Susan Michelle's Compass
Can”™t Sleep On A Plane? Maybe You Haven”™t Tried These”¦
By Susan Michelle
Mar 14, 2009 - 7:57:25 PM

Remember when the only pillows found on airplanes were the crappy, washcloth-sized, tissue-paper-encased ones issued by the airlines themselves? Eventually, some inventor realized droopy-lidded flyers might like a more comfortable form of flight cushioning, and the U-shaped travel pillow was born.

Since then, about the only changes that have been made to this design have been inflatable versus stuffed, gray versus color and more padding versus less”¦until now, that is. Suddenly, there are a million alternatives to the old-school, blow-up “U.” Are these new designs any better than the original?  Decide for yourself:

TRAVELREST TRAVEL PILLOW: This apostrophe-shaped, inflatable pillow stretches across your torso like a seat belt and tethers to the back of your seat by a strap—thereby giving you secure cushioning to lean against, cuddle or keep you from slumping forward when asleep.  $26.95;

REST ASSURED TRAVEL NOOK: Imagine a horizontal oval sliced in half and pushed apart, with a flat strap connecting the two sides.  The strap goes behind your head, and half a blown-up oval fits around each side of your head, rather than your neck.  Nice bonus: an oversized valve that makes inflating and deflating easier than ever.  $19.99;

SNOOZER TRAVEL PILLOWS: From British-based “Design Go,” the basic “Snoozer” has a flat part that goes behind the head (similar to the Travel Nook’s strap, but bigger) and inflatable sides still shaped like those in the classic “U.” Also comes in a furry “Snuggy Snoozer” version, and lavender-scented aromatherapy “Aroma Snoozer” version. $11.75-21.40;

RELEAF NECK REST: This neck-brace-looking support cushion claims to keep sleeping travelers from doing the “chin flop” forward.  $19.99;

SKYREST TRAVEL PILLOW: Picture a sort-of big, inflatable triangle-cube that rests on your lap.  Wrap your arms around it, set your hands in the pocket on the back, and simply lay your head down, like resting your head on your desk.  $29.95;

1ST CLASS SLEEPER: For really long flights, forget a simple head pillow and go with a cushion that seemingly transforms your entire seat into a bed-like experience by putting your body into a straighter body alignment, like when lying down.  $29.95;

OBUS FORME TRAVEL PILLOW: The Obus Forme ups the padding on the sides of the “U,” snaps closed in front and comes in inflatable OR memory foam versions. For those that prefer window seats, they also have a “Side Sleeper” that sits on one shoulder, giving a side rest for your head and chin.  $7.95-25.95;

ZOOBIE: Aimed at the kiddies, this is a super-soft stuffed animal that unfolds to become a pillow and blanket.  $24.95 and up;

KRITTER PILLERS: Another kid-friendly travel companion, this polyester fiber-filled “U” pillow has an adorable stuffed animal head on one end.  $12.95;

BUCKY: One of the first travel pillow makers to replace inflatable air with actual stuffing. In this case, it is buckwheat-hull-filling.  They now also have furry versions, mini versions, and even their own asymmetrical inflatable version—but all are still the classic “U” shape.  $19.95-29.95;


About the Author: A former Hollywood producer and now 2nd-generation travel professional, Susan Michelle travels the planet as the “face” of the fashion-forward Compass travel lifestyle brand. Travel questions? Write her at

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