Travel Pillow Buying Guide

When shopping for a travel neck pillow, you’ll want to make sure that you’re buying the right one.

That’s why you should look into the following factors:


The point of a travel pillow is to have a cushion that you can take around the world. However, not all manufacturers make their pillows equally. Some allow you to roll their pillows to fit in convenient travel pouches. Others make you carry an exposed pillow that someone at the airport could cough on.


As mentioned above, you have at least five options to choose from with the shapes of travel pillows. Each shape impacts your body differently. 

For instance, Wrap styles prevent your head from tilting. In contrast, a U-Shape is the most common and offers support to almost all sides of your neck.


Travel neck pillows don’t usually weigh much. However, if you’re trying to shave as much weight as possible from your overall luggage, aim for travel pillows that weigh less.


Lower-quality materials will cost you less in the short run. However, manufacturers usually design these materials as less durable than their pricier counterparts.

If it’s within your budget, I highly recommend investing in a higher-quality pillow. That way, you won’t have to buy cheaper pillows when the materials degrade continually.

However, if you know for sure that you’re going to lose the pillow, go for the lower-quality materials.

Soft Vs. Firm

The firmness level of your pillow will affect its overall comfort and support.

Unfortunately, most manufacturers won’t list their pillows’ comfort levels. Therefore, you’ll have to dive into reviews and see how others in your situation did when using the pillow that you’re interested in purchasing.


Prices around travel pillows vary. You could find yourself paying $10–$100. It all depends on what quality materials you’re after and how long you want your pillow to last.


Companies design their pillows with different materials that serve other purposes. Here are some examples:

  • Polyfoam: breathable and molds to your body
  • Memory foam: molds to your neck’s shape, which offers more support
  • Inflatable: easy to pack and store; moreover, inflatable pillows allow you to adjust your pillow’s firmness


Save yourself time from exploring Google and reading these frequently asked questions about pillows meant for traveling.

Who Should Use a Travel Pillow?

Travel pillows aren’t strictly for traveling. The primary purpose of neck pillows is to provide support for your head and neck when sleeping in an upright position.

Because of this, if you’re in an office and on a break, you could use a travel pillow to take a nap.

Conversely, for the most part, travelers who intend on taking naps will benefit the most from these pillows. Whether you’re waiting at an airport, sitting on a plane in an awkward position, or enduring a long bus ride across the country.

Are Travel Pillows Good for Your Neck?

Travel pillows are suitable for your neck, depending on how manufacturers design their pillows. As long as you purchase the best type of travel pillow that suits the way you sleep.

How Do I Wear a Travel Pillow?

Usually, when you think of a U-shaped travel pillow, you’d assume to have the bulky part resting against the back of your neck. However, a TikTok user sparked “controversy” by swapping the chubby part to the front.

Why does this make sense?

Because when sleeping upright, usually you will lean forward. The bulky part of the pillow in the front ensures that you have the best neck support.

What Types of Travel Pillows Are Available?

The following are the different types of travel pillows:
Wrap: you can wrap it around your neck like a scarf to prevent your head from tilting
Rectangular: appear as traditional bed pillows; however, they’re lightweight and compact
J-shape: loops around a shoulder and crosses your body, which adds a lot of bulk to these pillows
– U-Shape: most common type of neck pillow that supports both sides of your neck
Hourglass: best for neck support because you can tuck them under your neck

Final Thoughts

Whether you have a lot to spend on pillows or are on a budget, you will always have plenty of options available to suit your needs.

Moreover, you don’t need to settle for the standard memory foam horseshoe-shaped pillows. 

There are various options available. Don’t forget to buy the pillow that’s ideal for your situation, though. Otherwise, you’ll waste more time and money dealing with testing pillows.

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About Theo

Theodore began first experienced the wonders of traveling when visiting Vietnam. Afterward, he went crazy and ventured to at least… More about Theo