If you want to stay awake on your next flight, here are the best flight accessories for sleeping on board.
To sleep on a plane, you need:
- warm (but not hot)
- Can block everything around you
Thankfully, there are plenty of flight accessories to help you sleep.
Introducing the best products for sleeping on a plane.
Let’s start with the comfort…
U-Shaped Memory Foam Flight Pillow
I’ve tried so many flight pillows, from weird and wonderful shapes to different fillings, textures, and materials. All of them.
I found that the best pillow for flights is a U-shaped memory foam pillow. They usually sell them inside the airport, but it’s much cheaper to buy them online.
Stay warm and cosy during your flight
The temperature on most flights is between 22 and 24 degrees Celsius, but it can feel much colder if you’re sitting still for hours on end.
Recommended to wear:
- comfortable sweatshirt
- oversized blanket scarf
- Or a travel blanket that can be stored in a small pouch
- Warm socks (if you don’t already have them on)
Read more: 7 stylish airplane outfits and comfortable travel outfit inspiration
Noise cancelling headphone too block out everything around you
You’ll need a good pair of noise-canceling headphones and an eye mask to block out the noise and light around you.
There are two options for noise canceling headphones:
- over ear headphones
Personally, I prefer earphones that are small and easy to carry. I know they can get a little uncomfortable after hours of use, and it can be hard to lean into your ears when you have earbuds on. But I still use earphones for the convenience of being small.
Over-ear headphones are bulky and generally feel comfortable in the ear, but they can be difficult to use if you want to lean against one side of your head while sleeping.
I have the JBL Live Pro+ TWS earphones and I love them.
I also have the Beats Studio 3 wireless over-ear headphones, which are great.
What’s the best eye mask to sleep on a plane?
An eye mask is also required, but old eye masks are not available. The best masks for airplanes are those with slightly raised 3D pockets that fit snugly over your eyes. The 3D shape allows your surroundings to stay dark without the mask feeling constricting, restricting, or weird when you try to blink.
The 6 things you need to help you sleep on a plane (even in economy!)
Realistically, you only need six things to sleep comfortably on a plane…
- U-shaped memory foam pillow
- cozy sweatshirt
- travel blanket
- warm socks
- noise canceling headphones
- 3d eye mask
But are there any other gadgets, gizmos or accessories that might help you sleep on a plane?
Here are the best products for sleeping on a plane…
A portable footrest
There are two types of portable footrests available for airplanes.
One is a hammock footrest that loops onto the arm of the food tray. Some airlines may whine about this (Ryanair, I’m talking to you), but the reviews are good and it fits under the tray (especially if you have a window seat) so it’s nice to hide it. It’ll be easy.
The other is an inflatable footrest. You can partially inflate it to any desired height, or fully inflate it to the same height as an airplane seat to create a small bed for your baby or toddler.
weighted anxiety travel blanket
Many people find weighted blankets comfortable, which reduces stress and anxiety and promotes sleep. This weighted blanket comes with a small canvas bag for easy transportation.
White noise apps
If the quietness of your noise-canceling headphones isn’t working for you and the plane noise is…well, too loud, try a white noise app.
Personally, I’m really frustrated and can’t listen. But my husband loves them.
Download some free ones and find your favorite.
Lavender scented products
If certain scents help you relax, it may be worth purchasing a lavender pillow mist, essential oil, balm, moisturizer, etc.
Personally, I can’t say that any of these products help me sleep, but they are nice and help me relax. It also makes a great gift for someone who travels a lot!
Feather and Down Travel Essentials Gift Set
L’Occitane Lavender Hand Cream (Travel Size)
NEOM Perfect Night Sleep Pillow Mist
Phone or tablet holder
If you like falling asleep while watching movies or TV shows, get a phone or tablet holder so you can hang your device on the seat in front of you. That way, you can fall asleep with peace of mind and your hands free.
It’s worth noting that most sleep experts agree that light from phones and tablets actually disrupts sleep and is best avoided if possible.
My top technique for sleeping on a plane – Fake it ‘till you make it!
If you saw me on a plane, you’d probably think I was a pro plane sleeper. But in reality, I usually cheat.
I put on an eye mask, noise-canceling headphones to drown out the noise, a blanket wrapped tightly around me, and a neck pillow to help me sit comfortably. But he’s probably not sleeping. Not yet anyway!
My trick is to simply pretend to be asleep. Then, as if by magic, it will arrive in no time.
Is there any benefit to resting without sleeping?
What allows me to maintain this peaceful state while pretending to sleep is the knowledge that rest is also beneficial.
Although rest is no substitute for sleep, quiet relaxation can help conserve energy and leave you feeling more refreshed when you emerge from a state of quiet wakefulness.
I like to remind myself of this when I start to feel stressed about not being able to sleep.
We’ve all been there. You squirm uneasily in your seat, frustrated and trying to fall asleep, stressed out over not being able to sleep, until your red-eye flight back to London arrives and you have to go to work immediately. I’m counting down the hours. You really need to get some sleep. But the more you try, the more sleep will sink in.
Flight accessories for when you wake up
If you sleep on a plane and wake up, you’ll probably feel sick.
The three things you really need are water, caffeine, and brushing your teeth as soon as possible. Brushing your teeth instantly makes you feel refreshed and makes the world a better place.
I always travel with a large insulated water bottle (remember you need to empty this when going through security), a travel toothbrush, toothpaste, and drink coffee at the earliest opportunity.
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