If you dislike the idea of wearing a fitness tracker to bed and don’t want to pay big bucks for a smart mattress, tracking your sleep can seem like a far-off dream. That’s where the Zeeq Smart Pillow from REM-Fit comes in. Capable of monitoring sleep quality and snoring, the Zeeq also features built-in Bluetooth speakers and vibrating silent alarms. It’s even compatible with Amazon Alexa and If This Then That (IFTTT) But while the Zeeq is a comfortable and intriguing piece of sleep tech, we encountered a few too many issues in testing to justify its $ 199.99 price.
Design and Comfort
The Zeeq measures 16.8 by 26.5 by 5.5 inches (HWD) and weighs a hefty 7 pounds. It’s slightly smaller than a standard pillow, and all that extra weight comes from eight wireless speakers, a gyroscope, decibel-tuned microphone monitors, and two vibration motors housed inside. It’s all surrounded by purple memory foam filling and a comfort foam shell.
The included pillowcase is made of Tencel fiber, which according to REM-Fit is hypoallergenic, moisture-wicking, and temperature-regulating. The upper left and lower right corners are bordered in purple fabric, with the Zeeq logo embroidered in white. You’ll find a small white remote control tethered to the right side. The top of the remote holds a micro USB charging port, a power button, LED indicator lights, and a volume button. The pillow has an estimated battery life of two weeks.
Sleeping on the Zeeq is quite comfortable. Initially, it was a bit too thick and firm for my liking, but you can easily unzip the cover and add or remove included memory foam filling to suit your preferred thickness. If you’re not a fan of sleeping on top of the Tencel fabric—or if it simply doesn’t match your bedspread—you can also put it in a regular pillowcase.
App and Setup
The Zeeq can track your sleep quality and measure how loudly you snore. If your snoring reaches a certain decibel, you can set the pillow to vibrate, which is supposed to encourage you to shift sleeping positions. Additionally, you can set the Zeeq to vibrate as a silent alarm in the morning. The built-in Bluetooth speakers can play white noise, music, audiobooks, or anything else from your phone.
Setting everything up is straightforward. First, download the Zeeq app (available for Android and iOS) and create an account. Once that’s complete, turn on the pillow by holding the power button for a few seconds. At this
If you want to use the speakers, you’ll have to pair them separately. The app will prompt you to do so before you use the pillow for the first time, and there’s a handy video tutorial to walk you through the process.
To use the pillow with Alexa, you can simply enable the Zeeq Skill in the Alexa app and link your accounts. You can’t issue voice commands to the pillow itself, but you can ask Alexa to read out your sleep stats. The pillow also supports IFTTT integration for interaction with other smart home devices. For instance, you can have your sleep data automatically logged in a Google Sheets spreadsheet, or adjust your bedroom temperature via a Nest Thermostat when you get in bed.
The main screen of the app shows you the date and has a button that says
Swipe right to access your daily sleep scores. You’ll see a numerical score out of 100, plus your average snore decibels and minutes of restful sleep. At the bottom is your average over a seven-day period. Swipe right again and you’ll access the snore monitor, where you can see your average snore decibel, as well as your peak loudness and a relatable equivalent. For example, on a night that I reached 82 decibels, my snores were apparently the aural equivalent of a steaming tea kettle. Swipe right yet again to get to the motion monitor, which shows how many restful sleep minutes you got in a night, as well as your weekly average for tossing and turning.
If you use a REM-Fit Active fitness tracker, you can link the pillow and the tracker for a more holistic look at how your daily activity levels impact your sleep. As I didn’t have the companion tracker, I wasn’t able to test this.
While the Zeeq is built on a foundation of good ideas, I found the execution a bit lacking. That’s partially due to a buggy app experience and connectivity issues. Often, if I switched away from the Zeeq app, the pillow would lose Bluetooth connectivity and I’d have to start the app again. When this wasn’t an issue, the app frequently froze or crashed.
I also found the built-in speakers to be a bit too quiet. Granted, there was a lot of memory foam filling in between my ears and the drivers, but even at full volume, I found it difficult to listen to audiobooks (though this isn’t as much of an issue if you prefer to fall asleep to white noise or music).
I found the vibrations to be largely ineffective as well. Even
To determine its accuracy, I wore the Fitbit Versa to bed each night I slept on the Zeeq, and both devices logged similar times at which I started sleeping. However, the Zeeq always assumed I woke with the scheduled silent alarm, which as I mentioned, was almost never the case. For this reason, I feel the Versa (and smart mattresses, like the Sleep Number 360) ultimately delivers more accurate data.
There’s also not a great way to automatically track your sleep. An Auto Sleep mode in the app asks you set a time in which the pillow will start detection, which makes me a bit dubious of its accuracy. If you manually hit the
Sweet Dreams Are Made of Zeeq?
The Zeeq Smart Pillow is a great idea on paper, with its built-in Bluetooth speakers and vibrating silent alarms aiding you in falling asleep and waking up, while built-in sensors track your snoring and sleep quality. But each of these features proved lackluster in testing, making it difficult to justify the pillow’s $ 200 price. To its credit, the Zeeq is very comfortable to sleep on, has robust IFTTT integration, and the sleep tracking itself is fairly accurate. But unless you absolutely hate wearing something on your wrist to bed, you’ll likely better served by a fitness tracker that can also monitor how well you rest.