I like to sleep on planes. I've tried a couple of options and identified their pain points below:
- no pillow = sore neck or that awkward nodding-off head-jerking thing that makes the person sitting next to me edge away from my drooling, bobbing head
- airplane pillow = head lice
- $10 blow-up neck pillow purchased from airport newsstand = lightheaded feeling after blowing into a tiny hole for ten minutes, gross red marks from where the vinyl seams rub against my skin, and recognition that I must have an oddly sized neck
- fancy buckwheat-filled neck pillow = expensive and unwieldy --at some point it touched the floor of the airport ladies' bathroom and I had to throw it away immediately
This neck pillow from Eagle Creek (the full-size version--I can't vouch for the compact size) is by far the best thing ever to happen to my neck on an airplane. It blows up with two quick puffs of air, has a removable fleece cover, and fits my huge neck with ease.
I have the gray one and it reminds me of getting a big hug around the neck from a koala. I've never actually been hugged by a koala, but I assume this is what it would feel like.
Bonus points because I bought it from Sky Mall. You're not a real traveler unless you get Sky Mall delivered to your house.