Title:
Formable travel pillow assembly and method
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A formable travel pillow assembly malleably conforms to various anatomical features of a user's head and/or neck region for enhancing support and comfort during travel or similar situations. The pillow assembly comprises an outer pillow construction and an inner formable member. The pillow construction is formed from a viscoelastic material and comprising first and second pillow ends, a head-accepting seat intermediate the first and second pillow ends, and a member-receiving cavity. The inner formable member is received within the member-receiving cavity and comprises a flexible outer sheath and a ductile inner material. The inner material is formable into select configurations for selectively adjusting the first and second pillow ends relative to the head-accepting seat.



Inventors:
Ali, Sabrina M. (Palatine, IL, US)
Application Number:
11/879238
Publication Date:
01/22/2009
Filing Date:
07/17/2007
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
5/640
International Classes:
A47G9/00
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:
20060191073Nursing care bed with wheel chair facilityAugust, 2006Honda
20090007333PATIENT BED WITH A RETRACTABLE SIDE BARRIERJanuary, 2009Guguin et al.
20050000026Tray support for a mattressJanuary, 2005Gladney
20060260050Multi-table CT or MRI scanner arrangement for increasing patient throughputNovember, 2006Manzione
20070214568Powered Rocking Base for Infant Car SeatSeptember, 2007Dodder et al.
20070017025Folding play yardJanuary, 2007Myer
20070157384Infant's safety bedding to reduce sidsJuly, 2007Alexander
20090300841Health bedDecember, 2009Lee
20100017959KNOCKDOWN FURNITURE FOR INFANTJanuary, 2010Yoshe et al.
20070277315Terrace comforterDecember, 2007Loh
20070107131Pillow with foam insertMay, 2007Fux



Primary Examiner:
KELLEHER, WILLIAM J
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Sabrina Ali (Palatine, IL, US)
Claims:
I claim:

1. A formable travel pillow assembly, the pillow assembly for malleably conforming to various anatomical features, the pillow assembly comprising: an outer pillow construction, the pillow construction being formed from a viscoelastic material and comprising first and second pillow ends, a head-accepting seat intermediate the first and second pillow ends, and a wire-receiving cavity, the viscoelastic material being instantaneously compressible from a relaxed state and retardedly returnable to the relaxed state; and an inner wire assembly, the wire assembly being received within the wire-receiving cavity and comprising a flexible outer sheath and a ductile inner wire, the wire being formable into select configurations for selectively adjusting the first and second pillow ends relative to the head-accepting seat, the selectively adjustable first and second pillow ends for malleably conforming the pillow construction to various anatomical features.

2. The pillow assembly of claim 1 wherein the first and second pillow ends each comprises ear-covering lobe portions, the ear-covering lobe portions for covering a user's ears and thereby providing sound-muffling means for muffling sound entering the user's ears.

3. The pillow assembly of claim 2 comprising a pillow casing, the pillow casing being sized and shaped for receiving and encasing the pillow construction, the pillow casing for interfacing intermediate the pillow construction and the user.

4. The pillow assembly of claim 3 wherein the pillow casing comprises zipper means for opening and closing the pillow casing, the pillow construction being removable from the pillow casing via the zipper means when the pillow casing is open.

5. The pillow assembly of claim 4 wherein the pillow casing comprises a fly construction, the fly construction for concealing the zipper means and for interfacing intermediate the zipper means and the user.

6. A formable travel pillow assembly, the pillow assembly for malleably conforming to various anatomical features, the pillow assembly comprising: an outer pillow construction, the pillow construction being formed from a first material and comprising first and second pillow ends, and a member-receiving cavity extending intermediate the first and second pillow ends, the first material being instantaneously compressible from, and retardedly returnable to, a relaxed state; and an inner formable member, the formable member being received within the member-receiving cavity and comprising a second material, the second material being malleable for selectively forming the pillow construction into select configurations, the selectively formable pillow construction for malleably conforming to various anatomical features.

7. The pillow assembly of claim 6 wherein the first and second pillow ends define ear-covering lobe portions, the ear-covering lobe portions for covering a user's ears and thereby providing sound-muffling means for muffling sound entering the user's ears.

8. The pillow assembly of claim 6 comprising a pillow casing, the pillow casing being sized and shaped for receiving and encasing the pillow construction, the pillow casing for interfacing intermediate the pillow construction and the user.

