Best Travel Neck Pillow for Long Flights
Best Travel Neck Pillow for Long Flights

Whether you’re looking for your first-ever neck pillow or you’re a seasoned veteran, there’s something on this list for everyone. From blow-up models to memory foam, there’s a lot to choose from.

Before you decide on the best travel neck pillow for you, there are a few things to go over. What are you looking for in a pillow companion? Do you want structure or something squishy to lean on? Does packed size matter to you? Is there a material that makes you sweat or is uncomfortable on your skin? Once you’ve answered those questions, we’re ready to rock.

Whether riding in the middle seat on a budget airline or traveling by train across Europe, it’s time to get comfortable! Let’s dive in.

1. Trtl Travel Pillow
Trtl Airplane Smiles

Why We Like It: Stiff insert adds a ton of support.

What You Should Know: It may be too stiff for some users.

If you’re looking for a lot of support that doesn’t take up much room, look no further than the trtl Travel Pillow. The internal support system is wrapped in a soft fleece material, so the strength doesn’t overshadow its comfort. The support is on one side of your neck, so it feels really great when we’re sleeping on one side. You can even move it to the front to add support under your chin. However, if you tend to bob your neck to the left and right in your sleep, your head may still hang to one side.

If you aren’t a fan of sturdy pillows, this might not be the one for you. However, you can adjust the trtl to work for almost any sleeping position, whether on a plane, train, or automobile. This is an excellent option for those looking for something that isn’t too bulky and offers a load of support.

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2. Sea to Summit Aeros Premium Traveller Pillow
Sea to Summit Aeros Premium Traveller Pillow Review

Why We Like It: Folds up tiny when not in use.

What You Should Know: Doesn’t have that soft, squishy feel you get from foam pillows.

If packability is what you want from a travel neck pillow, then an inflatable one is pretty hard to beat. One of our biggest apprehensions, though, is how durable they are. Just one puncture, and they’re rendered practically useless. As such, this one being from Sea to Summit, a fairly reputable brand that offers a robust warranty, is quite reassuring.

The pillow itself inflates into a typical neck pillow shape that goes around your neck. It doesn’t look all that special, though the sides are wide while the nape area is pretty thin. This provides a lot of support at the sides without feeling intrusive at the back of the neck. There’s also a toggle at the front that holds the gap together, so you can be fairly confident that this will stay on as you sleep.

While this pillow is fairly easy to inflate and easy to adjust because of its valve, the inflatable design doesn’t quite deliver the same level of comfort foam-based pillows do. There’s just something about the squishy, breathable sensation that feels comfier than the rigid consistency of an inflatable pillow. Still, this pillow gets the job done if you’re just looking for relatively quick in-flight naps.

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3. J-Pillow Travel Pillow
J-Pillow Travel Pillow

Why We Like It: Lots of support and hugs your face.

What You Should Know: Can fall off in your sleep.

Do you like to be comfortable on flights? Do you want an additional headrest for extra support? Do you want a travel neck pillow that has a passing resemblance to a walrus? If you answered yes to any of those questions, the J-Pillow Travel Pillow might be your best bet.

The unique design hugs your face, offering a ton of padded support. However, that structure only comes on one side of your head. If you move a lot in your sleep, it runs the risk of falling off since there’s no VELCRO or buckle to keep it in place. However, it’s a great shout for side sleepers and those who want extra support.

Compared to some models, the J-Pillow doesn’t pack down very small. In fact, its irregular T-shape might make it tricky to pack like that one Tetris shape everyone has trouble with. However, the extra support will be worth it to travelers who always wake up with a crick in their neck after a long flight.

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4. BCOZZY Travel Pillow
BCOZZY Kids’ Travel Pillow

Why We Like It: Can customize it to fit your needs.

What You Should Know: Might not be big enough for some.

No matter what seat you end up with on your budget flight from Delhi to Mumbai, the bcozzy Travel Pillow will adapt to keep you comfortable. The design is longer than most models, so you can wrap it to meet your needs, whether they’re on your left, right, in front, or behind your head.

