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There’s no denying that long haul flights can be a pain in the neck. And I mean that literally. Travel can be a real physical pain. You’re cramped for hours on end in a confined space, and as anyone who has sat in one can testify, airline seats aren’t exactly designed for comfort. A substantial 88 per cent of people experience increased back or neck pain following a flight.

But we suck it up and write it off as an unavoidable part of travel. Resign ourselves to the fact that we’ll contort ourselves into some semblance of comfort, and deal with the stiff neck at the end.

Which brings us to the wonderful world of travel pillows; designed specifically to help you sleep better while traveling, and feel better once you’ve reached your destination. (I’m sure everyone will agree that airline pillows are farcically small and essentially useless).

Many people can’t be bothered with travel pillows, believing these are just as useless as those the airlines provide. However these people have usually only tried the simple inflatable neck pillows, when there’s a whole range of different options specifically designed with comfort and neck support in mind. In fact, there’s even one which is NASA approved for space!

Wonder How Astronauts Sleep in Zero Gravity?

While we’re down on earth complaining about our 20 hour flight to the other side of the world, astronauts are facing some of the longest haul flights known to man. They’re literally flying to moon!!

So NASA developed a unique pressure absorbing material to cushion and support astronauts during the strain of lift-off. They needed an exceptional way of evenly distributing weight and pressure.

This unique material later became TEMPUR: the only mattress and pillow recognized by NASA and certified by the Space Foundation. And while you may know them for mattresses, TEMPUR has released a travel pillow, offering support in transit for travelers here on earth.

TEMPUR Transit Pillow Review

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The TEMPUR Transit Pillow is a horseshoe-shaped travel pillow made from a synthetic material which molds to your neck and head. Given the confined space of most seats in a plane this is a pretty natural sleeping position, and as far as travel pillows go, you can actually get some much-needed rest with no resulting neck pain, arriving at your destination refreshed.

Personally, I’m a fan of memory foam pillows because I find them more comfortable. But while this is broadly defined as a ‘memory foam’ product, the material they use is in a league of its own.

The exact composition of Tempur is a closely guarded secret; a unique temperature sensitive, visco-elastic material that responds to your weight and warmth, conforming to your body. However unlike regular memory foam pillows, it instantly returns to its original shape.

It’s almost like a very thick and heavy sponge which cradles and supports the neck, allowing shoulder muscles to relax better. The density of the synthetic pillow means it also reduces the jolts and vibrations from the plane which is ordinarily “transmitted” through regular pillows. It was, after-all, built to combat the turbulence of space!

The Look

Tempur Transit Pillow Review

What About Comfort?

With the ability to mold to your neck and head, the Tempur Transit Pillow is extremely comfortable. And there’s a nice level of chin support meaning your head doesn’t roll forwards.

Because it gently molds to your unique body shape, the muscles in the shoulder and neck have the chance to relax, which I found prevented the usual stiffness you often experience at the end of a flight.

It’s comfortable whether you wear it around the front or the back of your neck, depending on the way you like to sleep. And because it reduces a lot of the normal vibrations from the plane, you’re able to rest more soundly.

Those who find that plastic inflatable pillow irritate their skin will be pleased with the soft suede cover that is comfortable even in hot weather.  Re comfort and ease of traveling with it, the pillow is reasonably bulky, though fits quite easily within a carryon bag, or in my case, standard backpack.

The Size

Tempur Transit Pillow Review

Tempur Transit Pillow Review

What About Hygiene?

I won’t touch pillows supplied by the airlines after a Wall Street Journal investigation found that airlines tend to wash their blankets and pillows only every 5 to 30 days. (Yes, you read that right.) This means that when you borrow a blanket from the airline, you’re sharing a whole lot of germs.

So I avoid this completely by bringing my own travel pillow. The Tempur transit pillow is fantastic in this regard as the fitted cover is removable for washing, meaning you can keep it clean, and wash a lot more frequently than the airlines do!

What About Price?

The Tempur is one of the most expensive transit pillows on the market, retailing for $210 AUD.  This isn’t a spontaneous purchase, but it is an investment in your long term comfort and health.

As much as I hate to start sounding like my mother, putting your posture under pressure risks long-term problems when it comes to your neck. However the Tempur Travel Pillow takes the pain out of frequent flying.

Tempur Transit Pillow Review

In a Nutshell

If you suffer neck pain, and need a travel pillow with good neck support, the TEMPUR Transit Pillow is a solid investment. If you want to sleep more soundly on long haul flights, with a pillow which absorbs the vibrations of the plane, the transit pillow is also a solid investment.

It’s extremely comfortable, and is one of the highest quality travel pillows on the market. For more information, or to purchase, visit http://au.tempur.com

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Megan is an Australian Journalist and award-winning travel writer who has been blogging since 2007. Her husband Mike is the American naturalist and wildlife photographer behind Waking Up Wild; a website dedicated to opening your eyes to the wild & natural world.

