A new travel hack is doing the rounds. It involves wearing what looks like a neck brace, in order to get a more comfortable sleep on flights (and not wake up with a crick in your neck).
A cool looking travel hack is doing the rounds. It involves putting an easily packable (i.e. not bulky like a normal, U-shaped neck pillow) scarf with “hidden internal support” and lateral bands which support your head around your neck. The bands support your head on one side (you can move it around to suit your preference, whether you would prefer to rest your head to one side, to the back, or to the front). This new product is called a Trtl pillow.
The product is either organically amazing (and to be fair, it does look pretty cool) or the company has invested in some savvy social media marketing; the Trtl pillow is currently rearing its well-strapped head into explore feeds all over Instagram, TikTok and Facebook, wreathed around the necks of influencers and travellers. Confused? Allow the following video, by TikTok user Gal Ezra, to explain.
In the video, Ezra calls it the “coolest travel gadget you didn’t know you needed.” He says: “When you’re in a car or an airport like I am and you basically start nodding off and your neck gets all messed up… this Trtl pillow you put it like this to your side or in front of you and you stick it on and then when you sleep it just completely supports you.”
“So comfortable. Or you can move it this way and then you don’t have that thing and it’s actually way more comfortable than it looks and I’m so looking forward to using it.”
Though we have no idea if this was a paid endorsement, the brand had chucked him a free pillow, or whether Ezra simply purchased a Trtl pillow of his own accord and genuinely loved it so much he had to share his excitement with his followers, it’s quite the endorsement. And he’s not the only one. “Style inspo” TikTok user, @tiffany.palmer also has given fans a glowing review of the product, after a recent trip to Greece.
While the product, though scary in that it looks like a neck brace, seems harmless enough, it shows the risks of viral trends sweeping through TikTok. Not that the risk is necessarily, in this instance, to your health, but – as I can attest from previous experience with other products and brands – it’s easy to be convinced by glowing internet reviews to buy a product, only to find it’s not worth its price tag (not that I know this is the case in this instance, having never tried the Trtl pillow myself).
The Trtl pillow’s website features glowing reviews from the likes of Lonely Planet, Travel + Leisure and Business Insider, including the rather bold claim: “Makes the middle seat feel like first class” (courtesy of Lonely Planet). The Trtl account has 27.6k followers on TikTok at the time of writing, and many TikTok users are making videos spruiking their benefits. The Trtl pillow was ranked the 3rd most best travel pillow in the world by The Sun in 2019, pipped to the post by The Infinity Pillow and The J Pillow.
To our eyes, The Infinity Pillow and The J Pillow look a bit bulkier to travel with than the Trtl pillow, but according to The Sun, are easier to use than the Trtl pillow. The news outlet explained the Trtl pillow as follows: “At the first glance, this pillow looks bizarre and is reminiscent of a neck brace.”
“But once we put it on and adjusted it, the buzz became clear. The pillow offers adjustable support, with height of the support pad customised using two toggles.”
“There’s a wrap around ‘scarf’ that helps to keep it in place.”
The Sun added: “It’s perfect for snoozing upright, but if you want to swap sides, you’ll have to unwrap and rewrap, which is a bit time consuming. And if you’re a leaner, it might not give you much cushioning.”
The Trtl pillow is going for $72.99 a pop, which is a lot more expensive than a regular $12 travel pillow you might buy at the airport. Its advantages are purportedly that its fancy pant fabric makes it comfier than a normal travel pillow, and it definitely seems like less of a pain to carry around (it’s less bulky). If you’re the sort of person who always forgets their neck pillow, it could be a good idea.
Either that, or you could wait for a cheaper imitation to crop up on Amazon…