9. The pillow assembly of claim 8 wherein the pillow casing comprises zipper means for opening and closing the pillow casing, the pillow construction being removable from the pillow casing via the zipper means when the pillow casing is open.

10. The pillow assembly of claim 9 wherein the pillow casing comprises a fly construction, the fly construction for concealing the zipper means and for interfacing intermediate the zipper means and the user.

11. The pillow assembly of claim 6 wherein the formable member comprises a ductile inner material and a flexible outer material, the inner material for contributing ductile properties to the formable member, the outer material for sheath-protecting the inner material.

12. A method of cushioning a user's head during travel, the method comprising the steps of: accepting a posterior portion of a user's head into a head-accepting seat of a travel pillow; and malleably bending first and second ends of the travel pillow toward an anterior portion of the user's head away from the head-accepting seat.

13. The method of claim 12 comprising the step of covering the user's ears with the first and second ends of the travel pillow while bending the first and second ends toward the anterior portion of the user's head.

14. The method of claim 13 comprising the step of instantaneously compressing the head-accepting seat against the posterior portion of the user's head after accepting the posterior portion of the user's head into the head-accepting seat.

15. The method of claim 13 comprising the step of instantaneously compressing the first and second ends against lateral portions of the user's head after malleably bending the first and second ends of the travel pillow toward the anterior portion of the user's head.

16. The method of claim 14 comprising the step of retardedly returning superficial portions of the travel pillow after instantaneously compressing the head-accepting seat against the posterior portion of the user's head.

17. The method of claim 15 comprising the step of retardedly returning superficial portions of the travel pillow after instantaneously compressing the first and second ends against lateral portions of the user's head.

18. A method of cushioning a user's head, the method comprising the steps of: accepting a posterior portion of a user's head intermediate first and second ends of a travel pillow; and malleably bending first and second ends of the travel pillow toward an anterior portion of the user's head.

19. The method of claim 18 comprising the step of covering the user's ears with the first and second ends of the travel pillow after bending the first and second ends toward the anterior portion of the user's head.

20. The method of claim 19 comprising the step of instantaneously compressing the travel pillow against the user's head.

21. The method of claim 20 comprising the step of retardedly returning superficial portions of the travel pillow after instantaneously compressing the travel pillow against the user's head.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Technical Field

The present invention generally relates to a pillow assembly for use during travel. More particularly, the present invention relates to a formable travel pillow, which may be resiliently configured and viscoelastically stressed to match the anatomical contours of a user's head and/or neck.

2. Description of the Prior Art

Some of the more pertinent prior art relating to travel pillows and the like is briefly described hereinafter.

U.S. Pat. No. 3,757,365 ('365 patent), which issued to Kretchmer, discloses a Therapeutic Pillow. The '365 patent teaches a pillow comprising a flat substantially rectangular block of material that is more resilient on its upper top layer and is less resilient on its lowermost layer. It is substantially rectangular overall, but has a cutout in at least one of the longer rectangular sides, although this cutout may be repeated in the opposite rectangular side. The cutout is substantially circular, more or less, and is not greater than a semi-circle, although it may be somewhat less than a semi-circle, the cutout serving to receive the sleeper's shoulder with the attached arm extendable beyond the pillow and not subject to any pressure from the pillow, being entirely free thereof, and, of course, free of any pressure from the sleeper's head. The thickness of the pillow is such that the sleeper's head is supported in a horizontal position, with the neck and windpipe free of any bends. As a result, breathing is freer than with a conventional pillow, where the arm is often extended under the pillow attempting to hold the head horizontal, in which it often fails, but such does succeed in restricting the blood flow in the arm, leading to a condition strongly resembling bursitis in pain and restriction of arm movement, a painful condition not easily remedied.

U.S. Pat. No. 4,617,691 ('691 patent), which issued to Monti et al., discloses a Support Pillow. The '691 patent discloses a generally rectangular or other suitably shaped support pillow adapted to be removably secured around a user's neck. A single elongated wedge-shaped pillow segment is provided with fasteners for joining one end to the other. The wedge shape gives increased lateral support to the user's neck and head. Worn with the fasteners under the user's chin, it gives increased head and neck support whereas if it is worn with the fasteners behind the users head, it gives increased chin and head support. A three piece version is also provided and the various pillow segments may be of various sizes. A laminate may be applied to render the support pillow bacteria proof, flame retardant and waterproof while allowing heat and perspiration to escape. A spring-like closure version is also shown.

