Your dream vacation in Europe is finally approaching, and even the ten-hour flight awaiting you won’t be able to dim your excitement! Unless…you suffer a crick in the neck from an uncomfortable sleep, hunched over in your seat. That’ll put a downer on the trip!
Poor sleep is almost as bad as no sleep at all. To avoid the risk of a lousy nap on the plane, you’ll need to make your long-haul flight as comfortable as possible, especially regarding sleeping arrangements.
If you’re ready to pick the best travel pillow for airplane use or when you’re settled in your hotel, our guide is here to give you a hand. Below, we’ll review the best travel pillows on the market to lower your chances of neck pain during your lengthy journey.
We’ll also share a buying guide to help you choose the right travel pillow for your needs and answer some related questions that may be on your mind. Let’s dive in!
Show Table of Contents
- TL;DR: What’s The Best Travel Pillow For Long Flights?
- Best Travel Pillows for Long Flights
- 1. Gorilla Grip Memory Foam Travel Pillow
- 2. trtl Travel Pillow for Neck Support
- 3. Blabok Inflatable Travel Pillow
- 4. BCOZZY Neck Pillow for Travel
- 5. Fabuday Travel Pillow
- 6. HEST Camping Pillow – Travel Pillow for Hotels
- 7. Dot&Dot Twist Travel Pillow
- 8. Vaverto Travel and Camping Pillow
- 9. J-Pillow Travel Pillow
- 10. Evolution S3 Travel Neck Pillow
- 11. Sunany Store Neck Pillow for Travel
- 12. Huzi Infinity Pillow
- 13. aeris Memory Foam Travel Pillow
- 14. Cabeau Evolution Cool Neck Pillow
- 15. Everlasting Comfort Travel Pillow
- 7 Things to Consider When Buying Long-Haul Flight Pillows
- 1. Pillow Size
- 2. Fabric Type
- 3. Foldability
- 4. Ease to Clean
- 5. Additional Features and Accessories
- 6. Where to Buy a Travel Pillow
- Are airplane travel pillows worth it?
- Do you need a neck pillow for long flights?
- Do they give pillows on long flights?
- What is the best travel pillow for flights that go over 12 hours?
TL;DR: What’s The Best Travel Pillow For Long Flights?
|Trtl Pillow||Fleece||7.5 x 7.5 x 3 inches||Ergonomic design, machine washable|
|Cabeau Evolution Pillow||Memory Foam||10 x 9.5 x 5 inches||Adjustable strap, washable cover|
|Bcozzy Chin Supporting Travel Pillow||Bamboo Fabric||11 x 9.5 x 3.5 inches||Chin support, machine washable|
|AirComfy Ease Pillow||PVC Flocking||11 x 6 x 6 inches||Inflatable, adjustable firmness|
|ComfyComfy Buckwheat Travel Pillow||Buckwheat Hulls||12 x 16 inches||Hypoallergenic, customizable firmness|
|Therm-a-Rest Compressible Travel Pillow||Polyester||16 x 23 inches||Compressible, machine washable|
Best Travel Pillows for Long Flights
Whether you need a budget-friendly or high-end option, rest assured that you’ll discover the perfect place to lay your head the next time you’re completely smushed in a cramped plane seat.
Let’s kickstart our list with this affordable memory foam travel pillow by Gorilla Grip. Its unique, ergonomic shape is specially manufactured and tested to ensure maximum comfort on the longest flights.
This memory foam pillow is formed like a U, with a construction that’s just the perfect height to support your neck and keep your head in the correct posture. This way, you can say goodbye to sore neck and shoulder muscles, snoring issues, and breathing difficulties.
Better yet, we like that this pillow has a velvety exterior with a mesh interior. The outer part is soft to promote deeper sleep, while the section that wraps around your neck has a cooling effect to keep uncomfortable warmth and annoying sweat at bay.
If those features aren’t enough, this pillow is easily compressed into your carry-on bag. It also comes with useful accessories, such as a blinkable eye mask, a carry pouch, and earplugs to enhance your sleep quality.
