How to Use a Travel Pillow

Travel pillows are becoming more and more popular not only among those who love hiking and camping. Today, this pillow can also be seen on the necks of air passengers, but it also comes in handy if you decide to take a nap in the car or while sitting on the couch in front of the TV.

5-Minute Crafts would like to give you some tips on how to use a travel pillow depending on your position and the place you’re choosing to rest in.

The types of travel pillows

If you’re choosing a travel pillow, pay attention to the following characteristics.

  • Types: Apart from pillows that are attached to the neck, there are models that support the head or the torso, from the waist to the head. The 2 types still come in different variations and shapes.
  • Shape: In addition to pillows in the shape of the letters “c” and “n,” there are many other designs developed for specific needs or related to certain functions of the pillow itself. For example, there is a flat pillow that resembles a scarf — it creates a frame that supports the position of the neck and chin, allowing you to sleep comfortably with your head tilted to one side. Or there’s a J-shaped pillow, which is designed to support your head, neck, and chin at the same time.
  • Materials and the cover: These characteristics affect how well and for how long the pillow retains its shape, as well as whether it can be machine washed or dry cleaned only. It’s most convenient if the entire pillow can be cleaned with water or washed. If this isn’t possible, then a removable cover will be quite useful. If you wish, you can make it yourself from a suitable material that is pleasant to the touch (like fleece or corduroy).
  • The filler: It can determine the capabilities of the pillow. For example, a memory foam filler adjusts to your body and helps you relax.

✅ Tip: If you need a pillow that takes up minimal space, look at the inflatable models. Such a model is not really good for a long sleep session, but it can be a great choice for short flights.

A rectangular inflatable pillow is unlikely to be suitable for sleeping en route, but you can lean on it if you choose to take a nap in a horizontal position.

Tip: Before purchasing a pillow, try to test it by simulating the situations in which you intend to use it. For example, place a chair with its back against the wall, put a pillow around your neck, and sit on the chair. Do you feel comfortable when there is a solid base behind you that your body rests on?

How to use a travel pillow the right way

Most people attach a pillow to their neck so that it supports the back of the neck. But in practice, the head begins to tilt down because of it, where there is no support, and as a result, you feel uncomfortable and even pain in your back and neck. It’s not easy to fall asleep or just relax in this position.

It’s much more comfortable to turn the pillow in a way that it supports the neck in front of you and doesn’t let the head bend down. At the same time, the back of the seat will support your neck and head from behind.

If you feel more comfortable sleeping on your side, place the pillow over your arm so that its most voluminous part is on your shoulder. It’s best to sleep like that if you are sitting by the window, which will create support for the pillow so that it’s secured and doesn’t become flat under the weight of your head.

Perhaps you’re used to sleeping on your stomach, and it will be more comfortable for you to place a pillow on the table in front of you so that you can put your hands and head on it. An n-shaped pillow is perfect for this, especially if it has slightly elongated edges. If so, your forehead and cheeks will be on the pillow, and your face will be in the space between the edges.

Tip: Some pillows are designed to be attached to the seatbelt, while others can be attached to the seat in front or behind you. And for extra back comfort in the lumbar area during long journeys, a lumbar support pillow will help to keep your spine in a natural position.

Bonus: Turn your travel pillow into another handbag.

There are some pillows from which you can remove the inner part that contains filler before washing. This feature can be used when traveling by plane if you have excess luggage. Simply remove the inner part and put your folded clothes inside. This way, you’ll save some space in your luggage and have the room to take extra items.

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