Not many people enjoy travelling, you're in a cramped space for several hours and it uncomfortable making it hard to relax and sleep. How many times have you managed to get to sleep, only to wake up with a painful stiff neck as a result of falling into an awkward sleeping position?
A strong, high-quality travel sleeping pillow can prevent this pain from surfacing and will allow you to get a restful sleep so when you finally arrive at your destination, you will wake feeling revitalised and refreshed.
As someone who regularly travels on long haul flights I have learned how valuable having a comfortable journey is, and this guide has been designed to inform you of the best
Travel pillows come in many different shapes, sizes, designs, fillings and brands which gives you a vast choice which is unlike many other product types. However, this enormous amount of choice makes the buying process harder; to help we've highlighted the five best travel sleep pillows.
Once you have completed the comprehensive guide, you will have all the necessary information about what type of travel pillow best suits you.
Trtl Travel Pillow
MemorySoft Memory Foam Travel Pillow
1. J Pillow Travel Pillow Review
If you have already done any research for travel pillows, you would have come across the British designed J Pillow. Its simple patented design has taken the product ahead of its competitors and is used by thousands of people on trains, buses, planes and camping.
The unique design brings a high level of comfort and prevents you from waking with a stiff neck by keeping the head elevated. It does this by having four main areas that offer unbeatable support. The pillow cover is of high quality and soft to touch.
The first area is a pillow for the back of the head to bring a relaxing resting area. The second area is a pillow for the side of your head. The third is soft but firm neck support to help keep it aligned and straight, so it stays in an optimal position.
The final area is chin support; this is one of the most important parts as it stops your head from tipping forward. This is one of the leading causes of neck pain and stiffness.
The great thing about the pillow is that even if you're sitting somewhere with no external wall support such as the middle aisle of a plane, it provides the perfect comfy surface for you to fall asleep on.
The effectiveness of the pillow was verified when it was chosen as the winner of the prestigious British Invention of the Year award in 2013.
The pillow is also extremely portable and can be compressed to fit into the smallest of spaces, which is great for travelling when you often don't have much surplus space.
Benefits of J Pillow Travel pillow
- Prevents neck stiffness by keeping the head elevated
- British Invention of the Year award in 2013.
- More effective than U shaped pillows
- Available in a number of colours
- Perfect for long haul flights
You'd expect that a product of this quality would be out of the price budget of the majority of people. However, the creators of the J Pillow have made it affordable for all people, so you have no excuse not to purchase it.
If you've ever had to travel on a long haul flight, you'll wonder how you managed to cope without it. Don't be fooled by the simple design; it will transform your sleep.
The reviews are almost unanimous with their support for the product, but the most critical positive reviews are from those who have always had problems sleeping on trains and planes until they used the product.
2. TravelRest Travel Pillow Review
The TravelRest pillow looks a little unorthodox at first, but its design has been developed from the basic traditional travel pillow. It's incredibly effective if you prefer to sleep to the side when sitting in an upright position.
The TravelRest has a tether attached to the end which can be fixed to the headrest which keeps it secure. This can also be done on a plane, train or in a car. If there is nowhere to attach it to, it can be wrapped around your body to keep it secure.
The pillow provides full lateral support for the upper body so you feel less tense and your whole body can relax. Its patented ergonomic design provides superior support which stops neck pain or strain.
The pillow is even more ideal if you don't end up in a window seat.
Despite its size, it is incredibly easy to inflate and can be blown up with literally just 3-5 breathes due to the unique valve. Once its deflated it can be quickly rolled up into a bundle and stored. Its inflatable nature also means that you can choose the level of firmness that suits you, to ensure you get the highest quality sleep.
You also have the option to purchase a luxurious plush velour cover to increase its comfort further.
Benefits of TravelRest Pillow
- Rated as the best travel pillow by Wall Street Journal
- Great for both adults and children
- Provides full lateral support to provide comfort
- Quick to inflate and deflate
- Numerous industry awards for effectiveness
- Additional add on covers which further improves comfort.
