Steps can go in either direction, you know.

With the worsening hay fever season and wildly fluctuating temperatures in much of Japan these days, our reporter Masanuki Sunakoma has been having trouble getting a good night’s sleep. And to make matters worse, his pillow just wasn’t cutting it anymore.

So, Masanuki logged onto Amazon Japan in search of a more comfortable place to rest his head. However, after years of seeking out some of the more bizarre products the e-commerce site has to offer, his old habit was hard to break and his eyes were instantly drawn to the Practical Model Pendulum Neck Stretcher Comfortable Sleep Pillow / Revolutionary Sleep Pillow With Your Own Head Weight for Comfortable Sleep.

Despite working the word “comfortable” into the name twice, Masanuki had reservations – largely because rather than feathers or foam, this pillow was largely made of metal piping.

Still, having found diamonds in the Amazon rough in the past, he decided to give it a shot and ordered one for 3,980 yen (US$29).

Pillow assembly was pretty simple and just required sliding the three pipes into place and tightening the screws with an Alan key.

Wikipedia defines a “pillow” simply as an item that supports the body and explains that ancient peoples once used rocks or pieces of wood as pillows.

However, throughout the last century, pillow design has mostly remained the same.

The Practical Model Pendulum Neck Stretcher Comfortable Sleep Pillow, appears to be trying to disrupt this by offering a completely new way to lay your head down.

Luckily, the instructions were clear so both setup and usage was a breeze for Masanuki. First, he just slid his head into the harness.

Next, he applied the forehead and chin straps.

The instructions recommended sliding a handkerchief under the straps for added comfort, but Masanuki felt that the straps by themselves felt fine. On the other hand, the instructions said it was possible to use with your ears sticking out, but that seemed impossible to our writer due to the arrangement of the straps.

The last step was for Masanuki to close his eyes and let Mr. Sandman bring him a dream. It was considerably more comfortable that it looked and despite calling itself a “neck stretcher” he didn’t feel any undue tension on his neck.

That being said, those looking for a stiff tug of the neck might want to try this too because the level of traction can be adjusted simply by moving the angle of the center pipe. It was nice to have that option.

And yet…

He just couldn’t sleep.

It wasn’t an issue of physical comfort, but more of a mental block. He just couldn’t get over how weird everything felt and worried that the straps might suddenly give out at any moment. These were problems that slipping all the handkerchiefs in the world into simply couldn’t solve.

And in that way, Masanuki felt that spending seven or so hours like that would ultimately be more tiring than relaxing.
On the other hand, it did seem like a serious, well-made product and not merely some kooky gag gift. Perhaps Masanuki just wasn’t ready for it.

Even on Amazon Japan the reviews were very polarized with 24 percent of customers giving it five stars and 22 percent giving it one star, for an average rating of 3.2 stars. So, it’s not a pillow you’re guaranteed to love, but it does have its fans and might just be a new hope for those tired of conventional pillows.

Source: Amazon Japan/Practical Model Pendulum Neck Stretcher Comfortable Sleep Pillow / Revolutionary Sleep Pillow With Your Own Head Weight for Comfortable Sleep
Photos ©SoraNews24
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