You may have heard of the Trtl Travel Pillow, but are you aware of the Trtl Pillow Plus? This pillow is similar to the original Trtl but with some welcome improvements. The Trtl Travel Pillow was thought up by two Scottish college friends back in 2013. The mechanical engineering graduates wanted to offer an alternative to traditional bulky travel pillows and thus the Trtl was born.
Instead of a foam U-shaped design, the Trtl is essentially a cross between a neck brace and scarf, with a foam-lined plastic support piece that sits between your shoulders and jaw, gently but firmly cradling the head.
In 2018 a crowdfunding campaign for the Trtl Pillow Plus was launched, to create an adjustable and more breathable version of the Trtl, and it’s now a permanent product. Is it worth the extra money? We’ll share how the Trtl Travel Pillow Plus stacks up in this in-depth review.
Who Is the Trtl Travel Pillow Plus Best for?
Pros: Who Might Like the Trtl Travel Pillow Plus:
- Petite and taller people – The original Trtl has some great attributes, but it’s not adjustable, so shorter and taller people might find it doesn’t sit right. The Trtl Pillow Plus has an adjustable plastic support piece, allowing you to customize the size to fit you better.
- People who like the original Trtl but want more padding and cooling – There’s a thicker foam lining on the Trtl Pillow Plus, which provides more cushioning against the concealed plastic support system. The fabric wrap is also more breathable than the original.
- Those looking for a lightweight, compact travel pillow – Traditional travel pillows are often bulky, but the Trtl Pillow Plus is compact, weighing just under 9 ounces. It comes with a water-resistant carry pouch and can be easily stowed in a bag or wrapped around the handle of your carry-on.
Cons: Who Might Not Like the Trtl Travel Pillow Plus:
- People who use over-ear headphones – If you like to use over-ear headphones while you sleep, you might find that the plastic insert gets in the way.
- Those wanting a multi-use pillow – We think this Trtl pillow does a great job of supporting the head and neck but it’s not a regular plush pillow, so you can’t use it for lumbar support, tray table sleeping, or napping on the floor of the airport. Check out our Best Travel Pillows for more options.
- Budget shoppers – At 89.99 dollars, the Trtl Pillow Plus is 40 dollars more than the original Trtl and isn’t the cheapest travel pillow on the market.
Sleep Advisor’s Testing Methodology
Buying a travel pillow can involve a lot of trial and error – and expense – and our aim is to provide facts and unbiased opinions to help you make an informed decision. We test pillows for qualities like comfort, support, durability, and ease of care, so you have a thorough understanding of the product before buying.
What is the Trtl Travel Pillow Plus Made of?
The Trtl Travel Pillow’s cover wrap is made of a light and breathable polyester, spandex, and rayon mix, which feels less warm than the fleece fabric of the original. However, there’s still a fleece lining for coziness. The original Trtl has a single velcro fastener, but the Trtl Pillow Plus has two, to help make it more secure. The pillow also comes with a water-resistant carrying bag.
The Trtl features a plastic support system that’s called a ‘flipper’, and it sits between your shoulder and jaw to cradle your head and keep it from bobbing around. The flipper can be adjusted via two dials, which increase or decrease the size, making it suitable for various body types. A thick layer of luxurious, high-density foam sits between the flipper and your head for added comfort.
Trtl Travel Pillow Plus Firmness & Feel
While a plastic inner support system might sound uncomfortable, we found it to be very comfy thanks to the thick layer of foam that lines it. This also helps provide head and neck support to keep pain at bay.
The polyester, spandex, and rayon wrap provides softness and breathability, while the fleece inside offers some cozy comfort. Even though this one doesn’t have as much fleece as the original, we’d argue that the Trtl Pillow Plus is actually cozier due to the extra foam on the support system, which provides a soft buffer. While this pillow is comfy and offers fantastic support, it’s not plush like a regular pillow and may take some getting used to.
As this isn’t a conventional travel pillow, it doesn’t have loft per se, but – as mentioned above – the Trtl Pillow Plus does feature thicker foam than the original Trtl, offering more of a buffer between your head and the plastic support system.
Weight (Density of the Pillow)
The Trtl Pillow Plus comes in at just under 9 ounces, which is slightly heavier than the 4.5-ounce Trtl original but still very lightweight.
Sleeping on the Trtl Travel Pillow Plus
We found the Trtl Travel Pillow Plus to be a great travel buddy, offering fantastic head and neck support regardless of whether our head tried to lean off to the side or to the front. However, travelers who like to rest their head on the tray table may be put off by the fact the Trtl offers zero cushioning for your head in this position, unlike a traditional travel pillow.
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- Side sleepers may struggle in the middle or aisle seat without having something to lean on, as they’re used to leaving their head to the side when sleeping. This is where the Trtl Pillow Plus comes in since the inner support system provides a secure surface to lean your head.
- As the support is provided by foam-lined plastic, rather than pure foam, it doesn’t compress, thus keeping your head upright. The only issue we have is that you have to choose which side the support goes on, so you have to keep leaning your head that way. However, this shouldn’t be a problem if you have a preferred side for sleeping.
- If you’re used to back sleeping, you may be comfortable reclining your seat in order to nap, though you could still find your head bobbing about. The Trtl Pillow Plus helps prevent movement by comfortably securing your head in place, and you can even position the support between your chest and chin when sleeping upright to maintain a healthy head and neck alignment.
