Traveling is such a fantastic experience, but it can also be a pain in the a**, mainly because of its long travel time. Many people claim that it is not about the destination—it is about the journey.
ou are finally able to save up for your dream trip, and you are excited to enjoy the most amazing activities and see the most breathtaking views of your destination. But after spending long hours at the plane, you end up with an achy back and a painful neck issue. As a result, you find it difficult to fulfill all the plans that you have during the trip.
That sucks, right? Because of that, you have to make sure that your journey is as comfortable and fun as your destination. We know just what you need—the best travel pillow! This article can help you discover which one it is!
The Ultimate Best Travel Pillow Comparison Table
|Travel Pillow Brand||Size||Type||Fill Material||Outer Cover|
|Travelmate Memory Foam Neck Pillow||11 x 12 x 3.8 inches||Neck Pillow||Memory Foam||Velour|
|TravelRest Inflatable Travel Pillow||2.2 x 4.8 x 10.8 inches||Body Pillow||Air (Inflatable)||None|
|Trtl Super Soft Neck Support Travel Pillow||2.9 x 2.9 x 1.5 inches||Innovative Pillow||Not applicable||Fleece|
|Bcozzy Chin Travel Pillow||9.8 x 11 x 4.7 inches||Chin Pillow||Not stated||Micro-fleece|
|J-Pillow Travel Pillow||9 x 8.9 x 4.5 inches||Innovative Pillow||Memory foam||Polyester|
Best Travel Pillow of 2018: My Top Picks
1. Travelmate Memory Foam Neck Pillow- Best on Sleeping at Middle Seats
As a neck pillow filled with memory foam, the Travelmate Memory Foam Neck Pillow is designed to deliver the right amount of softness and the most comfortable neck support that you can get.
What makes this travel pillow unique is its built-in memory foam insert that can help you adjust the thickness of the pillow to suit your personal preference. In this way, the thickness of your pillow can be customized based on your sitting position.
For its cover, the pillow has a high-quality, soft and smooth, machine washable velour cover. The cover has a built-in elastic strap that allows the user to easily attach it to his luggage for a more comfortable travel experience.
Since this is a travel neck pillow, it is suitable for people who are prone to having neck problems. It would also come handy for you if you are placed at the middle seat of the plane.
If you also lack luggage space, this small travel neck pillow is the best option that you have.
We know memory foam pillows to be a bit expensive. Well, this travel pillow is most probably one of the most affordable memory foam pillows I have ever seen!
Even though the travel pillow is sold at an affordable price, the company went all out with it and even, provided a warranty for it. The purchase of this pillow is covered by a 30-day product
- Elastic strap for attaching the pillow to the luggage (and free up space)
- Soft and plush velour cover
- 30-day warranty
- Supportive and shape-conforming memory foam filling
- Customizable thickness
- Low breathability
- The front ends cannot be tied together
2. TravelRest Inflatable Travel Pillow- Great for Side Sleepers
The only inflatable pillow in this list is the TravelRest Travel Pillow. This air-filled pillow also has the unique shape of all. It features a lengthened comma shape that is large enough to hug your upper body.
The curved portion of the pillow hugs the back of the seat while the rest of the pillow provides support to the front portion of your upper body and your shoulders. The ergonomic design of this pillow minimizes neck strain and places your body in proper alignment. Since the ends attach to the seat, it keeps your head in place while you sleep.
Since the pillow is inflatable, you can customize the firmness and thickness of the pillow. You can also easily deflate it and fold to the smallest possible size for easy storage. It also has a strap that easily attached to your luggage.
There is an optional cover that is sold separately from the pillow. But despite not having its own cover, you will be glad to know that the entire pillow is machine washable.
If you are a side sleeper who is lucky enough to have a window seat, this is one option that you may want to consider. This pillow is also perfect for road trips and train travels. You can also use it at your office.
We know that inflatable pillows are affordable in general, but since this pillow is larger than standard travel pillows, you can expect this to be a bit more expensive.
But don’t you worry—the high price of this pillow comes with a few benefits. For one, this comes with a 2-year warranty which is already considered a long time for travel pillows.
