15 Best Travel Pillows in 2020 for Neck Support, Kids & more
Are you aspiring to be one of those that can fall asleep pretty much anywhere? &
More importantly, not wake up with a terrible, back or neck ache?
Frequent flyer or not I think we’d all agree that…
Spending a day or two to shake off the pain or falling over & onto the person next to you or drooling over your shoulder or worse someone else’s can ruin any trip.
Besides whether you can fall asleep or not, you can stay very comfortable with the travel pillows we’ve picked out for you.
We’ve split the list into the best options for your neck, kids & inflatables.
Excellent head, chin & neck support. Lightweight & easy to carry. Kids version is also great
Super soft, comfortable. Provides relief for neck pain & comes with a manufacturer guarantee
Very low profile/ easy to transport. Innovative & effective design. Machine washable
8 Best Neck Pillows
Why spend your holiday complaining about soreness and lack of sleep when you can rest comfortably with one of these amazing travel neck pillows?
1. BCOZZY Chin Supporting Neck Pillow
Excellent support, comfort and simple design are the reasons why BCOZZY travel pillow is on the top of our list. A great choice for side sleepers!
While most U-shaped pillows offer just neck support, BCOZZY travel pillow takes things a step further with its simplistic yet innovative design. The overlapping arms of the pillow offer great chin support, stopping your head from falling forward, helping your neck and head stay in a proper position at all times.
Plenty of users mentioned the versatility of the pillow as one of their favorite features, seeing how the pillow can be twisted in several different positions, making it a great product for side sleepers, as well as those who prefer to sleep in an upright position. The comfort on offer easily trumps anything a traditional travel pillow has to offer.
Another thing that customers were quick to point out is that this travel neck pillow has a flat back, so it won’t push your head forward, keeping you from developing a sore neck. Its heat retention properties are another one of its strong points meaning your neck stays cool.
The pillow has a built-in snap strap, making it super easy to attach to your luggage or backpack. It’s also lightweight, but durable, making it a perfect travel companion on long flights.
Some users reported the pillow not doing enough due to its size, fortunately, BCOZZY Pillows come in three different sizes and plenty of color choices too, so you can pick the one most suitable for your needs.
- Versatile Design
- Neck, Chin and Head Support
- Portable and Lightweight
- Soft & comfy
- Different Size and Color Options
- Smaller sizes might not provide enough support for bigger adults, otherwise no real cons as such.
2. Crafty World Travel Pillow
With a motto of “Comfort Fit for Royalty”, it’s plain to see why Crafty World Travel Pillows are one of the best choices for travelers all around. Ideal for sleepers with chronic pain.
Not to be fooled by its plain design, the travel pillow from Crafty World has been a favorite amongst travelers with chronic back, shoulder and neck pain. One of the most prominent features of the Crafty World pillow is surely the thermosensitive memory foam material which offers that extra bit of softness, ultimate comfort, and pain relief.
What users love about this product is that it perfectly molds to the neck, helping you completely immerse yourself into it, getting the rest you deserve.
It also has a removable cover, so it can easily be washed and aired out. Aside from that, the pillow has an elastic strap attached, so it can be affixed to your luggage in a matter of seconds.
A couple of users have reported issues with the quality of the cover, claiming that the seams have ripped open after just a few uses. However, Crafty World does offer a lifetime manufacturer money back guarantee for their products, so if you do experience any problems you can always address them your issues.
- Head, Neck and Shoulder Support
- Removable Cover
- Elastic Strap
- Not many around that are softer
- Lifetime Guarantee
- The occasional issue with the cover seams
3. Trtl Pillow
“The Travel Pillow Reinvented.” Find out what happens when you combine science and fashion into one product.
Complete innovation in terms of travel pillows comes in the form of this scarf lookalike. The Trtl Pillow has won over the hearts of travelers with its unique design and features, which is why it’s one of our favorites in this buying guide.
What we love about the Trtl is the sheer science behind its design. The Trtl Pillow is scientifically proven to keep your head perfectly aligned during rest periods. It sports an internal support system with strengthened ribs hidden beneath a super soft fleece material to achieve its goal.
