The 5 Best Travel Pillows For Long Haul Flights

Editor's Choice
Our Rating5/5 Rating

#1 Trtl Travel Pillow

Trtl’s travel pillow is unlike any travel pillow on the market. Resembling more of a scarf than a pillow, it is made of soft fleece fabric and wireframe and wraps around your neck. It secures with Velcro and firmly holds your head and neck in place.

 

  • Portable: The Trtl folds for easily for transportation
  • Soft: Trtl is made of soft, fleece fabric
  • Supportive: Interior wireframe provides firm support for your head and neck

 

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Editor's Choice
Our Rating5/5 Rating

#2 Cabeau Evolution S3 Travel Pillow

If you’re looking for a memory foam travel pillow that can help alleviate joint pain, check out the Cabeau Evolution S3 Travel Pillow. It contours to your body provides 360 support for your neck, head, and chin.

 

  • Firm, Contoured Support: Memory foam helps this pillow contour to your neck and head. A tie is located beneath your chin to lock the front of the pillow in place, adding additional support for your chin.
  • Machine Washable: Travel pillow is machine washable and tries quickly.
  • Satisfaction Guaranteed: Cabeau offers a money back guarantee. If your travel pillow should become damaged or defective in any way, Cabeau will replace it.
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Editor's Choice
Our Rating4.5/5 Rating

#3 Travelrest Ultimate Travel Pillow

The Travel Rest Memory Foam Travel Pillow doesn’t look like your average travel pillow. It has an ergonomic shape and attaches to the “wings” of an airplane seat or car seatbelt.

 

  • Lateral Support: This pillow supports the entire upper body, not just your neck, and helps keep your head from falling forward
  • Portable: Easily attaches atop your luggage
  • Inflatable: You can adjust the firmness on this inflatable pillow
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Editor's Choice
Our Rating4.5/5 Rating

#4 Cloudz Kids Plush Animal Travel Pillow

The Cloudz Kids Plush Animal Travel Pillow is our favorite travel pillow for kids. It comes in 19 different animals and is soft, plush, and kid-sized.

 

  • Child-sized: Kids can’t use adult-sized travel pillows. This one is specially engineered to fit around a child’s neck.
  • Fun-looking: Kids like cool things and they’ll love these adorable animal-shaped, cuddly neck pillows.
  • Material: These pillows are made of 100% polyester and are soft and plush.

 

 

 

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Editor's Choice
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#5 jeehui Natural Silk Cover Travel Pillow

Looking to splurge on a luxury travel pillow and don’t care how much you spend? If that’s the case, check out this silk travel pillow from jeehui. The exterior is made of mulberry silk and the interior filled with natural latex, the pillow is not only soft but supportive as well.

 

  • Material: Pillowcase is silk so is soft and luxurious against your skin. Plus, it will keep you cool while you sleep.
  • Firm support: An interior natural latex filling provides firm yet plush support to ensure you sleep soundly.
  • Set of three: You not only get a travel pillow, but you get a pair of earplugs and an eye mask as well!

 

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If you’ve ever flown on a long haul flight, we hope you brought a travel pillow. Those flights are can be brutal! If you already have a great travel pillow, you know what a sleep-saver it can be. If not? Check out a few of our favorites below. Don’t forget they make great gifts for travel lovers, too!

travel pillow

Editor’s Choice Travel Pillow: Trtl

Trtl is our favorite travel pillow

The Trtl travel pillow doesn’t look like a travel pillow. It’s not U-shaped, cushion-shaped, or inflatable. In fact, it doesn’t even look like a pillow! However, don’t let its looks deceive you.

The Trtl travel pillow is hands down our favorite travel pillow and unlike any travel pillow we’ve ever tried. It looks more like a scarf than a pillow. Made of soft fleece fabric, it wraps around your neck and has a wireframe inside which support your head. Once it’s wrapped,  it secures with Velcro and firmly holds your head and neck in place.

Trtl Pros

  • Portable: The Trtl is more like a scarf than a pillow and folds for easy transportation.
  • Soft: Pillow is comprised of soft, fleece fabric.
  • Secure: An interior wireframe ensures your head and neck are supported.
  • Lightweight: It weighs about the same as a scarf.
  • Machine-washable: In between travel simply throw your Trtl into the washing machine.

Trtl Cons

  • Headphones: Like to fall asleep watching movies or listening to music? If so, this may not be the best travel pillow for you as it can be hard to fit headphones over.
  • Non-adjustable: This is a one-size-fits-all travel pillow, meaning the internal neck support system cannot be customized.
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Best Travel Pillow For Side Sleepers: Travelrest Ultimate Travel Pillow

Travelrest pillow

If you’re a side sleeper, we know it’s near-impossible to get comfortable on an airplane. A travel pillow may not make you pass out like you would at home, but it can at least help.

