Whether you’re boarding an overnight flight or riding shotgun on a road trip, a supportive travel pillow can be the perfect companion for sleepers on the go. But with so many options out there, how are you supposed to know which is the best travel pillow for you? Well buckle up, folks, because I’m about to show you!
So keep reading to explore my top five favorite travel pillows, all of which I’ve personally tested. Plus, I’ll impart some expert tips and tricks for finding the travel pillow that best suits your body, budget, and lifestyle. Let’s get started!
Best Travel Pillows 2023 – Our Top 5!
- Editor’s Pick – trtl Travel Pillow Plus
- Best Travel Pillow for Long Flights – Infinity Pillow
- Best Travel Pillow for Chin Support – BCOZZY Travel Pillow
- Best Memory Foam Travel Pillow – Travelrest Nest Memory Foam Pillow
- Best Cooling Travel Pillow – Cabeau Evolution Cool Pillow
Editor’s Pick – trtl Travel Pillow Plus
trtl Pillow Plus
The trtl Travel Pillow Plus takes the neck support and comfort of the original trtl Travel Pillow to the next level!
4.80 / 5Read Full Review
First up on my list is the trtl Travel Pillow Plus, a perfect pick for those in need of extra head and neck support.
In my opinion, this pillow is the best at promoting healthy posture in an upright position. It features a scarf-like design and internal plastic support system that work in tandem to prevent your head and neck from deviating out of alignment.
While it’s true that the trtl travel pillow is quite different from the U-shaped models you might be used to, the plastic insert is less likely to compress as compared to foam, polyester, or other softer materials. Essentially, the hard yet flexible plastic serves to hold your head, neck, and spine in a safe and comfortable position no matter how long your journey may be.
Oh, and don’t worry — you can’t actually feel the plastic against your skin, as it’s buried beneath two thick pieces of memory foam. Plus, it’s compact, weighs less than a pound, and is super easy to stow on the go. For all the details on this unique accessory, check my full trtl Travel Pillow Plus review!
Price: $59.99, with a 60-day return policy.
Perfect For: Sleepers looking for a travel pillow that’s supportive enough for a long haul!
Best Travel Pillow for Long Flights – Infinity Pillow
The Infinity Pillow is a great choice for those looking for a dynamic pillow to travel with!Read Full Review
Speaking of long journeys, sleepers embarking on an extended flight might be particularly well-suited to the Infinity Travel Pillow.
With its special “infinity loop” design, this pillow can be used in many different ways depending on where you need the most support. You can wrap it like a scarf for chin and neck support, wear it like a backpack to relieve lower lumbar pressure, or tuck it between your head and the window like a miniature pillow.
Because of this pillow’s unique versatility, I find it to be ideal for extra long trips. For example, you might want to use it for neck support during the first leg of your flight, and then switch it up for back support later on. And remember — you’re not limited to my suggestions! Feel free to experiment with the Infinity Pillow until you find your perfect comfort zone.
Not to mention, its breathable bamboo cover fabric is soft, moisture-wicking, and cool to the touch. For the full scoop on this travel accessory, check out my full Infinity pillow review.
Price: $39, which is a pretty great value!
Perfect For: Sleepers looking for a versatile travel pillow that can be used in many different ways.
Best Travel Pillow for Chin Support – BCOZZY Pillow
BCOZZY Neck Pillow
The BCOZZY pillow provides great chin support for amazing alignment while you travel!
4.30 / 5
If chin support is your main concern, the BCOZZY travel pillow is probably the right pick for you.
This pillow features an ergonomic, circle-like design that can be used in three main ways: You can wrap it around your neck for excellent chin support, turn it to one side for head support, or fold it in half and tuck it between your head and shoulder for a little extra loft.
Regardless of how you use it, this pillow was crafted to keep your chin from drooping down while you slumber! Additionally, it features a dual-sided cover fabric wherein one side is a fuzzy fleece material, and the other is made from smooth microfiber. Meanwhile, its polyester fiber fill is plush yet supportive, and does a great job of maintaining its shape.
One of my favorite things about this pillow is how small and portable it is, making it perfect for folks on the go. You can tuck it in your carry-on, loop it around your suitcase handle, or just wear it around your neck like a scarf.
Price: $25-$30, depending on size.
Perfect For: Sleepers looking for a cozy travel pillow that focuses on chin support!
Best Memory Foam Travel Pillow – Travelrest Nest Memory Foam Pillow
Travelrest Nest Memory Foam Pillow
The Travelrest Nest Pillow is a great option for the memory foam lover on the go!
Okay, memory foam fans, I picked this Travelrest Nest pillow for you.
The Travelrest Nest memory foam pillow has a U-shaped design and, as the name suggests, is filled with a thick piece of memory foam. It offers a very moldable feel, and does a great job of conforming to the precise contours of your neck, chin, and jawline. If you love the way memory foam responds to pressure, this might be the travel pillow for you.
Additionally, the sides of the pillow are slightly raised in order to keep your head and neck comfortably supported, while the back of the pillow is angled to conform to your seat. In my experience, this angled back allowed me to sit up straight and not be pushed forward in any way.
More: Check out my best memory foam pillows review!
