Detailed instructions on factors you need to consider when buying a travel pillow
So you've got a journey coming up and you have decided to get yourself a Travel Pillow. There are a myriad of choices in the Market. Are you are confused about which one to buy? Well, you have come to the right place. We will tell you how to go about choosing the best travel pillow for long haul flights.
The right Travel Pillow can ensure that you arrive at your destination refreshed, relaxed and rearing to have fun right instead of sleepy and with a pain in the neck.
But how do you know what's the best travel pillow for long haul flights. A simple search online will throw a plethora of options at you. There are pillows in the shape of almost every alphabet in the English Language and then there are a lot of materials to choose from too. Fleece, Polyester, Cotton…you name it.
While there are numerous options in the Market, it is near impossible to do justice to the job of comparing each and every model.
So we are going to stick to the Standard U-Shaped Travel Pillow. It is quite popular. among travellers and must be for a reason. Here is what it looks like.
Let us talk some Fundamentals
A Travel Pillow serves 2 basic purposes:
Support so that weight of your head and neck is evenly distributed.
Comfort so that you have a sound sleep.
The 2 essentials for Long Haul Journeys in a seated position.
To put it more plainly, a good pillow should not only feel good while using (Comfort), but also make sure that you do not have neck pain once the journey is complete (Support).
The more softer a pillow is, the more comfort it offers and the more harder a pillow is the more support it offers.
The ideal pillow lies somewhere between these two.
Here are some parameters on which the U Shaped Pillow varies and the pros and cons of each.
The most popular choices when it comes to filling Material are 2 – Micro Bead or Memory Foam.
While Micro Bead pillows are generally cheaper and softer compared to memory foam pillows, they do not offer the support a memory foam pillow offers.
The memory foam pillow adapts to the shape of your neck. It is thus better equipped to evenly distributes the weight of your neck and head. More over they are compressible to half their size and can be easily fit into your bag. Don’t worry, they will spring back to the original shape later.
Here is another thing to consider. The Micro Bead pillow if punctured will have to be discarded as the beads will drop out through the holes.
If support is important to you, the Memory Foam Pillow beats the micro bead pillow hands down.
Our recommendation is to go for the Memory Foam pillow if you can afford it.
Keep the following in mind when choosing a Memory Foam Pillow:
1) Do not go for a pillow that is too soft. This defeats the purpose, as it will offer little support.
2) Go for trusted brands to ensure that the memory foam is of high quality. This is the core of the pillow and this is what you are actually paying for. Cheap Quality Memory Foam is too soft and offers no support. Moreover some dubious brands promise Memory Foam, but actually provide polyester material.
The cover of a Travel Pillow is generally made of velvet material. While velvet material is excellent for cold conditions (air-conditioned areas), it can absorb sweat and cause odour when used in hot weather. If this is an issue for you, go for a pillow that has different material on each side to suit both hot and cold weather.
That said, most of you would be travelling in AC conditions (Flights, Buses, Cars), so a velvet pillow should do fine.
Also it is advisable to go for a pillow that has a cover that is removable and washable.
A loop arrangement on the cover that can be used to attach the pillow onto your bag/ backpack are also quite helpful.
The thickness or height required for the pillow is mostly dependent on the length of your neck. Most pillows available in the market are designed to suit people of all neck sizes. Unless you have an exceptionally long or short neck, this should not be a problem.
One more thing that you may want to consider is that the more thick a pillow is, the larger and heavier it is. So do look into ease of carrying when choosing the pillow.
And that is all the basics you need to know when choosing a U Shaped Travel Pillow. We hope you now have a pretty good idea of choosing the best travel pillow for neck and shoulder comfort.