The pillow itself is larger than a standard pillow so you may get a few odd looks at first when you first inflate it, but you'll be the one sleeping comfortably not them. This pillow can even squeeze into the ever decreasing in size economy flight seats.
This pillow is more comfortable than traditional pillows, and the hundreds of positive reviews speak for the effectiveness of the product. If you plan on doing a lot of travelling, then this should be on your shortlist as a sleeping aid for your journey, and it won't break the bank.
3. Trtl Travel Pillow Review
The Trtl travel pillow is innovative and scientifically proven to support and hold the head and neck in a more comfortable and ergonomic position than a traditional travel pillow.
The Trtl pillow is the same as an everyday scarf, except it has a flexible plastic insert woven into it called an Internal Support System. The ISS provides a surface for you to lean your head on even when sitting upright.
The internal support system has three main benefits.
1. Strengthened Ribs - this provides head and neck support that has been proven scientifically.
2. Extra Soft Fleece & Foam - The materials are extremely stretchy which then creates a strong yet comforting hammock effect.
3. Patented Design - The unique design is built to fit any neck, jaw or shoulder shape and size.
There's also a thin layer of foam built in to provide cushioning to the shoulder, neck and jaw area. You can secure the scarf to your level of tightness using the velcro strap.
The pillow is easy to clean and can be machine washed so you can always keep it fresh and free of bacteria.
Of the current sleeping travel pillows that are available on the market, the Trtl travel pillow is one of the lightest and least bulkiest which makes it easy to travel with.
Benefits of Trtl Travel Pillow
- Light and compact - weighs just 148g, half the size of a travel pillow
- Provides comfort and support
- Made from Hypoallergenic Polyester fleece
- Not as bulky and odd looking as competitor products
- Scientifically proven to provide neck support
- Extremely warm which is ideal for cold planes.
- Machine washable
- Can be easily attached to your luggage
The Trtl travel pillow is an innovative new product in a market that hasn't seen much change over the years, and It will provide additional support and comfort when worn. It isn't quite as comfy as alternatives higher on the list because of its size, but its lightness and compactness make it easy to travel with.
This product has been an essential part of many peoples flying routine, and it has produced excellent results and remains one of the top-selling products in the travel pillow market.
4. Cabeau Evolution Travel Pillow Review
The Cabeau Evolution travel pillow has taken the US by storm and has now found its way over to the UK. Made from high-quality dual density memory foam, this pillow has a truly unique design and shape and provides support to your neck in a 360-degree range no matter which way you lean to sleep.
This is great if you tend to fall forward when sleeping while travelling as this will prevent you from waking up with a sore neck. The memory foam is responsive, and contours to your neck and head shape for a high level of comfort.
The pillow has built-in drawcord so it's fully adjustable so you can fit it to your preferred level of support.
While this product does all the basics well, it also has additional features that make it a truly unique product. Included with each pillow are free memory foam ear plugs to help drown out external noises, and you can carry it all in the free included carry case.
The compact carry case compresses the pillow to 25% of its original size so it can be easily transported. The carry case has a connector so it can be easily attached to a backpack or luggage.
The pillow also contains a small pocket to store your smartphone and is designed to fit most headphones. The pillow cover is removable and machine washable. The memory foam has built-in cooling vent technology to ensure that your neck and head is kept cool throughout its use.
Benefits of Cabeau Evolution Travel Pillow
- 360 degress neck support
- Machine washable
- Cooling vent technology
- Contouring dual density memory foam
- Free memory foam ear plugs
- Free compact carry case
Even if you're not a frequent flier and the pillow stays in the compact case for months, the memory foam will instantly spring it back into its regular shape when you remove it.
The Cabeau travel pillow is a premium option, and its design and features justify the price tag. Whether you need it for a short drive or a long haul transatlantic flight, this product is top quality and has a whole host of uses.
One important point to note is that this is still very new to the UK, so the reviews do not quite yet reflect its effectiveness, so for a better gauge, we would advise you to also look at reviews for the same product but also through the US Amazon website.