Aside from providing the main functions, plenty of customers were positively surprised by the lightweight properties and portability of the pillow. Weighing a mere 136g it puts regular u-shaped pillows to shame. (At least in the weight department)
It’s also machine washable so you can easily drop it at the cleaners with the rest of your laundry while you’re out exploring. Not to mention that it’s disguised as a scarf, so you can look fabulous even while asleep.
Certain users did remark that the pillow is not a one-size-fits-all product and as such has not been satisfactory in terms of support. It’s a perfect option for tall people however, with many remarking that it fits them perfectly.
- Suitable for people over 16 years of age
- Low-profile & compact
- Machine Washable
- Lightweight (136g)
- Doesn’t come in different sizes so it might not suit everyone
4. Travelmate Memory Foam Neck Pillow
The adjustable travel pillow from Travelmate is the best choice for fussy sleepers who can never find the right position.
Reinvented, improved and newly-released, the Travelmate pillow is the sight for sore eyes (and necks!) in the sea of U-shaped travel pillows.
What’s so great about this option is that it’s completely adjustable! It features a built-in removable insert, which adapts to your personal needs and preferences. You alone control the thickness and the height of the pillow, making sure it doesn’t push your head forward and that it provides enough support.
Users are beyond satisfied with the material, seeing how the memory foam filling molds perfectly to one’s neck providing comfort and ease. The Travelmate comes with a velour cover which comes in a pleasant dark blue shade. It also has a built-in elastic strap, making it easy to attach to a piece of luggage without taking too much space.
The quality of the cover is a target of a few complaints, as the seams of the fabric are not as durable and can sometimes rip.
- Built-in insert to adapt for your needs
- Memory Foam Filling
- Machine Washable
- Elastic Strap
- Seams can rip on rare occasions
5. Twist Memory Foam Travel Pillow
An adjustable travel pillow that you can literally bend to your will (and to every (im)possible sleeping position of course!)
Need a standard U-shaped pillow? You got it! Require additional support for your legs? Sure! Looking for something that offers lumbar support? You’re at the right place.
Yes, the Twist Memory Foam Pillow offers plenty of customizable options for those having trouble getting in the right position. It easily adapts to your sleeping needs by a simple twist and roll. The Twist can be used like any other travel neck pillow, but once bent and twisted it can also serve as a cushion for your spine, back and legs.
Users are loving the memory foam filling that perfectly molds to your body shape and are pleased with its durable yet soft properties.
While the soft cushion is a definite plus for some, others suggest that this characteristic doesn’t mask the built-in bendable rod, making it slightly uncomfortable to relax.
Dot&Dot does offer a 30-day money back guarantee for dissatisfied customers, so it’s always possible to contact the company directly if the pillow isn’t suitable for your needs.
The cotton cover is removable and also has a snap closure so it can be secured on a piece of luggage or a headrest when you’re not using it.
- Custom Support
- Machine Washable
- Some users find the bendable rod inside the pillow slightly uncomfortable
6. Cabeau Evolution Memory Foam Travel Pillow
“The world’s best-engineered travel pillow.”
This revolutionary pillow by Cabeau will make you forget everything you knew about travel pillows so far. The patented Seat Strap System allows you to attach the pillow to your headset, holding your head in perfect alignment throughout the journey.
It’s made from responsive memory foam that perfectly molds itself to your contour, supporting both your neck and head in the process. There’s also an adjustable clasp included designed to keep your chin in place at all times.
The pillow is made from 100% polyester fabric that is moisture-wicking, helping fend off any odor, bacteria, and mites that you might encounter along the way. Users were quick to point out that the pillow comes with a handy travel case that can be attached to your backpack or another piece of luggage for easier transport.
Several users did note that the pillow tends to get a bit warm after a certain period of use, something that can prove quite uncomfortable during those long flights and car rides.
- Seat Strap System
- 360-Degree Support
- Machine Washable Cover
- Folds in Half
- Adjustable to Different Sizes
- Some users find the pillow to be too warm during extended use
Tagged as the British Invention of the Year, the J-Pillow was designed by a flight attendant and provides ultimate comfort and support to weary travelers. The new improved 2019 version is reviewed here.
You’ve probably seen (or been!) one of those passengers that are pleasantly nodding off until their heads fall forward and they get startled back to reality. Well, with the J-Pillow those sudden scares become a thing of the past.
