Almost anybody who has traveled by plane can tell you that it’s not the most comfortable experience in the world. Unless you have the money to pay for an expensive first class seat, you’ve probably had at least one neck ache as the result of sleeping with your head at an awkward angle.
Airline pillows do little to provide comfort on a long flight. They might be better than nothing, but that’s damning with faint praise. If you want to be really comfortable during your next trip, your best bet is to invest in a high-quality neck pillow before your take off.
We know that it can be challenging to pick the right product, especially when you’re buying online and not in person. With that in mind, we’ve taken the time to compile a list of the top 10 best travel neck pillows for traveling in 2019.
What to Look for in a Travel Neck Pillow
Let’s start by talking about the qualities to seek out in a travel neck pillow. You don’t want to spend your money on something that doesn’t get the job done, so here are some things to consider:
- First, consider the shape of the pillow. Many travel neck pillows are in the shape of the letter U. They are designed to sit over the back of the neck, which provides support for both the neck and the shoulders. The other common shape is a rectangle, which doesn’t conform to the shape of the neck but may be more versatile (and larger) than the U-shaped options.
- Second, consider the filling. There are three basic types. The first is memory foam, which many people prefer because it retains its shape. The second is polyester fiber, which also does a reasonably good job of maintaining its shape. And finally, there are inflatable pillows whose only filling is air – ideal if you want a pillow that won’t take up any space in your luggage.
- he third and final consideration is the size and weight of the pillow. Since you’re traveling, you probably won’t want anything too bulky or heavy.
You may also want to think about the appearance of the pillow if that’s important to you. But now, it’s time to look at our top 10 best travel neck pillows for traveling in 2019 so you can see the options for yourself.
Best Travel Neck Pillows For Traveling in 2019
10. Travelrest – Ultimate Travel Pillow / Neck Pillow – Ergonomic, Patented & Adjustable for Airplanes, Cars, Buses, Trains, Office Napping, Camping, Wheelchairs
Coming in at #10 on our list is the Travelrest – Ultimate Travel Pillow / Neck Pillow. It stands out from the other pillows on the market in a few important ways. Here’s what we like about it:
- Its unconventional shape – almost like a giant comma – is great for supporting the neck and head from either side.
- While it’s larger than many travel pillows, it deflates and rolls into a small cylinder for easy packing.
- Versatile pillow can be used in almost any situation, and comes in an array of colors.
Of course, there are a few potential cons to consider too:
- Because it doesn’t wrap around the neck, it may be hard for some to keep the top part of the pillow in place.
- Pillow may be cumbersome and too firm if fully inflated but works well at 80% or 90% capacity.
If you want a versatile pillow that you can take anywhere, you may want to add this pillow to your travel pack.
9. Compact Travel Pillow Made with Shredded Memory Foam and Super Soft Fleece Fabric
At #9 on our list is the Compact Travel Pillow from Compact. This is a nice-looking pillow that has some features that we especially like. Here’s why we picked it:
- Large pillow measures 17.5” by 10.5” by 5” when fully inflated, providing plenty of support.
- Compacts to a small size for traveling, and can hitch to your bag with the included carabiner.
- Ultra-soft fleece cover and shredded memory foam filling provide tons of comfort.
While we really like this pillow, there are a few downsides to consider:
- While you can compact the pillow, it’s not as tiny as an inflatable pillow would be.
- The memory foam takes several days to dry fully if you wash it.
- The rectangular shape doesn’t provide neck support the same way a U shape would.
If you want a pillow that you can use at home as well as on the road, this is a good choice.
8. Best Travel Neck Pillow & Eye Shade Bundle – Memory Foam Pillow – Luxurious & Hypoallergenic – Best, Ergonomic Neck, Head & Shoulder Pain Relief Contour Pillow For Travel – Washable Cover
Next on our list is this Best Travel Neck Pillow & Eye Shade Bundle that includes both a neck pillow and an eye shade – perfect for long flights or if you’re taking the red eye. Here’s why we put it on our list:
- Kit comes with a washable pillow cover, an eye mask, and a carrying case.
- Memory foam allows for great lumbar support while you travel.
- Hypoallergenic case keeps dust mites and other allergens out of your pillow.
No pillow is perfect, so here are a few potential cons to consider:
- The filling may be a bit too soft for some.
- Because it’s not inflatable, this pillow will take up a bit of space in your bag.
- The straps on the eye mask are a bit flimsy.
This is a decent pillow, and the addition of the carrying case and mask give it some extra value.
7. The Original FLEXi 4-in-1 Convertible Travel Pillow for Side, Stomach and Back Sleepers. Lumbar Support. Features Adjustable Strap and Travel Bag. Four colors. Washable.
Next on our list is The Original FLEXi 4-in-1 Convertible Travel Pillow for Side, Stomach and Back Sleepers. This pillow has some really nice features and versatility, which is why it makes our list.
- Micro-bead filling is unique and allows the shape of the pillow to be changed.
- Pillow can adjust to be worn around the neck, over the shoulder, or even around the lower back using the adjustable strap.
