Today’s travel market has many travel pillows to offer with the U shape neck pillow being the most widely used. However, some of the best travel pillows can get a bit uncomfortable after a while.
The arrival of the J Pillow offers a neck pillow which has been ergonomically designed to ensure we can sleep comfortably during our travels without getting neck pain.
Initial thoughts are that it must be really good as it has won an award for the British Invention of The Year in 2012/2013. My article will review how comfortable this strangely shaped neck cushion is and if it helps to prevent sleep related neck pain.
At a Glance
- Head and Neck Support: Ergonomically designed with chin support to keep your head and neck elevated in the perfect sleep position.
- Handy Snap Loop: Ideal for attaching onto your backpack or suitcase for quick access.
- Plush Soft Fabric: Provides softness and comfort against your skin.
- Bulky: Takes up space in your suitcase even when it’s compressed.
Design & Construction
3D J Shape
Upon first glance of the J Pillow, you wouldn’t realise it’s a travel pillow. It’s hard to tell what it’s actually for because of the oddly shaped design. The shape is of a 3 dimensional J, hence the name.
There’s a curved end which goes under the chin to support it and the other two pillow ends open up to support your head. At the top is a handy snap button loop that’s ideal for clipping your pillow onto your suitcase or bag.
How Soft is the Fabric?
When you touch the velvet fabric of the pillow, it feels very soft and smooth so it shouldn’t irritate your skin. Some travel pillows are made with polyester or nylon fabric which doesn’t feel soft against your face.
A 3D filling is what gives the J Pillow its springiness and softness. The stuffing is high quality and lasts longer than most neck cushions that use a 2D filling. The filling feels quite sparse when I press down on it but the pillow has maintained its shape which suggests the pillow should last quite a while.
Is it Bulky?
The J Pillow travel neck pillow has an awkward design and is quite large in size measuring 30 x 20 x 33cm. The bulky shape does take up quite a bit of space in your hand luggage but it can be compressed into a ball. It should be easier to fit this into a corner of your cabin baggage.
Pick a Colour
The choice of colours this travel cushion is available in is quite limited but that’s not really a big issue for an item used as a neck support. The navy colour seems to be the most popular by far. There’s a leopard print design available as well.
If storage space in your hand luggage is an issue, there’s also the inflatable J Pillow which is designed exactly the same. The fabric cover feels the same and it can be removed and washed.
How to Use
When you look at the J Pillow, it’s not obvious to most people in how to use it. The most common way it’s used is to put the curved end under your chin and you rest your head against the open flap of the two pillows. This is perfect for side sleepers and can be used on the left or right side.
There are other ways the pillow can be used as well. Besides being a neck support pillow, it can even be used as a back support though it doesn’t seem to feel any more special than a regular puffy cushion.
Comfort & Convenience
The velvety softness of the fabric gave the pillow a luxurious feel which I found to be soft and comfortable against my skin. Despite the thick fur like fabric, it didn’t cause sweat to form between my skin and the pillow which is usually the case with other travel pillows.
Firmness of the Pillow
Most of the popular neck pillows on the market tend to be filled with micro beads or memory foam. The ones with micro beads lack firmness and memory foam travel pillows are too hard to be comfortable.
Although inflatable pillows allow you to control the hardness, people who have the inflatable version of the J Pillow have said the pillow doesn’t have a soft feel to it even with the velvet fabric.
With the 3D filling in the J Pillow, it’s the perfect firmness which felt like I was sleeping at home with my pillow.
Does it Take Up Much Space?
The compression of this travel pillow makes it easier to pack into my hand luggage but it still takes up a considerable amount of space. For flights, I travel light so I had plenty of room. However, for people who need all the space they can get, the inflatable version would be more ideal.
On train travels, my luggage is already overfilled so being able to clip the pillow on with the snap button loop is a better idea. I can get to it quickly as well instead of having to open up my suitcase or backpack on a crowded train to get it out.
Ease of Use
Using this travel pillow isn’t complicated but I did find that I had to keep readjusting its position to get comfortable as the curved end didn’t fit snugly under my chin. I think it may be because the shape is quite big for my small sized head!
I found it was easier using this leaning against the airplane window because it stayed in place. Using it in the middle seat wasn’t comfortable because I could only lean back with the pillow. If I leaned on it sideways, it would slide off.
Luckily, the travel pillow can be machine washed. I washed it after a few uses and the fabric stayed soft and the pillow maintained its shape and filling.
Has it Prevented Neck Pain?
Before, I used U shape neck pillows which left me with a pain in the back of my neck. Using the J Pillow on my recent trip to the USA, despite the pillow sliding off from time to time, I managed to sleep well and I didn’t wake up with a stiff neck.
Many people have said this is the best pillow for neck pain during travelling because their neck and head were supported and never fell forward.
Using U-shape travel cushions doesn’t support your head which often causes you to fall forward or lean too far back so you end up with neck pain.
Final Thoughts | J Pillow Travel Neck Pillow
I find the J Pillow has provided me with more comfort and sleep than U-shape pillows or airplane pillows have during my travels. The ergonomic design has made this one of the best travel pillows available.
It’s a little pricier than other travel pillows but worth investing in if you’re someone who travels a lot and need sleep during those travels.
Besides its use for travelling, the manufacturers suggest its use as a pillow for neck pain because of its ergonomic design which can provide relief for stiff and sore necks. Not only that, it can be used at home for napping or reading in bed.