Not all travel pillows are created the same

Whether traveling by car or plane a neck pillow can make all the difference as to how you feel once you arrive at your destination. Shopping for the perfect neck support while sleeping initially seems effortless, but not according to TRAVEL + LEISURE which tested 17 different types of neck pillows.

While lack of sleep on a journey is problematic it is not the worst thing that can happen while trying to slumber in the upright position. When the neck is hyperextended for too long a period of time a neck sprang can occur which can take days to heal. A neck pillow can keep the head from bending to far in any direction and prevent this painful event.

Advertisements would have travelers believe the neck pillow they are promoting is the only one that works well, but really that is a industry disguise. According to TRAVEL + LEISURE there are four aspects to be considered before purchasing a travel pillow.

The pillow report, put out by the 83 year old magazine, included aspects such as “public shame potential” and “portability during travel,” in addition to the basic “support” and “comfort.” While public shame as a category may seem silly to some, realistically slumber places us in one of the most vulnerable situations around strangers. No one wants a pillow that gives so little support that they could find themselves sleeping on the shoulder of a stranger in the seat next to them.

The tests that were conducted also considered the breathability of the fabric and how warm the pillow became during use. One major complaint was getting to warm or sweating when using certain types of fabric. Another consideration was how well the pillow was able to stay in the desired spot once it was placed in position.

Pillows with memory foam often achieve higher ratings than the inflatable ones or those filled with microbeads. A major drawback of the inflatable type, no matter how comfortable, is the possibility of deflating.

One of the newer pillows on the market is the Trtl Pillow. It is designed to wrap around the neck like a scarf and secures with Velcro. It has an internal wire frame to give the needed neck support. It ranked number three on the TRAVEL + LEISURE report. For a full report go to

As with any purchase it is always best to seek reviews from more than one source for a well-rounded opinion. 

— Marla Ballard’s Master of Disguise normally appears in the Times-Journal Wednesday editions.

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