Why buy a travel pillow?
The obvious reasons are rest and relaxation before the weight of your business trip or the rush of vacation hits you. Or maybe you’re headed home from your favorite vacation spot and had a little too much fun and need to catch up on sleep before heading back to real life. No worries with a travel pillow. They keep your neck, head, shoulders, and more supported for a pain-free, comfortable rest between destinations.
What should you know when shopping for your travel pillow?
- Support: Since a travel pillow’s primary purpose is to offer neck support, the amount and type of support are essential when selecting one. Think about your most common neck position when you sleep upright while traveling. Do you lean backward, forward, or off to the side? Some travel pillows are designed for certain sleep positions. Also, note that inflatable and memory foam models offer more support than microbead ones.
- Size: Your new pillow won’t do you much good if it doesn’t fit into your bags or carry-on (in the case of airplanes), after all. You have to consider their portability, weight, thickness, and bulkiness. Most will be pretty light since they’re meant for travel, but some will be more lightweight than others. Some models can be compressed or otherwise sized down, ideal if you like to travel light or have limited space.
What are quality travel pillows made from?
There are tons of options at your fingertips for finding the right travel pillow. Choose from soft, non-inflatable models with memory foam, fiber, or microbead filling, depending on the strength and thickness you’re looking for. Or you can choose a firm, ergonomic, inflatable pillow that offers customizable sleep positions that allow you to rest your entire body weight on a sturdy, standing cushion.
MLVOC 100% Memory Foam Travel Pillow
Features luxury, quick-shaping memory foam.
Pros: This top-notch travel pillow by MLVOC comes as part of a full kit, making it an excellent value. Besides the pillow, you receive a lightweight travel bag, a pair of earplugs, and a 3D-contoured eye mask—all meant to increase portability and promote sleep during travel. This travel pillow is made of premium memory foam to cushion your head and neck and relieve important pressure points. It can compress down to half its size to fit and includes a snap-strap that attaches to your carry-on bag without taking up interior space.
Cons: There isn’t much protection from your chin falling to your chest while sleeping, so you may want to rotate the pillow slightly.
Bottom Line: It’s an incredibly comfy investment for long airplane or car rides—it’s the whole enchilada so that you can enjoy noiseless sleep in any lighting.
BCOZZY Double-Support Travel Pillow
Patented for chin, head, and shoulders.
Pros: This highly versatile support pillow from BCOZZY can be rearranged into different positions to fit your needs and the available space best—wrap around your neck for equal support, or arrange to support your head on one side entirely. This pillow is ideal not just for side sleepers but adjustable for all positions, whether you have the aisle, middle, or window seat while traveling. A double, adjustable loop in the front makes for a nice chin rest, and the narrow back side won’t put pressure on your neck or push your head forward to prevent neck and shoulder pain and soreness.
Cons: The wrap-around nature of this travel pillow may create extra warmth, so if you already run hot, make sure you point the airplane or car air-conditioner your way for help staying cool.
Bottom Line: Quality at an excellent price, this innovative travel pillow provides flexible sleep options for any length of the trip. Adjust to your ideal position for much-needed shut-eye.
Dot&Dot Twist Memory Foam Travel Pillow
Contours to nearly any shape or position.
Pros: You can achieve instant, customizable comfort with this twisting memory-foam travel pillow from Dot&Dot. Its flexible joints and soft body bend to target sensitive pressure points in your back and neck, plus shoulders, spine, and even legs. It even provides extra support for specific areas, like your lumbar or the underside of your knees. Attach your travel pillow to your suitcase handle using the convenient button snap. Just got home from vacation? Toss your pillow’s breathable, machine-washable cotton in the washer to keep it clean and sanitary for your next trip.
Cons: This pillow features an interior rod to support its excellent flexibility, so you may be able to feel the rod through the fabric.
Bottom Line: If you’re looking for a multifunctional solution for any area of your tired body, this could be the pillow for you. It quickly and easily becomes whatever you need it to be.
World's Best Feather Microfiber Travel Pillow
Fiber filling offers consistent support.
Pros: This classic U-shape design from World’s Best is a quality option for vital head and neck support. Its thick cushion features a soft, hypoallergenic fleece cover for sniffle- and sneeze-free sleep and fiber filling, as opposed to micro-beads, for extra-sturdy support from head to shoulders. Its secure button closure makes for easy carrying and hanging on luggage, especially helpful for traveling with kiddos. You can also go with one of the product bundles and get two pillows in one, a great set for the family, or a gift for frequent travelers.
Cons: The pillow may be too tight if your neck measures more than 18 inches.
Bottom Line: It’s a traditional travel pillow with added softness and higher-quality filling that supports heavy heads and tired necks and shoulders.
JefDiee Inflatable Travel and Work Pillow
Ergonomically designed for quality rest.
Pros: Get the works at an incredible price with this innovative, standing JefDiee inflatable travel pillow (plus earbuds and sleep mask). If you struggle to find a comfortable position, whether you’re looking for head, neck, shoulder, or chin support, this ergonomic pillow is for you. It’s designed to allow your body to naturally lean forward, reducing spine pressure and supporting areas you never knew needed support. Inflate, flip it over for the ideal position, and place your arms in any convenient entries. It’s constructed with hand-washable PVC flocking to help keep travel clean and sanitary.
Cons: When inflated, it’s bulkier than typical travel pillows, and it may take time to adjust to its size and funny looks you might receive.
Bottom Line: This pillow provides top quality for the price, making it an excellent investment. You can also take your new inflatable pillow to the office for quick, refreshing naps during the workday.
Travel pillows come in tons of shapes, sizes, and materials, depending on which parts of the body you need to target. Whatever the configuration, these soft, comfy travel buddies are designed to snuggly fill the space between your head and neck, resting against the headrest of your seat on a bus, plane, or train. Find one that will support you best.