In an ideal world, we'd all be able to fly first class and get eight hours of sleep before we reach our destination. The reality? We're sat bolt upright for 8 hours while we repeatedly jolt awake with an armrest in our backs and our necks welded to our shoulders. There is, however, help. There are now a host of comfort-inducing travel pillows available that might take the sting out of long haul flights and save your neck at the same time.
Here are our favorite travel pillows:
This award-winning travel pillow provides proper technical neck support that’s ergonomically shaped into the curve of your neck and chin and acts almost like you’re resting on an invisible hand. All wrapped in a hypoallergenic fleece lining, it wraps around your neck like a scarf in order to support your head and neck in a comfortable position when sleeping. Half the weight of traditional U-shaped neck pillows, it's also small enough to fit into your carry-on.
With its supportive memory foam core, 360 degree ergonomic design and adjustable closure, this pillow helps travelers of all neck sizes maintain proper spinal posture to prevent neck and back pain. We love that it can not only compress down to 60% of its size in the handy travel bag that's included, but that it can also be laundered thanks to its easily removable and washable sleeve.
Described as ‘the best travel pillow ever made’, the Huzi infinity pillow is a long snake-like looped pillow (hence the word Infinity). It’s this shape that makes it multi-functional: you can wrap it around your neck a few times like a scarf to fully support your head and neck (no other support required); you can contort it to fit any space if you're next to the window on plane; you can wrap it around yourself to support your back and you can even twist it around your ears and eyes to cancel noise and light.
Thermarest specializes in sleep-enhancing products for everyone from car campers to international travelers. With pillow foam sourced from upcycled foam from some of their other products, the result is a filling that packs up really small yet expands big and then rolls away very tightly to tuck into your carry-on. Perfect for planes, trains or camping under the stars, it can also be used as a proper pillow if you don’t like the look of the ones your hotel has to offer. With various washable pillow covers to choose from it is also available in small (12 x 18”), medium (14 x 18”) and large (16 x 23”) and x large (16.5 x 27”).
Awarded British Invention of the Year, the J Pillow is the brainchild of Gemma Jensen, a former flight attendant who sure knows a thing or two about sleeping on the go. Filled with 3D polyester fiber, it’s supportive but soft – the top of the J wraps around your neck or head depending on how or where you are resting – while the downstroke of the J supports down the neck and wraps under your chin. Covered in soft, velveteen, washable material, it can be used anywhere from planes to reading in bed. With its own bag and a loop fastener it can also be attached to your luggage so you won’t risk losing it on the go.