- Comes with a matching bag and a 10-year guarantee.
There are a few things that may not be ideal about this pillow too:
- The pillow is not very firm because the microbeads shift and are not tightly packed.
- The strings of the attached cords are long and may swing or get caught on things when the pillow is fully compacted.
- The buckle itself is not particularly sturdy.
The primary recommendation for this pillow is its versatility.
6. World’s Best Feather Soft Microfiber Neck Pillow
Next on our list is the World’s Best Feather Soft Microfiber Neck Pillow. This little pillow has a lot to recommend it:
- Microfiber pillow is extremely soft and comfortable to use.
- Entire pillow is machine washable.
- U shape provides excellent neck support.
- Comes in a wide variety of fun colors and patterns.
Here are a few potential downsides to consider:
- Cover is not removable – you have to wash the entire pillow.
- Pillow is a bit small, and not ideal for those with wide necks.
- Does not compress much for travel.
This pillow looks like a traditional travel pillow, but the washability and colors make it stand out.
5. Trekology Compact Inflating Travel / Camping Pillows – Ultralight, Compressible, Inflatable, Comfortable, Ergonomic Pillow
Coming in at #5 on our list is the Trekology Compact Inflating Travel / Camping Pillow. Here are a few of the reasons why we chose it:
- Unique, rounded shape provides neck support.
- Compacts to the size of a soda can for travel (travel case included).
- Easy to inflate and deflate.
- Backed by a lifetime guarantee.
Here are a few potential cons to keep in mind:
- The pillow may deflate after prolonged use.
- Some may find it too firm when fully inflated.
- While it’s usable for camping, it’s a bit on the small side.
The shape of this pillow is what sets it apart from the competition.
4. Usleep Travel Pillow – Trip is 50% more Comfortable Than any Other Classical Travel Pillow Due to Innovational Design and Premium Materials
Next on our list is the Usleep Travel Pillow. This pillow has some unique features that make it ideal for air travel. For example:
- Designed with the help of orthopedic surgeons, it provides excellent neck support.
- Under-the-chin design keeps head supported even when in the middle seat.
- Ultra-lightweight pillow is super-small for travel.
Here are some things that may be problematic for some:
- The pillow’s design can make it a bit difficult to use the first time.
- The construction is a bit fragile and the pillow can fray if not packed properly.
The design is definitely unconventional, but worth trying if you want something that ensures your head won’t fall forward while you’re sleeping.
3. L’ALYSSE Neck Pillow-Memory Foam Airplane Travel Pillow (blue)
At #3 on our list is the L’ALYSSE Neck Pillow-Memory Foam Airplane Travel Pillow. This pillow isn’t revolutionary, but it delivers on comfort. Here’s why we like it:
- Classic U shape provides excellent neck support when traveling.
- Memory foam filling is removable using the invisible zipper.
- Cover is fully machine washable and easy to keep clean.
- Comes with a full travel kit including a bag for the pillow, ear plugs, and a sleep mask.
There’s a lot to love about this pillow, but here are a few potential negatives to keep in mind before you buy it:
- Pillow does not deflate, although it does compress slightly for packing.
- Adjustable straps may require some trial and error to get the right position.
- Filling may be a bit too soft for some people’s taste.
On the whole, we really love this pillow and think that it’s a great choice for most travelers.
2. Cabeau Evolution Memory Foam Travel Neck Pillow – The Best Travel Pillow with 360 Head
At #2 on our list is the Cabeau Evolution Memory Foam Travel Neck Pillow. This pillow offers terrific support. Here are some of the reasons we chose it for this list:
- Unique design provides 360-degree support for your neck and head.
- Memory foam filling retains its shape, and the cover is removable and machine washable.
- Pillow has a media pocket where you can stash your iPod or other device for easy listening while you travel.
- Comes with a carrying case and memory foam ear plugs.
There are a few potential negatives to consider. For example:
- This pillow is a bit bulkier than other pillows on the market (the downside of the extra support).
- May be too large for children or smaller adults.
- The price tag may be too high for some people.
On the whole, we feel that the lumbar support this pillow provides make the price worth paying.
1. J-pillow Travel Pillow – Head, Chin and Neck Support
Finally, our top pick is the J-pillow Travel Pillow – Head, Chin and Neck Support. This pillow is really unique, which is why it comes in at the top position on our list. Here’s what we like about it:
- Unique, J-shape provides support for both the neck and the chin.
- Ultra-soft polyester filling is comfortable to use anywhere.
- Compacts to tiny size for easy packing and travel.
It’s hard to find anything to complain about, but here are a few considerations to keep in mind:
- Because this pillow doesn’t wrap around the neck, you may have to adjust the pillow if you want to switch positions.
- Pillow may slip from behind the head if the seat doesn’t provide any friction.
On the whole, we absolutely love this unique pillow, and we think you will too.
These ten pillows provide the ultimate and travel comfort and versatility. Whether you’re traveling by bus, plane, or train – or just want some extra support at home – one of these travel neck pillows is sure to work for you.