Sleep can be elusive when you travel, especially when you're stuck in a nearly upright position, which is why you need to consider investing in one of the best travel pillows available. A good travel pillow can help a great deal, regardless of whether you're on a plane, a train, bus, coach, or car. A good quality travel pillow can also help prevent waking up with a sore neck. Here are some of the best travel pillows to encourage a comfortable snooze.
This tall and extremely comfortable pillow is constructed from memory foam and has a media pocket in its machine-washable cover. An adjustable toggle clasp holds the pillow snugly closed in front, so you're surrounded in comfort from all sides. Plus, you can squish it down and fold it up into the included bag, so it takes up less space in your carry-on.
This Möbius-shaped pillow can be used in many different ways. It has just the right amount of softness and support. Use it around your neck, around your neck and back, against a window, or on a tray table. It's made of super soft bamboo fabric and luxurious layers of microfiber, which means it is three times more breathable than cotton.
If you don't need or like the type of pillow that goes around the neck, check out this small memory foam pillow. It has ventilation ducts to keep you cool as you sleep. Roll it up into the provided bag for easy travel. Use it against the window in a moving vehicle or use it as a traditional pillow in bed.
This magical little device is more brace than pillow. While it's not cushy, its inner core is adjustable to your neck height, and it is certainly well-padded. This allows you to sleep comfortably, even when sitting upright. It doesn't sound or look like a comfortable pillow, but it is. It's lightweight and compact and comes complete with a free waterproof travel bag.
This memory foam pillow has millions of microbeads inside. The sweat-resistant cover is machine-washable. You can adjust the tightness, and turn it around, so the higher part is where you need the most support. Compress the pillow into the included travel bag to save space. A sleep mask and a pair of earplugs are included for your dreaming pleasure.
Much more than a pillow, this inflatable number creates your sleeping cave right on your tray table or lap. Lean forward, stick your arms in the sides, and your face into the designated hole for a different way to sleep. There are two different angles you can use; simply flip it over to switch between them. Earplugs and a sleep mask are included.
Which one should you choose?
Time spent on an airplane, train, bus, or other vehicle is usually not the best part of a trip. Sleeping while you travel helps the time go faster and allows you to reach your destination well-rested and ready to go, but it's difficult for some to get comfortable. Any of these pillows can help you get to sleep, get better quality sleep, and wake up without a crick in your neck.
I use and love the Cabeau Evolution Classic (opens in new tab), I rarely take a long flight without it. Note that it does take up a good bit of space in your carry-on, but it can be compressed into a smaller pouch (not included) to save room. I find it both comfortable and comforting to wear. Unlike the typical beanbag neck pillow, the Cabeau sits higher, and the firmness of the memory foam allows your neck to tilt just enough to get comfortable but not enough to get a crick.
I've also used the trtl Pillow Plus (opens in new tab). I was nervous about flying across the country on a redeye flight without my Cabeau, but the trtl was surprisingly comfortable. I'm not a good sleeper under the best of conditions, but I slept a good chunk of the flight with the trtl secured around my neck. Bonus: it doesn't take up much space in your carry-on bag. Another bonus: take out the internal support structure, and the fabric portion of the trtl can be washed. I still prefer the Cabeau for its cushiness, but the trtl is an effective and comfortable alternative I'll use when space is at a premium.
Karen is a contributor to iMore.com as a writer, social media manager, and co-host of the iMore Show. She’s been writing about Apple since 2010 with a year-long break to work at an Apple Store as a product specialist. Before joining iMore in 2018, Karen wrote for AppAdvice and WatchAware. She’s an early adopter who used to wait in long lines on release days before pre-ordering made things much easier. Karen is a wife and mom (and dog mom) who is also a part-time teacher and occasional movie extra. She loves to travel the world and is always looking for portable tech and accessories so she can work from anywhere.
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