U.S. Pat. No. 4,838,611 ('611 patent), which issued to Talaugon, discloses a Car Seat Pillow. The '611 patent teaches a car seat pillow having a pair of side cushions engageable with opposite sides of the child's head, a neck cushion extending between the side cushions, and tether straps for attaching the cushions to the shoulder straps of a car seat with the side cushions being positioned above the shoulder straps toward opposite sides of the seat for supporting engagement with the child's head and the neck cushion being positioned toward the back of the seat for engagement with the back of the child's neck.

U.S. Pat. No. 5,239,717 ('717 patent), which issued to Sue, discloses a Pillow for Arm of Person Holding a Child. The '717 patent teaches a pillow for a caretaker's arm for supporting the head of a baby. It cushions the caretaker's arm against the arm of a chair in which the caretaker is sitting while holding the baby. The baby's head can thus be properly supported in a comfortable manner yet the perspiration generated on the baby's head will be absorbed by the pillow rather than being placed in contact with the caretaker's arm. The pillow is tubular to receive a part of the arm of a caretaker. The material of the pillow also is yieldable to the touch. It can be of a standard size which will fit the arms of different caretakers. A typical length of the pillow is 7 to 14″, the diameter of the pillow is 4 to 9″, and a typical thickness of the pillow when collapsed in a flattened condition is about 1 to 3″. The pillow can be made of any suitable material which is soft and which preferably can be washed so that the pillow can be used over and over again. The pillow forms a tube when it is expanded from a flattened condition. In a flattened, stored condition, the pillow is comprised of two side-by-side interconnected layers which lie flat and are juxtaposed relative to each other.

U.S. Pat. No. 6,763,538 ('538 patent), which issued to Tsai, discloses a Pillow. The pillow of the '538 patent comprises two side frames, at least one crosspiece firmly engaged at two outer ends with locating holes provided at two opposite inner sides of the two side frames, and a plurality of round bars extended between the two side frames with respective outer ends rotatably inserted into insertion holes correspondingly spaced along outer edges of the two opposite inner sides of the side frames. With a predetermined clearance existed between any two adjacent insertion holes, the round bars inserted thereinto are adapted to form rotatable and air-pervious supporting surfaces on the pillow.

U.S. Pat. No. 7,020,919 ('919 patent), which issued to Inaba, discloses a Pillow. The pillow of the '919 patent teaches a pillow of an appropriate height, resiliency, and hardness, which is light in weight and excellent in strength and does not impose too much stress on a user's head and neck while enhancing air permeability and heat dispersion properties, provides good comfort to the user. The pillow includes a pillow body having a head-supporting section for supporting the user's head and a neck-supporting section for supporting the neck, and frame bodies and disposed at both sides of the pillow body to support it. The pillow body is a woven article of resin long elements and the neck-supporting section is harder than the head-supporting section.

U.S. Pat. No. 6,006,381 ('381 patent), which issued to Tandrup, discloses a Support Pillow and references the so-called BENDY BUMPER brand bendable positioning aid as offered by Children's Medical Ventures with current business address of 275 Longwater Drive, Norwell, Mass., 02061 and which may be reached via corporate address, as follows: Respironics, Inc., 1010 Murry Ridge Lane, Murrysville, Pa., 15668. The BENDY BUMPER brand bendable positioning aid stays in place until it is reshaped by the caregiver. This unique molding capability is due to a safe, hermetically-sealed lead rod in the center of a thick, spongy foam body. The bendable rod and cloth covers are designed to be cleaned and reused for multiple patients. The foam body is designed with a view toward single-patient use only. The positioning aid essentially provides a boundary for developing neonates and promotes containment, flexion, correct positioning and musculoskeletal development.

It is noted that the prior art is replete with examples of travel pillows, support cushions, and similar other comfort enhancing media. The prior art further teaches a wide variety malleable members for enabling the user thereof to selectively orient or form the member into myriad configurations. The prior art appears to be silent, however, on a formable travel pillow assembly constructed from viscoelastic and malleable materials for enabling users thereof to malleably form the travel pillow to one's specific anatomical features, which malleable formability is enhanced by way of delayed viscoelastic reaction of the pillow materials during offloading or head/neck displacements.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

Accordingly, it is primary object of the present invention to provide a “one-size-fits-all type formable travel pillow assembly, which assembly may be formed around a person's head and neck region to comfortably provide pillow support to the wearer. To achieve these and other readily apparent objectives, the present invention essentially provides an adjustable travel pillow, which pillow comprises a main pillow body constructed from viscoelastic polyurethane foam otherwise commonly known as memory foam. Embedded inside the memory foam is a bendable wire assembly, which assembly comprises a ductile wire encased in a plastic sheath. The bendable wire assembly has unique structural properties in that when the pillow is bent to adapt the pillow to different positions depending on the user's needs, the wire will take a temporary shape and hold the pillow in the adjusted positions. When the user is finished with the pillow, the pillow can be formed or return to an original flat or axial position and put back in to the storage bag.

