Best Travel Pillow for Long-Haul Flights – Buying Guide for the Best Neck Pillow

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Finding the best travel pillow for long-haul flights and other travel can make a huge difference in your journey. That’s why we’ve researched the market to give you this up-to-date list of best neck pillows to travel with.

The best travel pillow for long-haul flights isn’t useful only on airplanes, either. In fact, you can use a great travel pillow on trains, cars, and buses. They’re also handy at home or for a short nap in the office.

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Best Travel Pillows for Long-Haul Flights

Sleeping is very important for your health — whether you’re traveling or not. In fact, the unfortunate truth is that for most people, it’s hard to get meaningful sleep on a plane. That’s why having one of thebest travel pillow for long-haul flights helps. Sometimes getting just a little more comfortable makes a huge difference.

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No Perfect Pillow for All

Now here’s the rub: the best travel pillow for long-haul flights for me may not be the best travel pillow for you. There are a number of designs today, and each has its advocates. I’ll run through a few of them here. Only you can decide what’s the best travel pillow for yourself.

Look through our list of some of the best travel pillow for long-haul flights and more. Which do you think would be best for you?

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Overview: Best Travel Pillows for Long-Haul Flights

Let’s face it: the little clump of fluff that flight attendants hand you is not the best travel pillow for long-haul flights. It’s better than nothing, but the best neck pillow for travel it is not. Now consider Low-Cost Carriers (LCC) such as AirAsia, Spirit Air, or Ryanair. We fly them, but they are bare-bones when it comes to amenities. Don’t count on extras here. Forget thebest travel pillow for long-haul flights — you may not get a pillow at all!

Sleeping comfortably is hard on long-haul flights. The same could be said for long rides on trains, buses, boats, and cars. We’ve done them all, and we can tell you. What is your trick to get comfortable enough to sleep while in transit? I always carry a good sleep mask, a set of earplugs, a surgical mask (my mouth gets so dry) and a jacket. We talk more about our long-haul flight strategy here.

However, having the best neck pillow for travel certainly helps you sleep more comfortably and avoid cramped muscles. Let me tell you: jetlag and a stiff neck are a bad combo.

Looking for a gift for travel-minded family and friends? Consider what the best travel pillow for long-haul flights would be for them. They are an affordable and useful gift to consider.

The Best Travel Pillow Styles

Are you traveling mostly by train, bus, or airplane? If mostly by car, you might as well just bring a pillow from your own bed.

However, for this post, I’d like to focus on travelers who would like to carry the best neck pillows for air travel. That goes for other travel methods where you must sit up or are otherwise confined in some way. These travel pillow designs are meant for you. The best travel pillow for long-haul flights work just as well on long train rides, crowded buses, and small boat ferries.

When I started traveling in the 90’s, most travel pillow designs were inflatable, U-shaped and made of plastic.  Nowadays, the designs of some of the best travel pillow for long-haul flights look very different.

When choosing the best travel pillow design for you, consider where you’ll be using it. For example, if you plan to use your travel pillow on buses in tropical areas, consider carefully. Some styles keep you warm, which can be an advantage or a disadvantage, depending on where you are.

Sometimes, it can surprise you. For example, Mexico and Malaysia are hot, but the buses are often freezing. Then again, we traveled a lot in southern Vietnam where it’s hot and muggy most of the year and there’s no air conditioning on public transport.

Inflatable Neck Pillow: Best Travel Pillow for Long-Haul Flights

I think an inflatable pillow is one of the commonly used travel pillows for flights. For one, they’re light and easy to carry. The usual ones I see on the airplanes are the U-shaped. They’re mostly made of plastic so I recommend having a towel or some cloth to place over it. Otherwise, it will make the skin in contact sweat. You can wash and change the towel, but may not be able to wash the travel pillow itself.

Memory Foam Travel Pillow: Best Travel Pillow for Long-Haul Flights

Another one of the best travel pillow styles is frequently seen on carry-on luggage at the airport. These are solid travel pillows, usually made from memory foam or filled with lightweight siliconized polyester fiber. Most are lightweight and as easily carried, but bulkier to travel with than inflatable pillows since they cannot fit into smaller spaces.

Wrap-Around Neck Pillow: Best Travel Pillow for Long-Haul Flights

Wrap-Around Travel Pillows are another popular travel pillow design worth considering. Unlike U-shaped neck pillows, which could often slide around and change position as you sleep, the wrap-around neck pillow design stays on your neck. Because of this, it supports your head more reliably at the point where you want it to stay. Out of all the best travel pillow for long-haul flights, these are the most unconventional designs.

Depending on the way you travel (airplanes, trains, buses, cars, boats, etc) and how you prefer to sleep, you may want to try several types of neck pillows until you choose thebest travel pillow for long-haul flights design for you. There are also regular rectangular-shaped travel pillows, of course. That said, I would not think that would stay where you want it unless it has some straps. Then again, such pillows are great when laying flat on a seat, sofa or floor during a long layover at the airport.

