What are Inflatable Pillows?

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  • Written By: wiseGEEK Writer
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 04 November 2019
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Inflatable pillows have numerous functions and come in many sizes and shapes that can help promote comfort, especially during travel. Some styles available include lumbar support pillows, typical bed pillow types, and neck pillows that may be used by passengers in cars or airplanes to catch a snooze or simply relax the neck. A few other types exist, but these three are found most often.

Lumbar support inflatable pillows may be used when people are driving or are passengers. They can provide extra back support and keep people sitting in more ergonomic positions. Though shoppers can find these types of pillows that are not inflatable, they may prefer inflatable ones because it’s possible to adjust the level of the air that fills the pillow. Additionally, it can be convenient to carry one of these lightweight pillows when people change cars frequently, are planning long airplane flights, or are going on vacation and perhaps renting cars. It can bulky to carry non-inflatable pillows while traveling.


People may want inflatable pillows for their bed when they travel too. Instead of dragging regular pillows from the bed, these can provide a comfortable cushion for the head at night, and be un-inflated when not in use. Some people also use these in homes because they don’t contain filling that might be subject to dust mite contamination. More often these pillows may be useful for things like camping, or even some backpacking. Sometimes bed pillows are unnecessary when inflatable mattresses have an elevated head section that serves the same function.

Inflatable pillows for the neck are some of the most common, and they are either circular or oval in shape with an open section. They resemble a big cushiony collar that fits around the neck. Many of these pillows have washable covers so the skin doesn’t have to be in contact with vinyl, which may feel hot or scratchy. Again, one of the advantages of these pillows is that they can be inflated more or less for individual tastes. Though there are non-inflatable types, inflatable neck pillows pack into compact shapes and are lighter to carry when traveling.

Key pluses to purchasing inflatable pillows include their ability to inflate fairly easily with a few breaths, since most are relatively in small in size. Other positive factors are ability to un-inflate quickly, ability to adjust firmness, and light weight and easy to pack features. There are some disadvantages, and these include the fact that inflatable objects can spring leaks and are sometimes not very durable. When a leak in a pillow can’t be repaired easily, it means having to replace it or go without, and for those who depend on these pillows for comfort, especially when traveling to remote areas where it isn’t possible to replace a pillow immediately, this can be a liability.


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