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Nike Ultrafly review: The carbon-plated off-road cruiser
2:05 pm | April 18, 2024

Author: admin | Category: Computers Gadgets Health & Fitness | Tags: , , | Comments: Off

One minute review

If you’re the kind of runner who prefers to head out to the trails for hours as opposed to tackling the same stretch of pavement, the Nike Ultrafly is made for you.

The Ultrafly is designed to handle up to ultra distances including racing, grabbing elements from Nike’s best running shoes like its ZoomX foam and a carbon plate, which on paper makes it sound like a Vaporfly for the trails.

I’ve used a bunch of Nike’s trail shoes including the long distance, off-road focused Nike Wildhorse 8 and the ZoomX-packing Nike Zegama Trail. While I’ve enjoyed my time in the new Ultrafly, it’s not quite the shoe I thought it would be: it's not zippy and quick like the Vaporfly is on roads, but it is a workhorse. 

Nike Ultrafly: Specifications

Nike Ultrafly: Price and availability

  • Priced at $250 in the US
  • £229.95 in the UK
  • AU$330 in Australia

The Nike Ultrafly launched in July 2023 in limited quantities before going on wider release in August, priced at £229.95 / $250 / AU$ 330. 

That put it around the same price as Nike’s Vaporfly road running shoe and also makes it pricier than standout trail shoes like the Hoka Speedgoat 5 and the Nike Wildhorse 8, another Nike trail shoe designed for long distance running.

  • Value score: 3.5/5

Nike Ultrafly: Design

Nike Ultrafly

(Image credit: Michael Sawh)
  • Vaporweave upper
  • Vibram Megagrip outsole
  • Nike ZoomX foam

While the Ultrafly is built for the trails, it definitely has the look of one of Nike’s road shoes. There’s just the two colourway options, both with a mostly white upper that thankfully hasn’t become caked in mud as the trails I’ve tested them on have been mostly the dry and hard kind.

Dealing with the key specs, it’s got a 8.5mm drop: that’s 38.5mm at the heel and 30mm at the forefoot, so it’s a chunky shoe. For comparison, the ultra-focused Nike Wildhorse 8 has an 8mm drop coming in at 35.5mm at the heel and 27.5mm at the forefoot.

Nike uses an upper made from Vaporweave, which is built from a mixture of plastics and is similar to the upper material used on its road running shoes like the Zoom Fly and the first generation Vaporfly. While the upper looks pretty low volume, there’s a nice bit of stretch to it and it’s nice and roomy up front, making it ideal for going long where feet can swell and you need that extra space.

While the Ultrafly opens up at the toes, it narrows at the midfoot and at the heel to offer a good lockdown with not overly generous padding at the heel collar to offer some comfort further back. The laces are the standard kind that sit on top of a skinny tongue that offers some padding on top to make sure you don’t feel those laces if they’re tightly tied.

For the midsole, Nike is using the ZoomX foam it uses on its successful Vaporfly, Alphafly and Invincible road shoes. That midsole is wrapped in fabric to protect the foam and is designed to make it feel more stable than Nike’s road shoes. Nike also places a Carbon Flyplate between that ZoomX and fabric-wrapped midsole to help deliver smoother transitions.

In an interesting move from Nike, it included a Vibram Megagrip outsole to deliver off-road grip. Nike typically uses its own outsole technology, which I’ve had mixed experiences with. The decision to go with Vibram on the Ultrafly seems like a wise move as it’s the same outsole technology featured on other standout trail shoes including the Hoka Speedgoat 5.

Weight-wise, the Ultrafly weighed in at 282g in my UK size 8, which is lighter than something like the Nike Wildhorse 8, which weighed in at almost 320g in a UK size 8. While not super-light, it definitely didn’t feel heavy during runs and was comfortable enough to walk around in as well.

  •  Design score: 4/5

Nike Ultrafly: Performance

Nike Ultrafly

(Image credit: Michael Sawh)
  • Smooth, stable and consistent ride
  • ZoomX isn’t bouncy like Nike road shoes
  • Outsole works well on moderate trails and roads

If you’re hoping that the Ultrafly is going to give you that feeling of running in one of Nike’s carbon racing shoes, then that’s simply not the case here. This isn’t an aggressive, speed shoe that delivers an extremely bouncy feeling. It’s different, but in a good way.

I haven’t run an ultra in it, instead focusing on getting as much time on my feet as my current state of running fitness permits, maxing out a couple of hours on a mixture of trail surfaces. I’ve also been mixing in some road time and taking in some lighter, more challenging trail terrain. The first thing you notice about the Ultrafly is that it doesn’t feel built like Nike’s other trail shoes. That’s largely down to the roominess of that toe box.

The ZoomX foam typically delivers a very bouncy ride, just like it does in the Vaporfly and Invincible, but things are slightly more tempered here. Unfortunately, it just doesn’t deliver the same lively ride. What it does instead is provide comfort and that’s really what you need over longer distances. 

As a package, it’s smooth and stable. It’s certainly not one that feels equipped for all-out speed and is better suited to cruising and moving at slightly more up-tempo speeds. It’s not super light or nimble, but it’s not overly heavy either to make it a taxing shoe to have on your feet as you roll through the miles.

It’s great to see that Nike has opted to plant on a Vibram outsole, which features on some of the best trail shoes in the business and feels like a step up in general on Nike’s trail shoe outsoles. The 3.5mm lugs aren’t exceptionally deep, which makes handling some road time in them absolutely fine, and in general, the grip was good across a mixture of terrain including mud, rockier surfaces, and tackling some hills. I do feel like on more technical trails and likely muddier ones, you’re going to want something a little more aggressive in the outsole department though.

In terms of protection on the trails, there doesn’t seem to be a huge amount going on here and plays into the idea that this is one best suited to lighter and more moderate routes as opposed to the more technical kind. Yes, the upper looks great and uses material that’s designed to prevent rips, but Nike does go pretty light on the protective features here.

Overall though, it’s a shoe that I’ve enjoyed spending time in. It does feel like a bit of a cruiser of a shoe that’s comfortable enough to wear outside of runs, and prioritizes offering a consistent feel from a not-too-heavy design that makes it ideal for long distance runs. It feels like a good start for the Ultrafly line with room to tweak things and for it to evolve to be a truly standout trail shoe to justify picking it up over other trail shoes that cost less.

  • Performance score: 4/5 

Nike Ultrafly: Scorecard

Nike Ultrafly: Should I buy?

Nike Ultrafly

(Image credit: Michael Sawh)

Buy it if...

Don't buy it if...

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Xiaomi Smart Band 8 Pro review: Good GPS tracking on the cheap
7:54 pm | April 10, 2024

Author: admin | Category: Computers Fitness Trackers Gadgets Health & Fitness | Tags: , , | Comments: Off

Xiaomi Smart Band 8: One-minute review

It’s not often you get a device like the Xiaomi Smart Band 8. It’s a very affordable fitness tracker at just $90 / £60 / AU$95, but it’s also remarkably competent thanks to great battery life and an array of sensors that some much more expensive alternatives are missing.

Not only is it one of the most complete budget fitness trackers we’ve tested, but it even defeats the Huawei Band 7 (a tracker I loved) by offering built-in GPS location tracking, too. That could make it a big worry for the likes of even the best Fitbit, and competition can only be a good thing.

I wore it on one wrist with my Apple Watch Ultra on the other (a considerably more expensive option) and was very impressed by just how accurate the Xiaomi Smart Band 8 Pro is. Xiaomi says it uses “next-generation data algorithms” for things like heart rate and oxygen saturation accuracy, and from my usage its findings were in lockstep with Apple’s own.

In fact, my only real gripe is that of the setup process. Your mileage may end up varying, but it felt like it got me off on the wrong foot with the Xiaomi Smart Band 8 Pro, although thankfully the excellent features and design fixed that nice and quickly.

There are some other omissions, too, like payments, music downloads, and third-party apps, but given the price, those are all things you’d perhaps expect.

Xiaomi Smart Band 8 worn on the wrist

(Image credit: Future)

Xiaomi Smart Band 8 Pro: Specifications

Xiaomi Smart Band 8 Pro: Price and release date

  • Available now 
  • Priced at $99.99 in the US
  • £60 in the UK
  • AU$95 in Australia

The Xiaomi Smart Band 8 Pro originally debuted in China last August, but it’s taken some time to go international. 

Thankfully, it’s available from most retailers now, and at a discounted price of $99 in the US, £60 in the UK, and AU$95 via outlets such as Amazon. 

We’ve seen it as low as £50 or $80 in recent weeks, and it’s a steal for that price, which makes it considerably cheaper than its nearest competitors like the Fitbit Inspire 3.

  • Value score: 5/5

Xiaomi Smart Band 8 Pro: Design

Xiaomi Smart Band 8 strap

(Image credit: Future)
  • Available in black or white with swappable straps 
  • 1.74-inch AMOLED display 
  • Lightweight and slim

I find it difficult to get excited about fitness trackers these days because, for the most part, they all look mostly the same. That’s not to damn the Xiaomi Smart Band 8 Pro with faint praise, but more acknowledge that just by looking at it, there’s no way you’d expect it to cost as little as it does.

It has a slick, rectangular chassis, and our white unit has a shining chrome shell. It does collect some fingerprints but not as many as you may expect, and houses a 1.74-inch AMOLED display that’s small enough to sit comfortably on your wrist while also being large enough to convey plenty of information at a glance.

It’s a good balance, and it doesn’t hurt that it’s packing a 336 x 480 px resolution that’s easy to read, and it weighs just 22.5g without the strap (still heavier than the Huawei Band 7, admittedly).

There are no buttons, physical or otherwise, on the sides, so you’ll be doing everything with the touchscreen, while the straps detach easily through a subtle mechanism and click into place in a satisfying way. Our review unit comes with an off-white option, but there’s no second strap in the box; it’s a one-size-fits-all kind of deal, and as someone who usually uses larger straps, I can say it works nicely.

On the back you’ll find a charging port, and while there’s no power brick included in the box, it’s worth noting that the USB-A cable that is here isn’t the longest. Some users will prefer USB-C, as USB-A is starting to look a little dated. Still, for under $100, it's just a charging cable. You get what you get. 

  • Design score: 4.5/5

Xiaomi Smart Band 8 laying on a flat surface

(Image credit: Future)

Xiaomi Smart Band 8 Pro: Performance

Xiaomi Smart Band 8 worn on the wrist

(Image credit: Future)
  • Strictly a fitness tracker 
  • Plenty of functions 
  • Smart use of widgets 

The folks at Xiaomi have built much of the user interface here with the larger display in mind, which means you can swipe between screens that pack multiple widgets into each, making use of every available pixel. It took a little bit of habit-busting to get into the swing of swiping ‘backward’ rather than Apple's ‘up’ to return to a prior menu, but once I did, I was enjoying its functionality with ease.

You can swipe up from the bottom of the screen to access a sort of “All Apps” list, but that’s about the only time the UI feels a little tricky as you try to prod the right option.

As always (because many still conflate the two), it’s worth remembering this is a fitness tracker and not a smartwatch. The Xiaomi Smart Band 8 Pro won’t pay for your shopping, download music for offline playback, or download third-party apps. It's essentially a single-purpose device, and for that purpose – fitness tracking – it’s great.

I used it to head out for a brisk walk, indoors for a treadmill run, and at the gym. As mentioned in the intro, in all these scenarios, all of its metrics tied up nicely with that of my Apple Watch,  which costs around nine times the price of the Xiaomi Smart Band 8 Pro in the US.