Featuring a simple, yet intelligent design, it allows you to keep your neck and head properly aligned, all the while preventing your head from bobbing forward. This makes it an ideal neck pillow for just about any mean of transport, be it a plane, bus or car ride.
What we’re especially pleased about is the durability of the material and sturdiness of the pillow. However, those who are not particularly fond of silky cushions, might not find it to their liking.
Some users expressed concerns about the exterior of the pillow being too slippery, which results in less grip for your head. Despite its advantages, if you are someone who happens to move around a lot then you might have to pick it up and shift it to the other side as you turn your head.
The J-Pillow can be tossed in the washing machine and has a snap-loop fastener so it can easily be attached to a piece of luggage for convenient transport
- 3-Way Support
- Can be machine washed
- Snap-Loop Fastener
- Extremely soft fabric exterior
- The silky feel compromises on the grip it provides
- Despite the 3-way system if you turn you need to readjust the pillow
8. MLVOC Travel Pillow
“Premium Design for Premium Sleep”
The MLVOC Travel Pillow is a fine example of what happens when you combine smart tech and gratifying design into one product. Super breathable and amazingly comfortable, the pillow utilizes a soft magnetic therapy cloth, sweat-resistant fabrics and millions of tiny microbeads to provide you with long-lasting comfort during your travels.
The memory foam used in the making of this pillow employs 5 seconds return technology, allowing the material to cushion itself to your body and relieve all the major pressure points, helping you achieve a maximum state of zen.
Weighing a mere 0.6 lbs, the pillow is extremely lightweight and comes with a convenient carrying bag allowing it to compress to half its size.
People love this pillow so much that some of the users actually reported wearing it to bed. However, some buyers were dissatisfied with the overall size of the product, claiming that despite the adjustable rope lock, the pillow is still too large to provide enough support.
MLVOC does provide a 1-year service (at the time of writing), so it’s possible to opt for a refund if the pillow is not to your liking.
- Premium Memory Foam
- Magnetic Therapy Cloth
- Compact & Lightweight
- Machine Washable
- Extremely Comfortable
- Some users find the pillow too large
- Lacks Chin Support
4 Best Inflatable Travel Pillows
Looking to save space while packing? An inflatable travel pillow might be just what you need.
1. Daydreamer Inflatable Neck Travel Pillow
Luxurious yet practical, the inflatable travel pillow from AirComfy puts all other inflatables to shame!
If you’re one of those to find inflatable valves disgusting to look at, let alone put your mouth on them, then the Daydreamer just might be the pillow of your dreams.
With a push-button mechanism, you can inflate this pillow in a matter of seconds, using only your hands! The best thing about it is that you can adjust the inflation level of the pillow while wearing it.
Once inflated, this pillow takes form providing comfort for your neck & your head. The pillow also features a tiny zipper, so you can easily remove the soft velvet pillowcase when it’s time for washing.
The Daydreamer has proven to be quite an effective space-saving accessory as well, due to its lightweight properties and the compact packsack it comes with. Users also pointed out that the packsack has a carabiner clip attached, so you can always carry your pillow with you, wherever you go.
There were some complaints about the pillow’s valve, which apparently lets out air and deflates the pillow after a certain period of time. The manufacturer does offer a warranty on faulty parts, so it’s possible to contact the company if any problems ensue.
- Push-Button Inflate Mechanism
- Ergonomic Design
- Carabiner Clip
- Air can leak in rare cases
- Can feel a bit warm
2. Trekology Ultralight Inflatable Camping Travel Pillow
Compact, lightweight and ultra-comfortable, the Trekology Inflatable Travel Pillow is our pick for those searching for a versatile option.
Regardless of whether you’re camping, stargazing or stuck in transport, this inflatable pillow will serve your every need. The main reason why we recommend this pillow is certainly its slender profile when packed, as it can be folded to the size of a soda can! How’s that for light packing?
Aside from its convertibility, what caught the eye of many buyers is the number of additional features on hand. Water resistant materials and anti-slipping rubber dots, ensure that your head doesn’t leave your pillow at any point.
It also offers a detachable strap that will keep your pillow from slipping away! The pillow can be inflated in 3-5 breaths and has an air-tight closure, making sure that it stays inflated at all times.
