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13 Travel Pillows That Experts Swear By

For the comfiest flight ever, don't leave home without one of these fabulous travel pillows.

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The travel accessory that’s a total game-changer

Sleeping in your own bed is tough enough. (Hello, insomnia!) But sleeping on a plane? It’s the worst. Thankfully, there are little tricks to remedy that—namely, travel pillows designed specifically for plane conditions so that you can snooze effortlessly and comfortably, even when you’re flying coach. We interviewed frequent fliers and flight attendants to find the best travel pillows on the market. Add a blanket, a sleeping mask, a few snoozing secrets from seasoned travelers, and a little lavender mist, and this may be your best.sleep.ever.

Note: Prices listed were accurate as of press time; pricing fluctuations may occur.

travel pillowvia amazon.com

Cabeau Evolution Cool Travel Pillow


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Sometimes good things come in small packages. The Cabeau Evolution Cool Travel Pillow may be ultra-compact, but it offers tons of support for your neck, says Alex Tran, a former flight attendant. The memory foam can compress into a small roll (and into a small bag) for easy carrying—plus, the pillow has vents to keep your neck cool. This technically looks like a neck pillow, but it’s designed to support your head any way it leans. Bonus: It comes in a variety of colors. When you’re done with your travels, throw the cover into the washing machine. Want an even better travel experience? Here are some more brilliant items that travel pros never fly without.

travel pillowvia amazon.com

Nozama Inflatable Travel Pillow


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Once inflated, the pillow becomes a column with open spots on the side where you can slip your hands inside. “There’s [also] a spot, like a massage table, where you could put your face down to rest,” says Steven Pereira, a Spirit flight attendant based in Las Vegas. Essentially, it’s a pillow for your entire upper body, which you can rest on your lap or on a tray. It may look a little ridiculous, but you’ll be sleeping, so who cares? While the Nozama may feel like a lifesaver, these carry-on items can literally save your life in an emergency.

travel pillowvia amazon.com

Muji Well-Fitted Neck Cushion


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This Japanese-designed pillow has a moldable design, a washable cover, and it’s extremely lightweight, says Hawaiian Airlines Flight Attendant Mapuana Faulkner. It’s filled with beads to support your neck, and you can clip it onto your suitcase when it’s not in use. But before you reach for a plane’s blankets, here’s how to tell if they’ve been cleaned.

travel pillowvia amazon.com

Cabeau Evolution S3 Travel Pillow


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If you always have the issue of your head falling forward, waking you mid-sleep on a flight, this pillow will solve that issue, says Dale Johnson, co-founder of the U.K.-based Nomad Paradise. “This pillow comes with some nifty features to keep you in an upright position,” he explains. The back comes with straps that you can attach to the seat wings, keeping your pose firm and unwavering. The pillow itself is made of a plush, responsive memory foam fabric that’s cool against your skin and won’t cause you to flush or sweat. Equipped with a bag and clip to attach to your carry-on, it’s an excellent travel pillow to keep you in a comfortable position for relaxing and sleeping. If you’re in the market for a new travel tote, check out these 13 carry-on bags with 5-star reviews on Amazon.

travel pillowvia amazon.com

Trtl Pillow


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“This is the best pillow I’ve ever owned,” says Karen Akpan, content creator for The Mom Trotter. “It’s small, lightweight, and easy to travel with.” It also happens to be one of the most popular travel pillows on the market. This Trtl creation was ergonomically designed to keep your head in an upright position, and the soft fleece keeps you comfortable. It looks like a scarf, and it can be adjusted to fit your needs. When you’re done traveling, throw it into the washing machine. By the way, do you know what the germiest spot on a plane is?

travel pillowvia amazon.com

Therm-a-Rest Lumbar Travel Pillow


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Your head and neck aren’t the only things you need to worry about on a flight, of course. “Here’s a lumbar-support pillow I swear by to make flights more manageable,” says Nicole LaBarge from Travelgal Nicole. “It’s not your typical travel pillow, but it’s oh so worth it.” This pillow gives your back the support it needs while reducing pressure along your spine. Plus, it’s easy to inflate to any firmness you desire. And once you deflate the pillow, it’s flat and can be rolled up so that it takes up minimal space in your carry-on. In case you were wondering, this is why it’s so tough to fall asleep on an airplane.

