The Best Travel Neck Pillow for Comfort, Price, and Value

Steven Grace, Travel Journalist

9 Hours Researched
3 Experts Consulted
20 Customers Interviewed

It’s 5:45am. You’ve made it past security and decide to skip the almost endless line for coffee. Sure, some travelers need to wake up, but you just want to go back to sleep! That’s where we step in...

Look, we know there’s an almost endless array of travel accessories that promise a smoother flight or better train ride.

But if you’re always exhausted or stiff at the end of a long journey, it doesn’t matter if you have the best noise-canceling headphones or lightest luggage. You want one thing: rest.

The average person spends over 400 hours (over 2 weeks!) a year traveling. And with less legroom and longer flights becoming the norm, it’s no surprise that our number one concern is comfort - and it should be.

We found clear standouts – and many that you should avoid at all costs. Ready to discover which is right for you?

The good news is, we’re right there with you... 

Like you, we got sick of settling for the last resort. 

See, there’s no shortage of travel pillows in the world. From airports to gas stations, you can always find one of those U-shaped brightly colored “pillows.” But let us ask you this…

Would you buy your mattress from an airport newsstand? 

Of course not!

That’s because mattress companies know you spend a third of your life sleeping, so they have to test and design for multiple health and comfort factors. They can’t just glue a bunch of foam together and call it good!

That’s why we set out to test the most talked about travel-pillows on the market. With airport mark-ups as high as 300%, and some of these pillows costing $60+ even directly from the manufacturer, we knew this was less of a choice and more of an investment. 

Every pillow has been tested by seasoned travelers in multiple environments because a plane ride is different than the back seat.

Here's our break down of what a high-quality pillow must-have for a rejuvenating rest, even during possible turbulence:

Must Haves:

  • Ergonomics & Posture – Be able to sleep and wake without a "kinked" neck.
  • Pillow Core – Maintains its shape and structure and won't deflate.
  • Personalized Fit – A pillow that works with your neck size and is comfortable.
  • Clean Soft Material – Material that best mimics your favorite pillow at home.
  • Portability – Non-bulky and easy-to-carry.
  • Cost – Affordable comfort that won't cause "buyer's remorse."

What to Avoid:

  • Airport pillows - Neck pillows from the airport can be marked up to 300%.
  • Cheap Material - Your body heats up when you sleep, and if your pillow is made with cheap "unbreathable" fabric, it can cause you to wake up feeling sweaty.
  • Not Tested - Avoid pillows that have not been tested by a 3rd party for comfort and effectiveness.
  • Cheap "Memory" Foam - Avoid cheaply-made memory foam that doesn't mold and cradle your key "nerve" points.
  • Chemically Washed - Nasty chemicals used by most travel pillows to help maintain a clean fabric can cause major skin irritation and the odor can be irritating.

Our Research-Backed 9-Point System

When choosing a travel pillow, just going with the average "u-shaped" pillow doesn't cut it anymore.

Here at Travel Pillow Review, we use a proven 9-point ranking system to test and compare all of our products. It’s important to know how our ranking system works:

  1. 1
    Product quality based on material and sourcing.
  2. 2
    The presence of harmful material/ingredients.
  3. 3
    Manufacturer upholds high quality assurance protocols.
  4. 4
    The science, research and development behind the product.
  5. 5
    High-quality, regulated manufacturing facilities and processes.
  6. 6
    Third-party testing to validate the quality of the product.
  7. 7
    Customer reviews – removing fake/paid reviews so only real opinion count.
  8. 8
    Price. Is it worth the money?
  9. 9
    Return policy and money back guarantee

A Guide To Our Rankings: How We Picked our Top Choice

After and intense research, consultations with numerous customers interviewed, we found the following 3 products that became our top picks. We chose these three based on the following factors:

  • Ease of Use
  • Affordability / Value 
  • Comfort
  • Impressive results
  • Portability
  • Company Reputation
FIRSTCLASSED Luxury Memory Foam Neck Pillow
  • Most Comfortable, Washable Fabric Cover
  • 360° Neck Support, Soft Memory Foam
  • Best Value (w/ included Accessories)

Our Top 3 Pillows:

1. FIRSTCLASSED Luxury Memory Foam Pillow

9.7 / 10
1133 Votes
Ergonomics & Posture
9.7 / 10
Core Material Support
9.7 / 10
Fit
9.4 / 10
Outer Material
9.7 / 10
Cost
9.9 / 10
Customer Happiness
9.9 / 10

Pros:

  • 360-degree design for full support in any position
  • ​Memory-foam core for comfort and stability
  • Adjustable neck cord for the perfect fit
  • ​Breathable fabric cover that removes for easy washing
  • ​Great value w/ included earplugs, eye mask and carrying case. 
  • ​Money-back guarantee

Cons:

  • Only available online
  • Sometimes runs out of stock
  • Slightly large in fit - (which we mostly liked so we didn't feel smothered, but for very small necks it might not work as well). 

The Bottom Line

The Luxury Memory Foam Travel Pillow from FIRSTCLASSED passed all of our tests with flying colors. 

The material, shape, portability, and cost, this Travel Pillow gave us, and our officials, the best rest while in the sky.

Most travel pillows can cost you way more than they're worth. Plus, the cheap material tends to be itchy, hot, and uncomfortable. That's why we believe the FIRSTCLASSED Travel Pillow is the best, most innovative pillow that really took us by surprise.

But we weren't the only ones. Take a look at the positive reviews from their site: 

"I actually fell asleep within 10 minutes after boarding a flight. And I stayed asleep the entire time and didn't wake up until we landed! I never thought a pillow would change my life." ~ Tony P., Buffalo, NY

"I normally can't sleep on flights. I would just end up watching a ton of movies. I received this pillow as a gift and I now sleep on flights, almost as easy as sleeping at home in my own bed. This pillow is cooling and helps me not snore (thank god). Such a great deal!" ~ Angela T., Phoenix, AZ

To secure your order of FIRSTCLASSED Luxury Travel Pillow, click the link below now (but do hurry, these are going fast with the upcoming travel season).


2. TRTL Scarf Pillow

8.3 / 10
215 Votes
Ergonomics & Posture
8.2 / 10
Core Material Support
8.0 / 10
Fit
7.9 / 10
Outer Material
8.1 / 10
Cost
7.6 / 10
Customer Happiness
8.4 / 10

Pros:

  • ​Firm side support for leaning sleepers - great for car rides.
  • Soft fleece fabric
  • ​Wrap-around design fits most users
  • ​Machine washable

Cons:

  • ​Internal frame can jab neck uncomfortably
  • ​Does not offer cost-saving purchasing options.
  • ​We weren't fond of how hot the material got.

3. AirComfy Daydreamer

7.3 / 10
567 Votes
Ergonomics & Posture
7.9 / 10
Core Material Support
7.0 / 10
Fit
8.2 / 10
Outer Material
5.4 / 10
Cost
7.9 / 10
Customer Happiness
7.2 / 10

Pros:

  • ​Large number of reviews (may be incentivized)
  • ​Packs down tightly when deflated
  • ​Removable cover
  • ​Self-inflater built into pillow

Cons:

  • ​Doesn't look like a reputable manufacturer
  • ​Inflatable rubber / plastic membrane got very sweaty over long periods of time