No matter what your mode of transportation is, if you are a passenger, then you get to take advantage of getting a nap while you travel from one destination to another. Many people like to doze off to help make the trip pass by more quickly, while others are legitimately depending on some shut-eye to make up for a loss of sleep due to their travel plans.
Just like your favorite bed pillow, the best travel pillow is never a true one size fits all, and is dependent on your body type, mode of travel, and personal preferences to provide the comfort you are seeking. The best neck pillows for travel reviews found below highlight a select, top-rated few, some of which we have personally tried ourselves.
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OstrichPillow Light Travel Pillow
J-Pillow Travel PillowCheck Price
MLVOC 100% Memory Foam Neck Pillow
TravelSnugs NeckSnug Luxury Sleep Kit
DYD Travel Neck Pillow
TALLGO Travel Pillow
BCOZZY Ergonomic Chin Support Neck Pillow
The Best Travel Pillows
1. Editor’s Choice: OstrichPillow Lite
- Filling- microbead
- Shape- infinity
- Weight- 3.8 ounces
- Warranty- 2 years warranty
This infinity style pillow is very different than the Original OstrichPillow that first came into existence due to crowdfunding. Since their initial launch, the company has created various designs for personal preferences and comfort. The soft poly-based cover of this pillow is cotton like in both feel and appearance, and provide a stretch that allows the microbead fill to adjust to your desired firmness and support allowed by the adjustable drawstring.
The entire pillow fits easily over your head and has a slight stretch. Once on, it helps support your neck in a 360 degree, wrap-around design- so no matter which way your head falls, it can be supported. The OstrichPillow Lite can also be used in various ways to lean your head up against hard surfaces, or even be worn as a sleep mask to block both light and sound.
- Reversible and adjustable
- Packs easy
- Easy to use and comfortable
- Some quality issues, covered by warranty
- Does not come with a carrying bag
- May not work for all body types
Who Should Purchase This Pillow
Great for all modes of transportation, this pillow is easy to stash in a carry-on, and is incredibly lightweight. Comfortable, and fun to use, it works well for bodies of various shape and size with few limitations. You can find our own review here.
2. Runner Up: J-Pillow Travel Pillow Review
- Filling- Poly fiber
- Shape- J-shaped
- Weight- 8.2 ounces
- Warranty- 30 days return
Created by a former flight attendant who knows all too well the struggles of passengers to find a comfortable travel position- the J-Pillow is designed purposely to provide comfort while sleeping in an upright position. A soft poly cover and poly fiberfill lend itself well to conforming to cushion your head and neck. The unique shape is specific to fitting itself between the head and shoulder to avoid any slippage as well while you rest.
The shape is actually adjustable and can be worn in various ways. It can be a bit confusing to begin with, which is why it comes with a direction labeling each area and how it should be used. The overall ‘J’ of the design is great for other uses as well, and provides comfort when laying down, against surfaces, or even to rest your arm within.
- Machine washable
- Has multiple uses
- Fit a large variety of people
- Best for a person tilting their head to the side
- May not stay in place well if you tilt your head back
- ‘Arms’ may weaken over time
Who Should Purchase This Pillow
If travel is a common occurrence in your household, then this is an excellent choice for all your family members to take advantage of. Our own uses and detailed accounts can be found here.
3. Best Memory Foam: MLVOC 100% Memory Foam Neck Pillow
- Material: 100% Memory foam
- Weight: 0.6 lbs
When peaceful and relaxing travel is really important to you, this MLVOC memory foam neck pillow and the accompanying accessories are the perfect solutions. This brand offers you the ideal travel kit – not only do you get a great neck pillow, but also a 3D contoured eye mask and a pair of earplugs. The travel neck pillow is made from 100% luxury memory foam with a 5 second rebound time, which ensures both comfort and support. Moreover, it boasts a unique Y-shaped design that relieves pressure from the sides of the neck and allows you to snooze without any discomfort whatsoever.
