Travel pillows can greatly help make your long haul flight more comfortable. By using a travel pillow it makes easier to fall asleep and stay asleep longer on a plane, without dropping your head and waking up with a stiff neck. This contributes to a faster recovery from jet lag too.
The only issue with travel pillows is that it’s not easy to find the right one that is a good fit for you.
What are travel pillows and how to choose the right type
Travel pillows come in different materials, sizes and shapes. Most of all airplane travel pillows are built to support neck and head and protect them from stiffness and soreness, that we suffer when we seat for long hours on a plane.
As we are all different and like to rest and sleep in different positions, it’s important that you choose a travel pillow that matches your own individual needs as well as your travel style. Fo long term travellers who love travelling light and pack as fewer things as possible, inflatable travel pillows are more appropriate.
Another factor that plays an important role is space, so answer these questions: Can you carry it around with you? How often are you taking long haul flights? If you are a frequent flyer, it’s worth investing in a quality travel pillow that offers comfort, durability and good value for money.
The most popular neck support for the airplane is the famous U-shaped foam pillow and the U-shaped inflatable pillow that you see everywhere in airports travel shops. But there are more shapes and sizes though.
For this travel pillow review I have picked 6 from different travel pillow categories that I believe are the ones that offer the highest comfort and flexibility.
Here below a list of the best airplane pillows to help you choose the right type for you.
Best inflatable travel pillows for the airplane
These are the most known and used on airplanes because when they can be folded into a tiny bag and take little space in your luggage. This type of headrest travel pillow is okay if space matters in your travels and you don’t want to take up space from your suitcase. They easily fit into your handbag or cabin bag. There are many inflatable pillows on the market that you can purchase in travel gear shops at the airport.
These travel pillows, listed here below, are also available for purchase on Amazon.
Travel Rest Inflatable Pillow
One of the best travel pillows for long haul flight that maximize your packing light efforts. A great one for side sleepers as it gives you full lateral support. Its special sidelong shape prevents from falling forward, it’s easy to use and when rolled away it takes minimum packing space. It’s great for adults and children alike but may not be good for those who tend to sleep forward and change position when sitting. This is a versatile pillow, you can use it in cars, trains, buses, and also camping or backpacking. It comes with an optional pillow cover in velour and memory foam. The rolled dimensions are 2x9x3.5 inches and the weight is 7 ounces. View it here.
Daydreamer Inflatable Neck Pillow
This is another good inflatable small travel pillow which comes with a built-in inflation pump, which saves you mouth-blowing. Its ergonomic design offers optimal head, neck and shoulder support because it can be perfectly adjusted and customized to your needs by inflating the right level of air. This small cervical pillow is great for the long haul flight as well as while driving in your car or in a train journey. It comes with a removable microvelvet pillow case that can be washed for maximum level of hygiene and freshness. It’s small and easy to store in a small pack. You can also clip it onto your luggage. Depending on the headrest it may not be a good for all airplane seats though and the built-in air pump needs a bit of time to learn how to use it properly. View it here.
Best Foam Travel Pillows for the long haul flight
Foam travel pillows are generally more liked by people because of the soft material that naturally wrap up around your your neck and shoulders. They however tend to be bulky and take up more volume than any other pillow, so you must in first place know if you want to can carry it in your bag.
Aeris Memory Foam Pillow
The Aeris Memory Foam Neck Pillow is one oft he best rated neck foam pillows for great comfort. It comes with sleep mask, earplugs and a small carry bag where you can squeeze it in. The velour cover is machine washable and it makes to a great product. This pillow perfectly adjusts to small neck and petite body frame, thanks to toggles, but can take a bit to mold to your position though. May not be the best fit for people with long neck. View it here.
BCozzy Pillow – Neck and Head Support
Another great airplane pillow, that gets 4.7 stars from us. It offers full chin support and stops the head from falling forward, which is something many people experience when using other pillows. It’s made of a patented soft material, is fully adjustable and can be twisted around your neck in several positions for optimal comfort. The big one among the pros is the best support for holding the chin, neck and head in firm positions for long hours. As for the cons: it may get a bit warm around your neck. View it here.
Cabeau Travel Pillow
The Cabeau Travel Pillow is one oft he top rated airplane memory foam pillows in internet. Their patented evolution pillow is of premium quality memory foam with raised neck support design allows a 360 degree support no matter in which direction your head tends to lean when asleep. As for the pros: the flat rear cushion prevents from pushing your head forward and it fits well on all airplane seats. It’s easy to pack in a small bag, it takes only ¼ ot its size. But because of its raised shape it may feel warm and bulky due to pressing around your neck, chin and head. View it here.
Innovative airplane pillows for the long haul flight
The TRTL Pillow
This is a neck support travel pillow made of light and soft micro fleece which is breathable. A great alternative to memory foam travel pillows. For those who are seeking a comfort and support for mouth, neck, shoulders and head altogher is probably the best type of pillow. Thanks to a built-in support system placed sideways on your neck it keeps your neck in a ergonomic position and prevents you from nodding off your neighbour’s seat. You can fold it away and attach it to your luggage, takes only half space than traditional pillows and weight only 148 gr. It does not fold flat and it comes in one size fits all, so it may not be a good fit if you have a small neck and wear sound cancelling earphones. View it here.
Because smart travel means travelling as light as possible, it’s important to evaluate well all pros and cons before purchasing an airplane travel pillow for your packing list.
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Photo from Shutterstock: Travel Pillows on wooden floor