Ron Stern is a world-renowned travel writer whose work has been featured in a laundry list of publications and broadcast outlets from SHAPE Magazine to U.S. News & World Report. Last month, he took a trip to Germany as part of a piece he was writing on Christmas markets across the country. For those who travel often, one of the biggest struggles is sleeping on a bed–and pillow–that’s not individually yours. Since we knew Ron would be sleeping on a foreign bed (and again, pillow) for a week in Germany, we thought we’d outfit him with a Sleep Number® Deluxe Travel Pillow for his journey. Below, you’ll see his thoughts about how the pillow impacted his trip–and more importantly, his sleep.
You recently traveled to Germany for a story on Christmas markets and it sounds like you brought the Sleep Number® Deluxe Travel Pillow along for the ride. How did you sleep on your trip? How did it compare to prior trips sleeping on hotel pillows?
I have some neck problems so finding comfortable pillows, especially when traveling is difficult. The Sleep Number Deluxe Travel Pillow gave me the right amount of comfort that I needed and I didn’t have to worry about what sort of pillow might be offered at the hotels. Consequently, I slept great and more importantly, didn’t wake up with a stiff neck that would typically have me taking pain medication.
How did the Sleep Number Deluxe Travel Pillow work in terms of storage during your trip? Did it fit in your baggage? Was it easy to tote along?
This was the perfect pillow to take on my trip. It was just the right size to fit in the top part of my rollerboard carry-on. Since it was made with memory foam I was also able to compress it as I added more take-home goodies in my luggage. My biggest concern was making sure not to leave it at the hotel where it would be easily camouflaged by the other pillows.
Did you use the Sleep Number Deluxe Travel Pillow during your commutes via plane or train? If yes, how did that work out? And how jealous were the people sitting around you?
I didn’t have the opportunity to try it out when on the plane or train. We were on the move all the time and between carrying a backpack and camera gear, I just didn’t have a way to safely transport it. In the future, however, I will use this on a long flight as it would make trying to sleep that much more comfortable.
Is this the first time you’ve brought your own pillow on a trip? If yes, would you do it again? What were the pros/cons?
I have brought other pillows with me. One was the inflatable kind and it just didn’t work well for me. The other was a larger pillow but I ended up forgetting it at one of the hotels—next to the other pillows of course.
We also sent you our new Sleep Number® AirFit™ Adjustable Pillow to test. I know you most likely didn’t bring this on your trip, but can you talk a bit about your initial reactions to the pillow?
This would have been too large to transport, however, I have had a chance to try it out at home. Compared to the couple dozen pillows I have owned previously, this one was a gem. After I was able to make a couple of adjustments by releasing air, it seemed to conform nicely to my head and neck. I haven’t woken up with a sore neck since I started using it.
Would you recommend the AirFit Pillow to your friends and family? Why or why not?
Yes, I would recommend both pillows to friends and family. One is great for travel and the other wonderful for at home. Anyone who, like me, suffers from arthritis or neck issues knows how important it is to have the proper amount of support so as not to aggravate conditions that could lead for more problems. For me, having a good pair of shoes, a good mattress, back cushion for the car and the right pillows makes all the difference. I will definitely be using both for years to come.