The Travelrest Memory Foam Travel Pillow is our top pick for side sleepers (and another of our favorite general travel pillows).  It’s not your average travel pillow; in fact, it doesn’t even look like a travel pillow. It’s an inflatable, cylindrical pillow that has a patented ergonomic shape and attaches to the “wings” of an airplane seat or car seatbelt.

Travelrest Pros

  • Full Lateral Support: This travel pillow supports the upper body, not just the neck and can help keep your head from falling forward.
  • Portable: Easily attaches to luggage to make transport a breeze.
  • Inflatable: This means you can adjust the firmness.
  • Machine washable: Easy to clean post-trip.
  • Warranty: 2-year warranty.

Travelrest Cons

  • Strange-looking: If you care what other passengers think of you, be forewarned: they may judge you. This travel pillow is not like any other travel pillow we’ve come across and may elicit a few stares!
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Best Travel Pillow For Neck Pain: Cabeau Evolution S3 Travel Pillow

Best Travel Pillow For Joint Pain

Does your neck tend to jerk back and forth, or up and down whenever you fall asleep on flights, causing you not only unrest but neck pain? If so, the Cabeau Evolution S3 Travel Pillow is the best travel pillow for you.

Comprised of memory foam, this travel pillow straps to your seat, wraps around your head, and offers 360-chin and head support.

Cabeau Pros

  • Firm, Contoured Support: Memory foam helps this pillow contour to your neck and head. A tie is located beneath your chin to lock the front of the pillow in place, adding additional support for your chin.
  •  Machine Washable: Travel pillow is machine washable and tries quickly.
  • Satisfaction Guaranteed: Cabeau offers a money back guarantee. If your travel pillow should become damaged or defective in any way, Cabeau will replace it.

Cabeau Cons

  • Portability: Because the pillow is made of memory foam, it is not as easy to transport as an inflatable travel pillow.
  • Drawstring: Customers have complained about the front drawstring breaking (however, the company was quick to replace the defective pillows).
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Best Travel Pillow For Kids: Cloudz

Best travel pillow for kids

Traveling with kids can be a pain: they have a ton of stuff that needs hauling, they complain, and if they don’t get enough sleep, they can get incredibly cranking! While we can’t help you with the first two, we can help with the third.

Sleeping on airplanes is hard for anyone, and kids are no exception. But because they have smaller bodies, a travel pillow that works for an adult won’t necessarily work for a child. Thankfully, there are travel pillows specially made for kids, and the Cloudz Kids Plush Animal Travel Pillow is our favorite. Not only is it adorable (it comes in 19 different animal forms!) but it’s soft, plush, and kid-sized. We can’t guarantee your child will sleep on the flight, but this will certainly help.

Cloudz Pros

  • Child-sized: Kids can’t use adult-sized travel pillows. This one is specially engineered to fit around a child’s neck.
  • Fun-looking: Kids like cool things and they’ll love these adorable animal-shaped, cuddly neck pillows.
  • Material: These pillows are made of 100% polyester and are soft and plush.

Cloudz Cons

  • For Kids Only: If you wish you could get a cow-looking travel pillow for yourself, we have bad news for you. These travel pillows are only available for kids.
  • Quality: These neck pillows aren’t the best quality, and customers have complained about them wearing out quickly. If your child is a frequent traveler this may not be the best, but if he only travels once or twice a year, the travel pillow should hold up.
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Best Travel Pillow For Luxury: jeehui

Silk travel pillow set

Looking to splurge on a luxury travel pillow and don’t care how much you spend? If that’s the case, check out this silk travel pillow from jeehui. The exterior is made of mulberry silk and the interior filled with natural latex, the pillow is not only soft but supportive as well.

What’s more? The travel pillow comes with a silk eye mask and a pair of memory foam eye plugs!

jeehui Pros

  • Material: Pillowcase is silk so is soft and luxurious against your skin. Plus, it will keep you cool while you sleep.
  • Firm support: An interior natural latex filling provides firm yet plush support to ensure you sleep soundly.
  • Set of three: You not only get a travel pillow, but you get a pair of earplugs and an eye mask as well!

jeehui Cons

  • Support: This travel pillow is less supportive than foam pillows
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How to Choose The Best Travel Pillow For Yourself

travel pillow meme

Pillows are a personal thing, and travel pillows are no different. Some people prefer them to be hard while others like them as plush as possible. Some people hate carrying extra bulk and would prefer to have their travel pillow as compact as possible, while others check their bags so don’t mind carrying a massive travel pillow.

