Best Travel Pillows for All Budgets

Travel pillows are a virtual necessity for plane travel. Here are the best options for every price point.

Travel pillows are so necessary for plane trips, but it’s so hard to find the right one. For such a simple product, there sure are a lot of options. So I narrowed it down to three, and then I broke it down by budget. Here are the best travel pillows for every price point.


The Samsonite Luggage Swiss Gear Double Comfort Travel Pillow with Inflatable Pouch is cheaper than what you’ll find at the airport, but it has some nice features. It can be washed (think about where your pillow goes on trips), and it has a flocked fabric outer (prevents body-heat build-up) and a dual-chamber pillow that cushions your head and neck (you can inflate each section separately to customize the fit and firmness to your liking). It also comes with a handy travel pouch in which you can neatly tuck the pillow when it’s deflated. Best of all, it’s $10 on Amazon.


The J Pillow is the winner of the British Invention of the Year award—how many other travel pillows can say that? We love it for its unique design (which offers chin support to stop your head from falling forward), its compact size (it can be squished down for transport), and its plush fabric. The pillow retails for $52.95, but it’s available on Amazon for $29.95 (price at time of publication).


If you’ve got money to spend (but not enough to splurge on first class), the Technogel Travel Pillow is the best one out there. This thing’s got more features than your car. It molds itself to your body and distributes pressure evenly throughout the pillow. Always flipping your pillow over to get the cool side? The gel inside this pillow, along with the built-in ventilation system, regulates temperature, so it will never get too hot. It’s normally $109, but it’s currently on sale for $99 on Amazon.

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By Caroline Morse Teel

Unfortunately for her bank account, Principal Editor Caroline Morse Teel is powerless to resist a good flight deal. Follow her on Instagram @TravelWithCaroline.

Caroline joined Boston-based SmarterTravel in 2011 after living in Ireland, London, and Manhattan. She's traveled to all seven continents, jumped out of planes, and bungeed off bridges in the pursuit of a good story. She loves exploring off-the-beaten path destinations, anything outdoorsy, and all things adventure.

Her stories have also appeared online at USA Today, Business Insider, Huffington Post, Yahoo,, TripAdvisor, Buzzfeed, Jetsetter, Oyster, Airfarewatchdog, and others.

The Handy Item I Always Pack: "Earplugs. A good pair has saved my sleep and sanity many times!"

Ultimate Bucket List Experience: Hiking Mount Kilimanjaro.

Travel Motto: "Don't be boring."

Aisle, Window, or Middle Seat: "Aisle (when the first class private suite isn't available)."

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