Neck pillows or travel pillows came around as a way to help people solve the problem of how to get some sleep while sitting up straight. The initial design of the cushion is probably one you are familiar with, as the U-shaped pillows are now common on airplanes, buses and trains. This U-shape gives it a place to rest around your neck and gives your head a place to rest, however there are some details which will make a lot of difference to the comfort of a neck pillow which you should keep in mind.
Keep Your Head in Place with the Right Support
One of the biggest downfalls of the U-shape is that there is no support in the front if you move your head forward in your sleep. This will often result in your head falling forward, which will cause you to wake up suddenly as your body senses you falling which leads to you snapping your head back and resulting in possible whiplash and a sore neck.
Make sure that the pillow has a way to prevent this. Some good examples are the use of drawstrings and a thinner back. The drawstrings loosen to easily allow you to get the pillow on your neck and then can be tightened, bringing the sides together to form a protective shield against your head dropping forward in your sleep. The use of a thinner back prevents your head from being pushed forward by the pillow. The back should be thin horizontally to prevent your head from coming forward and have extra padding vertically for maximum comfort.
Also consider that you will need to get a pillow that fits you correctly. If a pillow comes in only one size it may not fit correctly around your neck, being too small and constricting you, or being too large where it will be unbalanced and won’t fit you at all.
Choose a Cool and Comfortable Material
Turning the pillow over to get to the cool side is a well known practice when using a normal pillow; however it doesn’t work as well when using a neck pillow. You need to make sure that the both the pillow fill material and the covering are comfortable, soft and breathable for maximum comfort. The typical inflatable neck pillow does not fit the bill and to make matters worse, usually has flaps along the seam which will irritate you when trying to sleep.
Overheating is one of the biggest issues with a neck pillow as it is literally wrapped around your neck and there is not much air flow. This is the reason that breathability is so important to keep you cool and dry. A neck pillow will help you a lot in falling asleep but it will not help if you can't wear it because you are too hot.
Memory foam is one of THE top materials for comfortable neck pillows and has the best of all the important features. Make sure to get a soft, washable cover with your pillow which does not have abrasive stitching or external flaps along the seams which could be irritating. An excellent material for this is velour as it stretches, is very soft and is also breathable.
Other Important Features
Proper head support and a comfortable fill and cover material are the two most important features that make a good neck pillow but you should also consider a few other things to make yours truly the best.
Washable – The best ones are washable and/or comes with an easily removable cover which can be washed and easily reapplied.
Collapsible – Size matters, especially when travelling by air. A good pillow will come with a good carrying case which allows you to pack it down to a much smaller size when not in use.
Extra Room – When using a travel cushion, you may also want to use a few other things to get the best rest. Eye covers, along with headphones or earplugs are important as well and a pillow should accommodate them by providing enough space for you to wear them comfortably as well as having a spot to stash your phone or mp3 player.
The Best Neck Pillow For Sale
Amazon Price: $39.99 Buy Now
(price as of Mar 22, 2016)
The best pillow, which combines the most of the important parts necessary for getting a good sleep, is the Evolution Neck Pillow. Here is what makes it the number one choice:
- Made from Memory Foam and so is comfortable, as cool as possible and provide good support.
- Has a removable Velour cover which is easy to wash
- Back designed with thinner padding to prevent your head from being pushed forward
- Drawstrings which bring the front together to eliminate your head falling forward
- Reversible to accommodate sleeping with your chin down rather than head back
- MP3/Phone pocket
- Storage bag compresses the pillow to less than half its size for storage
What Makes This Pillow #1
The Worst Neck Pillow For Sale
Amazon Price: $9.99 Buy Now
(price as of Mar 22, 2016)
Here is an example of an early inflatable design. In the past these were good, better than the nothing that came before, and they have paved the way for today’s better designs.
- Made of suede coated PVC so has absolutely no breathability
- Must be hand washed and dried
- Not adjustable at all, one standard size
- Uses air as a fill material which allows no give and is not comfortable
- No front support and large back which leads to head falling forward
- Uncomfortable flaps along seam very uncomfortable
- Plugs often break
- The only plus is really that this pillow collapses down to almost nothing when deflated
- Only use a pillow like this if nothing else is available!