Travel pillows can make a plane flight or long bus trip that bit more comfortable. However, deciding what is the best travel pillow for you can be difficult. There are several different styles and materials to choose from and not all types will work for everyone.
Many people can’t be bothered, claiming that travel pillows are ineffective. Unfortunately, these people have usually just tried the simple inflatable neck pillows – there are a whole range of types and options that they might find more comfortable. Some of the best travel pillows 2018 offer include lumbar designs to provide ultimate support,
If you’re interested in selecting the best airplane pillow then read our guide below with travel pillow reviews to help you decide what is the best travel pillow for you.
Best travel pillow comparison chart
Finding the best travel pillow can be hard. To help, we’ve listed the best travel pillows for easy comparison along with their main attributes. You can sort the table by clicking the column heading to find the best travel neck pillow 2018.
|Weight (in ounces)
|Our Rating (/5)
|Head and neck
|AirComfy Travel Pillow
|Head and neck/Lumbar
|Purefly Inflatable Travel Neck Pillow
|Head and neck
|Cabeau "Evolution Pillow"
|Head, neck and chin
|Head, neck and chin
|ONWEGO Inflatable Travel Pillow
|Head and neck
|Skyrest Travel Pillow
|Therm-a-Rest Lumbar Pillow
|Head and neck/Lumbar
|Foam & Air
|Eagle Creek Travel Gear Cat Nap Transit Pillow
|Head and neck
|Therm-a-Rest Compressible Pillow
|Head and neck
|Kids head and neck
|Compact Travel Pillow
|Head and neck
How to decide which travel pillow to buy
Deciding which is the best travel pillow for you is quite simple. There’s three things to think about: what positions do you like to sleep in/makes you the most comfortable, can you afford to carry a solid pillow or do you want the convenience of an inflatable travel pillow, and how flexible do you need the pillow to be?
What is most comfortable for you?
How do you like to sleep on the road/in the air? What position is the most comfortable? It’s very specific to the individual – what you find comfortable might not be comfortable for someone else. We all like sleeping in different positions in a regular bed.
The main choice is a pillow that sits around your neck and helps you rest your head against your shoulder. Given the confined space of most seats in the rear of the plane this is a pretty natural sleeping position. It’s not surprising that most travel pillows support it and the most common type is the neck travel pillow which is the best travel pillow for airplanes 2018 offers.
A similar position is to rest your head to the side, against the wall of the plane or part of the seat. This is made a lot more comfortable with a travel pillow.
How much space will it take up?
Once you’ve decided on the type of pillow you need to think about when it is not in use. How much space will it take up? Where will you put it when it is not in use? And how heavy will it be?
Inflatable travel pillows are much easier to pack in a suitcase or bag. Pillows made of foam don’t have that luxury. So if you prefer a pillow filled with foam you’ll need to be sure you can carry it around when not in use. Many of the travel pillows for necks are small and can fit in a case if you need it to.
How flexible do you need the pillow to be?
Flexibility does not just refer to the the actual feeling of the travel pillow, it refers to how adaptable the travel pillow can be towards suiting your needs. Some travel pillows allow for air to be added in addition to an already a solid center. This can be advantageous for different environments, such as when the situation calls for a harder pillow or someone else uses it.
The best travel pillow for long haul flights can differ in both price and comfort than the one for a car ride in both price and flexibility – so it is worth considering. The best travel pillow for airplanes usually provide much more support than the average travel pillow.
Another consideration is whether you want a flat pillow or one that curls around your neck. The best neck pillow for flying is generally one that clings around your neck as they offer more support. For camping and other uses, the best neck pillow for travel can be a flat one as it is generally more comfortable. Obviously, the best neck pillow travel will differ based on your indiviudal preferences.
Best inflatable travel pillow reviews
There are a wide range of inflatable travel pillows to chose from. In addition to being easy to store when not in use, inflatable pillows can come in all shapes and sizes. Below are some of the best inflatable travel pillows for airplanes (or any other form of transport) of all shapes and sizes.
Travelrest reviewThe Travelrest travel pillow is considered one of the best airplane inflatable travel pillows as it is one of the highest rated in inflatable travel pillow reviews. Supporting the head and neck it is perfect for long haul flights due to its great comfort and enduring form.
The Travelrest pillow is portable, compact and inflatable and inflates with little effort. The pillow measures 10x2x4 inches and weighs 7.4 ounces making it a convenient choice to travel with.
Our favourite part about this travel pillow is the unique shape that is surprisingly comfortable and the fact that it inflates so it doesn’t take up much space when not in use.
See more below:
ONWEGO Inflatable Travel Pillow review
Many air inflated travel pillows somehow lose their firmness overtime, but this particular model certainly doesn’t. There is a no leak valve which maintains its level of inflation for the length of time you want to use it, and it is also very easy to inflate too – all it takes is just two strong breaths! In terms of deflating the pillow, you simply open the valve and pressure down, before rolling it up, very simple.
Another perk is that you can attach this pillow to head rests, be it in the car, on the plane, or on a train, to keep your head support in place, but you can also use it as a lower back support too, making it flexible and dual purpose as a product. If you want to adjust the level of support, simply deflate the pillow a little, until you reach your desired amount. You can certainly use this pillow as carry on, and it is very compact; when it is deflated, it rolls up very small into the included travel bag, and it is also lightweight, at just 3oz.
Best travel neck pillow reviews
Neck pillows for travel are popular due to their ease of use and their small size. Given that your head naturally falls to your shoulder when tired in an airplane seat, travel pillows for neck and head support make a lot of sense.