Still, despite being equipped with drawstrings to adjust the pillow around your neck, many users thought it was too big for the average traveler. So, while it may be suitable for people with larger bodies and taller frames, the Gorilla Grip isn’t for everyone.
- A versatile product that works for airplanes, cars, trains, and more
- Made from BPA-free, PVC-free, and Formaldehyde-free materials
- Removable cover for washing by hand
- Budget-friendly price
- May not be convenient for smaller people due to the too-wide drawstring gap
- Ear plugs could be of better quality
The trtl travel pillow has thousands of positive reviews on Amazon, making you wonder what makes it so special. It’s pricier than the previous pillow, but the following features might justify its high cost.
First, this pillow has garnered the appreciation of people with small to average body dimensions. That’s because its structure is quite flexible. You must wrap it around your neck using the soft-touch hook, loop it around snugly, then start your nap!
Second of all, users liked how lightweight and compact this pillow is. Unlike the previous one, you can easily loop the trtl pillow through the handles of your luggage because it’s highly collapsable.
Lastly, we admire that this travel pillow is so you don’t have to go through the hassle of washing it by hand. No one has time for that when your vacation schedule is filled with sightseeing, exploring nature, and relaxing under the sun!
- One of the highest-rated travel pillows on Amazon
- Only weighs 0.28 lbs, which is the same as the weight of an apple
- Incorporates soft and hypoallergenic fleece for max comfort
- A flexible and versatile choice
- A bit expensive
- May not be the best pick for taller people as it isn’t height adjustable
- Becomes too warm unless a powerful AC is on
- Doesn’t accommodate the use of earbuds seamlessly
This multi-position inflatable travel pillow by Blabok is worth mentioning for travelers who find it challenging to fall asleep on long flights. For starters, you can easily store it in your cabin suitcase and take it out to inflate it in under three minutes.
Plus, you’ll like that it has holes to place your arms inside so they don’t hang awkwardly by your side. Even better, you may use it in countless positions based on what feels more relaxing, whether upright or flat on the tray in front of you.
Yet, our favorite thing about this pillow is its multiple holes allow the air to flow inside it to keep you cool. As a result, you can kiss any feelings of stuffiness and discomfort goodbye!
Because nothing is perfect, one drawback you should know about is that this pillow takes up too much space. If you’re flying economy, using the Blabok pillow will leave no room for other activities besides sleeping.
So, you won’t be able to watch a movie or eat your meal without deflating the pillow.
- A comfortable inflatable travel pillow with a unique design
- Quickly inflates and deflates
- Firm support for your back, even if you lean forward into the pillow
- Reasonable price
- A bit challenging to blow up while you’re sitting due to the tight space available
- Emits a plastic smell the first few times you use it
See Related: Best Travel Products to Combat Flight Anxiety
Another versatile travel pillow is this one by BCOZZY, as it offers double support to your chin, head, and neck. Even better, it should work out for every sleeping position, whether you’re sitting in an aisle seat, window seat, or middle or middle or aisle seat together.
We also like that its outer layer is made from breathable microfleece and microsuede to prevent the accumulation of sweat after hours of sleep. Thanks to its inner bounce-back material, you can enjoy sturdy yet comfy support that eliminates neck and shoulder aches.
Yet, the best thing about this travel pillow is that it comes in many sizes. The small and medium size is for kids and teenagers, while the large and X-large varieties accommodate adults of various heights.
Lastly, the BCOZZY neck pillow has more than ten colors ranging from solid black to cute pink and eye-catching neon green. Not many other travel pillows allow you to choose the color you’d prefer!
- Available in different sizes to conform to your body shape
- Adjustable to your favorite sleeping position
- Lets you wear earbuds or headphones freely
- Less bulky than traditional U-shaped airplane pillows
- Perfect for machine washing
- Moderately priced
- Material quality feels a bit cheap
If you want a simple travel pillow or are accustomed to using U-shaped pillows for years, the Fabuday pillow can be a nice option. Its design is quite basic yet offers excellent support, which may be precisely what you’re looking for.
