Who doesn’t dream of a first class flight every single time they fly? With glasses of champagne, freshly squeezed orange juice and meals that would make Gordon Ramsay proud. (okay, maybe that’s exaggerating a bit).
Anyways, since many of us don’t fly first class but we’d still like to be comfortable on our flights, we need to prepare a special comfort kit before even stepping foot on the plane.
Some good earplugs, a sleeping mask and, how can we forget, the best airplane pillow in the world.
Not sure which ones are worth a try? We’ll help you with that!
Just check out our handy list below and you’ll be on your way to a dream-like sleep in no time the next time you fly.
One of the biggest differences between all of the pillows (apart from the shape) is how they are filled. This matters as you shop because you need to think about the level of firmness you want from your pillow.
Here are your main choices:
- Inflatable. The nice thing about inflatable pillows is that you can regulate the air level inside. If you’d like a firmer surface to rest on, add more air. Softer; release a bit of air.
- Memory Foam. If you like sleeping on a memory foam pillow in bed, then chances are you’ll enjoy it just as much on a long (or short flight.
- Microbeads. The nice thing about microbeads is that you can move them around inside the pillow and form a custom shape and custom firmness.
- Filling. There are many types of filling used to stuff pillows, from shredded memory foam to polyester fiberfill.
Top 10 Airplane Pillows Complete Chart
They use all sorts of materials to cover the pillows: Minky faux fur (the really soft stuff they use for baby blankets), velour (like velvet), nylon and Spandex and a variety of mixed fibers.
- Care Instructions. Find out how you can wash the pillow. Can you throw it in the washing machines and/or the dryer or will you need to spot clean by hand only?
- Allergies. While we’re sure that most of you probably don’t have any allergies to worry about, those of you who do definitely need to find out what is covering the pillow before you choose!
Additional Shopping Tips
Here are a few other things you might want to take into consideration as you shop.
- Pillow for Kids. Since kids need to stay comfortable as they fly, too, find out if the pillow is the right size for them.
If they’re big enough, you can probably get away with one of the neck pillows on our list. For smaller kids, we suggest number 2; the Squishy Bolster pillow.
- Time of Year. If you’re traveling in the middle of summer, you might not want a warm, fuzzy pillow that traps in the heat. It can make for a very uncomfortable flight if you’re never able to find a comfortable temperature to sleep on.
On our list above, we suggest numbers 1, 3, 4, 5 or 8 for travel in the winter months and the others are great for warmer weather.
This is completely up to you, of course, because you could just slip a small cotton pillowcase over a fuzzy pillow in the summer. Problem solved. Be careful with memory foam, too, as it retains a lot of heat.
- Smell. Some of you are really sensitive to smells, so if that’s the case, be careful with the inflatable pillows. Those that are made of thick plastic and covered in a soft velour will probably smell like plastic during the first few uses.
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This is the best airplane pillow in the world! They’ve thought of everything in the design and ease of use. Check it out:
A soft, removable cover that you can machine wash, on-touch inflation system so you don’t have to manually blow air into it and put your mouth on the icky mouthpiece, adjustable firmness level, raised neck support and easy to pack.
Those of you who fly internationally shouldn’t do so without a pillow like this! It’s perfect on long flights.
As we suggested above, this is great for those of you looking for a more custom level of comfort.
This cover is made of nylon and Spandex and the microbead filling is hypoallergenic (resistant to dust mites!) It is 14 inches long by 6 inches in diameter, not too small and not too large.
Since you can’t deflate it or remove any of the microbeads, it might be a bit bulky for some of you. We’ve seen plenty of people just hook them to the top of their carry-on (where the retractable handle meets the suitcase) since most bags have a strap with a snap there. If you have a carry-on tote, it might be more useful for you to get something inflatable.
This is also great for younger children who aren’t ready to use a neck pillow.
We can’t forget about our beloved memory foam. Oooo. Ahhhh.
This handy little travel kit has all of the basic elements you need when you travel: comfortable memory foam neck pillow, earplugs and a sleeping mask!
Since memory foam is notorious for getting too hot, the makers of the pillow are one step ahead of the came and have added ventilation holes for optimal airflow. The soft microfiber cloth can be zipped off and thrown in the washing machine, which we like.
We also appreciated the little travel bag it comes with. We highly recommend it!