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The Comfort of a Neck Pillow

cabeau- evolution neck pillow
Neck Pillows are a necessity, to make travel more comfortable. I have brought a bulky sweater and rolled it into a ball, trying to squish it into just the right position under my head on a seven-hour flight. I have also expected that I would still be given a blanket and pillow on long flights, and been greatly disappointed. The pillows that are almost never given out anymore are flat and the blankets are so light, small and thin they are practically useless.I need my sleep, especially when I travel, I plan out exactly how many hours I should expect to get and try to make myself as comfortable as possible so I’m alert and focused when I get to my destination. I have tried many kinds of neck pillows, and the one repeating factor is…. There is no right answer.

Neck pillows are such a personal choice, it may take you 30 minutes or more to find a pillow based on your size and how you sleep on a plane. To give you an idea of what you’ll be shopping for, consider both INFLATABLE and NON-INFLATABLE types of pillows. *Inflatable neck pillows are compact and can be stored inside a small pouch or pocket of a suitcase “just in case”. They expand to the size of a standard neck pillow when you use the breath from your mouth to blow it up, similar to a beach ball. *Non-Inflatable neck pillows are already at their maximum size, they don’t need to be expanded and are ready to be used with no effort expressed.

A non-inflatable neck pillow can be more comfortable to use and has less of a plastic feel to it. There are different types like memory foam, which is heavy and bulky but will give you the most structure around your neck. Foam beads or synthetic down, feathers, or buckwheat pillows are other options and the nice thing about them is you can push the filling to one side of the pillow to another to give a softer, thinner or thicker more supportive feel. I suggest finding one that suits your sleeping style. I nod my head to the front when I sleep so I prefer a more structured pillow that hugs around the front of the neck. My favourite one has a clip at the chin, like the Cabeau Evolution Pillow. I use a reusable grocery bag to carry the pillow through the airport, it keeps it clean and allows me to use my luggage for more important things. This particular pillow compressed to half its size and can be stored in the carry case it comes with, but I don’t bother fussing with that myself.

With an inflatable pillow, you will only want to blow it up part way so it doesn’t pop with the pressure on the airplane. There are many varieties of neck pillows; to be able to find one that is the most comfortable for your sleep style. Design go has an inflatable pillow with no inflation behind the neck, so it gives great side support if you find that your chair is pushing your head forward already. (I don’t have an issue with this because I’m so short!). Cabeau makes an evolution pillow that can snap closed at the front and has extra height to give that added support if you like to sleep with your head upright. When I’m limited for space, that’s my choice. A big trend that I continue to see in neck pillows are inflatable pillows with large valves. Instead of blowing 100 breaths into a small beach-ball valve sized hole, there is a large round hole that you can blow 3 breaths into and voila! a pillow is formed. This eliminates you looking hilarious for 20 minutes trying to inflate a pillow.Fashion Imports, make a super cozy large valve inflatable pillow that hugs around the neck perfectly, supporting everywhere you would need support.

For car travel, there is this great new type of pillow that has the option of going from a U-Shape to a square pillow shape in one slide of a zipper. It’s pretty amazing that one pillow can offer car travel comfort in a U-Shape and then going camping, you can have a small but comfortable square pillow. I have used this pillow lounging on the couch at my in-laws’ house, and then as my husband drives the 5 hours’ home, I get a nice power nap, with the U-Shaped pillow. This type is also great if you get a sore lower back, it can give you that added support when you’re not sleeping yet on an airplane.

Do you have a favourite style of travel pillow? Have you figured out the most comfortable way to get some sleep on a flight? Comment Below.

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