The worst part of a long trip is the uncomfortable flight or train ride. No matter how much the seat reclines, it simply won't be the same as lying down. If you take a nap, you might wake up with a sore neck that will ruin the rest of your vacation.
An easy way to make travel more comfortable is to invest in a good travel pillow. These provide solid neck support, allowing you to relax and take a nap while the pilot gets you safely to your destination.
Of course, no two travel pillows are exactly alike. If you want a comfortable trip, you need to find pne that supports your head and lets you forget about your surroundings. A good pillow will also fit neatly inside your bag so that you don't have to think about it after the trip is over.
To save you time, we've compiled a list of five of the best options available on the market. Any one of these will enhance your journey and offer you some much needed rest.
Top 5: Travel Pillows Review
Product Image & Rating (Out Of 10)
MVLOC's Memory Foam Travel Pillow is a well designed addition to your travel kit. A three point contour provides provides gentle pressure on your neck from multiple angles without covering the edges of your face. An adjustable rope lock allows you to decide how tight or loose it sits.
It is made of a combination of soft memory foam and tiny micro beads. MVLOC boasts a 5 second return technology that allows their foam to slowly shift back into place. The result is a forgiving and breathable cushion that conforms to your shape while still providing plenty of stability.
The outside of the case is composed of soft composite gauze, while the inner layer is made of magnetic therapy cloth. This combination is soft to the touch but not distracting. The entire case is sweat resistant and machine washable. Run the case through a load of laundry before your trip and you'll have a fresh pillow to use every time.
To sweeten the deal, MVLOC will even include a comfortable 3D sleep mask and a set of ear plugs. With the entire kit, you'll be able to relax and drown out noise on the train, bus, plane, or any other way you choose to travel. We especially like that it can be compressed into an included stuff sack; the resulting package only weighs 0.6 pounds!
Although it is excellent, a few reviewers noted that it was too big for their neck. The pillow is adjustable but is certainly on the larger side. If you have a particularly long or thin neck, there may be a small gap even when the pillow is closed tightly. Other reviewers said that the pillow fit perfectly, so results will vary based on the individual. The pillow's dimensions are 11 x 9.2 x 5.9 inches.
Everlasting Comfort adds a little luxury to your travel with a soft memory foam option covered in black plush velour. The ergonomic design includes a special contour to support your head at multiple angles, accommodating side sleepers or anyone who like to adjust during a nap.
Like the last product, this neck pillow's case is removable and machine washable. A feature that we fell in love with is the addition of a cell phone pocket on the side of the case. Tuck your phone into the provided space and enjoy music during your nap without a long headphone cord getting in your way. The elastic pocket fits most cell phone sizes; iPhones are mentioned specifically.
The black plush velour is soft to touch and classy to look at. The provided eye mask is black and the earplugs are Everlasting Comfort blue. Everything fits into a compact black traveler bag with the Everlasting Comfort logo on the front.
This comes with adjustable front straps, allowing you to loosen or tighten it as you see fit. The only complaint that reviewers mentioned was how thick the back is. Some reviewers loved this added thickness, while others said that it made their head lean a little too far forward. The thickness may also affect how breathable it is. The pillow is 11 x 4.5 x 12 inches.
If normal designs don't typically work for you, Dot&Dot's Twistable Travel Pillow may be the solution you're looking for. This takes the form of a long, soft memory foam tube. It can be twisted into a traditional U shape, bent into an L to offer support between your head and a car window, or simply left long and used as a more traditional pillow.
Because it can be reshaped as needed, reviewers have also used it for shoulder and lower back support. Although it is intended for use as a travel pillow, many reviewers found it helpful as a general sleep aid, especially if they typically experience neck pain. It is also often used to make recliner naps even more comfortable.
It comes with a soft gray cover that can be removed and washed. Snaps on the edges of the case allow you to form a complete circle around your neck. These snaps also allow you to secure it to your luggage during transit. Because it can be reshaped as needed, it works particularly well for customers who don't fit normal neck pillows. Many reviewers mentioned success using this one for children.
It holds its shape thanks to a bendable support rod through the center of the pillow. This support rod has mixed reviews; some customers said they didn't notice it at all, while others said they could feel it through the memory foam. Whether or not you feel the support rod may depend on how hard you press on the pillow while sleeping.
Coop Home Goods provides a traditional option that is well suited for either camping or travel. When unfolded, this memory foam pillow takes on a traditional rectangle shape that contours to the pressure of your head and neck. When you're ready to move on to your next destination, simply compress it into the provided stuff sack and stow it with the rest of your luggage.
