folding Wedge Pillow
This is an adjustable, multi-purpose wedge designed to provide support whether you’re lying down, sitting, reclining or sleeping. It features a soft cover that is removable and machine washable. It’s a bit strange to call it a “pillow” just because it’s firm, but it’s described as a wedge pillow. Think more robust memory foam style than soft feathers!
The folding wedge is essentially in two pieces; these are attached but the one can be flipped to either side and held in place with velcro straps to create different angles. You can then turn the pillow around, upside down and whatever else to get the shape and incline you desire. It seems very well made and robust, but it’s also surprisingly lightweight (around 2.2kg according to the product description). It’s light enough to carry it with ease, and the handle on top makes it all the more convenient to move.
These are made using premium materials, for instance with the foam filling being high density and hypoallergenic. All of the pillows in the Byre range are manufactured in compliance with The UK Furniture and Furnishings Regulations 1988 for fire and safety.
The pillow feels firm to provide adequate support while still being comfortable and soft to the touch. It retains its shape well, so any give in the pillow from a few hours of resting on it will rebound for the next use. While I’ve only used this for a short time, I get the feeling it should live up to its claims. It’s in just as good shape now after continual use day and night as it was when I first tried it.
The wedge is delivered vacuum packed, so it’s rolled up and smaller than you’d imagine. The manufacturer advises that there can be a slight scent when first opening the packaging because of the manufacturing and vacuum packing processes. This isn’t a problem because the pillow needs to be removed from the packaging and left somewhere, like a dining table, to expand for 24 for 48 hours before use. Ensure this is in a well ventilated space as this will also enable any initial smell to dissipate.
The Uses & Benefits Of The Byre Wedge Pillow
You can position this in different ways depending on your needs. For instance, you can choose an angle of 30° or 60°, have yourself slightly inclined for sleep or put it lengthways vertical to keep you upright in bed while reading or using a laptop.
A support pillow like this can have a range of uses and benefits. In terms of potential benefits to health and wellbeing, these may include the likes of :
- Postural support
- Relieving back, leg, neck and knee pain
- Helping with pregnancy discomfort and pain
- Reducing the likelihood of indigestion, heartburn, acid reflux, post-nasal drip and snoring
- Support for sports injuries or post-surgery recovery
- Can ease breathing difficulties
- Improved circulation & lymph drainage, as well as alleviation of restless leg when used to elevate the feet & legs
These are just a few examples of the benefits of elevation that can come with using a bed wedge.
The occasions for use are likewise varied. These can include, but are not limited to, the likes of working from home, reading or crafting, watching TV, generally relaxing, elevating the lower legs, and elevating the upper body during sleep.
Why Did I Try A Bed Wedge?
After channelling the powers of Sherlock while looking more like Columbo after a few pints, I detected the need to try a bed wedge to see if it could help the more mysterious chronic illness and pain issues I experience in recent years after my 2015 surgery like the constant migraines and face pain among other things.
I had a hunch, and not just a literal one because of my partially dislocated shoulders. The problem with the discomfort then migraines is always worse in the morning after lying down, even if I used two full pillows. So I thought, What if I sleep with my head as close to upright as possible?
When lying flat, even with two or three pillows to give me a crick in the neck, inflammation makes my face and sinuses feel awful afterwards and I feel sure that’s been at least partly triggering the migraines with pain in one eye upon waking. It certainly increases the discomfort and pain in my face and I can’t describe how horrible it is. It’s made me feel at the end of my already frayed rope. This happens every damn morning and can build back throughout the day. I tried propping myself up with more pillows, even making a ramp of pillows, with no success. The mountain of pillows were awkward, seriously uncomfortably and kept falling down.
So that’s one of the reasons, to see if sleeping propped up could help. The other issue was knowing I needed to get better support in the daytime. My first surgery in 2015 left me unable to sit normally in a regular chair because of nerve damage and ridiculous amounts of constant pain, with it being particularly debilitating in my lower back and hips. Ever since then I spend my days mostly propped up in bed, legs straight out in front of me. Unfortunately, this has caused big problems with my neck and shoulders, which I briefly wrote about before.
Posture when being bed bound or in bed propped up for extended periods even with regular breaks and movement can take a toll on your muscles and joints. If you’re in a similar situation with chronic illness and/or pain, it’s definitely worth checking your set up, particularly when it comes to the whole shoulder area. I wish I had known about all of this from the beginning, but I imagined I was okay with the pillow pile arrangement I had. Clearly I wasn’t.
Enter the Byre wedge.
Oh my word, what a difference it makes!
The Benefits I’ve Experienced With The Byre Pillow
I’ve used this constantly since the first use. In the day, I use it to better prop myself up, giving me sturdy support to help my overall posture. In the evening, I have two pillows at the top of the incline and have been using it to sleep so that my head is as close to upright as I can get it while not being awkward.
Sleeping in any position other than flat on your back or side takes some getting used to. But it can also have some interesting potential benefits, and I had to see whether this could impact the things I was struggling with.
Guess what? It has! Here are just 3 major benefits I’ve experienced myself.
- 1 – Inflammation – It’s definitely helpful having my head closer to upright, so my attempts at playing junior detective to figure out how to help the inflammation have paid off. This hasn’t resolved the situation of course because inflammation is constant and instead builds during the day to result in the pain in one eye and hideous migraine later in the afternoon or evening. At least I can get a head start on treating it, which you can’t do when you’re asleep and merely have to wake up with up with it in full swing.
