The best travel pillows for flights, train travel and camping
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Offering support for your neck as well as cushioning, the right pillow can help alleviate neck pain, cricked necks and awkward sleeping positions whilst upright – and they’re especially useful on long car journeys or flights.
Best travel pillows at a glance:
- Best for long-haul flights: Trtl Pillow
- Best for camping excursions: Nemo Fillo Backpacking and Camping Pillow
- Best for a budget option: Snugpak compact insulated headrest
- Best for packs down to a pillow: Go Travel Hybrid Memory Foam Pillow
- Best for no-nonsense support: Outwell Memory Pillow
- Best for luxurious support: Tempur Comfort Travel
- Best for keeping your neck comfortable: Cabeau Evolution Classic Neck Pillow
- Best for an inflatable luxury option: Thermarest Airhead Pillow
What kind of travel pillow is right for me?
This is largely trial and error, but there are some things to look for when buying certain types of pillows. If you’re intending to use the pillows for long flights, look for travel pillows that have straps at the back that you can attach to your seat to provide extra comfort and to stop your head from falling forward.
If you’re travelling light or camping, it makes sense to use roll up travel pillows that are inflatable meaning you can stuff them in your rucksack pretty easily. Some of the more expensive options we tested are memory foam, with luxurious insulation and padding to ensure the best night’s sleep.
Here are 8 options for travel pillows, ranging in sizes and price.
We know that packing can turn it to a bit of a nightmare, so we’ve put together a handy guide on how to pack for your holiday. We’ve also rounded up all your holiday beauty and toiletry essentials so that you don’t have to worry about leaving anything behind.
The Trtl Pillow’s secret is its internal support system – a series of strengthened ribs hidden behind a super-soft, silky fleece scarf that is stretched to create a comfy hammock for your head.
We found it easy to put on and use for longer durations – and we also found that the added benefit of having the soft fleece exterior is that your head is nicely cushioned, warm and cosy.
Nemo Fillo Backpacking and Camping Pillow
We really enjoyed using this pillow on camping adventures.
Its ingenious design allows it to be rolled up small, and it weighs only 300g, but we really liked the fact that it can be inflated to provide a sturdy, comfortable pillow in only a few seconds.
The outer cover can be removed and is totally machine washable. Effective, reliable and one of the first items we’d pack on longer trips or backcountry expeditions.
Snugpak Snuggy Headrest
A really effective and worthwhile addition to your travelling setup at a really low price.
We liked the fact that this pillow stuffs into its own packing bag with a drawstring for easily carrying around, and we also liked that it’s made using the same comfortable materials as Snugpak’s excellent Softie sleeping bags.
Go Travel Hybrid Memory Foam Pillow
This option combines the quality, comfort and durability of memory foam with the convenience of a small, lightweight and easily packable travel pillow that’s easy to carry wherever you go.
Genuinely packs down to pocket size, it feels plush, warm and supportive – we’d highly recommend if you’re a fan of memory foam in general.
Outwell Memory Pillow
This offering from camping experts Outwell is machine washable and comes with a handy water repellent carry bag, perfect for longer trips or camping.
We liked the cotton-feel outer, which feels soft and for a small, compact and packable pillow the support is excellent. Simple, no-nonsense and effective.
Tempur Comfort Travel
A slightly more expensive option, but we trust Tempur’s skill in designing and making some of the more supportive and comfortable products out there.
With all the qualities of a standard luxury Tempur pillow in a miniature size, this travel pillow can be easily packed into hand or hold luggage, or used wherever additional comfort is required such as in outdoor seating.
Cabeau Evolution Classic Neck Pillow
Often voted as one of the best travel pillows on the market, we really liked the Evolution Classic for its excellent supporting system and its soft memory foam.
The straps are also a really handy addition, which you can fasten around your airplane headrest to provide maximum comfort and to stop your head from falling forwards. It also has integrated air vents and is designing especially to keep neck pain at bay.
Thermarest Airhead Pillow
This is a stable and easy to use inflatable travel cushion that due its size and shape, works about anywhere.
It is covered with a partially recycled luxurious polyester outer that’s comfortable but also hardwearing – we liked the fact it’s covered with synthetic insulation so it’s cosy during the colder months.