There was a concern regarding the durability of the product, but Trekology has since upgraded the pillow and introduced a new version featuring elastic TPU fabric. Whilst it didn't alleviate the fears of some users with regards to how sturdy it feels/ its durability, we were very happy with it
- Water Resistant
- Versatile use
- The new Version 2.0 while improved, we felt can be better in terms of durability
3. AirComfy Ease Pillow
Another gem from AirComfy comes in the form of this stylish, inflatable pillow which is fairly versatile. Good choice for those suffering from cervical and lower back pain.
With the Ease pillow, you control how firm or soft you want it to be, as well as how big or small you require it for your comfort.
It has side wings to prevent your head from flailing to the sides, as well as an optional strap that keeps the pillow in place. Customers agree that comfort and support are the two main reasons why they liked this product, while portability comes in next in line. The pillow can easily be deflated, packed and stored in a convenient packsack.
The pillow is filled with luxurious foam which serves as additional support, lacking the hollow, bouncy feeling of traditional inflatable pillows. The opinions are divided though, with some consumers claiming that the foam does not provide good enough assistance for their needs.
The Ease Pillow comes with a removable and washable velvet cover, so it’s easy to keep it fresh and clean for your next trip.
- Adjustable Design
- Neck and Lumbar Support
- Super Comfortable
- Portable and Lightweight
- Inner foam might not provide sufficient support for some
4. Travelrest Ultimate Travel Pillow
“In order to be irreplaceable one must always be different.” This travel pillow from Travelrest would make designers proud!
The Ultimate Travel Pillow is an inflatable yet compact solution that is especially good at aiding side sleepers. With its slightly unusual shape, it provides full lateral assistance to its sleeping buddy and promotes proper head and neck alignment.
The great thing about this product is that it can be worn as a “messenger-style bag” or can be attached to the seat behind you. Depending on your preference, you can position the pillow down the side or across the body.
People are extremely satisfied with the fact that it can be deflated, rolled and stored in a matter of seconds. It makes for an ideal travel pillow for any kind of situation, regardless of whether you're traveling by plane, car, bus or train!
The Travelrest is washable, and for a small fee, you can add a plush cover to your purchase as well! Some users pointed out that the pillow interferes with the use of noise-canceling headphones, which can ultimately disturb your sleep. The Travelrest does come with a 2-year warranty though, so it’s good to ask the manufacturer about any questions you have.
- Compact and easy to carry
- Full Lateral Support
- Adjustable and Multi-Use
- Ergonomic Design
- Not convenient to use with noise-canceling headphones
- The positioning proved to be quite awkward for a lot of people
- Your head can flop forward due to its shape
3 Best Kids Travel Pillows
Your little ones deserve support too! These are some of the coolest, funniest and most comfortable travel pillows for kids.
1. BCOZZY Kids Chin Supporting Travel Pillow
If you loved the original BCOZZY Travel Pillow, then you’ll love the kids’ version even more! It can cater to the smallest and fussiest of sleepers, this pillow is a must-have for family vacations.
One-size-fits-all is a thing of the past, because BCOZZY offers their extraordinary travel pillows in not two, but three different sizes, making sure that the whole family can rest comfortably getting the support suitable to their needs.
Just like the adult and XL sizes, the kids’ version also features overlapping arms, which hold the head in place and supports the chin preventing drifting heads and stiff necks.
The pillows are lightweight and have a snap strap, so children can carry them with ease. The entire pillow can be washed and dried quickly so its always ready for the next family adventure.
BCOZZY Kids Pillows are designed to fit children ages 3-8 years old, so they might not be the best choice for infants or teenagers but the original has a smaller profile so will work perfectly for teenagers at least.
- Head, Neck and Chin Support
- Lightweight and Portable
- Machine Washable and Dries Quickly
- Ideal for children aged 3-8
- Not suitable for infants or teenagers
2. Dreamtown Kids Toddler Pillow
Sleeping like a baby is not just an expression anymore! The travel pillow for toddlers from Dreamtown is everything your baby needs for a good night’s sleep.
With a motto of From Our Family to Yours, this family-owned business designs products with only love and care in mind. The best example is the Dreamtown Kids Pillow which is made from a poly/cotton blend ensuring that your kids get the comfort and rest they deserve.
