The Best Travel Pillows for Long Haul Flights

Looking for the best travel pillow for long-haul flights? With all of our international travel, we spend a lot of time on planes. I suffer from back and shoulder pain a problem that is only further exasperated by stiff sleeping conditions.

A great travel tip is to mitigate this by purchasing a pillow designed for sleeping upright in a seat. Every traveler has different desires in the perfect travel pillow. Do you want it to be soft, firm, foam, offer neck support, or be inflatable for convenience? 

Companies have caught on to the wide demand for a travel pillow and delivered a range of products that range from the traditional u-shaped pillow to inflatable versions, to classic pillow shapes and some wacky creations.

We look at the travel pillows on the market and share the best. 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 rest on long-distance flights.


The Best Travel Pillows for Long Haul Flights


Huzi Design Infinity Pillow


Pros

  • Versatile
  • Comfort
  • Possible Back Support
  • Great Bamboo Fabric

Cons

  • Burdensome
  • Lacks Necessary Neck Support For Many

The Huzi Infinity travel pillow has a unique design that may be the answer for some. It’s similar to a scarf with more padding and can be wrapped around the neck, arms, and back to offer support in several ways. It’s a unique way to offer support that many pillows lack.

Bamboo fabric is superb as it’s super soft and feels cool to the touch. It comes with the benefits of being hypoallergenic and anti-microbial. However, some real negatives to the pillow involve the design.

Given the size of the pillow, it’s very bulky and burdensome to travel through airports and public transportation. The scarf design lacks support lot of support for certain sleepers. It can still be an incredibly comfortable pillow for many travelers.

Shop For Huzi Design Infinity Pillow


MLVOC Travel Pillow

Pros

  • Comfortable
  • Machine Washable Cover
  • Memory Foam
  • Ergonomic Shape

Cons

  • Burdensome
  • Design May Uncomfortable For Some Sitting Upright

The MLVOC utilizes a unique ergonomic shape that is wonderfully comfortable. Memory foam is premium, with a nice balance between support and cushion. It rebounds fast and molds to a wide range of shapes.

An ergonomic shape allows for proper neck support and stops the head from falling forward. Fabric is soft and feels wonderful against the skin without too much insulation. As the fabric is a cover, it can be removed and machined washed to remain fresh.

The memory foam design comes with some issues. Most notable is the density of the memory foam can push the neck forward when you sit upright. This will be an issue for smaller people on airplanes or public transportation. Of course, the classic issue is that the pillow does not collapse.

Shop For MLVOC Travel Pillow


Therm-a-Rest Lumbar Travel Pillow

Pros

  • Durability
  • Excellent Lumbar Support
  • Effective One-Handed Valve
  • Compact
  • Comfort

Cons

  • Not Great As Pillow For Head
  • Requires Inflation

We love the Therm-A-Rest lumbar pillow for those with back pain. The affordable travel pillow is wonderful for millions of travelers with chronic back pain. Most importantly, the pillow is easy to travel with as it’s lightweight and compresses. Its use extends beyond the plane to any mode of transportation, such as trains, buses, and cars.

The design uses a one-handed valve to inflate the pillow, while a memory foam core provides added support. It’s a thin pillow that feels well suited for lumbar support or as a small pillow for laying down. Firmness is adjustable to the individual traveler thanks to air inflation. We find it easy to find the desired firmness to keep your spine in the correct upright position.

Therm-A-Rest produces rugged camp products, so we’ve had no issues with the lumbar pillow and punctures. Several other travel pillows in testing eventually develop a hole during repeated travel. It’s one of the many reasons this pillow is a real stand-out for travel. Not everyone needs a lumbar pillow, but those who do can now rest easy.

Shop For Therm-A-Rest Lumbar Pillow


Cabeau Evolution Travel Pillow

Cabeau Evolution

Pros

  • Excellent memory foam
  • Washable cover
  • Ergonomic shape
  • Side support feels great on the neck
  • Soft fabric

Cons

  • Pillow size is tough on smaller people
  • High neck link interferes with over-ear headphones

We love the Cabeau Pillow for its supreme comfort. It is one of the market’s top travel pillows for long-haul flights. Its shape is similar to the MLVOC Travel Pillow above, but it feels a tad bulkier with more support and soft textured fabric. Memory foam is wonderful, with just the right amount of comfort and support. Its quality gives every indication that the pillow will last for many years.

The fabric is soft and feels comfortable against the skin. You can remove the cover and machine wash to remove oils and germs. It’s a good idea for something that touches sensitive skin. The ergonomic shape for neck support stops the head from falling forward. A lock in the front pulls the pillow tight to keep the head upright and makes for easy carry.

It’s an extremely comfortable pillow, making it easy to grab some sleep on the planes. The sides feel comfortable on the neck, but the back feels a tad thick when leaning back into a seat. The other downside to the pillow is its bulky size, making it a pain to travel around your destination.

Shop For Cabeau Evolution Travel Pillow


Trtl Pillow

Trtl Travel Pillow

Pros

  • Minimalist
  • Washable cover
  • Ergonomic shape
  • Inventive Design

Cons

  • Not A Pillow

The Trtl Pillow acts more like a “wrap” or a scarf than the other pillows on this list. The great thing about the Trtl wrap is that it’s compact, but this doesn’t mean it lacks enough neck support. A stiff neck collar within the wrap allows your head to remain upright. It is hard to call this a “travel pillow” as it’s not a pillow but a lightly cushioned support for your neck.

Its advantage is that it is easy to carry in a backpack, purse, or bag. Our largest complaint with many travel pillows is their bulky size, which is not the case with the Trtl Pillow. It’s a pretty innovative design and makes a great gift to replace that old U-shaped pillow travelers have used for years.

Its minimalist design does sacrifice some comfort. The original model could sometimes feel like a scarf and very warm. It’s also not a pillow; it’s head support, so if you want to lean against a wall or seat, it’s ineffective.

Shop For Trtl Pillow


Considerations Before Buying a Travel Pillow


Comfort

Comfort is the most important aspect to consider before buying a travel pillow. What is the point if you can’t fall asleep while with your pillow on a long-haul flight, or any travel for that matter? Having a comfy place to lay your head is crucial and the main reason for this list.

Space

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.

Awkwardness

On top of space, you don’t want an airline pillow so big that it hinders taking 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.

Sleep Style

Are you a side sleeper or a stomach sleeper? Do you 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.


About Natasha

Natasha is the co-founder of The World Pursuit. She is an expert in travel, budgeting, and finding unique experiences. She loves to be outside, hiking in the mountains, playing in the snow on her snowboard, and biking. She has been traveling for over 10 years experiencing unique cultures, new food, and meeting fantastic people. She strives to make travel planning and traveling easier for all. Her advice about international travel, outdoor sports, and African safari has been featured on Lonely Planet, Business Insider, and Reader’s Digest.

Learn more about Natasha Alden on The World Pursuit About Us Page.

Leave a Comment