Best Travel Pillows For Airplanes: Top 5 in 2022


Apr 16

Do you enjoy travelling? Do you travel often? If the answer is yes, then you probably know the importance of travelling comfortably by now! Extreme discomfort, body ache, and stress are some of the common afflictions that affect frequent travelers. Whether you’re journeying in a car, on a ship, or on an airplane, travelling for a long period of time can make you feel uncomfortable. And while a lucky few do enjoy the long hours on the road or in the air and even manage to sleep easily, the majority of travelers find it hard to relax or take a nap. In the past years, it has become a trend to carry a travel pillow. The best travel pillows for airplanes can be invaluable accessories to ease your time on flights and other modes of transportation.

When traveling, most of the time, you’re not able to lie down. Sitting down is often the only option. Sleeping or napping while you’re sitting down can be uncomfortable, as your neck is laden by the weight of your head. In order to reduce the load off your neck, it’s highly suggested that you use a travel neck pillow. This type of pillow is specifically designed for sleeping while you are sitting. As such, it’s ideal for travelers.


**You will find more detailed reviews below, but you can also click the links above to check the current prices and read customer's reviews.

Travel pillows for airplanes have become a basic necessity for most travelers as they truly enhance your comfort. Most of the time, these pillows contain soft foam, which makes them extremely pleasant and relaxing to use on the neck while sitting in transportation. They are normally firm, so they can easily support your neck and indirectly help you carry all of your head's weight. Some people are even very comfortable sleeping or napping when resting their head on a travel pillow since they can’t feel the weight of their head.

How to Choose the Right Pillows for Airplanes

Travel pillows are considered orthopedic types of pillows. The best travel pillows for airplanes are designed to support the neck and head. They offer sufficient support for your head to allow you to sleep at ease. But when buying a travel pillow, there are a few important things to consider. Below are the key questions you should ask yourself to make sure you buy the right pillow for your travels.

travel pillows

Is it firm enough to make you feel comfortable when using it? Since most of your travel time is likely to be spent sitting down, you might want to choose a travel pillow that is firm enough to offer you sufficient neck support and that will prevent any body ache throughout the trip.

Does it fit on your neck perfectly? Does it have good contour design? Travel pillows should allow your neck to breathe, and not give you a "choking" experience when using them. It’s essential to check that the contour design of the pillow suits your neck. This will help ensure that you have a good body posture while sleeping in the position you want.

Is it easily washable? Most of the best travel pillows for airplanes are conveniently made of easy-to-wash materials. Although many contain soft and high-quality materials, there are some that aren’t so consumer friendly and might require too much effort when it comes to washing them. Take your time to research whether the materials used for the travel pillow you are thinking of buying are easy to wash.

travel pillows for airplanes

Does it have a lot of positive reviews? The best way to assess the reliability of a product is to check what people who have bought it have to say about it. Look at the rating, the pros, and the cons mentioned. This is especially true when you are buying a product online. You don’t have any way to touch the product and see it in person, so it’s your only way to get a good feel for it.

Place your head in its proper place with the right type of travel pillow that offers backbone support in addition to a nice surface to sleep on. The styles and designs differ depending on your personal preferences. There are also travel pillows designed specifically for children. Those are normally made from 100% cotton and created to be hypoallergenic as well. By answering the questions above, you will be able to find the best travel pillows for airplanes for you.

Types of Travel Pillows

An airplane seat can be adjusted into a lounging position in order help you to sleep more comfortably. However, this is only beneficial for the passenger’s lower back. By also supporting your head, neck, and shoulders, you will increase your comfort levels significantly. This is the reason why using a travel pillow is highly suggested. The right travel pillow will become your best companion on your long trips ahead, whether you ride on an airplane, a car, a train, or a bus. Below is an overview of the different types of travel pillows you can choose from:

- Horseshoe Travel Pillow

The horseshoe shape, also known as U-shape, is the most common shape of travel pillows. Many of the best travel pillows for airplanes adopt this shape. It is placed at the back of the neck, with its two ends resting on the shoulders of the passenger. So, when your head falls back or slouches sideways, or when you fall asleep on your trip, your ligaments and muscles do not overstretch too much. Without this kind of proper support, you would likely wake up with a horrid pain in your neck.

a dog lying on a travel pillow

This shape of travel pillow is available in different designs to suit anyone’s needs. Some are made of hypoallergenic materials in order to prevent sinuses from acting up or to avoid triggering chronic rhinitis in those who suffer from it. Most pillows made of a velvet cover or satin can be kept clean by dry-cleaning. When your travel pillow is made of leather or vinyl, it’s best to rub off the dust and sweat with a slightly dampened cloth.

