Travel pillows can be a worthwhile travel accessory – especially if you’re looking to get some rest. People often use these specially designed pillows when they’re passengers on a plane, train and/or car. Some look similar to a traditional bed pillow but many have innovative shapes and features that are used to support your head, neck, and shoulders while you’re in a moving vehicle.
You’ll see travel pillows in all different fabrics and filling materials, from polyester and microbeads to foam. There are even compact inflatable options. There is no shortage of travel pillows out there. It’s just a matter of finding the best fit for your travel needs, personal style, and budget.
BCOZZY Chin Supporting Patented Travel Pillow
- The pillow comes in three sizes, including an option for children and those with thick necks
- It is designed with a flatback so your head is not being pushed forward. This is especially nice when you don’t have the ability to recline your seat.
- The BCOZZY is affordable, lightweight and features a snap attachment to attach it to luggage.
- You cannot connect the ends of the pillow together so it will loosen and move around your neck every time you move or adjust.
- Depending on their size, earbuds or earphones might interfere with the top of the pillow.
The BCOZZY Chin Supporting travel pillow is a soft polyester fiber-filled neck pillow whose arms overlap to create extra height and enhanced support right under your chin, or wherever you need it. This feature becomes super convenient when you’re stuck in a middle seat and have nowhere to lean your head except forward in order to rest.
Huzi Infinity Pillow
- The pillow can be twisted or wrapped to make any travel situation more comfortable.
- The pillow is machine washable and easy to care for (air dry only).
- The Infinity travel pillow has a very nice modern look to it.
- While it is comfortable, the cover isn’t removable and does have a slightly “slippery” feel from the bamboo/polyester fabric blend.
- It’s at a price point that won’t necessarily fit everyone’s budget.
The Infinity Pillow from Huzi is more than just a travel pillow - you can use it in so many places. It has a superb infinity-shaped design, soft bamboo-blended cover and soft but supportive polyester filling. All of these elements combine to create a “pillow” that also acts as a travel pillow, scarf, and/or headwrap depending on what you need at the moment.
ZAMAT Breathable & Comfortable Memory Foam Travel Pillow
- The ZAMAT breathable memory foam travel pillow cost under $15 and is a good value
- The cover is removable and can easily be cleaned to keep you pillow clean after each trip.
- It’s easy to take with you because it comes with an elastic strap you can use to connect it to your luggage. You can also use a separate carrying bag that comes with the pillow.
- Not a snug fit for everyone
- Not a very tall loft/not overly supportive
If you’re more of a traditionalist when it comes to travel pillows, the ZAMAT memory foam travel pillow could be your perfect match. It features a U-shape design that’s meant to fit around your neck and support it via its solid memory foam filling. The soft velour cover is removable and easy to clean as well. Toggles allow you to connect the ends of the pillow together and a drawstring lets you adjust how snuggly it fits around your neck. Best of all? The pillow is priced under $15.
Trtl Travel Pillow
- The trtl pillow can be used without needing to consider what seat you have on a plane or train. You just need your own neck as the anchor for the pillow’s support.
- The fleece material is soft and easy to clean (can be machine washed and dried).
- It is very easy to pack this away or attach it to your luggage when you’re not using it. It weighs less than half a pound total.
- The original version of this travel pillow may not be comfortable enough for long haul flights.
- The plastic internal support structure isn’t adjustable so it may not be the best fit for those who are more petite or those with broader shoulders and thicker necks.
The trtl travel pillow may be small and lightweight but it's also one of the more supportive travel neck pillows available today. The secret is the hidden plastic support structure wrapped in a fleece and foam outer cover. Following the guided instructions, you can place the support against your neck and then tightly wrap the fleece cover around your entire neck to anchor the pillow to you. When you’re not using it, it is easy to store because it’s only 7.5” in length and width and weighs less than half a pound.
How We Picked
On the hunt for the absolute best travel pillows out there, our reviewer looked high and low. We crowdsourced from the internet and stalked social media sites and Instagram influencers to see what pillows they had on hand. We also did our fair share of airport store shopping and airplane snooping in order to see what people were actually using while flying the friendly skies.
Our reviewer looked at more than 20 different travel pillows over many months. We spent time testing them out in a variety of settings, including traveling with the pillow and having it on hand in an office or home setting.
Here are the other factors we took into consideration during her review of each travel pillow:
- Size: Travelers don’t want to add another thing large item to carry around an airport – unless it’s really useful. Our reviewer not only looked at the pillow’s size but also how easy it was to store it or carry it along during a trip.
- Travel Distance: Some travel pillows are better suited for quick road trips, while others lend themselves to cross-country plane rides. It’s important to pick one that’s going to fit your travel needs best.
- Cover Fabric: If you’re going to place a pillow on or near your face for multiple hours at a time, you want to know if it’s going to be soft and comfortable (and easy to clean!).
- Upper Body Support: Trying to rest or sleep while in a seated position is hard enough on its own. A travel pillow can support your head and neck and prevent strain if you find the right one for your body type and travel needs.
- Versatility: Our reviewer looked at how easy it was for the travel pillow to transition from a plane to a bus, train or other vehicle. We also looked at whether it could be used outside of a trip. Would it work in an office setting for a quick rest? What about at home or a hotel?
- Care: Travel pillows are a magnet for invisible germs and bacteria because of all the shared space they occupy. Being able to easily sanitize a travel pillow is important to many travelers.
- Price: Nearly everyone wants to feel like their travel pillow purchase was a good choice financially. Overpaying for a product that doesn’t help you rest will have you awake and fuming the whole trip.
Sleepopolis Buying Tips
Take a look at any airport gift shop and you’ll see there are plenty of different travel pillows to choose from. How do you know which one is best for you? Before you hand over that credit card, take a look at our list of questions you should be considering before buying your next travel pillow.
- How far are you traveling? You’ll need to think about whether you want your pillow to help you sleep during a red-eye flight or just keep you comfortable during the trip to a nearby city.
- What mode of transportation are you taking? Are you a frequent flyer who always gets that window seat? Maybe you’re big on road trips and like to recline all the way back. Look for a pillow that’s going to work for the vehicle you’re in.
- What do you need your travel pillow to do? Some travel pillows can attach to plane headrests so they don’t move even if you get up to go to the restroom. Others can support your neck while also blocking out light and even some sound. Identify the needs you want your pillow to meet and that will help narrow down your choices.
- What is your budget? There are travel pillows at nearly every price point, from under $15 to over $100. Take a look at multiple retailers, see if any coupons can be applied and take advantage of any risk-free trials available.
Buying a new travel pillow for your next trip can be daunting – but it doesn’t have to be. There are so many innovative and thoughtfully designed travel pillows available today for all types of trips. If you want to get started, we suggest you make a list. Focus on what you want your travel pillow to do for you, what your budget is and write out any personal preferences. You’ll naturally begin to narrow down your options and find the right travel pillow for you.