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17 Best Travel and Leisure Pillows in 2021
Trying to get comfortable enough to fall asleep while traveling can be a difficult task. Whether you’re taking a plane, train, RV or car, a travel pillow could become your best friend, helping you to get some much-needed rest and arrive at your destination fresh as a daisy.
What exactly is a travel pillow?
Travel pillows are pillows that are designed to be carried with you while traveling. You can, of course, use a generic pillow as a travel (or leisure) pillow, but those that are designed specifically for travel are usually smaller and can be folded or compressed easily to make them more compact. They are often curved or U-shaped to allow them to slip around your shoulders and provide comfort while sitting upright on public transport.
Here are our 17 favorite types of travel pillows
A pocket-friendly option, these are easy to pack away when deflated. They are lightweight and fairly durable and allow you to decide how firm you want it to be.
Soft and pliable, memory foam pillows are fairly easily compressed into your luggage. They are renowned for their comfort levels. Memory foam pillows use your body heat to mould to your body.
Neck pillows often contain tiny Styrofoam balls, known as microbeads, which are usually used in beanbags. The microbeads make them soft and squishy, although they can be heavier than memory foam and inflatable options.
These are perhaps the most well-known type of travel pillow. They slip around your shoulders to support your neck when sleeping upright in a car or plane, where space is at a premium.
The J-shaped travel pillow is designed to cater to those who suffer neck issues while sleeping on transport. It instead provides a pillow for the side of the head, one for the back of the head, and has a neck support that finishes under the chin. It allows you to lean your head slightly to the side to assume a sleeping position.
A camping pillow could be a great alternative to a traditional travel pillow. Highly versatile, it can be used for outdoor pursuits such as camping and hiking as well as on public transport. Look for one that is inflatable so it can easily be stored away in your carry-on.
If you are traveling somewhere cold, a fleece travel pillow can provide a much-needed burst of warmth and comfort. This is also the case for airplane journeys, when the temperature can tend to drop mid-air.
Cotton or latex
If you’re travelling to a colder region, look for lighter, more breathable fabrics in your travel pillow to help you stay cool.
Travel pillows with an added gel patch are great for keeping you cool and soothing headaches while travelling.
Travel pillow with carry case
If you’re a frequent traveler, you may want to invest in a travel pillow that comes with its own attached carry case for ease.
Headrest-style travel pillow
Look for a travel pillow that mimics the shape of the headrest of a train or aeroplane. This will allow you to place it against your seat and get an extra layer of cushioning for the journey.
These types of travel pillow are incredibly versatile. The long, circular pillow allows you to wrap it around you in different ways to best suit your seating conditions and sleeping position.
Travel pillow with hoodie
Some travel pillows also have a hood attached to the back of them, which you can pull on to get an extra hit of comfort.
Travel pillow with sleep mask
Look for a travel pillow with a sleep mask attached to it, especially if you struggle to take a nap while travelling. These can cover your eyes while providing a cushion for the back of your head.
Travel pillow with chin rest
Look for pillows that wrap around the neck with a double loop in the front to create a chin rest and stop your head from falling forward.
Traveling with kids? Look for bright and colorful options. You can get travel pillows shaped like bees, snakes, tigers… and the list goes on.
Your favorite pillow
Who says you have to buy a special travel pillow, anyway? It may not be easy to carry on, but for real home comfort, why not take your favorite pillow? Try the Cool Gel Latex Queen Size Bed Pillow, which uses gel and latex to help keep you cool.