The motion of a car can rock your child to sleep, even during a brief ride around town. To help make your child more comfortable during cat naps in the back seat, enter the seat belt pillow. These specially designed pillows wrap around the seat belt and provide a soft, comfortable place for your child to doze.
The most important feature of a seat belt pillow is safety. The right model should be made of quality materials, stay securely in place, and cushion the seatbelt without affecting its ability to operate. There are a wide array of seat belt pillows to choose from, but finding the right model doesn’t have to be confusing. I’ve tested out several great options in an array of styles and price ranges to help make car trips more comfortable for your child. Check out my top 4 picks below.
Womumon Car Seat Belt Pillow and Adjuster Kit for Kids
Womumon Car Seat Belt Pillow and Adjuster Kit for Kids is my choice for overall quality, value, and design. This seat belt pillow helps to cushion the head and reduce shocks and vibration while in motion. The Womumon seat belt pillow is made from 100% polyester and includes a lifetime guarantee. Can be used with or without a booster seat.
- Light. At just over 4 ounces, the Womumon seat belt pillow won’t weigh down the seat belt or feel heavy to your child.
- Fabric. The pillow cover is made of a soft, smooth microfiber and is machine washable, too
- Breathable. The Womumon pillow cover feels airy and moisture-absorbing, making it a great choice for kids who tend to sleep hot
- Adjuster. I found the adjuster to be complex to install and a little tricky to keep in place
- Size. This pillow may be a bit too large and bulky for smaller children
The Womumon Car Seat Belt Pillow and Adjuster Kit for Kids is light and breathable.
Best For Comfort
Cuddles Unicorn & Dinosaur Seat Belt Pillow for Kids
Coziness and comfort are important features in a seat belt pillow, and this model has both to spare. The Cuddles Unicorn & Dinosaur Seat Belt Pillow for Kids is soft, machine washable, and it’s my top pick for comfort. This 100% polyester pillow includes Velcro fasteners for a secure fit and comes with a 30 day money-back guarantee.
- Plush. This seat belt pillow has a velvety feel that brings to mind the softness of a fleece baby blanket
- Length. The Cuddles seat belt pillow measures 11x5x3 inches, which is large enough for older kids as well as toddlers
- Affordable. This pillow offers both softness and smart design at a budget-friendly price
- May slip. Make sure to fasten this pillow securely before use so it stays firmly in place
- Bulky. This model may feel a bit large and bulky to younger kids who don’t need as much length in a pillow
The Cuddles Unicorn & Dinosaur Seat Belt Pillow for Kids is affordable and has a plush feel.
Best for Affordability
SSAWcasa Seat Belt Pillow for Kids
If you’re looking for a seat belt pillow that’s both comfortable and a great value, take a look at the SSAWcasa Seat Belt Pillow for Kids. This PP cotton pillow comes with a 100% polyester microsuede cover and is available in pink, gray, or blue. The SSAWcasa seat belt pillow measures 11.8×4.7×2.5 inches and is machine washable.
- Price. This pillow is soft, sturdy, and a great buy. The 2-pack is an even better bargain
- Fabric. The microsuede material feels smooth and cozy and is still stain-free after several washes
- Car seat friendly. This model works just as well for car seats, making it a great choice for younger kids
- Velcro. One edge of the Velcro has started to lift after several washes
- Durability. The microsuede feels soft but a bit on the thin side — we’ll see how it holds up over time
The SSAWcasa Seat Belt Pillow for Kids is car seat friendly and made of a smooth microsuede fabric.
Cloudz Plush Animal Kids Travel Neck Pillow
The Cloudz Plush Animal Kids Travel Neck Pillow comes in 25 plush, colorful options and it’s my top pick for design. This 100% polyester seat belt pillow is made with premium polyfill and a soft fleece cover. The Cloudz Plush pillow can be machine washed in cold water and dried on low heat.
- Design. If you’re looking for a travel pillow that’s as cute as it is functional, look no further. The Cloudz Plush pillow comes in both neck pillow and seat belt pillow options in a variety of colorful animal shapes
- Material. This pillow is cozy, comfortable, and offers support as well as softness
- Durable. The Cloudz plush pillow has held up to several rounds through the washer without tearing or losing shape
- Size. Some of the options may be a bit too small for older children
- Odor. The seat belt pillow I tried had an odor that could be irritating to some kids. Parents of sensitive children may want to air this one out before use
The Cloudz Plush Animal Kids Travel Neck Pillow is cozy yet durable.
