Greatest journey pillow of 2022

Journey pillows have to strike a tough steadiness. Not supportive sufficient and also you’ll find yourself with a crick in your neck, too large and stiff you’ll, er, find yourself with a crick in your neck. In addition they should be compact, light-weight and straightforward to wash — no small feat for a humble journey accent!

To seek out the very best journey pillow in the marketplace, we spent weeks testing 11 of the preferred and highest-rated journey pillows in the marketplace. We evaluated pillows of all completely different designs and supplies on each consolation and construct to find out the very best journey pillow for journeys by way of aircraft, bus or automotive. And whereas lots of the pillows we examined had their deserves, there have been two clear winners.

Greatest journey pillow total

The Cabeau Evolution S3 is the Goldilocks of journey pillows: We discovered it agency sufficient to assist our head and neck, delicate sufficient to go to sleep on and completely transportable, because of its being fabricated from springy reminiscence foam that allows you to compress it to half its measurement.

Greatest splurge journey pillow

The Ostrichpillow Go Neck Pillow provides you with a really luxurious journey expertise in the event you’re a frequent traveler who’s keen to spend a bit extra. In contrast to conventional U-shaped journey neck pillows, it has full 360-degree reminiscence foam neck assist so your head and neck will not bounce round, and nonetheless compresses right down to 60% of its expanded measurement for straightforward transport.

The Evolution S3's adjustable front clasp let us slightly tighten or loosen the neck opening to our liking.

The Cabeau Evolution S3 updates the usual U-shaped journey pillow design with raised sides that lightly cradled our head and neck once we used it. The S3’s flat again additionally rested comparatively flush towards our seat, stopping our head from uncomfortably jutting ahead, whereas an adjustable entrance clasp allow us to barely tighten or loosen the neck opening to our liking, which makes it doable to tailor the pillow to vacationers of various sizes.

We discovered that the S3 works greatest when leaning your head to the aspect or as a cushion towards a strong floor, nevertheless it nonetheless supplied respectable chin assist. Its two built-in straps hooked up to just about any seatback we examined on, conserving the pillow in place and serving to to minimize whiplash throughout sudden stops or turbulence.

The S3’s reminiscence foam manages to be delicate, springy and supportive abruptly; it’s agency sufficient that it stored our head from slouching too far to the aspect however not so agency that it dug into our cheeks and ears (in contrast to one other in style reminiscence foam mannequin we examined). In fact, reminiscence foam, nonetheless comfortable, isn’t going to be the lightest or most breathable materials round. And whereas we didn’t overheat whereas utilizing the Cabeau, it additionally wasn’t the best pillow we examined.

The S3's cover (right) is made from a more breathable, quick-dry fabric that felt cooler to the touch than Cabeau's original Evolution pillow (left).

That stated, the S3’s cowl is a particular improve from Cabeau’s authentic Evolution pillow. Whereas that older mannequin’s cowl is made fully from velour, the S3’s is produced from a extra breathable, quick-dry cloth that did certainly really feel cooler to the contact. The S3’s cowl can also be absolutely detachable and machine-washable — a should in terms of one thing that touches extremely trafficked surfaces like airplane seats. Really getting that cowl on and off the S3’s reminiscence foam insert proved trickier than we’d have appreciated, nevertheless it held up completely properly in an ordinary wash cycle.

The comfiest journey pillow on the earth is ineffective if it’s too large to journey with, which is why the most effective issues concerning the Evolution S3 is the truth that it compresses right down to half its measurement. All it’s a must to do is roll the pillow up like a cinnamon bun after which stuff it contained in the included carrying case. Doing so took a little bit of elbow grease and was best on a strong floor, however we expect that’s a good worth to pay given how a lot house it finally ends up saving.

The S3’s carrying case, in flip, is one other main improve from the unique Evolution pillow and was far and away our favourite case of the bunch. It clips on to your baggage and is produced from ripstop cloth that’ll preserve your pillow clear and guarded till you’re prepared to make use of it.