Also, consider where you’ll be using your pillow because wrap-around pillows tend to warm you up. On air-conditioned planes and boats, this is a huge advantage. (Wish I had a wrap-around pillow on the boat from Penang to Langkawi…I nearly froze to death!). But if you think you’ll be trying to sleep on trains and buses in hot conditions (I’m thinking India, Vietnam, and much of Latin America), then you’re essentially wearing a turtleneck to the sauna. Try and sleep then.

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Travel Pillow for Kids?

Would it help you to sleep with a neck pillow designed to use during travel? We think so. So it’s natural to think that it would certainly help little ones get more comfortable using some of the best travel neck pillows for long-haul flights.

Don’t buy the same travel pillows for adults thinking they’ll always work with the kids, too. The best travel pillow for you may be too big or uncomfortable for your child’s body shape. There are many recommended travel pillows specifically designed for children. Some even have brighter colors or fun prints.

Are the Best Travel Pillows for Long-Haul Flights Expensive?

How much do you want to spend on the best travel pillow for you? It’s your call. In general, most of thebest travel pillow for long-haul flights are relatively inexpensive. However, just because it’s cheap doesn’t mean it’s the best travel pillow for you. Sometimes you get what you pay for. How valuable is a well-rested you?

Imagine this. Without the best neck pillows on the market, you could hurt your neck or shoulders resulting cramps. This leads to massage therapy or the doctor’s office. With only US$20-35, you’ll sleep much better on the flight with less neck and shoulder pain later.

Our List of Best Travel Pillows for Air Travel

Ok, now let’s get into the best travel pillows on the market today. Remember: Your best travel pillow for long-haul flights might not be the best travel pillow for someone else. Which one will you choose?

BCOZZY Chin Supporting Travel Pillow

Best Travel Pillow for Long-Haul Flights

The BCOZZY Chin Supporting Travel Pillow is certainly one of thebest travel pillow for long-haul flights. It’s a soft, solid pillow that wraps around on your neck to support both the chin and the neck. The BCOZZY Chin Supporting Travel Pillow helps support your head and chin to keep them in a comfortable position while you sleeping in a sitting position during long-haul flights.

This neck pillow for travel is filled with lightweight hollow conjugated siliconized polyester fiber and is fully machine washable. The back side of the BCOZZY Travel Pillow is flatter. Therefore, your head won’t be pushed forward as you lean back against the seat. There’s a snap strap attached so that it’s easy to hook it to luggage or a backpack.

Check Price: BCOZZY Chin Supporting Travel Pillow

Cabeau Evolution Memory Foam Travel Pillow

Cabeau Evolution Memory Foam Travel Pillow - Best Travel Pillow for Long-Haul Flights

If you are looking for the best travel pillow with memory foam, the Cabeau Evolution Memory Foam Travel Pillow is one to check out. The Cabeau supports the entire neck, making it one of the best neck pillows for sleep on long flights. Like many of the best neck pillow designs today, the Cabeau has a flat back that provides a more comfortable position that doesn’t awkwardly push your head forwards.

The Cabeau Evolution Memory Foam Travel Neck Pillow includes a removable and washable cover so that your pillow will be always clean. In addition, it also comes with a carry-on bag to carry that compresses this solid pillow to a quarter of its size. The result: less more storage space in your bag. Even though it’s a solid pillow, it only weighs 371g (13 oz). Being comfortable, compressible and lightweight makes it one of the best travel pillow for long-haul flights.

Check Price: Cabeau Evolution Memory Foam Travel Pillow

AERIS Travel Pillow for Restful Sleep on an Airplane

Best Travel Neck Pillow AERIS Travel Pillow - Best Travel Pillow for Long-Haul Flights

AERIS Travel Pillow is a memory foam neck pillow for air travel utilizing the conventional U-shape. The memory foam in the AERIS Travel Pillow makes it soft and comfortable, yet sturdy enough to support your neck.

Like many of thebest travel pillow for long-haul flights, it can be stuffed into a smaller bag (included) to save space. The cover of this travel pillow is soft to the skin and machine washable. It also comes with an adjustable toggle so that you can alter how snug you want it to be on your neck.

The AERIS Travel Pillow also comes with earplugs and an eye mask.  For me personally, the plugs and eye mask are just as essential to air travel as the best travel pillows you can find (along with a great travel jacket). With this travel pillow, you don’t have to make an extra purchase.

Check Price: AERIS Travel Pillow for Restful Sleep on an Airplane

Comfortable Travel Pillow

Crafty World Comfortable Travel Pillow - Best Travel Pillow for Long-Haul Flights

This memory foam neck pillow from Crafty World is simply named “Comfortable Travel Pillow.” Expect your typical U-shaped travel pillow but with thermosensitive memory foam that molds to your neck comfortably.

Its pillow cover is made from soft velour that’s both removable and washable. And that’s important if you use it a lot. The best travel pillow for long-haul flights is easy to keep clean and fresh all the time. Comfortable Travel Pillow also comes with a special elastic strip that makes it easy to attach to your carry on luggage or a backpack. There are no strings or adjustable toggles. For features like that, look at the AERIS Travel Pillow or the Cabeau Evolution Memory Foam Travel Pillow mentioned above.