Xiaomi Smart Band 8 music playback screen

(Image credit: Future)

Step counting is accurate, and heart rate data was consistent while awake and asleep. While some have reported inaccuracies with VO2 data, mine synced up with the Apple Watch Ultra nicely. 

My favorite thing, though, is the GNSS support for GPS. It’s only a single-frequency connection, so it may struggle in big cities or when surrounded by large buildings, but it works really nicely for a casual run. If you’re a hardcore runner you’ll likely want something with more accuracy or a stronger connection, but then again, if you’re a hardcore runner you probably already own a much more expensive running watch.

When it comes to sleep tracking, things are mainly centered around the stages of sleep you’ll get. That’s fine at a basic level, but outside of that, you’re not going to get as much information as you’d perhaps get with a more fully-featured smartwatch such as the Samsung Galaxy Watch 6, or a sleep tracker like the Oura Ring Generation 3.

Battery life is great, though, with Xiaomi suggesting you can hit 14 days on a single charge. That is, admittedly, with some functionality toned down (like always-on display and some health notifications), but it’s still impressive in a device at this price point.

Without those concessions, you can still reasonably expect around four-and-a-half days, which is still pretty great – and can easily go past five with light use, a.k.a. fewer workouts.

  • Performance score: 4/5

Xiaomi Smart Band 8 Pro: Features

  • iOS and Android compatible 
  • Don’t expect a lot of analysis on companion app

Xiaomi Smart Band 8 companion app devices page

(Image credit: Future)

I’ll be honest, I feel like the Xiaomi Mi Fitness app and I got off on the wrong foot. Pairing the device with my iPhone was pretty painful; it wouldn’t scan the QR code on the screen, so I had to add it manually via the Bluetooth settings, then that didn’t work on two separate attempts, and then just as I prepared to give up, it sprung to life.

Not a great first impression, sure, and to add to that many of the basic functions of the Xiaomi Smart Band 8 Pro were switched off – including things like sleep tracking.

Xiaomi Smart Band 8 companion app sleep settings

(Image credit: Future)

Once I switched those on, though, everything was pretty smooth. The Health tab is essentially a dashboard with all of your data for calories, steps, and exercise, as well as sleep and heart rate data, while the Workout tab actually incorporates Apple Maps so you can feasibly use it without needing to switch to Strava to log your routes. 

Xiaomi Smart Band 8 companion app running map

(Image credit: Future)

There’s also a nice marketplace of watch faces you can download with ease and set on your device.

Xiaomi Smart Band 8 companion app band displays

(Image credit: Future)

In fact, the only thing missing is anything close to a deeper analysis of the data collected, which you may expect would be missing at this price. 

Xiaomi Smart Band 8 companion app vitality score settings

(Image credit: Future)

The closest thing is the Vitality Score, which is a little like Fitbit’s Daily Readiness Score. This takes into account the activity you’ve done in the last seven days and calculates a score for how ready you are for exercise. It’s a nice idea, but as far as I can tell it’s not pulling extra data like sleep history. 

  • Features score: 4/5

Xiaomi Smart Band 8 Pro: Scorecard

Xiaomi Smart Band 8 Pro: Should I buy?

Buy it if...

Don't buy it if...

Also consider

Honor Band 7 review: Budget-friendly fitness tracker with great features
5:20 pm | April 3, 2024

Author: admin | Category: Computers Fitness Trackers Gadgets Health & Fitness | Tags: | Comments: Off

Honor Band 7: One minute review

If you're after a budget-friendly fitness tracker then look no further than the Honor Band 7. It's remarkably similar to the Huawei Band 8 and the Xiaomi Smart Band 7 and, with similar prices, it's difficult to set them apart.

The Honor Band 7 boasts an incredible 1.47-inch AMOLED display which is lovely to look at and engage with. Color graphics are displayed with clarity and brightness, even when outside in the bright sun. The display itself is large enough to present enough health and fitness data so you can avoid needing to launch the app too often.

Tracking data seems pretty reliable across the board, although if you want the most accurate results then you'll need to invest in one of the more expensive trackers that you can find in our best fitness trackers guide. If you'd just like to keep track of steps, heart rate and Sp02 levels, then the Honor Band 7 has everything you need.

I knew there wasn't going to be the luxury of onboard GPS, but I was disappointed to find that tethered GPS could only be activated from a connected phone rather than from the tracker itself. This unnecessary additional step proved to be rather annoying especially when I wanted to just get up and go without getting my phone out of my bag or pocket. 

Despite this, I actually really enjoyed using the tracker. It was a pleasure to interact with and I'm not sure you'll find anything better for the price.

Honor Band 7: Price and availability

Honor Band 7

(Image credit: Future)
  • $59.99 US
  • £49.99 UK
  • Around AU$96.50 

The Honor Band 7 is available for $59.99 in the US and £49.99 in the UK, which equates to around AU$96.50 in Australia. This is priced very similarly to other budget fitness trackers, such as the Huawei Band 8 and the Xiaomi Smart Band 8 Pro.

The only customization in terms of colorways on offer is the color of the bands, with the three options being: Meteorite Black, Pink, and Emerald Green. Make sure you choose wisely, because the band is not removable.

For the price, you'll get a large AMOLED screen, 96 workout modes, and 14 days of battery life. 

  • Value score: 4.5 / 5

Honor Band 7: Design

Honor Band 7

(Image credit: Future)
  • 1.47-inch AMOLED screen
  • Thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) not metal
  • Three band colours

The design of the Honor Band 7 is almost identical to that of the Band 6. Considering Honor is releasing a new version every two years, it's disappointing not to see some level of upgrade in the size and design of the screen.

The standout feature of the Band 7 is its 1.47-inch AMOLED screen. It's big, bright, and beautifully responsive. The fact that the screen is full-color rather than mono means all the extra details and interface graphics Honor has taken the time to include really pop. I had no issues with fingerprint marks, and the interface transitions were smooth and reliable.

The tracker itself is made of thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) with a spray coating applied to make it look metallic. Despite it looking great, there's no getting away from the fact that it is still of plastic construction, especially when you touch it or get up close to it. 

The band comes in three different colors including Meteorite Black, Pink, and Emerald Green. The version I was testing is the pink one, although it's more of a rose gold color in reality. The silicone band is unfortunately non-removable, which is admittedly common for budget fitness trackers like this. It's usually used as a feature to set more premium alternatives apart, although some cheaper trackers like Fitbit Inspire 3 can also detach from their bands.

At 29 grams, it is double the weight of the Huawei Band 8, but it is still comfy and light to wear. I had it on all day and all night for a couple of weeks and had no problems whatsoever with it feeling uncomfortable.

The software interface is where the tracker excels. The graphics are beautifully designed, with just the right amount of data included on each screen. The homescreen can be customized using a range of watch faces, with each one displaying different stats.

The design ethos is replicated in the Honor app, which enables users to see a significant extra level of detail and reports on heart rate, oxygen levels, and activities tracked.

  • Design Score: 4/5

Honor Band 7: Features

  • Detailed heart rate and step count info
  • Optical heart rate and SpO2 sensor
  • GPS tethered from phone only

One of the most used features of any fitness tracker is the step count. The Band 7 tracks these while displaying the results in a graphic that shows how much progress has been made. The number of steps is tracked with accuracy and presented alongside the number of exercise minutes and active calories burned. Considering most users only want tracked steps as a guide, the accuracy level is more than sufficient.

The optical sensor tracks both heart rate and Sp02 levels. These are available on most fitness trackers, and, even though the results were far from inaccurate on the Band 7, you'll definitely find more reliable results on more expensive trackers such as the Garmin Vívoactive 5.

The stress tracking feature is calculated using heart rate variability collected during manually-activated stress tests, while automatic sleep tracking also uses heart health data to collect information. 

Aside from health tracking, the Honor Band 7 can also record data when exercising. By picking from a range of different workout modes, including running, cycling, and rowing, users are presented with a set of analytics, including the time, heart rate, and steps. 

GPS tracking can be activated by tethering it to your smart phone. My biggest issue with this fitness tracker is that this GPS functionality can't be activated from the tracker, even if it is close to the connected phone. Workouts that require GPS tracking must be launched from a phone instead. This is an annoying and unnecessary step that makes the process of launching workouts more involved than it needs to be. Nevertheless, a good chunk of features for a band at this price. 

  • Features score: 4/5

Honor Band 7: Performance

Honor Band 7

(Image credit: Future)
  • Quick and responsive
  • Generally accurate tracking data 
  • 14 days of battery life, 10-12 days for heavy usage

The 180mAh battery on the Honor Band 7 is really good, and I was surprised given how much the device costs. The advertised length of battery life is 14 days, an amount of time that very much matched my experience, especially during weeks in which I wasn't doing much exercise.

As soon as I started using it for my daily commute alongside other exercise activities, I found the battery draining more quickly. No surprises there. Even though Honor promises 10 days for heavy usage, I actually found it to be nearer to 12. It's always nice when the reality is better than expected.

Charging a watch like this every couple of weeks is no trouble at all, especially considering it takes less than an hour to go from empty to full charge. You'll want to keep it within the magic 20-80% to maximize the life of the battery but that's easily done by keeping an eye on the battery life through the watch interface.

When it comes to metrics, I ran stress tests at different times of the day and during different events in my everyday life. I generally found the Band 7 would report my stress levels as normal even at times when I felt noticeably stressed and could tell that my heart rate was raised. I certainly didn't feel like I could trust it.

Automatic sleep tracking provides data that is broken down into sleep stages and the duration of each stage. It's almost impossible to verify the reliability of this data, and fitness trackers are not renowned for being the most reliable anyway. That being said, during my testing period, I was up numerous times during the night and I did find that the tracker was able to identify every one of them.

The tracker itself has a waterproof rating of 5ATM, which means the Honor Band 7 is theoretically able to withstand pressures up to 50m depth, an industry standard among smart wearables these days. I never made it this deep, but had absolutely no problems wearing it in the shower or submerging it in water.

  • Performance score: 4/5

Honor Band 7: Scorecard

Buy it if...

Don't buy it if...

Also consider

How I tested the Honor Band 7

I wore the Honor Band 7 non-stop for two weeks and thoroughly enjoyed doing so. During this time, I used every single feature and carried out a range of different exercise workouts, including running, swimming, and cycling. Throughout all of this I kept track of my heart rate, my stress levels, and my oxygen levels, amongst other similar health measureables.

I used the app to control the device as well as run a number of more advanced tests that were not possible with the watch on its own. 

First reviewed: April 2024

Cozy Earth Silk Pillow review
3:00 pm |

Author: admin | Category: Computers Gadgets Health & Fitness Mattresses Sleep | Comments: Off

Cozy Earth Silk Pillow: two-minute review

I’m always on the hunt for the next great pillow. I’ve tested dozens of high-end bed pillows, and several were very good. However, the Cozy Earth Silk Pillow may be the very best pillow that I’ve ever tested (it’s definitely in my top five). I love thick, plush pillows, and this one falls in that category. However, it’s the reason why this pillow is so thick and plush that impresses me: it’s made of mulberry silk.

Now, silk in general, is a soft and luxurious material. But mulberry silk takes this experience to another level. I’ve tested mulberry silk pillowcases and head scarves that reduce hair frizzing and dryness. I also have mulberry silk pajamas that are also luxurious and tend to wrinkle less. And my mulberry silk sleep eye mask is smooth and cooling.

But how would a pillow with silk filling perform? Marvelously. The 100% mulberry silk filling is both strong enough to be durable, and soft enough to feel like I’m at a 5-star hotel. And the bamboo cover is also smooth and soft to the touch. While the pillow is soft, it also provides enough support that I avoid waking up with aches and pain. It works well for back and side sleepers, but may not be ideal for stomach sleepers. 