Oh, and did I mention that it’s covered in the softest velour fabric? I’ll be honest — this super cozy cover fabric might be my favorite part of the pillow (and it’s removable and machine washable too). And as a little bonus, this pillow comes with its own carrying case and set of earplugs.
Price: $40, with a 30-day return policy.
Perfect For: Sleepers looking for the perfect memory foam travel pillow!
Best Cooling Travel Pillow – Cabeau Evolution Cool Pillow
Cabeau Evolution Cooling Travel Pillow
The Cabeau Travel Pillow provides great neck support while also keeping travellers from overheating on their journey!
5.00 / 5
Finally, we come to the Cabeau Evolution Cool Pillow, a great pick for travelers who run hot.
Covered in a moisture-wicking blend of Spandex and polyester and filled with ventilated memory foam, every part of this pillow was made with hot sleepers in mind. In fact, both the memory foam and the cover fabric feature what the brand calls “air circulation vents” to promote better breathability.
As a hot sleeper myself, I can honestly say that this is the coolest pillow in this roundup. And like the one we just looked at, this pillow features a U-shaped design with angled sides for enhanced head and neck support. What sets it apart, though, is its ability to be adjusted for customized comfort.
Depending on how tight or loose you’d like it to fit around your neck, simply adjust the clasps on each side of the “U.” Personally, I like to keep it at its tightest level, but you should experiment with what feels right for your body. And again, this pillow comes with its own carrying case and earplugs for a cozy, quiet journey.
Methodology: How To Shop For A Travel Pillow
Now that we’ve listed our favorite travel pillows, let’s cover a few basis on how they were selected. When you’re shopping for the travel pillow that’ll meet your unique needs, it’s important to pay attention to portability, materials, and shape. So let’s take a look at each of these factors below:
When you’re wading through airports and bus terminals, the last thing you want is a travel pillow that’s big, bulky, and hard to carry. That’s why I like to aim for models that can be easily folded or tucked away inside my luggage.
That said, online shoppers should pay attention to the specific dimensions of a travel pillow (typically listed under “product description”) in order to get a sense for its size. Of course, if you’re shopping in-stores, take some time to see how easy it is to pack inside your purse or carry around the aisles.
Personally, I like to pick travel pillows that come with their own carrying case, and we’ll take a look at examples of that in a moment!
The next thing I consider is the specific materials used to make a travel pillow. Like regular bed pillows, they come in a variety of fabrics and materials, and each one offers its own feel and support. That said, it’s important to think about what type of support you’re looking for.
For example, memory foam travel pillows (arguably the most popular), typically provide a more moldable feel with contouring support. This might be ideal for sleepers in the market for something more dense or firmly supportive. Plus, memory foam is known for its great durability.
On the other hand, travel pillows filled with polyester (probably the second most popular option) offer a fluffier, plush feel. This can come in handy for folks who want to fold their travel pillow, as polyester fiber is generally quite easy to manipulate.
Lastly, hot sleepers might want to prioritize cover fabrics that are breathable or moisture-wicking. Polyester, Spandex, and anything bamboo-based are all great examples of lightweight, airy fabrics commonly used to cover travel pillows. But for extra breathability, aim for travel pillows that feature a ventilated construction (we’ll look at one of these later!)
The materials used to make a travel pillow say a lot about its overall feel and support, but so does its shape. Most of you are probably familiar with U-shaped travel pillows (frequently found in airport gift shops), and they’re popular for good reason. Travel pillows with a U-shaped design are compact, easy to pack in a suitcase, and offer great neck support.
But nowadays, travel pillows come in a plethora of shapes and sizes, all of which offer their own special benefits. While U-shaped pillows may be ideal for sleepers who like to rest their head from side to side, they can sometimes be lacking in chin support. If chin support is your primary concern, I suggest picking a C-shaped pillow that can be tucked beneath your chin or jaw.
Meanwhile, some sleepers might prefer a travel pillow that can be fully wrapped around the neck for a little extra security. I’ll admit that this is my favorite style, as scarf-like designs offer head, neck, and chin support all in one. Plus, some have a versatile, infinity scarf-like shape that can be looped and wrapped in different ways for different types of support! Ultimately, it’s important to take some time to consider what shape works best for your body.
Is a travel pillow worth it?
Using a travel pillow can help you sleep better when you’re on the go and, perhaps more importantly, can prevent your head and neck from deviating out of neutral alignment while you snooze.
Does a travel pillow count as a carry on?
No, most commercial airlines do not consider travel pillows to be carry-on items. That said, it’s always a good idea to find a travel pillow that’s easy to pack in a suitcase or purse!
What is the best travel pillow for long flights?
In my opinion, a versatile travel pillow that can be used to support different parts of your body is ideal for long flights. For example, a pillow that can serve as neck, chin, and back support might keep you feeling cozier for longer. Additionally, I suggest aiming for pillows that are filled with more firmly supportive materials, as they’re less likely to compress over time.
Well, sleepers, you’ve seen my top five favorite travel pillows and you’re well on your way to picking the perfect one. And as you carefully consider every last detail, don’t forget to keep a close eye on size, shape, and materials in order to find the best fit. Oh, and be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for the answers to all your sleep needs!