For anyone who travels, whether it is for the job or for vacation, there is almost always the inevitable battle of sleep, but not for lack of it. Sleeping while traveling is possibly one of the most uncomfortable experiences because you have to sleep while sitting upright. Planes, trains or automobiles have unfortunately not been remodeled to include room for horizontal sleeping positions when traveling. Perhaps in 2050. But until then, inflatable neck pillows are the next best thing.
A neck pillow can be used for really any sleeping location, but are indispensable while traveling. The pillow is designed to support and realign the neck and upper spine into the proper curve to help relieve neck pain, chronic or temporary. What makes this great for traveling is that the neck is receiving continuing support even while sleeping in a vertical position.
Experts suggest consideration of the following when buying a travel neck pillow:
- Consider the firmness
- Softer pillows are good buys for temporary neck pain
- Firm pillows are good buys for chronic neck pain
- Consider the thickness for your comfort
Best Neck Pillows For Traveling
Below is a list of the 7 best-rated inflatable neck pillows for traveling:
Ostrich Pillow Light by Studio Banana Things
This pillow claims to be great for sensitive sleepers and is made with silicon-covered micro-beads for sound reduction. Hand-crafted in Spain this pillow is 95% viscose and 5% elastomer and comes in grey, cherry or blue. This pillow sits larger than most travel pillows, with dimensions of 12.4L x 6.5W x 3.9H.
What we love: This is multi purpose, can also be used as an eye mask for sleeping and also used on your head for when learning on windows on the train for a plane.
The #1 best-selling travel pillow on a leading online store, this pillow is designed to cradle the head from the side and claims to be the best for any shoulder sleeper. This pillow comes in a variety of colors and patterns including navy, red, cheetah and zebra and is machine washable.
What we love: great design that supports the neck from all angles maximising comfort and support.
- UNIQUE PATENT PENDING design and winner of the British Invention of the Year 2012/2013
- STOPS HEAD FROM FALLING FORWARD while sleeping with ingenious chin support, while at the same time supporting your head and neck in the perfect position from the side. It's like lying down while you're sitting up!
AirComfy Travel Pillow
This inflatable travel pillow is specifically designed to provide lumbar and neck support. With an elastic band to fasten to a headrest, this pillow inflates to the sleeper’s desired firmness. When done with use, the sleeper can pack the pillow flat into its pouch, where it will weigh less than ½ a pound. This pillow comes in black or taupe.
What we love: Straps to any headrest and perfect for those that don’t like travel pillows that wrap around their neck.
- AirComfy Travel Pillow for Car, Airplane or Lumbar Support, Black - #1 Top Rated Neck and Travel Pillow
Cabeau Evolution Cool Pillow
This pillow is designed for those who overheat while sleeping. It is made of memory foam with cooling air circulation vents and sweat-wicking fabric and comes with memory foam earplugs. The pillow itself compresses into a ¼ of its size and packs into a water repellant travel bag that can attach to your luggage. The pillow comes in a variety of colors and is washable.
What we love: Very comfy, can be tighter or looser for comfort and also has a built in pocket for your phone when listening to music.
- This refurbished product is tested and certified to look and work like new. The refurbishing process includes functionality testing, basic cleaning, inspection, and repackaging. The product ships with all relevant accessories, and may arrive in a generic box
AERIS Memory Foam Travel Neck Pillow Kit
This pillow also claims to be great for sensitive sleepers. Made with ventilated memory foam the AERIS has memory foam that molds to the neck. The kit comes with a sleep mask and foam earplugs and in colors of black, blue, grey or purple.
What we love: Very comfy and supports the neck well. Comes with a nice little carry bag for it too.
- YOUR BEST TRAVEL COMPANION: Stop relying on airlines to provide you with a neck pillow - that just doesn't happen anymore! Be prepared for long-hour flights and properly support your neck during long, motionless hours by purchasing our amazing neck travel pillow!