If you’re just starting out on your travel pillow search, here are a few things we recommend looking at it:

Comfort and Support

A travel pillow Have you ever dozed off on a plane only to wake up a few seconds later with your head jerking, jolting you awake? Or how about waking up thirty minutes later with an intense neck cramp? It’s the worst. Thankfully, travel pillows can help.

When looking at travel pillows, it’s imperative to find the right blend of comfort and support. The first thing you want to look at with a travel pillow is how supportive it is. Will it comfortably prop your head up? Will it prevent your chin from falling down into your chest? Once you have the proper support, it’s time to move on to comfort.

A travel pillow can be super supportive, but if it feels like rocks, you’re not going to want it because it’s just not comfortable. What’s comfortable for one person may not be ideal for someone else, so make sure you test the travel pillows out for yourself. Is the filling too soft or too hard? What about the material: is it scratchy or silky smooth? And what about the shape: will it comfortably support you where you need to be supported?

With those questions in mind, let’s take a look at some of the most popular shapes and materials.

Shape

While pretty much all standard pillows are square or rectangle, the same cannot be said for travel pillows. Travel pillows typically come in one of the below shapes:

  • U-Shaped: A U-shaped travel pillow is exactly what it sounds like: a plush pillow in the shape of a U. This style is designed to rest of your shoulders and hug the back of your neck.
  • Collar-Shaped: A collar-shaped travel pillow is similar to a U-shaped travel pillow but thanks to a front-closure, is able to provide 360-degrees of support. While it is in the shape of a U, it has higher sides (typically up to your earlobes), and the front-closure adds support for the chin.
  • Cylinder-Shape: Cylinder-shaped travel pillows aren’t for everyone. They can be awkward, and provide less support than collar-shaped or U-shaped travel pillows, but they are ideal for those with sore necks as they can be easily adjusted.
  • Cushion: If you’ve ever flown in Business or Premium Economy, you’ve likely tried the pillow that the airlines gave you. If you liked it, then you may like using a basic cushion for your travel pillow needs. You can find one as plush or as soft as you like and can bend it, fold it, and position it just right for your sleeping needs.

Material

Once you’ve landed on the ideal travel pillow shape, it’s time to look at the material, as this too plays a big role in comfort and support.

The most common types of traditional materials for travel pillows are as follows:

  • Foam: Foam mattresses are one of the most popular types of mattresses, especially for people with joint pain. They hug your body and provide support in just the right places. Thus, it should come as no surprise that foam travel pillows are some of the most popular type of travel pillows. Similar to their mattress counterparts, they provide firm support, hug your neck and chin, and help prevent neck and other joint pain.
  • Beads: Did you know that some travel pillows are filled with tiny micro-beads? These travel pillows are similar to foam and provide firm support and help alleviate joint and neck pain. They are superior to foam, however, in their breathability. Foam lacks the airflow that micro-beads have and can become hot. If you need firm neck support but sleep hot, you may actually prefer a micro-bead travel pillow.
  • Inflatable: Back in the day, inflatable travel pillows were some of the only travel pillows on the market. And they were awful! Uncomfortable, leaking, and had rough exteriors. Thankfully things have changed… These days, inflatable travel pillows are often wrapped in a soft exterior. They are often U-shaped and inexpensive. The best part about inflatable travel pillows is their portability: roll it up and put it in your carry-on or purse, blow up in-flight when you’re ready to doze, and then deflate as soon as you land. They barely take up any room at all.
  • Wool: Some travel pillows are filled with ec0-friendly wool or even lambs-wool. While this may seem odd, it’s actually perfect for people with allergies. Unlike cotton, wool quickly absorbs and releases moisture and is naturally mildew and mold resistant. If you have allergies and tend to drool, or are traveling to damp places, this may be the best travel pillow for you.
  • Polyester: Most travel pillows come with polyester covers, .but they can also be filled with polyester materials as well. They tend to be soft, malleable and are often considered some of the “basic” travel pillows.
  • Texture: Texture is a key element of travel pillows and ties in with comfort. A travel pillow can be as supportive as possible, but if it’s wrapped in a scratchy fabric, you certainly won’t want to rest your head, chin, or neck on it for hours at a time! Common textures for travel pillows include polyester, cotton, suede, and even silk. While silk is luxurious, watch out if you’re a drooler… It will leave a mark!

Size and Portability

Size and portability matter when it comes to travel pillows. You may find the most comfortable travel pillow of all time, but if it’s too big or hard to carry you’re not going to want to take it on a long haul flight. Especially if you have carry-on luggage!

While travel pillows are great, the truth is they’re just one extra thing to carry, so it’s important for them to be small, compact, and easy to carry. If you’re looking for the most portable travel pillow, you can’t beat an inflatable one; however, if you’re willing to find one a bit less compact you still can.

Do you have a favorite travel pillow? Tell us in the comments what makes you love it. 

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