Ostrichpillow

The Ostrichpillow Go Neck Pillow has the whole lot you is perhaps searching for in a journey pillow companion. It’s agency, however not too agency, and we discovered it to supply an incredible quantity of assist. Plus, the outside is fabricated from a silky-soft, jersey-like cloth that made for the right surroundings for getting some relaxation whereas in flight. It’s costlier than our total suggestion, nevertheless it’s a terrific choice in the event you journey lots, need a actually luxurious expertise and are keen to spend a bit extra

In contrast to conventional U-shaped journey pillows that see a gap on the entrance of the neck, the Go Neck Pillow gives 360-degree assist. We discovered that this function is price its weight in gold. Throughout our testing, we liked how the entrance Velcro enclosure created the right resting place for our chin, resisting our makes an attempt to stoop ahead mid-nap. Plus, as a result of it’s hooked up by a Velcro strap, the closure might be personalized to suit any traveler’s measurement and desired assist stage.

Courtney Thompson

When it got here to transporting the Go Neck Pillow, we discovered that it couldn’t have been simpler. Although the pillow supplied sufficient agency assist to maintain our neck upright — with out being too upright — the pillow additionally folds down. After we have been achieved utilizing the pillow, the reminiscence foam compressed to 60% of its measurement, permitting us to retailer it within the included journey storage bag for straightforward transport. Plus, the storage bag has its personal drawstring closure to make sure the pillow stays compact and in its case.

Alternatively, the Go Neck Pillow might be left in its 360-degree place and wrapped round your baggage’s deal with. Nonetheless, we discovered it to be extra handy to have the ability to retailer the pillow in its bag in between makes use of, serving to to keep away from it getting soiled through the journey course of. If it does get soiled throughout journey, the outside sleeve is detachable and washable to make sure your neck pillow stays clear forward of your subsequent journey.

The Go Neck Pillow is on the pricier aspect, which was our solely gripe. However in the event you don’t thoughts paying $60 for the pillow, it’s a strong funding that’ll assist to make sure your subsequent flight — or practice trip, automotive journey or bus journey — is far more snug.

An important issues to search for when purchasing for journey pillows are consolation and portability. You want one thing that’s going to supply actual assist with out taking over a bunch of house in your baggage (thus defeating the aim of being a journey pillow). With these concerns in thoughts, we settled on two main rubrics for our pillow testing standards: consolation and construct. We then had one quick tester and one tall tester consider how snug and supportive the pillows felt when behind our heads, underneath our chins and within the crooks of our necks. We gauged how straightforward the pillows have been to move by rolling them up, smooshing them down and packing every into its carrying case (if included). We hooked up these carrying circumstances to our baggage and famous how doing so impacted our mobility. We additionally famous how the pillows’ covers felt towards our pores and skin after which slipped those self same covers off and put them by a machine wash cycle. Lastly, we factored in the price and appears of every pillow to find out their total worth and to decide on the very best pillow for many vacationers.

We used the next particular classes and subcategories for testing.

  • Behind-head consolation/assist: We famous how snug and supportive the pillow felt when positioned across the neck and/or behind the pinnacle.
  • Aspect consolation/assist: We famous how snug and supportive the pillow felt when leaning our necks to the aspect in addition to when leaning towards a tough floor (as a traveler would be capable of do when sitting in a window seat). We additionally famous how easy it was to readjust the pillows whereas resting on them or to modify sides.
  • Entrance consolation/assist: We famous how snug and supportive the pillows felt when letting our heads droop ahead and resting our chins on them.
  • Match: We famous whether or not every pillow match folks of various heights equally properly and in the event that they have been adjustable in any respect.
  • Portability: We famous every pillow’s measurement, whether or not it included a strap or bag for straightforward toting and if it may very well be compressed to take up much less house. Whereas some pillows have been certainly heavier than others ( you, reminiscence foam fashions), we discovered that a number of further ounces weren’t noticeable when carting the pillows round. General measurement, case high quality and the flexibility to connect pillows to our baggage made a way more significant distinction in portability.
  • Material: Practically all of the pillows featured a delicate, velvety shell produced from a velour or fleece-like materials, however there was a spread by way of plushness. We famous how every pillow felt towards our pores and skin.
  • Washability: On condition that journey pillows contact your face, they should be straightforward to wash. We additionally famous how troublesome it was to get the pillows’ circumstances on and off when needed.
  • Breathability: We famous whether or not the pillows felt breathable and funky to the contact in addition to in the event that they tended to lure warmth.
  • Look: We made notice of every pillow’s total look and gauged how probably they have been to draw humorous appears to be like.

