8 Best Travel Pillows of 2021 (Foam, Inflatable, and Fluffy)

For long road trips or plane rides, you’ll need to find a way to get comfortable, but it sure is hard to get some rest in an upright chair, no leg room, and another passenger sitting right next to you. That’s where travel pillows become your most prized travel companion. 

Travel pillows give you the cushioning and support you need to rest your head comfortably and easily doze off while seated.

You won’t have to worry about your head falling on a random stranger’s shoulder or waking up with a terrible crick in your neck. 

Below you will find our top picks for the best travel pillows on the market today.

Our list contains a diverse set of options for every type of travel and every traveler’s ergonomic needs, not to mention a range of prices that will fit any budget.  

8 Best Travel Pillows 

We’ve broken down the 8 best travel pillows into specific categories depending on the type of travel you do, the materials, and the design of the pillow. 

Memory Foam U-Shape

Memory foam is a material that molds to the shape of your neck, offering better, automatically customizable support.

MLVOC Travel Pillow

The MLVOC travel pillow uses high-quality, sweat-resistant fabric that is super soft and machine washable. When combined with the return-technology memory foam, you have a very comfortable pillow that lends well for sleeping while traveling. 

It has an M-shaped design that manufacturers claim offers better cradling support for your neck. Additionally, it comes with all the sleeping accessories you need to ensure that surrounding noises and lights won’t interrupt your sleep.

While this product enjoys a best-seller status for comfort and affordability, its design is better suited for larger individuals with longer necks as smaller individuals complain that despite adjusting it to the tightest fit, there is still a space between their neck and the pillow. 

When using this pillow in a plane or upright seat, the pillow also tends to push your neck forward, which causes discomfort.

Pros:

  • Adjustable neck width
  • Special ergonomic design with dips and crests
  • Full sleeping kit included

Cons:

  • Pushes your neck forward on airplane chairs
  • Drawstring adjuster is flimsy
  • Best for larger, taller individuals

Everlasting Comfort Travel Neck Pillow

This memory foam pillow uses dual technology memory foam plus a cooling, cushioning gel for the utmost orthopedic protection. The added lob contours on either side of the pillow favor individuals who sleep with their heads to the side. 

Since a lot of our heads tend to fall to the side as we nod off, this pillow has a superior design that provides optimal protection from neck cricks.

The pillow is quite large, making it difficult to fit back into the storage bag that comes with it, but it can easily support two dozing heads. If you are traveling with a partner who doesn’t have a pillow, they can easily rest their head on the pillow even when your head falls to the same side.

Pros:

  • Full sleep kit included
  • Memory foam and soft gel combination
  • Firm cushion for added support

Cons:

  • Takes various usages to break-in
  • Not very soft
  • Bulky
  • Fabric and memory gel causes it to feel hot

Inflatable Travel Pillows

These are the most convenient and portable travel pillows as they reduce down to nothing in seconds, so you can fold them up and slide them into the pocket of your carry-on luggage or backpack when you’re not using them.

Purefly Inflatable Neck Pillow

This inflatable neck pillow is very affordable, super comfortable, and has a fool-proof inflation and deflation button method. The pillow is covered in a soft and texturally pleasing velvet material that you can remove to wash if needed.

You adjust the pillow to fit your neck size by the amount of air you put into it, with a firmer and wider pillow the more you inflate it. The only issue with this pillow is that it starts to lose air after a few hours, and the velvet material tends to heat your neck up and causes sweating.

Pros:

  • User-friendly inflation method
  • Removable machine-washable pillow cover
  • Durable rubber-plastic material
  • Budget-friendly

Cons:

  • Takes a while to inflate
  • Inflation method causes thumb cramping

Therm-a-Rest Air Head Inflatable Pillow

This is not your average U-shaped travel pillow. It is a multi-functional pillow made for use during travel but also as a camping or hostel pillow. It’s designed to fit into a hooded thermal sleeping bag and has an enormous surface area compared to all other pillows on our list. 

Just because it doesn’t curl around your neck like U-shaped travel pillows, the fact that it is inflatable means you can adjust its volume to become more compact for use in a plane or automobile. 

Once you’ve inflated this highly durable, air-tight pillow, it will stay inflated for days at a time without losing any air. 

Pros:

  • Rugged and durable
  • Large surface area
  • Folds easily

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • Large for airplanes and buses

Fluffy Travel Pillows

These travel pillows are built for comfort and warmth, using high-quality synthetic and organic stuffing that makes them feel like bed pillows.

ComfyDown Goose Down Travel Pillow

This travel pillow is made with premium goose down and 100% cotton casing and is undoubtedly the most comfortable pillow on the list. If you have sensitive skin, then this pillow is great for you because it is hypoallergenic.

Because it is a mini-bed pillow, it is not as easy to fit around your neck during upright air or car travel. Its comfort may be unparalleled and well worth the price, but it is quite expensive, and you’ll have to buy a pillowcase separately.

Pros:

  • Hypoallergenic
  • Ergonomic design with full lumbar support
  • Natural, high-quality goose down

Cons:

  • Does not come with pillowcase 
  • Expensive

Compact Travel Pillow with Memory Foam

This travel pillow has a unique design that allows you to use the pillow as a normal bed pillow or as a cylindrical travel pillow that molds to your neck with a patented shredded memory foam technology.

The main issues with this pillow are that the memory foam clumps up when you roll the pillow and takes a while to get back to its original shape when you want the full bed pillow. It is also heavier than most travel pillows.

Pros:

  • Clever and versatile design
  • Memory foam technology

Cons:

  • Heavy
  • Lumpy

Made-for-Car Travel Pillows

If you do most of your traveling in cars, these two products are for you.

Point2Points Twist Pillow

This twisty car and plane pillow has a plastic tube core that allows you to adjust it in any shape you’d like, whether you want a U-shape, an S-shape, or a straight cylinder. It is affordable for all budget types, lightweight, and comes with all the necessary sleeping accessories.

The only issue is that the pillow is a bit thin with less cushioning than others on the list.

Pros:

  • Full sleeping kit included
  • Use for neck, arm, back, or leg support

Cons:

  • Plastic core is noisy to adjust

Lucear Twist Memory Foam

This twist memory foam travel pillow is more budget-friendly and has convenient amenities like snaps on either end to secure it to your neck. It also has Velcro loops so that you can easily attach it to your carry-on without taking up precious space inside.

It is a versatile pillow that you can manipulate to sleep comfortably sitting up, but it will lose its shape after a few hours and has a harder memory foam which may not be suitable for all tastes.

Pros:

  • Budget-friendly
  • Memory foam technology
  • Snap closure 

Cons:

  • Stiff
  • Rod pokes through sometimes

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