Make this the year that you finally streamline your travel setup.
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Traveling isn’t just about the destination. Carry On is our series devoted to how we get away in the digital age, from the choices we make to the experiences we share.
The worst part about traveling is…well, traveling. Nobody likes to spend hours sitting in a cramped space between two strangers with little to no legroom. If you think about it, every flight or bus ride is the worst way to begin and end just about every voyage. Not to mention all of that wasted time in busy and loud airports or train stations waiting to connect.
If you travel a lot, then getting a comfy travel pillow is probably the most important thing you could do. (Also up there? Investing in some smart luggage, snagging a quality travel adapter, and finding the right thing to binge-watch on your flight.) The absolute best thing you can do is to try to make the whole process as comfortable and relaxing as possible.
We rounded up the best travel pillows that will make your next trip cozy and pleasant without taking up valuable luggage space. Whether you are a heavy or light sleeper, there’s a travel pillow out there that will suit you, and might even lead you to enjoy the journey a bit more.
Best for standing out
Dimensions: 16.1 x 4.3 x 11.4 inches Weight: 10.6 ounces Material type: Cotton This is a strange one, but it certainly stands out more than the rest. The Ostrich Pillow(opens in a new tab) is a unique travel pillow that’s designed for a complete immersive sleep experience.
Once you place your entire head inside the Ostrich Pillow, you won’t care about looking silly because you’re drifting off to dreamland, as you are cocooned into a comfortable and isolated hub of viscose and elastomer with coated micro-beads for the best sleep ever.
Best for hot sleepers
Dimensions: 9 x 7 x 5 inches Weight: 12.6 ounces Material type: Memory foam with mesh vents If even the plushest pillow doesn’t bring you comfort because you’re too busy trying not to overheat, the Cabeau Evolution Cool Travel Pillow(opens in a new tab) is the one for you.
While its 360-degree support and memory foam that molds to your neck/chin will help you sleep in any position, it’s the cooling vent technology that’ll really make the difference. The breathable mesh vents allow airflow to continue so that the weight of the pillow doesn’t cause you to sweat.
It comes with a travel bag that compresses the pillow down to half its size, which is nice. This, along with the secure plastic clip that can attach to your luggage, will save you valuable space while traveling.
When you’re done, throw the removable cover in the wash to have a fresh feel for your next trip.
Best for style
Dimensions: 2.9 x 2.9 x 1.5 inches Weight: 5 ounces Material type: Fleece Most travel pillows are big and bulky when placed around the neck. However, Scottish company Trtl created a travel pillow that’s mechanically engineered to offer the best neck and head support while sitting in a cramped space.
Trtl Pillow(opens in a new tab) is also scientifically proven for the best sleep results while traveling. It also has an eye for style and looks like a scarf draped around the neck instead of a traditional travel pillow.
Best for neck support
Dimensions: 12 x 11 x 3.3 inches Weight: 8.2 ounces Material type: Memory foam Tired of a stiff and awkward neck when traveling? This travel pillow from Juning(opens in a new tab) uses a unique soft microfiber pillowcase that maximizes the high quality and extra-dense memory foam inside, which is perfect for better and customizable neck support.
Just relax your head and neck inside of its U-shape and this travel pillow will do the rest, so you can just relax to your final destination. If you ever wanted to feel the ultimate comfort, then this travel pillow is for you. It’s even good for lounging around your home while watching TV or taking a nap.
Best for portability
Dimensions: 2.2 x 4.8 x 10.8 inches Weight: 5.6 ounces Traveling can be tedious, especially if you’re trying to cram a lot in a small space. With valuable storage decreasing on airplanes, you need a travel pillow that’s compact and out of the way.
Enter Travelrest(opens in a new tab), an inflatable travel pillow that’s rollable and small enough to fit in a pocket. Just inflate the pillow once you’re onboard and you can sleep with it in various positions for the best travel experience ever. This travel pillow also offers lateral support across your shoulders, chest, and waist
Best for germaphobes
Dimensions: 11 x 11 x 3.5 inches Weight: 8.8 ounces Material type: Velvet Are other inflatable travel pillows leaving you breathless? The Daydreamer from AirComfy(opens in a new tab) is an inflatable neck pillow that you don’t have to blow up to inflate. Instead, the pillow features a built-in hand pump, so you don’t have to worry about placing your lips on it. It even comes with a satin-laced pillowcase for additional support and style.
Best for the whole family
Dimensions: 13.4 x 5.7 x 5.6 inches Weight: 7.4 ounces Material type: Polyester and polyester blend While most travel pillows only come in one size, the chin-supporting Travel Neck Pillow from BCOZZY(opens in a new tab) comes in various sizes for adults and children with the same support and comfort for whoever is wearing it. The travel pillow wraps around your chin’s natural rest position for better support while sitting.
The pillow is lightweight with an easy-to-carry strap attached, and it’s also great for resting or sleeping in awkward positions while traveling on a bus, car, train, or airplane. It’s even great for watching TV at home.
Best for pressure relief
Dimensions: 12 x 10.2 x 4.2 inches Weight: 12 ounces Material type: Memory foam The Aeris Travel Pillow(opens in a new tab) is made from conforming visco-elastic memory foam that’s designed to relieve neck pressure and tightness, so you can sleep easier and better. The pillow also promotes and stimulates blood circulation and reduces muscle tension and stress that you might experience from traveling.
Aeris is so confident that you’ll love their travel pillow that they’re offering a lifetime free replacement guarantee. You won’t lose sleep, so what do you have to lose?
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