- Lightweight and foldable
- Machine washable pillow
- Keeps body secured in its seat
- Long warranty
- Great for side sleepers
- Does not come with a cover
- A bit difficult to inflate
3. Trtl Super Soft Neck Support Travel Pillow – Most Innovative Travel Pillow
If we are going to prioritize portability, we conclude that this is the most portable pillow of all. It is the most advanced one too.
The unique patented design of this pillow features an internal support system scientifically engineered to provide amazing neck and head support. The strengthened rib system of the pillow is then covered with a super soft hypoallergenic fleece designed make the pillow feel softer and at the same time, keep the user warm. The addition of cushioning makes the user’s sleep experience a lot more comfortable.
This pillow is designed to look like a scarf and comes in different colors, making it perfect for stylish users. It is also highly foldable, portable, lightweight and machine washable.
Do you hate bringing bulky neck pillows but are in dire need of neck support? This travel pillow is the best compromise that you can ever get!
From the advanced and unique design of this travel pillow, you can expect it to be a bit expensive. It is, but for me, it is still reasonably priced!
The manufacturer did not provide any warranty details about this product, If you want to know the details, contact their customer service representative.
- Thin, lightweight, portable and foldable
- Fleece material keeps the body warm
- Machine washable and hypoallergenic pillow
- Comes in stylish colors
- Attaches to the luggage easily
- Some users find the fleece material to be too warm and itchy
- Since it is still a new design, many people would find it weird
Watch this video to know more about this pillow:
4. Bcozzy Chin Travel Pillow – Best for People with Small Necks and Kids
Thus us another innovative pillow in the list. This chin travel pillow works like a U-shaped pillow in the sense that it wraps around the neck. But it has a few differences in its design. For one, this pillow is a lot longer and overlaps to provide support to the chin and keeps it in place (hence the term, chin pillow).
Another difference in the design is the chin travel pillow is a lot thinner than neck pillows. In fact, the back of the pillow is made flat to prevent the head from being pushed forward.
The type of fill material used for this pillow is not stated, but some users claim that it delivers a soft yet firm cushioning system. The pillow is covered with microfleece that is machine washable and warm.
Another benefit of its firm material is that it can be folded and customized for multiple wearing styles. Aside from its full support mode (the overlap is at the chin area), you can place the overlapping portions to your side if you are a side sleeper. Lastly, you can fold the pillow in half and place it to your side for more elevated support.
Since this is considered to be thinner than neck pillows, this pillow is recommended for children or adults with small necks.
The price of this pillow is a bit higher than the prices of most neck pillows, but I personally believe it is worth the extra few dollars.
Again, no warranty details are available for this product so you should talk to their customer service representatives about it.
- Can be worn three ways
- Available in different kids’ sizes.
- Pastel color options are available
- Has a snap strap for easy attachment to a backpack or luggage
- Booster side cushions to keep the head in place
- A bit small and thin for most people
- Can be a bit warm
5. J-Pillow Travel Pillow – Best for Sleeping on Window Seats
This is considered to be an innovative pillow because of its J-shape design which the company claims can provide the most extensive support. Placed at the side of the head, this pillow can provide support to the neck, chin, front part and back part of the head—the extent of support that you can’t get from any other pillow in the market.
The shape of this pillow is developed to prevent your head from falling forward and at the same time, maintain a perfectly balanced and elevated head position while you sleep.
The pillow is filled with the standard memory foam filling which supports and conforms to the shape of your body. Many experts refer to the filling of this travel pillow as a 3D polyester fiber filling that is not easily broken down even after plenty of uses.
Another selling point of this travel pillow is its soft polyester cover with a fuzzy texture. This cover can be either hand or machine washed.
Just like most pillows, it has a snap-loop fastener so you can fasten it to your bag. But in addition, it also comes with its own carry bag.
If you have a window seat, this pillow will allow you to lay on the window area for a nice sleep comfortably.
This is one of the most expensive products in this list but I say, it is worth splurging for. After all, its design combines the function of both the neck and chin travel pillow.
This is another product that has no warranty details. Contact the company to get more information about it.
- Comes with a carry bag
- Unique design provides support for the chin, neck, and head
- Machine washable
- Hugs the head perfectly
- Does not come with a cover
- A bit difficult to inflate
For more information about this pillow, watch this review:
The Most Comprehensive Travel Pillow Buying Guide You Can Read
There are thousands of travel pillows in the market. Each has a unique shape, fill material, purpose, and features. Which one should you get? Let this buying guide help you out!
