The best travel pillows provide just the right amount of neck and head support so that you can rest comfortably while traveling. Most are designed specifically to allow you to sleep in an upright position without over-extending your neck muscles. While that seems relatively straight forward, once you start to analyze what is on the market, you’ll be faced with a bewildering array of choices.
One of the first things to work out is what material you would like the pillow to be made out of. Are you a fan of highly supportive memory foam for example, or are you a frequent traveler who prefers very lightweight inflatable designs? Are you interested in being able to adjust the amount of filling in the pillow – something that is possible with some micro-bead and buckwheat filled designs? What trade-offs are you willing to make? Is a high level of support more important to you than weight? Is portability your primary concern or the ability to adjust the fill density?
Also, don’t assume that all travel pillows have a standard horse-shoe shaped design. Recent years have seem numerous new shapes emerge. You’ll find comma shaped pillows, petal shaped designs as well as sash pillows. Some will fold away in their own travel pouch while others will be designed to strap onto your carry on bag. It’s enough to make your head spin.
To get you started on choosing the best travel pillow for your needs, here are three of our favorites:
1) The Travel Rest pillow – This is worn across the body much like one would wear a sash. It allows for very natural sideways resting position. A tether keeps the pillow firmly in place and, as it’s an inflatable pillow, you’ll find it very lightweight.
2) The Miracle Neck Rest – Made from a high grade memory foam the pillow will gently contour to the shape of your head and neck, without any pressure points or bounce-back. Although memory foam pillows are generally heavier than other types of pillow, this one is smaller than your typical pillow with a very paired back design.
3) The Total Pillow – This is marketed as “five pillows in one due” to its adjustable panels. It can be twisted and shaped in a multitude of different ways. It’s filled with micro-beads that provide a high level of support without bottoming out. It’s got a removable washable cover, something you should look for in whatever travel pillow you decide on.