How We Picked
A seat belt pillow can help keep your child safer and more comfortable during naps in the car. When choosing seat belt pillows to review, I looked closely at a few important metrics. These are common to all seat belt pillows, no matter the material, design, or cost. When selecting a model for your child, consider the following:
Most seat belt pillows rest against your child’s cheek, head, or neck. Quality material is essential to keeping your child comfortable, and can help reduce the risk of moisture buildup, unpleasant odors, and injury.
Most seat belt pillows are made from cotton or a material known as PP cotton. Cotton is a 100% natural fiber used widely in clothing and bedding. PP cotton is made from polypropylene, a synthetic, heat-resistant polymer often found in diapers, sanitary products, and filtration systems. PP cotton is known for its airy breathability, making it a common material in moisture-wicking clothing. PP cotton can also be recycled, making it a good choice for folks concerned about environmental safety. Seat belt pillows made from PP cotton are typically plush, durable, and odor-free.
Seat belt pillows are subject to heavy use, spills, and soiling with food and other substances such as ink and saliva. When it comes to cover material, easy care fabrics are a must for comfort and to prevent the buildup of bacteria. The most convenient seat belt pillows come with a removable cover that can be machine washed without shrinking or losing shape.
Most seat belt pillows are made of a plush form of microfiber. Microfiber is made of strands of polyester that are finer than a strand of silk. Microfiber is typically moisture wicking but can be less breathable than natural fabrics due to the fine weave of the fibers. Newer weaves of microfiber may provide better ventilation. Microfiber can also be one of the least expensive materials used in seat belt pillows.
Many seat belt pillow covers are made from a form of microfiber called microsuede. Microsuede has a plush, suede-like feel that most kids find soft and comfortable. Other benefits of microsuede include:
- Weight. Microsuede is typically an airy, lightweight fabric that feels cool and ventilated
- Washable. Most microsuede seat belt pillow covers can be machine washed and dried
- Wrinkle resistant. Microsuede’s natural wrinkle-resistance keeps it looking good and feeling smooth to the touch
- Durable. The thickness of microsuede helps make it strong and durable
When it comes to choosing a seat belt pillow, safety is key. The best seat belt pillows are made from quality materials that won’t tear, lose shape, or slip during normal use. When shopping for a safe seat belt pillow, look for hypoallergenic materials that won’t cause skin or respiratory irritation. Seat belt pillows typically fasten around a seatbelt with Velcro for easy installation and removal. Choose secure Velcro fasteners that won’t slip, open, or become exposed during use.
Once the seat belt pillow is in place, check to make sure it feels comfortable to your child. It should not cover the mouth or nose, press on the neck, or restrict movement or breathing. Follow instructions carefully, and call the product manufacturer or your pediatrician if you have questions or concerns.
Many seat belt pillows include removable, machine washable covers. Most of these pillow covers are made from synthetic materials that can be damaged by high temperatures. Manufacturers of seat belt pillows usually recommend washing the covers in cold water and drying them on low heat or an air-dry setting. Line drying can help your pillow cover last longer by eliminating the wear and heat exposure that can occur during tumble drying.
How often you wash your pillow cover will depend on the frequency of use. Regular washing is usually suggested to help keep the cover clean and comfortable and to reduce the growth of bacteria.
Still wavering between seat belt pillow options? Consider these tips to help make your decision process easier:
- Know how you’ll use it. Will your child use the seat belt pillow regularly or only on occasion? Will you need to buy more than one to use in additional vehicles? A seat belt pillow your child uses often should be comfortable, durable, and preferably, machine washable
- Read the fine print. Many seat belt pillows can be returned or exchanged if your child doesn’t like the fabric or design. Know the manufacturer’s policy on returns and exchanges before you buy
- Factor in budget. Seat belt pillows range in cost depending on size, design, and material. Most pillows are made of synthetic materials that are not just cozy and easy to care for, but wallet-friendly. To find a comfy and affordable pillow, select several options in your budget. Compare materials, styles, and customer reviews before choosing a great option that’s also a good value
Last Word From Sleepopolis
The right seat belt pillow can help lull your child to sleep and keep them comfortable during long car trips or jaunts around town. The best pillows feel smooth against the skin and are made of durable materials that can stand up to heavy use, spills, and frequent washing. When searching for a seat belt pillow, choose a cover fabric that will wick moisture and feel soft, even during long drives. Keep budget in mind and look for plush materials in fun colors or designs your child will love.