Whether you’re on a flight or a long bus trip, having a travel pillow always comes in handy to ensure you’ll be able to sleep well along the way. It’s something you’d want to invest in if you wish to make your travelling experiences more comfortable!
Travel pillows are excellent for supporting your neck and allowing you to stay comfortable for long trips while travelling. They are great for helping your neck stay in a relaxed position so you don’t feel cramped up or aching during the ride. However, some travel pillows do the job much better than others.Read below to find a detailed guide to the benefits and practicality of travel pillows, what various features should you look for in a travel pillow while investing in one, various kinds of travel pillows available in the market, and so on.
The Best Travel Pillows
What to Look for in a Good Travel Pillow?
Generally, while shopping for a travel pillow you want to make sure it fulfils the basic requirements of good user ergonomics and comfort. We’ll break these down into the following:
Size and Weight
The first thing you need to make sure of is whether your travel pillow is portable enough, which means, the right size and also the right weight. You’ll be carrying it along with you during various flights or bus travels, so make sure you have one that fits along with all the other belongings in your bag.
Some travel pillows come along with special bags in the market that also have cords you can attach to your suitcase or backpack. Similarly, you can find foldable or inflatable travel pillows if portability is your priority.
There are various shapes of travel pillows available in the market, such as the very popular U-shaped pillow which cushions and supports the back and side of the neck ergonomically.
Then you also have the wrap style pillow which is similar to how you would wind a scarf around your neck. These are quite comfortable for side-sleepers and are also more lightweight as compared to U-shaped ones.
There’s a J-shaped pillow as well, which covers a part of the neck’s front side and rests on the shoulder with a raised surface where you can place your head to sleep. This is ergonomic, too, but it’s a bit bulky than other pillow shapes.
Whatever shape you choose comes down to where you’re taking your travel pillow along with you, and your individual preferences such as your sleeping style.
A travel pillow is a product you’ll be using quite often, so make sure you buy one that is durable enough to last a long time. Cheap travel pillows are usually made of cheap materials that wear out easily and lose their firmness, so they’re not a good long-term investment.
Our Best Selections
If you have a long plane or bus ride ahead of you, it’s important to plan for the journey. You’ll likely want to stay as comfortable as possible, which is why it’s a good idea to get a pillow. However, any old travel pillow won’t do the trick. You need one of the best travel pillows on the market. Let’s take a look at what they are. Please note that the numbering system is not a ranked order.
1. Huzi Infinity Travel Pillow
- Claims to be 3 times more breathable than cotton
- Fully machine washable
- Super soft, comfortable fabric
- It may be too soft for some people
- Larger than the average travel pillow
The Huzy Infinity travel pillow looks very similar to an infinity scarf and can be worn just like one while you’re travelling. This allows you to have 360 degrees of neck support for any situation. It’s very easy for people to adjust this pillow to get the maximum amount of comfort everywhere they use it.
What many users love about this infinity travel pillow is how soft and breathable the material is. It is made from high-quality bamboo fabric along with a luxurious microfiber. This prevents people from getting too warm when they are relaxing with the infinity pillow. Many customers have mentioned that this feels more like an actual pillow than a travel pillow, leaving them wanting to use it more often.
Overall Rating: 4.4 out of 5 stars from over 2.500 ratings
2. J-Pillow Chin Support Travel Pillow
- Great fixed support
- Comes with a handy travel bag
- Supports the head so it keeps upright, helping prevent aches from developing
- Can feel a bit awkward for some people
- Can’t be used with traditional overhead headphones
The J-Pillow chin support travel pillow is exactly how it sounds. This lightweight memory foam pillow comes in the shape of a J. While this may look peculiar at first, it provides maximum support for your chin. It is a great pillow for travellers who often rest their heads to the side or forward.
One thing that people like about this pillow is that the level of support prevents them from snapping themselves awake. Their neck and head are both fully supported to make resting while travelling a lot more comfortable. While this pillow may appear bulky at first, it allows people to rest more comfortably.
Overall Rating: 4.2 out of 5 stars from over 1,600 ratings
3. Luxsure Memory Foam Neck Pillow
- Excellent postural support for the neck
- Comes with a travel case for easy storage and transport
- Offers much more support than inflatable pillows
- The breathable polyester cover helps prevent overheating
- It may be too firm for some people
- It may be too bulky for some plane seats
Many travellers consider the Luxsure memory foam neck pillow a must-have item when they are travelling. This comfortable pillow has amazing ventilation allowing people to stay cool while onboard. It is made from quality memory foam and has a soft velvet material to make it even more comfortable.
This pillow was made for the traveller, as it even comes with a convenient travel bag to carry when not in use. Even people who have difficulty relaxing on planes can get some rest using this pillow. Not only is it a high-quality pillow, but it is also sold at a very affordable price.
Overall Rating: 4.3 out of 5 stars from over 500 ratings
4. ADEPTNA Extra Soft Microbead Travel Pillow
- Moulds around the head easily
- Well filled
- Super soft feel
- Can make a big mess if the cover splits or has any holes in it
- Lacks the support of firmer travel pillows
If you want a simple pillow that’s extremely comfortable, then you should check out the ADEPTNA extra soft microbead travel pillow. This pillow is a great value for travellers on a budget. It has a very simple design, and it’s incredibly soft, stretchy, and squishy so people can adjust this pillow to their comfort level. This is a great pillow to have for people who often feel stressed while travelling.
