A neck pillow is a form of cushioning that wraps around the neck to maintain an upright posture while sleeping. These pillows can protect you from landing on your neighbor’s shoulder or leaning forward for a comfortable sleeping posture.
But since these pillows are not created equally, you must do some research to settle for the right neck pillow.
To help you with that, you will find 7 best neck pillows for travel below, and a guide to help you pick the right pillow. Read on.
Table of Contents
Tips for Choosing a Neck Pillow for Travel
1. Type of cushioning
What material is the neck pillow made from?
Note that the material of the pad affects the comfort and support level. Still, you do not want to settle for a material that deforms quickly.
That said, consider the available materials, including latex, memory foam, microbeads, or the inflatable types of pillows.
- Memory foam
Memory foam is the best choice for a material that will adapt to the body without tension or resistance towards the neck. This material is durable and more affordable compared to materials such as latex.
Memory foam can help you maintain a correct and natural posture. While it is less breathable than latex, it features a honeycombed structure to protect the pad from humidity.
Lattice is made from natural materials processed until foam is obtained.
This material is antibacterial and hypoallergenic, thus an ideal option for use by kids and allergic persons. The fact that lattice features an internal honeycombed structure makes it a perfect choice for a breathable type of cushioning.
Still, the layers of latex feature additional grooves aimed at enhancing ergonomics and breathability.
Since pillows made using 100% natural latex are very expensive, most models combine a percentage of natural latex and other materials to cut down on the prices.
- Inflatable pillows
If your primary consideration when purchasing a neck pillow for travel is getting a portable pillow, then I would recommend that you buy an inflatable pillow.
As the name suggests, this is a pillow that requires you to inflate it so that it is ready for use. The benefit of inflatables is that you can inflate them to the desired firmness for easy customization based on the user’s liking.
Also, you can deflate them after use and fold them compactly for lightweight packing.
- Microbead travel pillows
Though not as compact as inflatable pillows, microbead pillows are lightweight, thus an excellent choice for light packers. However, they are not the best choices for people with limited packing space.
These pillows are filled using tiny polystyrene beads. The beads are supportive and customizable, allowing the cushion to change the shape for the desired comfort and neck support.
2. Outer fabric
Besides the type of cushioning, the best neck pillow for travel must feature a soft and comfortable outer fabric, and such material should not irritate your skin.
Therefore, consider pillows that feature cotton or smooth fabrics for use during the hot weather. On the other hand, fleece is an ideal option for use during the winter or cold climates.
If you are a frequent traveler, this must be one of the top considerations before purchasing a neck pillow. Look for a durable travel pillow, since you do not want to waste your cash by buying a pillow each traveling season.
To do that, read various customer reviews to get an idea of how long you will expect the pillow to last.
4. Size and weight
The size and weight of the pillow are worth considering to avoid adding bulk to your luggage. If you do not have a lot of space to add the pillow, and if you do not want to add bulk to the luggage, you might want to get inflatable types of pillows.
However, be sure to factor in comfort and support so that you can choose the best option between inflatables, memory foam, or microbead pillows.
5. Ease of maintenance
Finally, no one wants to purchase a neck pillow that is difficult to maintain. Therefore, opt to get pillows that include removable and washable covers.
Still, you could opt for neck pillows that feature memory foam cushioning, given that these cushions integrate washable synthetic materials to shield them from nesting bacteria and mites.
Top 7 Best Neck Pillow for Travel Reviews
Top Rated – BCOZZY Comfortable Machine Washable Neck Pillow
- Soft and comfortable
- Foldable for compact carrying
- The pillow holds the chin up
- The pillow emits some odor
The Bcozzy is a comfortable pillow suitable for use in all forms of travel. You can get it for use in a car, train, or bus.
Ergonomic Design – Still, the neck pillow is perfect for use at home, thanks to the ergonomic shape that delivers a relaxing and pleasant sleeping experience. The pillow comes in a variety of sizes suitable for use by kids and adults.
Chin Support – It highlights a round shape so that it can support the chin, head, and neck. The unique shape of the pillow is great for kids since it prevents the chin from dropping sideways, forward, or snapping.
Because of the durable and fully machine washable design, this neck pillow is easy to care for. Plus, it comes with a snap strap for portability.
