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Is it Worth the Hype?!

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Selfie of Emily on a blue leather train seat wearing a white t shirt with black stripes and a black fleece scarf wrapped around her neck - TRTL Travel Pillow Review

My honest review of the Insta-famous TRTL Travel Pillow: does this wrap-around neck pillow really work?

As a travel blogger, writer, and straight-up travel addict, I fly a LOT! But after years of flying all over the world on various adventures, I’d pretty much resigned myself to the fact that I can’t sleep on planes.

Overnight flights have always seen me squirming uncomfortably in my seat, getting increasingly frustrated while everyone else seems to be snoozing effortlessly around me. And if I ever do manage to drift off, it’s usually only for a few minutes before my neck drops forward and jerks me awake.

I’ve tried travel pillows before and never found them suitable. The U-shaped ones sold in every airport shop only make me feel claustrophobic and uncomfortable. They also don’t stop your neck from falling forwards, which is the main issue with sleeping in a sitting-up position.

So when TRTL got in touch and I asked if I wanted to review the unusual wrap-around travel pillow I’ve been seeing all over Instagram, I was really curious. And after using it on my recent trip to California, I’m a total convert.

I’ve already raved about this pillow to anyone who’ll listen, and now – it’s your turn! Keep reading to find out exactly what makes the TRTL Pillow special…

Disclaimer: This review was written in collaboration with TRTL, but all words, photos and opinions are my own and 100% honest.

Why is the TRTL Pillow Different?

folded square of black fleece material with a grey logo saying TRTL. The fleece is on top of a grey bag with the same logo on a fold down tray table on a train with blurry trees visible out the window

The TRTL Original Pillow is less of a pillow and more like a cosy fleece scarf. It has a scientifically proven internal support system to ensure complete head and neck support and prevent head bobbing. So you wake up with no neck strains or aches!

It’s essentially a wrap-around fleece scarf with a curved plastic rib hidden within the fabric. This internal support sits between your shoulder and chin on one side, and the scarf wraps snugly around your neck. This keeps everything ergonomically aligned, so your head can’t slip forwards and your neck won’t crease into an awkward position.

  • Patented design fits any neck shape, jaw, and shoulder. 
  • Soft, hypoallergenic fabric.
  • Machine washable.
  • High-density padding.
  • Compact, lightweight and easy to carry.

My Honest TRTL Travel Pillow Review

Selfie of Emily on a blue leather train seat wearing a white t shirt with black stripes and a black fleece scarf wrapped around her neck - TRTL Travel Pillow Review
Using the TRTL Pillow on my long-distance AMTRAK train ride

Confession time: when TRTL offered to send me their unique travel pillow to test out, I was a complete sceptic. I thought it HAD to be one of those social media fads where a bunch of influencers rave about a product that almost never lives up to the hype. I mean, there was no way a weird wrap-around neck scarf could be that good… was there?

Cut to me sleeping for a full six hours on my overnight flight back from California – waking up well-rested, with zero neck pain, and totally converted to the TRTL pillow hype! That’s the longest, best, and most unbroken night’s sleep I’ve ever had on a plane.

My Experience

Selfie of Emily with her eyes closed on a blue leather train seat wearing a white t shirt with black stripes and a black fleece scarf wrapped around her neck
Just me taking a selfie whilst pretending to be asleep, nothing weird about that!!!

To wear the TRTL travel pillow, you tuck the curved plastic frame between your shoulder and chin so that the curved part sits flush with your neck, then wrap the rest of the fleece fabric around and secure it with a velcro fastening.

I was worried it might look silly, but once the TRTL is on, it really just looks like you’re wearing a scarf. As my flight was chilly, I also pulled the fabric over my mouth and chin – and it felt super cosy. I popped on my eye mask, played white noise through my noise-cancelling headphones, and settled in (with very low expectations).

But then I genuinely fell almost straight asleep, and stayed asleep – waking up several hours later feeling a little groggy but generally pretty well rested. What’s more, I had no aches or pains in my neck – the TRTL pillow genuinely had kept it supported all night!

I think the feeling of being so wrapped up actually helped me fall asleep. It felt really cosy, and put a bit of a psychological barrier up between me and everyone else. With the pillow, headphones and eye mask combined, I felt like I was in my own little world!

What I Loved

hand holding the TRTL travel pillow in front of a train window with trees and blue sky outside, the pillow is a square of folded fleece material with a grey circle containing the TRTL logo.

Aside from getting a surprisingly decent (and supported) night’s sleep on a plane, there are a few other great things about the TRTL Pillow. Here’s what I loved:

It’s super compact and lightweight. While traditional travel pillows are annoying, bulky things that take up way too much space in your hand luggage, this folds down into a small square of fleece fabric roughly 20x20cm and weighs just 125g.

It comes with a lightweight, protective carry case to keep the TRTL Pillow clean and safe in your hand luggage. The bag even has a clip so you can attach it to the outside of your bag!

The fabric is so soft! The TRTL pillow is made from a super soft, hypoallergenic fleece that feels really cosy and comfortable.

It works! So often you see these “game-changing” travel products on social media and they rarely live up to the hype. But this one genuinely does – and you’ll never see me on a plane without it again!

Does the TRTL travel pillow feel claustrophobic?

This was my big worry with a wrap-around pillow. For some reason, having anything wrapped around my neck (even a loose scarf sometimes) makes me feel uncomfortably restricted and claustrophobic. Thankfully, I didn’t feel that with the TRTL. The snugness is at the side of your neck where the support is, so there’s no sense of being too wrapped up!

Is it too hot?

Having a fleece wrapped around your neck and chin may sound a little too hot. I find planes are almost always too cold, so the cosy fleece was actually a blessing – but if you run hot, you might want to opt for the TRTL Pillow Cool, which is made from a Tencel Cool Touch fibre with breathable vented panels, to help control your temperature. It’s the same price as the Original Pillow, but looks a little less fuzzy and cozy – so go with your personal preference.

Is it worth the Price Tag?

At £59.99, the TRTL Pillow Original is a bit of a splurge. But even if you only fly long-haul once a year, that price tag is worth it for a good night’s sleep. And of course – you can also use this pillow on trains, buses, and long car journeys. I personally think it’s definitely worth it – especially if you struggle to sleep whilst travelling or suffer from neck pain after sleeping sitting up.

Final Verdict

hand holding a small grey fabric bag with a circular logo reading TRTL in front of a train window with blurry trees outside

Honestly, the TRTL Pillow is an absolute game-changer. I’ve never slept so well on a plane before, and I’ll NEVER travel without it from now on. It’s officially one of my backpacking essentials!

With over 10,000 5-star reviews from customers – as well as rave reviews from the likes of Lonely Planet, Conde Nast, The Independent and AFAR – you don’t just have to take my word for it.

And TRTL offer a 100-day risk-free trial, so if it doesn’t meet your expectations you can send it back for a full refund. Give it a try on your next plane journey and see if you get a better night’s sleep.

I hope you found this review of the TRTL travel pillow helpful. Scroll down to leave a comment if you have a question – or to share your own experiences if you’ve tried the TRTL yourself!

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