Though they're pretty ubiquitous now, the first guy to tote a U-shaped travel pillow on a plane probably got a few sideways glances. Alas, it's not a perfect design, and many gadgets have since hit the market to try to maximize comfort during increasingly uncomfortable flying conditions. Here are five such products, silly though they look, that might just let you get some sweet, sweet sleep.
At first glance, you look like you're just wearing a hoodie while wearing a standard neck pillow. But as the name suggests, the hood is actually attached. Because wearing an actual hoodie... messes with your fashion choices? Is too warm? I'm not exactly sure, but if you regularly crave neck support that also keeps your ears cozy and your eyes shielded, this could be for you.
If you can't get comfy on a plane because your neck tilts uncomfortably to one side, here's a solution. Trtl is a blanket-like pillow that has built-in support ribs that prop your head up at an ergonomic lean. At first glance, it looks like you're wearing a scarf, especially if you have long hair.
Infinity Pillow, $39.99
If you can't be limited to one shape/sleep position, Infinity Pillow works for them all. Loop around your neck, bunch into a ball, wrap around your arms—you're only limited by your imagination (and tolerance for looking ridiculous). Disclaimer: I own this pillow and love it, and people at the airport have stopped me to ask about it. They could very well have laughed at me behind my back after.
Ostrich Pillow, $82.47
If you're a nap-on-the-tray-table type, consider the quite-ridiculous-but-probably-comfortable Ostrich Pillow. This padded hood gives you the feel of an old timey deep sea diving helmet paired with cushy fabric for a face-down snooze. There's a muff for your hands, and a mouth hole so you can breathe. Nap away, brave traveler, nap away.
FaceCradle, around $30
When you really need to sleep and even the thought of everyone staring at you can't keep you awake, grab yourself a FaceCradle. It has multiple modes, so you can use it like a U-shaped pillow, prop it on your shoulder for a good lean, or go full-on, face-down massage table right on the plane (shoulder rub not included). It's raised over $950,000 on Kickstarter so far, so these might end up being more common than you think.