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lori Sep 28th, 2001 09:10 AM

Airplane Travel Pillows- worth it?
Hi - just wondering if anyone has anything to say about those U-shaped travel pillows that are suppose to support your head and neck for sleeping or resting while you are in a plane or I suppose in a car. We have a long flight to Europe and were wondering if they were worth the money and hassle of carrying? Any thoughts on them would be great. <BR>Thanks

s.fowler Sep 28th, 2001 09:35 AM

The inflatable ones take no room at all, but are a bit bouncy for my tastes. I swear by "Bucky" -- filled with wheat something or other. You can move the stuff around and customize it's shape a bit. It *does* take up space, although it's pretty malleable.

Nancy Sep 28th, 2001 09:59 AM

Personally, I don't like them. They give me headaches from putting my head in an angle that hurts my neck. I would try a cheap one out at home first. <BR>

Susan Sep 28th, 2001 10:09 AM

I love my pillow. It is one of those cheaper inflatable ones and obviously it's not as comfortable as my down pillows at home, but it sure helps on a long flight. I'm short and I find the headrest always hits me at the wrong spot. I bought my pillow before we flew to Greece and it was definitely worth it.

Joanne Sep 28th, 2001 10:09 AM

I have found that you can roll up one of those flimsy airlne blankets and get just about the same effect, and more adjustable.

Richard Sep 28th, 2001 10:10 AM

lori, Three essentials on our overnight trips to Europe: inflatable neck pillow, eye shades and ear plugs.

scigirl Sep 28th, 2001 11:17 AM

I never found the travel pillows at all useful - and tried both a bucky and an inflatable pillow. My husband likes the bucky, though, so they do work for some people. On recent Delta, American, and United flights the seats in coach had a headrest that was adjustable. The sides of the headrest could be pulled forward to support the head and neck. (A little hard to explain.) I thought this was much better than a travel pillow and was able to sleep on a plane for the first time in my life. So - you may luck out with one of these new headrests and not need a travel pillow at all.

adams Sep 28th, 2001 11:21 AM

The thing about the u-shaped pillows is that they can support your head while you're in a sitting-up position. Then if you sleep, your head does not loll around so much.

john g Sep 28th, 2001 11:26 AM

I just sit near the window and prop my airline pillow between my head and the wall. Works just as well as one of those buckwheat pillows. Now, my friend, Sally, swears by those sleeping helmut thingies. She says they block out all light and sound and are padded for comfort. I don't know if I would have the nerve to look like a sleeping Darth Vader on a plane, however.

mimi taylor Sep 28th, 2001 11:30 AM

Hi Lori, I prefer a baby's down pillow, unfortunately I forgot one on the previous flight.

KT Sep 28th, 2001 01:11 PM

For what it's worth, I like my cheap little inflatable pillow. My head tips to the side when I fall asleep sitting up (the better for the drool to drain, I suppose :-) ) and without the pillow I end up with a stiff neck. I under-inflate it slightly, which makes it less bouncy and more comfortable. I tried one of those little stuffed curve ones and ended up giving it away -- it kept falling off my shoulders and it took up too much space to carry.

Comfy Sep 28th, 2001 01:40 PM

I think it is easier to take your sweater and put it folded up on your shoulders behind your head, then you can manouver it around to get it just right to support your head, then the guy next to you will want to use the restroom and you have to start all over again. <BR>Ah, the good old days when we all thought that was the only thing we would have to worry about on a plane.

peter Sep 28th, 2001 01:45 PM

if you are 5-8 or shorter and are flying a 330 airbus then the pillow can be a lifesaver. the head rest is at a very baad angle for shorter people. the inflatible pillow seems to correct the worst of this plus provide some stability from side to side movements.

pam Sep 28th, 2001 02:08 PM

I got a hybrid travel pillow and loved it on my last trip to Europe. It is basically a down-padded pillowcase (with anti-microbial something or other on the interior layer--more on this later) which folds up into the size of a normal travel pillow. Because it's down filled, I stuck in behind my neck and the down moved out to the ends to keep my head from flopping either direction. It was great. The thing is made to fill with the hotel pillow for more padding/protection from dust mites, etc. I think I ordered it from (but I just looked and don't see it on their website anymore).

Thyra Sep 28th, 2001 03:16 PM

I never slept on a flight until I got one of those inflatable pillow, now I won't travel without one.

bettyk Sep 28th, 2001 05:52 PM

Lately, I have been reading about all the nasty little critters that live on airplane blankets and pillows (I don't think the airlines clean them that often) so I would be inclined to take my own pillow just to avoid using theirs!

Mary Sep 28th, 2001 06:34 PM

I really like the inflatable pillows but I always manage to break the seal. What am I doing wrong? They fit my neck great, but I got sick of them leaking after a couple of uses so I switched to a bean filled cheapie from Walmart. Its flannel, and scruches up pretty well, but not as comfy as the inflatables.

uncomfortable Sep 28th, 2001 06:54 PM

I've been thinking of trying a pillow. <BR> <BR> But the thing that keeps me from sleeping on a plane (aside from the headrest pushing my head FORWARD -- who designed these things?) is the length of the seat. It's too short for my knees, and I can only get comfortable if I fit my carry-on under my knees.... any products that help with this???

Al Sep 28th, 2001 07:04 PM

We are facing a flight from America to Saigon, so please don't give me any static about the puddle-jumper short flight to Europe. We have found that if you half-inflate one of those rubberized fabric inflatable pillows they are more comfortable. Fully inflate them and they feel they are choking you while you work up a sweat from their fuzzy fabric. I have often wondered if taking a small towel and rolling it up might be more comfortable. In any case, almost anything is more comfortable than no neck-support at all.

Janine Sep 29th, 2001 05:35 PM

I'll add my vote for the neck pillow. I find it the only way to get any sleep whilst sitting in an upright position. And also helps avoid arriving with a stiff neck. They are not that expensive and take up very little room in your hand luggage.

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