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Whether you are about to take 6-hour transcontinental red-eye flight from Los Angeles to New York, or a 12-hour trans-Pacific flight, a quality travel pillow is something you might want to consider getting for extra comfort. Especially so, if you are flying in economy class. Since there are hundreds if not thousands of products in the space, this article looks at what some of the best travel pillows you can buy are.
Before taking a closer look at the types of travel pillows available in general, and at the wider selection of what I consider to be some of the best products in the space, below is a list of the three travel pillows that I would check out if I only had a couple of minutes to spare:
- PUREFLY Soft Velvet Inflatable Travel Neck Pillow – A simple inflatable neck pillow that comes with a pouch as well as a button for inflation. Ideal if you want increased comfort, but want an item that takes up as little space when stored as possible.
- eJourney Memory Foam Travel Pillow – Given that it is made out of memory foam rather than being inflatable, it takes up a bit more space. However, it comes with the benefit of better supporting your neck.
- Travelrest All-in-One Ultimate Travel Pillow – An inflatable travel pillow that is ideal if you are a side-sleeper as it is designed to let you lean on one side rather than sleeping with your head straight up.
Now, before getting into the actual list of the best travel pillows, let’s take a quick look at travel pillows suitable for flying in economy class in general – especially at the types and shapes that they come in.
Travel Pillows: A Quick Introduction
In general, there are two main things to consider when buying a travel pillow.
The first one of those is whether the pillow is inflatable or filled with a solid material. While the inflatable ones have the benefits of being easier to carry around and to wash, the ones filled with a solid material – especially with memory foam – oftentimes offer more comfort.
The second thing to consider is the shape of the pillow. The ideal shape will depend on your personal preferences – especially on what posture you usually sleep in. Some of the most common shapes include:
- “Classic” horseshoe – This is the type that can be seen around necks of people walking around airports to catch their flights the most. The U-shape provides good support if you do not mind sleeping in the upright position. However, it might not be as comfortable if you – in normal circumstances – prefer to sleep on your side.
- “J” – A J-shaped pillow is similar to the above, except it provides some extended support for your head. As such, depending on your sleeping position, it might provide much better support and comfort.
- Collar – As its name suggests, a collar-shaped pillow, rather than supporting just the back and the sides of your neck, supports it all around.
Separately from the shape of the pillow and its fill material, things that should be considered when picking the right travel pillow also include the surface material, whether or not the pillow is washable, whether the pillow is inflated by blowing or pushing a button, and so on.
Next, let’s take a look at some specific pillows, the ones that I consider to be among the best travel pillows available on the market.
9 Best Travel Pillows Ideal for Flying in Economy
The below list is by no means exhaustive, but it should help you out in narrowing down the options you have to a number of products to choose from.
Also, keep in mind that while the list features what I think are the nine best travel pillows for flying in economy class, it is in no particular order as ultimately everyone prefers a different kind of product and sleeps in a different way.
If you ever found a pillow that barely looks like a pillow on your economy class seat before a long-haul flight and all you wished for was a “better version for it,” the Naturehike Portable Inflatable Pillow is for you.
At just 6 cm x 9 cm when uninflated, this travel pillow won’t take up much space in your bag. Yet, at 14 cm x 44 cm x 32 cm when inflated, it can increase your comfort greatly.
Compared to the other items in this list, it does not sport a fancy design or shape. However, it is the simplicity that earns it a spot on this list of best travel pillows. Its simple shape allows it to not only be used to support your head and neck, but you can also (potentially leave it slightly uninflated) and use it to support your back instead.
As the brand name suggests, the Hoodie Pillow Inflatable Travel Pillow features a hood cap attached to it so that you can “cut off” from your surroundings completely.
The cap makes this pillow ideal for people that get annoyed by their neighbors reading lights and want to sleep through the flight, but find wearing an eye mask uncomfortable.
Furthermore, the pillow and hood are made out of sweatshirt materials making it ideal cozier than some of the other pillows in this list. And, it comes in a variety of colors including grey, black, and red.
The only downside of the HoodiePillow is that it is not machine-washable, and can only be manually spot-cleaned.
On a separate note, if you don’t mind lugging around a slightly bigger item, you might want to consider the one made out of memory foam as well.
