• The Editors

The Best Travel Pillows for Sleeping on a Plane

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Unless you are one of the fortunate few who can effortlessly fall asleep anywhere, it can be a struggle to get quality sleep while flying. Call it the usual nerves and excitement of air travel that make it an especially difficult feat, but there is no denying that bringing along a comfy travel pillow will ease your worries as you slip into a deep sleep. For when it’s necessary to have your trusted, packable travel pillow stashed in your carry-on, these are our go-to picks.

Why You Need a Travel Pillow


Nothing is worse than traveling on a long, overnight flight when you are so ready to sleep, but an uncomfortable headrest and tight legroom have other plans—and don’t even get us started on the middle seat. You resort to fighting sleep altogether and sit awake hoping that if you do fall asleep you won’t wake up propped against your neighbor’s shoulder. This is a job for the travel pillow.


Flying with a travel pillow is no longer about toting along one of those uncomfortable, traditional U-shaped pillows with beaded stuffing. Rather, the many advancements and updates to travel pillows have made them indispensable to falling asleep while traveling on a plane, especially on long, international flights or late-night flights.


How to Choose the Right Travel Pillow


Every traveler sleeps differently on planes, so it is best to find the ideal travel pillow that is most functional for your needs. As you evaluate the differences in comfort level, thickness, type of fill, and the ease of packing, you will quickly discover which travel pillow will be a great investment for you.


Are you someone who gets warm easily on a flight? Then your go-to travel pillow will be one made from a breathable material. If you’d rather make sure that your travel pillow helps support your back and spine, then one with a focus on ergonomic design and lumbar support is for you. Regardless, choosing the right travel pillow is unique to the individual, but we are here to help make that decision easier.


The Travel Pillows We Love


Trtl Travel Pillow


For the seasoned traveler who is looking for a reputable, dependable travel pillow, look no further than the Trtl Travel Pillow. This pillow wraps around your neck and is beloved for its ability to keep your head in a better ergonomic, stable position than the average travel pillow. While acting like a shoulder to fall asleep on, this pillow also helps keep your head upright as you sleep.


Buy It: trtltravel.com, $39.99


Trtl Pillow Plus

Now, if you are frequently flying for overnight work trips or long-haul flights, the updated Trtl Pillow Plus is completely worth the splurge. It is the elevated version of the original, and it has been modified to include an adjustable neck support and a breathable mesh fabric so you won’t overheat. The best part? This pillow can effortlessly fit into your carry-on.


Buy It: trtltravel.com, $69.99



Rumpl Stuffable Travel Pillow

For the traditionalists who want a travel pillow that’s shaped like, well, a pillow, Rumpl’s Stuffable Travel Pillow is soft, fleecy, and water-repellent (in case your in-flight neighbor has any accidents when the drink cart comes around). Best of all, it can be stuffed into a handy pouch that makes transporting it and keeping it clean between flights easy.


Buy It: nordstrom.com, $35


Slip Beauty Sleep To Go

The stylish Slip Beauty Sleep To Go pack includes a travel pillow and matching sleep mask, both made of mulberry silk. The team at Slip took 10 years to develop its silk, and they claim it helps with both skin and hair anti-aging. It absorbs less face cream, creates less friction, and is soft, durable, and non-toxic.


Buy It: sephora.com, $124




TravelRest All-in-One Ultimate Travel Pillow

Love using a travel pillow when you can but cannot seem to find room in your carry-on to make it work each time you travel? The Travelrest Ultimate Travel Pillow will be your best friend, as it is compact and rolls up to conveniently fit in the tightest of spaces, but it also has memory foam inserts for extra comfort. Particularly practical for flights where the middle seat is unavoidable, this pillow is worn crossbody and inflates with minimal effort.


Buy It: travelrest.net, $36.95


Huzi Infinity Pillow

The Huzi Infinity Pillow is the perfect travel pillow for anyone who isn’t content with sitting in the same position on a flight and needs reliable, comfortable support that molds to match your needs. The infinity loop design of this pillow allows for it to be formed into numerous shapes, so as to maximize and accommodate for each individual’s preferences.


Buy It: infinitypillow.co, $39


Ostrichpillow Light Versatile Pillow

If you are a light sleeper and prone to be affected by the lights and sounds on a plane, then the Ostrichpillow Light Versatile Pillow will help you to peacefully doze off. This soft, infinity-style pillow goes over your head and rests over your eyes, so as to block out any distractions and create a restful space.


Buy It: ostrichpillow.com, $45


Ostrichpillow Go Neck Pillow

For those who prefer the more structured travel pillow, the Ostrichpillow Go Neck Pillow is the ideal option to cradle your neck no matter where you rest your head on its memory foam interior and soft fabric exterior.


Buy It: ostrichpillow.com, $60








Cabeau Evolution Cool Neck Pillow

If traveling in your favorite loungewear is more your style, but you’re afraid you might be too warm with a travel pillow, then you will love the Cabeau Evolution Cool Neck Pillow. Its ventilated fabric design helps it to function as a cooling travel pillow while not skimping on comfort with memory foam support. It also shrinks down to half its size to fit into a mesh case.


Buy It: cabeau.com, $59.99


J-pillow Travel Pillow

For anyone in search of a comfy, soft travel pillow with head, neck, and chin support, then look no further than the J-pillow Travel Pillow. Its three-way support helps you stay asleep without your head bobbing around, and its machine-washable fabric allows for worry-free travel.


Buy It: j-pillow.com, $39.95 (sale)


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