The worst part about traveling is the upper body pain caused by sitting still for a long time or falling asleep in an uncomfortable position. Tight middle row seats on the airplane or less-than-ergonomic bus seats can make it impossible to get some shut-eye or even relax while traveling. An uncomfortable ride makes us irritable, and even worse, can leave us with lasting pain in our lower backs and necks. That’s why an ergonomic travel pillow improves everything from commutes to family vacations.
Even if you don’t travel, a well-designed neck pillow will provide extra support and tension relief at the office or at home while reading and watching television. Our posture is always hunched from being so screen-dependant in our day-to-day life, making this a life-improving accessory for yourself, or as a gift to a loved one. Don’t dread your next red-eye — instead, learn about the most popular travel pillows on the market that’ll make you feel like you’re sleeping on a cloud.
1. MLVOC Travel Pillow With Travel Kit
This memory foam pillow keeps your head and neck comfy while wicking sweat. Unlike some travel pillows, the case on this one is removable, making sure that your travel hygiene post-pandemic is as clean as possible. This generous kit also comes with surprisingly high-quality 3D contoured eye covers, which multiple reviewers say are vastly improved from your everyday cheap eye shades. MLVOC also includes earplugs, so you can create a personal sanctuary with ease. The premium quality of the products elevates this kit from a gimmick to a necessary travel buddy.
2. Everlasting Comfort Memory Foam Travel Pillow with Eye Mask and Earplugs
BEST RUNNER UP
Stay supported with our runner-up choice by Everlasting Comfort. Just like our top pick, this drawstring travel pillow is made of memory foam and comes with an additional eye mask and earplugs to reduce as much sound and light as possible. The outer layer is velvety, molding to your ideal shape and featuring a raised lobe (rather than a U-shape) to handle head tilts and prevent neck stiffness. There’s even a pocket in the pillow to hold your phone while you nap.
3. Trtl Pillow
Let’s get real — a travel pillow is not the chicest accessory when you’re on the go. That’s why we suggest the Trtl pillow, which is probably the most elegant of the modern travel pillows. It looks like a large scarf, but it features hidden supports that keep your head and neck comfortable while sleeping in a sitting position. Before catching some Zs, just wrap it around your neck and chin.
4. Ostrich Pillow Go
BEST MEMORY FOAM PICK
Ostrich has been a leading brand in the intelligently designed (yet weird-looking) travel pillow trend, and this Go is one of their latest products. It features a memory foam build and a simple design that wraps around your neck and provides a place to rest your cheek.
5. Dot & Dot Twist Adjustable Memory Foam Travel Roll Pillow
This doesn’t look like most neck pillows, and that’s exactly why we love it. The Twist pillow is totally adjustable and bends to your heart’s desire, whether you need leg, lumbar, neck or chin support. This customizable contour feature makes it the most versatile multi-use travel accessory on our roundup. The cover is also completely cotton, making it a breathable choice for sensitive skin. One user says it’s helped greatly with overnight neck pain, saying that the moveable rod within has a definition, but isn’t uncomfortable to rest on.
6. Huzi Infinity Pillow Neck Scarf Support
The Huzi is a revolution in its category. Designed like an infinity scarf, this game-changer is made of incredibly soft, high-end bamboo that’s antibacterial, hypoallergenic and machine-washable. Is there a baby crying in the vicinity? This luxurious and supportive scarf even reduces sound when worn over your ears. Users love how the fabric feels against their skin, and appreciate how this travel pillow doesn’t get flat over time. It also gets bonus points for being large enough to double as a body pillow.
7. Wise Owl Outfitters Camping Pillow
BEST FOR CAMPING
Not a fan of the U-shaped travel pillows on the market? This portable, compressible product by Wise Owl Outfitters looks just like a real pillow and fits into a small, portable bag that’s included in the purchase. Buyers were surprised by how packable it was and how it blossomed into a “ soft, firm pillow that is SEVERAL inches thick.” If you find inflatable or half foam options to be flimsy, this is a substantial and satisfying alternative. Take it camping or anywhere else you might need to recharge.
8. COMFIER Heated Travel Pillow & Neck Massager
BEST MASSAGING PICK
The only thing better than melting into a cozy travel pillow for a few minutes is getting a massage while you rest up. This cordless, fleece-covered neck massage pillow accomplishes that miracle and even heats up while it’s working away on your knots. It uses low-frequency pulses to give you a deep tissue massage and promote blood circulation. Whether you’re at your desk, in a car or on an airplane, this pillow with three modes and six levels is the stress-busting assistant you never knew you needed.
9. Sunany Hooded Neck Pillow
BEST HOODED PICK
When you want to escape from the world, this is the ultimate portal into some R&R. This inflatable neck pillow attached to a built-in velour hood, providing added light and sound reduction. One reviewer says it “literally inflated in two breaths.” This cushion has a unique H-shape that flanks both sides of your neck and avoids tilts. The hood comes in handy if you’re driving with open windows and looking to avoid wind or a bad hair day.
10. BCOZZY Kids Travel Pillow
BEST FOR KIDS
Kids have delicate limbs that are prone to getting injured when they fall asleep during trips, but most travel pillows are made for bigger bodies and don’t fit comfortably around smaller necks. This child-friendly purchase is available in small (for three to seve-year-olds) and medium (for eight to 12-year-olds) in a range of eye-catching colors. Adjustable pillow arms and a curved shape help the design mold to your little one’s preferences. Never deal with a cranky kiddo post-nap again!