Many of you may be gifted sleepers, who can snooze anywhere, sitting, lying down, or amongst all the commotion that comes with traveling.
Others may have trouble getting some quality shut-eye, whether you’re a seasoned globetrotter on long flights or a sporadic traveler taking regular car rides.
Notwithstanding if you’re traveling in an airplane seat, clocking miles in the middle seat of a car, or on backpacking trips in the wilderness you want to fall asleep with maximum comfort.
You find yourself entering the confusing world of travel accessories and travel pillows. There are different sizes and styles, ranging from the traditional U shape to the more unique shape of the J-Shape style, to the wrap styles.
How do you navigate which travel pillows provide excellent support, are space-saving for your overnight bag, and are the right aid in falling asleep comfortably?
We compiled a list of the best travel pillow on the market. So board your next long flight with more support for your sleep position and get to your destination bright-eyed and bushy-tailed!
This article was written by Staying Alive CrewPublished at 04:07 pm
It’s better described as the jack-of-all-trades with its multi-purpose use.
Appropriate for all occasions, regardless of whether you’re heading on a flight, a long drive, or parking a tent in the wilderness. Unlike other memory foam pillows, this pillow fill has shredded memory foam.
The fill is totally adjustable to meet your preferences. If the pillow is too firm for your liking, feel free to take some foam out.
On the other hand, if you want more memory fill, just hop on to your local Coop store where they sell memory foam separately.
The Coop Camping and Travel Pillow is a great option for the great outdoors, it will provide you with home comforts while you’re away from home and keep you cool at the same time.
It can morph into various shapes to provide you with the comfort and support you’re looking for when sleeping.
Whether you want to nap at your desk or lie on your couch to read and want to support your neck, or you’re a member of the mile-high club and want to snooze without your head falling forward, the HUZI Infinity is the best pillow for you.
If you really want to push the boat out, opt for the Bon Voyage Kit, which includes the Infinity pillow and a Bamboo eye mask along with a practical travel case.
Making it easy to lug this lump of comfort around with you to your heart’s content, irrespective of the airline seat you find yourself sitting on.
Bamboo fabric - 60% Nylon, 40% Bamboo Rayan
Lining - 95% Polyester, 5% Cotton
Pillow comes complete with a strap
Versatile design & Infinity shape
Washable in a machine
Model: Infinity Neck and Travel Pillow
Size: 13.78 x 5.51 x 7.87 inches
Weight: 1.05 pounds
International shipping available to select locations (fees apply)
Available in 7 colors
A great pick for seekers of a Mobius multi-purpose pillow
One size pillow fits all heights
Great for all types of sleepers
Travel accessories included in Bon Voyage Kit - Infinity pillow & Bamboo eye mask & travel case
Not for travelers seeking an inflatable pillow
Not for those who favor a wrap-around pillow to support your neck
Tailored to sleepers who tend to sleep with their head tilted back, this travel pillow comes complete with thermo-sensitive memory foam which molds to the contours of your neck and shoulders like a glove.
The support provided ensures you keep your natural alignment. No more cramped necks or shoulders, or scrambling for the window seat.
Whilst you won’t want to wear your over-the-ear headphones with this travel pillow, there are plenty of in-ear headphones that will complement it.
An added bonus is the travel pillow comes equipped with free earplugs to drown out all those pesky noises from fellow passengers. Sleeping in silence is within grasp!
Special thermo sensitive memory foam
Non-slip backing keeps the pillow in place
Includes velcro sack & memory foam earplugs
Adjustable velcro customizes fit
Machine washable cover
Can strap onto hand luggage
Model: Nest Ultimate Memory Travel Pillow
Size: 0.8 x 10 x 5 inches
Weight: 13.4 ounces
100% money-back guarantee
Available in 2 colors
A great pick for people sleeping upright
An ideal choice for tall people or people with a longer neck
Perfect for any type of journey
Velcro-strapped carrying case
A great option for those who like wrap style of pillows shaped in a U
No more getting hot under the collar sitting with fellow travel companions. Not only do you get to stay cool as a cucumber, but you also get to use this travel pillow how you want. Either you can wear it upside down or inverted-backward.
Adjustable string toggles allow you to make the fit more snug around your neck or for those of you who have more petite necks.
Compacting to half its size, once it’s in the mesh storage case it comes in, makes packing this travel pillow hassle-free.
Leaving you free to just head off on your merry travels.
