On the quest for the best travel pillow ever

I am one of those people who find it nearly impossible to sleep on airplanes. I’ve tried just about everything you can think of to try and get good rest when flying — and I’ve learned that having the best travel pillow is key.

Sleep often doesn’t come naturally to me anyway; if I don’t have near-perfect conditions it’s really challenging for me to fall asleep and stay comfortable. And long-haul flights are one of the least perfect conditions for sleep there are — unless you happen to be in business or first class, which I’ll admit I rarely am.

I do all the suggested things — time adjustments, eating/drinking, sleep aids, etc. — but if I can just get halfway comfortable enough, I have much better luck and not only falling asleep, but staying asleep for more than half an hour at a time. I’ve tried almost every kind of travel pillow out there: the micro-bead, the typical u-shape, inflatable pillows and more. A while back I posted a review of the Eagle Creek travel pillow, which I really like and has been my go-to pillow so far. It’s good, but sometimes I find it a little hard to get it inflated to just the right amount for comfort; I have yet to have found the best travel pillow — until now.

I just discovered something I believe will be revolutionary for me: the Trtl Travel Pillow.

I just stumbled across this a couple of days ago when it sprung up on a search. I was looking for the best pillows like this, but for travel. Apparently, it’s just starting to trend and I checked it out eagerly. What the Trtl does, that most other travel pillows don’t do (at least, none that I’ve ever found) is to actually support your neck. Most of us, myself included, find it really hard to sleep in any sort of upright position, and it quickly makes your neck sore and achy.

The Trtl actually braces your neck, and you can wrap and unwrap it for adjustment. It’s made of a super-soft material that — and this is huge — can be washed in the washing machine. It’s lightweight, and half the size of the typical u-shape pillow.

And it’s been scientifically proven to work.

This is big to me as well. It’s why I practice good sleep hygiene at home, and why I have a white noise sound machine by my bed.

The Trtl Pillow was independently tested by the Institute of Motion Analysis and Research (IMAR) at the University of Dundee. Headed by Professor Rami Abboud of the University of Dundee, the project undertook a detailed head-to-head study between Trtl Pillow and a traditional top-of-the-range u-shaped travel pillow, to examine scientifically the benefits of this new concept using motion analysis to measure the effects of the head and neck posture over a period of time on healthy subjects.

Trtl Pillow was tested in a simulated aircraft seating environment constructed within IMAR’s laboratory and provided scientific proof that it keeps your head in a better position for sleeping upright. 9/10 of participants chose the Trtl Pillow over the traditional memory foam u-shaped travel pillow. (More information can be read on The Innovation Portal.)

After doing a lot of research on this, I can’t wait to try the Trtl, and I’m hoping it really will be the best travel pillow I’ve ever tried. I’ve ordered one and am looking forward to testing it out on a flight I have coming up in two weeks, which I’m dreading. The longest flight I’ve ever taken (which up to now has been about 13 hours): a 15-and-a-half hour flight from the US to Sydney.

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