Are you dreading these hours-long flights that you take quite often? The sleep deprivation and the uncomfortable seats could make long flights very tedious and uncomfortable. Not to mention getting your vacation off to a bad start.
Luckily, getting a travel pillow makes sleeping much easier to pass these long hours faster while being comfortable. It’s on the shortlist of the best travel accessories to add to your packing list. But which travel pillow should you get?
In this post, we shed light on the factors you should take into consideration when buying a travel pillow, as well as our recommendations for the best travel pillows for airplanes.
Why Buy a Travel Pillow for Airplanes?
If you’re off on your dream vacation, the last thing you need is to arrive at your destination exhausted and irritable. A good sleep on the flight will ensure that your first day or two will be full of fun and energy instead of recovering from jetlag.
Unfortunately, plane seats are not known for being comfortable, especially the economy class which seems to be made to keep people awake as long as possible!
This could be annoying if you have an eight-ten hour flight ahead of you. Which, NOT coincidentally, is equivalent to a good night’s sleep.
A travel pillows for airplanes helps you sleep while sitting (more or less) upright by supporting your neck and shoulder muscles. You’ll awake without cramps or a sore neck.
If you manage to sleep six out of those eight hours, you’ll reach your destination with a lot of energy to spare and much less jet lag. It makes a HUGE difference!
What Should You Consider Before You Buy Travel Neck Pillows?
There are a few things to keep in mind before buying a neck pillow, namely:
Just like we have different sleeping positions while we lay down, we also have different positions when sitting down.
This is something you should keep in mind when choosing the design of your travel sleep pillow. The designs vary in shape to suit most people.
For example, if your head is more stable and it only leans from right to left, then a U-shaped design would be more fitting to you. It will support your side neck muscles and prevent them from getting sore.
On the other hand, if your neck has the habit of dropping forward as you sleep, then a wrap-around design is more likely to suit you.
Let’s be real; no pillow will last forever no matter how sturdy and durable it is. However, if you choose to buy pillows that are made from low-quality materials, you’re more likely to spend more money buying them at short intervals.
Nobody likes it when their pillows go saggy and uncomfortable. It feels like you’re sleeping on nothing. Durability is quite important for your pillow; not only to last longer but to be comfortable.
If your pillow doesn’t make you comfortable, it’s practically useless.
Pillows come in various shapes and sizes. It’s important to try a pillow or two before buying to find what’s best for you.
The materials that go into making the pillow play a major role in its comfortability. That goes for both the covering material and the stuffing material.
Usually, pillows are covered with cotton, wool, or polyester. Make sure that the covering material you choose isn’t irritating to your skin in any way.
We recommend choosing memory foam as your stuffing material because it offers great relief to the neck muscles.
A bulky pillow that takes too much space could be annoying to some people. Check the size and the dimensions of the pillow before you buy it.
Last but not least is the matter of cost. You should always have a budget for what you need that doesn’t go too low or make you spend a bit more for a pillow than you originally intended.
Our Recommended Travel Pillows
Now that you know what to look for in a travel pillow for planes, here are some of the top-rated options on the market.
This J-shaped pillow is a good choice for those who drop their neck as they sleep. It’s so comfortable that it became the winner of British Invention of the Year.
The pillow has an extension that goes under your chin to support it which prevents your neck from leaning forwards.
You can use this pillow in the middle seats if you have to. However, its maximum efficiency is when you’re seated near the window.
The rest of the pillow surrounds your neck while the J-shaped extension goes under your chin to prevent muscle soreness.
You can even use it at home between your head and your original pillow to prevent any muscle strain as you sleep.
It’s also quite durable and machine washable. It will last for a long time if you take care of it.
With all the goodies, comes a tiny disadvantage. This pillow is quite bulky and you can’t just hide it in a small backpack.
- Chin support by J-Shaped extension
- Great window seat support
- Machine Washable
- The bulky size makes it hard to carry around.
BCOZZY neck pillow is one of the most versatile neck pillows in the market. It’s ideal for those who sleep in the side position, front position, or a mix of both!
Most travel pillows are bulky from the backside, which could push your neck forwards while you sleep. This places a big strain on the neck and could wake you up in pain.
The BCOZZY pillow is thinned out from the back while being extra bulky from the sides to tuck your head in the position you choose.
The pillow wraps around your neck twice to enable double support for maximum comfortability. You don’t need to be seated next to the window to enjoy the comfortability this pillow has to offer.
You can also use it in car riders and if you’re casually sitting at home with a need to rest your neck.
The fabric shell is made of durable microfleece and cool microsuede to provide comfort in any sleeping position. It’s also available in two sizes to suit most necks.
