In an ideal world, we'd all be able to fly first class and get eight hours of sleep before we reach our destination. The reality? We're sat bolt upright for 8 hours whilst we repeatedly jolt awake with an armrest in our backs and our necks welded to our shoulders. There is, however, help. There are now a host of comfort-inducing travel pillows available that might take the sting out of long haul flights and save your neck at the same time.
Here are our favourite travel pillows:
The Trtle Travel Pillow
This award-winning piece of kit provides proper technical neck support that’s ergonomically shaped into the curve of your neck and chin and acts almost like you’re resting on an invisible hand. All wrapped in a hypoallergenic fleece lining, it wraps around your neck like a scarf in order to support your head and neck in a comfortable position when sleeping. Half the weight of traditional U-shaped neck pillows, it is also small enough to fit into your hand luggage.
The Go.Travel Ultimate 2.0 Travel Pillow
This pillow is a revolution in upright sleeping. Designed to mould instantly to the circumference of the neck, it's made of quality memory foam and has a tension strap that wraps around it giving a 360-degree super snug fit so your head and neck feel supported but not uncomfortably so. With an adjustable closure, the chin is supported so there's no neck jolting in whilst you're dreaming, and it also come with a handy carry pouch that keeps it compact in your hand luggage.
Huzi Inifinity Pillow
Described as ‘the best travel pillow ever made’, the Huzi infinity pillow is a long snake-like looped pillow (hence the word Infinity). It’s this shape that makes it multi-functional: you can wrap it around your neck a few times like a scarf to fully support your head and neck (no other support required); you can contort it to fit any space if you are next to the window on plane; you can wrap it around yourself to support your back and you can even twist it around your ears and eyes to cancel noise and light.
The Thermarest Down Pillow
Thermarest specialises in sleep-enhancing products for everyone from car campers to international travellers. With pillow foam sourced from upcycled foam from some of their other products, the result is a filling that packs up really small yet expands big and then rolls away very tightly to tuck into your hand luggage. Perfect for planes, trains or camping under the stars, it can also be used as a proper pillow if you don’t like the look of the ones your hotel has to offer. With various washable pillow covers to choose from it is also available in small (12 x 18”), medium (14 x 18”) and large (16 x 23”) and x large (16.5 x 27”).The J Pillow
Awarded British Invention of the Year, the J Pillow is the brainchild of Gemma Jensen, a former flight attendant who sure knows a thing or two about sleeping on the go. Filled with 3D polyester fibre, it’s supportive but soft – the top of the J wraps around your neck or head depending on how or where you are resting – whilst the downstroke of the J supports down the neck and wraps under your chin. Covered in soft, velveteen, washable material, it can be used anywhere from planes to reading in bed. With its own bag and a loop fastener it can also be attached to your luggage so you won’t risk losing it on the go.