The Best Travel Pillow Reviews – My Travel Favorites

At some point in your life, whether it be a road trip or traveling abroad, we travel. Having the best travel pillows for each of your journeys is incredibly helpful. Whether we are using public transportation via a bus, train, airplane, or a car you will likely want to sleep and/or relax during your trip. Having neck and head support will take the burden off of your muscles, allowing for a proper snooze or in general, rest and relaxation. The wonderful invention of the travel pillow remedies this issue perfectly. Most commonly referred to by its name “travel pillow” it has a variety of aliases too which I will refer to throughout this article.

best travel pillow

Designs, shapes, fillings, sizes and brands vary as this is a large market. There are such an abundant amount of choices in this market, it exceeds most other markets. Many of the most comfortable travel pillows are products that we have already tried and tested on our way over the years. It is time to pass on some of the knowledge found in the studies over the years.

If you are looking to buy a new travel pillow or have not previously owned one, this information will help you along with your decision making process. There are additional reviews that you will want to look into to learn more about the specific products types and characteristics. Below is a comprehensive buying guide for additional information and pointers on finding the best travel pillow for your money.



Made in USA




J Pillow travel pillow

J Pillow travel pillow




Cabeau Evolution Memory Foam Travel Neck Pillow

Cabeau Evolution Memory Foam Travel Neck Pillow




travelrest ultimate travel pillow

Travelrest Ultimate Travel Pillow




Therm-a-Rest Compressible Pillow

Therm-a-Rest Compressible Pillow




Aircomfy Push-Button Inflatable Daydreamer Neck Pillow

Aircomfy Push-Button Inflatable Daydreamer Neck Pillow




What Is A Travel Pillow?

They can easily be defined as small, compact pillows which can accompany us our journeys. This definition can be divided for each pillow based on the usage and shape. The besr travel neck pillow is typically small and designed to provide unique support to the users head and neck. This is important because much of our travels are done sitting upright. Having a pillow to support your neck and head can make any long journey much more bearable. Neck pillows are not limited just for travel. You can use them outside of areas other than buses, planes, and trains. Reading, watching TV, or sleeping during a lunch break are just a few activities in which your neck pillow can provide you comfort during. The traditional oblong kind of pillow are small enough to fit in your luggage without taking away space from your other personal items. Hiking, backpacking, and camping are all activities that these traditional pillows are used during.

The buying guide for travel pillows has been adapted and changed over the years. This is to accommodate the ever changing market. This is also due to the wide variation of designs and shapes that are incorporated through sizes and fillings. It is safe to assume that there are numerous options to research and consider before making a purchase.

What To Consider Before Your Purchase​

Differing Shapes In Pillows

While these pillows are available in a variety of shapes, the most common are U shaped. The shape of a J or large arch are also popular shapes. These lay over your shoulder. While they rest on your shoulders and support your neck from behind, they also give support to your head. The design of the U shape is to prevent the head from rolling from either side or falling forward while you are sleeping on your journey. The level of chin support determines the ability for the head to roll forward while you sleep. The U is an old school shaped pillow which gets the job done quite well. In order to prevent any further movement or head roll, the pillow must have a decent support for the chin. Leading manufacturers have turned the U shape into a J shape to do just this. They have found the J shape more effective than the U. Other small travel pillows are typically rectangular in shape and even highly compressible. With a more lightweight and full size or compressed design, they can expand and stretch to almost four times their original size. When you are finished with the pillow and it has served its purpose, you can easily compress back into the supplied carry case and it can sit amongst the rest of the luggage.

Empty airport interior. Contemporary bright interior of an airport

Various Filling Types

This can be an incredibly important factor for some. Memory foam, polyester fiber, and air are the most common fillings amongst all of the different kinds. The conforming nature which is unique to travel pillows, forms a mold around the neck and shoulders providing support mainly to the head. The form support from the reassuring memory foam achieves this job quite well. Polyester fiber is another filling which is not quite as clever as the memory foam conforming abilities. It has proven to be long lasting and durable. This pillow is resistant to stretching as well as shrinking. It does a fine job of retaining its shape and is easily washed and dried. Neither filling is necessarily better than the other. Both the memory foam and polyester fiber fillings have similar characteristics. They also have similar pricing ranges. Choosing a pillow based on filling will not be too stressful. Air, which is the last filling, is a great choice in the traveling pillow industry as it is inflatable. It can be filled with air and adjusted to satisfy the level of firmness that best comforts the user. It can be adjusted throughout the length of a journey, you can add more air or release some if it does not fit your needs. This is mostly important for long haul flights.

Size and Weight

They are not quite as consistent as they are with mattresses. They are also not categorized as Standard, Queen, or King. Each pillow typically has its own dimensions listed as part of the specifications and separately. The adult U shaped pillow it typically on average ten by twelve inches in length and width. They are approximately three to five inches in height. Kid’s dimensions are slightly smaller. The dimensions for a children’s U shaped travel pillow is around nine by nine n length and width, and about three inches in height. The weight for the U shaped pillow is an important characteristic. An adult u shaped travel pillow is approximately eight ounces. A children’s U shaped pillow weight is five ounces. The product is lighter for obvious reasons. A lesser load to bear on shoulders leads to a weightless feel to each individual product. This causes less irritation which by the way, significantly improves the quality of sleep.The best neck pillow for travel is usually lighter.