A pair of Cozy Earth Silk Pillows on a bed

(Image credit: Future)

I tested a pair of the Cozy Earth Silk Pillows for over two weeks to see how they compare to the rest of the best pillows on the market. And if you really want to elevate your sleep comfort to another level, check out our guide to this year's best mattresses for all budgets.

Cozy Earth Silk Pillow review: price & value for money

  • Luxury pillow with a premium price
  • 100-night trial period, 10-year warranty
  • Currently 20% off

At $299 (currently on sale for $239.20) in the standard size, the Cozy Earth Silk Pillow is absolutely a premium pillow – and it’s at the top of that category as well.  However, this long-strand mulberry silk pillow is like the crème de la crème of pillows. I wouldn’t recommend it if you’re on a budget, but if you’re prepared to splurge, it’s definitely worth considering.

The king size pillow is regularly $349 (currently on sale for $279.20). Cozy Earth also makes a Bamboo Down Alternative Pillow for $115, and a Bamboo Down Alternative Body Pillow for $195.  

Another one of the best pillows I’ve ever tested is the Purple Harmony Pillow, which combines a honeycomb-patterned GelFlex grid over a latex core. It’s a super-squishy pillow that moves when I do, and has temperature-regulating features. The pillow comes in a low, medium, and tall pillow height, making it ideal for any type of sleeper. The pillow, which should only be spot-cleaned, is $199.

If you prefer a down pillow, the Casper Down Pillow has a multi-chamber design. The outer pillow consists of ethically-sourced 80% white duck down, and a 20% feather outer chamber. The inner pillow consists of 60% white duck down and 40% feather inner chambers. This provides an ultra-soft experience, similar to sleeping on a cloud, but also thick enough to be supportive. The pillow is cool to the touch, machine washable, and regularly priced at $139.

Cozy Earth provides free shipping for thes pillow. There’s also a 100-night trial, and a 10-year warranty. In comparison, Purple Harmony provides a 100-night trial period and a 1-year warranty, and Casper provides a 30-day trial period and a 1-year warranty.

Cozy Earth Silk Pillow review: design and materials

  • 100% mulberry silk fill
  • Bounces back but needs to be fluffed
  • Breathable bamboo viscose shell

The Cozy Earth Silk Pillow is filled with 100% mulberry silk that’s made exclusively for the company. It provides a supremely comfortable feel that’s soft as a cloud, but also thick enough to be supportive. The long strand mulberry silk is actually softer than other types of silk, and this is what creates such a luxurious feel.

Some pillows start off feeling soft, but then they start clumping – meaning there are soft spots in places, and also spots where the filling is now missing. However the filling in the Cozy Earth pillow never clumps. In fact, Cozy Earth guarantees this won't happen.

A Cozy Earth Silk Pillow opened to show the filling

(Image credit: Future)

I have a set of standard size pillows, but they're also available in king size. The cover is made of 100% premium viscose from bamboo, which is designed to stay cool.

The pair of Cozy Earth Pillows arrived safely in a cardboard box. Inside, each pillow was in a stylish fabric bag with zipper closure, along with vegan leather handles and trim. I’d give the company full marks for presentation. Upon unzipping each bag, the pillows were encased in plastic as a sanitary measure. Since the pillows were not compressed, they didn’t have to expand, and I was not subjected to any off-gassing.

Image 1 of 2

Cozy Earth Silk Pillows in their shipping box

(Image credit: Future)
Image 2 of 2

Cozy Earth Silk Pillows in their carry bags

(Image credit: Future)

Cozy Earth Silk Pillow review: care and allergies

On its website, Cozy Earth recommends spot cleaning or dry cleaning the silk pillows. However, according to the tag attached to the silk pillow, it can be machine washed in cold water using normal detergent. However, no fabric softener or bleach should be used. Also, the pillows should not be put in a spin cycle. They can be machine dried on normal, or hung to dry.

The website also recommends using a protective pillowcase – in fact, a pillowcase is required to validate the manufacturer’s extended warranty. Cozy Earth also states that if you’re using a pillowcase and washing that pillowcase on a regular basis, then regular or excessive washing of the pillow is unnecessary.

A pair of Cozy Earth Silk Pillows on a bed

(Image credit: Future)

Cozy Earth also recommends fluffing the pillow on a regular basis to maintain the loft and shape. In addition, it can be aired in the sunlight occasionally to keep it fresh. The pillow is OEKO-TEX certified, which means that it’s free from harmful chemicals. 

Cozy Earth Silk Pillow review: comfort & support

  • Plush yet supportive
  • Best for side or back sleepers
  • Refluffing is recommended

For over two weeks, I slept on a pair of Cozy Earth Silk Pillows to see how comfortable and supportive they were. The pillows provided an extremely comfortable experience, while also being supportive.

The pillows had a cloud-like softness, and were light and fluffy. They’re stuffed with 100% mulberry silk, which has a luxurious feel. The light and airy pillows were also able to cradle my head and neck in cocoon-like comfort. However, they bounced back when my head moved to another position. 

A pair of Cozy Earth Silk Pillows on a bed

(Image credit: Future)

Since the pillows have a mid to high-loft, they were the perfect height for me. I’m a combination sleeper, and this height works well for side and back sleepers. However, for sleeping on your stomach, the pillows may serve to be too high. Granted, not all side, back, and stomach sleepers are alike, so keep that in mind.

Cozy Earth recommends fluffing the pillows on a regular basis. In lieu of doing this, I just tossed them in the dryer for a few minutes.

Cozy Earth Silk Pillow review: temperature regulation

Mulberry silk is designed to resist mildew and eliminate moisture better than cotton, and I found that the Cozy Earth Silk Pillows kept me warm at night while sleeping. In addition, the cover is made from a 100% premium viscose from bamboo fabric, which is also designed to provide a smooth and cool sensation.

Even underneath winter bedding, the pillows seemed to regulate my body temperature, so I never woke up hot.  I tested the pillows during the fall/winter season, in Birmingham, AL, which tends to have mild winters.

A hand pressed down on a Cozy Earth Silk Pillow

(Image credit: Future)

Cozy Earth Silk Pillow review: specs

Should you buy the Cozy Earth Silk Pillow?

Buy it if...

  You’re looking for a luxury pillow: This 100% mulberry silk pillow isn’t cheap. It’s a top-of-the-line pillow that’s designed to provide the ultimate in luxury. Sleeping on the pillow feels like your head and neck are cocooned in comfort, but it’s also supportive enough to avoid any aches and pains.

 You don’t like down or down alternative: Down pillows can poke you and may cause your allergies to flare up. On the other hand, down alternative pillows may not provide the same level of comfort. The Cozy Earth Silk Pillow is an alternative to both.

  You want a breathable pillow: The fill and the cover combine to provide a pillow that doesn’t trap heat. It regulates your body’s temperature to keep you cool while you sleep.

Don’t buy it if...

You’re a stomach sleeper: The pillow is a better choice for side and back sleepers. If you tend to sleep on your stomach, you may find the loft too high to keep your head and spine aligned while you sleep. As a result, you may wake up with aches and pains. 

You like to adjust the fill: While the cover does unzip, technically, the pillow isn’t designed to add or remove fill. Doing so may render your pillow useless, and also void your warranty.

You like to wash your pillows and covers: Cozy Earth recommends spot cleaning or dry cleaning your pillow. If you’re the type who likes to wash pillows on a regular basis, again, you may end up voiding your warranty. And even if you do wash it, the company warns against using the spin cycle, so it will take forever for the pillow to dry.

How I tested the Cozy Earth Silk Pillow

I slept on a pair of Cozy Earth Silk Pillows for over two weeks, testing for performance, comfort, and support. These tests were conducted during the fall/winter season. Since I tend to sleep hot – but I love all of the stylish fall and winter bedding – I slept with the HVAC off to avoid getting overly hot in my mild climate.

Zoma Livingstone bed frame review
1:02 pm | April 2, 2024

Author: admin | Category: Computers Gadgets Health & Fitness Mattresses Sleep | Comments: Off

Zoma Livingstone bed frame: two-minute review

Zoma is best known for its mattresses, but it also makes accessories including bed frames. For this review I tried out the Zoma Livingstone, the only one in the range to have under-bed storage. So how does it compare to the best bed frames?

At TechRadar we review plenty of the best mattresses, and it helps have a decent bed frame to complement your mattress. I recently reviewed the Zoma Hybrid mattress, but this frame can be used with all hybrid, foam and innerspring mattresses. I was pleased that I felt supported on this frame. It’s suitable for holding a combined weight of 500lbs, and I didn’t get any creaking from moving about on the mattress or when launching off the side of the bed to get up in the morning (or during the night).

It’s available in a double and king size (I tested it in the king size), and it’s only available in grey. This is the colour of the plush material that upholsters the frame. It’s a neutral tone that I feel will suit a range of bedroom themes, regardless of how comic book character or plain you’ve opted for.

The Zoma Livingstone bed frame opened, with a mattress on it

(Image credit: Future)

It was a total pain to assemble though. The Zoma Livingstone arrives in three boxes, flat-packed. It took three hours for two of us to put it together. This was because the instructions are not easy to follow, and all the different-sized nuts, bolts and washers are mixed in with each other. The lifting mechanism is also heavyweight, and I struggled to reach towards the back of underbed storage because I couldn’t lift the mattress and frame any higher.

Priced just under £1,000, is the Zoma Livingstone for you? Keep reading my review to find out. Note, this particular Zoma frame is only available in the UK – Zoma US has its own separate range.

Zoma Livingstone bed frame review: specs

Zoma Livingstone bed frame review: price & value for money

  • Available in double and king size only
  • Only available to buy direct from Zoma
  • High price for a flat-pack item of furniture

The Zoma Livingstone is available in a double and king size, only. At the time of writing the double was out of stock and no price was displayed. The king size has an RRP of £999. It is towards the upper price range of an under-bed storage frame which is likely to be due the use of a quality material and reinforced frame structure.

While I can’t deny that the material is lovely and the structure is solid, it does arrive totally flat-packed. Generally, flat-pack furniture means a lower price – but not in this case.

The Zoma Livingstone does get discounted, but not often. At the time of writing it was full price. You also get free shipping, although there’s no option to upgrade) and 1-year guarantee.

Zoma Livingstone bed frame review: design & materials

  • Use of high-quality materials
  • Reinforced design
  • Available in a double or king size, only

The Zoma Livingstone is an ottoman-style bed frame. This means that there is integrated under-bed storage which is accessed by a lifting mechanism.

It’s made with a combination of sprung wooden slats and a solid metal frame, upholstered in a grey plush material. This material is sumptuous to the touch, and easy on the eye. It’s not available in any other colour.

The frame is also the only one in the Zoma bed frame range to offer storage. The Zoma Genesis is the closest match which exudes a similar grandeur with large headboard and linen upholstery; Zoma Fusion is also wrapped in a linen upholstery yet has a 94cm headboard and the Zoma Astley is crafted from solid hardwood. The Genesis is available in double, king and super king sizes, the Fusion is available in a single, double and king size and the Astley is available in a single, double and king size.

The only sizes that the Zoma Livingstone is available in are double and king size. The double measures 145 x 204cm and king-size measures 160 x 214cm. The headboard height is 110cm on both available frame sizes.

While there are no visible cleaning instructions to reference on the frame, it does say in the assembly instructions that “for cleaning you may use a damp cloth (not wet)”. The instructions also advise that the frame may stain or mark if allowed to come into contact with wet or damp objects as the materials used have not been Scotchgarded.

