I am not a fan of sleeping on planes. Or in public. But sometimes, one has to do these things to retain one’s sanity on long trips. Which necessitates a travel pillow. There are many styles, but they all have various issues, so I was on the quest to find the perfect one. This is a review of the unconventional but effective Trtl pillow.
First, let’s review the pros and cons of the various types of travel pillows:
Standard: you’ve probably seen them for sale at the airport. They get the job done and take a lot of room in your bag.
Blow up: probably the most recommended, but let’s face it, do you really like sleeping on a squishy air plastic bag? I don’t. Plus, eventually, they all leak. However, they are definitely the most compressible.
Convertible: I’ve used this kind before and they are quite neat: imagine a neck pillow shape with a zipper on top. Use as a neck pillow, then, when you want to have a small regular pillow, unzip the top part and dump the filling into a little insert shaped like a regular pillow. Very nifty, but I didn’t love the fact that it still took room in my bag and was stuffed with Styrofoam. Come on now. That’s stuff isn’t really great to eat off of and you want me to breathe it in? No thanks.
Memory foam: Very stuffable and very comfortable. Also off-gases into your mouth as you sleep. Mmmm. Next!
Can’t someone just make a small, compressible pillow made of normal stuff?
Enter the Trtl pillow.
Aside from the blow up ones, this one is as small as you can get with a pillow. That’s because it’s not really a pillow in the conventional sense. It’s basically a buff with some padding and plastic neck supports. So instead of a pillow supporting you, you have…a structure. Which sounds terrible until you realize it’s super comfortable. And made of soft fleece to keep your neck warm from those chilly airplane drafts.
It’s also super thin, so you can just lay it on top of the other things in your bag.
How do you use it?
The Trtl pillow comes apart like so:
And has some handy stickers so you know where to put things: neck here, etc.
Position it on your neck:
Then velcro it back up and take a journey to Snoozetown. Cozy. I can actually sleep with it on, and there is no way it can come off my neck. Win!
You can find the Trtl pillow (in gray, red, black, and coral) here for $30.