Long distance travelling can become uncomfortable a few hours in, so it’s important to give the neck and shoulders a break with a travel neck pillow. With your neck and shoulders perfectly supported you’ll be able to get a few hours of sleep, whether you are a passenger in a vehicle, or on a plane, train, boat, or bus.
You don’t want to purchase the first travel pillow you see. It’s important to consider the benefits of each feature, and read the reviews to find the pillow that will provide the best comfort for you.
What Are the Benefits of Using a Neck Pillow?
Some of the major reasons for using a neck pillow are to provide additional comfort in your travels, and to prevent head, neck, shoulder, or back injuries. For many people, the mesmerizing movement of travel can cause them to doze off. But if your neck is in the wrong position, you can wake up with considerable pain in your upper body.
Even sleeping in the wrong position can cause jaw pain and affect breathing. The last thing you want once you reach your destination is to suffer from health conditions and have to deal with medical insurance as you need a visit to the clinic.
A neck pillow will hold your head in an upright position as you rest. It’s bad enough that there isn’t enough legroom, but in many airplanes and trains, you can’t even recline your seat, so it’s even more important to provide support for your head. Plus, you don’t want the embarrassment of resting your head on a stranger’s shoulder!
A neck pillow may also be made with fabrics that keep you cool and comfortable. A pillow will be a better choice than simply wrapping your jacket or sweater around your head and hoping that it will provide the support you need.
What Features Should I Look for?
If you’ve had a quick search online you’ll discover that there are many different types of neck pillows. The top features can be narrowed down into three different categories.
- Different Shapes. Travel pillows can come in a few different shapes. The U shaped ones are common to find, but there are also J shapes. The U shape keeps the head from moving to either side. The J shape can also prevent forward head movement. There are also basic rectangular neck pillows.
- Filling Type. This is what fills up your travel pillow. There are your basic pillows that you blow up with air. Polyester fibre and memory foam are two other options. The memory foam can conform to the shape of your head, then bounce back into shape when you’ve finished using it. Polyester fibre is easily washable in the machine and is often more affordable and lighter than memory foam.
- Size & Weight. You’ll notice how you have many options for the size of your travel pillows. There simply are no standards, so you can choose based on your body size. Weight directly correlates to size, and you must consider how simple it will be to pack in your luggage. But too small of a pillow, and it may not provide you enough comfort on your trip.
5 Travel Neck Pillow Reviews
When searching for the best travel neck pillow you’ll want to shop for the best in the market today. The success of a travel pillow lies in how well you feel as you finally disembark your plane, train, or bus. You should feel energized and refreshed, never stiff or cramped.
Here are five of the best travel neck pillows on the market today. They each have unique features. Read through each description carefully before making your ultimate choice.
1. J-Pillow Travel Pillow — Head, Chin and Neck Support
- Unique J-shape.
- Dark blue soft outer fabric.
- 4 different support points.
- Squeezes up into round ball for packing.
- Number one selling travel pillow in UK, Germany, and Japan.
The J-Pillow travel pillow provides all the benefits of U and J-shaped pillows. You can move the pillow to where it will provide most comfort for your head and neck. There are four soft points to support your head: a padded portion for the back of your head, a padded section for the side of your head, a neck support, and a chin support. The pillow has been designed to help the traveller to sleep on cramped planes, buses, trains, or vehicles.
There is a snap-loop fastener which helps to roll up the pillow into a ball so you can tuck it into your hand luggage. The entire pillow can also be tossed into the washing machine at the end of your travels, and can be tumble dried on low heat in your dryer.
The J-Rest has over 10,000 genuine and favourable product reviews online, and is one of the top travel pillow products today. This pillow has even won an award for being a winner of the British Invention of the Year 2013. This pillow can even be used to provide comfort at home, such as when watching late night movies.
2. Travelrest — Ultimate Travel Pillow and Neck Pillow
- Long J-shape.
- Soft medium-blue fabric.
- Keeps your head from tilting forward.
- Rolls up small with snap closure.
- Provides full lateral support.
The Travelrest pillow provides the full lateral support in its length that other travel pillows don’t. Not only does it help you to keep your head in alignment, but it keeps your head from falling forward. This is an inflatable pillow that fills up with only a few breaths. It can also deflate easily and be rolled up small for simple stowage in your carry-on luggage.
This pillow will assist you in resting, and even help you to get to sleep on the plane.
If you’re a side sleeper, it will be perfect to provide the ergonomic design to make you feel comfortable. You also have the option of using it sitting up straight in your seat. You can wear it like a messenger bag, or tether it to your airline’s seat. It can loop around your headrest too. It’s adjustable to whatever way you wish to place it.
