I’ve always considered travel pillows unnecessary — a waste of space, and no more effective than balling up a sweatshirt to lean against. Until recently, I had also never been on a plane for more than eight hours and had always settled for a stiff neck following a red-eye. But with a 14-hour flight to Taiwan rapidly approaching, I caved and typed “neck pillow” into Amazon’s search bar. The BCozzy pillow was in the first row of products. It was well reviewed and had a slimmer silhouette; the latter point had me sold.
The problem with most travel pillows is that they’re really more like neck braces, forcing the head upright and hugging the neck too closely. The BCozzy, on the other hand, allows the head to loll naturally, but in such a way that prevents aches or stiffness. The overlapping ends can be positioned to support the chin, or turned 90 degrees to rest on the shoulder. BCozzy notes that its pillow is also used — and adored — by those with sleep apnea, as it presents a more comfortable alternative to a jaw strap and is great for those who need to sleep in a seated position, post-op or otherwise.
On my flight from New York to Taiwan, I popped an Advil PM, coiled the BCozzy around my neck, set my seat back and slept for 10 hours. Though disoriented by the 12-hour time difference, I deplaned well rested and entirely ache-free. Ditto the return flight, and on a red-eye back from Seattle the following week. It’s not the most space-efficient neck pillow in that it doesn’t squish down into a small pouch, but it offers adequate support for drooping heads without forcing the neck into an upright position. That’s a win in my book. And yes, it’s more comfortable than a balled-up sweatshirt.