The Jordan’s king-size pillow that wasn’t

By | April 14, 2010

As I recently wrote, my wife and I have been shopping for mattresses at Jordan’s Furniture.  We still haven’t settled on a mattress to buy, but one thing that was very obvious to us the first time we tried them out was that our old bed pillows were awful, and we walked out of Jordan’s that night with two new ones.

I bought a king-size “Nature’s Rest” latex pillow.  Here’s the box it came in:

Notice how the front of the box clearly says that this is a king-size pillow.  So does the label on top of the box:

The pillow came rolled up tightly inside the box.  The Jordan’s associate who sold it to me warned me that it could take as much as a week for it to expand to its full size.  I was therefore only somewhat concerned when I got home and unpacked the pillow and discovered that it was significantly shorter than every other king-size pillow my wife and I have ever owned.  Not only that, but it was significantly shorter than the pillow cover that came in the box with it.

When it was still too short several weeks later, I brought it back to Jordan’s, along with one of our old king-size pillows to demonstrate the difference in length, and showed them both to a woman who claimed to be a manager in the mattress department.  She insisted that it wasn’t finished expanding yet and I should just give it more time.

Well, guess what, lady… it’s now almost two months after I brought it home, and it’s still not king-size; in fact, its length has remained pretty much the same since the day I bought it.  Here’s the new pillow in all 30 inches of its glory, with the extra, unfilled pillow cover tucked underneath it:

Here you can see how the pillow cover is several inches longer than the pillow (the yard stick is lying flat on the bed against the edge of the pillow inside the cover):

In comparison, here’s my old pillow:

and here’s the one I used before that one:

Why is the length of a king-size pillow important?  Because it’s supposed to fill about half the length of a king-size bed, that’s why.  Here are my old and new pillows against the headboard of my bed:

See the difference?

When it became clear to me that my pillow was not going to get any longer, I decided to do a bit of research to find out whether it was I or Jordan’s who was confused about pillow sizes, so I pulled up a browser window and googled for “pillow sizes.” Lo and behold, four of the first six matches asserted that king-size pillows are supposed to be 20 inches wide and 36 inches long, and I couldn’t find a single page asserting a smaller size than that.  I wasn’t imagining things — Jordan’s really did sell me a king-size pillow that isn’t.

Now, you might think that this was simply a mistake.  After all, the pillow itself doesn’t have a size marked on it, and they presumably intended for the pillow cover to fit the pillow, so they must have simply put the wrong pillow in the box.  That’s what I thought, too, until I dug up the receipt for our two pillows while preparing to return mine to Jordan’s and found this printed on it:

Yes, you’re reading that right, the receipt explicitly indicates that my pillow is 31 inches long and 16.75 inches wide.  In other words, Jordan’s knowingly sold me a pillow labeled “king-size” which is neither long enough nor wide enough to qualify as a king-size pillow.  The width I can forgive, but the length is beyond the pale.

You might wonder, then, why I bought it in the first place.  Well, (a) those dimensions don’t appear anywhere on the box, (b) I wasn’t given a copy of the receipt until after I’d already bought the pillow, (c) it did not occur to me at the time that I would actually have to check to see if the pillow which Jordan’s claimed was king-size was in fact king-size, and (d) I didn’t know how long king-size pillows are supposed to be until I looked it up afterwards, and (e) even if I’d taken the pillow out of the box and observed that it was too short, the associate would have told me that I just needed to give it time to expand to its full size.

Oh, and while we’re on the subject, the pillow my wife bought was labeled queen-size, and it’s not long enough either.

It’s things like this that make it seem like Jordan’s is in the business of making money by getting away with whatever they can without most people noticing.  If it were only my decision, this would be enough to convince me to buy our new mattress elsewhere, but my wife is set on a particular mattress for which we won’t be able to find an exact duplicate anywhere else.  Such is life.

I will be bringing the pillow back to Jordan’s (along with my old pillow for comparison; a tape measure; and printouts from several Web sites documenting what size king-size pillows are supposed to be) and asking them to take the pillow back and give me a refund.  We’ll see what happens.

UPDATE: Jordan’s took back the too-small pillow and gave me a refund without any trouble, apologized for the inconvenience, and said they would pass on to the appropriate people my feedback about the pillow simply being too small to sell as a king-size pillow.

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