Parents are especially thrilled with the fact that these pillows are non-toxic and 100% hypoallergenic. The cotton is organic and locally grown in the United States.
Aside from satisfied parents, these pillows are also chiropractor recommended, seeing how they’re filled with a soft, dense fiber that allows for maximum comfort, as well as additional neck support.
The pillowcase is removable and can be machine-washed. The Dreamtown Kids Pillow makes for a great travel companion for toddlers and young children but is not recommended for children under 2-years old.
- Organic Materials
- Chiropractor Recommended
- Not suitable for kids under 2 years
3. Cloudz Plush Animal Neck Pillow
Fluffy, fun and functional, the Cloudz Plush Animal Pillow is the travel buddy that every child needs. Keep your kids entertained and comfortable at all times.
Looking for something fun yet practical for your next trip? Need something to keep your child happy, yet entertained? Then the Cloudz travel neck pillow might be the best choice.
From dinosaurs, pigs and lions to zebras, cats and ladybugs, this pillow offers a zoo of options for your children! Not only are these pillows a great way to keep your kids entertained while traveling, but they are also extremely comfortable and supportive as well.
Parents agree that it’s a great choice for long car or airplane rides and that children are more than satisfied with their cute travel companions. Another plus is that the pillow can be machine washed and tumble dried, so it’ll be ready in no time for your next big family adventure.
There were reports of the outside fabric ripping open after a couple of uses, so there might be an issue with the durability of the material.
- Fun Designs
- Quality Control Issues
How to Choose the Best Travel Pillow
A travel pillow is often an overlooked accessory, its actually quite a handy piece of travel gear irrespective of whether you are on a plane, bus or in your own car. Whilst the level of firmness or even how soft a pillow is can be subjective there are many other traits that are pretty black & white in terms of what you need to look for in the best ones.
Type of Pillow
Before we go into more intricate details, it’s best to first consider all the different types of pillows you may choose from.
As you may have noticed, there’s a hefty variety of travel pillows out there, but generally, all these pillows fall into one of these three categories:
- Inflatable Travel Pillows
- Microbead Travel Pillows
- Memory Foam Travel Pillows
As with most products, all three categories of pillows have their pros and cons and it’s up to you to weigh your options and make a decision based on your needs.
The first category, inflatable pillows are a great choice if you’re tight on space and are looking for the most portable, lightweight, space-efficient option. When deflated, most of these pillows weigh no more than a pair of socks and can be stored just about anywhere. Another great thing about inflatables is that they’re pretty easy to handle and can be set up in a matter of seconds. They’re also quite adjustable, meaning you can adapt the height and thickness of the pillow to your own preference.
On the other hand, inflatable travel pillows might not be as firm as other types of pillows. Also, you’re always running a risk of puncturing the pillow, rendering it useless. Another thing to keep in mind is the air valves, which can get damaged, resulting in loss of air and deflation of the pillow.
When talking about microbead travel pillows, we’re referring to U-shaped pillows filled with tiny polystyrene beads. These types of pillows are usually quite comfortable and lightweight, but the beads do not offer plenty of support. They’re a great option if you’re looking for something soft to lay your head on, but they’re definitely not the most practical of choices when it comes to travel pillows.
Lastly, memory foam travel pillows are currently one of the most popular choices on the market. A foam pillow is usually designed to perfectly mold itself to your neck, allowing for maximum effectiveness. The memory foam filling does tend to be on the pricier side, so it might not be the best option for budget travelers.
Aside from these three main categories, you might stumble upon pillows that make use of a combination of materials. For example, the Huzi is a polyester & bamboo hybrid.
One of the most important aspects of choosing a good travel pillow is the support it offers. The shape of the travel pillow plays a huge role in determining its quality. Other, interesting options like the Twist, might even offer additional assistance for your back or legs, making sure that your back is always in a proper position.
This is important for a number of reasons and not just for comfort’s sake. Maintaining good posture while traveling is crucial for your back and spine health, as well as for reducing pain and discomfort during long periods of being sedentary. Ergonomically designed pillows are rapidly increasing in popularity, seeing how they promote good posture, extreme comfort, and better sleep conditions.
The next thing you need to think about is the material. The material you choose will directly influence the comfort as characteristics like breathability, heat retention (or lack of) come into play.
