Do Travel Pillows Really Work?

People are not traveling these days as much as they used to, but even so, as the holidays draw near, there are bound to be some long journeys via plane, train, and automobile.

So, even if you are not traveling as often this year, make sure that you are comfortable and supported when you do so that the experience is a good one. 

But do carry on travel pillows really work as well as they seem? Read on to find out. 

What Are Travel Pillows? 

Travel pillows, also known as neck pillows, are typically used to aid or prevent neck pain and sleep issues while traveling. 

Long haul flights in cramped spaces can be hard enough as it is, but with airplane seats continuing to get smaller and more people driving to escape lockdown fatigue and shared mass transportation, traveling can feel more draining and daunting than in years past. Travel neck pillows offer at least a little control over your traveling experience, letting you take your comfort and health into your own hands.

They can keep you from accidentally leaning your head onto your seatmate, if you have the middle seat, or stop you from resting your head against the dirty glass of a window seat. They act as a sort of comfortable neck brace to keep your body aligned while you get some much-needed rest. These pillows generally come in soft materials like velour, and some even feature velcro to help you stay strapped into your seat.

There are many different types of travel pillows, which vary in shape, durability, and price. Here are some of the most popular pillows to choose from now:


Inflatable travel pillows are typically U-shaped and can be inflated to achieve your desired firmness and then deflated and folded away when not in use. For travelers on a budget or trying to pack light, this may be the best option for you, as it is easy to find and affordable, as well as able to be packed into small, compact spaces.

However, because it is on the cheaper side, it is not very durable. Be wary of using or packing an inflatable travel pillow near sharp objects to prevent it from being punctured and rendered unusable as a headrest. These travel accessories are definitely not ideal for portability.


Microbead travel pillows are filled with small polystyrene beads. Like inflatable travel pillows, these are often U-shaped and relatively lightweight. The beads in microbeads travel pillows make it easier for these pillows to change shape according to the user, providing you with more personal neck support than inflatable ones could. They usually come with an easily removable sleeve or covering that makes these travel pillows easy to wash.

A major downside of microbead travel pillows is that its bead filling makes it denser and thus difficult to pack away easily. Because of this, these are not ideal for light packers and can be a hassle to carry around on long journeys. The beads also shift around against your seatback when you're trying to get comfortable.

Memory Foam

Memory foam travel pillows are the best of all three options when it comes to providing consistent and quality neck support and overall comfort. When your head and neck press on the special foam inside the pillow, it takes the shape's imprint, molding to your specific needs for the maximum head support. After some time not in use, the pillow returns to its original form.

memory foam

While memory foam travel pillows are celebrated for their comfort, support, and convenience to pack and carry, it should be noted that they typically are the most expensive of all options.

Common Ailments Related To Travel

Still not sure if a travel pillow is actually something you need? Consider these common ailments and afflictions related to travel, and perhaps you will be eager to try a travel pillow out once you see how they can completely ease or prevent some of the issues below.

Neck And Back Pain 

Poor posture, stiffness, and sleeping in uncomfortable positions can lead to neck and back pain while traveling. Sitting for extended periods of time means that we become less careful about maintaining proper posture and positions that are healthy for our joints, which leads to slouching and slumping that puts stress on the body, causing soreness and pain in our necks and back. Unfortunately, airplane seats don't exactly come equipped with lumbar support pillows. 

Traveling long distances is hard enough, but you shouldn’t have to do it while feeling sore. Travel pillows will do the work of supporting your neck so you can rest and enjoy your journey, pain-free.

Lack Of Sleep 

Sleeping in uncomfortable or upright positions can be one of the worst aspects of travel. We have all attempted to contort our bodies to find a somewhat comfortable position on during air travel or in a car, only to be unable to get any shut eye at all. 

A fitful sleep can ruin a good trip and leave you jetlagged. A neck pillow helps you avoid these issues by providing the extra bit of comfort that the regular seat usually does not, and can be all the difference between a great night of sleep and an exhausting, restless trip. They're useful for everyone, whether you're a side sleeper, a back sleeper, or something in between.


Traveling can be a very stressful experience. Issues with luggage, departure times, nerves, those around you, and more can all trigger stress, making your whole body feel tight and on edge. A travel pillow can provide you with the soft and comforting embrace you need to get you out of your head and feeling more relaxed during your journey. 

Which Travel Pillow Is Right For You?

airport girl

Now that you know of the main types of travel pillow and the benefits and drawbacks of each, as well as the travel-related health conditions and ailments that you can circumvent by using one, you may be finding it hard to narrow down your options. Allow us to assist by recommending some of the best travel pillows available, two of our very own exceptional products.

Gel Infused Memory Foam Travel Pillow 

Our Gel Infused Memory Foam Travel Pillow is an easy-to-clean, American-made travel pillow with over 150 Five Star reviews. Its key features and benefits include:

Gel-infused and ventilated memory foam:

The gel-infused design of this travel pillow allows you to get all the benefits of memory foam without the downside of it storing heat, and breathable ventilation holes cool it even further. 

Ergonomic raised lobe design:

Rather than emulating the basic u-shape design, this pillow has raised lobes on either side for even more added comfort so that you can sleep with your head to the side comfortably. 

Convenient cell phone pocket:

You’re definitely going to have your phone on hand while traveling, whether that’s to listen to music or just make sure that you don’t receive any texts. The cell phone pocket in this pillow ensures that you’re not at risk of losing your phone when you do inevitably drop it as you’re falling asleep. 

Compact travel set:

Lucky for you, this set comes with all the essentials you’ll need for traveling, including an eye mask, earplugs, and a bag to conveniently carry it all.

Adjustable straps:

This pillow also features adjustable straps, so that you can be sure your pillow won’t move as you’re drifting off to sleep.

It also features a machine-washable cover so you don't have to worry about airport germs.

Memory Foam Airplane Travel Pillow Kit

If you thought that our gel travel pillow was impressive, then prepare to be completely blown away by our Memory Foam Airplane Travel Pillow Kit, a tried and tested product that was created with the consumer and his or her comfort in mind. Key features and benefits of this affordable, convenient, and visually appealing (you can choose the color!) product are:

Pure memory foam:

Our pillows are made with pure memory foam, and we make sure that there are never any additives. The heat-responsive foam molds directly to your form, so you're sure to get the perfect support while you travel. 

Ergonomic design.

Convenient cell phone pocket.

Comes with free bonus items:

This pillow also comes with memory foam earplus and an adjustable eye-mask for the ideal sleeping conditions while traveling. You'll also ecieve a convenient bag to transport it all in. 

Lifetime replacement guarantee:

Everlasting Comfort created this travel pillow to be durable, but if anything happens to your pillow, we’ve got your back. We’ll send you a free replacement right away so you won’t be left without your favorite travel pillow.

In Conclusion

Do travel pillows really work? Absolutely.

A quality travel pillow is worth the money. Even if you have to carry it around or feel like you look a little silly while wearing it, all of that is completely worthwhile or forgotten once you finish your trip feeling well-rested and pain-free, especially compared to those around you. Use a travel pillow on your next trip, and it is sure to be the best one yet.

For even more comfort while traveling, you might want to consider investing in a sleep mask, so that you can be extra comfy. Whether you're flying to New York or Amsterdam or it's your first time flying or your hundredth, it's worth it to be comfortable.  

For even more options for maintaining your health and comfort, you can look at our other products, or simply contact us to ask for more information.


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