Best ​Travel Pillows | 2020 Edition

​Affiliate Disclosure: ​ may use affiliate links in this article that lead to Amazon or other partners. So, if you make a purchase after clicking on a link may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. ​This helps to pay for costs associated with running a website, keeping the content free, and keeping the site free from intrusive ads. 

best travel pillow for airplanes

Best Overall ​Travel Pillow for Airplanes

​OYRGCIK Memory Foam Neck Pillow

​It's really tough to beat memory foam. It's soft where you want it and firm where you need it. Memory foam takes a lot longer to wear out than cotton or other common fillings and it contours to the shape of your neck and head. 

While the OYRGCIK brand is listed here, there are many more brands on Amazon that offer a similar or same pillow. You can see those by clicking the link below. What makes this one the preferred choice is the use of zip cords at the base to tighten the pillow around your neck and provide additional support. Some other brands use a buckle that can get in the way of your face.

​The design of these pillows is simple and wraps around the back of your neck to provide full 360 degree support in a compact design. Not to mention, earplugs, an eyemask, and a carrying case is included with this listing.

Pros of ​OYRGCIK Travel Pillow

  • Ergonomically designed to provide support without added bulk.
  • Cover is a made of ultra-soft, breathable cotton.
  • ​Inner memory foam core provides support and draws heat away.
  • Weighs less than a pound and easily compresses down to fit in its included, compact bag
  • ​Zip cords attached to the end allow you to tighten it for more support, or to your luggage for easy carrying.

Cons of ​OYRGCIK Travel Pillow

  • ​Zipper to remove the inner memory foam is on the small side. Makes it difficult to wash.
best travel pillow for long hal flights ostrich

​Best Travel Neck Pillow for Long Flights

​Ostrich Travel Pillow

​​Yes it looks stupid, but trust us, it's not. If you have a transcontinental, red-eye, or otherwise long haul flight, this pillow is for you. The Ostrich pillow slips right over your head and puts you into your own little world of sleep and isolation. 

If you haven't already thought of it yet, this pillow ensures you won't have to talk to any of the passengers next to you. Once you pull this over your head, your fellow passengers won't even think of waking you from your slumber.

The hole in the front allows you to breathe easily, while the holes on the side still allow you to hear and provide additional ventilation to keep your head cool. 

Pros of ​​Ostrich Travel Pillow

  • ​Great for blocking out light and conversation from annoying passengers!
  • ​Super soft material makes is lightweight and breathable.
  • ​Holes on the sides and in the front allow you to hear and breath easily.
  • ​Micro beads conform to the shape of your head and face.

Cons of ​Ostrich Travel Pillow

  • ​​On the pricier side
  • ​Little side or neck support, you will need a window or seat to lean on.
best inflatable travel pillow

​Best Inflatable Travel Pillow

​Sunany Inflatable Travel Neck Pillow

​Unless you've seen one of these before, you might not have any idea on how to use it. Fear not, this box-shaped pillow is a lot more comfortable than it appears. Holes along the front and side allow you to put your hands through the side and face on the front so you can easily breathe.

The biggest benefit of this inflatable pillow is if your seat doesn't recline ​very far, you have the ability to lean forward on this pillow. If you've ever leaned your head forward on the seat in front of you, you know how uncomfortable this can be, especially if the person in front of you decides to try and lean back.

Pros of ​​​Sunany Inflatable Travel Pillow

  • ​PVC Flocking is durable, yet is relatively soft to the touch
  • ​Easily deflates and can be put into the included case.
  • Can be inflated in just a minute or two .

Cons of ​​​​Sunany Inflatable Travel Pillow

  • ​Needs  a little bit of time to air out before use.
  • ​Taller individuals may need an additional pillow for a comfortable height.
Tips For First Time Flyers Main Airplane

What Makes a Good Travel ​Pillow?

Get in line: the search for the ultimate travel pillow is a feat that most travelers have yet to master, but worry not - we’ve got you covered! 

The travel pillow is thought of by most backpackers and jet setters as a crucial part of their trip, especially on red-eye flights and endless layovers.

Business trips, which entail multiple transfers from one terminal to the next, may require a few hours of shut-eye, which makes it the perfect way to get some. No matter how awkward your position is, travel pillows are designed to give you neck and head support, giving you added comfort. Some die-hard fans of the pillow even cash-in on its ability to become an accessory. They leave them on even while hauling all their luggage from the baggage carousel, or while sipping a cup of joe at the waiting area. (Surely a great way to advertise all the traveling you’ve been doing...or not.)