Zoma Livingstone bed frame review: performance

  • Solid and comfortable to rest on
  • Decent amount of storage
  • Heavy to lift, despite the hydraulics

The Zoma Livingstone is a lovely bed to look at, and sleep on. The design and materials have made it an attractive frame to have, with the neutral décor being suitable for any bedroom theme.

To sleep on it was solid. I didn’t notice any noise from the bolts (or other components) when turning in the night. It didn’t creak when launching off the edge of the mattress during the night, or in the morning, either. Zoma advises that it can comfortably support up to 500lbs; my husband and I have a combined weight of 434lbs and have no complaints about the support.

The Zoma Livingstone is suitable for all types of mattress (hybrid, foam or innerspring). The Zoma Hybrid mattress (also on test) felt well supported, however it didn’t fit the frame entirely; there’s a few inches of space between the mattress and the edge of the frame. Although this didn’t affect the performance, it did mean that dust gathered – and it became a trap for socks. We also frequently bumped our legs into the edges of the frame, which is something that we haven’t had before when the edge of the mattress meets the edge of the frame, or overhangs.

The edge of the Zoma Livingstone bed frame

(Image credit: Future)

One of the most attractive aspects of the Zoma Livingstone was, for me, the storage underneath. The amount of storage available is the size of your mattress (double or king size) which is loads. To access it, there’s a material tab attached to the base end of the frame – this needs to be tugged upwards. I found that the combined weight of the mattress and the  base made them quite hard to lift, so I wouldn’t recommend this frame for anyone who needs to be able to easily access storage with little effort. 

While the suspended frame and mattress stays in place thanks to the hydraulic lifts, I also struggled to access the storage towards the head of the bed because the frame will only lift to 40in / 101.6cm. The fabric cover that attaches to the underside of the frame with Velcro wasn’t quite large enough, either, so we had a flappy end piece that was detached underneath the headboard-end.

The Zoma Livingstone bed frame being opened with its fabric tab

(Image credit: Future)

Everything stayed in place when lifting the bed. To put it back down, I found it easier to push the suspended mattress and frame down with my hands, rather than pull the material tab, which I’m certain would cause friction burn and a pulled muscle if yanked on too hard.

Zoma Livingstone bed frame review: customer experience

  • Good customer service up to the point of delivery
  • Unclear assembly instructions takes 2 adults, 3 hours
  • No option to upgrade

Within a few days of the order for the Zoma Livingstone being placed, I received a text message confirming a delivery time slot. On the day of delivery I received a phone call from the delivery drivers to say that they were on their way and that they would be with me within the hour. The customer service was seamless, from that point of view.

The Zoma Livingstone arrived in three boxes. I wasn’t expecting this. Given the size and shape of the boxes (big and thin), my first impression was a bit of an “uh-oh” moment; it was totally flat packed. The delivery drivers wouldn’t carry the boxes up our stairs; it was delivered to our hallway, only. There was no option to upgrade.

Parts of the Zoma Livingstone bed frame in their delivery box

(Image credit: Future)

If there was an option to upgrade, I would have totally paid the money to have the bed frame delivered to our bedroom and assembled; it was a nightmare. The boxes were big and heavy to carry up the stairs. Although I managed to do this on my own, I advise that two people carry the boxes. 

Assembly of the Zoma Livingstone was made difficult by the unclear instructions, and components not being marked. All the nuts, bolts and washers were mixed together, and there were three different sizes of them. It took a while to sort through all of them, and yet more time to measure them to figure out what should go where.

Parts of the Zoma Livingstone bed frame on a floor

(Image credit: Future)

With the help of my mum, it took almost three hours to assemble the Zoma Livingstone. While all the necessary parts were included, it would have been super helpful to have the nuts, bolts and washer sizes clearly marked to take the guesswork out of it all. There was a lot of faff and fiddling with the small parts to get them secured onto the frame, too. Had partial assembly been a delivery upgrade, it would have been welcome.

Assembling the Zoma Livingstone bed frame

(Image credit: Future)

It’s worth noting that the instructions are written in a small font and not very well laid out for easy reading. There's also no digital version of the instructions added to the website, which is something I feel would be helpful if you ever misplace the instructions after taking it down for a house move or (like me) you’re triple checking that it’s been set up correctly if something isn’t quite right.

I struggled to get the lifting mechanism to work. At first, I thought it was broken. But then I asked a brand rep to send over the instructions (because I misplaced them) and I figured out that the hydraulic arm had been installed the wrong way round. FYI: the thicker part of the hydraulic arm needs to be secured to the base, not the bit that lifts. This issue was resolved and I was able to access the storage beneath.

Slats and storage on the Zoma Livingstone bed frame

(Image credit: Future)

The Zoma Livingstone comes with a one-year warranty. This isn’t a very long time considering the price you pay for it, the effort required to assemble it and the fact that competitors who are offering similar frames provide a five-year guarantee.

Should you buy the Zoma Livingstone bed frame?

Buy it if…

 You need storage space: The Zoma Livingstone is an ottoman-style storage bed which lifts the mattress (with a firm pull of a tab) to access the storage space beneath.

 You want a plush-looking frame: High quality material has been used to wrap around the frame, and it looks fancy.

 You already own a mattress: There’s no need to go out and buy a new mattress to fit on the Zoma Livingstone; It’s compatible with foam, hybrid or innerspring mattresses.

Don't buy it if…

❌ You're on a budget: Priced at £999 for a king-size, the Zoma Livingstone is not a cheap bed frame. There are much more affordable options to choose from.

❌ You don’t do flat-pack: Just don’t get the Zoma Livingstone if you don’t like flat-pack. It's a hefty piece of bedroom furniture that took three hours for two people to assemble.

How I tested the Zoma Livingstone bed frame

I slept on the Zoma Livingstone for 4 weeks. I assembled it myself (with my mum's help) and have used it to store bed linen. I tested it in the king-size frame, alongside the Zoma Hybrid mattress.

G-Shock Rangeman GPR-H1000 review: the smart Casio G-Shock to do it all
12:00 pm | April 1, 2024

Author: admin | Category: Computers Fitness Trackers Gadgets Health & Fitness | Tags: | Comments: Off

Two minute review

The Casio G-Shock Rangeman GPR-H1000 will stand out on any wrist thanks to its bold, angular design – and, in this model's case, punchy yellow finish. This watch screams tough at first glance and Casio is selling on that basis. It might be big enough to get knocked as you wear it, but it's built to take every hit, making it a contender for the best running watches.

It comes with an optical heart rate sensor and full GPS to place it in the running against even the best Garmin watches out there. In fact, this has the Garmin Enduro 2 squarely fixed in its sights, competing on the more extreme tracking with a thermometer, barometer, pressure sensor, altimeter and more onboard. While the Casio tracks well, it doesn't offer maps. This makes it a little limited as a true adventure companion.

However, the Rangeman does pack in solar charging, which will enable you to continue using basic functionality even once the bulk of battery life has been consumed. Although note that with a battery life that lasts up to two months and up to 19 hours in GPS tracking mode, the watch has you covered.

Despite looking chunky, a soft urethane band and double-pin buckle actually mean the Rangeman is comfortable to wear and effortless to find the right fit – presuming your wrist is large enough to pull off this over-sized statement watch.

G-Shock Rangeman: Price and availability

The G-Shock Rangeman is available now worldwide, priced at $499.99 / £479.99 / AU$999.99.

There are two versions available, the yellow GPR-H1000-9 model reviewed here, and a black variant named the GPR-H1000-1. Other than color differences, they're essentially the same model and share an identical price.

Since launch, both models have been available on various third-party websites at a reduced price. At time of publishing, the Rangeman can be bought for as low as £375 / $480 / AU$725.

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Casio G-Shock Rangeman GPR-H1000

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Casio G-Shock Rangeman GPR-H1000

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Casio G-Shock Rangeman GPR-H1000

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Casio G-Shock Rangeman GPR-H1000

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Casio G-Shock Rangeman GPR-H1000

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Casio G-Shock Rangeman GPR-H1000

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Casio G-Shock Rangeman GPR-H1000

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Casio G-Shock Rangeman GPR-H1000

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Casio G-Shock Rangeman GPR-H1000

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Casio G-Shock Rangeman GPR-H1000

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Casio G-Shock Rangeman GPR-H1000

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Casio G-Shock Rangeman GPR-H1000

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G-Shock Rangeman: Design

  • Comfortable strap and accurate clasp
  • Rugged exterior
  • Too chunky for some

The G-Shock Rangeman is all about that chunky, rugged design and bold looks, which makes it both unique and attractive. But it's worth saying right from the outset that if you have a smaller wrist then this watch might feel a little bulky and heavy. That said, its super comfy strap and very accurate clasp system – plus relatively low weight at 92g – ensure it's as comfortable as a statement watch of this kind can be.

Primarily, this is a button-based beast, so you won't have to suffer touchscreen fingerprints or difficulty controlling screens while taking part in sport or activity. But the flip-side is that you have to scroll through the menus to get to what you want. That said, G-Shock menus are very intuitive, having been developed over many generations of watch, and since the buttons are all mud- and water-protected, they work well. If I have one gripe here it's that the up and down options are on the left, which means you need to use your thumb, rather than fingers, which I found a little awkward or at least took some getting used to.

The display is a negative MIPS, which is a far cry from the color displays on other watches of this kind – and a shock, if you're moving from an AMOLED. That said, it's super clear in daylight, gets you a long battery life, and also offers high contrast so that even underwater it's very clear to read – which was actually helpful when swimming.

The Rangeman has a waterproof rating of 200 metres, yet after a half-hour pool swim the watch's screen appeared to fill with a bubble of some sort that was visible across the screen, and remains still now. The watch works fine, but is now showing this odd line that's definitely worrying. In reality, we'd hope that you could send this back to Casio for a replacement if you suffered the same.

The companion app from Casio is decent and allows you a way to control the watch without all those menus. So if you want to re-order the sports available or setup the data screens, for example, you can do that far more easily through the app, which makes it genuinely helpful. The app is also a better, clearer way to view any data –sleep scores and daily steps metrics, for example.

  • Design score: 3.5/5

Casio G-Shock Rangeman GPR-H1000

(Image credit: Future)

G-Shock Rangeman: Features

  • Tracks many sports
  • Offers so many sensors
  • Lacks music

The G-Shock Rangeman is absolutely crammed full of features and sensors, delivering the ability to track nine activity types: trekking, running, biking, gym workout, interval timer, pool swimming, open-water swimming, trail running, and walking. And while taking part in an activity, you have access to data such as distance, direction, altitude, climbing speed, time, pace, heart rate, and burned calories.

Swimming offers stroke count, distance and heart rate, as well as a timer with the option to record splits – so all you could want from a swimming watch then. This works both indoors in a pool as well as outdoors for open water swimming, where the GPS can also help with your data readouts. The screen is fantastically clear above and underwater, and I found the stroke count accurate when compared with the Garmin Forerunner 965.

The lack of onboard music, available with most Garmin watches now, was certainly missed here; there's no option to connect headphones and enjoy music during activities. While it isn't a deal breaker, it certainly would have been a welcome feature at this price point.

Solar charging is a great addition here, since it helps to keep the watch function going for pretty much forever. While the GPS and heart rate tracking might leave you out of battery for the sports modes, you'll still have access to the G-Shock time and date basics. The features the watch part offers include a stopwatch, a 60-minute countdown timer, world times, four different alarms, power saving, and a full auto backlight that illuminates for either 1.5 or five seconds, depending on your preference.

While this doesn't pack all the dedicated surf smarts of the G-Shock G-Lide surf watch, you do still get helpful tide data such as 3,300 points for the tide graph. You also have phone notifications – although, on this screen they're a faff to read. I found myself simply using them as an alert before reaching for my phone – helpful, if you want the phone on silent.