However, this pillow is a bit on the expensive side and would require a budget.
- Suits all sleeping positions
- Keeps the head in place using a double wrap
- No window seat is needed to enjoy its maximum efficiency
- Relatively Expensive
MLVOC travel pillow is one of the best-rated sleeping pillows on amazon with over 20,000 reviews.
It’s advertised to be made of 100% pure memory foam, which is one of the most comfortable materials to rest the head on.
The pillow is suitable to use as a U-shaped pillow that is placed between your neck and the seat. Its design provides three points of support to the neck to prevent that bothersome strain.
You could also place this pillow under your arms and lean forward to bury your face in your arms. Normally, this position causes a lot of strain on the back neck muscles.
However, with the support the MLVOC pillow has to offer, this strain is reduced to the bare minimum.
This pillow comes with a contoured eye mask, earplugs, and a bag.
These are useful accessories but some people believe that the materials used in making them aren’t as good as the pillow itself.
- Comfort in two sleeping positions; leaning back or leaning down.
- Made from memory foam for superior comfort
- Comes with a useful set of accessories
- Accessories are made from low-medium quality materials
This U-shaped neck pillow comes with a twist that solves the usual problem of U-shaped neck pillows; it ties you in place!
That’s right, the Cabeau Evolution has a strap on its backside that you could tie around the headrest of your seat.
You could also tighten the pillow from the front side to prevent your neck from falling out of it or leaning forward.
The combo between the front and the back ties keeps your head inside the pillow and keeps the pillow attached to the seat while holding on to your head.
This makes it useful even if you aren’t near the window seat. You could use this pillow for any chair that you could wrap the strap around.
It’s also made from memory foam to provide the comfort you’d expect from a healthy pillow.
The only downside to this pillow is that it’s not convenient for shorter people. If your head can’t reach the seat headrest, you won’t get the most of this pillow.
- Can be used with any chair that has a headrest
- Secures your neck in place
- Comfortable memory foam
- Not suitable for short people
AirComfy is a highly portable and easily inflatable pillow. It’s also fairly cheaper than most other pillows.
It’s covered with a soft washable cover and it can be tied around the headrest of the chair which eliminates the need for window support.
The infallibility of the tent provides the ability to make the pillow softer or firmer depending on how much air you inflate into it.
When not filled with air, this pillow weighs half a pound and can fit inside any bag without a hassle.
It can be used as a neck rest or as a rest for your lower back. This is especially useful if the seat isn’t comfortable from the lower back area. Simply place the pillow there while you’re awake to relieve the pressure in your lumbar area.
However, this pillow doesn’t grip your neck the way most travel pillows do. While resting on it, your head may drop sideways.
- Takes little place when not in use
- Ability to control the firmness based on the amount of air
- Can support the neck or the lower back
- Doesn’t support the sideways neck movement
Crafty World Pillow is your standard U-shaped pillow. Its bulky arms secure your head in place, and it’s suitable for both window and aisle seats. Technically, it’s suitable for any seat that has a surface you can rest on.
The pillow is made from memory foam with a silky soft cover that provides comfort without irritating your skin
Since there aren’t any attachments in this pillow, its fit is considered universal. The memory foam adjusts to any neck size with ease.
The cover is easy to remove should you want to clean your pillow, and yes, the cover is machine-washable.
This pillow offers anything you might expect from a pillow, but without all the creative ideas you could find in its peers. This gives it a reasonable price, but it falls short in the creativity aspect.
- Universal fit
- Suitable for any seat
- Fairly cheap
- Lacks creative features
The Trtl pillow offers a unique and creative idea that made it sell over 1,000,000 pieces!
The idea behind this pillow is that you have a piece of neck support that you can place on the side of your neck or under your chin.
Then, you wrap the rest of the pillow around your neck to secure that rest in place. Eventually, you’ll end up with a neck or chin rest that fixes itself in place…by itself!
This eliminates the need for a window seat or even a suitable headrest. Just lean backward against any chair, wrap it around and you’re good to go!
It’s available in many colors, machine washable, and very soft to touch.
The only reason that could make you think twice before getting it is that you could only rest your head on one side at a time. You will need to unwrap it then wrap it again on the other side if you want to rest your head there.
- Can support the neck or the chin
- Suitable for any seat
- Soft and machine washable
- Can only rest your head on one side at a time
That’s a Wrap!
These were seven of our recommendations for the best travel pillows for airplanes. Each has its benefits and uses so you could choose what works best for you.
The durability, size, packability, and comfortability are all factors that you should be aware of before buying your next pillow. Take your time in deciding which one to buy, but definitely get one of them to ensure a great vacation.
Travel safe, and stay comfortable.