The J-Pillow is a fantastically snug choice with an enormous caveat: It really works greatest in the event you’ve bought a window seat. As a result of the J-Pillow doesn’t connect on to your neck or your seat, it tended to slide round until it was wedged towards a tough floor. The J-Pillow was additionally too cumbersome for us to simply stuff right into a carry-on bag or private merchandise.

Whereas a much less versatile choice than our prime picks, the J-Pillow’s lack of neck attachment may truly be a plus for individuals who discover common U-shaped journey pillows restrictive. And once we might lean towards a tough floor, the J-Pillow supplied wonderful head, neck and front-facing/chin assist. Just like the Cabeau S3 and Ostrichpillow Go Neck, it comes with a sturdy (although much less compact) journey case that clips to your baggage. There additionally aren’t any covers or zippers to cope with; the complete pillow might be tossed within the wash.

The Trtl is actually a padded neck brace and was probably the most transportable pillow we examined. It folds down comparatively flat, taking over nearly no house in your baggage, and certainly one of our taller testers liked its sturdy assist. That stated, the Trtl proved far too large for our shorter tester, and each testers might really feel the plastic brace within the center poking by its padding. The Trtl was additionally very heat (which is smart, given that you simply’re mainly carrying a wool scarf), and we didn’t love that it’s a must to absolutely unwrap and rewrap the pillow round your neck if you wish to change the aspect you’re sleeping on.

$29.99 at Mattress Bathtub & Past

Cabeau’s authentic Evolution mannequin is a really respectable journey pillow and cheaper than our prime picks. That stated, it lacks the S3’s straps, more-breathable cowl and much superior case. In a alternative between the 2, the S3 is certainly definitely worth the minor bump in worth.

As a light-weight choice to toss in your bag for tenting or backpacking journeys, Therm-a-Relaxation’s compressible pillow is a superb alternative. It compresses down right into a compact roll and is each supportive and cozy when used like a traditional pillow (mendacity down). However as a result of it doesn’t wrap round your neck or have any straps to maintain it in place, it’s not a terrific choice for making an attempt to relaxation whereas sitting upright.

Bcozzy’s in style pillow didn’t supply us almost sufficient neck assist, and the fabric, whereas delicate to the contact, felt much less luxurious than our prime picks. On the plus aspect, it’s comparatively small and light-weight, and might be folded in half for extra assist in the event you’ve bought a floor to lean towards (it’s susceptible to slipping round in any other case).

Travelrest’s bestseller is a well-made and supremely delicate pillow, however its reminiscence foam proved too stiff in our testing, and its sides have been so tall that they pushed uncomfortably towards our cheeks. This stiffness additionally made it troublesome to compress the pillow into its carrying case. We prefered the squishier reminiscence foam and shorter aspect profile of the Cabeau fashions.

If you recognize you’ll have a tough floor to lean on, the Huzi might be finagled into a really snug place. It requires an illustrated information to take action, nonetheless, and by itself doesn’t supply very a lot neck assist. And whereas we liked (liked!) its silky, breathable bamboo cloth, the Huzi doesn’t include a carrying case and took up a ton of house in our baggage.

The ever present microbead pillow is light-weight and cheap, however its low profile leaves a lot to be desired in terms of precise neck assist. We didn’t love the texture and sound of the microbeads when pressed towards our ears, and this pillow additionally doesn’t include a carrying case. On condition that it additionally isn’t machine-washable, this most likely isn’t a pillow you’d wish to rub your face towards long-term. We additionally discovered that it tended to flatten out a bit with continued use over the weeks that we examined.

If you need a really light-weight and transportable lumbar pillow, the AirComfy Ease isn’t a nasty alternative. If you need a flexible journey pillow, this is just too stiff, too small and too slippery to be of use. It conveniently attaches to the again of any seat for further assist, nevertheless it simply isn’t very snug. And whereas inflatability is cool in idea, in follow it seems like making an attempt to sleep on a fuzzy balloon.

Learn extra from CNN Underscored’s hands-on testing:


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