The 10 Best Travel Pillows

Updated March 21, 2018 by Quincy Miller

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We spent 46 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top options for this wiki. Sleeping on an airplane or in a car would make a great Olympic sport, except it'd be too hard to find enough people who can actually do it well. These neck pillows help take the discomfort out of airplane travel, letting you arrive at your destination fully rested. Regardless of whether you like yours u-shaped, inflatable, or somewhere in-between, you'll find an option to love right here. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best travel pillow on Amazon.

10. J Pillow

The J Pillow has a unique design that prevents your head from falling forward, while also keeping your chin aligned and your neck resting at a relaxing angle. It's perfect for jamming into the space between you and the window, but doesn't offer much support on its own.
  • can be squeezed down to a small size
  • good for watching tv
  • loses fluffiness over time
Brand J Pillow
Model 0004
Weight 8.8 ounces
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

9. Aeris Memory Foam

This Aeris Memory Foam utilizes ventilation holes to prevent it from getting too hot, so you'll be able to doze off for hours without feeling suffocated or waking up sweaty. You will wake up with little microfiber fuzzies all over you, however.
  • no odor unlike most memory foams
  • comes with sleep mask and earplugs
  • too bulky for smaller users
Model NP001Black
Weight 12.3 ounces
Rating 4.2 / 5.0

8. SkySiesta Snug

If you absolutely, positively don't want your head lolling around while you snooze, get the SkySiesta Snug. Its two pieces buckle together to keep your neck in place, even during a turbulent ride. You'll get some odd looks, but you'll be too soundly asleep to notice.
  • plenty of chin support
  • helps to reduce noise
  • likely to mess up your hair
Brand SkySiesta
Model COMINHKPR152430
Weight 8.8 ounces
Rating 3.6 / 5.0

7. Huzi Infinity

For those who can never seem to find the right posture for a catnap, the Möbius shape of the Huzi Infinity can be contorted in a myriad of ways to achieve the most elaborate napping positions. You can even loop it behind you for back support on long flights or at work.
  • breathable bamboo fabric
  • good for all body sizes
  • not a lot of padding
Brand Huzi
Model H1267N
Weight 1.5 pounds
Rating 3.9 / 5.0

6. Cabeau Evolution

The Cabeau Evolution makes it feel like you stuck your cranium in a giant cloud, thanks to its high-quality memory foam core. The raised sides offer 360-degree support, and the flat back portion won't push your head forward and cause neck pain, like many alternatives.
  • includes memory foam earplugs
  • convenient sewn-in media pouch
  • tends to get hot
Brand Cabeau
Model 4014691-Parent
Weight 15.2 ounces
Rating 4.7 / 5.0

5. Kikkerland Penguin

If you spend a lot of time on planes or long car rides, then you know that a sleeping child is one of God's greatest gifts. This Kikkerland Penguin is an adorable choice that any kid will be happy to snuggle with, giving them — and more importantly, you — a little rest.
  • unzips into u-shaped pillow
  • doubles as a stuffed animal
  • gets dirty easily
Brand Kikkerland
Model TT23
Weight 7.2 ounces
Rating 4.3 / 5.0

4. Wrap-a-Nap Mask

For sleepers who need total darkness as well as complete comfort, there's the Wrap-a-Nap Mask. You can use it as a light-blocking sleep mask, as a way to swaddle your head or neck, or you can roll it up and tuck it behind your skull like a more traditional option.
  • attaches easily with velcro
  • good for holding ice packs in place
  • excellent for night shift workers
Brand Wrap-a-NapTM
Model 738435765156
Weight 7.2 ounces
Rating 4.4 / 5.0

3. Aircomfy Daydreamer

Unlike the memory foam or microbead varieties, the Aircomfy Daydreamer lets you determine exactly how soft or firm you want your support to be. It has raised arches to hold your head upright, and the built-in inflation pump removes any need for mouth blowing.
  • inflates in less than 60 seconds
  • washable micro-velvet pillowcase
  • carabiner for attaching to luggage
Brand AirComfy
Model 5937249
Weight 8.8 ounces
Rating 4.5 / 5.0

2. VereTrip Neck

Let the other passengers know that you're serious about slumber with the VereTrip Neck. It straps to your shoulder to hold your head in place, keeping you from getting a crick in your neck — or accidentally resting your head on the person sitting next to you.
  • easy to connect straps
  • u-shape prevents head from rolling
  • fits easily in a carry-on bag
Brand VereTrip
Model pending
Weight 8.2 ounces
Rating 4.7 / 5.0

1. All About Down

If you'd rather take something with you that feels like an actual pillow, the All About Down is one of the most comfortable options you'll find anywhere. It compresses to fit easily in your suitcase or backpack, but you'll want to keep it on your bed year-round.
  • made with ethically-sourced down
  • great for use in rvs
  • offers lumbar support as well
Brand All About Down
Model pending
Weight pending
Rating 4.9 / 5.0

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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