If you are looking for an inflatable horseshoe-shaped travel pillow, the PUREFLY Soft Velvet Inflatable Travel Neck Pillow should be among your top candidates.
It takes the classic inflatable pillow design a notch further by having raised neck support. And, on top of that, the pillow features a simple mechanism that allows it to be inflated with several pushes of a button rather than by having to blow into it.
While the PUREFLY Soft Velvet Inflatable Travel Neck Pillow only comes in one color, it comes with a pouch as well as a removable cover that is machine-washable.
The pillow is covered in micro-velvet fabric that makes it pleasant to use. Overall, this is one of the best inflatable travel pillows out there.
Seeing Trtl Pillow for the first time might raise the question whether it is a pillow at all. However, make no mistake – what on the outside looks like a soft turtleneck collar features a neck support on the inside.
Besides being compact and able to support your neck comfortably, at less than 150 grams, this pillow is very light, and so it is ideal for cases when you are traveling with a lot of luggage and a bulky pillow is the last thing that you want to add to it.
The eJourney Memory Foam Travel Pillow is an excellent neck pillow that can help you get the best possible sleep even in a tight economy class seat.
Given that it is filled with memory foam – a solid material – it is quite bulky compared to some of the other, especially inflatable, pillows on this list.
However, if you do not mind its size and you are looking for a classic U-shaped travel pillow, then this might be the best one for you. In fact, if I had to choose just one from this list of best travel pillows, I would likely go for this one.
Besides the comfort of the pillow itself, it is also convenient that the eJourney Memory Foam Travel Pillow comes with a pouch and a removable pillow cover making it easy to wash.
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If you don’t mind getting a glance from your fellow passengers every now and then and instead make good sleep your highest priority, you might want to check out the SkySiesta SNUG Travel Pillow.
The two L-shaped pillows that make up this item are filled with solid material. While that makes it more comfortable than if they were filled with air, it also makes the product bulkier.
As such, unless you travel light and having to carry this pillow with you would not be a big deal, you might want to look at some of the other items on this list.
Overall, though, if you don’t mind its drawbacks – and your head tends to fall to either side when you sleep on a plane – the SkySiesta SNUG Travel Pillow should be included in your shortlist.
Unlike the other pillows on this list that mostly provide only neck-support, the Travelrest All-in-One Ultimate Travel Pillow is designed to provide support for the whole upper part of your body.
As such, if you are a side sleeper and always wake up sore after a redeye flight, this might be the best travel pillow for you.
Other benefits of the pillow include the fact that it’s inflatable and as such doesn’t take up much space and that it’s washable.
Furthermore, for even greater comfort, you can buy a velour cover for the pillow that is padded with memory foam.
Wrapping it around your neck or putting it behind your back are just two of the countless ways you can use the Huzi Infinity Pillow.
Being filled with microfibers that make it feel downy and lightweight, the pillow takes up more space than an inflatable travel pillow would, but at the same time, it is not as bulky as a memory foam pillow.
Without a doubt, its biggest advantage is the simple ring shape which makes it one of the most versatile travel pillows out there.
9. BCOZZY Chin Supporting Travel Pillow
The last pillow on this list, the BCOZZY Chin Supporting Travel Pillow, is a 360-degree spin on the horseshoe-shaped pillow.
Besides supporting the back of your neck and its sides like a classic neck pillow would, this pillow wraps around your neck providing support for its front part as well as your chin too.
Furthermore, if you are a side sleeper, you can fold the pillow in half so that it supports only one side – the side you sleep on – but twice as much.
The BCOZZY Chin Supporting Travel Pillow is machine-washable, comes with a strap that allows it to be attached to your carry-on, and is available in a variety of colors. On top of that, a children version of the pillow is offered as well.
What Are Some of the Best Travel Pillows Out There?
As mentioned above in the article, while the above list includes what I consider to be some of the best travel pillows currently available, everyone has different preferences and sleeps in a different position.
Because of that, besides just checking out the pillows above, I recommend you to spend some time browsing through the travel pillows section on Amazon.
Depending on how frequently you travel, you might even consider investing in more than just one pillow since the best travel pillow really depends on the situation – whether you are traveling with a lot of luggage and so are looking for something compact, whether arriving as rested at the destination is the main priority, and so on.
Disclosure: KN Aviation is, among others, a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. As such, if you purchase products or services through some of the above links, I might earn a commission.