We tend to keep our neck muscles tight the first few times we float. Even as you learn to relax all the other muscles throughout your body, the brain still unconsciously keeps your neck muscles strained. Afterall, your brain knows that letting your head dip underwater is unsafe, it’s a survival mechanism. Throughout humanity this has almost always been true. With very little exception, the head historically has never been supported by a liquid. Even if you completely understand that your head will float, and completely trust the water you are floating in, it can still take a few floats for your instinctual brain to catch up and become accustomed to the sensation of bobbing on a body of water. This is why the neck pillow is an instrumental part of person’s first few floats.
You can find the neck pillows we use by clicking here
Early on while Sandra and I were first starting a float center, we found that we weren’t interested in small neck pillows that simply provide support at the base of the skull. They would pop out from underneath you too often, and more often than not, customers will spend more time thinking about the pillow than simply relaxing and letting go. We both agreed that head support should be something you place beneath you and forget about, and a standard inflatable travel neck pillow does the trick perfectly. They support themselves enough that they stay in position and will never slip out from under you.
Sandra also found that the best way to wear a neck pillow was not the standard way you would during a car ride. Instead, she found that if you flipped it so that the “C” shape of the pillow cradles the base of your skull instead of wrapping around your neck, it fully supports your entire head comfortably.
Almost every neck pillow available for purchase has a slight fuzz to it that gives it a fabric like feel to the synthetic plastic. While that might be nice for a nap on an airplane, it’s really unnecessary for floating. In fact, when it comes to washing neck pillows in between floats, that fuzz really hangs on to salt and can make even thoroughly rinsed pillows appear salty to customers.
The pillow that we have found to be the best comes with a slight fuzz on the surface, but after one or two washings that surface becomes very smooth. They clean very easily by rinsing in water, and are ready for use immediately. You can find them on Amazon here.
As always, if anyone has a different idea on what makes a great neck pillow, please comment below. If you let us know about a pillow that we end up liking more, we’ll update this page.