The soft exterior makes it easy to find comfort, even when we’re sitting in a relatively cramped economy class seat. If you want more support, just tighten the pillow’s grip. However, this might not be the best travel neck pillow for you if you have a more oversized neck, as you won’t be able to tighten it as much.

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5. Cabeau Evolution S3 Neck Pillow
Cebeau Neck Pillow

Why We Like It: Attaches to your seat, so it won’t move.

What You Should Know: May not work for shorter users.

If you tend to toss and turn while sleeping on an airplane, the Cabeau Evolution S3 Airplane Travel Neck Pillow may be the best pillow for you. One of the highlights is the seat attachment strap, so you can’t slouch or bend over so long as you have it secured. This may feel slightly claustrophobic for some users; however, we’ve found it’s easy to get used to.

On the front, a strap tightens the pillow’s grip around your neck so you don’t fall forward, either. If you’re short, you may find the whole apparatus is too high for you to use. However, there’s usually an attachment point somewhere on the seat to make the mechanism work.

It comes with a carrying case, but the whole deal is a little larger than we’d like. That said, its size is a small price for a pillow that keeps you in place, no matter where the destination is.

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Why We Like It: Feels like a comfortable sweater.

What You Should Know: Takes up a lot of space.

For travelers searching for the best travel neck pillow with boisterous 360-degree support, the Ostrichpillow Go Neck Pillow is a great shout. It isn’t the smallest offering on this list; however, when you wear it, it feels like you’re sporting a warm sweater in your bed at home.

The design wraps all the way around your neck for support that has you covered no matter which way your head leans. We’re also digging the hook-and-loop patch that feels very secure and simple to latch, not requiring you to fiddle with snaps or hooks. The included bag helps keep it clean in your travel backpack, but it doesn’t compress, so it will take up a large amount of space if you’re traveling with a daypack. However, the comfort supplied by this neck pillow will help you wake up refreshed and ready to go.

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7. Vive Neck Brace
Vive Neck Brace

Why We Like It: Great for balling on a budget.

What You Should Know: Not comfortable for long trips.

Okay, we know what you might be thinking. A neck brace? For travel? Has the Pack Hacker Team gone mad? Here us out—one of the worst things on a flight is getting comfortable and cozy, nearly falling asleep, only for you to be shocked away by the sensation of falling you get when your head drops an inch. With a neck brace, your head isn’t going anywhere. It simply wraps around your neck and fastens securely for a nice, relatively cozy feel.

Plus, this thing is extraordinarily budget-friendly. It isn’t the most comfortable option on the market, but if your primary concern is head bobbing, there might be no better option than the Vive Neck Brace on your journey to find the best travel neck pillow for you.

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8. Sunany Inflatable Neck Pillow
Sunany Inflatable Neck Pillow

Why We Like It: Sits on the tray table infront of you.

What You Should Know: Inflatable, so it can puncture.

Okay, but what if you want a pillow that offers a lot of support but takes up nearly no room when packed? We’ve got you covered. The Sunany Inflatable Neck Pillow blows up, so it can slide into small spaces in your pack and even fit into a large sling. Once inflated, it rests on the tray table in front of you so you can lean forward on it for support. There’s a hole for your face and a place to rest your arms. Yes, this one’s for those who would rather lean forward than lean back on what’s likely super straight and stiff economy seats.

Its size does come at a cost. You’ll have to blow it up when you get to your seat, which may take a while or attract a lot of attention. Plus, more surface area means more places for it to get a puncture. However, the materials are durable, and the comfort offered by this thing makes the hassle of blowing it up worth it. You may just need to get used to a few weird looks from fellow passengers.

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9. bullbird BR2 Travel Pillow
bullbird BR2 Travel Pillow

Why We Like It: Excellent back and neck support.

What You Should Know: Won’t stop your head from bobbing forward.

