On a lengthy journey, a nice travel cushion may make a difference. Ideally, the pillow will support your neck or body so you can relax even on cramped, uncomfortable airplane journeys. Choose a pillow that suits your sleep and experiment with different positions to find the most comfortable one.
Unfortunately, most people don’t use them correctly to maximize comfort. But we’re on a mission to solve this problem and answer the question of how to wear a travel pillow.
Before figuring out how to wear a travel pillow, you should get a comprehensive preparation. We have concluded 4 steps as follows!
Neck pillows usually don’t come in different sizes, so the only way to know if they are comfortable is to try them on. If possible, wear the pillow before you buy it, or keep the receipt and try it on before you travel. The material shouldn’t pinch or bruise your neck, and you shouldn’t have to strain it to lay your head on it.
Inflatable travel pillows are a convenient way to save space when traveling. Inflatable pillows require air to be blown into a tube before being used. When you’re done, seal the air tube by shutting the lid.
Even when deflated, body pillows take up more space than neck pillows. The more space you have in your luggage and seats, the more comfortable you’ll be with a pillow. Pillows vary, but some may be as long and wide as your torso.
Body pillows usually work best when they rest against your legs or shoulders. Wearing loose, comfortable clothing will help ensure the cushion does not compress your body. If you tend to feel overheated, avoid having the pillow make you even hotter by wearing loose, breathable clothing.
Cover the pillow with a T-shirt or scarf to make it softer. Some neck pillows, especially the cheaper inflatable ones, are plastic and may have a less comfortable surface. Cover the pillow with a thin, soft piece of clothing, such as a T-shirt or light-colored scarf, to make it more comfortable. You can also purchase a removable pillow cover.
Placing a pillow around your neck Most U-shaped neck pillows fit around the back of your neck with the opening above your throat. Some travel pillows will also have straps that go through the opening to hold it in place. Without a U shape, your pillow may be meant to rest in the space between your shoulders and head instead of under your neck.
A cushion that is not U-shaped may be intended to be wedged between the head and shoulders. This type restricts the direction of rest for your head, so it’s best for sleepers who don’t change positions often.
Since the U-shaped travel pillow is designed to support your head as it tilts back, recline your seat slightly for a more comfortable sleeping position. Remember to watch the passenger behind you and not move your seat too far.
If you’re traveling by air, day or night, there are bound to be electronic lights. Wearing a sleep mask to keep out light may help you get some shut-eye. The Manta Sleep Mask is a great option for blocking out all sunlight and artificial light.
Try rotating your U-shaped neck pillow to support your chin when you tilt your head forward. If your travel pillow fits over your shoulders, try switching shoulders to find the best position for you.
If you tend to sleep on your back, you may find that leaning forward is more natural than tilting. Try placing a travel pillow on a small tabletop and resting your head on it.
Do you know what is the right way to wear it? Never mind. We will explain the styles to you with their own advantages and drawbacks! Keep scrolling and figure them out.
The traditional position involves placing the neck pillow behind your neck, with most of the pillow supporting the cervical spine (i.e., your neck).
This position keeps the neck neutral, which can be beneficial if your cervical spine is properly aligned and you don’t have specific neck problems. Here are the pros and cons of the traditional position.
|1. Provides support and helps maintain a neutral cervical spine alignment.
2. Can help relieve muscle tension and strain in the neck and upper back.
3. Suitable for most people with no specific neck condition.
|1. May not provide adequate support if you have certain neck conditions, such as herniated discs or cervical radiculopathy.
2. This may not be the most effective position if you snore or have sleep apnea.
The opposite position involves wearing a neck pillow with most of the pillow in front, supporting the chin and jaw. This is a common posture for those who snore or have trouble breathing while asleep. Here are the pros and cons of the opposite position:
|1. Helps prevent the jaw from drooping during sleep, which improves airway clearance and reduces snoring.
2. Provides support for the jaw, which may benefit people with temporomandibular joint (TMJ), which means they often clench their jaws during sleep.
|1. May not provide enough support for the cervical spine, leading to neck misalignment and strain if you have an injury or neck weakness.
2. Not suitable for people with pre-existing neck conditions or needing specific neck support.
3. May be uncomfortable if you have breathing or snoring problems.
The over-the-shoulder position is where the neck pillow is worn on one shoulder, supporting the side of the neck.
Suppose you lean to one side and sit in a center or aisle seat. Using this position while upright makes sense. Here are the pros and cons of the over-the-shoulder position.
|1. Provides support for the neck’s side, helping maintain alignment and reduce stress.
2. Great if you prefer to sleep in a semi-upright or side-lying position (e.g., while traveling).
|1. May not provide enough support for the entire cervical spine, so be careful if you have upper back problems.
2. Not an ideal position if you suffer from certain neck conditions, such as herniated discs or cervical spondylosis.
Finally, we come to the real way to wear a travel pillow: the front position.
This position involves wearing the neck pillow on the front of your neck, similar to a scarf. It is perfect for providing gentle support and warmth to your neck area.
If you have a specific neck condition or need strong support for your neck, one of the above positions may be better. But it’s great for most people.
|1. The front position provides gentle wrapping support for the neck area, similar to a scarf.
2. This provides a subtle sense of comfort and warmth to help you feel comfortable traveling.
3. If you’re having trouble winding down or sleeping because of stress, this may help.
|1. The front position may provide less support for the neck than other positions. It may not adequately address specific neck conditions or provide the same level of alignment as other positions.
2. If you need a lot of support or have neck pain or injury, choosing another position, such as a traditional or reverse position, is often more advisable.
Traveling is as much about the journey as it is about the destination. The more comfortable your trip, the happier you’ll be when you arrive. Knowing how to wear a travel pillow makes any journey more enjoyable. Upgrading your airfare can be expensive, but it’s an upgrade worth every penny.
Mary, before becoming the founder of Lavrobi, had two years of marketing experience and has a unique approach to how to tell stories and share experiences. The insights she shares touch on all aspects of life, from decorating to job advice, all designed to inject positivity into everyday life.