The best travel pillows

The best travel pillows of 2021

Are you already planning your next vacation by the sea or in the mountains? No matter where your trip takes you and whether you are going on holiday by car, plane, or train, a comfortable arrival and departure is the key to a successful stay. Especially if you have a long commute, it can quickly become uncomfortable and exhausting along the way.

If you want to relax for a few minutes or even take a nap, you certainly won’t be opposed to a comfortable travel pillow. If you’ve ever used a soft cushion for travel, you definitely won’t want to do without it in the future. There are travel cushions in different versions, which differ in shape and size. For example, very practical are the travel cushions and pillows that you can inflate at any time and put away in your luggage after use.

In this comparison, I will present the various models that exist to help you in your choice.

Travel pillows comparison

pile of pillow

SANDINI – Premium travel pillow with ergonomic support function

  • Dimensions: 31 x 23 x 14 cm
  • Weight: 249g
  • Materials: microfiber and polyester

The Sandini travel pillow’s development has been thoughtful, and a multitude of little practical things have been taken into account. I noticed especially positively that the neck pillow is available in different sizes depending on the neck circumference (XS for kids, XL for plus sizes, and Regular for S / M / L).

For an optimal fit, you can also adjust it using a velcro closure. The neck support can be rotated 360 ° C and can therefore be positioned in different ways!

When you try it on, you will immediately notice that the headrest is very firm, but the fabric is incredibly comfortable on the skin. You can feel the high quality and good quality of the travel pillow.

They used a material called Outlast®, which regulates heat and cold during sleep optimally.

The travel pillow is washable at 30 ° C and can be tumble dried. Another good thing is that the neck support is available in several colors. In addition to the microfiber version with Outlast technology, the neck rest is also available in the microfiber fabric (without Outlast) and plush versions.

In summary, I can say that this travel pillow is simply ingenious! In my opinion, the manufacturer has developed an almost perfect neck pillow. The only downside for me is that it is not inflatable.

Therefore, it must be attached to the outside of the backpack, either in the transport bag provided free of charge or in the travel backpack itself. Also, the neck pillow is clearly in the higher price segment.

If you are looking for a high-quality neck pillow with perfect sleeping comfort, then the Sandini TravelFix is ​​the right choice.

The neck pillow is ideal for city trips, business trips, and vacations. However, for a long journey, hike, or world tour, it would be a bit too big for me and better an inflatable travel pillow.

Cozy Bee Neck Pillow – Ergonomic

  • Dimensions: 19 x 16 x 11 cm
  • Weight: 360g
  • Material: cotton blend
  • Shape memory

A comfortable and cozy travel pillow! This Cozy Bee neck pillow is the softest in this test. This is due to the soft plush blanket and high-quality memory foam that adapts to your head shape and sleeping position.

Thanks to the integrated and sewn pocket, the neck pad can be easily stowed away after use and attached to the outside of your backpack. The cover is also washable.
neck or neck pillow

The size of the travel pillow can be individually adjusted during travel utilizing a Velcro closure. As the pillow is very flat at the back, the head is not pushed forward. Moreover, you can easily find the desired size by turning the pillow.

For this test, I found it excellent and an excellent alternative with outstanding value for money. Another positive point that I noticed is that the travel pillow is not sent in a plastic bag but lovingly wrapped in a paper bag.

Fylina – Travel neck pillow

  • Dimensions: 29 x 25 x 15 cm
  • Weight: 430g
  • Material: 100% pure memory foam
  • Includes: eye mask and earplugs

Manufacturer Fylina has developed a timeless classic with this travel pillow. The neck pillow has the classic U shape; it has a pleasant and soft microfiber surface.
The neck rest is a little less chic than the other models presented here because it is cheaper but fully fulfills its function without too many frills. The lightweight, the small size of the package, and the included carrying bag are convenient, especially for those who travel for a long time.

By the way, the Fylina travel pillow can be machine washed. The cover is removable. The material and synthetic filling of the travel pillow are both 100% polyester. The advantage: Polyester is breathable, very tear-resistant, and elastic!

By the way, the pillow comes in one size. It’s also worth highlighting the generally very positive customer reviews on this travel pillow!

Kine Travel – 2 in 1 microbead cushion: neck strap and travel pillow

  • Dimensions: 37 x 29 x 10 cm
  • Weight: NA
  • Material: microbeads and soft textile
  • 2 in 1 function

The Kine Travel pillow is the most affordable of the models featured here. Nevertheless, it seems of high quality; a Physiotherapist has validated it. The travel neck support pillow has the classic shape of a horseshoe and is filled with tiny microbeads. The cover is made of durable and comfortable polyester plush.

I think it is not as comfortable as the other models. It takes a little longer to find the correct position, and the U-shape has the downside of allowing the head to tilt forward or to the side more quickly. Besides, the pillow is not inflatable.

Tip: As a remarkably inexpensive travel pillow, the Kine Travel model may be a good alternative for you. But you should try it out at home before you start your trip and if it doesn’t suit you you should swap it for another travel pillow!