  • Features score: 4/5 

Casio G-Shock Rangeman GPR-H1000

Left: Garmin Forerunner 955. Right: Garmin Instinct Crossover. (Image credit: Future)

G-Shock Rangeman: Performance

  • Accurate GPS and health tracking
  • Excellent battery performance
  • Quite bulky for daily wear

It soon became clear while testing the G-Shock Rangman that wearing it to bed for sleep tracking was not the most comfortable. I did get used to it, but it was never what I'd call a comfortable experience – but this would apply to all brands of "oversize" watch. During the day, there was no slipping this under a sleeve either. As such, the watch was on show constantly, clearly getting attention with that bright yellow finish.

To be clear, this is a comfy watch, and that strap fits perfectly. It's just chunky, and if you find yourself knocking it on things at first, don't be surprised. This shouldn't worry you, however; that tough exterior appears to be able to handle more than a knock or six. That said, there was an issue with the display on this test unit. 

After swimming, it looked like half the screen was filled with water; I pressed down and this moved about under the surface of the screen's top-cover. The watch continues to work just fine, only the screen has this half-filled finish. You can see it in the picture below, where it looks like a trick of the light showing the top third as lighter; but this is  water or, perhaps, air inside? Either way, it's disappointing when Casio claims that the G-Shock Rangeman is good for a 200m of diving depth – double that of most Garmins.

Casio G-Shock Rangeman GPR-H1000

(Image credit: Future)

In use, the watch performed well. Heart rate was a little on the high side, and quick to jump when compared to a Garmin and chest strap, but this generally levelled out after a while. For cycling, the Rangeman was helpful, where adjustments appeared quickly; but for running , where pure accuracy is ideal, this could have been a little smoother. GPS worked well, with the watch adapting quickly and recording metrics such as speed, pace and distance accurately.

While the menus are dense, the watch is intuitive to navigate, meaning you can access lots of data relatively easily while exercising. It's only really the smaller screen that limits you here, with it often far easier to wait and view the dive data once it had synched.

  • Performance score: 3.5/5

G-Shock Rangeman: Battery Life

  • Two months standby
  • 19 hours with GPS
  • Solar powered extras

Casio has certainly used all that chunky G-Shock frame space well when it comes to batteries, since the Rangeman offers up to two months off a single charge. For use just as a watch, that time is extended further thanks to the solar charging smarts, which sees the watch keep going for basics such as time telling.

As you'd expect, it's with GPS use that a smartwatch battery is really tested, and in this regard the Rangeman achieved 19 hours in GPS mode – although that's with intermittent location acquisition. In reality, with it left turned on, battery is nearer to 14 hours. Still, that's plenty for most exercise sessions, while an easy to attach bespoke clip-on charger that uses USB, will bring the Rangeman back to full charge in just a few hours.

One of the great things about this watch is that you can keep using the Rangeman as a watch alone for months, without charging – say , if you're injured and don't need GPS tracking – topping it back up once you're back to activities.

  • Battery life score: 4.5/5

G-Shock Rangeman: Buy it if…

G-Shock Rangeman: Don't buy it if…

Also consider

First reviewed: March 2024

Cloverlane Hybrid Mattress review
5:00 pm | March 24, 2024

Author: admin | Category: Computers Gadgets Health & Fitness Mattresses Sleep | Tags: | Comments: Off

Cloverlane Mattress: two-minute review

The Cloverlane Mattress debuted in late 2023 as Resident Sleep's new luxury label. (Resident is the company behind Nectar and DreamCloud – two of the best mattress brands around.) It's available as a hybrid or all-foam bed and comes with three firmness levels: Plush Soft, Luxury Firm, or Firm). 

For one month, I slept on a twin Cloverlane Hybrid Mattress in Plush Soft, which is deemed the best level of firmness for pressure relief. In addition to my experience, I asked four volunteers to nap on it as well and conducted a series of objective tests. My full Cloverlane Mattress review is below but if you're short on time, here's the abridged version...

Cloverlane Mattress in reviewer's bedroom

(Image credit: Future)

The Cloverlane either has a bed of 8-inch wrapped coils surrounded by dense foam (hybrid) or a 9-inch foam core (memory foam). The core of the Cloverlane Mattress influences its level of firmness. Both versions of the Cloverlane Mattress have multiple foam layers, a latex lumbar support strip, and a polyester-blend cover.

My fellow testers and I found the Plush Soft Cloverlane Hybrid most suitable for side sleeping, but it has a firmer-than-advertised feel. You'll need to give it at least a month before you start to feel more settled into it – and even then, it may still feel firm. Fortunately, you get 365 nights to break this mattress in.

The Cloverlane's lumbar support system – a half-inch thick strip of latex and specialized quilting in the center of the bed – kept me from waking up with stiffness in my lower back. There's all-over pressure relief with the Plush Soft Cloverlane Hybrid, which increases the more you sleep on it.

My drop tests showed that the Cloverlane Hybrid has above-average motion isolation. That result is likely to be even better with the Cloverlane Memory Foam Mattress. However, the hybrid should sleep cooler than the foam version since it has springs to increase airflow along with the breathable cover and 16 brass air vents. (I didn't overheat with my Cloverlane Hybrid at all.)

Cloverlane Mattress

(Image credit: Resident)

Edge support, however, was hit-or-miss on my twin test unit. I found the Cloverlane Hybrid supportive enough to keep me from rolling off the bed when I rolled too close to the edges, but some of my testers didn't feel as steady when sitting along the middle perimeter. This could be a different story on larger versions of the bed, but I believe sturdy edges should be a feature of any mattress, regardless of size.

Does the Cloverlane Hybrid do enough to overtake the Saatva Classic as TechRadar's #1 mattress? I don't think so. The Cloverlane is a comfortable bed but it's not meticulously hand-crafted like the Saatva. (The Cloverlane still comes in a box, despite arriving flat.)  The polyester-blend cover doesn't feel as luxe as the organic cotton cover that kept our reviewer comfortably cool in our Saatva Classic mattress review.

The Cloverlane Mattress is always on sale for up to $700 off – a queen-size goes for $1,499 in either hybrid or memory foam. (This is interesting to point out because hybrid mattresses generally cost more than their foam-only counterparts.) It comes with White Glove Delivery plus optional mattress disposal, a one-year risk-free trial, and a lifetime warranty.

Cloverlane Mattress review: Design & materials

  • Available as a 15-inch hybrid or all-foam mattress
  • Support coils affect the Cloverlane's firmness level
  • More utilitarian than luxurious but still well-made

The Cloverlane comes in one height (15 inches), two builds (hybrid and memory foam), and three firmness levels (Plush Soft, Luxury Firm, and Firm). The Plush Soft Cloverlane Hybrid is what's being reviewed here.  

The bottom half of the mattress either has 8-inch wrapped coils surrounded by a dense foam wall for edge support or a 9-inch foam core instead. The core of the mattress influences the level of firmness. On top are 2.5 inches of transitional support foam plus 2 inches of gel-infused memory foam. In between those layers is a half-inch thick strip of latex that runs across the center of the mattress for lumbar support.

The Cloverlane Mattress has a Euro-top: 1.75 inches of plush foam wrapped in a blend of polyester, cotton, and polyethylene. Specialty quilting in the middle third complements the latex lumbar layer.

All of the foams in the Cloverlane Mattress are CertiPUR-US certified, meaning they've been tested for harmful chemicals and the VOC (volatile organic compound) emissions that result in off-gassing odors. (I didn't detect any obvious smell from my Cloverlane Hybrid mattress.) It's unclear whether the Cloverlane Mattresses have fiberglass.

The poly-blend cover isn't uncomfortable, but compared to a luxury mattress with a tufted organic cotton cover (Saatva Classic) or a soft cashmere-blend cover (DreamCloud), the Cloverlane appears less shiny. However, the side-carry handles are a convenient touch, and the 16 brass air vents are a good way to boost airflow.

  • Design score: 4 out of 5

Cloverlane Mattress review: Price & value for money

  • Has been on sale for up to $700 off from the time it launched
  • An upper mid-range mattress, a queen sells for $1,499
  • White Glove Delivery and a risk-free one-year trial

The Cloverlane Mattress has been on sale for up to $700 off from the time it launched late last year. Like most Resident brands, you can ignore the MSRPs. A queen Cloverlane mattress sells for $1,499, which is right on the border between TechRadar's upper mid-range and premium pricing brackets. Prices are the same for the all-foam version of the Cloverlane.

Here is the official sale pricing for the Cloverlane Mattress, at time of writing:

  • Twin MSRP: $1,199 (usually on sale for $699)
  • Twin XL MSRP: $1,499 (usually on sale for $999)
  • Full MSRP: $1,999 (usually on sale for $1,399)
  • Queen MSRP: $2,199 (usually on sale for $1,499)
  • King MSRP: $2,699 (usually on sale for $1,999)
  • California king MSRP: $2,699 (usually on sale for $1,999)

Add-ons include a specialty cooling cover with extra heat-wicking fibers for $199 and a discounted bedding bundle with down pillows, percale sheets, and a mattress pad from $199 (up to a $696 value).

Compared to the Saatva Classic, you're paying about $200 to $400 less, depending on the type of Saatva mattress sale running at the moment. That's not a significant differential. Cloverlane and Saatva both offer a one-year trial, a lifetime warranty, and free White Glove Delivery with optional mattress removal. (Saatva also adds foundation removal.)  Cloverlane offers free returns, while Saatva charges a $99 fee.

Among the broader luxury mattress market, Cloverlane's extras make it an excellent value for money. Side-by-side with the Saatva Classic, however, the difference is negligible. If you have the money to spare, I'd recommend just going for the luxe, handcrafted Saatva and its free mattress and foundation removal. Otherwise, the Cloverlane is a sound choice if you want to spend a few hundred dollars less.

  • Value for money score: 4.5 out of 5

Cloverlane Mattress review: Comfort & support

  • Expect a firmer-than-advertised feel at first
  • However, the mattress starts to soften after a month
  • Endorsed by the American Chiropractic Association for back pain

The Cloverlane Mattress comes in three firmness levels (based on a 10-point firmness scale):

  • Plush Soft (4): Side sleepers, lightweight sleepers, maximum pressure relief
  • Luxury Firm (5-7): Couples, back/combi sleepers, sleepers with back pain
  • Firm (8): Stomach sleepers, heavyweight sleepers, subtle pressure relief

For the first half of my month-long testing period, my Plush Soft Cloverlane Hybrid Mattress felt decidedly firm. I double-checked the mattress tag and my order details to make sure I knew what I was sleeping on. However, by the fourth and final week, I noticed more give around my shoulders and hips. It still wasn't supremely plush – and I definitely wouldn't rate it a 4 out of 10 on the firmness scale – but it's slightly softer than when I first laid on it. 

I'm not the only one who noticed this, either. One of my lightweight volunteers tried my Plush Soft Cloverlane Hybrid Mattress twice. During her initial trial in week two, she rated it a 10 out of 10 on the firmness scale, but when she tried it again during week four, she knocked that down to a 9 and said she felt more settled. You'll need to make the most of your year-long trial because the Cloverlane may take quite a while to fully break in.

Cloverlane Mattress in reviewer's bedroom

(Image credit: Future)

But is the Cloverlane Mattress comfortable otherwise? My fellow testers and I think so. I rate the Plush Soft Hybrid I tested the best for side sleeping for its pressure relief from the top foam layers. I was also comfortable stomach sleeping, particularly during the first couple of weeks when it was much firmer. If you strictly sleep on your stomach, though, choose the Cloverlane Firm.

