The best travel pillows for planes, trains and car travel
Whether you’re flying abroad or catching a train cross-country, ensure you travel comfortably and sleep well with our guide to the best travel pillows.
Made it through the airport, boarded the plane and ready to hit the hay? If you’ve not quite made it to first class, sleeping on a plane is no easy feat. You’re hot then cold, and there are legroom issues, maybe other passenger issues, and a lack of neck support on your seat. Adding a travel pillow to your packing list should be the top of your priorities to make travelling and sleeping a little more of a breeze.
A travel pillow can make all the difference to your comfort on a flight - not only will it help you sleep better, but it can help prevent neck pain and avoid awkward sleeping positions. They’re also great to use for long-haul car journeys or train journeys or when travelling cross-country on a night bus.
For more useful tips on journeying in the air, check out our tips for air travel: the most common mistakes to avoid. We’ve also got you covered with the best carry-on luggage and the best luggage straps to help keep your belongings safe.
So, which type of travel pillow is the best for you? To help you answer that, The Recommended scoured the internet to find the best travel pillows on the market to ensure you have a good night's sleep, regardless of how you travel. We’ve also put together a handy buyer’s guide to answer your most commonly asked questions, which you can find at the bottom of this page.
The best travel pillows at a glance:
- Best for neck support: BCOZZY Neck Pillow, £39.97 at Amazon
- Best budget travel pillow: Streetwize Travel Neck Pillow, £13 at Argos
- Best travel pillow for side sleepers: Travelrest Ultimate Travel Pillow & Neck Pillow, £25.54 at Amazon
- Best compact travel pillow: Boots Deluxe Travel Pillow, £25 at Boots
- Best accessories: Everlasting Comfort Memory Foam Travel Pillow, £24.99 at Amazon
- Best portable travel pillow: SNUGL Travel Pillow, £29.95 at Amazon
- Best for long journeys: Go Travel 2 Memory Dreamer Pillow, £19.99 at John Lewis
- Best for comfort: Huzi Store Infinity Pillow, £39.99 at Amazon
- Best supportive travel pillow: Memory Foam Travel Pillow, £15 at Marks & Spencer
- Best premium travel pillow: Wilford & Sons Neck Travel Pillow, £19.99 at Amazon
The best travel pillows
Best for neck support: BCOZZY Neck Pillow
Chin rest stops your head from dropping
This travel pillow wraps fully around your neck, providing extra support to your chin when you sleep. It can also be customised to suit three sleeping positions.
Made from a breathable micro-fleece and micro-suede material, this travel pillow is designed to promote comfort and support. It also has a flat-back design, which is said to prevent your head from hanging forward when you sleep.
Best budget travel pillow: Streetwize Travel Neck Pillow
Cheap and cheerful
Lie back and rest your neck with this ergonomically designed pillow, perfect for plane, train and car journeys, whether long or short. It features a memory foam filling to mould uniquely to the shape of your neck and provide the upmost support and comfort. Use the handy clip to secure to your bag when on the move for the ultimate convenience.
Best travel pillow for side sleepers: Travelrest Ultimate Travel Pillow & Neck Pillow
Ideal for side sleepers
This travel pillow wins full marks for creativity. It can be worn like a sash across your body, which is perfect for when you’re stuck in a middle aisle or if you’re a side sleeper.
Great for all the family, this travel pillow is inflatable and rolls down into a compact shape that you can easily attach to luggage. It is designed to promote proper head and neck alignment and to keep your head from falling forward when you sleep.
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Best compact travel pillow: Boots Deluxe Travel Pillow
Packs away easily
Make comfort a priority when on the move with this memory foam travel pillow. It gently moulds to your neck and features a customisable securing closure for the ultimate experience. It includes a handy carry pouch, so simply roll it up and pop inside to make it easy for transportation. The cover and pouch are machine washable.
Best accessories: Everlasting Comfort Memory Foam Travel Pillow
Comes with earplugs and a sleeping mask
With a set of memory foam earplugs, a sleeping mask and a carry bag, this neck rest and air travel accessory kit includes everything you need for a solid night’s sleep when travelling.
The travel pillow itself is made from memory foam and is designed to support your head and body position when sleeping. There is also a drawstring that enables you to alter the tightness of the pillow around your neck.
Best portable travel pillow: SNUGL Travel Pillow
Packs into an included carry bag
This travel pillow is great if you are low on space in your hand luggage. Its size can be reduced by up to 70% to fit in its carry bag, and comes fitted with a handy clip for attaching to luggage.
This travel pillow is made from a skin-friendly cationic fabric, which is breathable and soft and prevents overheating and sweating. The shape of the pillow is designed to mould around the contours of your neck and shoulders, which is said to help maintain your body’s natural alignment when sleeping.