The surface layer is made from a breathable and super soft premium composite gauze, which is friendly for the skin and won’t trap perspiration. An added buckle clasp makes it dead easy to strap this neck pillow in and have it secure without unwanted movement to rouse you from sleep. The added nifty carrying sack makes it easy to store this pillow and carry it with you, whether you are on a plane, in the car, or a bus. Napping on the go was never easier!
- Unique Y shaped design
- Breathable composite gauze layer
- Slow rebound memory foam
- Front clasp
- No odor formula
- Good choice of colors
- Can be too dense for some users
Who Should Buy This Product?
For the ultimate travel kit, look no further than this- an ergonomic, well-made travel neck pillow is complemented by an eye mask and earplugs, giving you everything you need for a relaxing trip with one purchase.
4. Best Orthopedic: TravelSnugs NeckSnug Luxury Sleep Kit
- Material: Polyester and Memory Foam
- Weight: 0.7 lbs
This neck pillow will be your trusted companion for long flights and short trips both- it is comfy, supportive, and compact to boot. Made from premium memory foam and polyester, it boasts both comfort and orthopedic support, which can’t often be said for travel pillows. With a bulky, raised shape, the pillow offers perfect support for your head, allowing you to snooze in whatever way you find suitable without risking strain and stiffness. This is made possible thanks to the unique 3-point support design.
A high-quality buckle clasp at the front allows you to adjust the diameter and ensure a secure fit during long travels. Neck snug folds easily and fits into the added carry sack for your convenience and it is easy to pack in a purse or backpack. TravelSnugs offers an additional goodie as part of this pack – the superb 3D molded eye cover with the EyeSnug technology which blocks all light and doesn’t chafe your face – simply perfect for long-distance travel.
- Suited for all sleeping positions
- Ideal for long trips
- Adjustable front buckle clasp
- Super soft and comfy plush fabric
- Good neck support
- Bonus eye mask
- Too bulky for some people
- Difficult to wash
Who Should Buy This Product?
TravelSnugs’ unique NeckSnug design is seemingly not unlike most others on the market – but with a few smart design solutions, it manages to offer both optimal support for the neck and ultimate comfort, And all that without breaking the bank!
5. Customer Choice: DYD Travel Neck Pillow
- Material: Memory Foam
- Weight: 12.3 oz
Designed to offer lasting support for multi-hour journeys, this travel neck pillow has all the necessary features to become a must-have item on your to-pack list. Made from high-quality dense memory foam, this pillow finds that perfect balance between stability and comfort, making it a snug yet sturdy pillow to sleep on. The design follows the U shape style, which helps stabilize your head at the upper point and support your neck as well. On the inner side of the pillow is a layer of magnetic therapy cloth for pain relief, while the outer side is made from crystal velvet fabric, which doesn’t pile and is super soft and plush. Both layers are fully breathable, which keeps your pillow safe from smells, accumulated perspiration, and mildew.
The cover is removable and machine washable, which makes this travel pillow easy to keep clean for your next trip – and it also prolongs the life of the memory foam core inside. For easier packing, it comes with a carrying case that compresses the pillow to half of its size- very convenient when you pack light.
- Soft and plush cover
- 3-point support design
- Magnetic therapy cloth inner liner
- Changeable pillowcase
- Can be too elongated for some users
- Somewhat bulky
Who Should Buy This Product?
With superb support for every pressure point, this travel neck pillow is a true no-brainer: it will give you the comfort and relaxation you crave on a long trip. To boot, it packs compact in a compression bag, so it will fit your purse with ease.
6. Best for Neck Pain: TALLGO Travel Pillow
- Material: 100% Memory foam + Plush velour
- Weight: 11.7 oz
Perfect for long-distance travel and people that suffer from chronic neck pain, this travel neck pillow is made from luxury memory foam that will both support your head and neck and relieve pressure points. The first thing you will notice is the unique ergonomic shape of the pillow, which is specifically designed to provide ample support to your neck and head – from multiple angles. This design prevents excessive movement and head tilt, ensuring perfect stability and cervical support. And that is one of the most important roles of a travel neck pillow – to make sure that you reach your destination without stiffness and soreness in the neck and shoulder region.
