Events & News


Safety devices in Epilepsy - The Sleep-Safe pillow

What can be done to prevent SUDEP? More recently, a growing number of devices and items are being marketed as an added safeguard for patients with seizures and Epilepsy. In theory they are marketed as potentially lowering the occurrence of SUDEP.  As always, we do not endorse these products and have no financial gain associated to them; this is simply meant to be educational.
In this issue, Don Alderton, inventor of the Sleep Safe pillow is featured in our epilepsy safety section. He tells us about the pillow he created almost 20 years ago in an effort to prevent suffocation during nighttime seizures. He started this to help his son.

How did the Sleep-Safe pillow come to be?
My son suffered from seizures and associated breathing difficulties, which couldn't be controlled entirely by medication. My wife and I were very anxious about his safety while he was asleep, especially at nights. Although an appropriate level of heating made it possible to minimize sheets and blankets, pillows remained a real problem. On several occasions we found him forcefully wedged into his pillow, and we feared very much for his safety if he became tightly entrapped during one of these seizures at night. We reviewed standard domestic pillows and could not find one that could be 'breathed through'. The design for Sleep-Safe resulted from a process of prototyping calculated to reduce the likelihood of total respiratory impediment. The original design has been enhanced many times during the past 20 years.

What differentiates a Sleep-Safe pillow from a regular one?
The unique blend of features of the Sleep-Safe pillow - the micromesh cover, the profiled surface, the Thru-Channelling and the AeroMatrix - allow air to pass between the cover and the surface of the pillow and through the body of the pillow itself.  The micromesh cover is flame retardant.

Are there studies that have shown it is effective as an anti-suffocation method?
Lab tests have demonstrated that the air-flow breathability of Sleep-Safe is significantly better than other types of commonly used pillows.

Are there softer or firmer sleep safe pillows?
Over the years, an effort was made to reduce firmness because people wanted something as close to a standard pillow. 

What does it mean that it is registered as a Class I Medical Device by the UK’s Government Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency?
The Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (‘MHRA’) is the UK government agency which is responsible for ensuring that medicines and medical devices work, and are acceptably safe. The MHRA is an executive agency of the Department of Health. (this is sort of the UK equivalent of the US FDA).

How many have been sold since this company started and do you ship internationally?
Sleep-Safe was first marketed in 1992. Since then thousands have been supplied to personal purchasers and health and social care providers worldwide.

How much does it cost?
The product price is the same worldwide, the ‘final price’ paid by the customer depends on shipping cost from the UK.

How can it be purchased?
At the Sleep-Safe website

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