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Ostrichpillow Light - the sleep turban that has transformed my long-haul journeys

Far more presentable than the frankly ridiculous original Ostrichpillow, and offering the total darkness an eye mask can never match, this is the only way to fly

I remember seeing an Ostrichpillow for the first time. It looked like a bulb of garlic had mated with a football mascot and their spawn had eaten a human. It is an immersive, outsized, semi-portable nap-station – and utterly compelling. Seriously, if you haven’t seen one, have a look. The Ostrichpillow website features some profoundly odd promo shots: a woman curled into the foetal position under a table; someone sleeping standing up like a horse, head resting on a wall; another encased in an outsized fist of grey fabric. The plump, segmented gourd totally envelops the head, with openings at the side into which hands can disappear. It looks so odd, and from the first second I saw it I thought: “I want that.”

I didn’t buy one, though. As inviting as it looks, you would need courage to use it. An Ostrichpillow in the wild is a bleak snapshot of corporate burnout. The wearer appears to have given up on life, let alone their job. If your boss saw you cosplaying as Toad from Super Mario Bros and sleeping in a corridor, they would assume you were near mental collapse. Thank the Ostrich Lords, then, that the company has come out with a slimline alternative. Ostrichpillow Light (£32) is a segmented turban stuffed with tiny beads that wraps around the neck or eyes. It is an attempt to capture the engulfing quality of the original in a more elegant form. Rather than a job-jeopardiser, it is marketed as a travel pillow. To test it, I catch an economy flight home from Los Angeles where I had gone to eat cheap tacos. (Financially speaking, I’m good at making bad decisions.)

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