5. Memory Soft Travel Pillow Review
Memorysoft is a UK based company that has created a range of memory foam products which has led to the release of a compact travel pillow.
This U shaped memory foam pillow contours to the shape of your neck and is covered in high-quality plush velour material, so it's extremely soft to touch, so you fall asleep with ease. Once you have finished using it, the memory foam springs restore back to its previous shape.
It's a great product when compared to alternative memory foam based travel pillows. It also has built-in adjustable toggles so you can alter the level of tightness.
Unlike the majority of memory foam products, the manufacturer includes an airing process during the creation of the product. This gets rid of the smell that's often associated with memory foam so you can begin to use it straight away.
Also included is a handy carry case so it can easily be stored, transported and kept cleaner. The cover is also removable so it can be machine washed and kept free of bacteria and germs.
Benefits of MemorySoft Memory Foam Travel Pillow
- Effective memory foam that is soft but also provides firm support
- Great for both travelling and home use
- 30 day money back guarantee
- Includes free carry bag
- Machine washable fabric
When you remove this from the packaging, you will be surprised at how luxurious the fabric feels and you will genuinely want to use it straight away. It is at an affordable price point and is a worthy investment especially if you have an upcoming long travel schedule.
What is a Travel Pillow?
A travel pillow is a small compact sized pillow that is small enough in size to be transported with you on journeys and holidays easily. There are three main types of travel pillows:
Standard Travel Pillow
A travel pillow is a smaller version of a traditional pillow that provides support and comfort to your head. It's the most common travel pillow that you'll see stocked in most outlets, however being common doesn't mean its the best.
Travel Neck Pillow
This type of pillow is designed to provide more support to the neck and head area while sitting in an upright position. Neck pillows are common amongst people travelling on trains, buses or planes but are also used by the everyday person as a relaxing aid, i.e. watching tv winding down after a hard day at work.
The camping pillow is an even smaller type of pillow which can be easily squeezed into the smallest space within your luggage. These are commonly used by hikers and backpackers when space is at a premium, and you want to travel as lightly as possible.
Travel Pillow Buying Guide
It wasn't long ago that travel pillows all used to be the same size and made from the same material. Now the market has advanced tremendously, and pillows have been developed with different fillings, shapes and sizes. This has created more choice, and we will detail the options you need to consider before buying:
The first decision you'll need to make is the filing that you desire. There are many different types, but the main ones are either inflatable, memory foam or polyester.
Memory foam contours your head and neck for firm and comfy support. Despite its considerable capabilities, it is still very affordable and is used in many consumer products from mattresses to traditional pillows.
Polyester doesn't quite have the same contouring ability as memory foam, but it is a durable material that will retain its shape over time and can also be washed and dried and will not lose its shape.
Inflatable pillows can be a suitable choice because you can adjust the level of firmness easily until it reaches a level that suits you. Also, it can be fully deflated which means it is more compact when being carried.
Travel neck sleeping pillows are available in many different shapes but the most common are U and J shaped pillows.
The U shaped pillow is shaped to be placed around the neck to rest on the shoulders, this then prevents the head from rolling to the side or forward which is what causes a stiff neck.
The J shaped pillow is an updated version of the U shaped pillow which provides more support to the neck area to further prevent the head from falling into a painful position.
The final type of travel pillow size is usually in a rectangle shape and lightweight. They can be compressed to fit into its accompanying travel carry case, but once removed they then expand to around five times their compressed size, so it's ready for use.
Size & Weight
There are no predefined size categories that each pillow falls into like there is with mattresses that fall in sizes such as small, double or King size. Because of this, you must be sure to check the size dimensions of the product before you decide to purchase it.
When it comes to the weight of your pillow, of course, the lighter it is, the better it is because not only is it easier to carry but it also places less weight pressure onto the shoulders. The pillow should fell weightless as this will improve the quality of your sleep.
You've now made it to the end of the guide and now have the knowledge required to make a right buying decision. While this is our top 5 list, you should still make your final decision based on your preferences such as sleeping position, because what works for one person may not work for another.