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Travel pillows

Has anyone used one of those new pillows that let you lean forward on your tray table -- they have a space for the arms to hug the device and a sort of hole like a massage table for your face? WEre they comfortable? Could you doze with them?

What about the Trtl neck pillow thing that is like a neck platform secured with a scarf and velcro?

What about the thing that is like a big comma and fits over the shoulder to lean the head on?

The old donut things are not very comfortable and push my neck forward -- trying to find something to allow a little dozing on an upcoming overnight flight to Paris.

Posted by
7401 posts

I had the first one you mentioned. The issue I ran into was that I needed more space to lean forward than the space between the seat rows allowed.

Posted by
5837 posts

Leaning forward with your head on your tray table (assuming you fit) seems a bit dangerous. When/if the person in front slams their seat back to full recline you may risk harm to your neck.

Posted by
7050 posts

The act of curving your back and neck to lean down like that on the tray table will just end up straining your neck - the pillow would just provide something soft for your head, but it will do nothing for your neck and back. I've slept every which way on the plane and usually the tray table ends up being the most painful, even if I am able to sleep. I've had someone lean back their chair while my head was down, and that can really hurt. If you're contorting your body in an odd way, I don't think any gizmo can help. I've found that leaning against the window and something soft in between (sweater or jacket) is the preferred option for me.

Posted by
158 posts

Trtl is okay, it does slide a bit. I have to keep wedging it back in or my neck isn't well supported. I like that the scarf covers my nose and mouth for germs and so no one can see my mouth hanging open while I sleep!

Posted by
703 posts

we just bought a 'J' pillow ( on ebay), for our up coming trip. while testing at home it seems like it will be good. at about $14US delivered, well worth a try.

Posted by
12172 posts

I just use the old fashioned inflatable travel pillow, with a microfiber cover. I use two techniques that seem to help:
1. Don't inflate it all the way. Think of it as adjustable as opposed to empty or full.
2. Turn it 90 degrees and you have something under your chin as well as behind your neck. I turn mine somewhat less than 90 degrees.

Posted by
1443 posts

The real problem with travel pillows is what to do with them after the flight. I'm sure not going to carry it around for 3 weeks. I've bought them a couple of times at the airport, found them slightly useful, and then discarded them after the flight. Basically, it's the same effect as wadding up a $20 and throwing it in the trash.

Posted by
8173 posts

Thanks for the feedback. We are behind a non reclining exit row on this trip and the whole point of the lean forward pillow is that it is high i.e. your head isn't down on the tray table but more upright and supported -- BUT I haven't found anyone yet who has actually tried one and it is a lot to carry if it is worthless.

lots of choices out there; appreciate feedback from anyone who has tried some of the new shapes.

PS Ordered the Travelrest which has good reviews and looks like a giant comma. Will try it at home and see what we think and if not, order one of the others. Still looking for input on the lean forward thing.

Posted by
12172 posts

I don't mind an inflatable that can be folded up and stored after the flight. The big ones seem like they'd be too big even after letting the air out. The stuffed pillow type take up too much room in my carry on to make the pack list.

I also use my travel pillow as a back up for those times when the only pillow in my bed is one inch thick.

Posted by
451 posts

I have an inflatable that is pretty wide in back, has a tiny layer of down and compresses into a sack the size of my fist. I don't inflate it all the way and its better than no pillow or some big critter to carry around.

Posted by
1864 posts

OP no one seems to know what you're talking about. Those pillow/sling things look pretty cool, worth a try probably

Posted by
1 posts

We just purchased two for our trip to France next month. Found it to be comfortable when trying it out at home. Will know more when we use them on the flight. Like that they are inflatable , have a suede feel, and when deflated are light and easy to pack.

Posted by
768 posts

I have tried the lean forward on tray pillow, and it did work quite well. The downside is that it is rather bulky (about like taking an extra pair of shoes), so I tend not to take it to Europe only because I try to travel light and the inflatable neck pillows work ok for me.

Posted by
208 posts

I use an inflatable pillow that I chose specifically because it is very narrow at the part that is behind my neck. A previous one was too thick back there.

It packs down small, and I have it in its own, small bag with an eye mask, ear plugs and a sleep aid (Gravol).

I also use this inflatable pillow on the louge chairs on the cruise ship. I like that they are water proof.

And, we only fly (and cruise) using "carry-on" -- so packing space is used with much care!

Cheers,
Vivian

Posted by
76 posts

I use a contour twist pillow and have for well over a decade. It works very well for me and is far superior to any others I have tried. It is memory foam with an internal mechanism that lets you twist it to support your head however you want. Typically I will raise one side up so I can lean my head on it. I have given them as travel presents to anyone who travels with me because I love it so much. https://www.contourliving.com/twist-neck-pillow/

Posted by
8173 posts

LOL I need to take about 5 different versions of these things on the trip and try them out -- think I will try the comma shaped one and the lean forward and if they don't work move on for the next trip.

Posted by
2252 posts

Yes, please do that, Janet! And come back here to let us know how your comparison experiment works out as I'd love to know. I am not that big a person but have the devil of a time getting comfortable in those darn seats!!

Posted by
9784 posts

Janet, when is your trip? I'm trying out the J-Pillow in about three weeks (train rather than plane, so not for as long, but hopefully long enough to figure out if it works for me!).