8 Best Travel Pillows | March 2017

We spent 34 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top options for this wiki. What's more uncomfortable than trying to have a nap in coach on an airplane? Not much, right? So try one of these travel pillows on your next plane or car journey. We've included U-shaped and inflatable models that will support both your head and neck, so you can find the perfect one for your individual needs. Skip to the best travel pillow on Amazon.
8 Best Travel Pillows | March 2017

Overall Rank: 5
Best Mid-Range
Overall Rank: 1
Best High-End
Overall Rank: 7
Best Inexpensive
The Bucky Gusto Travel Pillow has a soft and cuddly surface that will help soothe you to sleep. The pillow folds into a storage pocket when not in use, and can adjust in size and firmness to match any comfort needs.
The Belle Hop Inflatable Neckrest has a polyester shell, a removable cover that is hand-washable, fits most neck sizes, and is easy to inflate. This is not the Ritz-Carlton of neck pillows, but it's good for short naps on the go.
The Grand Trunk Hooded Pillow offers a comfortable way to nap in private and, more importantly, in relative darkness. It is made with drawstrings for an adjustable fit, and has an attached memory foam pillow.
The SkySiesta Pillow provides two foam bolsters on either side of the head for excellent napping comfort even while you're sitting up. The pillow comes with a soft velour cover and a large, adjustable eye mask.
  • nylon carrying case included
  • available in several colors
  • firm design supports head and neck
Brand SkySiesta
Model pending
Weight 7.2 ounces
The J Pillow has a unique signature design that keeps you comfortably snoozing in place by keeping your head from falling forward, your chin supported, and your neck at a comfortable angle. It's perfect for air travel.
  • made from plush fabric
  • available in several colors
  • 100% machine washable
Brand J Pillow
Model pending
Weight 7.8 ounces
The Travelrest Travel Pillow offers complete lateral support for the upper body, encouraging correct ergonomic neck alignment. It is adjustable to fit almost any body type, and can be used in a plane, car, train, or regular chair.
  • fits adults and children
  • includes washable cover
  • design provides whole body comfort
Brand Travelrest
Model TP111N
Weight 10.6 ounces
The Travelmate Memory Foam Pillow offers extreme comfort with high quality memory foam, a machine-washable cover, and is designed to mold to your neck. This is the savvy and budget-conscious traveler's choice.
  • great low price for a high quality item
  • built-in strap made for easy travel
  • one size fits all design
Brand TravelMate(R)
Model PU112
Weight 0.3 ounces
The CABEAU Evolution Pillow comes with a compact travel bag, a washable velour cover for easy cleaning, and includes free soft foam earplugs. The pillow has a clever slip-in pocket for your phone or MP3 music player.
  • raised side supports for the neck
  • superior memory foam core
  • 5% of price goes to cancer research
Brand Cabeau
Model EP0098
Weight 15.2 ounces

Traveling Calmly And Comfortably

For some among us, travel is the greatest pleasure, with both the journey and the destination enjoyed equally every time we range far afield from our home. For others, travel is a grating, trying experience to be endured only when it cannot be avoided. Whether you love travel or can hardly stand it, there's no reason not to make the experience as pleasurable and comfortable as possible.

The best thing you can do to make a travel experience low-stress (or better yet, actually enjoyable) is to properly plan ahead. This means packing all the items you're likely to need while leaving nothing to chance, knowing your itinerary and schedule, and perhaps above all else, affording yourself plenty of time for each leg of the trip. That extra hour you allow yourself for airport security will more than pay off for that flight you don't miss; the traffic jam will be endured with aplomb thanks to the early morning start.

Frequent travelers, such as the business traveler or the person who regularly visits far-flung family members, all tend to establish their own routines for making each trip as painless and predictable as possible. Part of a good travel routine is making sure your creature comforts will be taken care of while you're en route. This means bringing along snacks or treating yourself to meals on the move to keep your energy up and your hunger pangs at bay. It means making sure you have a good book or a show queued up on that iPad so you won't get bored and restless. And it means making sure you have a soft, supportive pillow with which you can rest when fatigue sets in during your long journey.

Choosing The Best Travel Pillow

As almost every form of travel takes place sitting up -- from a flight to a train ride to a bus trip to the passenger seat in a car -- when you choose a travel pillow, you need to choose one that will be comfortable when you are seated. The pillow you love when lying flat might be totally ineffective during travel, just as your favorite travel pillow may offer little or no comfort if used in bed; thus the distinct and sometimes odd shape of so many travel pillows.

The primary purpose of a travel pillow is to support your head; allowing it to gently rest leaning to one side of your body without slumping too far over or falling forward. This support is important both because it prevents your waking up as your head drops, and because it helps maintain proper airflow as you rest. And almost all decent travel pillows will offer this type of support once you are asleep, but not all will help travelers fall asleep.

The first consideration to be made is knowing whether or not you stay in one position once you're asleep or if you tend to shift about. Some travel pillows are oriented to rest on one side of your body at a time, and while initially quite comfortable, they will offer no comfort or support if you try to shift your head in the other direction. Other travel pillows wrap around the neck and rest on both shoulders at once; many people might initially find this type of pillow less comfortable, but it will help to keep them asleep if they shift their position back and forth.

Next consider the texture and firmness of your ideal travel pillow. If you like a stable, sturdy surface on which you can rest your head, then an inflatable travel pillow is likely your best option. Inflatable travel pillows also offer the most control over firmness. However others may find this same firmness decidedly unpleasant and opt for micro bead fillings, viscoelastic memory foam interiors, or for a pillow stuffed with polyester or even feathers.

The interior of your travel pillow has to be initially inviting and comfortable, and its shape must be conducive to keeping your head supported. If you find a pillow that provides instant comfort and that will keep your head supported regardless of how much or little you shift in your sleep, then you have found your travel pillow.

Making The Most Of That Travel Pillow

With proper care, most travel pillows will last for years even with regular use. And with a few modifications, any travel pillow can made at least a bit more comfortable and inviting. This can be as simple as slipping a traditional pillow case over the pillow to create a more customary feel, or it can involve the addition of an eye mask, ear plugs, or even a hood.

Just be sure that you take any additional hardware you might use into consideration before choosing a travel pillow. Many options wrap around the neck and don't interfere with your ears, for example, making them a great choice for travelers who like to listen to music or podcasts while on the go; others come into contact with the entire side of the face, making the use of headphones or earbuds less than viable.

And don't overlook the cleaning instructions of your travel pillow, or of its removable case -- a bonus feature and one to be sought when possible. If your pillow has no case and requires machine washing, but you're going on a three week trip and won't have access to the right facilities, you may need to consider an option with a removable case instead, for example.

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