Tailormade Golden Pillow - Thijs van der Hilst

The best pillow in the world is made in Tilburg

He makes the best pillows in the world and with 24-carat gold, no less. Where are these pillows made? Well, in Tilburg of course.

Sixteen years of innovation in one single pillow

Thijs van der Hilst used to be a physical therapist. Sixteen years ago, he made his first custom-made pillow: “No one thinks about a pillow, but I do. I wanted to innovate and I knew, due to my background, what was needed for a good pillow.” Thijs was so passionate that he developed an algorithm for the 3D scanner which measures relevant pressure points in your body and allows him to determine the shape of the pillow. The price of a Tailormade pillow is around 4000 euro, but “you will have the best pillow in the world,” Thijs emphasises. “So many things come together in this pillow. I put sixteen years of innovation in it.”

Craftsmen that you will only find in Tilburg

To capture the attention of his target group, Thijs came up with a marketing stunt for this remarkable pillow: “I wanted to make the world’s most expensive pillow. I wanted to use gold cloth, which I couldn’t find anywhere in the world. Since I am born and bred in Tilburg, I immediately thought of the TextielMuseum. However, our initial collaboration failed. That’s when I started travelling all over the world. I searched in China, India, America, but everywhere I went, people thought of me as the ‘crazy Dutch guy with an insane idea’. In the end, I went back to the TextielMuseum for a final try. This time, we were successful and we were the first in the world to produce gold cloth. It was extremely difficult and it would not have been possible without the craftsmen of the TextielMuseum. You will not find the knowledge that they have anywhere else in the world.”


A fantastic conversation starter

In May 2017, Thijs presented his golden pillow, valued at 52,000 euro, in Dubai. The golden pillow turned out to be a successful marketing stunt and a fantastic conversation starter. But also typically from Tilburg. “In Dubai, a man from Saudi Arabia came up to me. He looked at the pillow cover and said: “That’s made Tilburg”. He recognised the fabric from Innofa, which has also become an international household name in the textile industry. He had recently visited them in Tilburg. It’s a small world”, says Thijs.

Tilburg offers many opportunities with respect to the textile sector, but Thijs reaps more benefits from the region. Our entire corporate supply chain is located in Tilburg. He also likes the fact that it is a logistic hotspot: “We export our goods straight from Tilburg to China so we can do business in Asia.” In the meantime, Thijs goes full throttle. He talks with great confidence about this plans to roll out Tailormade Pillow worldwide. Which he will be able to do from his headquarters in Tilburg, without any problem. 


The product can be seen as part of the exhibition 'Tilburg and its makers' at Hotel Mercure, Heuvelpoort 300 in Tilburg.