The Best Travel Pillows of 2023

Looking for the best travel pillow? We've got you covered. Discover the top options, factors to consider, and the best pillow for your needs.

When it comes to traveling, comfort is key. One of the most essential items for a comfortable journey is a good travel pillow. With so many options on the market, it can be hard to know which one to choose. In this post, we’ll take a look at some of the best travel pillows available, and the factors you should consider when picking the perfect one for you. We also considered the following criteria to pick the best travel pillow:

  • Type of pillow (inflatable, memory foam, microbead)
  • Size and shape (neck-cradling, traditional pillow)
  • Materials used (soft and breathable, such as cotton or bamboo)
  • Level of support provided
  • Portability (can be deflated or compressed)
  • Ease of cleaning
  • Weight
  • Durability
  • Comfortability
  • Adjustability
  • Design
  • Color options
  • Add-ons (like built-in earplugs, eye masks, etc.)
  • Cost

Cabeau Evolution S3

Our top choice of the travel pillow

Cabeau Evolution S3 updates the standard U-shaped travel pillow design with raised sides that gently cradle our head and neck when we use it. The S3’s flat back also rested relatively flush against our seat, preventing our head from uncomfortably jutting forward, while an adjustable front clasp lets us slightly tighten or loosen the neck opening to our liking, which makes it possible to tailor the pillow to travelers of different sizes. We found that the S3 works best when leaning your head to the side or as a cushion against a solid surface, but it still offers decent chin support. Its two built-in straps are attached to nearly any seatback we tested on, keeping the pillow in place and helping to lessen whiplash during sudden stops or turbulence.


Jensens Inventions J-Pillow 

British Invention of The Year Winner

The J-Pillow is a fantastically comfortable option with a big caveat: It works best if you’ve got a window seat. The J-Pillow’s lack of neck attachment is a plus for those who find regular U-shaped travel pillows restrictive. And when we could lean against a hard surface, the J-Pillow offered excellent head, neck, and front-facing/chin support. Like the Cabeau S3, it comes with a sturdy (though less compact) travel case that clips to your luggage. There also aren’t any covers or zippers to deal with; the entire pillow can be tossed in the wash.


Turtl Pillow 

Machine Washable

The Trtl Travel Pillow is a scientifically proven pillow that helps keep your head in a better position when sleeping upright. It has a unique hidden internal support and extra cushioning for a comfortable resting place for your head and neck. It is available in four colors, red, grey, coral, and black. The pillow is designed to look like a scarf and can be easily adjusted to your comfort. It is easy to attach to the handle of your backpack or outside of your luggage and it only weighs half a pound. Additionally, it is machine washable and always fresh and ready to go. Over 1,000,000 Trtl Travel Pillows have been sold on Amazon!

Different Types of Travel Pillows

Travel pillows need to strike a tricky balance: not supportive enough and you’ll end up with a crick in your neck, too big and stiff you’ll, er, end up with a crick in your neck. They also need to be compact, lightweight, and easy to clean — no small feat for a humble travel accessory.

  • Inflatable travel pillows are lightweight and easy to pack, but they can be noisy and may not provide as much support as other types.
  • Memory foam travel pillows mold to the shape of your neck, providing good support, but they can be heavy and bulky. Microbead pillows are similar to memory foam, but they are made of small beads instead of foam. They are lightweight, but they may not be as supportive as other types.

Size and Shape

Some travel pillows are designed to fit around your neck, while others are more like traditional pillows. If you’re someone who likes to sleep on your side, a pillow that cradles your neck may be more comfortable for you. If you’re someone who likes to sleep on your back, a traditional pillow may be more comfortable.

Materials and Level of Support

You want something that is soft and breathable, so look for pillows made of natural materials like cotton or bamboo. Synthetic materials like polyester may not be as comfortable and can make you sweat. You should also consider the level of support the pillow provides. This can vary depending on the type and materials used, so it’s important to read reviews and try out different pillows to find one that will work best for you.

Portability and Ease of Cleaning

Pillows that can be deflated or compressed can be easier to pack and take up less space in your luggage. If you are planning to use your pillow often, it’s important to choose one that can be easily cleaned. With these factors in mind, you’re sure to find a pillow that will help you get a good night’s sleep while on the go. Some of the best travel pillows on the market include the Trtl Pillow, the Cabeau Evolution Pillow, and the Travelrest Ultimate Pillow are introduced and picked in this article and TripWays might get some commission on your purchases.


What are the benefits of using a travel pillow?

Travel pillows can provide neck and head support during long journeys, reducing discomfort and potential neck strain. They can also aid in getting better sleep while traveling.

How to choose the best travel pillow?

Consider factors like the type of support (neck, full body, etc.), materials used (foam, microbeads, inflatable), size and portability, ease of cleaning, and user reviews.

Are memory foam travel pillows better than inflatable types?

Memory foam pillows typically provide more support and comfort, but they can be bulkier to transport. Inflatable pillows are more compact and adjustable, but they might not offer the same level of comfort.

How to clean a travel pillow?

Cleaning instructions depend on the pillow’s material. Memory foam pillows usually have removable covers that can be machine-washed. Inflatable pillows can be wiped down with a damp cloth.

Are travel pillows worth it for short flights?

While travel pillows are particularly useful for long-haul flights, they can still increase comfort during shorter flights, especially for those prone to neck discomfort.

What are some compact travel pillows for backpacking?

Compact travel pillows like the Sea to Summit Aeros, Cocoon Air-Core, and Therm-a-Rest Compressible pillows are popular for backpacking due to their lightweight and packable nature.

How much should I spend on a travel pillow?

Travel pillows can range from $10 to over $50. Your budget may depend on how frequently you travel, your comfort preferences, and the durability of the pillow.

What is the best travel pillow for long-haul flights?

For long-haul flights, consider travel pillows that provide robust neck and head support, like the Cabeau Evolution, Trtl Pillow, or the Travelrest Ultimate Travel Pillow.

Can I use a travel pillow for other purposes?

Absolutely, travel pillows can be used for more than just travel. They can be used for support while reading, watching TV, or even for regular sleep if they provide you with comfort.

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