The foam has a memory characteristic which enables the foam to return to its original position after it has been compressed and adjusted for use by the user. One of the unique characteristics is believed to reside in the fact that the pillow can be bent around the head and used almost like earmuffs so that it can serve as a pillow for the wearer as well as an earmuff to cut down the surrounding noises, particularly when aboard an airplane or in a car or even sitting on a couch at a person's home. The cradle in the center upper side of the pillow is design to receive the back of the head of the user and the center lower part of the pillow fills the gap between the neck and seat providing an ultimate comfort for the user.

The formable travel pillow assembly may further preferably comprise an outer pillow-encasing cover made of a very soft and smooth fabric and designed so that it has matching configuration to the pillow. The pillow case preferably comprises a zipper that extends longitudinally along the back of the pillow, which zipper may be covered by a fly for added comfort.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

Other features of my invention will become more evident from a consideration of the following brief description of patent drawings:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the formable travel pillow assembly according to the present invention as used by a first user.

FIG. 2 is a top perspective view of the formable travel pillow assembly formed into a substantially semi-circular or bent configuration.

FIG. 3 is an anterior plan view of the formable foam pillow formed into an axial configuration with a pillow-encasing cover removed and a section of the pillow removed to show a bendable member embedded inside the pillow.

FIG. 4 is a right lateral end view of the formable foam pillow in an axial configuration with the pillow-encasing cover removed and a section of the pillow removed to show the bendable member and its location inside the foam pillow.

FIG. 5 is a plan view of the bendable member in its axial form with an outer section thereof removed to show an internal ductile wire, which wire is encased in a plastic sheath.

FIG. 6 is a plan view of the bendable member in a first formed configuration, which configuration is embedded inside the foam pillow as formed into an axial configuration.

FIG. 7 is a posterior plan view of the formable travel pillow assembly including a pillow-encasing cover and the location of the zipper with a fly. A cross section through the fly is showing the actual zipper location.

FIG. 8 is a top plan type depiction of the formable travel pillow assembly as donned by a first user having a first set of dimensioned anatomical features.

FIG. 9 is a top plan type depiction of the formable travel pillow assembly as donned by a second user having a second set of dimensioned anatomical features, the second set of dimensioned anatomical features being generally lesser in magnitude than the first set of dimensioned anatomical features otherwise depicted in FIG. 8.

FIG. 10 is a diagrammatic depiction of a force load compressing a viscoelastic material with velocity vectors of the same magnitude and direction.

FIG. 11 is a diagrammatic depiction of a load being removed from viscoelastic material otherwise depicted in FIG. 10 with velocity vectors of the same direction, but differing magnitudes.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT(S)

Referring now to the drawings with more specificity, the preferred embodiment of the present invention generally concerns an adjustable travel pillow or formable travel pillow assembly 9 as illustrated and referenced in FIGS. 1, 2, 7-9. The pillow assembly 9 preferably comprises a bendable wire or member assembly 11 as illustrated and referenced in FIGS. 3-6; a foam pillow construction 10 as illustrated and referenced in FIGS. 3, 4, and 7; and a pillow case or cover assembly 13 as illustrated and referenced in FIGS. 1, 2, and 7-9. As may be understood from an inspection of FIGS. 1, 8, and 9, the pillow assembly 9 may be donned or worn about the head 20 and/or neck region 21 of the user 30, and resiliently formed via the bendable member assembly 11 to comfortably conform the assembly 9 to various users' specifically dimensioned anatomical features.