The surface of the pillow features a soft, plush velour fabric that does not pill or fade. The cover is removable and machine washable, too, so you’ll easily get rid of stains, dirt, and grime your pillow collects on your travels.
- Supportive memory foam
- Relieves pressure points
- The soft plush outer layer
- Equal neck and head support
- Simple to adjust with a rope buckle
- Machine washable cover
- Can be too bulky for petite people
Who Should Buy This Product?
If you are prone to neck pain and need some extra support to prevent stiffness and soreness in your upper body, this memory foam travel neck pillow is the right choice for you. Supportive and comfy, it will help you relax and wake up without pins and needles in your neck and shoulders.
7. Best for Long Flights: BCOZZY Ergonomic Chin Support Neck Pillow
- Material: Polyester Fiber
- Weight: 7.4 oz
This smart design can fit so many different sleeping styles, and ensure that your head, neck, and chin are all equally supported- it is ideally suited for those long flights where discomfort is all but guaranteed. The pillow has that unique “hugging” style, offering you a comforting snuggle feeling every time you put it on. The secret of this design is in the adjustable and flexible tips, giving you the option of adjusting the pillow however you see fit.
It can be positioned with an elevated side for a gentle side angle or moved fully to the side to accommodate side sleepers. Or, you can position it in its full setup, which cradles your chin and perfectly positions your head and neck to relieve pressure. Ideal for any situation, this pillow is super cozy and extra soft – the plush surface will always provide that unmistakable feeling of comfort. Another immense advantage that this pillow has over other offers is the ability to machine wash the entire pillow. No removable covers – just toss it in the washing machine and you’re done. Your nifty traveling pillow will be clean for your next trip with minimal effort.
- Adjustable to suit several different sleeping positions
- Supportive from all sides
- Fully machine washable
- No carrying case
- Can have an odor at first
- No clasp for a secure fit
Who Should Buy This Product?
Offering ultimate support for a wide variety of sleeping preferences, with unparalleled adjustability to boot, this versatile travel neck pillow will suit most people. Ideal for long flights or road trips, it will keep your head elevated and your neck from drooping to make sure you wake up rested and pain-free.
What is a Travel Pillow?
A travel pillow is a pillow that provides head and neck support when you are forced to be in a more upright position while you travel. These are very different than a traditional bed pillow and are made for the unique position you may find yourself in when traveling. They come in a variety of shapes and sizes, and they use various materials for personalized comfort. Various designs lend themselves better to long-haul flights, differing positions – such as sleeping on your back or for side sleepers, or even smaller choices for kids.
Travel pillows are made specifically for travel, and although may help with various ailments, such as acid reflux or vertigo, are usually almost exclusively found packed into a carry on bags or tucked into car compartments. They are very easy to pack and carry due to their more lightweight construction as well and usually come with a compression stuff sack of some sort.
You may be interested in: Best Travel Blankets
Types of Travel Pillows
Most travel pillows are horseshoe-shaped to tuck behind or to the side of your neck. This shape lends well to staying put when you move. It also allows you to rest your head on your shoulder and tipped back without creating strain. Unfortunately, this isn’t a shape that works for all body shapes and sizes, nor does it provide forward held tilt well, which has influenced pillow designers to create another simple, yet effective ways to rest for those who need it.
Inflatable pillows are easy to blow up with a few puffs of breath and can be adjusted for many different body types. This style is often found in more traditional u-shaped, or even donut shaped designs and allows for proper head and neck positioning through the addition, or release of air.
– Memory Foam
Memory foams allow for customizable comfort and often fits a wide variety of needs. Variances in firmness levels should be paid particular attention to in order to provide the correct amount of compression needed for comfort. One way to determine if a foam pillow is a good choice is to read up on consumer reviews that reflect your particular needs.
Infinity type pillows come in differing lengths, but all have a similar premise in that they can be pulled over your head and then adjusted to your needs. Many of these offer excellent neck support and can be manipulated to provide comfort while leaning against a surface, or help hold your head over your shoulder.