What is a travel pillow?

pillow in sky high

At the start of my travel pillow guide, I would like to clarify a fundamental question: What makes a pillow for travel? This type of pillow differs from a standard pillow because it is designed to be used while sitting, so you will not be able to use it in a picot bed. It is designed to offer the best possible support to the neck in an upright resting position and protect the user against tension and headaches. This is why this type of pillow is placed around the neck so that the head does not tilt to one side or the other when the user is overwhelmed by sleep.

Neck pillows are mainly used when traveling, for example, by plane, bus, or train. But they are also trendy in the passenger seat or the back seat of a car, as they make reaching your destination in the most relaxed way possible.

This type of pillow comes in many variations, so it is not easy to choose a particular product. One travel pillow is filled with air, the other with memory foam and the next with microbeads. Even some are filled with water, but they are not included in my great guide.

The fabrics also differ, but most of them are washable and therefore hygienically sound. Whether it is size, shape, color, material, or other characteristics, you can choose the product that suits you from the wide range offered.

Types of travel pillows

Standard pillow:

A small, standard cushion, such as a decorative sofa cushion, also works well as a travel cushion. Compared to the head pillow, it is smaller, and the pillows are available in different variations, sizes, and extra padding. These cousins ​​allow you to sleep while sitting or lying down. However, they are not ideal for sleeping while seated.

Neck pillows:

Neck pillows are considerably smaller than conventional pillows and are therefore also very suitable as travel pillows. They are available in various thicknesses, shapes, and sizes. If you are looking for a travel pillow that you can also use in your hotel room but does not take up as much space, a neck pillow, for example, made of viscose foam, might be right for you. Comfort while lying down is great but not as well suited to sleeping while sitting.

Small Neck pillows:

The small cushions surround the neck and are available in an inflatable or classic version with filling material. The operation of the inflatable versions is the same as an inflatable buoy. They serve to stabilize the neck and head. They can be easily locked behind your neck if you sleep in a sitting position and want to prevent your head from tilting to the side, back or front. However, they are not suitable for sleeping in a bed or, in general, in a horizontal position.

Inflatable travel pillows:

Compared to other pillows, inflatable pillows are very compact and therefore can be taken virtually anywhere without taking up much space. Since air is used instead of a filling, they are not as chewy and therefore do not fit well. However, they are inexpensive and, of course, very practical.

Special travel pillow:

There are also unique cushions for specific applications, which are suitable for leaning against the window of a car, the front seat of an airplane, for example, or particularly well for traveling by train or sleeping in the back seat of an aircraft. ‘a car. Of course, the big downside to these cushions is that you can only really put them to good use for that particular area.

What are the benefits of a travel pillow?

Of course, the first and most important benefit of a neck pillow is that you can rest and even sleep comfortably while sitting. The neck receives support from all sides. The muscles and the cervical spine are effectively relieved. So you will probably no longer be rolling around on the ground, still looking for a comfortable position. And with this help, the headaches and neckaches common on travel should soon be a thing of the past. Just it’s worth buying one of the suitable products featured here.

Ease of use is also worth mentioning here. Travel pillows are authentic accessories when you go, but you can also use them without any problem in your walls, whether it’s for intensive article writing on your mobile phone, during a pleasant TV night, or even in the bathtub. Travel pillows are a real all-rounder.

Of course, the pillows are also available in various sizes and can even be flexibly adapted to individual necks. Some of them have the possibility of fixing in the front area to avoid slipping completely. But I have also seen models that catch your eye with their many different colors. Most travel pillows also have a warm fabric that warms the neck – an invaluable benefit in the cold season. However, few pillows have a summer side and a winter side, which also prevent excessive sweating.

There are other significant advantages: The covers for travel cushions are generally machine washable. They are relatively easy to remove and put back in place. Sometimes the filling can also be put directly in the washing machine, which is very convenient. Again, this type of pillow is easy to carry as it can often be folded or rolled up into a small size and stored in a carrying bag.

Airbags need to be deflated first; then, they adapt to any free space in your luggage. Another advantage of air-filled products is that they can be adjusted at any time regarding their firmness. On the other hand, Viscoelastic cushions adapt better to the body and return to their original shape after use. However, they cannot be folded as small as their inflatable counterparts.

Travel pillows are not only small but also light. They only weigh a few hundred grams; hardly any of them reach the 500-gram mark. So you don’t have to think twice before taking this good pillow on vacation, because it only brings you benefits.

Where should I buy my travel pillow: in a store or online?

There are various contact points for purchasing your new neck pillow: from specialty retailers to discounters and online stores. In a specialty store like Decathlon, you will likely receive detailed advice and may even be able to try a few products. But you should always be aware that the seller will represent brands and promote them to the best of their ability. It also takes a long time to talk to the salesperson in the store, but the choice may be minimal.

In a discount store, you shouldn’t expect advice. It is best to be informed in advance of the products available so that you can choose precisely the right one. Here too, you will find a limited selection; usually, high-quality products are not even present. Even price comparisons can hardly be made on the shelves of discounters; one can only take what is available. You can also go to a supermarket like Leclerc but in this case the same problem.

The situation is quite different in the field of online commerce. Of course, there is no possibility to unbox a product, take it in hand or even try it out. But you can also check out the reviews of customers who bought the travel pillow. Also, you will find detailed product descriptions and plenty of photos to complete the overall picture.

