When I first saw Pillow Pet commercials on TV when I was a teenager, I never imagined that I would eventually be writing a blog post about how I was using them in my dorm room to make it easier for me to navigate. But after several instances where I have walked into my bedframe while half asleep or lost my balance and hit the side of the bedframe, I decided I had to come up with some sort of solution that would create a cushiony, colorful surface that I could remove at the end of the semester or rearrange as needed. After a quick trip to a local discount store, I decided Pillow Pets would be the perfect solution, and wanted to share this tip with others who may be dealing with a similarly frustrating situation
What is a Pillow Pet?
It’s a pillow, it’s a pet, it’s a Pillow Pet! Pillow Pets are stuffed animals that are rectangular shaped, like a pillow. They also have a built-in Velcro strap that allows them to be folded width-wise and stand on their own. They come in a variety of sizes and different character types- to accommodate a twin XL bedframe, two regular/standard sized or four mini/pee-wee Pillow Pets will be needed to cover the width of the bed. There are also several other brands that make their own rectangular stuffed animals with a Velcro strap at different price points that can be found online.
Who can benefit from this?
I know I’m not the only one who runs into furniture, but living with low vision and balance issues means that this is a frequent occurrence. This can also be an issue for children, especially those with vision loss, as well as people who are living in small spaces. I admit that the colorful plush animals might look a tad out of place in some college dorm rooms, but since I love stuffed animals and hate having bruises on my legs, I am happy to embrace decorating my bed with even more stuffed animals. Plus, my dorm room isn’t big enough for me to be able to move my bed anywhere else.
- Bedding Hacks For Chiari Malformation
- How To Hack An Accessible Dorm
- How I Decorate My Dorm Room With Low Vision
Why Pillow Pets
There are a few reasons I chose to use Pillow Pets to solve this problem:
- Cost. Pillow Pets and similar stuffed animals are fairly inexpensive- I got four Pee-Wee pillow pets for less than $20, compared to a similar bedframe cushion that was $60
- Easy to find. Pillow Pets are sold in many different stores all around the US and online, or located at thrift stores.
- Fun for kids. They have many colorful and fun designs that kids enjoy, which makes them a great choice for a kid’s bedroom, or anyone who is a kid at heart.
- Easy to assemble. Almost anyone can manipulate the Velcro strap and attach the Pillow Pet to a firm surface, no other assistance needed
- Bright, high contrast colors. Pillow Pets come in a lot of different colors and styles, and the bright colors help distinguish where my bedframe is.
- Can be donated when no longer needed. When the time comes and I no longer need to use Pillow Pets in my space, I can donate them to a toy drive or other local organization so they can still be used within my community
- How To Embrace Assistive Technology With Limited Funding
- Choosing High Contrast Color Schemes For Low Vision
How to use Pillow Pets to cushion furniture
- Map out common areas in a living space that cause an issue. For me, this is the edge of my bed and the leg of the bed frame that faces my desk.
- Measure the area to determine how many Pillow Pets are needed. Regular Pillow Pets are 18 inches long, and Pee-Wee Pillow Pets are about 10 inches long, though some knock-off brands may have different dimensions
- Wrap the Pillow Pet around the desired area and secure the Velcro strap to secure it.
- If needed, reinforce the Velcro strap by adding glue or a clip
- Repeat until desired area is covered.
When to reattach them
Velcro does not stay secure forever, so you might find that you have to reattach the Pillow Pets to their perch every now and then. Adding the reinforcements can help, but mine only fall down every other month or so, and it isn’t very difficult for me to reattach them. Adding a binder clip to the edge of the Velcro strap can make it even easier to keep them from falling down.
Using Pillow Pets as a way to cushion my bedframe and keep me from running into the sharp edges has been a great solution, and I wish I had thought of it sooner because it is so nice not having a bunch of bruises on my legs. I’m glad that Iwas able to come up with a low-cost solution to solve this problem and hope that this is helpful for others as well!