Best Travel Pillows – Top 6 Choices Reviewed
Frequent travelers will know that a travel pillow is an absolute must to have in your hand luggage – even if your flight is under 5 hours. The longer your trip, the more stringent the necessity for a travel pillow is. If you’re one of those people who fly from coast to coast often, or even internationally, this kind of pillow is something you should take with you on the plane.
Not only are these pillows convenient for flights – you can use the for those long, overnight bus rides, on the train, or even in the car – if you’re in the passenger’s seat and just can’t help falling asleep as soon as the road starts. Moreover, they’re convenient for non-frequent travelers as well. If you prefer to take a nap in your car during lunch break, a travel pillow will save you from neck pains for the rest of the day. They’re even convenient for home use – you can use them while reading, watching TV, or whatnot, thus making sure that your neck muscles have the proper support.
Commonly known as a travel pillow or a neck pillow, these units come in a variety of shapes, sizes, prices, and brands. Their main purpose is to support the head and loosen up the tension on the neck muscles if the person falls asleep in an upright sitting position. As the most common travel conditions don’t offer you the possibility to lay down, you will soon enough start to feel your head get heavy and fall over to one side, forwards or backward. If you manage to fall asleep in this position, it’s guaranteed that you will wake up with terrible muscle pain in your neck, plus a headache from the lack of oxygen in the brain. Neck travel pillows are designed in such a way as to snuggle around your neck and provide some extra height for the moments when your head falls over to the side or backward. The pillow supports the head and takes on it the pressure that would otherwise hit your neck muscles.
It can be hard to choose the right one without proper guidance – that’s what we and this guide are here for! We’ve put together a Top 5 of the best rated and top-quality travel pillows around the web. You might even find the perfect one for yourself among these, so take a look:
1. J Pillow
The J-pillow has a pretty unusual shape that offers it some benefits compared to other similar models. The unit has won the British Invention Of The Year Awards in 2013 and has been a sales leader on Amazon ever since then.
Back to its unique shape, this unit is shaped like the letter J, providing support for not only the neck and head but also for the chin. In case your head rolls forward, the J-pillow will keep it from putting too much pressure on your neck muscles. With the side and back of the head support points, it makes a great all-purpose unit, that will offer you a restful sleep even in a crammed economy class seat.
The pillow has four designated support areas, which will help you sleep healthier regardless of the position. It’s also hypoallergenic, and fully washable. Not only the cover and be removed and machine laundered – you can throw the whole pillow in the washing machine to ensure it’s clean and ready to go. It also packs really small, so you won’t have to bother about the lack of space in your hand luggage.
Find this product here and read more details and reviews about it:
2. Cabeau Evolution
This travel pillow comes in the most common U shape and is padded with memory foam for an extra supportive surface. The pillows are also multifunctional – it comes with built-in earplugs, a pocket for your smartphone or mp3 player, and a removable and washable cover for hygienic purposes. Don’t try to launder the pillow itself – memory foam tends to trap water inside it, and you will ruin your pillow.
The support is ensured by two raised side cushions and one lower back cushion. Just make sure that your head doesn’t roll forward – it any other case, the Cabeau Evolution has got you covered.
The unit comes with a soft velour cover, which is available in tons of different colors so that you can choose the perfect one depending on your aesthetic taste as well. It also comprises to ¼ of its original size and can be tucked away easily into any backpack or hand luggage.
Check out the latest price and find out more about this product here:
3. TravelRest Ultimate Inflatable
If you’re looking for an extremely space-savvy alternative, the TravelRest Ultimate inflatable is the choice for you. This unit can comprise to a mere 2 x 9 x 3.5 inches, which is small enough to fit in your coat pocket. However, it even comes with a snap button system so that you can attach it to the handle of your luggage or backpack without any trouble.
The unit can be inflated easily, with 3-4 puffs, and has an unusual shape, closer to the J-pillow. However, it is long enough to reach from an adults shoulder to their waist and is meant to provide support for travel side sleepers. If you know that your head tends to roll more towards the side during traveling, this pillow is a great choice for you. However, it probably won’t work as well for “back sleepers” as it offers no support in case your head falls backward. It’s still great if you prefer to have a snuggling partner, as you can hug it all you want and feel comfortable even during a transatlantic flight.
This pillows is available in several color choices and is machine washable for a cleaner and healthier surface. You can check it out and read more about the TravelRest Ultimate Inflatable here:
4. ThermaRest – Compressible Pillow
If you’re one of those people for whom traveling equals active rest, and not necessarily long and tiring flights, the Thermarest compressible pillow is a perfect choice. It has been designed and patented for taking with you on camping, hiking, and other sorts of outdoor sleeping situations. Because of this, its size is slightly different to the usual U-shaped or J-shaped neck pillows – this one is meant for laying your head down on it in a classic, horizontal position.
The pillow is padded with memory foam shreds, making it soft and springy at the same time. There’s a decent loft to it, and you won’t struggle with height or support loss during the night. It’s available in several sizes as well – Small, Medium, Large and Extra Large, and will comprise to ¼ its size in a matter of seconds.
The cover it comes with is made of polyester and can be removed and laundered separately. This pillow is perfect for active traveling, such as backpacking, hiking or camping, so if that’s your definition of a perfect trip, this pillow is perfect for you. Check it out here:
The AirComfy comes in a very ergonomic oblong shape, which will work best for back sleepers and anyone who feels like the back of their neck might use some extra support during long hours on the road. This pillow is designed to curse up at the back, this offering you a sturdy, yet not too firm surface to rest your head on.
