DIY Neck Pillow

Does anyone else find sleeping on an airplane ridiculously uncomfortable?

Here’s the way it goes for me: lean back against the headrest; fold tray down and rest on arms (facial orifices just inches from unimaginable germs left from laptops, kleenex, babies, etc.); inevitably jerk awake as hurtling towards the stranger in the next seat. Repeat.

Last February, with a big trip to Jamaica coming up, I decided it was time to rectify this situation once and for all (without springing for SkyMall’s monstrous face rest). So before flying off to the Land of Wood and Water, I decided to pick up a needle and thread for the first time in a long time and sew my own neck pillow.


The Process

This only required a few simple materials:

  • the ol’ needle and thread
  • pillow stuffing
  • fabric, which I took from an unloved pair of pajama pants wasting away in my closet

In case you haven’t noticed, the crotch of a pair of pants looks an awful lot like a neck pillow. (See Fig. 1.)

Fig. 1. (Don’t worry, I did not use khakis for this pillow.)

In an effort to keep things as simple as possible, I cut out the crotch of the pants, and voilà! The inside of the pillow was already stitched! (I might not advise this approach, but more on that later.)

The process was easy-peasy after that. I flipped the fabric inside out to conceal the seam, and used a simple running stitch to sew the pillow together. About halfway through, I flipped the pillow right-side out and continued.


As I pulled through that final stitch and tied it off, I marveled at the final product. Wow–it looked like a crotch!

This neck pillow was made for walkin’.

Baby Shorts or not, when I placed this baby around my neck and rolled my head around it to test it out, it was a fluffy, magical cloud.


The Verdict

So, did this neck pillow live up to all the expectations I had? Did it solve my sleeping woes?

Not really. I’m becoming more convinced that neck pillows just weren’t made for the sleeper self-conscious about conking out with her head back and mouth agape. (Spiders: need I say more?) That being said, this makes for a really cozy sleeping pillow. En route to Jamaica, I ended up resigning myself to putting it on the tray table and sleeping there, hunched over again. However, it worked perfectly as a barrier from the germs.

If neck pillows do work for you (and I hope they do), go ahead and make your own, and let me know how it goes for you! Also–if you have tried that monstrous sleeping face rest from SkyMall magazine, will you tell me how you like it?

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