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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
7450 posts

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

Posted by
9341 posts

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

Posted by
763 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
2365 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
1198 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
537 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
42 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
480 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
886 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
7367 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
12006 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
103 posts

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

Posted by
337 posts

i have a memory foam neck pillow with a lovely plush cover. After a few trips, i decided it just takes up too much room in my luggage.. SO NOW I use just the plush cover. I stuff it with my lightweight down jacket, which nearly fills it. I will also stuff it with other soft clothing: scarves, knit shirts, almost anything. the down jacket makes it nice and soft, Then the only extra piece I have is the cover itself.

It's the cat's meow!

Posted by
2156 posts

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

Stan, I laughed so hard at that!

I've been traveling to Europe for years and the only time I've been able to sleep more than just little catnaps is when I flew Business Class. I've tried every kind of inflatable neck pillow there is and nothing works for me.

This time I'm tempted to bring a small pillow filled with down or crushed memory foam and see how that works. There are some on Etsy that are getting good reviews. Either way, I plan to pitch it when I reach my destination. I figure it's worth it to pay $25-30 for something that might help, regardless of the size, and then dispose of it so I don't have to repack it.

Posted by
14474 posts

I usually use the shoulder of the person sitting next to me. If you get a center seat you will have options.

Posted by
178 posts

thanks, JAbbott. How silly no one ever thinks of this! I'll try it out at home.

Posted by
2156 posts

Aimee, thanks! However, after looking at some of the ones on Etsy, I decided to make one. I've been sewing for years so I'll give it a whirl and test it on an upcoming flight to my niece's wedding in the Springs. :)

Posted by
2156 posts

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