- Square-Shaped Travel Pillow

Some of us prefer to bring along pillows that have the same shape and look similar to the ones we use at home. These pillows still offer security and comfort, as many of them have memory foam - a radical material that is firm enough to offer support to the neck and head. That said, they are also very flexible and soft, so that they let your neck and head sink into their thickness. This travel pillow shape comes in different colors. Its cover can be made of satin or cotton, or in some cases velvet or leather. Regardless of the materials, the covers are usually machine washable.

best travel pillows for airplanes square shaped type

Another type of travel pillow with this shape is one with secure forms on both sides that form two columns to maintain the head in position. Rather than letting your head slouch around, which could lead to soreness in the back of your neck while resting on the throw cushion, this type of pillow keeps your head stable. Moreover, it covers your ears to soften the noise from the engines of the plane or from outside noise as the vehicle moves.

- Other Shapes

As brands constantly seek to improve travelers' experience and sleep quality with innovative designs, smart new shapes of travel pillows have been appearing on the market. Notable successes include the Möbius shape of the Infinity Pillow and the J-like form of the J-pillow, both of which are included on our list below.

Infinity Pillow uses

Today's innovative travel pillow designs include the uniquely versatile, transformable shape of the Infinity Pillow.

Top 5 Best Travel Pillows For Airplanes

If you’ve taken a long-haul airplane or an extensive car ride, you definitely know how uncomfortable it can be to sit for a very long period of time. Because of this, a lot of people will try to nap to help pass the time, but they often struggle to get quality sleep. The right travel pillows for airplanes can definitely go a long way to making your trip easier and more enjoyable. Below is a list of our favorite travel pillows to enhance your travels. We highly recommend you check them out and choose one of these models handpicked by our team to improve your travelling experience.

If you’re prepared to invest in the absolute best, then look no further than the Infinity Pillow! The innovative design of this Möbius-shaped pillow makes it the smartest and most versatile model on the market today. Whereas our other picks for best travel pillows for airplanes tend to be limited to a single application and to enable one resting position only, the Infinity Pillow can be twisted, wrapped, and bundled into an infinity of shapes, allowing you to use it in a variety of ways wherever you find yourself – whether it’s on the road, at home, or in the window, middle, or aisle seat. Beyond a neck pillow offering 360 support, it can easily transform into a window pillow, a desk pillow, a lumbar pillow, an eye mask, a noise canceling pillow, and more.

But the genius of this model doesn’t stop with its revolutionary shape. It also extends to the materials used, which make the pillow at once incredibly soft and supportive. The natural bamboo fabric used on the surface is breathable, machine washable, amazingly smooth and gentle on the skin, and has temperature-regulating properties that allow you to stay cool and sleep better.

In short, this pillow ticks all the boxes and more! As a bonus perk, you can choose from 6 beautiful colors, including discreet grey, navy, and tan, or brighter pink, green, and burgundy.


Editor's Rating: 99/100

Price: $39.00


  • Has an innovative shape and design that make it exceptionally smart and versatile
  • Can be transformed into a neck pillow, back pillow, window pillow, eye mask, noise-canceling pillow, desk pillow, and more to adapt to any place and situation
  • Allows you to rest in a variety of positions
  • Offers strong, 360° neck support when used as a neck pillow
  • Made of machine-washable, breathable, silky-soft natural bamboo fabric that is extremely comfortable and pleasant to the skin
  • Has temperature-regulating properties that help improve your sleep quality by keeping you cool
  • Can be wrapped into a compact bundle for transportation
  • Available in 6 beautiful colors


  • Slightly more expensive than the other models on this list (but we believe it's worth it for the the multiple usages it offers!)
  • Those with medical neck or back problems may need a harder model that offers more solid support

Earning a well-deserved second place on our list of best travel pillows for airplanes, the J-pillow won the “Invention of the Year” award in the UK in 2013. This travel pillow is designed to stop your head from falling forward while you’re asleep. It offers enough chin support to hold your neck and head in the best position. With this pillow, you will feel like you’re lying down while sitting on the plane. I personally like the idea behind this design so much that I sometimes use it even at home. If you have to sleep upright in bed for a medical reason, this pillow will suit your needs. It can also be folded down into a much smaller size than the normal “U” shaped pillow. You can compress it down to fit into a small area or hang it to your hand luggage with the easy-to-use snap loop fastener.