The bullbird BR2 Travel Pillow doesn’t just support your neck; it’s ergonomically designed to align your spine and neck, so you’ll have a comfortable flight and be well-aligned when you arrive at your destination. It’s much smaller than many of the options on this list, so you’ll have more room to pack souvenirs on the way home.

This model feels supportive enough to stop your neck from bobbing left and right. However, it struggles to stop us from falling forward when we’re sitting in an upright position (most economy class seats are steeply upright, after all). However, it’s designed to fit most adults, is hand washable, and features memory foam to ensure you’re comfortable from point A to point B.

If you are looking for an option that will keep you aligned and ready to take on any adventure, this might be the best travel neck pillow for you.

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10. MLVOC Memory Travel Pillow
MLVOC Memory Travel Pillow

Why We Like It: Comes with earplugs, an eye mask, and a case.

What You Should Know: It’s difficult to stow in the case.

If you need more than the standard pillow design, the MLVOC Travel Pillow 100% Pure Memory Foam Neck Pillow has you covered. This model comes with an eye mask, ear plugs, and a case to ensure you’re ready to sleep no matter where you are. The phrase out of sight, out of mind gains a whole new meaning when you’re at cruising altitude and you can’t see or hear the baby crying a few rows behind you. Ah, so comfortable!

We have a really hard time putting this pillow back in its case; however, the memory foam is very comfortable and offers enough support to get you through the day, night, or afternoon. Plus, the whole set is budget-friendly for all travelers.

If you want the whole package, this might be the best travel neck pillow for you!

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11. Travelrest Nest Ultimate Memory Foam Travel Pillow
Travelrest Nest Ultimate Memory Foam Travel Pillow

Why We Like It: Memory foam is extremely comfortable.

What You Should Know: It’s a bit heavy.

The Travelrest Nest Memory Foam Travel Pillow is a fancy-feeling offering that compresses down small enough to fit into your hand so you don’t have to compromise size or comfort. Plus, it comes with a complimentary set of earplugs.

Even though this neck pillow compresses relatively small, it’s still quite heavy. This isn’t a huge deal, but ultralight packers should be wary of that. However, because it’s crafted from memory foam, the materials form to your back and shoulders to create a fitted feel that will allow you to relax. The pillow has a cover, so you can remove that and wash it should it get dirty.

For the comforts of home that fit into the palm of your hand, look no further than the Travelrest Nest Memory Foam Travel Pillow.

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12. NapFun Memory Foam Travel Pillow
NapFun Memory Foam Travel Pillow

Why We Like It: The cloth cover can be washed separately.

What You Should Know: Comes with its own pouch, but it doesn’t compress all that well

The shape of a neck pillow is as important as any of its aspects. After all, all the soft foam padding in the world won’t help if it's nowhere near the part of your head that needs support. Thus, the NapFun Memory Foam Travel Pillow looks very promising to us, with its many contours and tall side walls. As expected, its rather unique shape is supportive, particularly when you lean onto corners. The sides have a bit more leeway in letting your head move about, but it’s overall still neckbrace-like in terms of constraints.

On the other hand, this neck pillow is rather bulky. They say that the pouch helps with compressing it into a more travel-friendly size. However, while that may be technically true, the difference is quite minimal versus if you simply crushed it yourself. Otherwise, you may want to wear this for the duration of your trip if you’re a bit short on packing space—but it’ll at least be very comfortable doing so.

Lastly, we like that this travel neck pillow’s cover is separately washable. Yes, if you drool on your neck pillow, chances are it’ll seep into the pillow itself anyway. However, for light stains like the oils on your face or makeup, cleaning the cover is more than enough, and it’ll be easier to dry out without the use of a dryer (you might not have access to that kind of amenity every time, after all).

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So there you have it! Some of the best travel neck pillow models to ensure you get to your destination well-rested. No matter where you’re going, being prepared when you arrive is half the battle! Happy snoozing.

April 18, 2023

Pack Hacker