The Different Travel Pillow Shapes You Should Be Familiar With
Let us begin this guide by tackling the most critical yet confusing aspect of all—the travel pillow type. The pillow travel type mainly depends on its shape. Without further ado, here they are:
More commonly referred to as U-shaped pillows, this pillow is perfect for people who are prone to experiencing neck aches after sleeping.
Neck pillows come in two types—flat-backed and round-backed. The flat-backed option provides amazing form-fitting support for people with short necks. On the other hand, round-backed options are more comfortable for people with long necks, but some people say it tends to push your head forward.
This type of travel pillow is designed to provide the ultimate resting experience for long haul traveling. Aside from supporting your neck and head, this pillow also places your body in proper alignment while you sleep.
Since full body travel pillows can be such a nuisance due to its size, it is best that you go for an inflatable one if you like to experience the comfort that this pillow provides.
We are referring to the rectangular- or square- shaped travel pillows. These look like the pillows we use at home but are smaller in size.
Standard travel pillows are perfect for people who are prone to back pain as it can help reposition the body for proper lumbar, back and leg support.
You can now find travel pillows that look like scarves. Just like the neck pillow, these types are designed to increase chin and neck support, but it is a lot portable and stylish.
Common Fill Materials Used for Manufacturing Travel Pillows
The next item that we should figure out is the fill material inside the travel pillow. In this category, you have three options. These are as follows:
High-density memory foam is known to deliver the most consistent and firmest support among all fill materials used for travel pillows. In addition to that, this material is also widely recognized for its shape-conforming properties.
However, many people claim that it is a bit bulky. To remedy this, it is best that you go for memory foam pillows that are compressible so you can fit it in your luggage. Another downside of this material is that it is quite expensive.
Most travelers prefer this type of fill material simply because it is the most portable, lightweight, and convenient pillow to use. One good thing about inflatable travel pillows is that you can inflate it to achieve your desired level of firmness. Another benefit is that you can easily deflate and fold it to the smallest size possible.
However, it is essential to make sure that its valves are appropriately sealed to prevent air from leaking. If not, you will not get the support that you need or worst; you may wake up with a deflated pillow on your neck.
Microbeads are small polystyrene beads that are commonly used as pillow fillings. Experts claim that these beads change shape to accommodate the needs of the user.
Sadly though, their shape-changing ability also prevents it from being firm enough to give support to the neck or head. It is also a bit uncomfortable since the beads tend to push to the parts of the pillow that are not pressurized.
The only good point of this fill material is its affordability.
More Things to Consider When Choosing a Travel Pillow
But wait, there’s more! If you think that the pillow fill material and shape of the pillow are the only considerations that you should consider, think again. If you wish to use the best travel pillow for your needs, you should not forget to consider the following factors:
Besides, to fill material, you have to put into consideration the outer fabric of the pillow too. After all, this is the material that will come into direct contact with your skin. With that in mind, below are some of the most commonly used outer fabrics for travel pillows:
This is the incredibly soft and stretchy fabric used in creating bathrobes, tracksuits and other comfortable clothes but you can also see many travel pillows that have this as their outer fabric.
Velour and velvet look the same. The only difference is that the latter looks shinier. It is also not as stretchy as velour.
This is the fabric of choice for cold weather trips.
The breathability of this material makes it perfect for warm weather travels.
A good travel pillow outer fabric is one that is soft and highly breathable. Moreover, it should also be free of allergen to prevent possible allergies.
How do you sleep while traveling? This is one question you need to answer if you want to find the best travel pillow type.
Do you prefer resting your head on the back headrest of your seat? If yes, then the neck pillow or the innovative travel pillows are your best options.
If you like resting or slumping your back on the seat, then you may want to consider the standard travel pillow.
If you like to keep your body in proper alignment during your trip, then go for the body pillow.
Flight/ Travel Duration
Are you going to have a long or short travel time? If you are going on a long trip, a full-body pillow is recommended so you would feel comfortable during the trip. But this is only a good idea if you have lots of luggage space. If not, then you should settle for a portable and lightweight pillow.