While this pillow may not look like much, at first sight, it’s one of the more popular choices because it moulds to the ideal shape for your comfort. Even though this pillow may not seem as advanced of a design as some of the others on this list, it exceeds as a buyer’s favourite because it provides a lot of comfort to people who suffer from neck and shoulder pain.
Overall Rating: 4.4 out of 5 stars from over 350 ratings
5. trtl Support Travel Pillow
- Super light and soft
- Provides enough support to hold your neck in place comfortably
- Fully machine washable
- Side leaning into the pillow may cause aches to develop over time
- Can be quite fiddly to get it into the optimal resting position
If you want the best travel pillow on the market, you should be asking who the scientists trust. The trtl Support Travel Pillow is scientifically proven to keep the user’s head in a better position while they get some rest. It is designed to prevent their heads from moving forward and jolting them awake.
This travel pillow comes in a variety of different colours and you can easily attach it to your luggage or backpack to make it easier to transport. It’s very easy to wash in the washing machine so you can have it clean and fresh for every trip you take. Many customers claim this is one of the best neck pillows to have when you have a long trip ahead.
Overall Rating: 4.1 out of 5 stars from over 11,000 ratings
6. Hooded Neck Travel Pillow
- The hood helps block out excess light
- Excellent value
- Super soft neck support
- It may be too soft for some people
- Doesn’t hold its shape as well as memory foam
If you want a travel pillow that blends in, you may enjoy the Hooded Neck travel pillow. This travel pillow has a hood, just like the ones on sweatshirts that allows people to block out everyone else on the plane or bus. It’s a great choice if you have trouble resting when there is a lot of light or distractions.
A lot of customers believe this pillow is well worth the money, especially for younger people and kids who are restless while travelling.
Overall Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars from over 1,100 ratings
Is Using a Travel Pillow Worth It?
A travel pillow is a worthwhile investment for a plethora of reasons. For one, the headrests in the seats of aeroplanes, vans, buses and other forms of public transport are usually not ergonomic enough for the passengers, particularly those experiencing any kind of neck pain.
A travel pillow is usually designed with soft materials to counter that problem and provide you with the same kind of comfort as you may get from the pillow in your bed.
The breathability of travel pillows, especially those made of memory foam ensures that your neck will be free from sweat or any form of dryness, so it’s a good product for your skin too. It also keeps your neck and heads upright so you sleep in a good, ergonomic body posture ensuring quality sleep.
But that’s not all there is to travel pillows! They’re very versatile in the sense that they can be incorporated into other scenarios too. For example, if your office chair is uncomfortable, and has a bad headrest or lacks one entirely, you can wear your travel pillow as something to support your neck and prevent any physical strain.
And perhaps being portable is what brings all of these benefits together because you can easily carry a travel pillow anywhere due to them being lightweight, foldable or inflatable.
What is The Best Way to Use Travel Pillows?
A lot of people wear U-shaped travel pillows with the side having the gap on the front, and complain that the travel pillow doesn’t provide a lot of comforts.
A user on Tiktok came up with another way to wear a travel pillow, and that is, placing the gap side on the back of the neck. What this does is that it keeps your chin in place while you sleep, so your neck doesn’t tilt in unergonomic positions which may lead to physical strain.
But this is just one way to use travel pillows. What ‘best’ is depends on your individual preference and the scenario you’re in. For example, while eating, or walking, you may want to wear a travel pillow the ‘traditional way’ – keeping the gap side on the front so you’re able to have more mobility.
Inflatable Pillows vs. Non-Inflatable Pillows – Which is Better?
Inflatable pillows are ideal for travellers who prioritise their pillow being portable the most because they can be easily inflated and deflated whenever the need arises, which also makes them the most lightweight option.
Non-Inflatable pillows include microbead travel pillows and memory foam travel pillows. Microbead travel pillows consist of a collection of polystyrene beads which can cause the pillow to modify shape based on the movements of these beads. They are comfortable, but the beads make them the heaviest out of all, they can also sometimes split. Leaving a mess of microbeads everywhere.
Memory foam pillows use memory foam, as the name suggests, which makes them the most comfortable option out of all as they adapt to your neck shape easily. However, they’re the most expensive out of all, so consider investing in one only if you want a long-term product.
Again, whichever type you buy depends on your individual needs, so take your time in deciding while shopping in the stores.
Temperature-Regulating Travel Pillows – Practical or Just Gimmicky?
Modern designs of travel pillows incorporate innovative technologies to optimise the experience of users, for example, travel pillows with temperature regulation features.
These pillows are designed for users who experience hot flashes in their sleep. They absorb heat when you get too warm and release heat when you get too cold. Surely a practical product if this particular feature is what you’ve been needing in travel pillows all along. Their effectiveness can wildly vary though.
Last update on 2023-12-02 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API