Committed to bringing you the best in adventure travel from all around the globe, there is no mountain too high, and no fete too extreme! They haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on their list.

Follow their journey on Facebook, TwitterYouTube, Pinterest and Instagram.

    26 Comments

  1. I never thought about the flight time to get to outer space! I’ll just stay on the ground – thanks =P

    I like that the outside is washable. My last pillow was super cute but I would drop it and by the time I got rid of it, it was a bit of a different color.. The price tag is something to think about but I do believe the comfy can be worth the investment for those who travel a lot!

    • Haha I know right! Though I would love to jump on one of the first commercial flights to the moon – they’re happening soon!!

      The price tag is definitely something to weigh up, but in the end I realized I was throwing out the cheaper pillows just like you, because they would get dirty etc, and when you add up the continual cost of replacing them, it ends up being better to invest in something like this :)

      Happy travels!

  2. Excellent. That’s a good reminder for me not to forget the pillow during the next flight. I’ve always used when I was traveling by car but when it comes to airplanes it seems that I had different priorities until reading your great review. Thanks for sharing with us. It seems that we have to remember much more about our comfort.

    • It definitely makes flights more bearable, and if you love using them in the car, they’ll work well for you on a plane :)

      Happy travels!

  3. I’ve always contemplated getting a travel pillow, and I think you just convinced me! I love that you can wash the outside cover, and it does not look super bulky either. Thanks for sharing!

    • Glad we could help with your decision Aparna :) Washing the outside cover is a big +, and it’s not too bad re being bulky. Any pillow you get is going to take up space, though this one is well worth it for the comfort on the plane :)

  4. I can see this being really useful for long haul flight. Generally, I avoid bringing anything extra on the plane because I don’t want to fuss with things. But I usually can’t sleep on planes which makes very long flights miserable. This sounds like a pretty good compromise in that I’m likely to sleep, wake up less cranky, and it still isn’t so large that it is much of a hassle.

    • This is a great compromise – we don’t like to fuss around with too many things on the plane either, but the TEMPUR always makes my carryon as an essential.

      Absolutely worthwhile for as you said, being more likely to sleep and waking up less cranky and sore!

  5. We brought good-quality travel pillows before our last long-haul flight which whilst not these with that price tag were a considerable help. It was one of the easiest long-haul flights we have experienced and whilst we still had moments of discomfort it was much better because we had taken quality pillows with us.

    • Absolutely with you – investing in a high quality product really does make all the difference, and you end up wondering why you didn’t do it sooner!

      Glad to hear you’ve got a good quality travel pillow which works for you :) Happy travels!

  6. A space age travel pillow is impressive! I do have a travel pillow but it is one of the cheap blow up ones, I just think ‘it’ll do’ but for frequent flyers on long journeys this is an investment worth making I’d say!

    • Isn’t it!! I was of the same idea re “it’ll do” when I started traveling, but as soon as I went with a upgrade I realized what I had been missing the whole time! :)

  7. I’ve tried so many travel pillows by now but never quite found the one I’d particularly like. Not to mention that I tend to forget them everywhere :D I would definitely have to try this one first before buying it because the price is prettttty high, but I have to admit it does look comfy! Thanks for the review.

    • It’s definitely about finding the travel pillow which is right for you. I can personally recommend the TEMPUR travel pillow – if you’re in or around Canberra at any stage let me know and you can try mine before you buy :)

  8. I’ve tried so many travel pillows but haven’t found one that is comfortable for long-haul flight. This one seems worthwhile to give it a try, especially with that memory foam! Plus, it is super compact too!

    • It’s definitely about finding the travel pillow which is right for you – I can personally vouch for the comfort of TEMPUR on a long haul flight – the memory foam really makes all the difference … once again though I don’t know if I can even call it memory foam since it’s so much more than that :D!

  9. The older I get, the more comfort I need on my flights. I think this pillow is a great investment. I love that you can take off the cover and wash it because we all know planes are full of germs!

    • I’m right there with you – the flights seem to be getting harder and harder as we get older! Comfort is now key :) And yes, washing the cover is a great perk – I couldn’t believe it when I heard that airlines don’t wash their pillows!!

  10. We never carry pillows, don’t know why I think it is a habit. This one seems great and could give you great comfort though!

    • Well if you’re ever looking for a new habit, carrying the TEMPUR transit pillow is a great one to adapt :D Happy travels!

  11. Nothing worse than a sore neck for days on a trip! This looks like an amazing pillow!

    • Ugh I know! This pillow really does help take the pain away :)

  12. This travel pillow is just awesome. I have used it before and it provides me a lot of comfort. Thanks a lot for sharing.

    • Glad you’ve also found the Tempur Transit Pillow comfortable :) We love ours!

  13. I think this kind pillow right it’s very amazing great Job Done thanks your sharing

    • You’re welcome Kerry – yes, it definitely gets the job done! Highly recommend.

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