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Travel Pillow advice

Traveling economy to Spain this fall and would love to be able to sleep on the flight. What is all of your opinions on the best travel pillow. I hear the TRTL is good. Or there is one on Amazon that looks like a snake around your neck that is rated higher.

Posted by
6950 posts

I just use one of the inflatable horseshoe shaped pillows, and have used it for years.

Posted by
8833 posts

For packing efficiency and portability I would stick with an inflatable type.

Posted by
754 posts

I've tried lots of different pillows/devices over the years, but I keep coming back to something like this:

https://www.amazon.com/Travelicons-Pillow%EF%BC%8CInflatable-Sleeping-Portable-Airplane/dp/B09HT6LBDS/ref=sr_1_32_sspa

I like it because 1) those little bumps on the corners prevent your head from flopping sideways (compared to the usual U shaped pillow) and 2) when deflated these take up almost no room in your luggage. Also, the one above happens to be on sale right now.

Posted by
2329 posts

Based on recommendations on the forum I recently bought a Travelrest Therapeutic Memory Foam pillow from Amazon--it inflates easily, has a washable cover, and is sort of shaped like a comma. It goes on like a crossbody bag or hangs off the headrest and allowed me to lean my head on it--good if you're a side sleeper.

Posted by
935 posts

The problem with travel pillows is it's difficult to test them out. If you look only at REI, you 'll see ten widely and completely different products. Hit amazon and you'll see fifty or a hundred. the need to escape jet lag on the way over to Europe is important so you need to sleep. You rather pick one or two and see if you can nod off in a chair and waje without too much discomfort or drool. I like the SeaToSummit blow-up unit I have but I cannot recommend it based only on my experience; your neck is probably different.

Posted by
532 posts

I gave up on travel pillows a few trips ago and use the wings on the seat headrest. They have served me just as well as a travel pillow and I don't have another thing to carry around.

Posted by
22 posts

I like my Trtl. I've used it since 2017 after trying many different travel pillows (inflatable, buckwheat, J shaped, bone shaped). I find it keeps my head up straight while not getting between my neck and the seatback. I'm able to easily pack it around my packing cubes in my carryon. Some people say it makes them too warm (a "scarf" wraps around my neck to hold the Trtl in place) but I'm usually cool/cold on planes or can direct an overhead air nozzle at my head to cool off.

Posted by
455 posts

As a window seat gal, I have always been able to sleep reasonably well with the TravelRest (comma-shaped) pillow. On a flight a week ago I slept so soundly with the TravelRest that the flight attendant had to wake me up for breakfast.

I also have a Trtl pillow, which I have not tried on an actual flight yet. I might be more tempted to try the Trtl with an aisle or middle seat.

Posted by
866 posts

If the seat has head wings, I find that does a good enough job. What bothers me is having my head pushed forward, so I buy an inflatable pillow used for neck, back of lumbar. I find the right amount of air and out it behind my neck.

Posted by
6782 posts

I have tried, unsuccessfully, many types including the TRTL, the Bucky, and some weird head strap thing. Still looking. But noting that I have used, in a pinch, a stuff sack, stuffed with my sweater, sweatshirt, soft clothes, etc. And it worked OK.

I'm thinking of trying duct tape across my forehead, taped to the wings.

Posted by
11973 posts

I like the most basic blow-up pillow with one caveat. I want a removable cover that's a washable and comfortable fabric (e.g. polar fleece).

I blow up the pillow part way until it's comfortable for me. Think sleep number bed, you don't have to sleep with it at 100.

I turn it approx. 90 degrees so it supports my chin.

The best thing about a blow-up is when I'm not using it, it doesn't take up much space. I can't imagine carrying around something half the size of my entire carry-on bag.

I use my pillow to sleep on the flight but also when I'm sleeping somewhere with pillows that don't quite get it done.

Posted by
652 posts

I have one I got at TJ Maxx I think, it says "be relax" on it. It's one of those with the little beads so it's bulky but....I just carry it or shove on my personal bag or carry-on. It has a cover which can be washed which is very handy. The other one I got at the same thing time has no removable cover but it has a big snap so I just hook it on my bag. I don't like the feel or noise of blow up ones, though if I found one with a soft removable cover I would try that.

Posted by
41 posts

I have heard that a Cervical Collar is the solution, but I haven't tried it yet.