Air vents to prevent overheating
Dual-density memory foam
Adjustable string closure
Clasp to clip to hand luggage
Curved downwards to make room for small headphones
360-degrees head & neck support with magnetic clips & c-loops
Travel pillow clean via spot clean
Model: Evolution Cool Neck Pillow
Size: 9.75 x 9.5 x 5.5 inches
Weight: 12.6 ounces
A customized fit for people with smaller necks or seeking snugger fit
Not only do you get an aerated memory foam pillow, but you also get an eye mask and a set of earplugs. All at a budget-friendly price. Comfort never came more cheaply.
Whilst the Aeris is an ideal travel pillow for those of you who like to tilt your head back, some could find the memory foam too firm at the base of the neck, pushing your head uncomfortably forward with no support.
This is where this travel pillow shows its versatility. If you don’t want your head leaning back in the classic U-shape pillow position, simply reverse the pillow while leaning forward.
This will provide relief on the neck and provide welcomed chin support.
Our friends at Trtl make it into our best travel pillows list yet again. This time with the Trtl Travel Pillow Plus which is a new and improved model of their flagship original Trtl Travel Pillow.
Boasting all the original features in the Trtl Travel Pillow, and offering new features such as an adjustable neck height via twisty toggles, and allowing a more customized fit with a breathable cover. Offering greater breathability if you sleep hot.
Whether you’re on the petite side or tall in stature, you can adjust the pillow to suit you.
The Trtl Travel Pillow Plus comes complete with a free water-resistant carrying bag, making travel with this featherweight pillow even easier on long flights or on the open road.
Go on hop aboard your next flight with little weight on your shoulders.
Wrap styled neck support with velcro adjustable strap
Compact & Lightweight, fits in hand luggage
Outer top layer: 70% polyester, 26% rayon & 3% spandex
The Interior pocket has polyurethane (memory) foam
Height-adjustable neck support
Breathable mesh fabric regulates temperature
Flexible internal rib contour support
Can strap onto hand luggage
Removable and machine washable
Model: Travel Pillow Plus
Size: 8.27 x 6.69 x 3.15 inches
Weight: 9 ounces
Free shipping US-wide
International shipping available to select locations (fees apply)
It looks like an inflated mushroom with a pale grey bottom and blue top area, with an opening for you to rest your face and look into the pillow.
On the side of the pillow are two valves large enough to accommodate your hands so that you can hold an electronic device and surf, read, or watch a show in complete privacy.
Since your face is resting on the cover, you’ll be pleased to know the headrest cover is removable and washable. Allowing you to keep your travel pillow pristine and clean.
Patented design allows you to sleep in a natural forward position
2 valve systems allow top & bottom sections to adjust separately
Removable & washable headrest cover
Carry bag & attach to luggage for easy transportation
Model: EZ Inflate Cloud Sleeper Travel Pillow
Size: 15.5 x 11 x 16 inches
Weight: 1 pound
A great pick for a forward sleeper
Easy to inflate/deflate
Can watch movies privately, read an e-book or play video games
Not for upright sleepers
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Travel Pillows Buying Guide
Whether your travels take you into the sky or on a highway, the list below is quite comprehensive and covers a broad spectrum of travel needs.
We’ve taken the liberty of outlining some of the key attributes you may wish to take on board when looking to buy a travel pillow.
A travel pillow is a specially designed pillow to aid in sleeping while sitting up, both when traveling by plane, train, car, or bus.
They are typically used in long journeys involving air travel. Some of the designs use inflatable pillows which make them easier to transport.
Due to their design, they can be compactly folded and put in luggage or a backpack.
Benefits of Travel Pillows
There are numerous benefits to using travel pillows. Especially for plane travel, and during long-haul flights.
Whether you fly now and then or you’re a frequent flyer, having the right neck and head support is key to preventing any neck, head, or shoulder strain.
Travel pillows are not just essential for plane traveling, they can be a lifesaver during car travel.
We all know that the headrests in cars’ primary function are to provide safety during an accident, but let’s be honest they can be darn right uncomfortable.
Adding a travel pillow, especially during those long arduous drives will make a world of difference in comfort.
For those of you who enjoy camping or backpacking, but seek the luxury of a soft pillow under your head, a travel pillow can be just the travel accessory providing comfort in the wild.
Features of Best Travel Pillows
You want to travel light, so the size of the pillow is important. You don’t want to be lugging something heavy around with you.
If you’re flying you have the added consideration of carry-on luggage weight limit. You want a travel pillow that’s lightweight, easy to pack and carry.
These days travel pillows come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Gone are the days of the simple travel pillow in a U shape. We’re in a world of choices.
U-Shape - The traditional travel pillow. It cradles around your neck, supporting the side and back part of your neck. If you move your neck to the right or left during sleep, you may need more neck support than a U-Shape travel pillow will provide.
J-Shape - A new entrant to the travel pillow market. It provides great chin support and props the head higher than traditional U-shape pillows. Its unique shape can take up space and make it awkward to pack.
