Flying can be difficult at times, especially if you want to rest and avoid jet lag. If you’re the kind of person who needs a pillow to sleep, you’re in luck. Darra Stone tested 11 different travel pillows to see which ones were the most comfortable, the most portable, and the most practical. Read on to discover her thoughts and to find your favorite.
This compact travel pillow lies almost flat and is an interesting alternative to the traditional travel pillow. If your main concern is neck support, this provides a brace and allows you to adjust to your incline preference. The RestAHead may take a few adjustments to get to your personal comfort level, but once you do, you can lean back and enjoy the comfortable support. The only drawback is a lack of cushioning. It also has a tendency to lose support if you are someone who shifts a lot in your seat.
Stuffed with fiberfill and covered with micro-fiber, this cushy pillow is sure to please anyone looking for something soft to lean against. They may look like giant earmuffs, but they provide a soft resting place for your head with flexibility. Kuhi Comfort invites you to twist, flip, and turn the product to the right adjustment for you. It also eliminates the bulky back of the neck issue that some pillows have.
Although the plushness is nice, the pillows end up being a little bulky. On the instructions, it shows the Kuhi in its bag attached to the outside of a person’s luggage. Just know that if you go with this option, you’ll have to get your own device to attach it.
A surprisingly comfy, compact alternative to the traditional travel pillow, the Travel Halo is a must for the compact traveler. There’s no neck support, but it does prevent your head from flopping around. Because of its design, it helps eliminate neck cramps and supports better sitting posture. This may not be your best bet on a long haul but, for shorter distances, it does the trick.
Travel Hoodie Pillow
Although it may look slightly ridiculous, the Travel HoodiePillow provides insulated comfort. If you are looking to drown out your fellow passengers, this is the pillow for you. You’ll get the coziness of a hoodie without having to wear one on the plane.
Cabeau Evolution Pillow
An inflatable pillow like the Cabeau Evolution Pillow allows travelers to adjust the amount of air and “softness.” Combined with memory foam, this pillow gives a high level of comfort. With a memory foam base, some travelers may find it hard to fit the Cabeau back in its original case, but it proves a more plush and more compact upgrade to the tradition travel pillow.
If you cannot rest without a full comfy surface, then Skyrest is for you. This is certainly a bulky pillow and has more potential to disturb other passengers, but it does provide the most space for travelers to relax. It is probably the closest you can get to bringing your own bed on the plane. There other benefit is that it has multiple uses and you can rest books on it when you aren’t resting your head. It does take up a large amount of space both inflated and deflated. You’ll need quite a bit of spare room to take this pillow with you.
Brookstone Biosense Neck Pillow
Fans of traditional travel pillows looking for an upgrade will love the Biosense Neck Pillow. The u-shaped design is simple and fairly compact. The downside of the pillow is it doesn’t have anything to hook on the outside of your bag, so it must be stored in a carry-on. The upside is the memory foam core which makes this one of the comfier pillows to sink into.
1st Class Sleeper
This airplane companion is more than just a pillow. Travelon’s inflatable comfort carry-on gives lumbar and neck support. This is not the item for those who want to travel light. Although it provides increased comfort, it also takes up a great deal of space. Save the 1st Class Sleeper for the long hauls and try something a little less bulky for shorter trips.
With a flat backed design, this travel pillow doesn’t push the neck and head into a forward leaning position. The triangular design gives great support and creates a plush insulation for you to sleep. It also folds up into its own pouch for easy storage. The sides of the Comfy Commuter are wide, which makes it hard to get back into its carrying case, but it’s great for comfort when it’s out. If you are going with this brand, make sure you buy a clip to hook the pillow in its carrying case to the outside of your suitcase. It will take up too much space stored in a carry-on bag or personal item.
Releaf Neck Rest
Instead of traveling with a full pillow, the Releaf Neck Rest gives an alternative option. The product wraps around the neck to provide support for the head. It may not give the full comfort of a regular pillow, but its simple design relieves tension from the neck and shoulders. This is probably not the pillow you want on a long haul, but great for shorter distances and traveling compact.
Travelrest Travel Pillow
One of the few travel pillows with a patented ergonomic shape, the Travelrest Travel Pillow gives comfort and support with its sling-like design. Those that shift constantly in their seats may find the one side design flawed. If you like to curl up on one side, and have something to hold on to, this is the pillow for you. Although slightly larger in your seat, it’s an inflatable pillow so compactness is not an issue when folded down.
The Travelrest Pillow on its own provides a decent amount of comfort, but the Travel Pillow Case makes a large difference. The memory foam pads are a bit of a struggle to get in the case, but once there, they provide much appreciated cushion. The Travel Pillow itself is fine, especially for sleepers who need something to hold onto, but the Travel Pillow Case makes it a snuggly experience.
For more can’t-miss travel gear, check out:
- Portable Gadgets That Make Travel Comfortable
- The Best Carry-On & Overnight Bags Under $200
- Improve Your Seats in Coach With These Gadgets
- 15 Travel Gear Must Have Items for Summer
By Darra Stone for PeterGreenberg.com