The manufacturer offers a five-year manufacturer money back guarantee with this neck pillow. With that in mind, if you haven’t used any travel neck pillow before, this simple travel pillow from Crafty World might be the best travel neck pillow to try first.

Check Price: Comfortable Travel Pillow

Juning Travel Pillow Memory Foam

Juning Travel Pillow Memory Foam - Best Travel Pillow for Long-Haul Flights

The Juning Travel Pillow is a U-shaped neck pillow best used on flights, long cars or train rides, and even in your home or office for naps. The memory foam used in the Juning Travel Pillow is resilient and extra dense in order to hold your neck position.

This neck pillow comes with a machine-washable soft microfiber pillowcase that helps you keep it clean easily. There are two strings attached to the cover, making it easy to adjust how tight the pillow fits around your neck. All the qualities of the best travel pillow for long-haul flights.

Check Price: Juning Travel Pillow Memory Foam

Daydreamer Inflatable Neck Travel Pillow

Daydreamer Inflatable Neck Travel Pillow - Best Travel Pillow for Long-Haul Flights

The Daydreamer Inflatable Neck Travel Pillow from AirComfy is somewhat different from the typical inflatable neck pillows on the market. What makes this one of the best inflatable travel pillow designs? You can inflate it using a built-in inflation pump. No more huffing and puffing. Simply press on the pump and it fills itself.

Not only does this save you from the trouble (and frequent head rushes) of blowing up the pillow. It also makes it easier (and more sanitary) to share an inflatable neck pillow with someone else.

This inflatable neck pillow comes with a soft, machine-washable micro-velvet pillowcase. It may look like a solid memory foam neck pillow in the picture, but is an inflatable travel pillow. The result: you save more spaces when you deflate it. Its exterior and easy-to-inflate design make it one of the best travel pillow for long-haul flights.

Check Price: Daydreamer Inflatable Neck Travel Pillow

Travelrest Ultimate Travel Pillow/Neck Pillow

Travelrest Ultimate Travel Pillow/Neck Pillow - Best Travel Pillow for Long-Haul Flights

And now for something completely different. The Travelrest Ultimate Travel Pillow is one of the best and most unique neck pillow designs. It inflates into a long J-shape for you to lean your head against when you sleep. Unlike U-shaped or wrap-around neck pillows, this supports your neck without actually having something around your neck. A thin strap can be tied around the back to keep it in place.

It inflates effortlessly and can be easily adjusted how soft or hard you want it to be with an air bulb. As it is an inflatable neck pillow, you can travel easily with it whether you stick it in your backpack or to attach to a carry on luggage.

The Travelrest Travel Pillow might be the best neck travel pillow design for people like my wife, Keiko, who don’t like anything against their neck.

Check Price: Travelrest Ultimate Travel Pillow/Neck Pillow

J Pillow Travel Pillow

J Pillow Travel pillow - Best Travel Pillow for Long-Haul Flights

The Travel pillow from J Pillow is another unconventional travel neck pillow design best utilized on flights. Do you sleep on your side? Do you prefer the window seat to the aisle? If so, then this might be the best travel pillow for you.

As the name suggests, the J Pillow Travel pillow is a J-shaped pillow that supports your neck and keeps your chin from dropping. If you sit next to a window — on a plane, car, bus or other vehicles — this travel pillow design gives you comfy, cushioned support.

What I like best about the J Pillow Travel pillow is that it’s machine washable. That means a fresh pillow whenever you travel. It also has a snap loop for you to attach it to a carry on luggage. Easy cleaning and useful design make it one of the best travel pillow for long-haul flights.

Check Price: J Pillow Travel Pillow

Trtl Pillow

Trtl - Best Travel Pillow for Long-Haul Flights

The Trtle Pillow is a wrap-around style neck pillow made from super soft fleece that is machine washable. Compared to solid memory foam neck pillows, the Trtle Pillow is even more lightweight and easy to carry. Its size and compact design make it one of the best travel pillow for long-haul flights.

The reinforced ribs inside of comfortable fleece pillow help support your neck to sleep better in an airplane seat. It’s a snug fit with breathable fleece. If you’re usually cold in airplanes, then the Trtle Pillow is the best neck pillow to stay warm and sleep in an upright position.

On the other hand, if you plan to use your travel pillow on buses in tropical areas consider carefully. For example, Mexico and Malaysia are hot, but the buses are freezing. Then again, we traveled a lot in southern Vietnam where it’s hot and muggy most of the year and there’s no air conditioning on public transport.

Check Price: Trtl Pillow

What’s the Best Travel Pillow for You?

Do you have an opinion on the best travel pillows for long-haul flights? Tell me what you usually use as a neck pillow. How long have you had your travel pillow? What’s the best travel pillow design for your needs? Do you use it at home as well? What other tips do you have to sleep comfortably on long-haul flights, trains, buses, and cars? What do you consider the best travel pillow features? Please comment below so we can learn more.

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