This support pillow to keep me upright has certainly made a noticeable. difference. Let’s take the first 7 days of using this. Ordinarily I’d have a migraine upon waking on at least 6 of those mornings. And yet I didn’t have a single one upon waking on any of those 7 days. That in itself is a miracle! The face pain was lower and although, disappointingly, the inflammation builds and I still ended up with migraines, just on some of the afternoons instead, to not have it first thing on waking was a wonderful reprieve of epic proportion. Unfortunately, given the pain elsewhere in my body, either consciously or unconsciously I come off the wedge in the night or morning to curl up in a ball on my side. And then I wake up with the horrendous feeling in my face and a nightmarish migraine.
- 2 – Less Back Rigidity – Getting up in the mornings is difficult for a few reasons, but I’m always rigid and in a lot of pain, so it takes while to be able to move fluidly again. I wasn’t expecting sleeping on an incline to help here, but I’ve found my back isn’t as bad in the morning or as hard to bend. Sleeping with my back already bent rather than lying flat means my back is less stiff first thing in the morning, so that’s a great knock-on benefit.
I also sleep with a leg pillow that goes between my thighs/knees to alleviate the pain in my hips. This still works well being on an incline as I typically start off on my side first to read, before going on my back to sleep to ensure my head is as elevated as possible.
- 3 – Daytime Musculoskeletal Support – For daytime use, this has been so much better than what I’ve been doing for the last six years. It provides much better support for my back with a lot less hassle than an unstable mountain of pillows. This is great for managing pain in my back and hips, and it’s better for general posture to keep my back better aligned and straighter.
This is useful if you spend time in bed resting, watching TV, reading, crafting, working or just about anything else. It’s adjustable and versatile for different uses, body shapes and personal preferences, so you can position it and add your own pillows if and as desired.
You can also use it for your legs and feet. It’s often recommended to raise feet so they’re above heart level, which you can do if you’re lying down to sleep or just elevate them when sitting up in the daytime, to help with the likes of inflammation, swelling, oedema, restless legs and so on.
Getting Set Up With The New Byre Pillow
The product is shrink wrapped. This is why it’s delivered looking like a giant sausage and not like a giant wedge of cheese.
Fear not, for it grows like the Hulk to full size between 24-48hrs.
I left this the full 48 hours to ensure it was fully grown. I only noticed a small remnant of scent from this when I first opened it, that sort of newly manufactured smell perhaps. I left it on the dining table for the first day, then on an ottoman in another bedroom next to an open window for the next day to ensure it was aired out and given the space it needed to flourish.
And flourish it did. I was a bit worried because when you see it straight out of the shrink wrap you have to wonder how the heck it could get go from that, being quite small, squashed and wrinkled, to the pillow in the website photos. But it did, so I needn’t have worried.
Then it’s just a case of popping it where you want it to go and adjusting it to your personal preference. It’s pretty lightweight considering it’s a large pillow and I had no problems carrying it. There’s a handle at the top to make the process even more user-friendly. You can flip the cushion around, use or not use the velcro attachments as required to keep it fixed in place, and then add your own cushions if you want to, which is what I did.
My Thoughts On The Byre Wedge Pillow
This is a great quality product, from the foam filling to the soft outer cover. There were no marks, tears, or any tiny niggles of any kind that I could find. It all looked great and felt like top quality. I like that the cover is removable so you can give it a quick wash every now and then for hygiene and comfort.
The ability to adjust this is fantastic, making it a versatile product for day and night and for a range of potential health and pain issues. I don’t think I would have got the angles I needed from a basic wedge that can’t be adjusted, and I certainly wouldn’t have got multifunctional benefits the way I have with the Byre wedge.
It’s very soft to the touch but at the same time nicely firm. The first time lying on this I noticed it felt quite hard against my back and ribs. I was a little unsure of whether it would be comfortable but it was, and I quickly realised it’s a good job it’s firm because if it was soft and squidgy you wouldn’t get any supportive benefit at all.
Any personal benefits to health or pain from using this aren’t really about the pillow itself, but I can’t help but note them here just in case anyone else has experienced similar. The change to inflammation and morning migraines has been incredible. The fact I’m still getting migraines continually is almost beside the point because they’re during the day and a little more manageable with medication by then. The support for my back, and for my body while being propped up in bed during the day is priceless. I wish I’d had one of these to use from the start.
I also want to raise awareness of the potential for postural, musculoskeletal problems arising from being in bed, even if you are propped up with some regular cushions to work or rest and you get regular breaks. Over an extended period of time, it can take a toll and it’s important to ensure your back, neck, shoulders and arms are in a good position and are adequately supported.
This is a small family business, so customers can expect to be treated as individuals and looked after before, during and after their purchase if you have any queries or issues. If you have any queries, they have a UK-based customer service team on hand to help. To provide further peace of mind, they offer a “14 Day Refund Guarantee and an extended warranty on any quality or manufacturing defect” within their range.
They pride themselves on their customer service and they aim to respond to queries as quickly and efficiently as possible. I’ve certainly felt this in my dealings with them. I first reached out to them on a morning and heard back within a mere 3 hours, which really took me by surprise. They’re genuinely passionate about their products and what they do, and it shows.
The friendly team at Byre are on hand for any queries, so if you’re unsure what may best suit your needs then just get in touch for some advice.
Byre Folding Wedge Pillow Review In A Nutshell
This is a fantastic product that I would absolutely recommend for its versatility, quality and potential user benefits. The Byre team have been wonderful and I think it’s a UK business that deserves all the support it can get because they’re developing top quality, effective products that can make a genuine difference in our lives. Big thumbs up.
Byre products can be purchased via their website or on Amazon.
The Byre website offers free UK shipping, which is for the next business day for mainland UK and 2 business days for outlying areas. International shipping is available, shipping to many areas in Europe.
[ This product was gifted in return for an honest review, which I have provided here ]