travel pillowvia paulstuart.com

Paul Stuart Cashmere Travel Set


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Lisa Well, a frequent traveler and a publicist, swears by this pillow set by Paul Stuart. “I love it for overnight flights,” she says, explaining her love for the high-end travel pillow. “It helps to make a less-than-luxurious experience a little nicer.” The set comes with the neck rest and socks in the softest cashmere. Here are another 20 perfect gifts for the jet-setter in your life.

travel pillowvia chicagoluxurybeds.com

Hästens Travel Pillow


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This pillow is a super-luxe travel companion, says Jonathan Thompson, an account executive and frequent flier. It’s filled completely with down, making it feel like you’re sleeping at home. Bonus: It’s reversible. The white side goes against your skin, while the blue checked side is made from durable cotton. Close it when not in use so the white side never touches anything but your face. While a travel pillow like this is a no-brainer, these odd travel accessories are more useful than you’d think.

infinity pillowvia amazon.com

Huzi Infinity Pillow


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Katie Golde, the head of sleep research for MattressClarity.com and a certified sleep science coach, has researched and reviewed travel pillows. Her favorite is the Huzi Infinity Pillow, since it’s comfortable, easy to clean, and versatile. “The pillow’s design looks a little bit more like an infinity scarf with stuffing than a pillow, but you can twist it, shape it, and manipulate it in so many ways that it’s easy to get comfortable—no matter where you’re traveling or what form of transportation you’re taking,” she says. You can wrap it into a small pillow to use it on a plane or train, or you can wrap it around your eyes and ears to block out sound and light. It’s easy to throw it into the wash when you return from a trip. And that’s a really good idea since the headrest is one of the things airplanes aren’t cleaning as well as they should.

travel pillowvia amazon.com

Phixnozar Memory Foam Travel Pillow


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Laurel Samuela, owner of True Tahiti Vacation in Los Angeles, says she never travels without this pillow. It holds your neck in place so you won’t feel sore when you get off the plane. It’s also sweat-resistant and soft, and it comes with a sleeping mask. When you’re done, you can toss the cover in the washing machine. Now that you’ve got the sleeping situation covered, here are other ways to make your flight feel luxurious.

travel pillowvia amazon.com

NeckSnug Luxury Travel Pillow


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The NeckSnug memory foam pillow will adjust to you, rather than the other way around, says frequent traveler Matt Waugh. Why else does he think this is the best travel pillow on the market? “The velour cover is so soft to the touch, the adjustable toggles provide exceptional support, and the carry bag means it can be packed down to half its size and taken with you anywhere.” Sounds perfect. The price is pretty amazing, too. On the flip side, here are 14 vacation items you’ll almost always regret packing.

travel pillowvia amazon.com

Travelrest Ultimate Travel Pillow


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“I never used to take a pillow, but I got the Travelrest Ultimate Travel Pillow last year and I’m in love with it,” says Katie Hammel, senior content marketing manager at Scott’s Cheap Flights. It packs small, you can make it as firm or as soft as you want, and it’s great for leaning against the window or wedging the top part against a movable headrest. Believe it or not, it takes just two breaths to fill, and it’ll deflate instantly (when you want it to, of course). Get one of these and you won’t fear flying coach anymore. That said, this is how to get picked for an upgrade on a flight.

pocket bookvia soothiecushion.com

Soothie Cushion 2.0


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Ideal for those with special needs, this travel pillow can be used to regulate the body temperature of patients with multiple sclerosis and myasthenia gravis, says Andrew Garnett, president and CEO of Special Needs Group and an expert on accessible travel. The Soothie Cushion simultaneously uses hot and cold therapy for lasting comfort, he explains. Use it as a travel pillow, wear it as a backpack to provide upper-back heat therapy on cold flights, or attach it to your lower back for lumbar support.

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Danielle Braff
Danielle Braff regularly covers travel, health and lifestyle for Reader's Digest. Her articles have also been published in The New York Times, Chicago Tribune, Washington Post, Boston Globe and other publications. She has a master's degree in journalism from Northwestern University, and a master's degree in musicology from Oxford University in England. Danielle is based in Chicago, where she lives with her husband and two children. See her recent articles at www.Daniellebraff.com. You can follow her on Facebook @Danielle.Karpinos, Twitter @daniellebraff, and Instagram at danikarp.