Traveling can be tough and exhausting, even if you travel in the most luxurious ways possible.
However, you can make it easier on yourself by purchasing one of the best travel pillows. When it comes to your comfort, you shouldn’t skimp. Just any regular pillow might give you a stiff neck, a headache, or not allow you to sleep. This can be disastrous, especially if you were counting on sleeping on the plane, train, or drive to your destination. Fear not. We’ve assembled a list of the best travel pillows in order to make your trip as restful as possible. Whether you are looking for a pillow for a specific purpose or simply want an all-purpose one, this list should help.
The best travel pillows make the journey easier while also keeping you comfortable.
Perhaps to this point, you've been toughing the journey out. Is sacrificing your comfort and sleep really necessary though? We think not. We've answered a few of the most common questions regarding the best travel pillows to assist you in making this investment. Trust us -- your head, neck, and back will thank you!
Why Do You Need a Travel Pillow?
There are folks who can sleep anywhere. People who can doze off in a straight-backed chair, sitting on the floor, even standing up if they can find something to lean against. Others are not so lucky. No matter which group you fall into, the best travel pillows can make sure that not only will you get some sleep, it will be a good quality rest.
Thanks to advancements with memory foam and other fillings, these pillows can be compressed into small packages for easy travel. Whenever you need to catch some “Z’s,” you can unfurl them and rest comfortably. Some people prefer traditional, rectangular pillows while traveling, and there are options for those. However, contoured neck pillows provide unique support options that can help even the fussiest sleeper nod off while sitting in an airplane seat or shotgun on a long drive. A travel pillow will ensure that if you sleep during travel, you will wake up feeling rested and refreshed.
The Best Travel Pillows Can Be Used for More Than Traveling
The best travel pillows aren’t just things to use on the train during your morning commute or a long car trip upstate. These little wonders of design have many uses. Some are by design. In our list of the best travel pillows we feature those specifically crafted to ease back or neck pain. We also feature products that are designed for comfort or versatility of options.
For example, a contoured neck pillow makes for a great accessory when reading a book or binge-watching your favorite shows. Similarly, many of these pillows could be tucked behind your back to provide some lumbar support in your desk chair at work. There are probably dozens of other uses you could find for it, because they are really just for keeping your head and neck comfortable wherever you are.
How to Know Which of the Best Travel Pillows Are for You:
Don’t think of buying these travel pillows like buying a suitcase or a carry-on bag. Instead think of it like buying a pair of shoes. You’ll need different styles for different purposes, and your comfort is what’s most important to consider.
For instance, if you don’t like wearing scarves or other things like that around your neck, the contoured neck pillows are not for you. If you have headaches or back, neck, or shoulder pain, you will want to look for pillows designed to alleviate that. Don’t be afraid to loop-in your doctor or chiropractor on the decision in case they have suggestions what to look for. Still, just like the right pair of shoes, you’ll know you found the right one as soon as you feel it.
The Ten Best Travel Pillows to Help You Rest On-the-Go:
Below, you will find our list of the best travel pillows we could find. There are a number of different styles and options listed. Which one will work best for you depends on both your specific tastes and your needs. Still, no matter what requirements you have, we’re confident that at least one of these products will work for you. Check them out below!
1. Eagle Creek Two-in-One Travel Pillow
This travel pillow from Eagle Creek offers the best of both worlds when it comes to ways to rest your head while on-the-move. It’s a versatile option that is easy to maintain, because the entire thing can be tossed into the washing machine. You can pack the pillow, filed with a soft foam, into a bag or strap it to your carry-on with the provided strap. What makes this pillow most versatile, however is that you can convert it from a rectangular, standard pillow to a contoured neck pillow. Use the latter for when traveling and the former when you get where you are going. There aren’t any other colors available, but with the all the features this has, clashing with your luggage is a small price to pay.
2. Cabeau Evolution Cool Travel Pillow
Cabeau’s Evolution Cool design is a neck pillow that offers a sporty look, head and neck support, and a proprietary venting system to keep air flowing. With this, every side is the cool side of the pillow. The pillow is made of a dual-density memory foam, which allows for a good fit no matter which way your head leans. The pillow is adjustable, thanks to the resizing pivot loops on the front, which allows it to fit any size neck comfortable. If you are uncomfortable having things around your neck, however, this is likely not the pillow for you. This pillow also can be squeezed into a small, portable travel bag. The removable cover also allows for easy washing.
3. White Willow Ultra Soft and Slim Memory Foam Pillow
This pillow from White Willow is 14 inches by 14 inches and constructed of high grade memory foam. It’s elegant, coming in two colors: a soft blue and “white reveries.” Unlike the previous two pillows, this doesn’t come with a travel bag nor is it easily portable. So, while it might be a pain to stick in your carry-on, this is a great pillow for traveling, usable not just while traveling but also at your destination. It comes with a 180 thread count cover, easily machine washable. The pillow itself can be cleaned using baking soda, a dry brush, and/or a clothes dryer. This is the pillow to use if you want both comfort and to impress your traveling companions.