If the flight is shorter, you would need less luggage so you may have more room for bulky and non-inflated travel pillows.
The main reason why you would buy a travel pillow is to get the support that you need, so it totally makes sense that you put this into great consideration, right?
When choosing a pillow, it is crucial that you determine what areas of your body need support the most.
If you usually experience neck aches, then a neck or chin pillow is recommended for you.
If you usually suffer from back pains, then go for a standard travel pillow.
For people who want to prevent body aches, keep your body in proper alignment with the help of a full body pillow.
Generally, travel pillows are affordable. But with the innovations and advanced features that most travel pillows have nowadays, the price range of travel pillows have become quite extensive.
You can find travel neck pillows that are sold at a price range of 5 to 15 USD while full body pillows and innovative pillows are available at a price range of 15 to 30 USD.
It is best that you establish your budget first, especially if you do not have money to splurge, so you can know what price range would fit your budget.
No, we are not talking about the size of the pillow. We are talking about the size of your body part. If you plan to use a neck pillow, you have to make sure that it fits your neck correctly—it shouldn’t be too tall or short.
This goes the same with a full body pillow. The pillow must be large enough to accommodate your entire body.
The washability feature of a travel pillow will depend on the type of outer fabric that it has.
In general, inflatable pillows are covered with outer fabric that is washable. However, it can quickly lose its shine and luster.
On the other hand, memory foam pillows usually come with a washable pillow cover while its inner material can be wiped down using either a wet sponge or cloth. When choosing memory foam pillows, you should make sure that its cover is removable for easy washing.
This video will teach you the tricks on how to clean your travel pillow:
Another important feature of a travel pillow is its comfort. It is advised that you first test out the pillows to determine how comfortable they can get.
Compact and Portability
For your travel convenience, the pillow that you should choose must be lightweight and compact so you can easily transport it from one place to the other.
Among all the pillow types, inflatable pillows rank first in this criterion. The second most portable pillow type is memory foam, especially if the pillow you choose has compressibility features.
The least portable and hardest pillow type to carry is the microbead travel pillow as it cannot be folded.
Of course, you would want to make the most out of your investment, right? That is why you should make sure that the pillow you will buy is highly durable.
Oftentimes, the biggest issue would be the stitching at the sides of the pillow, so you need to take a closer look at it when buying pillows.
When it comes to pillow types, the least durable type is the microbead as the beads tend to unevenly disperse through the pillow, creating unwanted bumps and lumps.
The most common add-on for the purchase of travel pillow is a carry bag that allows you to keep your pillow in a more organized manner. Some bags have a zippered pocket where you can place your phones.
Also, you can also find some travel pillows that come with a few extras such as a pair of earplugs and sleeping mask.
Best Travel Pillow FAQ’s
Now that we are done with our buying guide, here are the answers to some of the questions that you may still have:
Why is my neck pillow causing me neck pain?
If you are experiencing neck pain, it means that you are using the wrong travel pillow. The pillow that you are using is either low quality or too tall or low for your neck.
Are travel pillows recommended to be used by kids?
Travel can be difficult for kids so you need to make sure that your kids will have fun while traveling. So yes, of course. Kids need proper neck support more than adults do. Since their muscles are a lot less strong than us, any strain or pressure to their neck muscles has a high tendency of resulting in an injury.
However, you should pay extra attention when it comes to choosing a travel pillow for your kids. Lucky for you, there are travel pillows in the market that are specially designed for their needs.
Should you consider your seating position when choosing a travel pillow type?
Yes, actually. In general, you will be sleeping in an upright sitting position, but it may vary depending on your assigned seat.
If you are sitting next to a window, you have the option to rest on your side. Because of this, you are given the opportunity to use a body pillow.
If you are on a middle seat, you have limited movements. What you need is to provide extra support to your neck. This is precisely what the U-shaped pillow can provide you with. You would also benefit from the back support that the standard travel pillow can give you.
Final Verdict: What’s the Best Travel Pillow?
Wow! It seems like the travel pillow industry is leveling up their game. The list contains some of the most advanced and creatively designed travel pillows in the market!
But of course, there is only one best travel pillow. So, which is it? For me, it is no other than the J-Pillow Travel Pillow because it provides the most extensive support without taking up too much space in the luggage!