How to sleep well on a plane

Sleeping on a plane was never something I could do well. I could cope with the noise from the engines and the dry air in the cabin, and I would often take a mild sleeping pill on flights longer than ten hours, but even then, I would wake up each time my head tipped forward as I fell asleep. I applauded new seat designs which featured side flaps on the head cushion. It helped a bit as I could rest my head against either flap but nothing stopped my head from falling forward and they didn’t prevent neck aches after a long flight. I tried inflatable neck pillows but that didn’t help either – they were uncomfortably hard and didn’t support my head sufficiently.

The plane pillow that works

Me and my J-Pillow. Notice my happy face. ;-)

Me and my J-Pillow. Notice my happy face. ;-)

All that changed when I was approached by the lovely Gemma Jensen with her new invention: the J-Pillow. The thing that struck me right away was its ingenious design. Roughly in the form of the letter ‘J’, the pillow supports the head, neck AND chin. That means my head would never fall over and I would never have another neck ache. It sounded too good to be true! Gemma sent me the J-Pillow for a review and I’ve since used it on numerous long-haul flights. My verdict: I’ve never slept better on a plane!

I had a good laugh when I first received it. I noticed it’s ‘J’ form but it also reminded me of a body part closer to home. *wink*. The filling was sturdy for good support whilst the pillow’s velvety cover provided a soft, luxurious feel. I first tested it at home, on my couch. One thing was certain: this pillow was made to cradle a head like a baby. One flap formed a plush cushion behind my head. I leaned my head against the other flap with the tail of the ‘J’ tucked beautifully under my chin. There was no way my head would fall over as the tail gently supported my neck and kept my head upright.

The J-Pillow

The J-Pillow

I brought it onto the plane with me, squashed into my hand luggage like a ball. As soon as I took it out, it bounced back into its original shape. I found other uses for it on the plane: I used it as a cushion for my lower back and as a head cushion while I watched a movie. On my first flight with the J-Pillow, I slept for seven hours straight without waking up once! That was a whole new experience for me!

The J-Pillow truly is a brilliant invention – THANK YOU GEMMA! – and one I can recommend without any hesitation. It’s no surprise to me that it won the ‘Best British Invention 2013′ award in the consumer category. The J-Pillow is not only perfect for travel, it’s also great for home use (I’m thinking, a quiet evening on the couch with a glass of wine and a movie). However, most importantly, thanks to Gemma, I now know how to sleep well on a plane!

Note: J-Pillow provided the product for my review. As always, opinions expressed above are mine, and mine only.

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21 Responses to “How to sleep well on a plane”

  1. Bea 03/06/2014 4:43 pm
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    This pillow looks great Keith, the design looks perfect to avoid neck ache during long trips. Sleeping while traveling has been a problem but now looks like this new product will make long journeys more pleasant.

  2. Marjorie Turner 21/02/2014 11:50 am
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    Wow! A very good neck pillow. This is the first time I’ve seen this kind of pillow. I like it!

  3. Jenni Earll 05/02/2014 4:01 pm
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    Thank you for posting – this pillow looks like a dream!

  4. Adam Burton 09/01/2014 8:37 am
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    Finally an answer to my sleeping woes in the plane. Gotta get me one of these.

  5. Jeanette Todd 08/01/2014 9:55 am
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    I have to say that this is very innovative. Never heard of the J-pillow until I have read it here. I might buy this because I fly frequently.

  6. Theresa Caruso 26/09/2013 9:06 pm
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    The J Pillow! I’ll definitely have to order one of those. I’ve tried several neck pillows but they never seem to have the right form. This one looks like a winner :)

  7. Varun Kumar 26/09/2013 12:55 pm
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    I like the looks of this pillow. I´m also looking for the “perfect” travel pillow at the moment. Thanks for your very useful information to share with us…

  8. Tara 19/09/2013 4:57 pm
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    Keith this colour suits you! :-) Would love to have a pillow like that- looks very comfy and cuddly.

  9. Katherine Belarmino 11/09/2013 7:33 am
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    I like the looks of this pillow. I always get a neck cramp when I fall asleep on the plane. Now it just needs a place to clip the wine glass so you can take a sip without moving! :)

  10. Keith Jenkins 10/09/2013 10:42 am
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    Wow, with a built-in massage? Sounds awesome! :-)

  11. Bianca 10/09/2013 12:59 am
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    I’ve got a great plane pillow that I bought at Singapore Airport. It’s an OSIM Neck Pillow and it clips closed at the front so your head can’t roll forward. It also has a vibrate function to massage your neck. I don’t get on a plane without it.

  12. Keith Jenkins 09/09/2013 5:31 pm
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    Thanks Arian. I wondered the same too! It’s the simple things/ideas that really work.

    Cheers,
    Keith

  13. Arianwen 09/09/2013 10:30 am
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    Amazing! Why has this never been done before?! Such a great design, and your face says it all!

  14. Andi of My Beautiful Adventures 07/09/2013 2:14 pm
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    Looks really comfy!

  15. Keith Jenkins 07/09/2013 10:49 am
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    Thanks Linda. That’s what I love about the J-Pillow: it’s not a hard inflatable pillow but rather a comfortable cushion that’s sturdy enough to support my neck, chin and head.

    Cheers,
    Keith

  16. Keith Jenkins 07/09/2013 10:45 am
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    Hehe, thank you Maria! :-)

  17. Linda Sherman 07/09/2013 4:38 am
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    I love a great travel pillow. To me the secret of a good neck pillow is that the back of it does not fill with air. Then you can let your head fall to the side (as it does naturally when you are sitting up straight) and be supported.

    Was very much struck by your photo. This is definitely the ideal pillow for a window seat.

  18. Maria 06/09/2013 11:00 pm
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    Oooh the J-Pillow looks like a good friend to travel with and love your happy face!

  19. Keith Jenkins 06/09/2013 4:55 pm
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    Hi Sarah,
    You can squeeze it tight into a ball – not sure how to explain its size but it fit easily into my small backpack. It also has a loop attached to it so you can hang it on a bag instead of packing it. Hope this helps.

    Cheers,
    Keith

  20. Sarah 06/09/2013 4:05 pm
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    Love to hear that you had a great sleep with this pillow. I´m also looking for the “perfect” travel pillow at the moment. Could you specifiy more how small you can pack the pillow? All best from Germany, Sarah

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