Travel Cushions: What You Want and Need

Long flights, tiring bus trips, and lengthy car journeys can be challenging, especially when it comes to getting some shuteye. But with the right travel cushion or pillow, such relaxation is possible.

Whether you’re catching a flight, hopping on a train, or hitting the road, travel cushions are ideal for catching some sleep when you’re stuck in an awkward position.

But with so many travel cushion options on the market, finding the perfect pillow can be a daunting task. After all, not all travel cushions are created equally. There are a ton of options and different designs to suit the needs and preferences of different travelers.

Travel pillows come in various shapes, sizes, weights, and fillings. But which type is right for you? And how do you choose a pillow excellent for traveling?

That’s where we come in to help. Please keep reading for our guide on choosing the perfect travel pillow for your adventures on the road.

Styles of Travel Cushion

There are many different styles of travel pillows. Let’s go through some of the most popular options.

Inflatable Travel Cushion

Inflatable travel cushions are usually u-shaped. They inflate to achieve the desired firmness. After use, they can be deflated and folded into a small, lightweight, and compact size. This is useful if you have a limited amount of space and don’t want to lug around a large or heavy travel pillow.

These travel pillows are usually the most affordable and convenient option, so they suit budget travelers. But, they’re also the most fragile.

Be sure not to pack them close to any sharp objects to avoid puncturing that would make them unusable. Nobody wants to be stuck on a long journey with an unusable travel pillow.

Microbead Travel Cushion

Microbead travel cushions are filled with small polystyrene beads. They’re often u-shaped and are also quite lightweight. These pillows the adjust shape to offer comfort and neck support.

However, they aren’t the most comfortable option and aren’t suitable for light packers as they aren’t very portable.

Despite this, microbead travel pillows are more comfortable than inflatable options. As stuffed travel pillows are bigger and more voluminous, they can be a hassle to lug around on trips.

One plus is that microbead travel cushions sometimes feature a removable cover. This makes them easy and straightforward to clean, and we all know how grubby we can get on long journeys.

Memory Foam Travel Cushion

Memory foam travel pillows are often the firmest and most comfortable options on the market. That’s because they mold to your neck’s shape, providing quality comfort. When the head and neck press on the special foam inside the pillow, it takes the shape's imprint. After some time, the pillow returns to its original form.

Memory foam cushions can be compressed and clipped for more convenient packing.

Although usually one of the most expensive options in the world of travel pillows, memory foam is often one of the best types of cushions on the market. If you travel frequently or require as much comfort as possible, a memory foam pillow is an excellent option.

girl sleeping on the train

Shapes of Travel Cushion

There are plenty of shapes of travel cushion to choose from, too, depending on your needs. Perhaps you would prefer some travel cushions to sit on, rather than to have around your neck to help you sleep.


A bagel pillow is worn on the back. It prevents tipping or tilting of the head to the side when someone is trying to sleep or trust. This option is usually chosen by drivers who must wait lengthy periods on the road.


The headrest cushion doesn’t provide fixation for the body. It’s mounted onto a chair or placed onto a horizontal surface to offer comfort during sleeping or rest.

How to Choose a Travel Pillow for Neck Support

When choosing a travel pillow, it’s essential to consider the neck support it offers. Think about how you usually sleep while traveling

First, you should determine your most comfortable posture for snoozing in a sitting position.

Do you lean forward? Or maybe backward? Have you ever woken up during a car journey or flight and found that your neck was sore?

If you like to sleep on your side, a U-shaped travel pillow works best. If you sleep on your side, a roll pillow won’t be much use.

If you tend to lean forward when you sleep on a journey, a neck brace pillow provides you with the right kind of support.

There are so many types of travel pillows that, fortunately, most people can choose an option that they find comfortable. When deciding on your pillow, consider several factors.

When it comes to sleeping with a travel pillow on the road, comfort is the priority. A travel pillow may look cute, but if it doesn’t do its job well, what’s the point?

A good idea is to choose a pillow that allows you to rest your head in different places and positions. Most people who use travel pillows require them on a long-haul flight when we’re sitting in an upright seat, which is something to consider.

Whatever you choose, make sure you find it significantly comfortable. We’re all different, and what may feel great for a friend may not for you.

Size and Weight

Travel pillows differ in size and weight, so it’s essential to choose one that suits your travel style. If you prefer to travel light,  choose small and lightweight pillows. Memory foam and inflatable pillows are ideal for light packers are they can be compressed.

