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Finally, a Travel Neck Pillow That's Not Ugly and Useless

April 2, 2014 at 5:47 PM | by | ()

We've been discussing Economy Class travel quite a lot recently, from surviving a 14-hour flight sitting up to the next generation of seats, and now it's time to share our little secret in the realm of BYO comfort: the MUJI microbead neck cushion.

Neck pillows are ugly, awkward, and embarrassing to be seen with outside an airport. We kind of hate them, actually, Unfortunately, they're still very much required if you hope for any sort of lengthy sleep in economy.

About three years ago we discovered the microbead neck cushion at one of Japanese retailer MUJI's NYC stores, and it's been keeping us comfy company on long flights ever since. At $25, it doesn't break the bank, and there's a few other excellent reasons we deign to drag it along:

· It's a straight roll pillow, but buckles to form a circular neck pillow. This allows it to easily become a lumbar pillow, and it's simple to pack away when you're not traveling or just on short-haul flights. Buckling it also ensures it won't bend out or shift as you lay into it more and more, while nodding off.
· The buckle strap is adjustable, meaning neck size and preference for fit isn't an issue. We've actually tied a knot in the fabric in one end, to firm up the microbeads for a firmer pillow.
· The cover is a removable and washable. Super important considering all the time the pillow will spend on your face and potentially on an airplane/airport floor. Ew.
· Conservative colors. Right now, MUJI offers the pillow in olive green, light pink, and light blue. Ours is navy, and we've also spotted it in grey and khaki. It essentially always matches our outfit and luggage, and doesn't scream "I'm flying economy and I'm definitely a tourist in your strange land" like some neck pillows emblazoned with funky graphics or flags (obviously last-minute purchases from a Hudson News kiosk).

[Photo: MUJI]

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