Technogel pillow (Oli Woodman/BikeRadar)
In the past few years cycling coaches have begun to emphasise the importance of a good night’s sleep. Pro teams are taking their own bedding and even mattresses to races, replacing the – often frankly ropey – furniture in hotels with top-quality gear. Companies have sprung up offering bedding specifically aimed at athletes, and given that we spend about a third of our lives asleep, it makes sense to make the most of our downtime.
Technogel from Italy are one of these companies. The Cofidis and Liquigas teams use their pillows, but they also have a deeper link with cycling. If the name sounds familiar, it’s because Fi'zi:k use Technogel materials in their saddles and for parts like aero bar elbow pads. In fact, Technogel are an offshoot of Fi'zi:k’s parent company Selle Royal, one of Europe’s biggest saddle makers. The eponymous shape-memory polyurethane gel was developed with German plastics giants Bayer Material Science and is used in Fi'zi:k’s Arione K1 saddle, among others.
In these pillows, there’s a layer of Technogel over a body of more conventional memory foam. The combination makes for a more comfortable support, according to Technogel, because the gel deforms in three dimensions rather than just one. Additionally, the gel is cool to the touch, and conducts heat away, which we’ve already found is a benefit if you're a warm sleeper. These pillows are a lot heavier than a regular pillow too. That means they don’t move around during the night, and also that armed with one of these you’d win a pillow fight by a knockout.
There are four models of full-size pillows, in different shapes and thicknesses, plus a compact pillow to pop in your luggage and use in hotels, and a neck pillow for travelling. First impressions are good; we’re enjoying the extra support and seem to be sleeping better as a result. Of course, you can’t discount placebo effect, but even if that’s the case, good sleep is good sleep. For more details, visit www.technogelsleeping.com.