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road test

Pillow Talk at 35,000 Feet

Sunday, April 10, 2005; Page P02

American and Delta airlines announced that they're eliminating pillows on most flights. While that may reduce the transmission of germs embedded in the purse-size puffs, many fliers still want a place to rest their head. One solution: Bring your own. Here's how six travel pillows measure up. -- Elissa Leibowitz Poma

• Mood Bolster Pillow (800-820-6126, www.ebags.com) and Austin House Perfect Pillow/Squeezable (800-523-5029). $12.50.

WHAT: Smushable pillows filled with minuscule beads.

PROS: Has satinlike covers in explosive colors like raspberry and lime green . . . Nice for people who prefer ultra-soft pillows over firm ones . . . Available in neck, contour and lumbar pillows.

CONS: Doesn't give much support, particularly if you use it as a neck pillow . . . Though small, pillows can't be compressed too well into carry-on bags.

• Eagle Creek Comfort Travel Pillow (800-962-4943, www.magellans.com). $15.

WHAT: An affordable inflatable neck pillow covered in short-ply washable fleece.

PROS: Our favorite among the many inflatable neck pillows available . . . Inflates in just three breaths and deflates easily . . . Folds into a built-in pocket a little larger than a passport . . . Opening large enough for most neck sizes.

CONS: Not many, except common problem with inflatables: When cabin pressure changes, so could the air in the pillow, making it too tight or too slack.

• PB Blanket/Pillow Case (305-444-7595, www.pb-travel.com). $16.95.

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