Wrap - Imagine a pillow that wraps comfortingly around your neck like a scarf, providing great support for sleepers whose heads tend to tilt during sleep. Wrap styles are effortless and lightweight to pack and travel with.
Rectangular - Aesthetically these look more like the traditional sleeping pillows you would use in bed. The primary difference is they are compactly constructed for travel. A good pick for sleepers who tend to stay upright and don’t tilt forward or to the sides.
Hourglass - The hourglass pillow truly shines in its versatility of support and usage which extends to supporting your back or knees or even while you sleep in the comfort of a bed. If your main priority is a travel pillow for neck support this is not for you.
You want to travel with your travel headrest with ease, taking as little space as possible in your hand luggage. Nothing makes portability easier than having an inflatable travel pillow, which can be deflated when traveling.
Many travel pillows come with convenient bags to carry and affix to the outside of your hand luggage.
Another advantage of an inflatable pillow is you can adjust the loft of the travel pillow, permitting you to keep your neck upright.
If you prefer a non-inflatable option then you may want to consider a wrap-style travel pillow.
If you’re a frequent traveler, hopping from one destination to the other, you don’t want to be weighed down by a heavy travel pillow.
You’re taking it with you for the comfort it provides, not a nuisance to carry. Look for a lightweight travel pillow.
Comfort & Support
Look for the right balance of support for your head and neck, but at the same time gives you the flexibility to move around as you sleep.
The last thing you want is to be in a vice with your movements restricted.
The firmness of pillows is not often disclosed in detail. You can hazard a guess from the materials of the travel pillow of how firm or soft it is.
Inflatable pillows can be firm or soft depending on whether they are fully inflated or not. Memory foam and polyfoam pillows provide both support and softness.
Fiber-filled and microbead pillows have a softer, more squishy feel.
You want to pay attention to the material composition, which determines how the travel pillow performs, how long it lasts, and most importantly the cost.
The better the material, the more durable the pillow will be, and the higher the price will be.
Inflatable - The majority of inflatable pillows are made of polyurethane-based materials. To make them warmer and more durable, many have velvet or velour covers whice are also removable and can be washed.
Memory Foam - A memory foam travel pillow is the most popular material used for non-inflatable travel pillows. Typically travel pillows are made of firmer memory foam, ensuring greater support to the head, neck, and spine. Most come with removable covers for washing.
Polyfoam - Polyfoam is more breathable than your average memory foam due to its open cell structure. You want medium density to ensure your travel pillow remains more durable.
Microbeads - These travel pillows are filled with tiny polystyrene beads, which are U-shaped and light. The pillow changes shape to mold and provides neck support. They are not the most supportive material and not the most portable for travel.
There’s plenty of options for you bargain hunters starting around the $10 mark and going upwards to around $100 for those big spenders looking for the higher quality and more expensive options.
To maintain the hygiene of your travel pillow, you want to make sure you buy one that has a removable cover that you can wash, or the travel pillow itself can be washed in the machine.
Warranty & Refunds
It’s not common, but some brands do offer warranties. Others may not offer warranties but may offer a money-back guarantee if you are unsatisfied with your purchase.
Travel Pillows FAQ
What is the best travel pillow for airplane travel?
A travel pillow is a must travel accessory, especially for those long-haul flights.
It’s bad enough trying to cope with jet lag, having a good travel pillow can help you get some much-needed shut-eye as you cross time zones, getting off that plane feeling refreshed.
Which pillow you select depends on the type of sleeper you are, how often you fly, and how long your flights are, and your budget.
Can I use a travel pillow even if I have chronic neck and back problems?
It’s recommended to consult your primary care physician before purchasing any travel pillow.
They will be in the best position to advise you on the ideal pillow shape, firmness, and material that will provide you with adequate support and be suitable for your condition.
Are travel pillows safe for toddlers and young children?
It’s not advised to use travel pillows for children under the age of 4 years old. As a parent, your primary goal when traveling with the little ones is to make sure they are safe and comfortable.
Having your kid’s head and neck supported so that they can nod off peacefully is any parent’s dream come true to traveling smoothly.
There are lots of travel pillow options out there for young children 4 years and above.
How long do travel neck pillows last?
This is important, especially if you travel frequently or travel for long durations. The last thing you want is to have to keep shelling out for a new travel pillow yearly.
Decide what your budget is, and weigh this against travel pillows constructed from longer-lasting material.
How do I clean a travel pillow?
These days most travel pillows come with a removable clover or the pillow itself can be washed in a washing machine.
Make sure you wash the pillow or pillow cover in cold water with a low spin setting, using a mild detergent.