This pillow will also assist chronic pain sufferers in providing additional comfort while in transit, and can be used by both adults and children. The Travelrest pillow is also fully washable after your travels, as airplane germs can be a concern for many travellers. You can even purchase an optional cover which will increase your comfort on the plane and make hygiene simpler.
3. Travelmate Memory Foam Neck Pillow
- Traditional U-shape.
- Dark blue soft fabric material.
- Removable insert so you can choose comfort thickness.
- Can be looped around your luggage for simple transport.
- New and improved version of original Travelmate pillow.
Many travellers prefer the traditional U-shaped pillow. The Travelmate has a removable insert so you can choose the thickness comfort that you prefer according to your seated positions. If you’re sitting upright, you want to have a narrower pillow, but if you’re seated sideways, you’ll want a thicker pillow so you can rest it against the window. This pillow is designed to keep your head and neck in perfect alignment so you don’t experience any pain in your travels. This product has been redesigned to be better than older versions of the Travelmate pillow.
You can use this pillow to relax your body, or to even help you sleep soundly, even in an upright position. This pillow is made of high quality memory foam that adapts perfectly to your neck, but then bounces back into shape upon release. It provides the right level of softness to make you feel comfortable.
It has a zippered plush velour dark blue cover that can be removed and washed in the machine. There is also a white elastic strap attached to the back. This has been designed to attach to the outside of your carryon luggage. The pillow is also thermo-sensitive so it will keep your head feeling cool so you don’t start to sweat. This pillow can also be used to work at the computer, watch late night TV, or any setting where you need to support your neck.
4. Cabeau Evolution Memory Foam Travel Neck Pillow
- 360 degree travel pillow.
- Dark black colour.
- Ergonomic, award-winning design.
- Washable, removal cover.
- Includes extras, including a handy travel pouch and earplugs.
The Cabeau Evolution memory foam pillow has a new take on the U-shaped travel pillow design. This pillow has a looped attachment in front, so that you can actually move the pillow around without worrying that it will drop into your lap. This pillow will help to prevent neck pain due to its raised side supports and flat back cushion part.
This pillow is made with high-quality memory foam that moulds to the shape of your head, then puffs back into shape upon removal. It gives you 360 degrees of full head and chin support. This pillow won’t push your head forward like other travel pillows, so you won’t end up with terrible neck pain afterwards.
The kit includes a handy water-repellant travel bag for transport, and memory foam earplugs so you can have additional comfort while you sleep. The pillow can be squeezed down to 1/4 its size to make transport simple. You can even attach it to the outside of your luggage or bag so that you don’t need to find additional room inside your luggage. This pillow also has a media pouch so you can tuck your MP3 player or your cell phone inside it, which is great when you’re listening to music.
5. Aeris Memory Foam Travel Neck Pillow Plus Extras
- Kit includes neck pillow, sleep mask, bag, and earplugs.
- Soft black material with washable velour cover.
- Adjustable toggles to help stay in position.
- Removable washable cover.
- High quality memory foam.
The Aeris memory foam travel pillow is a U-shaped pillow with soft outer velour lining that is machine washable. There are two toggles in front that can be tied together so that if your pillow slips a bit out of position while you’re sleeping, it won’t fall down to your lap. The materials made in this pillow are of the highest quality, and the memory foam is responsive for additional comfort. To prevent you from getting too warm, there are dozens of ventilation holes poked throughout the fabric of the cover to provide better airflow.
The memory foam provides even weight distribution so there is are no specific pressure points that can cause discomfort. Memory foam can also help improve blood circulation and ease muscle tension while you’re travelling. The pillow is perfect for helping you get a better night’s rest on transit, or to help stop painful neck pain from uncomfortable positions.
This product has also been aerated at the factory before shipping, to allow some of the natural memory foam odour to dissipate, as many people do not like new memory foam smell. This pillow has a high versatility for use in travel, at home, school, work, or at the pool or beach.
This set also includes a carrying bag to keep your pillow clean while in transit, and a sleep mask and earplugs to provide additional comfort while on the plane, train, or bus. The pillow compresses down so it takes up less space while in transit, and is also simple to stow away without a lot of effort.
The best travel neck pillow is an essential component of your luggage. You’ll want to base your purchasing decisions on one of these five recommended travel neck pillows. There’s no excuse not to have one—remove a shirt or pair of pants to get it to fit in your luggage, or purchase one with a elastic so you can loop it around your bag. Once you try a travel pillow on an extended flight, you’ll never want to do without it on your next short term or long term trip.