Travel Accessories

Is the Ultimate Inflatable Travel Pillow the Ultimate?

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I’m not a huge fan of traveling with neck pillows. They take up space and I don’t sleep that much better in transit. But facing two 12 hour red-eye flights in economy, I needed to figure something out. I wouldn’t make it if I kept doing the head snap every time I tried to doze off.

My assumption was that inflatable pillows, though more compact, would be less comfortable than foam, but I decided to do some research and figure out something that would make my flights to Israel less miserable.

And I stumbled upon the Travelrest inflatable pillow which was getting rave reviews from people who aren’t crazy about neck pillows.


The Travelrest is more like a mini body pillow. It gives you a decent size surface to rest one side of your head on and also gives you something to rest your arms on. That sounded appealing. It also had several options for securing it in place — either by attaching to the back of your headrest or securing it like a messenger bag. And it claimed to inflate in just a couple of deep breaths.

So though I choked at spending $27 on a neck pillow, I went ahead and bought it and watched all the instructional videos on how to use it.

And I slept for much longer than usual on the flights, with many fewer aches. There’s something about having something to rest my arms on, besides the armrests or folding them, that reduces the tension in my shoulders and back.

It does inflate in about 3-4 deep breaths. It also folds up to about the size of a soda. Some people had mentioned the seams felt too rough, but I had no problems with them and found the suede covering fairly comfortable.

Travelrest Inflatable Travel Pillow deflated

My only major complaint is I probably look weird inflating it and then hugging it in my sleep. But its still worth it, even if I’m “that person” on the plane.


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  1. Kristina

    November 13, 2013 at 3:35 am

    Oddly enough, I was just looking at the travelrest today. I have a neck pillow, but I still can’t sleep sitting up. Glad to hear you liked it. I might consider it for my next trip (but I too fear looking weird on the plane). Did anyone on the plane ask you about it?

    • Keri Anderson

      November 13, 2013 at 4:02 am

      Noone did. I don’t even think I got strange looks or anything! 🙂 It’s the first time I can remember sleeping for 4 hours straight without waking up.

  2. Jon

    November 13, 2013 at 3:47 am

    oh nice! i was never a fan of the U-shaped neck pillows, but i could be sold on this!

  3. Matt

    November 13, 2013 at 5:43 am

    interesting… what seat were you/does that matter? I wouldn’t want my head hanging into the aisle; also I wonder how it would feel against the plane if I were window seat.

    • Keri Anderson

      November 13, 2013 at 12:19 pm

      I was in an aisle seat both times. It does a good job of keeping your head within the seat boundaries. I bet it’s even more comfortable against a window since you could really take advantage of the larger pillow area.

  4. Kevin

    November 13, 2013 at 11:37 am

    I’ve owned this pillow for a while and have been fairly impressed. You do get your fair share of odd looks when using it.

  5. Michael -

    December 17, 2013 at 8:59 pm

    I’ve always loved neck pillows despite the fact that my mom used to joke that my pillow had been on the floor of more airports than any pillow in the world.

    I even took one to China over the summer. For the combined 65 hours of flying I did internationally and domestically in China, it was great, but carrying a neckpillow around with a full carryon for four weeks is a PAIN. Never again.

  6. Renee N

    April 5, 2016 at 6:51 am

    This pillow is pretty great indeed. Despite being an inflatable, I have found that it works pretty well indeed.

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