Editor's Rating: 97/100

Price On Amazon: from $24.95


  • Available in many different colors
  • Gives all-out comfort while travelling
  • Beneficial to those suffering from neck or spinal discomfort
  • Can be used by anyone of any age


  • Some may find it difficult to carry
  • Not self-adjustable
  • Can be too soft, so that it doesn’t clutch into the back of the seat steadfastly

If you are looking for conventional designs, then this travel pillow may be the perfect option. It is a beautiful travel pillow, but it also has something more than meets the eye. The Travelmate Memory Foam Neck Pillow is made of thermo-sensitive memory foam of the best quality. Thus, this top travel pillow offers the highest quality at a really reasonable price. It is made to fit well around your neck, without having to worry about adjustment or toggles. It’s soft, and the receptive memory foam filling gives a pleasant feeling. What I love about this pillow the most are the added features that let the user connect the pillow to a carry-on bag and the detachable foam in the back part of the pillow.


Editor's Rating: 96/100

Price On Amazon: from $12.99


  • Hoop to tie around carry-on luggage
  • Detachable foam insert lets you adjust the position according to your preference
  • Zippered, detachable, and washable cover
  • Soft fabric cover
  • Works with headphones or ear buds


  • Label recommends ventilating the pillow cover before using
  • Doesn’t have chin support
  • Cannot be folded into a smaller size for packing

Made with a high-quality foam material to offer exceptional support and comfort, The Aeris Memory Foam Travel Neck Pillow is one of the best travel pillows for airplanes you can find on the market today. It comes with a carrying bag and a detachable plush velour cover that can be washed in the machine. It also comes with a sleep mask and earplugs to help reduce any ambient noise or light while you’re trying to sleep. The Aeris travel pillow is enhanced with impressive features that I have not seen on other travel pillows for airplanes before. The memory foam insert has in-built ventilation holes that keep the air flowing all the way through the pillow. Memory foam normally traps a lot of your body heat, so it’s a common issue of most memory foam travel pillows that the Aeris brilliantly does away with.


Editor's Rating: 95/100

Price On Amazon: from $24.90


  • Can be compressed into a tiny size for easy storage and transport
  • Can control the level of support and firmness
  • Soft cover
  • Machine washable and dryer-friendly
  • Very firm foam


  • The thick foam may push your head forward
  • Some may find it too thick or firm
  • Lack of information on aftercare
  • The toggle connector doesn’t tighten enough for the ends of the pillows to touch each other

As you can obviously see from its design, the Cabeau Evolution Memory Foam Travel Neck Pillow has an elevated section over the main U-shape that offers extra head and neck support in order to prevent the head from shaking. Moreover, it even comes with a set of ear plugs, a pocket where you can place your phone or mp3 player, and a handy carry bag. You can easily roll it into ¼ of its original size to make it fit in your bag when not using it. The back size of the pillow is flat, so it removes the problem of pushing your head forward when resting it against your seat, which is something that many U-shaped travel pillows struggle with. This is a premium memory foam travel pillow with a slightly higher price point. However, the smart extra features make it worth the investment for those looking for a top-notch model.


Editor's Rating: 93/100

Price On Amazon: from $39.99


  • Packs very tightly
  • Very soft and malleable
  • Has a convenient pocket to store your phone
  • Comes in different sizes


  • Can be difficult to wear when using noise canceling headphones with it
  • Can be a bit hot


All in all, any of these travel pillows will do a great job at helping you sleep on the plane or any other form of transportation. The choice is up to you, depending on your preferences and budget. If you're able to spend a little more and get the most innovative, smartest pillow on the market today, then our top choice, the multipurpose Infinity Pillow, is calling your name. Do you want something that will prevent you from bobbing your head forward? If so, go for the J-pillow Travel Pillow. Perhaps you prefer something more conventional? Then the Travelmate Memory Foam Neck Pillow is for you. Finally, if you'd like to combine a traditional neck pillow with some clever extra features that enhance it, we recommend the Aeris Memory Foam Travel Neck Pillow or the Cabeau Evolution Memory Foam Travel Neck Pillow.

Which features of these best travel pillows for airplanes do you like the most? Do you have another model to recommend? Let us know in a comment below!

Rating: 4.25 (4 votes)


About the Author

Hi, I’m Alice Ross, a long-term traveler who left the corporate world to travel the world. I chose to live life on my own phase and live day by day while immersing myself in new experiences, new knowledge, and new people in a different walk of life I met along the way.

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