Most of the back sleepers in my group liked the Plush Soft Cloverlane Hybrid Mattress but you'll want to go for the Luxury Firm version for the best balance of support and relief. One of my older back sleepers with arthritis, who tried my Plush Soft Cloverlane Hybrid during week three, said she would have liked more lumbar support.

Cloverlane Mattress in reviewer's bedroom

(Image credit: Future)

To objectively test the Cloverlane Hybrid's pressure relief, I placed a 50lb weight at the center of the mattress, where it sank about three inches. That seems on-brand for a Plush Soft hybrid mattress. Moving the weight towards the bottom half of the mattress yielded a similar level of sinkage. 

Is the Cloverlane a good mattress for back pain? After transitioning from the Saatva RX – which is one of the best mattresses for back pain I've ever slept on – I think the Cloverlane's latex lumbar strip and specialty quilting do a good job of picking up where the Saatva left off for me. I didn't wake up with any stiffness or pain in my lower lumbar at any point during testing. By the way – the Cloverlane Hybrid is endorsed by the American Chiropractic Association.

Cloverlane Mattress review: performance

  • Will keep most sleepers at a comfortable temperature
  • Absorbs most movement well – good for couples
  • Edge support is a mixed bag

For one month, I slept on a slept on a twin Cloverlane Hybrid mattress in Plush Soft and asked four adult volunteers of varying body types and sleep preferences to nap on it for at least 15 minutes to help provide a broader perspective. I also tested its temperature regulation, motion isolation, and edge support. Here's what I found...

Temperature regulation

I tested the Cloverlane Hybrid between December 2023 and January 2024, so I endured plenty of frigid nights. Of course, I kept the heat running (around 72 degrees F) and layered up with a polyester blanket and a mid-weight polyester comforter atop my 100% cotton sheets.

Cloverlane Mattress in reviewer's bedroom

(Image credit: Future)

The Cloverlane Hybrid did a good job of maintaining temperature-neutral sleep throughout the month I slept on it. I wouldn't say it's profoundly cooling but I'm willing to bet it's more breathable than the all-foam Cloverlane Mattress. (It's a hybrid, after all.) If you deal with regular night sweats, you can add a specialty cover with extra heat-wicking material for $199 more.

Still, the Cloverlane Mattress is built with breathability in mind. In addition to the aforementioned cover, there are 16 hand-installed brass vents along the base to boost airflow. (The vents are on the hybrid and memory foam versions.) It may not have the same effect as a dedicated cooling mattress but for most people, the Cloverlane Mattress should be comfortable enough.

  • Temperature regulation score: 4 out of 5

Motion isolation

To test the motion isolation of my twin-size Cloverlane Hybrid, I performed a drop test with an empty wine glass and a 10lb weight. I dropped the weight from six inches above the surface from three distances to simulate three levels of motion transfer. In addition to that, I also noticed how quickly the weight settled.

When I dropped the weight from four inches away, the glass fell over. I repeated this drop for insurance and the glass didn't drop but it did wobble quite a bit. These results suggest that it's perhaps not the best choice for couples with a restless partner.

Fortunately, the empty glass remained steady when I dropped the weight from 12 and 25 inches away. This means you're unlikely to be disturbed if your partner gets in or out of bed. Meanwhile, the 10lb weight settled into the surface after a few short bounces, indicating good absorption of movement. 

The all-foam version of the Cloverlane likely performs even better here, but the Cloverlane Hybrid has a nice bouncy rhythm while maintaining a low level of motion transfer. Either way, I think the Cloverlane Mattress will allow most couples to sleep uninterrupted.

  • Motion isolation score: 4 out of 5

Edge support

To test the edge support of my Plush Soft Cloverlane Hybrid mattress, I placed a 50lb weight on the middle perimeter, where it sank about three inches. It was the same result when I put the weight at the very foot of the bed. That's the same level of sinkage I measured at the center of the bed – which is usually a good thing, but that's quite a deep drop for the edges.

Cloverlane Mattress in reviewer's bedroom

(Image credit: Future)

Among my fellow testers, opinions were mixed. Along the middle, my lighter and taller volunteers said they were comfortable but the shorter sleepers in my group felt unsteady. (Everyone felt at ease sitting at the foot of the bed.) Meanwhile, I tend to roll toward the edge when I sleep, but the Cloverlane's edges kept me from falling overboard.

Of course, I can only speak for a twin-sized Plush Soft Cloverlane Hybrid. There's a possibility larger, firmer versions perform better here. There currently aren't any reviews that mention the Cloverlane's edge support. But if you want a mattress that's known for strong edges on even the smallest bed sizes, read my Awara Natural Hybrid mattress review, which I also tested in a twin.

  • Edge support score: 3.5 out of 5

Cloverlane Mattress review: Customer service

  • Arrives flat but still comes in a box
  • Includes White Glove Delivery and mattress removal
  • One-year trial with free returns

The Cloverlane Mattress arrives flat via free White Glove Delivery. The most I had to do was schedule a delivery time, which was not the smoothest experience. However, your mileage may vary here as you'll be dealing with a local logistics company. Fortunately, the day of the delivery went off without a hitch as the delivery crew arrived right on time. The whole process took less than 10 minutes, and that even included the free mattress removal. 

Interestingly, my Cloverlane Hybrid arrived flat but still came in a box. The two delivery drivers removed my mattress from a giant brown box from the back of their truck before taking it into my home. I peeked at the mattress tag, which says it was manufactured in August 2024. I received my mattress in December 2024, about four months later. Despite that, my Cloverlane Hybrid Mattress didn't have an obvious off-gassing smell, and it was ready to sleep on right away. It's not your typical bed-in-a-box. 

The Cloverlane comes with a one-year warranty, with free returns if you're not happy with it. There's also a lifetime warranty, which includes a free replacement with a factory defect for the first 10 years you own the mattress. Beyond that, you'll just have to pay a $50 transportation fee each way for repairs.

  • Customer service score: 4.5 out of 5

Cloverlane Mattress review: Specs

Should you buy the Cloverlane Mattress?

Buy it if...

You have a bad back: Between the free in-room delivery and the specialized lumbar support, the Cloverlane should relieve many sleepers with back pain. I didn't wake up with stiffness in my lower back throughout my month of sleeping on the Cloverlane Hybrid. The American Chiropractic Association gives it its seal of approval.

You want to customize your comfort: The Cloverlane is available as a hybrid (reviewed here) or all-foam mattress in three firmness levels. There's no price difference between the two types of builds, either, which is rare. (Hybrids are usually more expensive than foam beds.)

You want a bed that's easy to move: The side carry handles will make rotating your mattress much less of a challenge. They're also handy if you move house often or like to rearrange your space regularly.

Don't buy it if...

You can afford a Saatva: The Saatva Classic boasts better craftsmanship and a more sumptuous appearance than the Cloverlane Mattress. If you have enough for Saatva, make that your choice. It's only about $200 to $400 more than either version of the Cloverlane Mattress. Plus, Saatva offers free mattress and foundation removal.

You don't want a bed with a long break-in period: My Plush Soft Cloverlane Hybrid was definitely firm at first, and one month later I'd downgrade it to a medium-firm. You'll need to be patient and allow yourself time to fully break this mattress in. Fortunately, Cloverlane gives you a year to do that.

You'd rather buy a mattress without fiberglass: Cloverlane doesn't make it clear if it uses fiberglass in its mattresses. If you're sensitive to fiberglass or simply don't want to sleep on a bed that has it, check out our vetted list of the best fiberglass-free mattresses.

Cloverlane Mattress review: Also consider

The DreamCloud Mattress
This is the most affordable luxury mattress out there, with a queen going for as low as $665 in recent DreamCloud mattress sales. You'll lose out on the free White Glove Delivery but you'll still get a one-year trial, a lifetime warranty, and free shipping and returns. It comes in one medium-firm comfort level that's comfortable for back sleeping. Motion isolation is ace, as well.
Read more: DreamCloud mattress review

Helix Dusk Luxe Mattress
If you want a softer mattress with a shorter break-in period than the Cloverlane, check out the Helix Dusk Luxe. It has a medium comfort level that our reviewer says gives it "a cloud-like feel and lots of support" for back and front sleepers. (Side sleepers may fare better with the deep pressure relief of the Helix Midnight Luxe.) A queen normally sells for $1,780 after 20% off. It comes with a 15-year warranty and a 100-night trial.
Read more: Helix Dusk Luxe mattress review

Saatva Classic Mattress
The Saatva Classic is Cloverlane's main rival. This handcrafted mattress comes in three firmness levels and two heights. You won't find much foam but there are two layers of wrapped coils, an organic cotton Euro pillow-top, and a dedicated lumbar zone (which includes a strip of memory foam). If you have the money for it, buy the Saatva since there's not that huge of a price difference – but if you want a bed with better motion isolation and more foam, consider the Cloverlane.
Read more: Saatva Classic mattress review

How I tested the Cloverlane Mattress

I slept on a twin Cloverlane Hybrid mattress in Plush Firm every night for one month between December 2023 and January 2024. My review is a combination of real-world experience and objective tests.

In addition to my perspective as a 5-foot-4, 145lb side/stomach sleeper with a lower back issue, I asked four adult volunteers to nap on the Cloverlane for at least 15 minutes in their usual positions. Our testers ranged in size from 5ft 4 and 125lbs to 6ft and 185lbs, and one of them deals with arthritis. 

It's another cold winter here, so I'll sometimes add a polyester blanket to my regular setup: a mid-weight polyester blend comforter and 100% cotton sheets. My bedroom temperature is usually around 72 degrees F.

  • First reviewed: February 2024
Emma Original Pillow review
10:00 am |

Author: admin | Category: Computers Gadgets Health & Fitness Mattresses Sleep | Comments: Off

Emma Original pillow: two-minute review

The Emma Original pillow is a firm yet spongy pillow that capably supports your head whilst maintaining its form and keeping cool. I was a little wary of its firmness when I started using it, but I needn't have worried. During my three weeks of testing I never woke up feeling any discomfort – in fact I slept on it just as soundly as with any of the best pillows on the market.

The pillow holds its shape and firmness thanks to its gel foam, memory foam and soft foam layers. These separate layers mean you can flip the pillow over for a slightly different firmness to support your body frame and sleeping position. Personally, I found the soft gel layer provided slightly more immediate comfort. Both the outer soft and gel layers feel a bit hard when I first lie on them each night, but within minutes my head sinks in comfortably, and feels reliably supported throughout the night.

The Emma Original Pillow showing the Emma label

(Image credit: Future)

At full price, the Emma Original Pillow sits in the premium price bracket, but it's fairly common to see a discount that takes it down into the mid-range, making this a high-performance all-rounder that won't break the bank if you catch it at the right time.

If you want to pair this pillow with an equally comfortable bed, be sure to take a look at our guide to this year's best mattresses for all budgets.

Emma Original pillow specs

Emma Original pillow review: price & value for money

  • Premium at full price, often discounted into mid-range
  • High quality materials
  • 2-year warranty and 30-night trial

With an RRP of £69, the Emma Original pillow sits in the premium price bracket, but at time of writing there's a regular discount that knocks 25% off and takes it down into the mid-range price bracket. For that money though you get high-quality materials (this is the brand behind one of the best memory foam mattresses, after all). A 30-night trial (with the security of a money back guarantee if you're not happy with it during that period), a two-year warranty and free delivery further help to cushion the blow if you're working to a budget.

