TravelRest Travel Pillow
A new approach to travel comfort
The TravelRest travel
pillow provides a
totally different approach to the problem of 'How do I
support my head/neck when sleeping?'.
It is easy to use and really does work.
Which is worse when traveling - struggling to
get to sleep, or waking with a very sore neck? Neither is
Traditional neck collar
are only a partial solution, and in particular don't work so
well if your head wants to lie a bit forwards.
Class Sleeper is a good - and possibly the best -
approach, but some people find it too bulky to pack and too much
of a hassle/too conspicuous to use.
Here's another approach which
appreciably improves your comfort.
Best of all, the TravelRest can be used not just with an airplane seat, but
anywhere else you might be seated and want to catch some zzz's.
In a car, in a bus, while seated (even in a low back chair) at
the airport, or just about anywhere else.
TravelRest Travel Pillow - What
The TravelRest travel pillow
comes simply packaged in a cardboard box. Inside is the travel
pillow itself, in a deflated rolled up form.
Instructions are printed on
the outside of the box, including a warning not to use the
TravelRest as a floating device, and not to wrap its cord around
your neck or body because it is a possible choking hazard.
How regrettable that society makes manufacturers add such
unnecessary and obvious comments.
The TravelRest has a one
year warranty, although it is hard to know what might go wrong
The Travelrest is not yet
widely distributed, but is available through
The TravelRest, as you can
see from the illustrations, above and alongside, is a long and
fairly thin shaped thing, with a pillow part at the top. You inflate it by simply blowing
air into a valve at the bottom, and then rest your head against
the top part of the unit.
It is a little over two feet
long, and the top part inflates to about 5" thick in an area of
about 6" x 8". It weighs 5.5 ounces and packs up
into a cylinder of about 9" long and 2" diameter. It is
both lightweight and small, making it easy to carry with you.
There is also a cord with an
adjustable tightener/lengthener on it. The cord can be
used to 'mount' the TravelRest on a seatback (as shown here), or to sling it
around yourself to hold the TravelRest to you if sleeping on
something that doesn't have a high back.
The cord is about 66" long -
plenty long enough to wrap around even the wide seats in
At the bottom of the
TravelRest there is a tab with a double sided snap on it.
This has several uses. It can be used to connect to the
cord (making it into a sling) if you're sleeping without affixing the TravelRest to the
seatback behind you; or used to wrap around and
snap to your seat belt, giving you another point of attachment
to help the unit give you more support.
It can also be used to hold the
unit closed when rolled up for carrying. And it can even
be used to attach the unit to eg the handle of a carry-on bag
for transporting purposes.
These extra features and
design enhancements show that a lot of thought has gone into
making the TravelRest work as well
The TravelRest comes in
three colors - red, dark blue, and grey. We'd recommend
the dark blue or the grey as being more soothing and restful
than the red color.
Using the TravelRest
Using the pillow is very
simple, but there are a couple of minor things to keep in mind.
First, you may find the unit
most comfortable when fully inflated (it only takes a few quick
puffs to blow it up), but you might also decide you like it
slightly less than fully inflated. This is entirely your
choice, but do keep in mind that changing the amount of air in
the unit can make a difference to your comfort, so feel free to
experiment a bit.
Inflating the unit is via a
simple valve at the bottom. To close the valve, you just
push it in on itself, and to open it, you just extend it out
again. This is easier than the simpler valves on some
travel pillows where you stick a plug/block piece into the valve
- I find the plug piece sometimes slips out of its own accord,
but have no such problems with TravelRest's valve.
If you inflate the unit
before the plane has reached cruising altitude, you'll notice
that it expands as the plane climbs. And, similarly, when
the plane descends again, the unit loses pressure (due to the
increased cabin pressure). For that reason, if you're
inflating the unit as soon as you get on board, maybe it is best
to not completely/fully inflate it to start with.
