Do you hate long haul flights? Can’t sleep, can’t get comfortable? Once the flight ends do you have terrible neck ache? Well I’ve recently come across the J Pillow which is seeking to be the best airplane side sleeper pillow for any traveller.
I must admit that until now I’ve never used or bought an airplane pillow.
I’ve often seen people with the donut shaped pillows which we all recognise. The fact they are so prevalent made me think they must work, or at least to some degree.
In over 15 years of frequent flying I’ve always been hit and miss on my sleeping experience and tolerated the airline pillow provided. Whether I’ve flown First Class, Business or Economy there was never any certainty to my sleeping pattern, no matter how tired I was.
Only in February 2015 I was on a long haul Business Class flight to Australia yet somehow arrived with really bad neck ache. It wasn’t until I had my first dose of acupuncture a few days later that I started to feel relief from the discomfort.
More recently I had some long haul trips planned. For one reason or another the only way I could get a seat for the specific flight I wanted was either in economy or premium economy.
One flight was more than 13 hours so I was mindful of the risk of neck ache. In many respects I was dreading it.
So I started researching on Amazon for the best neck pillow for travel. To be honest I only expected to come across a range of doughnut shaped travel pillows since that is what everyone seems to be using.
Yet Amazon kept coming up with the J shaped pillow as a best seller with hundreds of 5 star reviews. Was this the end of my research? Was this the best airplane pillow on the market?
I started reading the reviews and I was pretty quickly convinced.
As I’m sure you are aware, there isn’t much, if any recline on economy class seats so you are sat upright to sleep. This is not ideal.
I’d discovered in the past that this position leaves you prone for your head to fall forward. This puts an unnatural strain on your neck and is a cause for neck ache.
With the U shaped neck pillows they don’t provide support to keep your head upright, only support at the back and sides of your neck.
I wasn’t far into the reviews but I was already sold on the story.
It is little wonder that the J Pillow was the winner of the British Invention of the year in 2013.
Knowing I had a window seat for my forthcoming flight (I tend to prefer window seats for long haul) it was also likely to be the best pillow for side sleepers (that is as I rest on the window/interior wall of the plane beside my seat).
The pillow is also adaptable to suit people sitting in the aisle or middle row seats. With all these sleeping positions covered and the chance to stop a dropping, nodding head I thought this must be the best neck pillow for flying.
I ordered one there and then so I could try it out.
Well I’ve taken at least 4 transatlantic flights with the J Pillow and not suffered a moment from neck ache.
I must admit that at first it took some getting used to. It is a very odd shape. Also since I’m someone not used to a neck pillow for travel it did seem a bit weird at first.
I must admit that initially I was positioning it wrong and started getting into a flummox about how to use it. Yet once I rechecked the “how to use the neck pillow” pictures I found it much better and more comfortable.
My sleeping patterns were patchy throughout. However I certainly wouldn’t blame it on the pillow, more on the idea that I couldn’t lie down.
The J shaped pillow certainly helped to make me a lot more comfortable. I was able to get reasonable amount of sleep on each flight whether I was using it as a side sleeper pillow or as an aisle seat sleeping aid.
The material is soft and comfortable and of quite a reasonable size too. You can squish it down to squeeze it into your packing. I however preferred to use the clip strap and attach it to my carry on bag.
The elephant in the room
Okay, okay I know what you are thinking. I’m thinking it too. You can have a good laugh now.
There is no getting away from the fact that even if this is the best side sleeper pillow in the world the shape of it is, shall we say a little unfortunate. Yes it is a very phallic shape!
Go on, you can laugh, we certainly did. But if that is the price you pay for comfort, a good sleep and no neck ache with the best neck pillow for travel then I will happily accept it.
The best airplane side sleeper pillow available
So what do you think? Are you interested? Could you feel comfortable with a phallic shaped cushion around your neck? (To be honest no one in the airport or on the plane has made a comment about it, not that I’ve heard anyway.)
With this pillow being perfect for the plane, car, train, or a coach journey it has to be the best neck pillow for side sleepers. (Come to think of it, if you have a medical condition which means you have to sleep sitting up it is perfect for you too.)
I find the story quite convincing. Plus with no neck ache to speak of it is doing what I want it to. For me the J Pillow is probably the best airplane side sleeper pillow available.
Note: I paid for my own J Pillow after performing independent research without influence from anyone. This article however does contain some affiliate links which don’t alter the price you pay.