Long periods of time spent sitting upright might be excruciatingly painful, but a travel pillow can greatly improve your trip’s comfort. The best travel pillows will be cosy, supportive, and portable, whether you’re boarding a red-eye trip or taking the train.
Twenty travel pillows were put through a thorough evaluation by our team of experts on the basis of qualities including quality, comfort, and portability. While utilising the item on long-haul flights, trains, and road journeys, our testers narrowed down the top choices. The Cushion Lab Ergonomic Travel Neck Pillow is our top choice for the best travel pillow overall.
using its distinctive asymmetrical shape that enables passengers to adjust and spin the cushion to support their neck, chin, and head using the various raised areas of the pillow, this option captured our attention. We also appreciate that the cover is made of recycled polyester. We also discovered the greatest options for travellers who like a softer or firmer pillow, as well as designs that are ideal for middle seats and travellers on a budget.
Best Travel Neck Pillow Overall Cushion Lab Ergonomic
No matter if you’re travelling in the middle seat of a plane or a car, the Cushion Lab Ergonomic Travel Neck Pillow may greatly improve your comfort. A pillow with an ergonomic design features a cushion on the back that is shaped to hold the head in an upright position and one side that is larger than the other to support the chin if your head tilts while you sleep. Our tester’s chin rested comfortably on the neck pillow during testing, and they didn’t feel overheated while wearing it.
Test subject reported it didn’t take them long to get used to the neck-hugging nature of the cushion and they were able to slumber peacefully on both train and car rides. Our tester appreciated being able to spin the pillow around and use the asymmetrical sides and back to find the most comfortable position for sleeping in the window and middle seats. The fastened strap was simple to adjust. Travel pillow has a plush, recycled polyester exterior with Cushion Lab’s extra-dense memory foam. It can be folded into a small ball and stored in a carrying bag that attaches to a backpack or suitcase.
Price as of publication: $55
The specifics are as follows: polyester, hyperfoam; carry case; machine washable
Best overall, second placeClassic Cabeau Evolution Travel Pillow
One reviewer compared the Cabeau Evolution Classic Travel Pillow to “those memory foam mattresses you can try out at the mall, except more comfortable.” It has a luxurious memory foam construction and offers full neck support without being excessively rigid or soft.
The extremely responsive memory foam that conforms to the shape of your neck and head whether you’re sleeping, reading, or watching a movie was praised by the tester. The toggle strings in the front of the pillow allow you to alter how tightly it fits around your neck, and it has raised sides to support your head if it moves around while you sleep. The materials seem to last for a very long time, the foam returns to its original shape, and it feels robust. Although the cushion doesn’t come with a carrying bag, our tester, who typically doesn’t bring a neck pillow because it can be difficult to transport, claims that it isn’t a hassle and easily clasps onto a luggage or backpack.
Price as of publication: $30
The specifics are as follows: polyester and memory foam; no carrying case; machine washable
Most effective BudgetCloudz Microbead Neck Pillow
The Cloudz Microbead Travel Neck Pillow is a straightforward alternative that provides ample neck support for a reasonable cost. It is stuffed with microscopic beads that conform fast to the contours of your neck and keep your head from tossing and turning while you sleep. The neck pillow’s tester liked that it was lightweight but felt durable, and that there were no signs of wear when she used it or when she transported it by fastening it to a suitcase.
The cloth is simple to touch up, and there are instructions to spot clean the surface as needed, despite the fact that the cover cannot be removed. The travel cushion is comfortable and breathable, doing a good job of controlling temperature and keeping our tester’s neck warm on chilly flights and cool on hot ones.
Price as of publication: $20
The Specifications: Microbeads and polyester; no carrying box; machine-washable
Best Ostrich Pillow Splurge Neck pillows, go
One user said that using the Ostrich Pillow Go Neck Pillow “feels like wrapping a marshmallow around your neck or like sleeping on a cloud.” Our tester was able to sleep more soundly on a flight than usual thanks to this travel pillow’s ideal combination of comfort and neck support. The asymmetrical shape and soft memory foam filling allow for simple adjustment to support the neck, chin, or head with the taller or shorter sides. It rolls up to fit in a little drawstring bag, and the materials seem to be of a high calibre and opulence.