Current discounts and special offers can also be determined quickly and easily on the Internet. Today, most bargain hunters no longer rush from company to company or ad magazine to magazine but order from the comfort of their home on a PC.

What to look for before buying a travel pillow?

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If you are looking for a comfortable pillow for your next trip, you will find many different stores’ designs. To help you make the right choice and ensure that you can soon rest your head comfortably while traveling, here, you will find a summary of all the vital buying criteria.

The cover

You have several options for the cover. There are models with a simple cotton cover and models covered with soft microfibers or other soft material. If it’s an inflatable travel pillow, the surface is usually washable so that you can wipe off the big dirt.

Filling materials

Depending on the travel pillow, the padding can be made of different materials and air. Inflatable travel pillows are filled with air before use it is then vented after use. If a travel pillow is padded, it can be down, feather, microbeads, or polyester, depending on the model. Choose the model that best suits your sleeping comfort. If the filling is not washable, make sure a washable cover can protect the pillow. Depending on the type and amount of filling material, the pillow may be soft or hard to the touch. Before you buy, try to determine the degree of firmness you prefer so that your trip is truly comfortable.

Travel pillow type

There are different types of travel pillows, as I already introduced you to above. The Simple Travel Pillow is ideal if you want to lie down on your pillow while traveling. On the other hand, the neck pillow is suitable if you’re going to take a nap in the car, plane, or train without worrying about the awkward strain.

Machine washable

Travel pillows are considered very easy to care for. It is enough to wash them thoroughly in the washing machine after the holidays. However, this is not possible with many models due to the materials and infills. In this case, add a washable cover, which you can remove after the trip and machine wash.


The weight (g) should be as low as possible for a travel pillow. While larger, heavier cushions are undoubtedly easy to store in the car, it’s essential to save as much weight as possible when traveling by plane, train, or bus.


Height (cm) is an essential factor when traveling, especially when traveling by plane. The travel pillow must therefore be able to be stored in as small a space as possible. The best way to do this is to use a collapsible cushion or an airbag. If the pillow is filled with synthetic fibers, down, or microbeads, the pillow’s size can only be changed slightly.

In this case, you should choose a rather small model mall in its overall size, but it still gives your head sufficient support while you sleep. Typical dimensions of travel pillows are, for example, 20 by 20 cm up to 40 by 80 cm.


There are travel cushions in different shapes, for example, rectangular, round, oval, or square. The neck pillow is, as the name suggests, crescent-shaped. Depending on the type of pillow, you can therefore choose precisely the shape that best meets your need for sleep comfort on vacation. Some pillows also adapt to your head and neck’s shape by reacting to the weight of your head and your body heat.

Where can you use the travel pillow?

You can use it to sleep while sitting or lying down, depending on its shape. Simple and orthopedic travel pillows are more suitable for lying down, while the neck cushions perfectly keep the head in the optimal position when sitting, for example, as a passenger on a trip by car, train, bus, or plane.

Depending on the use you want to make of the pillow, different models are more advisable than others. For example, it doesn’t make much sense to use a neck pillow as a pillow in a hotel bed. A classic travel pillow made of viscose, foam, or down is much more suitable here. On the other hand, neck cushions are ideal for traveling while seated, as they support the head in all directions and thus prevent strain.

Inflatable travel pillows are emergency pillows that you can always take with you because they take up hardly any space. For some uses, such as sleeping in a seat without a headrest, sleeping in the back seat of a car, or even for economy class air travel, you can look for special travel pillows that meet these requirements. Needs and are tailored to the exact area of ​​use.

FAQ – Important questions for buying a travel pillow

What is a travel pillow?

Whenever you travel, you see many travel pillows; they are usually small and U-shaped. This shape ensures that you won’t have neck problems when lying on the pillow because this shape adapts perfectly to your neck. As the name already suggests, such a travel pillow is perfectly suitable for travel, for example, by plane or on long journeys by car.

Are travel pillows available in various sizes?

Travel pillows are available in many different sizes to accommodate different head shapes and sizes. Sizes generally range from tiny travel pillows to large XL versions.

Are there travel pillows for children?

Thanks to the many different sizes, there are, of course, also travel pillows for children. These are often printed with child-friendly designs and are much smaller than the travel pillows offered for adults.

Does a travel pillow take up much space?

Ideally, a travel pillow takes up very little space, so you can easily stow it in your hand luggage or put it in the back seat of your car. Large travel cushions are a bit more problematic, but they can usually be folded so small that they can also be taken along without a problem.

What shapes can a travel pillow take?

The U shape, which has already been mentioned, is the usual shape of travel pillows. If you don’t like the U shape, there are travel cushions in other forms as well. For example, this is a pillow of regular shape, specially padded, and “sticks” on which the neck can be placed without a problem.

What is the price of a travel pillow?

pillow with coconut palm print

There are plenty of travel cushions, which come in all kinds of shapes, colors, and materials. Inexpensive travel pillows cost anywhere from $ 10 to $ 30, but there are also luxury travel pillows that cost a lot more.