Consumer Reports: Is your pillow working

So many people look for a pillow that feels right in the store, but a squeeze can only tell so much. You actually have to lay on it for 10 -15 minutes before your neck sinks into the pillow.

And because everybody’s body is different, Consumer Reports says there’s no one size fits all.

For example – cervical pillows claim to alleviate neck pain. Experts Consumer Reports has spoken to say that a cervical pillow can help relieve neck pain but a lot of it depends upon fit. If that pillow is too high or too low it can affect the way that your neck is laying on it and cause more pain.

Another mistake people tend to make: over correcting what’s wrong with their current pillow. If they have a pillow that’s too flat or too soft they might go out and look for one that’s a lot fuller and firmer or they’ll sleep on too many pillows and that could upset the natural curve of their neck. Instead we recommend that people find a pillow that fits their sleep position

If you’re a back-sleeper, Consumer Reports found one of the specialty wedge pillows may be an option — If you have snoring or sinus issues that wedge pillow can elevate your head and might relieve some of that pressure.

Side-sleepers have more options, but you still want to make sure your pillow is properly supporting you. Four inches off the mattress is the best way to maintain the natural curve in your head and your neck. Consider firm or extra firm pillows made from memory foam or latex to keep your head at the proper angle.

Consumer Reports says no matter where or which type of pillow you buy, check the return policy to make sure you can return it if it doesn’t work for you.

Airline travel survival guide

It’s not your imagination: Some airplanes now come with seats closer together, smaller bathrooms, and less space for carry-on luggage. So it’s no surprise that flying is less comfortable and more aggravating. But what really bugs passengers most?

Consumer Reports says that with the rise of the low-cost carriers, there’s been increased competition to get airfares at the lowest possible price, and they hope that travelers will then decide to upgrade their tickets to more expensive fares offering more perks. Airlines offer enticements such as early boarding, extra legroom, and a checked bag, but all for an additional price.

So how do you score a more comfortable, hassle-free flight without extra fees? Consumer Reports says choose a top-rated airline. In its latest survey of over 52 thousand CR members reporting on nearly one-hundred -thousand economy-class domestic flights, the airlines that received the best overall scores were Southwest, Alaska, JetBlue, and Hawaiian. All four scored high marks in cabin cleanliness, keeping passengers informed of flight status, and good service from airline staff.

The bottom two were Frontier and Spirit. They received low marks for ease of check-in, keeping passengers informed of flight status, and pricing transparency.

And how do you get the best price for your flight? Consumer Reports suggests searching multiple times over multiple days, and shop both at airline websites and third-party sites such as Kayak and Orbitz.

Consumer Reports: Best way to pack a carry-on suitcase

If you’re taking a plane trip anytime soon you might consider bringing only a carry-on. Some airlines have recently upped their fees from $25 to $30 per checked bag. But not to worry, it is possible to fit everything into a carry-on. Consumer Reports is here to help with space-saving packing techniques.

Consumer Reports says that the number one thing you need to do is make a list of your essentials. Include everything: clothing, shoes, toiletries, medication, electronics and documents like passports.

Next – forget about a separate outfit for each day. Instead mix and match – 3 tops to go with one pair of pants, for example. And stick with 3 pairs of shoes. Big things like shoes should go in the bottom. Pack them toe to heel at the base for stability. And roll non-wrinkle prone items instead of folding them. And what about your undergarments? Put them in between the cracks. Stuff your socks into your shoes and into your toiletry bag, too.

Tuck scarves and belts along the edges of your suitcase. Save wrinkle-prone items for last. Put them in a bag and lay them flat on the top. And try to use outside pockets for things like itineraries and computers.

Follow these steps and you just might have room for souvenirs.

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