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The 5 best neck pillows for travel

Craning your neck to sleep — or missing out on sleep altogether — can be a travel nightmare, but the best neck pillows for travel can provide comfortable support and may even help you fall asleep easier and stay asleep longer. Below, I’ve rounded up options to suit a variety of travel experiences and sleeper types.

Let's be honest: Neck pillows can look pretty silly, but some certainly look sillier than others, so keep your personal comfort zone in mind while shopping. That said, the biggest factors to consider when shopping for a reliable travel pillow are comfort and portability, so I’ve made sure all the selections featured below check both of those boxes. Two of my picks are inflatable pillows, which, admittedly, can be a hassle to blow up, but they offer the convenience of easy storage when not in use — a major plus if you're backpacking or just short on space.

It’s also smart to go with a neck pillow that’s easy to keep clean — especially if you (like me) are occasionally prone to deep-sleep drooling. Lastly, consider how you like to sleep. If you’re a side sleeper, a travel pillow that allows you to comfortably lean your head to one side even when seated upright might be the ticket. If you’re a light sleeper, you might want a travel pillow that comes with ear plugs and a sleep mask. If your head bobbles, go with a travel pillow that boasts chin support.

Take a look at the best neck pillows for travel. Some of them are multipurpose, and all of them are highly rated on Amazon.

1. The overall best neck pillow for travel

With a 4.1-star rating, more than 18,000 reviews, and over a million Trtl travel pillows sold, you can rest assured this pick is going to get the job done. Available in four colors — black, gray, red, and aqua pop — this machine-washable travel pillow is easy to attach to your luggage or carry-on bag and only weighs half a pound. Most importantly, it provides scientifically proven neck support when wrapped around the neck like a scarf.

A helpful review: “I bought this for a long haul trip from SF to Paris and brought my usual neck pillow just in case this one didn't work out. I wasn't sure it was going to be comfortable enough. I slept like a baby — much better than with my previous pillow. Even in the dreaded middle seat — this keeps your head just right while sleeping. Highly recommend."

2. The best inflatable travel neck pillow

Since this pick provides maximum support and makes it comfortable to lean to either side while sleeping — whether you have an aisle, middle, or window seat — it’s a great option for getting solid sleep on a long flight. What's more, because it's an inflatable option, it's perfect for those traveling light.

Available in four colors — blue, red, gray, and navy — this compact pillow provides full lateral support for the upper body so you can relax and fall asleep more easily in an upright position. You can strap it to your seat or wear it like a guitar or messenger bag, and it’s ergonomically designed to keep your neck from falling forward. For easy cleaning, consider purchasing the machine-washable velour cover that goes with it.

A helpful review: “This is a great pillow for long flights. Very comfortable and easy to use. It keeps your neck in a secure and relaxing position.”

3. The most versatile: a neck pillow that doubles as lumbar support

This multipurpose travel pillow is ideal for anyone who might benefit from both a neck pillow and lumbar support while traveling. Available in six colors — including aqua, pink, and black — this compact travel pillow inflates with just a few quick breaths, thanks to the 'stay-on' valve, and works anywhere, whether you're on a flight, in the car, or even behind a desk. You can strap it to your seat for extra control, or use it without the strap. It comes with a removable and machine-washable velvet cover as well. You can even clip it on to your purse or carry-on bag using the attached carabiner.

A helpful review: “I just returned from a 5 week backpacking adventure in Thailand Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia. I purchased the Air Comfy for all the obvious reasons. [...] The Comfy was just that. I was able to use it for my lumbar, as neck support while sitting and as a supportive pillow while laying down. I used it as a pillow during a night train ride to Laos; as neck support during a long bus ride to Luang Prabang; as a pillow again on a 24-hr long bus ride to Hanoi [...] and it was wonderful, a great purchase."

4. The most bang for your buck: a travel pillow with ear plugs and a sleep mask

This memory foam pillow comes with a removable and machine-washable plush velour cover, one eye mask for sleeping, one set of ear plugs, toggles for adjustability, and a carrying pouch, making it a complete travel kit for less than $25.

Light sleepers and side sleepers will love this super soft pick, since customers note that the memory foam makes sleeping on your side comfortable: “I bought this because I'm a habitual side sleeper and recently got an ear piercing. [...] I would definitely recommend it for both sleeping with new piercings and for travel,” raved one customer. While it is a littler bigger to tote around, it comes with a Velcro strap to attach to your luggage to make traveling with it a bit more streamlined.

Plus, this compact pick offers comfort and convenience and comes in two colors: black and green.

A helpful review: “Absolutely love this pillow. It is comfortable to use anywhere!! The ear plugs and mask are an added bonus! I think anyone who buys this will enjoy having it!”

5. The best neck pillow for chin support

This travel pillow comes with overlapping arms for comfortable, adjustable chin support, and it has a built-in snap strap so you can hang it when not in use. The cozy, soft material is micro-fleece on one side and micro-suede on the other, and entire pillow is machine washable. This pick is available in adult, adult XL, and kid sizes and in a wide range of colors. It's especially helpful for those whose heads tend to bobble when they fall asleep, and it's great for all travel scenarios. However, if you're short on storage space, this option does get a bit bulky in a carry-on.

A helpful review: “Whether I need to fold it so I can have extra cushion between my head and the side of the bus, or I'm sitting straight up and need my chin supported, or my head is off to the side, there's a way to make this pillow work. It's great that it has a strap that I can snap it on to the side of my carry-on."

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