Best Travel Neck Pillow Candidates

J Pillow travel pillow

J Pillow travel pillow

The J Pillow, while a simple name for the product, is an incredibly effective- in delivery and any way imaginable. With the greatest abundance being primarily online most travel pillows in the conventional aspect are incredibly basic in deigns. The J pillow was given more time and intention in its creation which shows through its delivery and usage. The padding and support is placed in four key designated areas.

The attention to these specific areas offers comfort throughout the entire pillow and neck, head, and shoulders area. The support is offered not only in those areas, but also in the chin area as well. This successfully prevents the head from rolling with the additional chin support. The support provided to the side and back of the head makes the surface a comfortable rest and relaxation area. This, in no way, shape or form, can be categorized as an inadequate form of support for transatlantic flights. Even short train commuters would find this pillow pleasing and supportive. It is clear why this pillow is on the top five for best travel neck pillows.

Cabeau Evolution Memory Foam Travel Neck Pillow

Cabeau Evolution Memory Foam Travel Neck Pillow

Evolution is a pillow which was also given a decent amount of thought in its design and delivery. This popular, memory foam travel pillow is unlike any other in its price range. This pillow gives a significantly greater amount of attention to detail. It is up for the best travel pillow 2016 award for sure! This pillow comes with complimentary earplugs, a compact carry bag, and a lifetime of support and comfort.

The compact carry bag is about one quarter of the size for compactness. The cover over the pillow is machine washable which promotes good hygiene. That’s not all. There is also a pocket for your smart phone or mP3 player. The raised memory phone provides additional support to the chin, which again, prevents forward head rolling. This is the best neck pillow for air travel on our list.

Travelrest Ultimate Travel Pillow

travelrest ultimate travel pillow

Ultimate Inflatable pillow is given the non-standard shape and design unlike the pillows mentioned above. This unique pillow actually works unlike many other inflatable models similar to it. It can prevent the head from bobbing as it is positioned, not on the shoulders or neck, but across the torso. You can wear it down the side, across your torso, or tethered to your seat or headrest.

The ergonomic shape provides full lateral support and does not allow your head or neck experience any form of pain. It inflates quite rapidly in no more than four or five breaths of air. It also deflates just as easily. The pillow, once deflated, can fold up in a two by nine by three and a half inches which is just the right size to fit in a carry on.

Therm-a-Rest Compressible Pillow

Therm-a-Rest Compressible Pillow

Compressible Pillow differs from the previous pillows mentioned as it not the traditional shape of a typical travel pillow. It is an oblong type which allows it to be used while laying down flat. While it is oblong, it is still classified as a travel pillow due to its tiny and compressible compact nature.

It is ideal for backpacking, hiking and camping. The filling is compacted entirely of shredded memory foam. The outer shell is entirely polyester and is lightweight and convenient for sleeping comfortably throughout your travel.

Aircomfy Push-Button Inflatable Daydreamer Neck Pillow

Aircomfy Push-Button Inflatable Daydreamer Neck Pillow

It is a round, U shaped pillow which will keep you feeling unrestricted and unpinched. This pillow offers a cradling effect to your neck and offers support to your head. AirComfy inflatable neck pillow is on the list of top best travel neck pillows. It has received an overall five star rating for effort as well as delivery. Similar to others in its price range, the AirComfy compresses into a small fraction of its size. Thus, making it easy for storage in your luggage as well as easy for a small child to carry around with them as well. Another wonderful characteristic to this pillow is the self-inflating functionality. This allow it to not shine on an airplane or car headrest. It can be used for lumber support.


If you are in search of the best travel pillow, you should decide its central purpose in its journey. From the pillows listed above, you can see the different variations that each design offers. Each pillow is uniquely tailored for the various forms of usage. Some of the pillows mentioned above are perfect for traveling by plane while some are better for camping, hiking, etc. The five travel pillows listed above should provide you with some insight into what you should be looking for when purchasing a travel neck pillow.

This list narrows them down by the different brands, types, price ranges, and uses. Keep in mind the important characteristics that your travel pillow should feature. Filling, whether it be memory foam, air, or polyester, size and weight, (make sure it is the proper dimensions especially if you are traveling by flight), comfortability, the shape (the various shapes including U shape, J shape, traditional and other). All of these characteristics are important to helping you find the best travel pillow that will satisfy all of your needs and meet your preferences. Safe traveling and happy pillow hunting!

James Montgomery

Hi, my name is James Mongomery. I work as a social worker in a high school and burn the midnight oil working on Soundful Sleep, a site that helps people sleep better. I take pride in the fact that I provide only the most useful tips and information without the fluff. My only objective is to help others get an amazing nights sleep to bring them peace of mind.

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