Have Travel Pillows Gone Too Far?


We've all grown used to the classic, U-shaped neck pillow. But these? These are something else. Here are the reasons you might want to try them.

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If You Want to Start a New Neckwear Trend

Trtl Pillow by Trtl, $30, amazon.com.

The Philosophy: A scarf doesn't offer enough neck support. A travel pillow is too bulky. The right option must be a wraparound neck brace.

Best For: People who don't want to lug around an actual pillow.

Is It Cool or Creepy? Cool. This travel tool is actually pretty subtle, and if you have long hair, no one has to know that you're relying on a soft neck brace to sleep—they'll just think you over-wrapped your scarf. 

If You Enjoy Looking Like You Just Got Your Wisdom Teeth Removed

Nod Travel Pillow by Zdoze, $32, indiegogo.com.

The Philosophy: The Nod pillow prevents your head from rolling to the side, so you don't wake up with the worst neckache known to man.

Best For: People who struggle sleeping with their head lolled onto their shoulder—or those who want to avoid sleeping on the person next to them.

Is It Cool or Creepy? Creepy. This pillow forces you to sleep upright, which feels unnatural, at best. Plus, it could get uncomfortable really fast if your car lurches forward or your plane runs into some turbulence.

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If You Just Need a Little Something to Lean On

NapAnywhere, $59, napanywhere.net.

The Philosophy: Traditional pillows might be best suited for travelers who either have aisle seats or window seats—not those in the middle. NapAnywhere helps you nod off to the side while still supporting your neck.

Best For: Travel pillow traditionalists who need a little extra support.

Is It Cool or Creepy? Cool. First of all, NapAnywhere comes in five colors, so you can personalize your sleeping experience. Also, it's pretty subtle and not that different from a traditional U-shaped pillow, so you don't have to feel self-conscious about it.

If You Can't Quite Decide How to Sleep

Face Cradle, $89, facecradle.me.

The Philosophy: The Face Cradle can be used in five different modes to suit all sleeping styles.

Best For: People who toss and turn in their sleep.

Is It Cool or Creepy? Creepy. The Face Cradle seems like a normal pillow—until you actually use it as a literal face cradle. Then it just seems kind of dangerous.

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If You Just Want Something You Can Gently Caress

Travelrest, $30, amazon.com.

The Philosophy: When sleeping on cars, trains, or planes, you really only need to cushion one side of your body—so why not make one long, blow-up cushion?

Best For: People who need to hold on to something—or someone—while sleeping.

Is It Cool or Creepy? Creepy. Consider this the travel pillow equivalent of a body pillow. Body pillows are great to spoon with in the comfort of your own home, but do you really want to do it in public?

If You Really, Really Love Bow Ties

SkyDreamer, $49, kickstarter.com.

The Philosophy: Most travel pillows are worn around the back of your neck, but they can be much more effective if they're worn around the front of your neck.

Best For: People who want to sleep upright.

Is It Cool or Creepy? Creepy. OK, this pillow might be pretty effective—but for some reason, it just seems like something a scary, scary clown would wear.

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If You Have No Problem Claiming the Armrest as Yours

Travel Pillow by JetComfy, $50, amazon.com.

The Philosophy: This pillow acts like an extra hand to cradle your tender head ever so gently.

Best For: People who frequently fall asleep with their head propped in their hand, only to wake up when the blood completely drains out of their hand.

Is It Cool or Creepy? Creepy. Is there anything worse than people who dominate the armrest? This pillow is pretty much a guaranteed way to make your neighbor hate you. 

If You Hate Seeing, Speaking to, or Interacting With People in Any Way

Ostrich Pillow by Studio Banana, $99, ahalife.com.

The Philosophy: Ever wish you could escape from the world and burrow into your own private sleeping hole? The Ostrich Pillow helps you to do just that, sort of.

Best For: People who need complete darkness and silence to fall into a deep, restful slumber.

Is It Cool or Creepy? Cool. What could be more unapologetic than completely hiding your head from the world in order to get a few precious hours of sleep? This pillow requires a lot of confidence and a total disregard for how you look—and that is cool.

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