This one item is all you need.

I’m not the kind of person who can sleep sitting up, on a hard mattress, or in any other conditions that are less than perfectly comfortable, so red-eye flights are a literal waking nightmare for me. I’m also blessed with a husband who hails from the U.K. (and can happily snooze basically standing up), so those overnight long-hauls are a fairly frequent reality.

On one such trip, as I was waiting for boarding to begin and contemplating the following seven sleepless, cramped hours—not to mention the ensuing 48 hours of jet-lag, I spotted this travel pillow in the airport gift shop. I’ve had iteration upon iteration of various neck pillows before, none of which have helped me catch a single in-flight wink (let alone the suggested 40), but this one seemed somehow… different. As the kind woman at the cashier was ringing it up, she mentioned the price—which, at the airport and plus tax, was nearly $50—and that there were less expensive options on the rack next to it, but desperate for sleep, I was willing to give it a shot.

And I’m so glad I did. For the first time in my life, I slept sitting upright, on an airplane, for hours. Dare I say it: I was even comfortable. 

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Why is this pillow different from all the other travel options out there? Well, for starters, it has serious height. I often find myself drifting to sleep on a plane, only to be woken up moments later by the incredible discomfort of having my neck bent at an unnatural angle, and the tall height of this pillow prevents that from happening. It also has an adjustable toggle closure that keeps it in place and prevents it from slipping—no tugging or constant realigning needed—and a flat back so it lays against airplane seats without forcing your neck or head forward. Personally, that’s all I need, but the extra features, like a side pocket you can slip your phone into and a carrying case that compresses it down to a quarter of its size, are equally as well designed and functional.

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