This C-shaped pillow surrounds your neck, preventing your head from leaning to the front or sides to alleviate the pressure on your muscles. On a long-haul flight, it can minimize jet lag to a huge degree.
Plus, it has a snap strap for instantaneous attachment to your luggage. Besides, you’ll like that the pillow’s cover comes off so you can wash it after putting it to use on a 12-hour flight!
Yet, one thing we’re not fans of is that the pillow’s gap isn’t adjustable since it comes with a snap button instead of a drawstring, so you won’t be able to tighten it to fit snugly around you.
- Lightweight despite taking a lot of space (weighs only one pound)
- Breathable material that doesn’t make your neck sweat
- Available in the colors blue, green, pink, dark gray, black, and more
- A low-budget option
- Only has one size that may or may not sit securely around your neck
See Related: Best Travel Blankets | Cozy Portable Options
We understand that some people don’t want to take their chances with hotel pillows, even if it’s a five-star hotel. Whether you have sensitive skin that requires certain pillow fabrics or find it hard to fall asleep on a pillow you’re unused to, you don’t have to worry!
Your solution is as simple as buying the HEST camping pillow, considered the best travel pillow for hotels. You just put it in your suitcase and take it out later for a deep slumber in your hotel room.
It features a stretch woven nylon case that’s always cool and cozy for all sleepers and travelers. If you are camping under the stars, staying at a motel, or even sleeping on a plane, this pillow can make your experience more relaxing.
Even better, it’s dirt- and water-resistant, has an adjustable loft, and is made from polyester and memory foam. Talk about ultimate rest after hours on a flight!
- Available in three sizes for airplane use, camping, and hotels
- Integrated stow cover for improved portability
- Features a contoured shape that hugs your head and neck
- A pricey option
- Doesn’t pack down small
Another comfy and incredibly flexible pillow is Dot&Dot Twist. As the name suggests, this pillow is made from high-quality memory foam that you can twist and shape to match your sleeping position.
For instance, you could form a U shape with it to act as a typical travel pillow for sleeping on a plane. Or, you may try playing with the U shape further to reach that sweet spot you need for a peaceful sleep.
Unlike many travel pillows, this one also can be used as lumbar support, and it doubles as the perfect pillow to use besides your hotel’s pre-existent traditional pillows, especially if you want more support for your legs or knees.
Choose from the colors black, blue, pink, green, and purple if you’re not a fan of dull gray.
- Excellent personalized support that other pillows don’t provide
- Also suitable for a quick nap in the office, a long road trip, etc.
- Machine-washable cotton cover for effortless cleaning
- Mid-tier price
- Only comes in one size
Here’s our third suggestion for the best airplane, camping, and hotel pillows. The Vaverto pillow has a memory foam filling and a white bamboo cover for increased breathability, even in warm regions.
This camping pillow is unique because it’s compressible and quickly inflatable without your interference. When you’re ready for packing, fold it until it’s compact enough to place inside its little pouch.
Take it to the hotel or camping site and watch it restore its original shape! Besides being sweat-resistant, the Vaverto pillow is hypoallergenic. So, you can forget about coughs and sneezes at night if you have allergies!
- A wonderful choice for people who intend to go camping or hiking on their vacations
- Easy to clean since the pillow cover goes into the washing machine
- Great for hot or cold weather conditions because it’s made with heat-regulating fibers
- Reasonable price
- Pattern is rather-plain looking, so it doesn’t have much to offer in terms of aesthetics
- While it’s breathable, its cooling effect could be better
Are you looking for a travel pillow that hugs your head without taking up too much space? Well, the J-Pillow could be exactly what you need.
As you might have guessed from the name, this kooky-looking creation is shaped like a J (or a distorted T), supporting your neck, chin, and head simultaneously. This embrace can limit discomfort, aching muscles, and pounding headaches on a long-haul flight.