Once you've inflated the
unit, you then need to decide if you'll strap it to the back of
your seat or not. I've tried it both ways, and probably
slightly prefer it strapped to the back of the seat, but there's
very little difference in experience.
If you do use its cord to
strap it to the seat back, you should check that the cord won't get in
the way of the person behind you's personal video screen (if
there is one fitted), or in the way of the tray table, or
Otherwise, if you don't
strap it to the back of your seat, you'll probably want to run
the cord down to the snap at the bottom and then sling the
TravelRest over a shoulder and hold it in place that way.
I found the TravelRest to
truly make it easier to go to sleep, and to be comfortable while
sleeping. Not only does it provide support for one's head,
but it also makes one feel 'cozier'. This might sound
infantile, but I think the 'cozy-ing up' feeling of snuggling up
to the TravelRest, and the fact that it gives your arms
something to hold on to as well, helps to relax you and make you
feel more comfortable in your environment and therefore better
able to go to sleep (and perhaps also to stay asleep).
Two readers have also tried
TravelRests (prior to my writing this article) and volunteered
that they found it comfortable and effective as well.
Reader Gary writes
worked like a charm. I slept (not alcohol induced) for the
very first time on my last flight.
One possible disadvantage of
the TravelRest is that it provides support on one side only.
If you toss and turn a lot, this can be something of an issue
(buy two TravelRests and have them on both sides, perhaps!).
But there are two thoughts
to offer about this perceived limitation. Firstly, the
comfort of the TravelRest reduces your tossing and turning.
Secondly, it is possible to slide the TravelRest from one side
to the other side of your seat if you have it affixed to the
seat back, or just to flop it from one side to the other if it
One slightly negative
comment - I didn't like the feel of the unit. It is has a
slightly fuzzy/furry sort of finish on what I guess to be
brushed vinyl or similar. It would be nice if there was an
optional cotton sleeve/pillowcase that the unit could be placed
inside - it wouldn't appreciably add to the weight or bulk, and
if offered as an option, wouldn't affect the unit's low price
(without such a sleeve).
Reader Lou adds an important
You probably should not have the pillow inflated, much less
secured to you, your seat belt or your seat during takeoff
and landing, as it could get in your way if you have to make
an emergency exit.
think it’s prudent to use the “Electronic devices on/off”
announcements as your signal to safely deploy or pack up the
Travel Pillow. Safety first!
compared/contrasted with the First Class Sleeper
For a long time, our
favorite comfort aid on flights has been the
Class Sleeper (click link for our review). We still
like the First Class Sleeper, particularly for long
international flights, where you don't mind going to a bit of
extra bother to set up the Sleeper exactly right, in return for
many hours of better sleep, but find the greater simplicity and
smaller size/lighter weight of the TravelRest very tempting for
The TravelRest has another
major advantage, too. It will work in other situations as
well as on high backed airline seats. For example, you (or
your passengers) can use it in the car, or it can be used while
at an airport between flights (but don't sleep through your
On the other hand, the First
Class Sleeper does something the TravelRest doesn't - it
supports your lower back, which may otherwise be unsupported if
you're sitting back in your seat. That can make a big
difference on a longer flight.
Both are good units, with
very different approaches to how to make for a comfortable
experience on a plane. Would it be a tad excessive to
recommend you have both?
This is an interesting
and effective new approach to a travel pillow. It is
definitely better than the traditional neck ring type pillow.
While not as completely comfortable as a First Class Sleeper, it
is easier to use and carry than the First Class Sleeper and so
might be preferred by people on shorter flights who don't need
the absolute ultimate in comfort aids.
The TravelRest can also be
used with other seats, not just airline seats, making it a great
thing to keep in the car for long journeys with sleepy
Costing $26.95, and
Amazon, it is reasonably priced and recommended. Good
for yourself, and a great gift for the people you give gifts to.
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27 Feb 2009, last update
28 Nov 2012
You may freely reproduce or distribute this article for noncommercial purposes as long as you give credit to me as original writer.