The pillow maintains its shape even after spending a lot of time in the bag, which makes us think that it will hold up well under heavy use. Although the pillow cover is machine washable and detachable, our tester air dried it to make sure it didn’t shrink (and had no trouble reattaching it to the pillow). Our expert travel product tester stated, “I can say that this pillow allowed me to sleep better and more comfortably on my flights, and I wouldn’t travel without it at this point.” It’s a must-have for individuals with higher budgets.
Price as of publication: $60
The Specifications: Made of viscose and memory foam; portable; machine-washable
Most effective CoolingCabeau Evolution Cool Pillow
For those who warm up easily, the Cabeau Evolution Cool Pillow is a fantastic option. By placing mesh vents between two layers of cushy memory foam, the pillow is made to keep you from overheating as you wear it. Our tester, who tends to get hot when sleeping, appreciated the fabric’s moisture-wicking properties and breathability, and they reported feeling comfortable while wearing it on a plane or long drive.
It took a little while to find the right position, but once there, the cushion was “extremely supportive and firm without feeling too hard.” The tester was particularly fond with the mesh pocket for storing small items and the portability of the already lightweight pillow (due to its sturdy-feeling carrying case). Despite being folded up and going in and out of the small case, this pillow unfolds to its original shape rapidly.
Price as of publication: $80
The Specifics: Portable case; memory foam; machine-washable
Therm-a-Rest Compressible Pillow of the Best Sustainability
The Therm-a-Rest Compressible Pillow is a wonderful alternative if you don’t like the traditional U-shaped travel pillow. It has a rectangular shape similar to a typical cushion and collapses down for simple transportation whether you’re flying or going camping. This tester found the recycled polyester fabric to be breathable and light, and the foam filling, which is manufactured from leftover polyurethane foam from the manufacturing of REI’s sleeping pads, offers a comfortable cushion for your head.
Additionally, our tester gushed about how tough it is, particularly for diverse applications like travelling or napping at home. The pillow doesn’t come with a carrying bag, but it does have a toggle strap that allows you to fold it into a built-in cover for protection while travelling and a toggle strap that allows you to compress the pillow into a smaller size.
Price as of publication: $37
The Specifications: Machine-washable; recycled polyester; polyurethane foam fill.
J-Pillow Chin-Supporting Neck Pillow: Best for Window Seats
In order to support the chin, the front, back, and one side of the head, the J-Pillow Chin-supporting Neck Pillow has a J-shape that wraps around the neck. Despite having a different shape than a standard U-shaped travel pillow, it is nonetheless simple to use and fits comfortably when you sleep or rest while travelling. Since there was no window to lean on throughout the 19-hour road journey, the tester used the pillow for several hours to raise their head so they could sleep without awakening with bothersome neck pains.
The pillow also includes a little carrying cover that can be fastened to a piece of luggage to make travelling with it simple. The J-shape remained firm and supportive after spending some time folded up in the carrying case. Any traveller would find the J-Pillow to be excellent, as our tester observed: “It’s very portable and lightweight — anyone would be happy to use this.”
$50 as of the time of publication
The specifics are as follows: polyester, memory foam; portable; machine washable
The ideal travel neck pillow is SoftAway
The Travel Neck Pillow from Away surprised our tester with its velvety foam inner and cosy, antimicrobial fabric cover. It is soft but supportive. Although it is more expensive, its straightforward design and robustness make it a good option. It may be buckled and adjusted so that it can be worn as a standard travel cushion with a wide neck support and the amount of chin support you want.
As an alternative, you can use it as a long pillow to rest your head against by leaving the adjustable drawstring toggles undone. Although it still folds neatly into the carrying bag and has a clip to fasten to a backpack for hands-free travel, our tester thought this pillow should be a little bit smaller.
Price as of publication: $55
The Specifications: Polyester and elastane; transportable; machine-washable
Most effective firm memory foam travel pillow
For travellers who want a firmer neck pillow, we adore the cosy and supportive Aeris Memory Foam Travel Pillow. The buckle strap provides 360-degree support for the chin, jaw, and back and can be adjusted to fit around your neck. During a cross-country flight and road trip, our tester utilised the pillow and raved, “I loved how I could lean back in the car and plane, and the back of my neck didn’t touch the headrest, which was nice on the plane for taking a nap with my head falling backward.”