- EXCEPTIONAL MEMORY FOAM STRENGTH: This travel pillow is made out of high quality, thermo-sensitive memory foam. It is ergonomically designed to contour around your natural neck and shoulder curves and provide optimal support. It helps you maintain proper alignment while it also allays neck and back pain caused from pre-existing orthopedic conditions, such as lumbar.
This non-traditional pillow is scarf-like that can contour to any shape. Half the size of a traditional neck pillow, the Trtl, pronounce ‘turtle’, is 148 grams and easily attaches to luggage, making it perfect for traveling. Made of fleece, this pillow comes in a variety of colors including grey, black, red and coral and is machine washable.
What we love: Not very bulky and easy to carry. Very comfy and looks very stylish too, if you like your fashion then this is the one for you.
- The TRTL PILLOW is a SCIENTIFICALLY PROVEN travel pillow to keep your head in a BETTER POSITION when sleeping upright by holding your head in an ergonomic position during rest. No more nodding heads!
- SUPER SOFT fleece combined with a unique hidden internal SUPPORT, plus some EXTRA COSY CUSHIONING creates a comfortable resting place for your head and neck. Available in RED, GREY, CORAL and BLACK so you can find a colour that suits your style.
Best Neck Pillow for Children
If you are looking at buying a neck pillow for your child then we love this design!
Eddie Bauer Travel Pillow for Children
This travel pillow is the best option for any family vacation. Available as a fox or an owl, this polyester pillow is small (9.5L x 9.5W) and a great cuddle buddy for any child.
What we love: Perfect for children be it a boy or a girl, very cute and something fun they can play with when awake.
- Owl face neck roll
- Our soft neck roll surrounds your little traveler in the car with the eddie bauer travel buddy, grey owl neck roll.
Which to buy?
This table shows how we rate them for support, comfort and where there price point is.
|Neck Pillow||Comfort||Support||Price||Overall Rating|
|Large Memory Pillow||$$$|
Which you buy depends on your budget and what your requirements are, some are quite bulky and some compact down into a small case or bag that comes with it. Our number one is the J Pillow. It is a popular choice and when testing you can see why, it is an odd design, however it does work and support your head and neck very well while also being extremely comfortable.
Other great travel pillows, blankets and supports
Therm-a-Rest Compressible Pillow – This pillow claims to be the best travel pillow for anyone sitting in a window seat as well as a great addition for camping. Aesthetically it comes in a variety of fun colors and functionally it can pack up to 1/5 its normal size. This urethane foam-filled pillow comes with a separate polyester cover and is made in the USA.
Brookstone Convertible Travel Blanket – For those who like to travel light, this Brookstone product can be both a blanket and a pillow, folding up with a built-in strap. Its box-stitch design helps to retain heat for even the coldest of travels and it is extremely lightweight and perfect for the minimalist traveler.
GoSleep Eye Mask & Memory Foam Pillow Travel Kit – This pillow claims to prevent any “bobbleheading” and to keep the head in place while sleeping. The kit comes with an eye mask and the pillow itself can attach to the back of any headrest with an adjustable elastic chord. This kit comes in a variety of colors and patterns, is 67% rayon and is made in the USA.
Infinity Pillow by Huzi Design – The Infinity Pillow by Huzi Design comes in a convenient infinity shape to be morphed into any pillow shape the sleeper desires. This pillow is made of a machine washable, high-quality bamboo fabric that is hypoallergenic and anti-bacterial – which is great for any public transportation sleeper. The company even claims that if worn over the ears this pillow is noise-cancelling for even the lightest of sleepers. This pillow claims to be durable and comes in navy, green or lime.
Travelrest Ultimate Travel Pillow – This inflatable travel pillow starts of as a small roll that can be snapped onto any carry-on. For use, the sleeper tucks the pillow above the shoulder and across the body, like a seatbelt. This washable pillow comes in a variety of colors, including navy, red, grey and green and has a 2-year warranty. A cover is sold separately if desired.
About the author: Chris loves the outdoors and has developed a love of gadgets and inflatable toys, from kayaking and paddle boarding to relaxing in his hot tub at home. The founder of WhichInflatable and has been the editor for 7 years.
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