The Original is the most affordable option in this brand's pillow range. Its synthetic stuffed option (details in our Emma Premium Microfibre pillow review) has an RRP of £109 but is often sold at £65, while an option with more advanced foams (covered in our Emma Premium Pillow hands-on review) is a much bigger investment at £115. Yes, they all have confusingly similar names.

The Emma Original Pillow on a bed

(Image credit: Future)

Other memory foam pillows might slightly undercut the Emma Original pillow on price, but in terms of performance I'd say the cost and customer service add-ons mean you're getting good value for money, especially when you buy during an Emma sale period.

Emma Original pillow review: design & materials

  • Removable and machine-washable polyester cover
  • Three different-feeling foam layers
  • Foam layers can be removed to adjust loft

The Emma Original pillow is made of three foam layers and a polyester case. One one side, a feather-light Gel Foam layer that's designed to hug your neck comfortably and maintain a stable temperature. In the middle, a Visco Memory Foam layer, which is meant to distribute weight evenly. Finally, on the other side there's the High Resiliency Extra foam layer. This is the softest of the three and is there for extra pressure relief.

The Emma Original Pillow opened to show its filling

(Image credit: Future)

The layers tuck inside a polyester cover, which zips open. Depending on how you sleep, any of these layers can be removed to give a lower loft. 

Emma Original pillow review: care & allergies

The pillow's polyester case can be removed and machine washed at up to 60°C (which is the temperature required to get rid of dust mites). The three foam layers aren't washable, and should just be left to dry in the event of anything getting spilled on them. Speaking of the cover, this has been tested by Emma to be hypoallergenic and non-toxic. The cover and foam layer inserts also comply with relevant ignitability regulations.

Emma Original pillow review: comfort & support

  • Firm memory foam layers
  • Two different sleep feels
  • Remains a comfortable temperature overnight
  • No need for re-plumping

I used the Emma Original pillow as my main pillow for three weeks for this review. To begin with I was wary of how firm it would be – the first time I tried it out it felt very hard. Fortunately, though, I found the pillow softened and moulded to my head after a few minutes of lying on it, although each night it did still feel hard to begin with.

What’s more, the Emma Original pillow has some flexibility in terms of use. The outer foam layers provide different levels of support, meaning you can flip the pillow over for a more comfortable sleep experience depending on your preference. The spongy gel foam layer is the firmest choice, whereas I found the soft but still somewhat firm foam layer cushioned my head slightly faster.

A person sleeping on the Emma Original Pillow

Our Sleep Editor also tested the pillow in our photo studio (Image credit: Future)

I slept on my side throughout and felt thoroughly supported every night; not once did I need to turn it over or plump it. The pillow has a high loft, but if the height or comfort are not quite to your taste you can easily adjust either by removing one or two of the three foam layers. I'm primarily a side sleeper, so all three layers together suited me perfectly; back sleepers would benefit from either two or three layers, while stomach sleepers would do best with just one layer.

Emma Original pillow review: temperature regulation

The Emma Original pillow is cool to the touch and remains at a similar temperature throughout the night. I tested it both with and without a pillowcase during the winter months in a heated bedroom and was never woken up by trapped warmth or overheating. Flipping over the pillow for a coolness shot was never required as it stayed at a comfortable room temperature level all night long and did not wake me up.

Should you buy the Emma Original pillow?

Buy it if…

✅ You're sensitive to heat. I found that the Emma Original pillow remained at a consistent temperature all night long and never woke me up with the need to flip it over to the cool side.

✅ You've never tried a memory foam pillow before. This was my first time using one, and while it took a while to get used to the hardness, the 30-night trial would give me the confidence to take a chance on it.

✅ You want some firm support. The three foam layers work together brilliantly to make your head feel cushioned, and pressure is reliably spread to prevent any aches or strains developing while you sleep.

Don't buy it if…

❌ Hardness is an issue. The Emma Original Pillow remains firm night after night, meaning you might want to try something a little softer. Luckily Emma has just the thing in the shape of the Emma Microfibre Pillow, which is in roughly the same price range too.

❌ You're shopping to a budget and can't wait for a deal. Even though the Emma Original pillow is quite reasonably priced, the 25% discount is too tempting to pass up. If you have the time to wait for the discount to come around, hold off on adding it to your basket.

❌ You specifically want a more breathable pillow. While the Emma Original pillow is ideal in terms of temperature, it isn't geared towards breathability. The Emma Premium Foam Pillow has an Ultra-Dry Plus cover which caters to this need and lets your skin breathe during the night.

How I tested the Emma Original Pillow

I tested the Emma Original pillow over the course of three weeks in the winter months. During these nights I had the heating on in order to keep the pillow at room temperature and provide a controlled environment to conduct a fair test. 

Each night I slept on my side, but I can easily see back or front sleepers benefiting from its foam layers too. The pillow was tested both with and without a cover to ensure that I could gauge the coolness accurately.

Suunto Race review: An affordable fitness watch with some compromises
8:20 pm | March 19, 2024

Author: admin | Category: Computers Fitness Trackers Gadgets Health & Fitness | Tags: , , , | Comments: Off

Suunto Race review: One minute review

Finnish outdoors brand Suunto is arguably best known for its hardy navigational devices and diving watches, often lagging behind the competition when it comes to genuinely excellent fitness smartwatches.

The fact of the matter is, the market is almost at saturation point. Garmin seemingly brings out a new watch every few months, covering every conceivable exercise niche you can think of, while rivals such as Polar and Coros with its Pace 3 and Apex Pro models, have brought some serious touchscreen-enabled contenders in recent months.

Traditional smartwatch makers like Apple and Samsung, now have models that also crossover into the outdoors/fitness space with the Apple Watch Ultra 2 and Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro, offering excellent workout tracking, navigation and all of the handy smartphone control, notifications and features you will actually use every day. In fact, the Apple Watch just keeps improving as a fitness partner with every watchOS update.

Suunto Race watch running mode

(Image credit: Future)

In the interest of brevity, the Suunto Race Titanium (the premium version I tested) is the best watch it has made to date, with a crystal clear AMOLED screen, premium styling, and a whole host of fitness-tracking features that can genuinely rival those offered by Garmin et al.

However, it’s far from perfect. There are a number of areas that could easily be improved, including the achingly slow raise-to-wake, the sometimes glitchy OS, and the fact that offline mapping takes a painfully long time to download and upload to the map.

In essence, Garmin still rules the roost if you want the absolute cutting-edge of workout, recovery and training analytics, but Suunto is definitely getting close. Pair that with solid GPS tracking, an impressive battery life and an easy-to-navigate accompanying smartphone app, and you have an enticing offering at this price.

Suunto Race worn on wrist with clock face

(Image credit: Future)

Suunto Race: specifications

Suunto Race: Price and availability

Suunto Race watch face close up

(Image credit: Future)
  • $449 in the US
  • £398 in the UK
  • AUS$720 in Australia

The Suunto Race is offered at two price points. The most affordable stainless steel version costs $449 / £398 / AUS$720, while the more expensive titanium-clad model comes in at $549 / £479 / AUS$879. 

There is no difference between the hardware that powers these watches: it’s all about the finish and how opulent you want your watch to feel. In my opinion, the titanium model elevates the overall build quality, thanks to its contrasting Charcoal finish. The bezel on the stainless steel model is all black, which instantly makes it feel a bit cheaper. 

Both models can be purchased directly from the Suunto website. At this price point, it's a pretty favorable comparison with its closest competitors, such as the much more expensive Garmin Forerunner 965. Great value.

Value score: 5/5

Suunto Race watch close up

(Image credit: Future)

Suunto Race: Design and screen

Suunto Race watch screen

(Image credit: Future)
  • Excellent build quality, especially on the titanium model
  • Only one size
  • Apple-style digital crown

Some horologists often scoff at the basic design of today’s fitness smartwatches, as they tend to involve a large circular display that’s clad in some kind of metal or plastic to keep everything safe. But it's a winning, practical design, and the Suunto Race isn't reinventing the wheel. 

The Suunto Race Titanium comprises a considerable 49mm bezel that houses 1.43-inches of AMOLED touchscreen, running a 466 x 466 resolution. It’s not one for skinny wrists and sits rather proudly even on thicker arms. The fact Suunto doesn’t offer any other sizes is a bit of an oversight: not everyone's going to want a beast of a watch like this.

The build quality is good and the watch feels solid, with the titanium finish adding a nice pop of contrast colour that makes it stand out. There are a limited number of pre-loaded digital watch faces available that range from replicas of analogue timepieces to fully digital displays with adjustable splashes of colour.

Suunto race watch silicone strap

(Image credit: Future)

Overall, they look good, but there’s not the breadth you’ll find via Garmin’s ConnectIQ app (although a lot of those are rubbish), nor are they as exciting or as interactive as what you find on an Apple Watch Series 9 or the latest Google Pixel Watch. However, that's expected of training tools rather than smartwatches.

There are some neat etched-in vents on the titanium bezel that add a bit of texture, while the included silicone strap is ventilated for added breathability and features a small popper mechanism that makes it easy to fit. It’s a great do-it-all choice that works for most activities.

Finally, robustness is built-in via a glass fiber-reinforced polyamide casing and sapphire crystal glass protecting the delicate display beneath. During testing, it held up well, shrugging off scratches and dings with ease. The whole thing is ergonomic and easy to use during training sessions too. Interaction with the Suunto Race is either via prodding and swiping the screen, or through the chronograph style, three-pusher layout of buttons on the right-hand side. 

The middle of those is a ‘digital crown’ that can be used to quickly cycle through menus or zoom in and out of maps. Think of it as a kind of Apple Watch Ultra lite set-up, while long-pressing either the top or bottom buttons accesses various shortcuts to menus.

Design score: 4/5

Suunto Race: Features

Suunto Race watch three side buttons

(Image credit: Future)
  • Accurate GPS
  • HRV and recovery info
  • No NFC payments

In general, there’s a lot to like about the feature set on offer here. You can control the music playing on your phone with the watch, and receive notifications when you are getting a call. You can do more with Android devices than you can with Apple, such as send predefined replies to incoming messages from the watch.

It has a full suite of sensors, now ubiquitous on fitness devices, which ranges from wrist-based heart rate sensing to an altimeter and gyroscope so it knows exactly when you are moving.

Suunto Race watch sports mode

(Image credit: Future)

There’s sleep tracking, accurate GPS thanks to compatibility with five satellite systems, and the obvious stuff, such as step tracking, all carefully built-into the relatively diminutive device on your wrist.

As soon as you throw software into the mix, you start to delve into things like Heart Rate Variability, sleep cycle detection and stress and recovery status delivered directly to the AMOLED watch face. Arguably where the cheaper Garmin Forerunner 265 and Garmin Venu 3 stand tall is with lifestyle offerings like Garmin Pay, which allows you to sync bank cards with the watch and pay from the wrist. Garmin also offers guided workouts, complete with animated exercise guides on some models.

Also where features are concerned, other watches like the Polar Vantage V3 come packing a seriously advanced set of biosensing equipment that offer an exceptionally accurate heart rate from the wrist. Right now, Suunto isn’t quite there. 

Features score: 3.5/5

Suunto Race: Performance

Suunto Race watch and mobile app

(Image credit: Future)

Initial set-up of the watch is breezy. It’s just a case of downloading the accompanying smartphone app, punching in a few personal details and then getting on with it.

However, if you want to navigate from the wrist, you first have to download offline maps onto your phone, and then onto the watch. This process is extremely slow and boring in comparison to something like the Garmin Epix Pro, yet vital if you want to see any kind of map show up when out running, cycling, or walking. Thankfully, they look great once installed and they’re super easy to scroll around.

