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I used to never carry a travel pillow, but lately trying to sleep on a flight has not been as easy as it once used to be. The discomfort probably has a lot to do with me getting older, so anything that makes my flights a little better is worth the investment these days.
I purchased my first travel pillow about three years ago and I didn't think much of it. It cost me about $25 dollars and I figured all travel pillows were pretty much the same. After taking my travel pillow on a handful of flights, I pretty much stopped taking it with me. I felt like it was giving me little support and it felt more like a very bulky scarf. I eventually decided it was time for a new travel pillow and started browsing Amazon.
Here are my personal opinions about the five travel pillows I ordered from Amazon and tested at home. I am not sponsored by any of these companies and purchased all of these travel pillows. I ended up keeping the one that hit the three main features I was looking for:
Excellent Head & Neck Support
Removable Washable Cover
Packable Travel Bag
This one was simple and I liked that it was soft and squishy. I'm the type that dips my head forward when sleeping on a plane and need something that supports that. Unfortunately, this pillow just didn't do it for me. I felt as though my head wasn't able to dip down at all so I was forced to sleep with my head tilted to the side. There wasn't enough support even when my head was tilted to the side unless I kept adjusting the pillow.
Pros: Soft squishy material, lightweight, attaches to luggage with a snap strap
Cons: Minimal neck support and the cover is non-removable for washing.
This one is bulky, but not to worry as you can fold it down to 1/4 of it's size and into a travel bag. In the photo, it looks like this travel pillow is choking me, but I promise it wasn't. The memory foam was thick and adjusted its shape accordingly. No matter which way I positioned my head, I had plenty of support and a bonus that the cover is removable. I like to wash my travel pillows since those seats aren't very hygienic. Not sure if I will use the phone pocket, but it's nice to have that option.
Pros: Excellent head and neck support, comfy memory foam, removable washable cover, media pouch for a cell phone, adjustable clasp, and it comes with a travel bag.
Cons: Maybe a cuter travel bag, since the bag is plastic and looks a little cheap.
3. Trtl Pillow
I had high hopes for this one since the design was so different from the other travel pillows. It looked like an infinity scarf and the fleece material looked super cozy. Sadly, this travel pillow wasn't giving me the neck support I had hoped it would. The only way it gave me support was if I had my elbow on the arm rest which raised my shoulder to lift the pillow to where it was most comfortable.
Pros: Lightweight, packs easily, washable, cool design
Cons: Average neck support.
I wanted to test this travel pillow out since it came with a hoodie. I don't like wearing eye masks so a hoodie is a great alternative. I loved the hoodie, but there was barely any neck support when I leaned my head to the side or forward.
Pros: Memory foam, detachable hoodie, removable washable cover, adjustable clasp, elastic side pocket for smart phones, and a travel bag.
Cons: Minimal neck support and it was a challenge to fold the pillow back into the travel bag.
This travel pillow was very different from all the other ones I tried as it was designed to give you both neck and arm support. The bamboo material was nice and having a place to put my arms was a nice feature; however, my neck wasn't getting enough support.
Pros: Soft bamboo fabric, machine washable, and a unique arm rest
Cons: Minimal neck support and it did not come with a travel bag.
You've probably already guessed by now, but the clear winner was the Cabeau Evolution Memory Foam Travel Pillow. In the end, what I really wanted was something that gave me maximum neck support and this one gave me the support without the awkward positioning and discomfort. Have a travel pillow that deserves two thumbs up? I'd love to know which ones you are using and love.