In-Flight Experience Packing

J Pillow vs. Trtl Pillow

The J-Pillow vs. Trtl Pillow: both popular pillows have rave reviews online, but they have dramatically different designs. So I got one of each and brought them on 13-hour flight (using one outbound and one inbound) to determine: Which one actually let me sleep comfortably in coach?

J-Pillow Travel Pillow + Carry Bag - British Invention of The Year, 2020 Version with Increased 3D Support - Stops Your Head from Falling Forward.

J-Pillow vs. Trtl Pillow: Support

Winner: The J-Pillow. The J-Pillow nestled under my chin and rested on my shoulder, so I could lean my head to the side and rest on the pillow without letting my head nod forward or fall to the side. The design of the pillow curves around your neck, but as it’s worn on the side, so it doesn’t push your head forward. I found that the J-Pillow was the most effective at keeping my head upright while I slept. It was especially comfortable while used in a window seat (and leaning against the wall).

The Trtl Pillow mimics a neck brace, wrapping around your neck and using a plastic frame on the side (between your chin and your shoulder) to allow you to rest your head. However, no matter how I positioned the Trtl Pillow, I couldn’t get the right amount of support I needed to relax into sleep. 

J-Pillow vs. Trtl Pillow: Comfort

Winner: The J-Pillow.Made from a soft, squishy fiber filling and covered with an ultra-plush microfleece fabric, the J-Pillow was significantly more comfortable to lean on than the Trtl Pillow. Despite the Trtl Pillow’s soft fleece cover, I could still feel the hard plastic internal spine inside, which wasn’t comfortable to lean on.

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J-Pillow vs. Trtl Pillow: Portability

Winner: The Trtl Pillow. It’s about half the size of a standard U-shaped pillow, and wraps up for easy and compact storage. The Trtl Pillow won’t take up much space in your carry-on, unlike the J-Pillow.

The J-Pillow can be compressed into its (included) carrying bag, but it will still take up a decent amount of real estate in your carry-on or personal item.

The Trtl Pillow is also slightly more lightweight, weighing in at around 5.2 ounces vs. the J Pillow’s 7.5 ounces.

J-Pillow vs. Trtl Pillow: Cost

Winner: Tie. At the time of testing, both the Trtl Pillow and the J-Pillow retailed on Amazon for $29.99.

J-Pillow vs. Trtl Pillow: Cleanliness

Winner: The J-Pillow. The entire J-Pillow can be machine washed in warm water, and then dried on low heat, making it easy to clean after each trip.

You can remove the Trtl Pillow’s fleece covering and wash it separately in the washing machine, however you’ll need to hang dry it and then reinsert the internal support (which can’t be washed), making it a more complicated cleaning process.

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J-Pillow Travel Pillow + Carry Bag - British Invention of The Year, 2020 Version with Increased 3D Support - Stops Your Head from Falling Forward.
trtl Pillow - Scientifically Proven Super Soft Neck Support Travel Pillow – Machine Washable

J-Pillow vs. Trtl Pillow: Overall Winner

Winner: The J-Pillow won in almost every category, earning high marks for comfort, support, and cleanliness, making it our overall winner.

More from SmarterTravel:

Caroline Morse Teel is a Principal Editor for SmarterTravel. Follow her on Instagram @travelwithcaroline for travel photos and advice.

Some review products are sent to us free of charge and with no incentive to offer a favorable review. We offer our unbiased opinions, positive and negative, and will never accept compensation to review a product.

By Caroline Morse Teel

Unfortunately for her bank account, Principal Editor Caroline Morse Teel is powerless to resist a good flight deal. Follow her on Instagram @TravelWithCaroline.

Caroline joined Boston-based SmarterTravel in 2011 after living in Ireland, London, and Manhattan. She's traveled to all seven continents, jumped out of planes, and bungeed off bridges in the pursuit of a good story. She loves exploring off-the-beaten path destinations, anything outdoorsy, and all things adventure.

Her stories have also appeared online at USA Today, Business Insider, Huffington Post, Yahoo,, TripAdvisor, Buzzfeed, Jetsetter, Oyster, Airfarewatchdog, and others.

The Handy Item I Always Pack: "Earplugs. A good pair has saved my sleep and sanity many times!"

Ultimate Bucket List Experience: Hiking Mount Kilimanjaro.

Travel Motto: "Don't be boring."

Aisle, Window, or Middle Seat: "Aisle (when the first class private suite isn't available)."

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