Best for long journeys: Go Travel 2 Memory Dreamer Pillow
Relax in comfort
Cosy up and fall asleep peacefully using this travel pillow, which is ideal for long-haul journeys. Its deluxe memory foam stuffing and contoured rear will provide a high-quality level of comfort and support for you to rest against, and its front clasp will keep it positioned in place. We love the vibrant yellow and grey colour scheme, too.
Best for comfort: Huzi Store Infinity Pillow
Named the Infinity Pillow after its unique design, the shape of this travel pillow can be altered and manipulated to suit the space you’re in, whether you’re on a plane, in a car or relaxing at home.
Machine washable, this travel pillow is made from bamboo fabric, which claims to be softer and more breathable than high-thread-count cotton fabrics. It can be configured to accommodate any sleeping position, including as a traditional neck pillow, for general 360° comfort, as a window pillow, and as a back support.
Best supportive travel pillow: Memory Foam Travel Pillow
Prioritise comfort on the go
Take your rest to the next level with this soft and super comfy travel pillow. Featuring a memory foam filling and contoured rear, this pillow will provide the ideal positioning for you to lie back and relax and features a fastening at the front to prevent your neck from falling forward.
Best premium travel pillow: Wilford & Sons Neck Travel Pillow
With a side pocket for storing accessories
Made from premium viscoelastic memory foam and featuring a patented ergonomic design, this travel pillow is designed to adjust to the shape of your neck.
This travel pillow comes with a set of earplugs, a facemask and a mesh bag for storage. The exterior of the pillow is made from a ‘velvety-soft’ fleece cover that can be removed for machine washing.
Travel Pillow Buyer's Guide
Looking to buy a travel pillow? We've answered some of the most commonly asked questions to lend you a hand when choosing the right one for you.
What features to look for in a travel pillow
When choosing the perfect travel pillow for your journey, there are several factors to consider. These include the following:
- Material and design: Evaluate the pillow's material. Look for soft fabrics to enhance your comfort, and fillings such as memory foam and microbeads will provide a high level of support. An ergonomic design that cradles your neck and head will encourage a more natural sleeping posture and prevent any strains.
- Adjustable closures: Look for pillows that have adjustable straps and clasps so you can tailor the fit uniquely to you and fasten securely in place. Having a clasp at the front of the pillow will help stop your head from falling forward mid-journey.
- Size and weight: Check out the sizing and weight of the pillow, as these factors can affect its portability. Lightweight options that can easily be packed away or clipped onto your hand luggage will make your travelling much easier and hassle-free.
- Removable covers: Look for a pillow that has removable, washable covers. This will provide easy maintenance and ensure your pillow is kept fresh and clean for each trip.
What are the benefits of a travel pillow?
Using a travel pillow on long journeys can significantly enhance your comfort, neck support and overall experience. Here, we've rounded up just some of the key benefits:
- Comfort: Lying back against a soft and supportive pillow while travelling will provide you with comfortable rest and sleep.
- Neck support: Using a travel pillow will provide support to your neck when sleeping on the go. They are designed to prevent you from sleeping in awkward positions during flights or car and bus journeys and alleviate neck strain.
- Improve sleep quality: Having a good-quality travel pillow to provide comfort and support on your journeys will instantly improve your quality of sleep. This will help you arrive at your destinations feeling rested and refreshed.
- Portable: Most travel pillows are lightweight and easy to transport, whether they feature a clip to attach to your bag or can roll up into a pouch or bag for convenient carrying.
- Easy to clean: You can keep your pillow fresh and clean as most covers are machine washable, making it a convenient and hassle-free process.
How to keep your travel pillow fresh and clean
Keeping your travel pillow clean and fresh is essential. Follow these tips for easy, hygienic maintenance to keep your pillow in tip-top condition:
- Opt for a removable cover: When choosing your travel pillow, pick one that has a removable and machine-washable cover. This makes it easy to remove any dirt and odours that can accumulate during your travels.
- Air it out: After using your travel pillow, pop it in a well-ventilated area to air it out, getting rid of any trapped odours or unwanted moisture.
- Spray it: Refresh your travel pillow ever so often using a fabric freshener or suitable disinfectant spray to keep it clean and smelling pleasant.
- Cover with a pillowcase: If your travel pillow doesn't have a removable cover, add an extra layer of protection to it by placing a small pillowcase over it. The pillowcase can then be removed and washed, preventing any build-up of dirt or germs.
How much does a travel pillow cost?
Travel pillows can vary in price, depending on various factors such as the brand and its additional features. This means there is one for every budget type, whether looking for a basic level pillow starting at as little as £5 to £10 or opting for a premium model, which can cost anything from £15 to £40.
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Luke Chamberlain is a Staff Writer for The Recommended, and interviews some of the world’s most knowledgeable product experts to help readers make smarter decision about the products they buy online.
Cordelia Aspinall is a Digital Writer for Immediate Media, working across brands including The Recommended, RadioTimes.com, MadeForMums and BBC Gardeners’ World. She has previously worked and written for digital publications including Condé Nast Traveller, The Evening Standard, Cosmopolitan, and several other lifestyle brands.