Travel pillows have become an important aspect of a comfortable trip. Whether you’re taking a flight or simply hitting the road, you’ll find them handy for catching some sleep in otherwise awkward positions.
But with so many travel pillows on the market, finding the perfect one for you can be cumbersome. Because not all travel pillows are created equally – there are many different designs created to suit the needs of different travelers, and they come in many different shapes, sizes, weights, and filling.
With so many things to consider when choosing a travel pillow, we’ve put together five tips to help you find the best one for you.
5 Tips for Finding the Perfect Travel Pillow
Choose the Type of Travel Pillow You Want
When choosing a travel pillow, it’s important to figure out which type you want. There are three main types of travel pillow, as follows:
Inflatable travel pillows are usually u-shaped. Inflate them to a desired firmness or deflate and fold them to a small, compact and lightweight size for light packing when going for long road trips or flights. Inflatable pillows offer convenience and support budget travelers.
Microbead travel pillows are filled with tiny polystyrene beads, are u-shaped and lightweight. The pillows change shape to provide comfort and neck support, though they generally provide the least amount of comfort and aren’t ideal for light packers because they’re the least portable.
Memory foam travel pillows are the firmest on the market, and offer the most consistent support for the neck. They can be compressed and clipped for compact packing, and are generally recommended as the most comfortable travel pillow as they mould to your neck’s shape. Although the most expensive, memory foam is one of the best travel pillows for frequent flyers.
You’ll also find neck braces in the form of wrap-around scarves and designs for travelers who tend to lean forward while sleeping.
How do you sleep while traveling? Do you lean forward or backwards while sleeping? Have you ever woken up on a car ride or flight and found your neck was aching?
One of the most important considerations when choosing a travel pillow should be neck support. An inflatable pillow or memory foam is ideal for neck support. If you tend to lean forward while sleeping during your travels, neck braces can provide the kind of support you need.
Consider how you usually sleep, and the type of pillow which will offer the best neck support for your most common neck positions.
Travelers have a tendency to overlook fabric when choosing a neck pillow, but this is an important factor for ensuring your comfort. Many people find that plastic inflatable pillows irritate their skin, so it’s important to choose a fabric that is comfortable even in hot weather.
Consider whether your travels often take you into hot or cold climates. Cotton and smooth plastic are ideal for hot climates while fleece is perfect for cold climates or flights.
If you’re going for winter adventures or traveling in a chilly flight, you won’t go wrong with travel pillows made from fleece.
Size & Weight
Travel pillows range in size and weight, so it’s important to chose one which fits with your travel style.
Opt for small, lightweight pillows if you want to travel light. Memory foam and inflatable pillows are also ideal for light travel as you can size them down.
However, microbead pillows can be bulky, so it’s important to make sure there is enough space in your carryon if you decide to go this route. Most travel pillows are made light anyway, but it’s still an important consideration.
It’s also important to find a durable travel pillow, especially if you’re a frequent traveler. This ensures that you don’t have to buy a new pillow each time you travel.
There are many different cost points on the market, so it’s important to decide what you’re willing to pay, with durability and value for money in mind. If you do travel frequently, it may be a better investment to spend more on one you won’t have to constantly replace.
Finding a pillow with a washable zip cover is a great idea in this sense, and obviously, make sure you read reviews of various pillows online before opting for one.
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