Product Review – Atex Hi-Tech Japanese Arm & Nap Pillow
From the country of Japan, with some of the longest average work hours on earth, comes this Atex high-tech arm & nap pillow, which we will be reviewing today. Even if you don’t work or study for crazily long hours, like many people unfortunately do in Japan, you can still benefit from the Japanese culture and experience which led to the creation of this unusual but very useful pillow.
I think just about everyone in the world has had the experience of feeling tired or drowsy at their desk, and tried to lay their head down for a quick rest. But if you try to rest or sleep using just your bare arm as a pillow, after a few minutes your arm will probably hurt or feel numb from the weight of your head. This simple observation led to the invention in Japan of arm pillows. What if instead of your arm, someone created a cushion or pillow specially designed to fit with your arm and head as you lay down at your desk? That would make taking naps so much easier. The company Atex has recently created a new, more hi-tech arm pillow, featured as a unique Japanese invention on NHK news in Japan, making naps even more easy, and providing a benefit for anyone who wants to take a quick nap at a desk.
If you have ever been to a Japanese city, maybe you have noticed the army of office workers taking public transit every morning and evening, able to sleep even in seemingly the most uncomfortable positions on the train. This easy ability to sleep has been explained in national media with this theory or that theory, but personally I think it’s because Japanese workers are just really tired. Even house wives (of whom there are a lot less than before) can have a hard time dealing with the mandatory pre-school diaries they have to meticulously fill out for their children every single day, creating visually appealing but time consuming bento boxes for their families, and just generally having to take care of everything at home completely by themselves.
So there has been a long-standing tendency in Japan to take quick naps to recharge, including at the desk. Atex, which makes various relaxation products, including a very popular line of massage chairs, has released this “ohirune pillow”, with several built-in functions beyond just a soft cushion to lay your head on.
One thing, I’m not sure if it’s exactly a function, is that this arm pillow looks cute. The idea is that it resembles a kawaii pink pig. That alone will help some people relax a little, and take a break from any worries they might have.
The padding and pink fur are soft, and the pillow is pretty thick, so it really is more comfortable to use this arm pillow than just your bare arm to rest your head on. The size will fit your head perfectly, and the pillow is snug and comfortable on your arm.
The other functions, all accessible through a single button, are alarm, heat, and soft vibration. The alarm function makes perfect sense, since if the arm pillow is as comfortable as this one, you may find yourself oversleeping. This is something I have actually found myself worrying about sometimes. If I fell asleep studying at my desk (back in my former student life), what if I stayed asleep for one or two hours? Or even longer? Now your arm pillow can have a 15 minute alarm built in.
The heat function at first did not make much sense to me. And it isn’t necessary during the height of summer at outside temperatures. But during the cold months, or even under strong air-conditioning, a heated arm pillow is just so much more comfortable as you are laying on it. The warmth of the pillow helps dissipate muscle tension, and you find yourself nodding off much more easily and even dreamily.
Vibration has the same general purpose as heat, which is to relax you, let you forget about any stress, and fall asleep. This is a soft, gentle vibration, and in my experience with this pillow, makes relaxing and falling asleep both more easy and more pleasant.
To use all these functions, you simply have to press and hold the single button on the pillow. If you press and hold the button (located on the pig’s right front leg), the button light will turn orange, and the pillow will warm up. In this orange mode, the alarm also turns on automatically, set to vibrate you awake after 15 minutes.
If you keep holding the button down, the light turns blue. In this mode, only the alarm function is turned on. Perhaps for a hot day when you do not need heat. If you press the button again, it turns green, and enters a “relaxed vibration” mode, where the vibration turns on.
The arm pillow is chargeable through a USB port, and also has one extra function, where you can place your smartphone in the standing pillow as a sort of smartphone pillow or holder. Not especially useful, but worthy of mention for the sake of completeness.
Overall, this Atex arm pillow is exactly the kind of odd but practical and useful invention that Japanese people are known for. The functions included all make it easier and more comfortable to take a quick nap or break at your desk, and after a little use, you may begin to wonder why no one had invented something like this sooner. We all sometimes get a little tired or sleepy while studying or working, even with reasonable work and study hours. And this arm pillow will definitely improve your life in those situations.
If you are interested in buying the Atex Hi-Tech Japanese Arm & Nap Pillow, and live outside of Japan, please have a look at our site Allegro Japan, where we sell this and over a thousand other interesting and unique items from Japan. We ship all over the world, with free international shipping via Japan Post. The list price that you see at first is what you will pay at the end, with no hidden charges or extra shipping fees. Thank you for reading!