It is stuffed with a custom memory foam blend that Coop Home Goods notes is completely free from mercury, PBDEs, or other ozone depleting substances. It is made entirely in the United States and is a great choice for customers with environmental concerns.
The travel pillow's cover is made from a bamboo-derived rayon and polyester blend. The cover is soft, breathable, and naturally temperature regulating. Coop Home Goods also mentions that the cover is hypoallergenic and resistant to dust mites. An additional waterproof cover can be purchased to offer protection on camping trips.
This one does not provide the traditional neck support needed when traveling on a plane. Instead, it offers a standard rectangular pillow that can be compressed into an accompanying stuff sack. When unfolded, it is 19 x 14 inches. When compressed, the stuff sack is 10 x 6 inches. Many reviewers noted that the compressed size is still bigger than expected and didn't fit well into their luggage.
We personally like how flexible this one is. It can be tempting to bring your normal pillow with you on a trip just to have the comfort of home. It might not be perfect, but this compact pillow will give you a sense of normalcy even on long camping trips.
AirComfy offers a completely different take on neck pillows with their inflatable Daydreamer model. Instead of a thick memory foam filling that might be too hot or bulky, the Daydreamer uses a self-inflating method to provide cool and comfortable neck support.
The Daydreamer can be inflated within 30 to 60 seconds by repeatedly pressing a built-in push button. A small valve next to the pillow releases air so that you can put it back into its accompanying satin stuff sack. It can be adjusted to your preferred thickness simply by inflating it more or less.
The soft micro velvet pillowcase is removable and washable. The zipper is cleverly hidden on the back and doesn't affect the appearance. They can be purchased in pink, blue, purple, or gray, and the satin case will be in a matching color.
The Daydreamer has a contoured design that cradles the back and sides of your neck. We like that the back is raised, offering more support than many U-shaped pillow models. If you find that this raised back gets in the way, some reviewers recommend using the Daydreamer upside down.
Because it can be deflated, it takes up very little space during transport and is great for placing in your carry-on or small luggage bag.
This is smaller than the other pillows on this list and sits snugly around your neck. It does not have straps on the front, so the curve of the pillow cannot be easily adjusted. One reviewer mentioned that the Daydreamer makes a very loud squeaking noise every time you inflate it.
Travel Pillow - Buying Guide
This list includes several different models. MVLOC's design provides extremely soft fabric with a squishy yet breathable memory foam interior. For a U-shaped pillow, this one hits nearly all of the important features: it's well contoured, breathable, and adjustable.
Everlasting Comfort offers a similar U-shaped design with a different set of features. The option is thicker, the fabric is soft instead of smooth, and the case includes a cell phone holder.
The Coop Home Goods Travel Pillow is a traditional rectangular option with a compressible design that works well for camping and other overnight travel scenarios. AirComfy's Daydreamer is an inflatable U-shape that can be completely deflated for easy storage. The Daydreamer is a good choice if you find most memory foam pillows to be thick or uncomfortable.
best travel pillow
Although we love all of these, the absolute best choice on this list has to be Dot&Dot's Unique Twist Pillow design. This one is completely adaptable to anyone's needs. It works for both large and small necks, accommodates back and side sleepers, and can be used to provide shoulder or lumbar support. Whether you need a neck pillow for home or for travel, the Dot&Dot Twist will probably provide exactly the support you need.
Take a look at the Dot&Dot Twist Pillow before you go on your next trip. There's a reason one is the best on the list.
Commonly Asked Questions
What Makes a Good Travel Pillow?
When you're shopping for travel pillows, it can be difficult to choose one that meets your needs. Everyone sleeps a little different and needs a different amount of support.
Start by considering the shape of pillow you're looking for. Do you want a U-shaped pillow for your neck, or do you need something a little more flexible? If you do want a U-shaped pillow, do you want support on the back or your neck or on the sides?
Next, consider how compact you need the pillow to be. Some pillows can go straight in your bag, while others need to be stowed in a compact stuff sack. Consider how long you'll be carrying the pillow and whether you'll need to put it away before your trip is over.
Pillow thickness is a major concern that relies entirely on personal taste. If you have a thin neck, a thicker pillow will fill the space between your neck and the seat. If you put a lot of pressure down, you may need more material to provide comfortable support.
You should also consider how breathable the pillow material is, especially if you overheat easily while you sleep. Many travel pillows are designed with cooling technology or sweat resistant fabric to help keep you comfortable while you nap.
Some pillows come with a matching eye mask and a set of ear plugs. This can be a very cost effective choice, but make sure that the pillow meets your needs. If necessary, an eye mask and ear plugs can be purchased on the side.
Whenever possible, find a pillow with a washable case. This will increase the lifespan of your purchase and let you keep using the pillow for many vacations to come.