Made in the USA: The Perfect Pillow at Cuddledown and More

Almost everyone has sleep problems at least once in their lives. A pillow can be fine for quite a long time, until one day it’s not working for you and you get a crick in your neck, a headache or wake up feeling like you’ve not slept at all. 

My old down pillow got to a point where it was too flat, so I looked around the web for a Made in America pillow and came across a Maine company called Cuddledown. With the economy the way it is, I think we’re all trying to support one another by buying more American products. This is my new favorite company that makes products here in America – in Maine!

So the next time you need a pillow or a comforter, instead of going to your local Bed, Bath and Beyond, or department store, think about going to Cuddledown to support our neighbors in Maine who actually make these lovely products in a factory in Yarmouth.

Cuddledown was established in 1973 when they began making comforters. So this year they celebrate their 40th anniversary. The original owners discovered down comforters while in Europe and initially made them in Maine for friends and family and ultimately it became a small business in Yarmouth, which included a catalog.

In 1988 Chris Bradley bought the company, which has gone from a tiny business out of homes with a catalog that had a small circulation to now employing 120 people in Yarmouth, Freeport and Portland, Maine. The catalog is mailed to more than 16 million households. You can go to their outlet store in Freeport, Maine, as well as buy from their website. Their wide selection of down and synthetic comforters and pillows have been praised by Good Housekeeping, Consumer Digest and Real Simple.

What’s cool is that Cuddedown manufactures pillows, comforters, featherbeds and some mattress pads at their factory in Yarmouth.

I have a few old pillows depending on the day and mood, and none had worked for me for a few weeks. In desperation for a good night’s sleep and no headache, I thought perhaps a new down pillow was what I needed.

I was so excited when the 700 Fill Power White Duck Down Gusseted Pillow arrived in the mail, it felt like Christmas Day. It came in a nice plastic case that had a zipper and is reusable. This pillow might be the solution to my recent sleep problems, I thought. I took it out of its case and tried it that night. In retrospect I might have let it air out a bit first, with its strong new pillow smell, but I was just too excited to try out the pillow right away.

The perfect pillow is subjective.And this one, on their recommendation, seemed to be the right one. I woke up after the first night feeling like I slept through the night. It was soft but not too soft without a feeling of support. And after having it more than a month, when it gets too soft, which they all do, I put it in the dryer and it comes out feeling new again. The website helps you choose a pillow and it includes an embedded video.

“Creating the products right here in our factory, allows us to see the product from start to finish, and it allows for better quality. People feel that our items, whether it’s the core bedding, the pillows, comforters, the fine sateen sheets, or super cozy pajamas and robes, are synonymous with comfort, says Cuddledown’s Danielle Vayenas.”

It’s high quality, but their philosophy is that items should be super comfortable.

“They’re long-lasting too,” she says. “They’re made well, so the person can expect a certain level of quality.”

Cuddledown developed and sells exclusive bedding items unique to the company, such as 1000-Fill Power Comforter and Pillow. It is the only company in North America carrying these items.

For those who have a partner in bed who may like it hotter or colder then you, Cuddledown’s Dual Warmth Comforter might solve the problem so that both can sleep comfortably, Vayenas said. This is a fairly new item. Cuddledown introduced it just last winter.

“What really makes that unique, ours is one comforter. It’s not like there’s a fastener in the middle, like Velcro or something that is uncomfortable,” Vayenas said. “It’s great because if your husband is always hot and you’re always cold, you can have one comforter and you don’t have to have two separate ones. And yet because it’s stitched all the way through, it’s smooth and looks great, like a regular comforter.”

Cuddledown also offers a 700-Fill Temperature Regulating Comforter, which has little diamond shaped mesh panels, so if you’ve got heat coming up the comforter, the mesh allows the heat to dissipate. It’s one of a few Temperature Regulating Comforters.

“I personally find the down comforters are too warm, even with the frigid Maine winters, but I tried this one and it does work,” Vayenas said. From the reviews, it seems like many women going through menopause especially like this comforter.

“They’re always trying to come up with new things here, like the specialty neck pillows,” Vayenas said.

The company recently just moved to Yarmouth to consolidate with the factory, so that now customer service and marketing are also at the Yarmouth factory location. And yes, there is an actual factory. So when you buy comforters, pillows and featherbeds made by Cuddledown, know that you’re supporting American manufacturing jobs.

It’s obviously a no-brainer that we try to support U.S. manufacturing jobs. We often complain that manufacturing jobs and factories are moving overseas to cheaper jobs, but here, Cuddledown offers their Made in Maine bedding products. Buying Cuddledown supports the local Maine economy.

The Cuddledown outlet store is in Freeport, just 10 minutes from the factory. So the next time you want to take a road trip to New England and to Maine, stop by the retail store to have a look around.

The store is a combination of outlet things such as overstocked items and new products that aren’t on the website, such as lobster bibs and chinaware that they sold last summer. Around the holidays, they have Christmas gift ideas that might be made locally, such as Cold River Vodka bottles turned into tumblers. Cold River is a vodka that is also Made in Maine, but a local craftsman cuts the top off to make these tumblers.

Cuddledown also offers sleepwear, some of which they design as well and the company is getting more into that. They also carry wool comfort wear by Ramblers Way, which is another Maine company, whose owner has a name you might recognize.

Tom Chappell, of Tom’s of Maine, sold that company and Ramblers Way is his new company. “And every single thing is made in the United States, the wool is made here, they raised the sheep out West as well as in Maine,” Vayenas said. “Every stitch is made in the U.S .”

Cuddledown also carries Uggs and they’re going to carry more boots and purses. “We want people to have accessories to go with the sweaters and sleepwear we’re developing,” Vayenas said. “Obviously our core business is bedding, but we’re developing more and more to go with the bedding.”

There are some items only available online, such as furniture, rugs and curtains, so be sure to browse. The company also has a wholesale business, which sells Cuddledown products to hotels and some stores, called Royal River Trading.

Vayenas says Cuddledown offers a lifetime guarantee and since their customer service department is right there in Maine, they’re very helpful with addressing all kinds of customer issues.

“Many of them have been here five to 10 years or more,” she says. “Bedding is so personal, they may go through 15 minutes of customer questions. We’ve had people call after 10 years and they’re comforter leaks down, we have reconditioned them.”

One of the most popular pillows is the 800-fill Power European Goose Down Pillow. Some people also like the Neck Support Cradling Pillow, for neck support, Vayenas said. Their bedbug protectors are also popular.

“Even for myself as a customer, Cuddledown has such a huge range that you can find a different pillow to suit everyone’s needs,” Vayenas said. “On Cuddledown’s website we have a ton of articles, we have a video library that will show you how to take care of your pillow. If you put a pillow protector on it you don’t need to wash it, or if you spill something on it you can wash it.”

Cuddledown tries to be eco-friendly. Most of their bedding fabric is Oeko-tex certified, which is a certification company in Europe that test to make sure it’s free from 100 different chemicals, so that the fabric is safe and free from harmful chemicals.

For more information, Cuddledown also has a blog that offers tips, reviews and tells you when sales are, as well as a Facebook page.