Microbead pillows, on the other hand, can be bulky. Ensure that there’s enough space in your luggage to hold it if you decide on a microbead pillow. Generally, more comfortable options are more abundant.

Travel cushions can be annoying to carry around. Generally, the more comfortable options are larger. If you don’t want to compromise on comfort, consider investing in a bag or clip to help transport the pillow around.

If you have a protective bag, this helps to carry your pillow around. Plus, it protects it from the dirt and grime that travel pillows quickly pick up during travels.

Alternatively, a clip is a handy accessory to have. You can use it to clip your pillow onto the outside of another bag.


It’s essential to find a durable travel pillow that lasts a long time, especially if you’re a frequent traveler. There’s no point buying a pillow once only for it to fall apart following the first trip.

If you choose a durable option, you don’t need to purchase a new pillow each time you travel. As with most products, durable travel pillows often come with a higher price tag. But it may be worth it in the long run if you don’t have to buy a new pillow each time you travel.

For frequent travelers, it makes sense to spend more on a pillow to make it a worthwhile investment.

Opting for a pillow with a washable zip cover is an excellent idea because it means you can get the pillow protected for longer. Plus, you can keep your travel pillow nice and clean.

Some travel pillows may seem of excellent quality at first. Then after a few uses, they lose their firmness and begin to sag. Unfortunately, it’s hard to predict which pillows will end up this way, so it’s worth doing some online research.

In many cases, even the expensive travel pillows can sag after a few uses. Just because you paid more for a travel pillow, doesn’t necessarily mean it will last for years.

To find out how durable a travel pillow is, have a look at reviews of it online. It might take some scrolling, but people generally tend to comment on how long a product lasts for them.


Travel pillows are usually an excellent way to help you snooze on journeys without splashing too much cash. If you’re going to buy a travel cushion, you should spend enough to ensure that the pillow is of good quality and will last a significant amount of time.

As with any items, like sunglasses, shoes, clothing, if you buy cheap, you’ll likely need to buy a new pillow to replace it after a few uses.

Memory foam pillows are usually a good option when it comes to price and quality. While memory foam pillows are often more expensive than other types, like inflatable or microbead travel pillows, they’re usually worth it.

There are many different cost points of travel cushions on the market, so it’s essential to decide what you’re willing to spend with value and durability. If you travel often, it’s likely to be a better investment to spend more money on a pillow you won’t have to replace consistently.


Some pillows also sell with extra stuff included. The most common accessory that comes with a travel pillow is a carry bag to transport it and keep it clean. Some others come with more bits and pieces, including sleeping masks, earplugs, and even headphones to make sleeping while traveling even more comfortable.

Whether you choose to go for adds on or not is entirely up to you. There’s nothing wrong with simply wanting a travel cushion on its own.

Tips on Choosing the Ideal Travel Cushion for You

If you’re shopping for travel pillows in-store, a good idea is to try out a few different styles on your neck to see which you like and don’t like. As we’re all different regarding sleeping habits and comfort, some features of a travel cushion may be more relevant to you than others.

For example, if you sleep with your head forward with your chin down towards your chest, a strap on your neck pillow to offer support may be essential.

As mentioned, reviews are essential to read so you can determine the quality and durability of a travel cushion. While it’s great to try out different cushions if you can, this only goes so far. You still won’t have any idea of how durable the pillow is.

While it’s tempting to leave your travel cushion shopping until the last minute when you arrive at the airport, remember that most people tend to do this. That means there will always be a price mark up at the airport.

After all, there’s always a few that forget to buy their travel pillows ahead of schedule. Save some money and buy your travel pillow online ahead of your trip.

Are You Ready to Choose a Travel Cushion?

If you have a big trip coming up and you’re considering whether to buy a travel cushion, we promise the purchase is worth it. In almost every case, you’ll be more comfortable traveling with a pillow than without.

Having the chance to sleep upright on different modes of transports over long journeys is so essential when you’re traveling. There are times when you’re exhausted and you step onto a flight or train, wishing you could sleep. Travel pillows go a long way to make that possible.

Plus, a travel cushion is an affordable way to make sleeping while traveling more achievable. Most range from around 10 to 50 dollars. When you think about all the sleep you can gain, it’s undoubtedly worth it.

If you’re looking for high-quality memory foam travel cushions that are durable and comfortable, look at our collection here.

man resting on the plane

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