- Stomach sleepers are used to leaning forward to sleep, which can make it more challenging to sleep on planes. However, as above, the Trtl Pillow Plus does a great job at preventing your head from rolling forward when sleeping upright, which could help you sleep better on a plane.
- With that in mind, if you’re someone who likes to rest their head on the tray table to sleep, the Trtl Pillow Plus isn’t plush, so you wouldn’t want to use it for that.
Sleep Advisor’s Performance Ratings for the Trtl Travel Pillow Plus
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Sleep Advisor’s Performance Ratings for the THIS_BRAND Mattress Topper
The Trtl Pillow Plus features a combination of polyester, spandex, and rayon fabric along with, a mesh strip of spandex and nylon and then fleece in the lining. This makes for much better temperature regulation than the original all-fleece Trtl and should mean less chance of a sweaty neck.
The main aim of the Trtl is support, and we feel it does a fantastic job at this. A plastic support system is used, as this can’t be compressed like a softer fill can, which helps keep your head upright when sleeping in a seat. The Trtl Pillow Plus is also height adjustable for tailored support.
The materials used seem high quality, but while the plastic insert feels durable (it’s designed to be strong yet flexible) we’d still warn against stuffing this at the bottom of your bag, just in case. We like that the Trtl Pillow Plus comes with a water-resistant carrying bag, unlike the original. This should help keep it in good condition while traveling.
We found the Trtl Pillow Plus was even more comfortable than the original, thanks to the adjustability and thicker foam pad that provides a better buffer between your face/head and the plastic support. We appreciated the breathable fabric on the Trtl Pillow Plus, which wasn’t sweaty like the original’s fleece.
The only downside is that you may have difficulty using this simultaneously with over-ear headphones.
The Trtl Pillow Plus does contain a small amount of foam, but this isn’t compressed in packaging, so we didn’t notice any off-gassing smell.
While the original Trtl pillow has a hypoallergenic cover, we did not find any details about this product being hypoallergenic or having any certifications. The good news, though, is that it’s machine washable, which should help with allergens.
Cleaning & Care
The Trtl Pillow Plus’ wrap is machine washable; simply take out the plastic insert and place the wrap in the machine on a cool wash with mild detergent. You can either air dry or machine dry (on low heat) your pillow, and as mentioned, the Trtl Pillow Plus comes with a water-resistant carry bag that should help keep it clean on your adventures.
Sleep Trial & Warranty
There’s no warranty with the Trtl Travel Pillow Plus, but you do get a 100-day money-back guarantee, so if you’ve tried the pillow and don’t like it, you can get a full refund (minus shipping).
Trtl Travel Pillow Plus Frequently Asked Questions
What’s the difference between the Trtl and Trtl Pillow Plus?
There are several differences between the Trtrl and Trtl Plus, the first of which is the price difference; the Trtl is currently 49.99 dollars, while the Trtl Pillow Plus is 89.99 dollars. The Trtl has an all-fleece wrap, a fixed support system, and one velcro fastener, while the Trtl Plus has a more breathable polyester, spandex, and rayon wrap (with fleece lining), an adjustable support system, and two velcro fasteners. The Trtl is currently available in four colors, while the Trtl Plus is only available in two.
Can I wash my airplane pillow?
It depends on which one you have – check the care label or reach out to the manufacturer if in doubt. The Trtl Plus is machine washable, so long as you use mild detergent and cold water. Air dry or machine dry on low.
How do you wear a Trtl travel pillow?
To wear a Trtrl travel pillow, unwrap the pillow and place the supportive part either below your chin or on one side of your head. Wind the wrap part of the pillow around the back of your neck and continue around until it reaches the supportive part, fastening it in place with the velcro.
How do I choose a travel pillow?
To help you make a shortlist, take into account things like size, shape, portability, type, and, of course, price. It’s also helpful to read reviews like ours, which can give you more unbiased information than the manufacturer’s website might.
How Does the Trtl Travel Pillow Plus Pillow Compare to Other Pillows?
Trtl Travel Pillow Plus vs Trtl Travel Pillow
Sleep Advisor Score
4.60 / 5
Who Should Get the Trtl Travel Pillow Plus?
- Hot sleepers
- Petite or taller people
- Those who want a carrying pouch included
Who Should Get the Trtl Travel Pillow?
- Shoppers on a smaller budget
- People who tend to get cold on planes
- Average-sized people
If you think the Trtl Travel is right for you, check out our Trtl Travel pillow review.
Our Final Thoughts on the Trtl Travel Pillow Plus
If you’re after a plush, squishy travel pillow that you can use for lumbar support or airport floor naps, this isn’t a great choice. However, it’s got great advantages those thicker travel pillows lack. It’s lightweight and compact while also being able to help keep your head upright while seated.
Average-size travelers and people who don’t overheat while sleeping should be fine with the original Trtl, but if you’re on the shorter/taller side or tend to run hot, then you’ll likely benefit from paying the extra 40 dollars for the Trtl Plus’ adjustable support and breathable wrap. Plus, you’ve got the 100-day money-back guarantee to make the most of, so give it a go and see how you feel. Our overall score for this product is 4.1 out of 5.