Travel neck pillows: Do they work?

(Photo by Joyce Romero on Unsplash)

Do you use a travel neck pillow? Maybe you are thinking of buying one but are still undecided?

In this article, we will discuss the different types of neck pillows and whether they really help you or simply take up space in your carry on luggage.

We always aim to provide useful information to our clients. SkyRefund is a leader in protecting passenger rights.

Have you experienced any problems with your flights in the last 3 years, such as delay, cancellation, denied boarding or downgrading? You could be eligible for compensation - check your flight now.

We help you get compensation for delayed and cancelled flights in the last 3 years.

Check your flight now. Get up to € 600 per passenger.

Are travel neck pillows worth it?

You probably see a lot of travellers using them, especially on planes, and wonder whether you need one. Will it help you sleep better while travelling? Will it help you avoid the unpleasant stiffness in your neck later?

Well, it seems that there are many different opinions on the topic.

While some swear by their travel neck pillows, others are simply disappointed.

Here are some of the pros and cons of such pillows:


  • Ideally, they support your neck and help you sleep comfortably while travelling;
  • Like coats, neck pillows are usually not counted as additional carry on by airlines, so you don’t have to worry if you can’t stuff it in your bag;
  • Most travel pillows are very affordable. You can start by trying out the cheapest one and upgrade later.


  • You might need to try different pillows before you find the right one for you;
  • It can be inconvenient to carry it around or it can take up a lot of space in your luggage.

What are the different types of travel neck pillows?

If you read the reviews on Amazon, you might notice that memory foam neck pillows are among the best rated. That makes sense because they are firm enough to be able to provide a good neck support.

This Cabeau evolution pillow even prevents you from sweating, which can be a problem with some other pillows.

Some people prefer the type of neck supporting travel pillow that can be easily inflated and then deflated when you want to put it in your bag.

Others like the infinity pillow (similar to infinity scarves) that you can twist, wrap and bundle however you like to find the perfect position for you.

This Trtl pillow is very light, compact and even machine washable.

However, still the most common ones you’ll see are the U-shaped travel pillows. And interestingly, many people complain about them. Is it possible they are simply not using them the right way?

As it turns out, this might be the problem. Many travellers now share that they’ve started using their U-shaped neck pillows the opposite way so that the gap is at the back of their neck and not in front. That way, your head is supported, eliminating the strain on your neck if it falls from side to side, with the chin securely in place.

That’s what does the trick for some so why not try this method if you have the same problem? Even if your fellow passengers look at you, thinking you’re weird, you can laugh in their faces later when you get better sleep than them.

Of course, wearing your travel neck pillow like that is not always comfortable, especially if it's meal (or drink) time.

Moreover, remember that over the ear headphones might be an issue with really tall travel pillows.

But what if you can fall asleep only in a certain sleeping position? There are now numerous types of pillows designed to help you. If you are a stomach sleeper, check out this SkyRest inflatable travel pillow. And if you’re a side sleeper, you might want to consider the Travelrest one.

There’s a pillow for everyone out there.

Why get a travel neck pillow?

Having a good pillow with you is always handy, not only on long-haul flights, but also on short ones. You will travel way more comfortably and reduce the chance of having a neck pain that could be simply annoying or even ruin the first several hours of your holiday. Why suffer when you can take one simple step and improve your travel significantly?

You might forget your new pillow the first couple of times until you make a habit of bringing it. To avoid this, we recommend saving our travel checklist, which will remind you of the travel and holiday essentials you need to pack in your luggage.

Naturally, if you’re after having a good sleep on the plane, don’t forget the rest of your travel accessories such as an eye mask and a cosy blanket. On some flights, you might be given one, but it’s always good to have yours - you know it’s clean and you know you’ll definitely have it.

To sum up

Ultimately, investing in an affordable travel neck pillow can work miracles for your neck pain and lack of sleep during travelling. You can even ask a friend to lend you one so that you can try it before you buy one. It won’t cause you any harm, in any case.

And if you get one and decide it doesn’t really work and it’s not worth bringing it when you travel, you can still use it at home, hug it while watching TV or give it to your pet.

Meanwhile, have you had any other delayed or cancelled flights in the past 3 years? Check your flight delay compensation. We will help you claim it.

Stay safe!