Sleepy Ride Footrest Review – This $20 accessory makes sitting in economy bearable

Condé Nast Traveler

It really depends on the space available. It was great to have the Sleepy Ride with me on a recent ITA Airways Rome Flight, but the setup wasn’t ideal because the passengers in front of me were all fully reclined, and I also had a personal item with me. On a JetBlue flight (in economy) from Fort Lauderdale, it worked perfectly. I could either sit with my heels resting on the footrest or place my feet on top of it to elevate my legs while still maintaining a 90-degree angle. 

The tight space in economy isn’t cured, but you can find more ways to be comfortable. It’s because I move a lot that I sometimes had one foot on top and the other under my seat. I am 5’6″. While I’m nervous about bothering the person in the seat ahead of me, it’s never happened. If I’m not You can also find out more about the following: packing light, I’ll bring it along—and I’m always glad to have it. —Madison Flager, senior commerce editor

Not for me

My test flight with the foot hammock was like a dream. I was able to stretch out in the foot hammock on an Aer Lingus return flight to New York. I didn’t have to worry about my seatmate giving me strange looks as I tried to find a position that felt comfortable. When I’m ready to sleep, at 5’9″, my feet rest comfortably on the metal bars of the seat next to me. The foot hammock gave me a variety of options: I could tighten the straps so that it lifted my feet off the ground; I could loosen the straps to create a calf support; or I could place my feet in the hammock to have my knees parallel to my waist. All of them weren’t comfortable.

What was comfortable—and a direct result of the fairly empty flight—was putting the hammock over the tray table of the seat next to me and sitting sideways with my feet up in the stirrup, knees resting on that seat’s back. Since my armrest didn’t go all the way up, it was a way for me to spread out comfortably while being supported by the hammock—a configuration that is only possible in an empty row. I’m a ride-or-die aisle person and I can only imagine how impossible it would be to extricate myself from the hammock each time one of my seatmates were to need the bathroom or a walk down the aisle. Final verdict: You can skip this accessory if your feet are already on the ground. —Meredith Carey, former travel bookings editor

The verdict

Amazon reviewers are generally in agreement with our editors. Of the over 3,400 ratings by customers, 58 per cent gave it five-stars, while another 27 per cent gave it three or even four stars. In the one-star reviews, customers complained that there was not enough space in their coach seats to raise their feet (note: all our editors tried it in coach). Many people who didn’t love it say it doesn’t work well for tall people, while those who wrote glowing reviews frequently mentioned it’s a game-changer for short people. Clearly, height is the determining factor, though as always, there are some outliers, including reviews from people who are 5’8″ to 6′ and found it useful and ones from shorter people who said there wasn’t enough room under their seat to stretch out their legs. Our recommendation: If you’re around 5’6″ or shorter and fly often, or are embarking on a long-haul flight, it’s worth trying out, especially given the price point.

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