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The Scary Truth Behind Those Travel Neck Pillows You Love So Much

Jaclyn Hughes

It’s almost that time of year again! Holiday travel mania, when the local airports are bursting with passengers scurrying about to find their gates, and children are exhausted from wearing that “special Thanksgiving outfit” whilst being crammed in the family car for hours commuting to their grandparent’s house. Sound familiar? It does for you and millions of others, which is why some elect to pack very carefully this time of year to ensure the trip is as seamless as possible. Not just the typical iPad, chargers, and yoga pants either, we’re diving into the untold truths about your coveted neck travel pillow, so brace yourself, as you may ditch yours!

We’ve all seen them; wrapped around someone’s neck to help them get some shut eye on the train or during a redeye flight for work. The neck pillow comes in a plethora of colors and styles now, and some of those crafty Pinterest Moms even get their child’s name or initials monogrammed on theirs for that extra special Disney trip!

As reported recently on The Atlantic, the neck pillows, cute as they may seem, aren’t actually good for your neck. Experts are revealing that a pillow that is supporting the neck would keep your head back in a natural state so that it’s not tilted to one side or the other. When you’re shopping for the ideal pillow to use on a plane or car ride, you have to try it out and see if it fits your neck. Why you ask? Because every travel pillow is basically the same design, but not everyone has the same neck size or length so this is going to fit differently from person to person. The beloved pillows are also receiving criticism for not being firm enough to hold the weight of the human head and neck, often causing pain or worse damage to the neck. Best advice on this one is to always shop for a pillow in person, versus online and test out the pillow for the size, firmness, and support before you’re stuck on a twelve hour flight with the wrong pillow.