We also like that the pillow has a special travel bag and that you can compress it into a smaller size than most U or C-shaped travel pillows on the market. If you’re not a person who packs light, the compactness of this pillow means you’ll have extra room for all the rest of your belongings!
- Unique design that provides extra support for the neck, head, and chin
- You can put it in the washing machine
- Perfect for sleeping in a window seat
- Mid-tier price range
- Slightly awkward to use in an aisle or middle seat
- May not be a good fit for tall people
See Related: Essential Tips & Tricks For Stress-Free Travel
If you’re reluctant about buying a U-shaped airplane pillow, the Evolution S3 may change your perspective. This pillow was featured on Travel + Leisure, CNN, and People Magazine, not to mention that it has thousands of Amazon ratings. So, let’s see what the fuss is all about!
What makes this travel neck pillow stand out is the pair of straps at the rear, allowing you to attach raised sides of the pillow to your plane seat. This prevents your head from sliding to the sides or the front, promising a deep, ache-free sleep.
Even with turbulence, this pillow should keep your head and neck in place until you’re ready to wake up.
Orthopedic expert-approved, ergonomically designed, and headphone-friendly, the Evolution S3 pillow can be your best buddy on 12-hour journeys!
- Constructed from dual-density memory foam for extra support to your neck muscles
- Comes with an adjustable clasp for easy tightening or loosening
- Slim, flat back and raised side supports to keep you steady
- Available with a washable cover and cute carry bag
- Moderate price
- Gets pretty hot around the neck (except for under the chin)
- May be slightly uncomfortable for people who are taller or shorter than the average
Do you like U-shaped pillows’ support but don’t want your neck to get too warm? Well, this travel pillow by Sunany Store brings you the best of both worlds!
We can’t say it has a flat-out amazing cooling effect, but it does a slightly better job at letting the air get around your neck than most U-shaped pillows. In addition, it comes with a soft velour cover that reduces skin irritation and discomfort.
You’ll also like that you can wear it multiple ways until you find the perfect angle that allows you to fall asleep faster. Whether you’re stuck in a middle seat or you’ve managed to successfully book a window seat, your head and neck should get the rest they deserve in all scenarios.
Yet, what makes this pillow incredibly travel-friendly is that it’s inflatable. You won’t have to worry about wacking other passengers with a big travel pillow as you’re boarding or getting off the plane!
Most users recommend inflating the Sunany neck pillow to 80–90% so it isn’t overly stiff.
- H-shaped, multi-directional design that promotes comfort and lets you wear earbuds comfortably
- Machine-washable velvet cover for effortless cleaning
- Comes with a hood so that you can sleep in lit environments
- Inflatable in a short amount of time
- Reasonable price
- Velcro strap pulls on your shirt’s fabric when not in use
- Flimsy straps
See Related: Best Beach Blankets | Sand-Free Portable Options
In the world of travel pillows, higher versatility and flexibility is always better, which is what the Huzi Infinity pillow offers you. It’s shaped like an infinity sign that you can loop around your neck and adjust until it gives you the exact level of support you’re aiming for.
So, no matter the type of airplane seat you have, this pillow promises good sleep in any position. Better still, the pillow can double as a hotel pillow that provides additional assistance to your neck, head, back, or legs.
You’ll also like that it’s made from super-soft bamboo material and multiple layers of microfiber. This reduces uncomfortable warmth during sleep for hours on end.
Yet, one of our favorite things about this pillow is that you can drop it in the washing machine without removing an outer case to wash it separately. Even on a tight-schedule business trip or a romantic honeymoon, you can maintain your hygiene without wasting time!
- Incredibly flexible to suit the needs of every type of sleeper
- Better cooling than most travel pillows
- A convenient option for tall and short people alike thanks to its enhanced adjustability
- Less neck support than other pillows on this list
- Bulky even when you fold it
- A bit pricey
Another U-shaped pillow worth looking at is this one by aeris. It comes with a soft cover that’s 80% velour and 20% polyester to promote comfort. Plus, the synthetic fabric is machine-washable and dries pretty quickly.
