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I wanted to like the Trtl neck pillow, but the sleep mask is the superior product

I didn’t even think I needed a travel eye mask until now.

Trtl Sleeping Mask, $34.99 at Amazon

Trtl Sleeping Mask, $34.99 at Amazon


Two weeks before the initial Covid-19 shutdowns, I attended a press event for Trtl. I remember people casually mentioning the virus during the get-together, but the event went on as if things were normal. It was at an elegant rooftop venue in the Upper East Side with some of the best finger foods I’ve ever had. I think I ate about six sliders in a minute.

Then the pandemic happened and I completely forgot about the swag bag I received at the end of the event. I’d stuffed the items away in a suitcase and that suitcase was forgotten about for roughly 16 months. But now, during my first flight in months, I finally got a chance to test out some of the Trtl gear. 

I was most excited to try out the Trtl neck pillow because it is top-rated and highly reviewed. I'm pretty familiar with the brand since I already own and love Trtl’s packing pods. A product I’d stuffed at the bottom of my bag and I didn’t think twice about was Trtl’s sleep eye mask. I like eye masks, but I wasn’t really expecting much. However, I greatly loved the eye mask and actually think it is the superior Trtl product. 

Trtl Pillow Plus

Trtl Sleeping Mask

The eye mask has five reviews on Amazon and no reviews on Trtl’s actual website (which, normally, doesn't bode well for a product's quality), whereas the original Trtl Pillow has 26,000 reviews on Amazon and over 20,000 reviews on Trtl’s website. I got the Plus Pillow, so I assumed an extra advantage. The reason people are meant to like Trtl’s pillow more than the average travel pillow is that it is “scientifically proven” to keep your head in a better position.

Pillow is a generous term because it is not actually a pillow, it is neck support. While it is good neck support and I agree that it holds your head in a better position, it is not really what you think of when you picture a pillow because it just isn't very cushiony. That is something that takes adjusting to, especially if you’re used to the standard travel pillow.

However, the eye mask is different from your average sleep mask. It was particularly good for me, as I pay a lot of money for eyelash extensions and a standard eye mask will ruin them. The Trtl sleep mask, on the other hand, has a raised foam layer that keeps the mask from pushing on your eyelashes and eyelids. This design was created to allow for unrestricted eye movement, facilitating better rest by not hinder the rapid eye movement (REM) stage of sleep. It also lets you blink while wearing the mask without dragging your eyes across the fabric.

I did not wear my glasses under the mask.

I did not wear my glasses under the mask.

Ana Suarez for Hearst Newspapers

The mask has a 360-degree blackout that allows for deep sleep. If you need to take a peek at what’s going on, there’s a pull-up front panel for dimmed light while wearing. 

Normally, I can never sleep on planes. I happen to suffer from barosinusitis, which is when my sinuses become inflamed and then rapidly shrink due to alterations in atmospheric pressure. I am usually miserable during take-off and landing because of this. While I have medication that helps, I still could never sleep on planes until I wore this mask.

My flight was supposed to be at 8 PM on a Thursday, but we ended up taking off at 10 PM. I didn’t even know when we took off, because I fell asleep within five minutes of having this mask on. I wasn’t even awake to watch the stewardesses give their safety briefing.  Similarly, I wasn’t even aware that we were landing until I felt the plane touchdown. I did wake up a few times, but that happened because I was uncomfortable in my seat, not because I could see anything or felt any head pain. I think I was awake for no more than 20 minutes of a four-hour flight.

If there is any Trtl product you’re going to shell out money for, let it be this eye mask. It completely changed how I fly and I will never travel without it.