4. Studio Banana Things Ostrich Pillow
This is one of the best travel pillows both because of its hand-crafted construction and its unique design. More an article of clothing than a pillow, its cylindrical shape cradles your head as you sleep. You’d put the pillow “on” like you would a shirt, stretching the adjustable openings over your head. Filled with polystyrene micro beads, the ostrich pillow is good for those who find memory foam a little too soft. These beads also can help with stiff or sore necks after travel. Just pop the pillow into the freezer or the microwave (though, be very careful as polystyrene can melt) for hot or cold therapy. It comes in a number of colors to match any style or aesthetic.
5. Therapeutica Travel Pillow
While most of the best travel pillows feature a combination of comfort and design to help make them portable, this offering from Therapeutica is different. The appeal of this pillow is its design and the foam materials they use. The pillow is squarish, with sloped edges for neck support and a contoured well for your head. This pillow is not the most convenient to pack, but it’s ideal for people who have neck, back, or shoulder pain. The design also helps curb snoring, either when using it while sitting or lying down. If other travel pillows don’t work for you because of pain, this is the pillow that can most likely help. In fact, you might find this so comfortable that you’d want to get one of their full-size pillows of a similar design for your home.
6. Therm-a-Rest Compressible Travel Pillow
The Therm-a-Rest pillow is a traditional looking place to rest your head, that comes in many colors and designs. This pillow is more designed for lying down prone or in a place where you can rest your head on something. While it doesn’t provide much in the way of advanced neck support, it is made of a compressable memory foam that does offer support for your head, neck, and back, just not as well as some of the pillows designed for use while sitting upright. The foam pillow can be squeezed down into a compact package for easy storage or travel.
7. Myciecoo Inflatable Travel Pillow
When it comes to the best travel pillows, inflatable ones are not usually part of the conversation. Sadly, air is a poor substitute for memory foam, polystyrene beads, or other fillings. Yet, the inflatable pillows do have their appeal. They are much more compact for travel than others. The standout amongst these pillows is the Myciecoo pillow. It has a built in push-pump that makes it easy to inflate to your comfort preference. The cover is soft velvet, which helps add to the comfort. It comes with a carrying case for the deflated pillow, an eye-mask, and ear plugs. Cleaning it is easy, as well. The cover is machine-washable, and the interior can be wiped clean with soap and water.
8. Bcozzy Travel Pillow
The Bcozzy pillow offers a unique twist on the contoured neck pillow design, which offers a variety of ways to use it. The pillow wraps around your neck 360-degrees, and you can position the ends where you want them for chin support. The pillow can also be folded over, in case you wanted to rest your head to the side. It also doesn’t prevent the use over-the-ear headphones, unlike some other contoured pillows. The pillow can be folded for packing or attached to the outside of a bag using the included strap. This is a great option for kids, too. It’s adjustable, and the chin protection helps keep their heads from snapping forward. Of course, this is not a safety device, but can provide comfort for them while they are strapped in a car seat.
9. Neck Sofa Travel Pillow
The Neck Sofa option is one of the best travel pillows for people who’ve had pain or problems with their neck. The insides are made from memory foam wrapped around a hard, plastic interior support based on neck and back brace designs. You likely won’t be able to feel the support inside of it during use, but it can help keep you in a pain-free position. The unique shape also allows the pillow to be used as a lower back support while sitting. Apparently usable in as many as 12 different positions or configurations, this pillow is a versatile option for people who’ve had neck or back pain in the past.
10. Deluxe Comfort Half-Moon Pillow
The final entry on our list is one of the best travel pillows for those who don’t mind carrying it with them outside of their bags. The two-foot long half-cylinder pillow is made of memory foam with a cooling gel overlay on the rounded pillow surface. While this makes for a comfortable pillow for your head, this design truly shines when used for either lumbar or knee support. The manufacturer claims that this pillow will help reduce lower back pain, help with spine alignment, and all while keeping you comfortable. It’s a unique design, and if no other travel pillow has worked for you, this might be the one that will.
Remember, the best travel pillows are like good pairs of shoes because they fit you just right.
We hope you’ve found this list of the best travel pillows helpful, and at least have a good place to start on your search for the right one. Remember, that when it comes to something like this your comfort is the top priority. If one pillow is the easiest to carry with you but gives you a headache or keeps you from resting that’s not a trade-off worth making. Centuries ago, there were far more hazardous things than sleeplessness to worry about. Today, we are lucky that travel is safe and simple for many of us. Take advantage of that luxury by using the time to give yourself some time to rest and relax. You deserve it.
What do you think? Share your thoughts, reactions, and which pillow is your favorite in the comments below. Don’t forget to share this article on social media to get your friends involved in the conversation.
Related Article: How to Travel In Style Without Sacrificing Comfort or Convenience