Below are some of the best neck support travel pillow reviews…
Cabeau Memory Foam “Evolution Pillow” reviewThe Cabeau Memory Foam “Evolution Pillow” is one of the most luxurious neck pillows for travel. It is used to support the head and neck and, with its 360 degree head and chin support, it makes for one of the best neck support travel pillows available.
The evolution pillow is incredibly comfortable with its world class memory foam and luxurious features including memory foam ear plugs. It puts an end to stiff necks and cramped sleeping positions.
The dimensions are 24x25x12cm and, at a weight of only 300 grams, it wont weigh down your luggage. “The cinnamon roll” technique allows you to simply roll the pillow up for simple and easy packaging. It compresses to 1/4 its size, making the Cabeau memory foam evolution pillow a fantastic travel option.
What I like best about this travel pillow is that it can also be used as a forward leaning pillow.
Australian readers: You can find it here.
J Pillow reviewThe J pillow is one of the best neck support travel pillows available. It is used to support the head, neck and chin and is endorsed by medical professionals.
The J pillow comes with the option of inflatable or plush. It is shaped like a 3D letter J which curls under the chin to support the head, stopping the head from falling, reducing stiffness and soreness.
The J pillow is 11x7x13 inches and weighs 7.5 oz. It folds down small and can be squeezed into the smallest of spaces or clipped onto hand luggage with the handy snap loop fastener.
The J pillow was the winner of the best British inventions of 2013 and is perfect for those who struggle with stiffness and soreness during long haul flights/travel, leading to it being named the best travel neck pillow for long flights. I love the chin support that it provides.
Other top travel pillow reviews
Therm-a-Rest Lumbar Pillow review
Sometimes it is hard to choose between inflatable and the best neck pillow for long flights. This particular pillow is certainly the best of both worlds, because you get the adjustability of an air pillow, with the steady support of foam. Complete with pressure mapping technology, this is a self-inflating pillow, which certainly cuts the hassle out of the whole shebang, but the centre section is made of die-cut foam, to offer support where you need it the most.
Whether you want head support or back support, you can customise your levels but inflating as much as you need, and deflating simply with one hand at the end of your journey. Choose between fashionable purpose or blue, and again, this particular pillow is very lightweight, at just 3oz, and rolls up small enough to fit into your travel bag.
This pillow is mostly designed as a lumbar support, but you can use it however you please, e.g. for head support, making it a very flexible choice.
Skyrest Travel Pillow reviewThe Skyrest Travel Pillow is the next best flight pillow and is a very different type of travel pillow to those reviewed so far. As an inflatable wedge travel pillow, it is designed not to rest your head against your shoulder or seat but instead for you to sleep forward. Using the Skyrest on your tray table you can lean forward to sleep at a natural height without needing to put your head on your arms or the hard table surface – both of which are uncomfortable.
If you find sleeping forward more comfortable (not everyone does) then this pillow is worth considering.
Most Skyrest Travel Pillow reviews note how good it is for long distance flights – but only if sleeping forward is your preferred position. Additionally some people found it not so comfortable if the chair in front is reclined in any way. The other problem with this pillow is that it is too high for some people when fully inflated.
Eagle Creek Travel Gear Cat Nap Transit Pillow reviewThe great advantage of the Eagle Creek Travel Gear Cat Nap Pillow is its ease of use. It is extremely quick to inflate and it folds up to be incredibly compact. This makes it easy to carry around – even in a day pack.
For an inflatable neck support pillow for travel, it is very comfortable. People who have reviewed it talk highly of how comfortable it is to use in a number of positions. Many people have used it for lumbar support as well as head support, and it is easy to adjust the level of inflation to make it comfortable for use in any position.
I like that this travel pillow comes with a storage bag and it is easy to fold it up nice and small. It’s also the best inflatable neck pillow for people who need a footrest.
This might well be the best air travel pillow of its type.
Compact Travel Pillow review
This travel pillow option is a very luxurious one, but very low price for the quality you get. Made of shredded memory foam, this pillow remembers the shape of your head, meaning you don’t need to ‘bed down’ your pillow before you get comfortable.
The support is second to none, but that doesn’t mean that it is bulky for travel, because it is actually very compact, folding down small and secured with a material flap and draw-strings. You can of course use this pillow for either head or back support, and the outer is made of super-soft fleece, in a mid-grey colour, giving you a soft surface to rest upon whilst travelling.
As a useful added extra, there is an attachment included which means you can hook the pillow onto a bag or suitcase for travel, without having to pack it away if you don’t really want to.
Australians can find some travel pillow options here which are quick and easy to use and buy.
Best kids neck pillow for travel reviews
Sneck Pillow System review
It’s not just adults who enjoy travel pillows. Our kids love travelling with their own travel pillows as well!
They each have a Sneck which is made especially for kids. Its a long pillow filled with micro beads with ultra soft material. There is also a pouch for a mp3 player.
What we like about the Sneck is that it has a velcro strap so you can easily attach it to things or just wrap it around the child’s neck. We also find the strap handy so that we can attach the pillows to our back packs when they are not in use.
We have used the travel pillows in cars (they can attach to head rests or the seat belt), trains, buses and planes and they have worked out very well. We have also used them as spare pillows for beds when we haven’t had enough pillows.
We often only book triple rooms to save money since Mr 3 can share with us. However, we aren’t always given a spare pillow. The Sneck enables us to have a spare pillow in these situations.
If you are in Australia and need a travel pillow for a baby, check out the Tatonka baby travel pillow here.[easyazon_bestseller items=”5″ locale=”US” node=”3732121″ tag=”wsjybestsellertp-20″ title=”Best selling travel pillows on Amazon now!”]
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