I Tried Every Ostrichpillow for Travel, and This Is the One I Use on Long Flights
The neck pillow for travel makes coach comfy and is truly worth the hype.
Remember the Ostrichpillow? Yeah, who could forget that gigantic foam helmet that was supposed to be the future of travel pillows. I travel for a living and have never seen the original Ostrichpillow out in the real world. As a society, we just couldn't get behind how hilarious it looks, but it is actually incredibly comfortable. And Ostrichpillow is thriving. The company has been rolling out more comfy pillows and wellness accessories such as this heating pad with a clay core that I highly recommend as an alternative to those rice-stuffed socks from Bed Bath & Beyond that smell like burned popcorn. Today, Ostrichpillow has a whole line of travel pillows far more subtle than the original. As someone who hates neck pillows and struggles to fall asleep on a plane, I decided to give these mini Ostrichpillow designs a chance and see if any could pack the cocoon-like security and blanket-like comfiness of the original without taking up all that space in my carry-on and making me look like I'm wearing a 19th-century diving helmet made of jersey cotton.
In one fell swoop, I ordered every Ostrichpillow design from Amazon (because if that's not the best use of Prime free shipping and returns, I don't know what is), and I tested each pillow much to my dog's confusion. Straight away, there were clear losers and winners. And then I found the champion of large flightless bird-named travel pillows. Read on to see which one is worth the cash and why it's a game changer.
Pour one out for the OG Ostrich. It was ahead of its time. Though to clarify, it's not dead. You can still very much buy this $100 personal pod pillow, and it's deliciously comfortable but is in no way fashionable or practical for traveling light. I've always been told, "If it doesn't look good on the model, it won't look good on you." And while I'd rather subscribe to a more empowered confidence, this product photo says it all. All I see is Admiral Ackbar sleeping on an office floor.
While not a true pillow, I still considered this eye mask an official candidate because I tend to fold over and sleep on my seat tray table with my hands directly under my forehead. So if you sleep like this on a flight and don't necessarily need a bulky neck brace, this could work for you because the mask itself has six layers of plush material. So, it's a lot more padded for your face and your hands. But for long flights, I don't think it's pillowy and thick enough.
Now, this is the one that is pillowy enough for your eyes and hands. The Ostrichpillow Light can go around your eyes for the most padded eye mask of all time or it can be worn around your neck as a more typical travel pillow. I loved the idea of this one. The model in this photo sold me on the notion that I could wear it in the airport as a modern scarf but then pull it up as a pillow once on my flight. However, in reality, it was not chic like this. Perhaps it's because I'm barely 5' 2'' so I don't have a lot of neck, but I did not feel like I had a modern, minimal scarf on. It covered so much of my face that I felt suffocated like Randy in A Christmas Story.
I almost kept this one. The Ostrichpillow Mini is a solid runner-up. Again, this is designed for sleepers who fold over. It's quite nifty because it has a glove-like sleeve for your hand that's just as supportive of your hand and wrist as it is of your face, which really helps prevent your hand from falling asleep while you're folded over in what feels like a plane seat that gets smaller and smaller as the flight goes on. If the core material was memory foam, I would have kept this, but the filler in this one reminds me of bean bags from kindergarten.
Behold: The ultimate travel pillow. The Ostrichpillow Go is memory foam bliss and will make you chuck those micro-bead pillows immediately. It's so dense and supportive yet it rolls up into a handy little case that I can clip onto my carry-on bag. Sure, there are other memory foam neck pillows out there, but what makes this one so much better than the typical U-shape design is the raised side pieces for neck support. You can actually lean your head and feel supported even if you don't have a window seat.
But I don't even use this as a neck pillow. Again, I'm petite and might be missing a couple of vertebrae, so it feels too big on me and covers part of my face, but I love uncoiling the ring and wrapping it around my hands like a figure eight. Then, I'm face first into memory foam that feels as luxurious and high-quality as my custom Pluto Pillow and Purple bed that I sleep on at home. At $60, it doesn't have a luxury price tag, but it's also not cheap. It's worth the money for me because this design is so versatile. My wife loves it as a neck pillow, or we can even unroll it and share one as a face pillow if we're flying together. You can also double coil it up to make a little memory foam ball if you don't like pillows around your neck. That would actually be a great option for flying with little kids.
And you can wear this one around your eyes, too, for a total blackout eye mask pillow that's not a full helmet. The Ostrichpillow Go has the support and smart design of the original without taking up as much space. It's a win-win in the world of the largest egg-laying bird-inspired travel pillows.