Neck pillows for air travel - are they useful?

While travelling recently I noticed how many people carry a memory foam neck pillow. They seem rather bulky to lug around, and they don’t look particularly comfortable when people are using them on the aeroplane. Just wondering about others experience with these, especially on long-haul flights - are they comfortable and worth shlepping around, or just a fad?

Thanks!

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Welcome to the community @michelle5

We’ve used inflatable versions. Sleeping on a long haul flight? I too wonder, but more about all the other problems. Time zones, meal times, noisy fellow travellers all create their own challenges.

No need for memory foam if a pump up which can be deflated and fit into a pocket meets the same need. I’m a yes to any type, if that is all it takes to get an extra 30 mins of rest.

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Welcome to the COmmunity @michelle5

Preferences and comfort are personal and what works for any individual is going to work for them, not necessarily anyone else. That is one reason there are so many products on the market purporting to make travel more comfortable.

Neither I nor my partner find any of the neck pillows helpful or even comfortable. Some people obviously love them.

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Same here - I’ve tried both inflatable and memory foam ones, and didn’t find either type at all usable. My significant other can sleep anywhere, in any position, so doesn’t need one!

My recommendation, @michelle5: borrow one if you can, and try it out while sitting watching TV. If you don’t find it uncomfortable, it might be useful to you on a plane.

I agree with @mark_m that the inflatables would be more convenient to carry.

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I’ve tried many… the current is as useful as a bicycle is to a fish. Its full of polystyrene beads. Luckily (or not) I can’t travel anymore.

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Thanks all.
As I thought, not everyone likes these cushions, which was my experience with an inflatable one years ago - gave me an acute sore neck.
Good idea to borrow one (of the newer types) and try it out at home, thanks.
And yes, there are a myriad reasons that make it hard to sleep on an aeroplane, so I guess a neck pillow won’t be a silver bullet. Some people are just lucky they can sleep anywhere, including sitting up!

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I use a foam type one & it definitely does help me avoid a stiff neck. to a degree. Wouldn’t say it’s particularly comfortable though. I have had a minor neck injury so if that has any bearing I’m not sure. But I skeptically believe there has to be something better, more comfortable, more compact …

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I tried one years ago and found it uncomfortable as it pushed my neck/head forward. However, when I sleep on the aircraft my head falls forward and becomes uncomfortable, so now I use the neck pillow but with the bulk in front, and I find it stops my head falling forward, is quite comfortable and stops me getting a stiff neck.

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On my travels I carry an inflatable u shaped neck rest, it folds flat in my cabin bag and a few puffs of air inflates it nicely. But I often wake up and find it has gone flat again…as I have no problems sleeping anytime anywhere I can’t tell how long it has taken to deflate…but I suspect a leaking air tube. The memory foam neck pillows might be bulky to carry but more dependable?

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We bought ‘First Class Sleepers’ a decade ago and they have served well on long hauls with reasonable seat pitch, but are impractical on the short haul and knee in your face seating increasingly common on budget (and non-budget) airlines. As with most of these products there is a love or hate and everything in-between review pattern.

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I’ve flown a lot and do find that neck pillows help. I’ve tried a few types and find the inflatable ones the best. The trick is to under inflate them so that you can still just have your neck flat against the seat.

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Spent 12 years FIFO as an international road warrior and never used one. Long haul on a good carrier you can usually ask for a real pillow. Short haul you don’t need one.

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