Looking for the best travel pillow for long haul flights? We’ve reviewed the J Pillow, Skyrest Travel, Trtl Pillow, Therm-a-Rest, Be Relax, and Cabeau Evolution Pillow – all some of the best airplane pillows on the market.
What does a great airline pillow mean?
No more leaning on nasty germ filled windows, no more stiff necks, and no more red eye flights filled with no sleep. It’s time to get a decent sleep on long distance flights.
We always pack one in our carry on bags, and they make a world of difference on the body. First things first let’s take a look at what makes a great pillow for long travel days.
What to Consider Before Buying a Travel Pillow
Comfort is the most important aspect to consider before buying a travel pillow. If you can’t fall asleep while with your pillow on a long haul flight, or any travel for that matter, what is the point? Having a comfy place to lay your head is crucial and the main reason for this list.
Can you pack this pillow up when you’re on the go? Is it light? Can it fit in a carry-on bag? Looking at the logistics of the best airline pillow is key as conserving space is important when packing for your long haul flight.
On top of space, you don’t want an airline pillow so big that it is hindrance to take out. You don’t want to be “that person” with a monstrosity of a pillow. Low key pillows are key to a good and efficient design.
Are you a side sleeper or stomach sleeper? Do you tend to fall asleep on a tray table or against an airplane window? All travel pillows are made for different sleeping styles and patterns so be sure to recognize what you fall into and opt for a travel pillow that is made for you.
The Best Travel Pillows for Long Haul Flights
Skyrest Travel Pillow
The Skyrest Travel Pillow is an unconventional and new travel pillow that allows you to sleep leaning on your tray table. The Skyrest supports your chin while seated and allows you to sleep face down or to the side. It is a forward facing pillow that supports your upper body and neck. Skyrest is inflated with a few big breaths (they claim you can do it in five) and deflates by opening a valve. The Skyrest pillow is roughly the size of an IPad so it can fit in purses and carry-on bags with ease.
Pros of the Skyrest Travel Pillow
- Good for all sizes. Adjustable in size by deflating and inflating the valve letting it fit perfectly in your carry on luggage.
- Sufficient room between you and the seat in front of you.
- Hand Washable.
- Large open space to place hands.
- Comes with a sleep mask to help with those long flights
Skyrest Travel Pillow Cons
- Large and quite obnoxious and awkward to blow up on a flight
- Good if you are comfortable sleeping forward
Final Verdict: The size and awkwardness of the Skyrest Travel Pillow is only acceptable for long haul flights.
A pillow shaped like the letter “J”..let’s dive in. This pillow sits under your chin to offer your entire head support. No more “bobbing” up and down while dozing off. The pillow is light and easy to carry, but it is not compact. The J Pillow can also be washed, not just the outer lining, so you will be free from all those germs picked up mid-flight.
J Pillow Pros
- Innovative design supports head, chin, and neck
- Not awkward on a flight and blends in with all other neck pillows
- Great for side sleepers on planes and at home watching TV.
- Good for all shapes and sizes.
J Pillow Cons
- Multiple users complain that it is too bulky and does not pack up right.
- Only supports one side of the head. You will have to manually switch the pillow if you want to lean the opposite way.
Final Verdict: The versatile of the J Pillow make it a good choice for home users, but not for travelers wanting to save on space.
Be Relax Airline Pillow
The Be Relax travel pillow comes in the shape and size of your typical normal travel pillow. However, it comes with all the bells and whistles of something much more. This memory foam pillow has 360° Ergo Smart flat back shape. The high-density memory foam allows the travel pillow to conform to your neck for optimal comfort as well. Are you ready for the best part about this airline pillow? It’s the heat patch situated right at the back providing relief for any neck tensions you may have.
BeRelax Travel Pillow Pros
- Heated neck patch
- High quality memory foam
- Looks like a normal neck pillow
- Comes with a travel pouch for the pillow to roll up into.
BeRelax Travel Pillow Cons
- Even folded up the BeRelax isn’t super compact
Final Verdict: I absolutely love this pillow. It’s soft and uses high-quality memory foam while still retaining the shape of a regular travel pillow. The heat patch is just an added bonus.
Trtl Soft Neck Support Travel Pillow
The Trtl Pillow acts more of like a “wrap” or a scarf than the other pillows on this list. The great thing about the Trtl wrap is that it’s very small and compact but still, supports your head on both sides. The Trtl prides itself on being able to attach to other luggage, and it can fit inside a purse of carry-on bag.
Trtl Airline Pillow Pros
- Washable and soft
- No inflating, no deflating, no memory foam making it one of the best airline pillows for airplanes.
- Unconventional and looks normal like a scarf.
- Good support so head doesn’t droop too far.
Trtl Airline Pillow Cons
- Hard plastic unit for support inside the Trtl can lead to soreness
- Size-dependent. Users with longer necks report it is uncomfortable
- Not exactly a “pillow,” but more of a scarf with less support than a traditional memory foam pillow.
- Pushes out Headphones from ears.
Final Verdict: The Trtl Pillow is a new and innovative design perfect for travelers whose primary goal is to save on space. Good for 4-6 hour flights, but not long haul flights.
Therm-a-Rest Lumbar Travel Pillow
The Therm-a-rest is your traditional inflatable pillow. There aren’t many bells and whistles here. Just a straight pillow that is good for lying down or leaning against a window. The Therm-a-Restis good not only for flights, but also for camping, sleeping (unexpectedly) in airports, and for long train rides. The memory foam is comfortable and really mends to your head and body.
Therm-a-Rest Lumbar Pillow Pros
- One-handed valve adjustment makes it one of the best travel pillows for long haul flights
- Good for the head, but also firm lumbar support.
- Light, compact, and packs up into a purse or carry-on
- Comes in different sizes and vary by price.
Therm-a-Rest Lumbar Pillow Cons
- Easy to get holes in, and then the pillow renders useless
- Not much neck support, ideal for laying down but not for sitting up in a plane.
Final Verdict: The Therm-a-rest is a no frills inflatable pillow good. It’s great for saving on space, but not very innovative on creating comfort.
Cabeau Evolution Airline Pillow
The Cabeau Evolution Pillowis one of the top travel pillows for long haul flights on the market. However, it comes at a steep price point. The good news is that it has 360-degree support for all around travel. The pillow even has a water repellent travel bag and comes with memory foam ear plugs.
Cabeau Evolution Pillow Pros
- Responsive memory foams mends to each individual user
- Removable and washable cover
- The Cabeau Evolution Pillow is flexible and lets you sit comfortably with your head forward or to either side.
- Raised side supports to help with neck pain.
Cabeau Evolution Pillow Cons
- One size fits all technology may make it uncomfortable for some.
- Some users report the Cabeau does not fit well with headphones on.
Final Verdict: The Cabeau Evolution is similar to many other travel pillows on the market. The difference here is its 360 support. It’s one of the best travel neck pillows for long flights but isn’t as compact as some of the others on this list.