Best Budget – SAIREIDER Neck Travel Pillow for Airplanes Combo
- Sturdy and good quality construction
- Comfortable eye masks block light perfectly
- The pillow comes with a pair of ear plugs
- It is a little bit bulky
For the best value for money, you might want to acquire the Saireider Neck Travel Pillow. This pillow comes in a set that includes earplugs, an eye mask, and a storage bag.
Contour Shape – The travel pillow is made using 100% pure memory foam for durability and comfort. It highlights a contoured shape at the sides to avoid the discomfort while allowing it to leave an ideal space for the headphones.
Flat Cut – The back of the pillow features a flat cut to protect the head from being pushed forward. Also, there is an adjustable buckle. Using it, you can adjust the pillow to a size that will comfortably support the neck.
The pillow is ergonomically designed to provide 360°support for the neck and head. It includes a zippered pillow cover for effortless removal for cleaning. Featuring a 3-second shape restore technology, the pillow can retain its shape after being squeezed.
Inflatable – Purefly Soft Portable Pillow for Neck Support
- Long-lasting construction
- Comfortable and ergonomically designed
- The pillow provides a stable support
- The pillow is quite small
Responding to the urge for an excellent traveling pillow that will not add bulk to your luggage is the Purefly Soft Portable Pillow. It is an inflatable pillow that inflates with a button.
Adjustable Softness – The pillow’s hardness and softness are adjustable, where you can choose to add more air or release it. It integrates an ABS valve that deflates it fast and an overpressure protection device to shield it from overinflation and bursting.
Raised Support – The Purefly Soft Portable Pillow highlights an innovative design to provide a raised neck support that will allow you to maintain the proper alignment of the neck.
It includes a soft, micro-velvet fabric cover. The cover is smooth, breathable, and skin-friendly for a comfortable feel.
Featuring an invisible zipper, the cover is easy to remove for washing. And finally, the pillow comes with an attractive pack-sack for compact storage after folding.
Cooling Pillow – Everlasting Comfort Gel Ventilated Pillow
- Super comfortable memory foam
- Removable and machine washable cover
- Included bag for easy storage
- The pillow is a little bit bulky
An ideal neck pillow, whether you need it for traveling or sitting upright in any type of chair, is the Everlasting Comfort Gel Ventilated Pillow. It features 100% pure gel-infused memory foam.
Special Design – The foam highlights strategically-placed holes for effective cooling performance. Adding to that, this pillow integrates a unique cell phone pocket. This pocket is suitable for fitting a cellphone, iPod, iPad, or iPhone to allow you to listen to your favorite tunes.
The Everlasting Ventilated Pillow comes with an eye mask and earplugs for a better sleeping experience. Also, it includes adjustable straps with a snap closure for a snug and comfortable fit around the neck.
Designed for user comfort, this pillow features an orthopedic raised lobe. The lobe contours on either side so that the head and neck can lean comfortably. A machine-washable cover is another plus for user comfort and effortless maintenance.
Versatile Use – Twist Memory Foam Travel Pillow for Neck, Chin, and Leg
- Breathable cover for comfort.
- The memory foam provides a countering firm support.
- The pillow is quite adjustable.
- It has some smell that goes away with time
A must-have travel pillow is the Twist Memory Foam Travel Pillow. This pillow features a luxurious memory foam cushion to help relieve pressure points for an ultimate relaxation experience.
Also, the pillow’s material allows it to contour to any position and shape for personalized support and pain relief. The pillow is versatile and convertible.
You can choose to use it to support the head, shoulders, back, or cervical spine during a nap. Still, the pillow is applicable for use while reading on a bed or couch.
The memory foam pillow highlights a breathable plus machine washable cover for comfort and easy maintenance. Its snap closure can attach it to luggage for portability while you can also use it to secure the pillow around the neck or car headrest.
Best for Kids – BCOZZY Travel Pillow for Sleeping and Rest
- Cute color options
- Soft and comfortable foam
- Lightweight and easy to carry
- The pillow is a little bit small
Does your kid struggle with trying to sleep in the car during long drives? If so, I would recommend using the Bcozzy Travel Pillow. This pillow can support the neck, head, and chin simultaneously to help your little one assume a comfortable sleeping posture.
The pillow has super-soft overlapping arms with a closure. This design allows you to achieve accurate adjustments for the baby’s comfort.
Snap Strap – A built-in snap strap is another feature. Using it, you can hang the pillow on the headrest to protect it from dirt or snap it to the handbag for effortless maneuvering.
The pillow is compressible to less than half the original size for compact carrying. You can machine wash the entire cushion, a measure that assures you of getting a neck pillow for travel that is easy to maintain.
