What to Look for in a Travel Pillow

Travel is a pretty demanding activity.  Sleeping on a train, plane or in the car can be a real problem—you always wake up with your neck stiff and this creates discomfort. Using a travel pillow could solve this issue.

When you have decided to buy a travel pillow, be sure to pay attention to the quality and design. The ideal pillow for traveling is the neck pillow. Theoretically, the perfect pillow should be more firm to offer support to the head. The lower side should softer, allowing it to mold into the small space between the head and the chair. Then, the ends of the pillow should reduce tension on your cheeks and chin.

Travel pillows are of many types: inflatable, made of cotton, foam or a mixture of cotton with polyester.

Quality neck pillows usually have their own bag in which they are kept when are not used. They are ideal for long travels, no matter if you are in a car, airplane, train or bus. The ergonomic shape allows a good positioning of your head and neck, providing you with the needed support and alignment of your head and neck, allowing you to get more rest during your travel.

Travel pillows can be found in many shapes and models. They may be manufactured with different materials, but they all have the same purpose—to help you rest while you travel and to provide comfort.

The main shapes of travel pillows, designed to support the neck, are the following:

  • ”U” form pillows are the most popular. They offer good support to the neck and they prevent the head from rolling from side to side. An improved model of this pillow is the ”hoodie pillow” which has a hoodie attached to it that keeps the light away from your eyes
  • The “J” pillow is the improved alternative to the ”U” shaped one—actually, it has been added a tail which provides better support to your neck and, at the same time, provides support to cheeks and chin.
  • The cylinder-shaped model supports the back and the neck, and it’s also recommended to be used when laying on the floor
  • A collar travel pillow is also very comfortable and easy to use. It is fleece coated, and inside, it has enough material for supporting the neck
  • Another helpful travel pillow has a strange shape—it looks like a giant comma. The curve of the pillow goes from the side of the head rests over the chest. This way, it won’t slip in front. This pillow will keep you in your seat and prevents you from leaning your head on the shoulders of the person next to you.

The smart and innovative materials used in the manufacturing process give more quality to these pillows.  One of these materials is memory foam, in its simple form or in improved variants:

  • Charcoal-infused memory foam—the bamboo and charcoal regulate the humidity, controls the temperature and eliminates odors
  • Gel memory foam—in combination with gel, the foam is softer, but keeps its qualities (like standard foam)


Memory foam neck travel pillows have many characteristics that elevate it above travel pillows that are made of other materials. It’s antiallergenic, allows the air to flow, keeps you cool, relieves the pressure points, is firm enough to offer good support to your neck, and molds after it, returning to its original form after you lift your head, and has a long life. The pillow will successfully fill the empty space that usually remains between the neck and the pillow when using other types of pillow. The foam assures the highest level of comfort—no sweating, neck pain. Good sleep while on your long journey makes it more comfortable in supporting your head and neck for long hours.   When you wake up, you will be rested. The travel neck pillow with memory foam might be the antidote for a possible bad sleep experience when you are on the road. It provides a lot of comfort and it’s more supportive to your neck and head.

The inflatable models have many advantages—they don’t take up much space in your luggage; they can be inflated manually or automatically by pressing a button. They can be simple or can have multiple air chambers.

Besides the neck travel pillows, there is another category designed to supporting the back during the travel. The wedge-shaped pillow is a good alternative to give a good support to your back and spine. The pillow comes in the shape of a comma and also gives support to the back and neck.

Innovative elements have been added to travel pillows, to improve the comfort level. Aromatherapy, pockets for your mobile, washable covers (hypoallergenic, made of cotton, silk or fake fur), the ergonomic design, all raise the quality.


The travel pillow is not just a pillow – it’s an important element for your sleep. Whether you choose a neck travel pillow or one for your back, make sure it suits you. If you are not sure which one is right for you, would be ideal for you to try out different pillows.

When choosing a travel pillow, you should take into account their shape, purpose, quality, cleaning method (the non-inflatable ones are harder to clean). Try to choose the right one for you. It should be small enough so that you can carry it with you, wherever you go, but, at the same time, big enough so that you can enjoy comfort and support. Not all the travel pillows are suitable for everyone, so choose the shape that provides for your comfort level. Your sleep position during travel is an important element that you shouldn’t overlook.

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