Like many other U-shaped travel pillows, the aeris Travel Pillow gives you maximum neck and head support to ward off soreness upon waking up from a long sleep on a flight. Its memory foam core hugs your neck and beautifully cushions your head, jaw, and chin.
That’s not all, though. The aeris Memory Form Travel Pillow has earplugs, a carry bag, and an eye mask. This makes it a lovely gift for your friend who’s always on the go!
- Amazing foldability to keep it out of your way if you’re standing in a crowded area
- Has a nice balance of firmness and softness
- Also works for road trips, train commutes, long office hours, and even relaxing at home
- Reasonable price
- Not much ventilation around the neck
- May be too hard for shorter people
See Related: Best Travel Yoga Mats for Dedicated Yogis
Cabeau offers you another noteworthy creation that you may want to give a shot at, and that is the Cool neck pillow. As the name suggests, this pillow features mesh vents around the neck to let the air in, preventing overheating if you wear the pillow for several hours. you might even say it’s the coolest pillow on this list (chortle).
Its neck, head, and chin support is also equally impressive. The pillow wraps around your neck to keep your head upright, and you can adjust its tightness with the straps involved until the angle is comfortable enough.
Due to its memory foam core, the neck pillow prevents you from slouching or leaning painfully to the left or right during sleep. As a result, you should wake up refreshed and unconcerned about nagging jet lag!
While it’s a bit expensive, you’ll appreciate the cooling effect of the Cabeau Evolution Cool Pillow, which can make or break the experience on an exhausting ten-hour plus flight. This is especially true if you’re a hot sleeper.
- Works perfectly with headphones
- Lightweight but highly supportive at the same time
- Suitable for people of different heights
- Zipper’s finish feels cheap
- High price point
Last, you may want to check out the Everlasting Comfort travel pillow for additional neck support. With its basic design and enhanced support, it’s gained the admiration of over seven thousand reviewers on Amazon!
The case material is crystal velvet, which feels smooth against your skin. As for the core, it’s durable memory foam that restores its shape within hours of use.
In addition, the pillow’s raised lobe design leaves no room for your head to tilt forward or sideways. At the same time, the memory foam filling conforms to the contours of your body and suits most body types.
You’ll also like that the Everlasting Comfort pillow has a pouch you can attach to your luggage by the drawstrings. Besides, you’ll get memory foam earplugs and a sleep mask to fall quickly asleep no matter how loud your surroundings are!
- Has the Climate-Pledge-Friendly certification
- Made from premium-grade memory foam
- Features adjustable straps and a pocket to keep your smartphone inside
- Mid-tier price
- Not comfortable for shorter individuals
See Related: Ways To Make Travel Less Stressful
7 Things to Consider When Buying Long-Haul Flight Pillows
If you’ve been wondering what to look for in a travel pillow so that you can make the most of your purchase, here’s a buying guide to help you choose.
1. Pillow Size
The most important factor you should consider is whether or not the pillow’s dimensions will suit the measurements of your neck and head. A too-big pillow will be loose, so it won’t stop your head from leaning in all different directions. On the other hand, a very tight pillow might be outright painful, leading to a night of restless sleep.
That’s why you should carefully read about the dimensions of the best travel pillow for long flights that you have in mind. Reviews by other users will also let you know whether it’s more suitable for shorter people vs. taller ones.
Size is also a consideration when it comes to figuring out how you’re going to carry it. Will it fit in your carry-on luggage? Does it come with its own carrying case or handles?
If all else fails, your best shot is to buy an adjustable or twistable pillow that lets you tinker with its shape until it fits around your neck perfectly.
2. Fabric Type
Researching the pillow cover’s fabric is a must to end up with a cozy sleeping session on a long flight. You don’t want to get stuck with a scratchy pillow case that constantly rubs against your skin until it irritates it.
In addition, you’ll want to look for fabrics that have cooling effects, like bamboo fabric, for example. Unless you’ll be traveling in cold conditions, getting a pillow with breathable material is crucial to limit sweating during sleep.