Soft Support – Huzi Neck Scarf Pillow for Trip
- Easy to fold and carry.
- Breathable and cool.
- Wraps comfortably around the neck.
- Not super supportive
Introducing the Huzi Neck Scarf Pillow, it is a versatile pillow that allows you to find a perfect sleeping position.
You can use the pillow at the office, while commuting, or the home sofa for a comfortable sleeping posture. Besides, you can use this pad to support the neck, chin, lumbar, or use it as a noise-canceling pillow.
Good Support – The patented travel pillow can support all kinds of sleeping positions. It is fully adjustable and deigned to offer a 360° support plus incredible breathability for user comfort.
The pillow is made using super soft bamboo fabric. This plus the luxurious layers of microfiber are three times more breathable while compared to cotton for a cool and comfortable sleeping experience.
Are Neck Pillows Good for Travel?
Yes, neck pillows are useful for use while traveling, given the ability to reduce pain and improve the quality of the sleep. Let’s have a look at some of the reasons neck pillows are good for travel.
1. Ensure the proper alignment of the spine
A neck pillow can support the neck, head, and shoulders. This can protect you from suffering from shoulder pain, neck discomfort, and back pain. In return, you can effectively relieve yourself of fatigue, depression, or disorders of the cervical tract.
2. Loosen tension and wake up refreshed
If you have experienced a stiff neck due to sleeping without adequate cushioning on the neck, then I already trust that you are aware that sleeping using a neck pillow while traveling is one of the best ways to wake up happy and rested.
A neck pillow protects the neck and head from leaning or tilting. Thus, it can protect you from soreness or waking up with a stiff neck. Still, these pillows can loosen muscle tension and help the spine find the correct posture.
3. Assume the correct sleeping posture
Once you sleep without cushioning around the neck, you are likely to lean forward and tilt your neck. With a neck pillow, your head can stay straight without leaning sideways, a measure that allows you to sleep in the correct posture.
Are Neck Pillows Bad for Your Neck?
These best travel neck pillow are primarily intended to provide exceptional comfort and support to your necks. However, a number of factors may make them less safe and to some extent undesirable for use on your necks. The material makeup and the nature of agility.
Some pillows bear allergenic materials, a fact that predisposes their users to the risks of asthma and other forms of respiratory tract infections.
You want to maintain essential and minimal contacts with such pillows as a way of mitigating these conditions. Stay away from them as much as you possibly can.
Do Neck Pillows Work on Airplanes?
YES, they do!
Most airlines allow and admit the neck pillows as carry-ons in their cabins. Then again, these pillows come in handy when undergoing the extra-long haul flights. They provide the support that your necks badly need when inclined on the seats at such critical times.
Please note though that some airlines insist that their passengers only source those pillows that are supplied by them in the course of the travels.
That may limit your use of them as it would only mean that you utilize the best travel neck pillow that they only have to offer. Make prior arrangements before setting out for a travel.
Is a Soft or Hard Pillow Better for the Neck?
Well, this depends on the user. Some would opt to get a soft pillow, while others would opt to purchase a firm pillow. However, note that the pillow must hold the head and neck at the right height to avoid unnecessary neck strain.
A pillow that is too low or too high could fail to support the neck. This could result in pressure build-up as the neck tries to support the head.
That said, you will want to pay attention to several factors, including how heavy your head is, the position you take when sleeping, and the height of the pillow.
- Weight of the head
Ideally, if you have a heavier head, you must get a hard pillow to support its weight. A firmer pillow can compensate for the weight to help you get a neutral spinal alignment. However, with a smaller and lighter head, you can rely on a softer pillow to support you.
- Sleep position
Similar to the different positions people take while sleeping on the bed, various people assume varying positions when sleeping in the car, plane, or train. That said, do you lean to the front, back, or the side?
To select the best neck pillow for travel, look for a pillow that contours to the neck so that it can support the head’s weight, whether you are leaning to front, back, or side.
Still, you could select a neck pillow with an adjustable level of firmness so that you can customize it to suit your desires.
The best neck pillows for travel are an affordable means to make sleeping during long hauls achievable. These pillows can support the head and neck to help you maintain the correct posture and shield you from aches.
That said, be cautious not to settle for a low-quality neck pillow but purchase one of the reviewed products paying attention to the provided buyer’s guide for a pad that will meet your needs effectively.