The pillow is inflatable and is equipped with a self0inflating mechanism. If you offer your travel pillow to be sturdier, you can puff into it a couple of times to firm it up, or you can open the valve and let some of the air out for a plusher surface. Much like any other inflatable unit, it will take up much less space than anything else, and can even be fitted into the smallest handbag.
A nifty feature of this model is that it comes with two elastic string, which you can use to attach the pillow to the headrest in your plan or bus. This way, you won’t have any trouble with it slipping or moving around too much. The pillow is, of course, machine washable.
Check out more details and the latest price for this product here:
After you went through the best-rated neck travel pillows on Amazon, it’s time to point out some important aspects and features of these products. In case you didn’t find the perfect one for yourself in our Top 5, or just want to know more about travel pillow so you can shop with confidence in your local stores, here is our small travel pillow buying guide.
As you could tell from the products we listed above, there are two main purposes you’ll find travel pillows for – on the road use and camping use. These differ in size and shape, as the road ones, the quintessential travel pillows, are meant to provide support for the neck and head when sleeping in an upright position, while the camping ones are just normal oblong shaped pillows. However, they are still very flexible, being easy to tuck into a backpack or any luggage you might take with you.
Here are some of the most important aspects of travel pillows:
1. The shape.
The shape of a travel pillow is its most representative feature. There are several familiar shapes you will encounter on the market, such as:
U-shape, which is the most common one, goes from shoulder to shoulder and behind your head, thus offering a complete support both for the sides and the back of the neck. They are perfect for using on the road, as you can just put them on and not worry about them sliding around and bothering the passengers next to you. These are great for both back and side sleepers.
J-shape, which can come in long and short variations, are ideal for those who are convinced side sleepers, as they offer a higher cushion on the side for when your head rolls over to the side. Some of them also provide chin support, which is a nice innovation for those who struggle with their head falling forwards. Not many products on the market can handle this situation, but products like the J-Pillow in our top will offer extra support for your chin.
Oblong Pillows are the most common shape for camping type travel pillows. They resemble a traditional one, but are elastic enough to be comprised to ¼ of their regular size, and can be easily tucked into a backpack or even pocket if they are inflatable.
2. The material
In addition to the shape, there’s also a choice when it comes to the material. The most common travel pillow fillings are:
Memory foam, which is known to be the most supportive and comfortable to sleep on. This material is heat and pressure resistant and will mold itself to the shape of your head at first, but then, it will start pushing back to its original shape, becoming firmer and more supportive. However, memory foam cannot be washed or brought in contact with water, and the only hygiene measure you can take is laundering the cover. Memory foam is also pretty elastic, especially if we’re talking about shreds so that it can be comprised into your hand luggage with no problems.
Polyester fiber is a softer and plusher material, and it does not offer the same level of support as memory foam. However, these pillows are usually much cheaper, and great to buy if you have, say, one single transatlantic flight to go through. This is the kind that is usually sold in airports or given for free by some airlines. These pillows can be thrown into the washing machine entirely and are even easier to stuff in your bag than memory foam.
Air is the other popular “filling” for travel pillows. Inflatable units are all the rage because they can be flattened down to the size of a travel passport, and can even be carried in one’s pocket. They don’t require pumps, can be inflated manually, and do their job. However, their support isn’t as ergonomic as that provided by memory foam or polyester. Some manufacturers have customized to some extent the firmness of air travel pillows, like the AirComfy one so that you can enjoy a higher level of softness or firmness. These can also be laundered in the washing machine.
3. The size and weight.
The size of an object is crucial when trying to travel with it. When it comes to travel pillows, it can sound like a real pain to carry one around, but in reality, it is not that bad. As mentioned above, travel pillows shrink to at least ¼ of their original size.
If we’re talking camping oblong pillows, there are some standard sizes to choose from – the Small, Medium, Large, Extra Large spectrum, or the Standard, Queen and King one.
If you’re looking for a travel neck pillow, you’ll have to choose a U shape that is at least 10 x 12 x 3.5 inches, and a J shape that is at least 3.5 inches in height. There are also kids’ sizes, which have to be at least 3” in height and 9 x 9” for a U-shaped pillow.
You should also take into consideration the weight of the product. This detail is usually specified in the listing’s details on Amazon or can be manually verified if you’re in a store or showroom. The ideal weight for an adult’s travel pillow is 8 ounces, and for a kids’ one, 5 ounces.
This would be everything you need to know before going shopping for the perfect travel pillow.
Choosing a unit that suits you sleeping patterns and preferences will improve the quality of your trips a lot so that you will net require a whole day to recover from a transatlantic flight anymore.
If we were to make a recommendation about the best travel pillow in this top, we’d say you have to go for the Cabeau Evolution. The U-shape it has is the perfect and most popular shape regarding neck pillows, and will also offer you an all-around support. If you’re not sure whether you’re back sleeper or a side sleeper when in an upright position, this pillow will be perfect for you. The memory foam material offers the firmest, yet most elastic kind of surface. Besides, we liked the extras on it – the built in earplugs will spare you of carrying separate ones around, and the smartphone /mp3 player pocket on it will keep you from worrying about where you’ve left yours. Just make sure you put everything on airplane mode before takeoff. If you like customization, the Cabeau Evolution is available in all the colors of the rainbow as well.
We hope out little guide helped you find the perfect travel pillow for your purposes and needs. Good luck shopping!