The Aeris travel pillow folds into a little ball, provides excellent support, and neatly fits into the spherical carrying case that clips onto a backpack or suitcase without drawing attention to itself. The eye mask and earplugs that come with the travel pillow can be kept in the holder’s frontal slide pocket. The carrying case can be machine-washed after a trip, however we advise air-drying it to avoid the potential of shrinkage.
Price as of publication: $26
The specifics are as follows: machine-washable; portable case; velour; polyester; and memory foam
Everlasting Comfort Memory Foam Travel Pillow Kit, the best memory foam
This plush memory foam pillow is the ideal travel buddy for sleeping on flights. It supports your neck when you wear it around your neck, and it also makes a terrific pillow to lean on if you are lucky enough to be given a window seat. The memory foam, in our tester’s opinion, achieved its function by being supportive but forgiving as it conformed to the shape of her head and neck for maximum comfort.
Even more specifically, she stated, “Over both a domestic travel and an international flight, this pillow held up really well every time, jammed into bags, wrapped around luggage handles, carried, and slept on. It maintains its shape nicely and is simple to clean. This pillow even includes a small stuff sack, an eye mask, and ear plugs to make it even more portable and practical.
Price as of publication: $30
The specifics are as follows: polyester, memory foam; portable; machine washable
Optimal Side SupportEvolution S3 travel pillow by Cabeau
Even on the longest trips, this travel cushion will keep your head and neck supported. In addition to being adjustable so you can acquire the form that suits you best, the semicircular pillow has a seat strap that is also adjustable to stop your head from drooping as you sleep. “Right out of the box, I knew this was going to be a great travel pillow,” one of our test subjects said.
Because it is composed of memory foam, it is both firm and plush, and the cover material feels wonderful next to my skin. I experience a wonderful blend of softness and support when I wear this. This also includes a little carrying case that collapses to fit into carry-on luggage to keep your pillow safe and eliminate any chance that it will wind up being dragged across the airport floor.
Price upon publication: $40
The Specifications: Memory foam, polyester, and microsuede | Portable case | Machine-washable
Additional Travel Pillows That We Tested
We were able to narrow down the travel pillows for our best list, however one came close but fell short due to a few flaws that our testers found.
Hest Pillow: Even when compressed, this regular pillow is cumbersome to carry and has an irritating surface while being on the softer side and yet offering support and comfort while lying on it.
Our Testing Methodology
Our testing professionals received 20 travel pillows to use on their upcoming excursions. In order to carefully choose this list, we looked into popular options to satisfy a range of comfort requirements, including memory foam and microbead pillows, and we experimented with various designs.
Our reviewers gave the pillows a one to five star rating for comfort, quality, portability, and durability. The pillows with the highest comfort ratings met or above our expectations for any unique qualities, such as cooling, hardness, softness, or any manufacturer-stated claims. To determine how comfortable the pillows were while travelling and sleeping, reading, or watching a movie, our testers utilised them for several hours at a time, if not longer.
As well as whether or not the pillow made their necks hurt or uncomfortable, we asked our testers to rate how warm or cool the pillow felt around their necks. Our testers felt the pillow’s construction for quality and durability and looked at how well-made it seemed. They evaluated the pillows’ durability based on their functioning after multiple usage after using them while travelling.
The pillows that scored the highest for portability were able to compact into carrying bags that make it incredibly simple for travellers to transfer the pillow.
The greatest pillows always reverted to their original shape without showing any indications of wear after being put away in a case.
Advice on Purchasing a Travel Pillow
Focus on neck support.
You should pay attention to your neck and head support whether sleeping on aeroplanes, trains, or automobiles. Your breathing becomes obstructed when your head descends while you’re sleeping, and you can wake up with a painful neck or possibly a headache. Your travel cushion should provide adequate support so that your neck remains firmly erect without feeling compressed.
Mobility is essential.
A travel pillow that folds up into a little carrying bag is the best thing to bring with you on travels, whether you overpack or underpack. Although some travel pillows do not compress, they should nevertheless be simple to clip onto a luggage and avoid colliding with too many objects when you are moving through an airport or railway station.
Take the filler into consideration.
For those who prefer a firmer cushion when travelling, memory foam filling can provide greater support than an inflatable substitute. Microbead pillows tend to be softer and better suited for travellers who prefer a bit less support when they sleep, however they can be equally as helpful as memory foam ones.