As a 6ft7 frequent flyer – I have struggled for years with aeroplane travel. Knees getting crushed, neck getting bent out of shape and not being able to stand up in the toilet has all but become the norm as a tall flyer.
I have accepted that I’m not getting any shorter and that I won’t be affording business class seats any time soon. The answer? Try make the air travel as comfy as possible with a travel pillow that’s ergonomically designed for tall people.
Regular neck cushions are too small and don’t offer the support us vertically gifted humans require – trust me I have tried!
There are however plenty of options in 2020 when it comes to travel pillows. I have listed my personal favourite ones below and ranked them from 5-1 based on the following criteria:
- Packing size
I was first put on to this unique trendy looking pillow by a friend saying “finally a travel pillow that’ll support your giraffe neck.”
The design strays away slightly from the U shape pillow. Putting more of an emphasis on restricting neck movement so that you don’t wake up at your destination with a stiff neck from nodding the whole flight.
There are toggles that allow you to adjust the height of neck support and a great breathability system so that you’re not sweating.
Verdict: Handy if you’re sleeping in aisle or middle and just want to support your neck. The carry case is small but it is a bit finicky packing up the pillow small enough to fit. Surprisingly it does cater for taller travellers but not really suitable for anyone over 6’4”
Typically, I try to avoid inflatable pillows as they’re usually not as comfortable but if you’re wanting to pack light they do make a lot of sense.
The H-pillow doesn’t push your neck forward like a typical U pillow, instead it has less padding at the rear and higher cushioning on the sides allowing you to sleep comfortably against the left or right side – whichever you prefer.
The hood is a nice little touch too even if it didn’t quite cover my eyes (tall person problem #983). It also comes with earplugs and an eye-mask included – just in case your airline is stingy as doesn’t provide those.
Verdict: At under $20 it’s one of the best cheaper options out there and because it’s inflatable – you really can’t beat it for pack size.
Having won British invention of the year in 2019, I was very eager to check out what all the hype was about with this pillow.
It’s unconventional ‘J’ shape means it will support your head, neck and chin in numerous positions. Being over 6ft – the problem with most conventional shaped ‘U’ style cushions is they’re simply not comfortable for longer necks. The J-Pillow definitely helps alleviate the stress on your neck and the extra cushioning allows for a multitude of positions.
At under $30 you can’t really go wrong with this nifty little cushion. It packs down in to a carry sack with a pull-string that can be attached to your luggage easily.
Verdict: Versatile and great for the price. Super comfy if you have a window seat but not the most ideal pillow for a middle seat.
The name doesn’t really do this pillow the justice it deserves. Personally I probably would have called it the snake pillow.
At it’s core it’s a plastic style snake arm that can be bent and folded in to any number of shapes. This feature alone, makes the Twist Memory Foam Pillow one of the most versatile cushions on the market.
It can still function as a typical U shape cushion if that’s what you’re after but where it really hits the mark it’s versatility. It can be moulded in to more of an L or S shape or even just doubled over if you want that extra support for your long neck.
Whether you’re travelling by train, plane or automobile, there is surely a shape you can bend this pillow into for a more comfortable trip.
You’re probably all too familiar with how amazing memory foam is so I won’t harp on about just how comfy this material is… but where it really comes in handy with travelling is that it packs down so small. Also featuring a snap closure so it can be attached to your luggage.
Verdict: Even the tallest of humans could find a comfortable shape with this pillow. It’s even a handy one to use around the house.
I was initially very sceptical of the Trtl Pillow Plus because the photos of it just didn’t make it out to look that comfortable… how wrong I was.
The Trtl Pillow Plus uses a unique wrap around system that can be easily adjusted to any neck size. Adjustable toggles allow you to increase the height of the pillow up to 8 inches (definitely enough for anyone up to 6’8” at least).
Not only does it support your neck whilst you nod off, it also acts as a super comfy scarf made from breathable padded foam and finished off with a microfleece outer.
Once you get the hang of the wrap around and adjustable height system – the Trtl Pillow Plus is an absolute dream item to have in your carry on luggage for the tall traveller. It’s innovative system allows you to get a good nights sleep no matter which seat you’re in.
It packs down in to a small carry case with strap that can be attached to your luggage.
Verdict: Essential for the tall traveller in economy class. Best of all it’s completely compatible with wearing over ear headphones.
Interested in reading more? You can also check out my top tips for aeroplane travel for tall people here.