Bring your own pillow if you’re flying

  • By Elissa Leibowitz Poma / The Washington Post
  • Saturday, April 16, 2005 9:00pm
  • LifeGo-See-Do

American and Delta airlines announced that they’re eliminating pillows on most flights. While that may reduce the transmission of germs embedded in the purse-size puffs, many fliers still want a place to rest their head. One solution: Bring your own. Here’s how six travel pillows measure up.

Mood Bolster Pillow (800-820-6126, and Austin House Perfect Pillow/Squeezable (800-523-5029). $12.50.

What: Smushable pillows filled with minuscule beads.

Pros: Has satinlike covers in explosive colors like raspberry and lime green. Nice for people who prefer ultra-soft pillows over firm ones. Available in neck, contour and lumbar pillows.

Cons: Doesn’t give much support, particularly if you use it as a neck pillow. Though small, pillows can’t be compressed too well into carry-on bags.

Eagle Creek Comfort Travel Pillow (800-962-4943, $15.

What: An affordable, inflatable neck pillow covered in short-ply washable fleece.

Pros: Our favorite among the many inflatable neck pillows available. Inflates in just three breaths and deflates easily. Folds into a built-in pocket a little larger than a passport. Opening large enough for most neck sizes.

Cons: Not many, except common problem with inflatables: When cabin pressure changes, so could the air in the pillow, making it too tight or too slack.

PB Blanket/Pillow Case (305-444-7595, $16.95.

What: A blanket that folds and slides into a pillow case.

Pros: The cozy coverlet in baby-soft fleece is a good size for a plane seat. Folds up easily and slips right into the pillow case. Comes with an eye mask.

Cons: Since the blanket constitutes the pillow’s guts, you can’t use both pillow and blanket at the same time. Pillow case is made of that odd not-quite-paper/not-quite-fabric hybrid that airlines also use.

Bare Essentials Pillow Coat (925-631-6878). $240.

What: A pillow that unsnaps into a chic women’s rain coat.

Pros: Coat folds into itself without effort – no spare pillow case to lose, nor complicated folding instructions – and snaps closed, to size of laptop. Jacket’s comfy inside lining creates the outside of the pillow case. Waterproof material is impermeable to drool.

Cons: As a pillow, it’s flat and dense and doesn’t give much support. That’s a lot of money to pay for a pillow.

Travel Essentials Auto Neck Rest (800-523-5029). $21.95.

What: A battery-operated massager that straps around a plane seat’s head rest.

Pros: For those who suffer from neck, shoulder or upper-back discomfort, the 10-inch-long tubular bolster could make for as restful a flight as using a pillow. Has two speeds and fits easily around a head rest with an elastic band.

Cons: With a whirring motor in your ear (particularly at the higher setting), you might feel as if you were sitting on the plane’s engine.

Snuggl’up pillow (305-705-1608, $25.

What: A pillow for children, invented by a mom who cut up a pair of silky maternity shorts to make a pillow for her son.

Pros: No tiny beads or pellets within – the Snuggl’up is filled with worry-free polyfiber fill blend and can go in the washing machine. Even finicky kids can find a fave design among the 30 patterns.

Cons: A bit large (around the length of a baguette) and difficult to stuff in a small carry-on.

Talk to us

More in Life

Ash was rescued along with Dexter, just before his euthanasia date. (Luisa Loi / Whidbey News-Times)
Whidbey Island woman rescues 300 German shepherds

“Can I save them all? No,” Renee Carr, of Oak Harbor said. “But I’m gonna try my hardest.”

The 2023 Infiniti QX80 has standard rear-wheel drive and optional four-wheel drive available on all models. (Infiniti)
2023 Infiniti QX80 is powerful and posh

A mighty V8 engine does the work while a luxurious interior provides the pleasure.

Artist Michelle Downes prepares to work on a few canvases in her garage workspace on Thursday, July 6, 2023, at her family’s home in Stanwood, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Stanwood artist Michelle Downes creates layered dreamscapes in resin

Resin is one part chemistry and one part artistry. Downes combines the two to make art that captures the imagination.

Kotor's zigzagging town wall rewards climbers with a spectacular view. (Cameron Hewitt / Rick Steves' Europe)
Rick Steves: Just south of Dubrovnik lies unpolished Montenegro

One of Europe’s youngest nations offers dramatic scenery, locals eager to show off their unique land, and a refreshing rough-around-the-edges appeal.

Dark gray wheels and black exterior accents provide extra visual appeal for the 2024 Subaru Impreza’s RS trim. (Subaru)
2024 Subaru Impreza loses a little, gains a lot

The brand’s compact car is fully redesigned. A couple of things are gone, but many more have arrived.

TSR image for calendar
Music, theater and more: What’s happening in Snohomish County

This weekend in Snohomish: The Snohomish Blues Invasion and the Snohomish Studio Tour 2023.

Made by Bruce Hutchison, the poster for “A Momentary Diversion on the Road to the Grave” is an homage to 1985 classic “The Goonies.” (Photo provided)
Indie film premiering on Whidbey Island

Filmed almost entirely on Whidbey Island, “A Momentary Diversion on the Road to the Grave” is set to premiere in Langley.

TSR image only
Does your elementary school child have ADHD?

It’s important to identify children with this condition so we can help them succeed in school.

This photo provided by OceanGate Expeditions shows a submersible vessel named Titan used to visit the wreckage site of the Titanic. In a race against the clock on the high seas, an expanding international armada of ships and airplanes searched Tuesday, June 20, 2023, for the submersible that vanished in the North Atlantic while taking five people down to the wreck of the Titanic. (OceanGate Expeditions via AP)
A new movie based on OceanGate’s Titan submersible tragedy is in the works: ‘Salvaged’

MindRiot announced the film, a fictional project titled “Salvaged,” on Friday.

Most Read