This Sweater Hack Proves You Don't Need To Buy A Travel Pillow To Sleep Well On A Plane

"Great sleep" and "airplane" aren't words that you'd typically use in the same sentence. Cramped and uncomfortable, with seats that barely recline and offer limited leg room, planes aren't necessarily designed with sleeping in mind. And with airlines working to cut back on even more costs, all signs point to the fact that sleeping (and sitting) on a plane is bound to get a whole lot more difficult.

However — in spite of the conditions and the constant interruptions — sleeping on a plane doesn't have to be a game of human-vs-seat Tetris. In fact, all it takes is one quick item to make your nap a whole lot more comfortable. And, better yet, you're probably already bringing it on your trip without knowing.

Hopping on TikTok to share his tips for better sleep, James Leinhardt — Chief Sleep Posture Expert and founder at Levitex, a U.K.-based mattress and pillow manufacturing company — reveals that all you need to keep your neck supported during your mid-flight nap is a rolled-up sweater and a hair tie.

Using a sweater for added support

Here's the thing about neck pillows: most of them aren't designed well enough to ensure your neck stays in a healthy position. In fact, according to Brian Feldman — who leads the Division of Rheumatology at Toronto's Hospital for Sick Children — in a conversation with the Atlantic, traditional neck pillows fail spectacularly at doing the job they're supposedly designed to do. Whether it's because they're too thin, too short, or can't wrap around your neck fully, they just don't have everything it takes to support your neck properly and safely. In other words, they're useless.

That said, and per Leinhardt's advice, instead of splurging on an overpriced neck pillow that won't support the muscles in your neck, you're better off grabbing a hoodie or sweater, folding in the arms, and rolling it up into a burrito-like shape. From there, wrap it around your neck, secure it with an elastic in the front, and voilá! Your new makeshift — and free! — "neck pillow" is ready to keep your neck safe through all the head banging and swaying that comes with napping upright. All of which will come together to make your flight more comfortable and more bearable while you try and catch some Zs at 30,000 feet in the air. Destination Dreamland, prepare for departure.