No one likes a travel pillow that attacks other passengers as you carry it along in the airport or while boarding the plane! For that reason, go for pillows that you can compress into a much smaller bundle, which you may easily fit into your carry-on bag.
Or, some pillows can be folded flat—perfect if you have limited space in your backpack. Others are inflatable, which is another good option to consider for a hands-free traveling experience.
4. Ease to Clean
A lot of travel pillows come with removable and machine-washable covers that you can easily toss in the washing machine after each airplane journey. While these aren’t a bad choice, they don’t give you the highest degree of cleanliness out there since your sweat, drool, hair oil (and heaven knows what’s on the plane seat) still soak into the pillow itself.
Instead, think about buying a travel pillow where the entire thing goes into the washing machine. Not only will that ensure the outer layer is clean, but it’ll also wash away any sweat or debris that could easily seep through the cover into the core underneath.
5. Additional Features and Accessories
You can’t say no to extra qualities that make your long-haul flight more comfortable and your sleep more peaceful. It’s always a good idea to have the following things with your travel pillow for max relaxation!
- Arm support
- The addition of earplugs, eye mask, carry case, or hood
- Breathable mesh around the neck
- Straps that attach the pillow to the seat
- Being headphone-friendly
6. Where to Buy a Travel Pillow
Finally, consider the most convenient place to buy a travel pillow. Undoubtedly, getting yours online is the most hassle-free way, and you can get discounts, deals, or even free shipping. The trouble with online shopping is that it’s impossible to try before you buy – and not all of us can be bothered with return policies!
However, if you’re pressed for time, you’ll find travel pillows for sale at the airport. Still, your options might be limited to the humdrum traditional travel pillow for five bucks compared to what delights you can purchase online or at a store specializing in travel goods.
Are airplane travel pillows worth it?
Absolutely. Airplane travel pillows minimize or eliminate the discomfort and soreness associated with upright sleeping in your seat. Based on their design and form, they can support your neck, head, chin, or all three to prevent you from straining your muscles and help you achieve proper posture.
Do you need a neck pillow for long flights?
Yes. Most airplane seats, especially economy, aren’t properly designed for long-term neck support.
As a result, your head will undoubtedly lean forward or to the sides during sleep without the support of a neck pillow. This might lead to discomfort, sore muscles, and even intense pain if you already have problems with your neck and shoulders.
Do they give pillows on long flights?
Most airlines will offer their passengers pillows on international long-haul flights despite the class they’ll be traveling. Still, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t grab your travel pillow, just in case.
You can’t be sure that the pillow you’ll be given will be comfortable enough or provide good support. So, keep the guesswork out of the way and buy a reliable travel pillow to ensure your long flight will go as smoothly as possible.
What is the best travel pillow for flights that go over 12 hours?
After reading our guide, you now have several travel pillows that you can choose from based on our thorough review. So, balance their pros and cons, prioritize the most important features, and you should end up with the perfect travel pillow to keep you well-rested.
As for us, our top pick has to be the trtl Travel Pillow for Neck Support. We like that it’s hypoallergenic, highly collapsible, and has the same weight as an apple. However, it’s a bit pricey and tends to get warm after hours of use.
You may want to look at our runner-up, Cabeau Evolution Cool Neck Pillow. It features a meshed material that should keep you from getting sweaty, easily conforms to the shape of your neck, and has amazing support. After you pick your favorite travel pillow, you should be ready to approach your first long-haul flight more confidently!
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- About the Author
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Kyle Kroeger is the Founder and Owner of ViaTravelers.com. He is a seasoned traveler and entrepreneur. Kyle started ViaTravelers.com to help travelers find their next adventure, whether it’s exploring new places or revisiting old favorites.
He’s a converted finance nerd and Excel jockey turned world wonderer (and may try to get lost on purpose). He loves listening to people’s stories from around the world as well as sharing his own experiences traveling the globe. He loves travel so much that he moved from his hometown of Minneapolis to Amsterdam with his small family to travel Europe full-time.