On the subject of exercise, there are over 95 profiles covering the full gamut of sports and workouts, with each setting up the AMOLED screen to show the most important stats for each. Of course, you can dive into settings and swap this all around so you can see what’s most important to you.

As for the specific profiles, this definitely feels like a watch predominantly geared towards running, cycling and swimming, but don't they all? The depth of data for each of these activities is impressive, with it able to automatically detect segments in a triathlon and even detect different swim strokes and log stats for each.

Similarly, where running is concerned, you get wrist-based running power, while cyclists can add Bluetooth power meters (and HRM chest straps) quickly and easily. However, you can only add one of each type of sensor, which will be annoying for ardent indoor cyclists or triathletes, who might want both HRM and power meter options.

Within the app, you can create structured workouts or link in existing services, such as Strava, Adidas Running or Training Peaks if these are your preferred methods to train.

Suunto Race watch running mode

(Image credit: Future)

Again, it feels like Garmin offers more in its ecosystem, with a number of training plans available to get you running a 5K or even a marathon, complete with guidance on training laid, rest and recovery.

Granted, Race does feature Suunto Coach, which goes into detail on things like Chronic Training Load (its metric for your overall fitness), as well as a look at the training stress balance. This uses heart rate variability (HRV) and sleep quality as factors on your overall readiness to train.

As with so many smart fitness watches, it takes time for this information to build and the Suunto Race only gets better the more you wear it. But also like a lot of its rivals, they tend to bias cardio and endurance activities, rather than strength training.

During testing, I found that strength work in the gym played havoc with the wrist-based heart rate monitoring, which was already proving not particularly accurate on a couple of test runs and cycles. With an Apple Watch Ultra 2 strapped to the other wrist and linked to a chest HRM, I found the Suunto slow to react and often a few bpm out at most points.

Similarly, the entire operating system feels slow and clunky, regularly baffled by too many quick inputs. There’s a definite lag when flicking between menu screens and dithering when raising the watch to wake. You can turn this off, but then battery life is impacted.

Thankfully, battery life is absolutely massive, with an enormous 26 days in time mode, a whopping 12 days with 24/7 tracking and smart notifications. Absolute minimum you will get is 40 hours with GPS running full tilt, but that’s a massive single workout.

In reality, we managed to eke around a week from the battery when wearing it constantly (including to bed), training three or four times per week for around an hour and occasionally using it to navigate on a weekend walk.

Performance score: 3/5

Suunto Race: Scorecard

Suunto Race watch triathlon mode

(Image credit: Future)

Suunto Race: Should I buy?

Buy it if...

Don't buy it if...

Suunto Race: Also consider

Sleep Number ComfortFit Pillow review
6:37 pm |

Author: admin | Category: Computers Gadgets Health & Fitness Mattresses Sleep | Comments: Off

Sleep Number ComfortFit Pillow: two-minute review

I love to sleep, and I also love to sleep comfortably. As a result, I also love to test bed pillows, since they play a significant role in determining how comfortably I’ll sleep. And I could tell at first glance that I was going to enjoy testing the Sleep Number ComfortFit Pillows. Some pillows arrive compressed, and when they’re expanding, it’s a wait-and-see process. Will the pillows be flat, or will they be nice and fluffy?

Since the Sleep Number ComfortFit Pillows aren’t compressed, I knew as soon as I opened the shipping box that they were going to be a pleasure to review. As I unzipped the individually packaged pillows from their stylish fabric bags (with handles, no less), I knew this level of detail in packaging would probably extend to a high level of detail in making the pillows as well.

Two Sleep Number ComfortFit Pillows on a bed

(Image credit: Future)

And I was not disappointed. The pillows were thick and plush (my favorite two adjectives when describing something that I’m going to lay my head on). The fill is made of memory foam and also down alternative fibers for a cushy experience that’s still firm enough to provide support. And since they’re also available in two other shapes, the pillows can work well for side, back, and stomach sleepers.

I tested a pair of the Sleep Number ComfortFit Pillows for over two weeks to see how they compare to the rest of the best pillows on the market. And if you’re looking for ways to really boost your sleep comfort further, take a look at our guide to this year's best mattresses for all budgets.

Sleep Number ComfortFit Pillow review: price & value for money

  • Premium pillow, premium priced
  • 100-night trial period, 1 year warranty
  • Currently buy one, get one 50% off

At $99.99, the classic Sleep Number ComfortFit Pillow in the standard size is considered a higher-end pillow – although there are competitors with pillows that cost significantly more. However, it’s not a cheap or mid-range pillow. Having tested dozens of pillows, I consider the price to be fair, considering the quality design and materials – in fact, I think it’s a good value for what you get.

The classic king size pillow is $119.00. Also, the various shapes have different prices as well. The standard curved pillow is $119.99, and $139.99 for a king. And the ultimate shape pillow, which has three removable inserts so you can find your perfect fit, is $139.99/standard, $159.99/king.

At the time of publication, the pillow was being sold (in every size and shape) as buy one, get one 50% off.

A relatively-comparable alternative is the GhostPillow Faux Down Pillow, which is regularly priced at $139 but on sale for $70. It has a microfiber gel fill, and a breathable cover made of 100% cotton. It’s a fluffy, squeezable pillow like the Sleep Number ComfortFit Pillow, and while it’s on sale, can save you quite a few bucks. However, it’s not available in different shapes and sizes

If you’d prefer a foam pillow and/or you tend to sleep hot, the Nolah Cooling Foam Pillow has cooling features, as well as a stylish design that allows it to be used without an additional pillowcase. In addition, the cover can be washed. It’s supportive, but not as squishy soft as the Sleep Number ComfortFit Pillow.

Sleep Number provides free shipping for the pillow. There’s also a 100-night trial, and a 1-year warranty. In comparison, GhostPIllow provides a 101-night trial period and a 5 year warranty, and Nolah provides a 30 day trial period and a 2 year warranty.

Sleep Number ComfortFit Pillow review: design and materials

  • Memory foam and down alternative fibers
  • 3 shape choices for side, back, and stomach sleepers
  • Breathable Lyocell blend cover

I chose the classic shape, which is recommended for stomach or back sleepers. However, there’s also an option to get the curved pillow, which provides enhanced support and works best for side or back sleepers (I’m testing the curved pillows in a future review). In addition, the ultimate shape has three removable inserts, which can be used for any type of sleeper since the inserts can be taken out (or left in) to customize the pillow. 

Close up of the Sleep Number ComfortFit Pillow

(Image credit: Future)

The Sleep Number ComfortFit Pillow includes a blend of memory foam pieces and down alternative fibers. The memory foam pieces are moldable, so they fit the shape of my head and neck, and also bounce back when I move your head. The down alternative fibers are designed to imitate the luxurious feel of down. However, alternative or faux down tends to cost less. It’s also a great choice for people who may be allergic to down.

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Two Sleep Number ComfortFit Pillows in their delivery box

(Image credit: Future)
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A pair of Sleep Number ComfortFit Pillows in plastic bags

(Image credit: Future)

Delivery was uneventful, and set-up was quick and easy, since the pillows were not compressed, so they didn’t need time to expand, and I didn’t have to deal with any potential off-gassing. However, I do want to note that Sleep Number takes presentation very seriously. I was impressed with the individual cloth bags inside of the delivery box. These zippered bags added an extra layer of hygienic protection, and were convenient when storing or transporting the pillows.

Sleep Number ComfortFit Pillow review: care and allergies

The pillows cannot be machine washed (only the ultimate shape pillow has a removable cover that can be machine washed). Spot cleaning is recommended for the classic and curved shapes.

The down alternative material is quite suited for someone with allergies, since it’s not actual down – which serves as an allergen for some people. In fact, the pillows are actually hypoallergenic.

Two Two Sleep Number ComfortFit Pillows side by side on a bed

(Image credit: Future)

The pillow contains CertiPUR-US certified foam, which means that it was made without formaldehyde, ozone depleters, phthalates, mercury, lead and other heavy metals, and meets the low VOC emissions standard for indoor air. It’s also screened to be free for fire retardants and other chemicals that have been classified as mutagens or reproductive toxins, or carcinogens.

Sleep Number ComfortFit Pillow review: comfort & support

  • Thick and plush, but not too plush
  • Best for side or back sleepers
  • Bounces back and does not need refluffing

For over two weeks, I slept on a pair of Sleep Number ComfortFit Pillows to see how comfortable and supportive they were. The pillows were very plush, akin to sleeping on a cloud. As a result of the memory foam, the pillows molded to the shape of my head and neck, and when I changed positions, they quickly bounced back and proceeded to cradle me in my next position. And since the pillows contains down alternative, they felt luxurious, and were breathable.

Two Sleep Number ComfortFit Pillows on a bed

(Image credit: Future)

The pillows are a mid-loft version that’s not too high and not too low. In side and back positions, it supported me well. However, it may have been too high to provide consistent support for someone who always sleeps on their side. (The ultimate shape would do a better job for side sleepers).

I did not need to re-plump the pillows, due to the combination of fill contents in it. This pillow would be great for the average customer who sleeps on their back or side. It may be too high for petite sleepers. 

Sleep Number ComfortFit Pillow review: temperature regulation

The Sleep Number ComfortFit Pillows have a breathable Lyocell blend cover. Since neither the fill nor the cover trapped heat, the pillows didn’t get hot while sleeping – even though, as you can see from the photos, I was underneath plenty of bedding.

A hand on a Sleep Number ComfortFit Pillow

(Image credit: Future)

The pillows didn’t necessarily feel cool to the touch, but I was satisfied that they were not making me hot either, since they were breathable, which allowed any heat to escape. I tested the pillows during the fall season, which in Birmingham, AL is comfortable enough to turn off the HVAC.

Sleep Number ComfortFit Pillow review: specs

Should you buy the Sleep Number ComfortFit Pillow?

Buy it if...

 You want the best of both worlds: The pillow contains both memory foam and alternative down for a unique experience. It’s luxurious and smooth, while also being squishy, soft and supportive.

✅ You prefer down alternative to down: If you’re allergic to down, you’ll appreciate that the pillow mimics down, but it’s hypoallergenic, so it doesn’t have any of the allergens that may cause you discomfort. Also, it doesn’t have any feathers to protrude and poke you.

 You want a luxurious feel: The high-end pillows aren’t as expensive as many other types of high-end pillows, so this is an opportunity to upgrade your existing pillows without breaking the bank. You can get a pair of pillows that you won’t have to replace every year.

Don't buy it if...

❌ You’re strictly a side sleeper: The pillow works best for back sleepers and stomach sleepers. If you always sleep on your side, you might not find the height to provide the right combination of support and comfort. (However, the curved shape is designed for side or back sleepers and the ultimate shape is adjustable, so it can be customized for side sleepers as well.)

❌ You like to adjust the fill: If you get the classic shape, you won’t be able to unzip the cover and remove or add fill. So, if you don’t think the amount of fill is suitable for your needs, keep in mind that you’re stuck with that loft. The ultimate shape pillow is adjustable, but if you want another option try the Layla Kapok Pillow.

 You like to wash your pillows and covers: You can’t wash the pillow, and you can’t even unzip the cover and wash it (although I used to toss the pillows in the dryer on the sanitize setting and it didn’t appear to affect performance). The cover is hypoallergenic if that helps, but if you want a fully washable option the GhostPillow Faux Down Pillow could be a good alternative.

How I tested the Sleep Number ComfortFit Pillow

I slept on the Sleep Number ComfortFit Pillows for over two weeks, testing for performance, comfort, and support. These tests were conducted during the fall season. Since I tend to sleep hot – but I love all of the stylish fall and winter bedding – I slept with the HVAC off to avoid getting overly hot in my mild climate.

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