Certain synthetic materials are not only unpleasant to touch, but they can also trap heat, causing sweating in the process. Unless you want to sleep in a puddle of your own sweat, it might be better to avoid pillows made from cheap synthetics.
If possible it’s always best to choose pillows made from organic, natural fabrics such as cotton or cotton blends. Plenty of budget travel pillows are made from a combination of polyester and cotton fibers. These pillows are usually very comfortable but don’t do much in the support department.
As mentioned before, memory foam pillows are quite firm, while microbead filled pillows are on the softer and squishier side.
Memory foam pillows do require some special care when it comes to cleaning and should never be washed using a washing machine. They should also not be fully submerged in water. The great thing about the pillows in our guide is that the majority of them come with removable, washable covers which can be cleaned and dried easily.
If a more eco-friendly option is what you seek then the Huzi is a good option as it is made from breathable bamboo/ polyester hybrid fabric. It is hypoallergenic and antimicrobial. Non-toxic, hypoallergenic pillows are especially a good choice for young children. One such product is the Dreamtown Kids pillow made from organic, locally grown cotton.
This is a key factor for most buyers to consider and more often than not it refers to how the pillow survives a machine wash if indeed the pillow allows for one. The pillows we have chosen don’t start coming apart and the fabric does not roughen up after a wash. Pillows like the Trtl tend to feel even softer and this is a trait that is much desired. Another common issue is that the pillow case can let go at the seams which can be a pain.
The inflation mechanism is something that’s key in determining how long your pillow lasts. We highly valued options that were self-inflatable & ones where you can adjust the level of firmness. Its quite common to read complaints about a pillow losing air over the course of an hour, for example. The ability of the pillow to retain air was very important to us. Read as many reviews as you can carefully to ensure that your back or neck pillow is not plagued by this issue.
While some pillows follow the one-size-fits-all rule, others such as BCOZZY offer three different sizes of pillows, including a small size for kids. If the pillow being used is a size too big or small you might have the feeling like your head is bobbing around or is being strangled.
In order to avoid these kinds of problems, try to find a brand that offers different sizes or check the description to find out what’s the diameter of the desired pillow. Size is important for other reasons too. Portability and saving space being among them. Our guide mainly consists of ones that fit most folks & is easy to pack.
If space is at a premium, you’ll want to choose compact and lightweight pillows that can easily fit in your luggage. Inflatable pillows make a good choice here, while micro bead filled ones tend to be on the bulkier side. Certain pillows, like the Trekology on our list, can be compressed to the size of a soda can, making it a super convenient space-saving solution.
See some of the weirdest travel pillows in action:
Last, but certainly not least, there’s a variety of additional features to look out for when it comes to travel pillows.
These add-ons can vary from pillow to pillow, so it’s important to know exactly what you’re looking for. Some pillows, such as the Cabeau offer a built-in pouch for your mobile phone. Others, like the Travelmate, have removable inserts so you can adjust the height and thickness according to your preference. Some will even come as part of a package with sleep masks, ear plugs & the likes. A packaged option tends to be more economical too.
Q: Are Travel Pillows Expensive?
A: The overall features, quality of the materials used and general type of the pillow can greatly affect the price. Prices range from $10 for the simplest ones, up to $200 for more advanced options. Generally, most fall between the $10 and $50 price points. (Even the new versions)
Price doesn’t always dictate quality, so the most expensive ones are not necessarily the best. It’s always best to compare the prices of similar products, in order to make an informed decision and make sure you’re getting your money’s worth.
Q: Can Travel Pillows Help with Neck and Back Pain?
A: The well-made ones can certainly alleviate pain and discomfort caused by sitting for a prolonged period of time, but they’re not long-term solutions. While travel pillows are great tools to manage the pain, they’re not suitable replacements for exercise and medication.
On the flip side if the pillow doesn’t fit you properly or if it happens to lose its structural integrity while you are sleeping then it can be the cause of pain rather than stopping it.
Q: Can you use a travel pillow indoors? Or is it meant only for travel/ outdoor use?
A: Although the name suggests it and they are primarily designed for travel purposes, all of these pillows can be used in other environments as well. Most of our picks above can be quite useful when driving, sitting at the office or simply spending time at home.