The bendable wire or member assembly 11 is instantly adjustable via manual manipulation and able to hold any contour shape without support. The assembly is preferably constructed from soft lead intermediate steel ribbons and encased in flexible clear plastic or polymeric sheathing. In other words, the assembly 11 preferably comprises an outer flexible plastic or polymeric sheathing 16 which sheathing 16 encases a ductile or malleable wire or member 12 as generally depicted in FIGS. 5 and 6. Stated more broadly, the formable member assembly 11 may comprise an inner flexible material and an outer ductile material, such that the inner material functions to contribute malleable properties to the formable member assembly, and the outer material functions to sheath-protect the inner material.

The pillow construction 10 preferably comprises or is constructed from a select polyurethane foam having memory such that when compressed, the contour of the compression point elastically deforms, and viscously returns to, or toward, the relaxed or unstressed foam configuration. In this regard, it is contemplated that the pillow construction 10 may be preferably constructed from a high density, slow recovery viscoelastic polyurethane foam for viscoelastically reacting to loading/unloading during use, or as donned by the user 30.

In other words, it is contemplated that the user's head 20 and/or neck region 21 may compress the relaxed configuration of the pillow assembly 9 following select formation thereof in superficial adjacency to the user's head 20 and/or neck region 21 via malleable bending action of the bendable member assembly 11. Notably, during travel or similar other situational use, the user's head 20 and/or neck region 21 may become displaced from the original head/neck configuration to leave gaps between the head 20 and/or neck region 21 and the pillow assembly 9. During said displacement, the off-loaded portions of the pillow construction 10 viscously return to, or toward, the displaced head 20 and/or neck region 21. In other words, after the compressive load has been removed during head/neck displacement, the memory of the pillow construction functions to viscously fill the gaps otherwise left by the head/neck displacement(s).

The pillow construction 10 further comprises a unique contour construction comprising a first pillow end 40 as illustrated and referenced in FIGS. 1-3 and 7-9; a second pillow end 41 as illustrated and referenced in FIGS. 1-4 and 7-9; a head-accepting seat or hollow 42 intermediate the first and second pillow ends 40 and 41 as illustrated and referenced in FIGS. 2, 3, and 7-9; and a wire-receiving cavity 43 as referenced with broken lines in FIG. 3. Being preferably formed from a viscoelastic material as at 110, the pillow construction is instantaneously compressible under a load from a relaxed state thus exhibiting elastic properties and retardedly returnable via removal of the load to the relaxed state thus exhibiting viscous properties.

From a comparative inspection of FIGS. 1, 8, and 9, it may be seen that the first and second pillow ends 40 and 41 may preferably be sized and shaped so as to enable the user to cover his or her ears 22. It may thus be said that the first and second pillow ends 40 and 41 each comprise ear-covering lobe portions 44. It is contemplated that the ear-covering lobe portions 44 may well function to cover the user's ears 22 and further provide certain sound-muffling means for muffling sound (as at 100 in FIGS. 8 and 9) from otherwise entering the user's ears 22.

Notably, from a comparative inspection of FIGS. 3 and 6, it may be seen that the malleable member assembly 11 comprises a first member end 17 and a second member end 18, which member ends 17 and 18 are preferably bent or oriented at roughly 90 degrees relative to the axis of the malleable member assembly 11 such that the member ends 17 and 18 as well as the axis of member assembly 11 are coplanar as further generally depicted in FIG. 4. The member ends 17 and 18 extend into the cavity 43 formed within the lobe portions 44 for providing added interstitial formable support within the lobe portions 44. In other words, it is contemplated that the ends 17 and 18, as orthogonally bent relative to the axis of member assembly 11, provide the user with certain means for forming the lobe portions 44 about, or in superficial adjacency to, the user's ears 22. Further, the ends 17 and 18 may comprise certain knobbed or knob-like structure as at 19 to help prevent axial displacements within the cavity 43 or to otherwise anchor member assembly 11 therein.

The pillow casing 13 is preferably sized and shaped for receiving and encasing the pillow construction 10 and is constructed from any suitable material or fabric for providing a comfortable interface intermediate the pillow construction 10 and the user 20. Preferably, however, the casing 13 may comprise hypoallergenic, anti-bacterial material(s) and comprise certain zipper means for selectively opening and closing the pillow casing 13 as generally depicted and referenced at 14 in FIG. 7. It is contemplated that the pillow construction 10 may be compressed and removed from the pillow casing 13 via the zipper means 14 when the pillow casing 13 is in an open state. Still further, it is contemplated that the pillow casing 13 may preferably comprises a fly construction as at 15 in FIG. 7 for concealing the zipper means 14 and for providing a certain interface intermediate the zipper means 14 and the user 20 to enhance comfortable use of the pillow assembly 9.

