This pillow is by far the most comfortable travel pillow I’ve ever used. Sure, it has a very strange appearance, but it does exactly what it promises, and despite some initial fiddling, this thing has gifted me some of the best sleep I’ve ever gotten on a plane or train. Invented by former Virgin Atlantic flight attendant, Gemma Jensen, this bad boy won the 2012 British Invention of the Year Award, and before you assume it must have been a slow year for inventions, read on. This thing is a game-changer for frequent travelers.
We should begin with its uncommon design. This isn't some glorified, fluffy pop-tart like they give you on a discount airline. The J-Pillow is a bit cumbersome due to its fluffyness and strange shape, but there is a method to the madness, and the pillow is designed to look like a J for a very specific reason. You lean your dome-piece into the welcoming folds of the "trunk" of the J, and tuck the bottom of the "J" under your chin. The result is super soft and comfortable support, and the unique, "J" design supports your noggin like no other. Your head anchors the chin pillow so you don’t slump forward during turbulence or when your exhausted body slips into unconsciousness, causing your brain-pan to fall forward like a head-heavy toddler. On my first flight I was using it a bit incorrectly, not firmly tucking the J part of the pillow under my chin, but once I fiddled with it a bit and learned to trust the J, I found the sweet spot and was out like a light for five hours.
The texture is velvety soft, and I never got overheated or sweaty while using it. The entire pillow is machine washable, which negates the need for a washable cover. And when I say this thing is soft, I mean it. It's actually surprising your head doesn't just mush the thing, but it actually has the resiliency of memory foam. The pillow is best used when you are in a window seat, but even stuck between two people on a long flight, it's 100 times better than any junk airline pillow. Go ahead and cram that crappy little complimentary airline pillow behind your lower back and use the J-Pillow instead. Even if you like wearing headphones as you drift off to sleep, you’ll still be fine, unless you're using some kind of studio-style cans that are unreasonably bulky, and if you are, why are you traveling with those anyways? These worked great with my Bose noise-cancelling, over the ear headphones, and even better with a pair of earbuds.
The J-Pillow is great for home as well. If you want to take a little nap on the couch, or just chill out on a recliner and watch sports or play videogames for a few hours, this pillow will support you fantastically. I didn't realize how much extra support my neck and head could use when I was just sitting around the house until I used this pillow, and now I leave it snapped near my recliner. Especially when you are leaning back a bit, the J-Pillow works wonders.
Not that its completely without flaws. The bulkiness alone will turn some people off of it, and even though it's lightweight, it does take up some room in a backpack. If you keep it in the included carry-bag and cinch it tight, you can get it down to a manageable size, but on its own, it's pretty big, almost the size of your head. I kept it stuffed into the bag and cinched down as far as I could when I wasn't using it, but the carry-bag is somewhat low-quality and is already starting to come apart. There is a snapping travel strap built onto the pillow itself, which makes it easier to manage the pillow's large size, but I preferred to use the included carry-bag to make sure I kept the pillow as clean as possible.
- 11.8 x 7.9 x 13 inches
- 100% polyester filling
- Head, chin and neck support
- Plush cover that comes in multiple colors and patterns
- Snap loop button for travel
- Machine washable