A version of this story originally appeared on the Strategist U.S.
Until recently, I’d envied only two kinds of travel pillows. One was the exorbitant cashmere model I was shown at a glossy travel magazine. (Actually, a cashmere bag that you fill with stuff to transform into a pillow.) In that same group was a glorious miniature bed pillow of Canadian white goose down, which I was gifted while working at the same magazine. The second kind of travel pillow was a cheapo made to look like a zebra or a puppy or a pig, and it curled around a fellow passenger’s neck on a long haul for which I’d inevitably — and stupidly — packed no travel pillow. Still, they seemed like too much hassle. Even the goose feathers.
Then I had a kid, however; and sometimes we fly from France to Florida and in reverse, just us. After the first such trips — during which time my daughter slept not at all — I went into the worst migraines of my life: two-day attacks that saw me lurching over the toilet as if poisoned. (I hadn’t known that stress together with sleep deprivation and muscle tension could do that.)
So, this December, before we embarked again, I resolved to do whatever I could to craft a situation onboard in which my 2-year-old and I might pull a Goodnight Moon. For her, that meant ridable toddler luggage that converts a plane seat into bed; for me, it meant neck support in the form of a travel pillow.
After Googling all over the place, and getting distracted by Emilio Pucci (dry-clean-only) offerings, I found the Infinity Pillow on Amazon. I figured its Möbius-loop-like design rendered it more wieldy. It did, and I’d also accidentally found the ideal travel pillow. I chose one in attractive “terra-cotta.”
Designed by the Amsterdam-based cooperative BCXSY, the Infinity is sewn from soft and anti-bacterial nylon bamboo that manages to always feel clean and just the right temp. It’s stuffed with a plushy microfibre that bounces back. Basically, the pillow is a noise-cancelling puff coat that you can wind around your neck and/or over your eyes, or prop behind your back for lumbar support. I laundered and slept with it in bed when we got in — that’s how comfortable it is. Into the bargain, it turns out that the Infinity is super for kids.
I ordered my toddler one of her own, since she stole mine on the outbound flights and snoozed in it like a nest. (She’s onto something: Infinitys and Bedboxes go together like PB&J.) Generally, she seems to accord a magical “fairy ring” quality to this fluffy circle, as if, once she’s thrown it over her, she’s staked some space in which things are pretty good. I have to admit, it kind of has that effect on me too.
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