While the above description contains much specificity, this specificity should not be construed as limitations on the scope of the invention, but rather as an exemplification of the invention. For example, the foregoing teachings may be said to essentially teach a formable travel pillow assembly for resiliently conforming to various anatomical features of a user, which pillow assembly comprises an outer pillow construction such as pillow construction 10 and an inner wire assembly such as member assembly 11. The pillow construction is preferably formed from a viscoelastic material 110 and comprises first and second pillow ends 40 and 41, a head-accepting seat 42 intermediate the first and second pillow ends 40 and 41, and a wire-receiving cavity 43. The viscoelastic material 110 is instantaneously compressible under a load 105 having a velocity as at vector 101 from a relaxed state. In this regard, it will be seen that material 110 undergoes a directional deformation with velocity on par or with the same magnitude as load velocity 101 as diagrammatically depicted in FIG. 10 at velocity vector 102. The viscoelastic material 110 is then retardedly returnable to the relaxed state when the load is removed with a velocity (such as velocity 106). In this regard, the reader is directed to FIG. 11. From an inspection of FIG. 11, it may be readily understood that the velocity (as at vector arrow 103) is in the same as velocity 106, but of a smaller magnitude, and thus the return to relaxation is retarded relative to the velocity of load removal.

The inner wire assembly is received within the wire-receiving cavity and comprises a flexible outer sheath 16 and a ductile inner wire 15. The wire 15 is formable into select configurations for selectively adjusting the first and second pillow ends 40 and 41 relative to the head-accepting seat 42. The selectively adjustable first and second pillow ends 40 and 41 function to resiliently conform the outer pillow construction to various anatomical features of the user as a means to enhance supportive function and overall pillow comfort for the user.

Stated another way, the formable travel pillow assembly may be said to essentially comprise an outer pillow construction and an inner formable member. The pillow construction is preferably formed from a first material and comprises first and second pillow ends 40 and 41, and a member-receiving cavity 43 extending intermediate the first and second pillow ends 40 and 41. The first material is instantaneously compressible under a load from a relaxed state and retardedly returnable to the relaxed state when the load is removed. The inner formable member (such as member assembly 11) is received within the member-receiving cavity 43 and comprises a second material. The second material is preferably ductile or malleable for selectively forming the pillow construction into select configurations. The selectively formable pillow construction may well function to resiliently conform the pillow assembly to various anatomical features.

In addition to a formable travel pillow assembly 10 set forth herein, it is further contemplated that the foregoing specifications may well support certain methodology for cushioning a user's head 20 during travel as generally depicted in FIG. 1. In this regard, it is contemplated that the method may be said to essentially comprise the steps of accepting a posterior portion of a user's head 20 into a head-accepting seat (such as seat 42) of a travel pillow (such as pillow assembly 9); and resiliently or malleably bending first and second ends (such as ends 40 and 41) of the travel pillow toward an anterior portion of the user's head 20 away from the head-accepting seat. In this regard, focus should be given to the adverbs describing the act of bending. Once bent (as at arrows 109 in FIG. 2) from a first position (as generally and comparatively depicted in FIGS. 3 and 4) to a second position (as generally depicted in FIG. 1), the first and second ends stay in positioned placement and do not otherwise elastically return.

The method may be said to further comprise the steps of covering the user's ears with the first and second ends of the travel pillow while bending the first and second ends toward the anterior portion of the user's head; instantaneously compressing the head-accepting seat against posterior portion of the user's head/neck after accepting the posterior portion of the user's head into the head-accepting seat (as diagrammatically depicted in FIG. 10); instantaneously compressing the first and second ends against lateral portions of the user's head (e.g. against or toward the user's ears 22) after malleably bending the first and second ends of the travel pillow toward the anterior portion of the user's head; retardedly returning superficial portions of the travel pillow after instantaneously compressing the head-accepting seat against the posterior portion of the user's head (as diagrammatically depicted in FIG. 11); and retardedly returning superficial portions of the travel pillow after instantaneously compressing the first and second ends against lateral portions of the user's head.

Accordingly, although the invention has been described by reference to certain preferred embodiments, and certain cushioning methodology, it is not intended that the novel pillow construction or cushioning methodology be limited thereby, but that modifications thereof are intended to be included as falling within the broad scope and spirit of the following claims and the appended drawings.