Micro-beads are often used as a filling in various designs as they conform nicely to body shape and size, and can be adjusted easily to provide less, or more support, where needed. It is light and malleable, but sometimes can be a bit too firm overall. It also has a slight rustling noise to it, which is fairly easy to get used to.
– Wrap Around
Wrap style pillows are made to adjust to the position you need them in. They often fit like a short scarf and can be manipulated to create support where needed due to a rigid, yet flexible construction design.
Other shapes, such as J-shaped, or full head styles for sensory issues are also increasingly popular. With increases in technology come new ways to introduce new ideas, such as Kickstarter fundraising for product production. If traditional style pillows made for travel in airplanes are not your first choice, then doing a little research, reading up on reviews, and possibly creating your own is easier than ever in this day of age.
Why Would I Want a Travel Pillow?
First off, if you’ve ever traveled, then you know that finding a position that lends itself well to long periods of time can be quite the challenge. This is especially true of long trips, such as those taken on international flights, or cross-country by train. The best neck pillow for travel may not even necessarily be for sleeping, but simply a way to help support your body more comfortably to allow you to rest your soft tissues and provide a way to relax.
Neck pillows also help keep your spine in better alignment when resting and can help you avoid the dreaded neck cramp. Strain to the upper back and head tension that may accompany sleeping in a more upright position can also be alleviated with the use of some sort of travel support.
Features to Look For
- Ergonomic shape
One of the defining features of every travel neck pillow is its ergonomic design. Specifically created to relieve pressure from your head and neck and offer ultimate support, this pillow will allow you to sleep and rest comfortably wherever you are. The secret is in the fact that your neck won’t droop to the side- instead, it rests in a position as close to natural as possible considering the upright seating. The so-called horseshoe shape is considered the best option for travel.
- Easy to care for
Small and versatile, travel neck pillows should be easy to clean and keep fresh. Most models rely on removable outer covers, which can be machine washed and dried, and won’t suffer wear and tear thanks to their small dimensions and minimal stitching. This fact is crucial for pillows that rely on memory foam core. A removable cover helps protect the inner core from perspiration, bacteria, and smells, adding to the longevity of the pillow and keeping it healthy and hygienic.
We’ve all experienced the hustle and bustle of traveling when luggage is all over the place and difficult to carry. Thankfully, the addition of a travel neck pillow won’t contribute to this. These accessories are compact and easy to carry, and almost every brand offers a carrying case of some type. This makes it dead simple to store your pillow close at hand – in your backpack or handbag. That way it will always be ready to use in a jiffy, and won’t add to the overall baggage you are carrying.
Thanks to the small dimensions of most travel neck pillows and the quality of materials used, they are really durable. With minimal components and just a few seams, this design is as tough as they come. Also, the inner core of the pillow is almost always a single piece, which eliminates the possibility of excessive wear and tear. Travel pillows react well to machine washing, and usually have a protective outer cover to add to the durability. All of these facts make it the perfect travel accessory – great for any occasion, outdoors and indoors.
If you travel, you probably have experienced a poor attempt to sleep at some point in time. Proper head and neck support in relation to your body position are crucial for your comfort, and these various designs are made to address the many needs travelers have when attempting some shut eye. Of course, your best pillow pick is going to be specific to your own needs and travel style, so choosing the best pick is a difficult task. The Trtl Pillow is a popular pick as it lends itself well to upright travel support, which is a very common way to sleep when heading from one point to another.
If you have any questions or comments, or even favorite travel pillow styles you would like to share, let us know in the comments below!
October 8, 2021: Nature’s Pillows Sobakawa Cloud Pillow and the Ostrich Pillow Original have each been removed due to decreased popularity, replaced by the following top-rated products: MLVOC 100% Memory Foam Neck Pillow, TravelSnugs NeckSnug Luxury Sleep Kit, DYD Travel Neck Pillow, TALLGO Travel Pillow and the BCOZZY Ergonomic Chin Support Neck Pillow.