Today, we’ll be showing you a few tricks and tips on how to find the perfect travel pillow for all of your future ventures. Scroll on, and we’ll show you how it’s done!

Trial and Error: Learning from the Experts

Many seasoned travelers have expressed their sentiments regarding the importance of comfort, especially during long travels and multiple layovers. These people have seen it all. They’ve been through pretty much every kind of discomfort there is to experience. With this on-the-go lifestyle comes the importance of ease and convenience, which is why a lot of them invest in quality products that would make travels a bit easier.

​​Most of them attest that having a low-quality neck pillow is worse than having none at all! Unfortunately, a lot of inflatable pillows on the market, as well as those provided by most airlines, are made with cheap materials that need to be inflated manually. Yes, we need better.

So, what’s in a travel pillow?

There are various travel pillows available on the market, and there are different qualities that you must consider before you make that purchase:

​Ergonomic Design and Comfort

​First of all, your neck pillow must be able to adapt to different changes in position and support the natural curvature of your neck and head. It should not restrict your head movement or feel too constricting and tight. Inflatable pillows, however inexpensive and light, miss out on this criterion. They are often too bulky and annoying and can feel too tense around your neck.

Some travelers would suggest backpacks with a few practical pockets, and not necessarily those with lots of ‘em (or else you’ll waste time fishing for stuff inside).


​According to your preference and the way you sleep, you may want to test out multiple types and find out what’s best for you. Ideally, your neck pillow must be able to keep up with all your position changes and stay in place by the window, and even when you’re in the aisle seat. Usually, travel pillows are designed to hang around your neck. Still, there are also travelers that prefer square or rectangular pillows, which are reminiscent of ones back home.

​Softness / Firmness and Comfort

​Travel pillows must mimic your actual bed pillow preferences to give you maximum comfort and support. The pillow must feel plush and gentle around your skin and must be covered with breathable fabric to prevent discomfort and excessive sweating around the head and neck. 

You may also opt to buy travel pillows made with memory foam, which is considered to be one of the most comfortable types. It actually sculpts and forms according to the curves and shape of your head and neck. This helps to reducee tension in these areas.

​Portability, Ease of Use

​Your travel pillow must be compact and take-up as little space as possible. Again, if it’s inflatable, there’s a chance that you can store it away more easily, but save yourself the trouble of puffing it up again when you need to. If it can’t be compressed to a specific size, it must have latches or straps where you can attach it to your luggage handles. When all else fails, it must fit perfectly around your neck and be comfortable enough to stay there for hours on end.

​Size and Weight

​This criterion generally depends on the traveler. For minimalists and on-the-go passengers, they may opt for sleek, streamlined designs that are surprisingly super comfortable (but might cost a bit more). Of course, if you’ve been freed-up from all the carrying, it may be easy for you to choose something fluffier. Just make sure that it doesn’t add unwanted weight, or feel too heavy on your shoulders.

​Grip and Anti-Slip

​With changing positions, you’d want your head to feel at ease. If there are bumps along the way (turbulence and other disturbances), your pillow might slip out, and your head might bump on something hard. Make sure that you buy pillows that stay in place, preferably pillows with some traction or texture on the flip side. Some pillows even come with velcro straps, so you won’t have to worry about them lodging out.

Material and Cleanability

​Your travel pillow must be made out of lightweight, washable material that allows air to pass through. High-quality travel pillows are made with hypoallergenic, premium material that stands out from rubber inflatables. This is good news, especially for allergy sufferers and passengers who are prone to upper respiratory tract infections. Trust us: unless you’re heading to the pool, don’t use it. You may also want to get a travel pillow in muted, cool colors, which are easier to clean.

​Fit and Ease of Access

​Choose a pillow that will be able to accommodate various head and hair sizes, or even those with ponytails. Don’t choose models which are too constricting - they won’t do much for your comfort. Also, you must make sure that your pillow is easy to store, especially when you’re in-between flights and have no time to fumble with your belongings.


And there you have it! We hope that these tips will come in handy the next time you purchase the travel pillow of your liking. Remember that comfort is of utmost importance, even when you’re miles away from home.