The best travel pillows 2018: nap on the go and arrive refreshed

Slope off to the land of nod during any long journey with our top picks of the most comfortable travel pillows

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Got a long journey coming up? Hate flying? Then the best way to deal with any trip is to sleep through it. 

Whether you’re travelling by car, train or plane; it’s rare that we ever find napping during transit refreshing. More often than not you wake up disoriented, disgruntled and with a sore neck. 

What you need is one of the best travel pillows.

There are a whole host of funky and functional travel pillows on the market that will keep you comfy from door to door. From memory foam to inflatable, we’ve found a great selection of travel pillows to suit the individual traveller. 

How to choose the best travel pillow for you

When picking a travel pillow, there are a few things to consider. Firstly, what you'll be travelling in; car, bus, plane, secondly, what type of pillow you usually like to sleep on at home and thirdly, how much room you have to transport it. 

If you are travelling on a plane and there’s nowhere to lean your head, opt for ones with greater support around your neck like the classic 'U' shaped pillows you see hanging from every suitcase in the airport, they are popular for a reason. For longer journeys in a car or a bus, choosing a softer travel pillow that you can shape to your preferred sleeping angle with spongier fillings such as microbeads will be ideal. 

For backpackers and those who travel light, most of the best travel pillows will be compact and easy to stash in your luggage or attach to your bag. Keep an eye out for travel pillows that have their own compact carry case, not only does this keep them clean and fresh during your travels, it's also handy for stashing in your rucksack. If you do have the luxury of spare space, you can get some pretty big, comfy travel pillows that almost replicate your at-home sleeping experience.

Just remember; if you sleep on a memory foam pillow at home and enjoy it, you might pay a little more, but it's worth investing in this material for your travel pillow too to guarantee a good power nap. If you are not too fussed about fillings, you will be able to grab yourself a bargain as cheaper materials can be just as soft but come at a snip of the price of their memory foam equivalents.

Our pick of the best travel pillows to buy today

1. Go Travel Ultimate Memory Pillow

The reliable pillow for all forms of transport

Best for: Sleeping anywhere
Style: U-Shape
Filling: Memory Foam
Reasons to buy
+Take anywhere+Memory foam
Reasons to avoid
-Tricky to pack away 

If you want a trusty pillow that you can take on all your adventures, then the Go Travel Ultimate Memory Pillow will allow you to get that much-needed shut eye wherever you are. Its classic U-shape supports the neck and adds a touch of luxury with its memory foam filling. You’ll be able to instantly find the perfect sleeping position as it remembers your neck shape. With its handy neck clip to hold you in place, this is the perfect travel pillow for long haul flights and equally good for long trips in the car.

2. Trtl Pillow

A subtle and soft neck support

Best for: Discreet napping
Style: Neck scarf
Filling: Memory foam
Reasons to buy
+Looks like a scarf+Keeps you warm 
Reasons to avoid

We all know the dreaded feeling of boarding a plane only to find you’ve been lumped with a middle seat. If you’re a single traveller, the last thing you want to do is end up falling asleep on the shoulder of the stranger next to you. However, the Trtl Pillow allows you to maintain an upright position, with all the same comfort of a typical U-shape pillow. Simply wrap it around your neck like
a scarf and it will support your chin and neck whilst preventing your head from falling forwards. It's super soft too which is great for long journeys.

3. J Pillow Travel Pillow

Say goodbye to sore necks with this handy pillow

Best for: Head and neck support
Style: J-shape
Filling: Foam
Reasons to buy
+Full head and neck support+Machine washable
Reasons to avoid

Although pricey, this J Pillow is one of the best travel pillows for anyone who suffers with a stiff neck. The J shape supports the back of your head, the neck and your chin simultaneously, preventing your head from dropping and giving you all round support to prevent muscle strain. If you worry about the damage that travelling can do to your neck or have suffered from aches and pains after sleeping during travel, this travel pillow is sure to help you out.

4. Travelrest Ultimate Travel Pillow

The comforting travel pillow for side sleepers

Best for: Side-sleepers
Style: inflatable
Filling: Air
Reasons to buy
Reasons to avoid
- Not as comfy as others 

This inflatable across-body style is one of the best travel pillows for side-sleepers as it gives you something to lean into (rather than the stranger sat next to you). If you always twist to your side in the car, on a plane or on a bus, then you are probably a side-sleeper and will need something a bit more comprehensive like this Travelrest pillow as opposed to the standard 'U' shaped pillow in order to get a decent nap. This inflatable pillow can be easily and quickly deflated and rolled up tightly for compact storage too.

5. Huzi Infinity Pillow

Snuggle up on the go with this large microbead pillow

Best for: Comfort
Style: Wrap
Filling: Microbeads
Reasons to buy
+Versatile +Cosy
Reasons to avoid
- A bit bulky

This is probably the closest you will get to a travel pillow that's anything like the pillow on your bed at home, in terms of comfort. This big cosy pillow is designed to allow you to sleep in a range of positions, but is particularly useful for those who like to rest their head on their tray table during a flight or even on a desk. The fabric is anti-bacterial and breathable, so you don’t get too hot, and easily machine washable. Your meant to wrap one side of this pillow around your neck and pop your hands into the other, but to be honest, this ones work just as well when used like a standard pillow. You'll need some spare room in your luggage though as this one is not compact.

6. BCOZZY Chin Supporting Travel Pillow

360 adjustable support for long flights

Best for: Long-haul flights
Style: U-shape
Filling: Microbeads
Reasons to buy
+Chin support+Lots of colours
Reasons to avoid
-Tight around the neck 

The BCOZZY Chin Supporting Travel Pillow is a great travel pillow for anyone who likes the idea of the classic 'U' shaped pillows typically seem on planes, but wants something that will prevent their chin falling forward. Similar to the J shaped travel pillow earlier in our list this BCOZZY option is a slightly more compact version with the same 360degree support. If you find memory foam neck pillows a bit firm and restricting, the micro beads in this one give your head a softer support.

7. Cabeau Evolution Pillow

A plush memory foam pillow for luxury napping on the go

Best for: Maximum comfort
Style: U-Shape
Filling: Memory foam
Reasons to buy
+360 degree head support+Softest pillow on the list
Reasons to avoid
- A little pricey 

If you want to indulge in ultimate comfort, then the Cabeau Evolution Pillow is a plush travel pillow that will make you feel truly relaxed even on the bumpiest of rides. Perfect for in-flight napping, this pillow fully supports the back of your head so you do not need to lean on the window or side of the chair to get comfy. It is ideal for people with pre-existing neck pain as it corrects your posture for a high-quality kip, plus it packs down really small too making it the ideal travel pillow to stash in your hand luggage. Expensive, but worth it if your a frequent traveller.

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If you are heading off on a long haul trip, check out our buying guide for the best long haul travel accessories to make your next adventure a comfy one.