Frequent Flyer In-Flight Experience Packing

Palmate Pillow Review: A Memory Foam Pillow to Help You Sleep

With two front holders designed to mimic the cradle formed when you put your chin in your hands, the Palmate Pillow could be the key to getting better sleep on your next flight.

Palmate Pillow Review:

Price and Where to Buy: $25.99 at Amazon. Purchase by July 28, 2018, using the promo code SMARTER25, and you’ll save 25 percent off the cost of the pillow. It’s also available on for $29.99.

How the Palmate Pillow Rates:

  • Usefulness: 8/10. The Palmate Pillow is designed to cradle your head in all directions but, as with any travel pillow, your personal experience may vary. I found the pillow most comfortable when my head tipped down to one side or another, but less supportive in the front. (My chin passed right between the two front holders unless I squished them tightly together.) Meanwhile, a colleague was most comfortable with his head tipped forward and felt less supported on the sides. How well the Palmate Pillow works for you depends on the particular proportions of your head and neck. The pillow’s cotton cover is soft and can be removed for washing. The pillow has cut-outs on either side to fit headphones, and there’s a vent in the back to help keep you cool. A nice bonus: The pillow comes with a small lint roller and earplugs.
  • Value: 10/10. The pillow is affordable, at a price point in line with most other travel pillows.
  • Portability: 7/10. Made of memory foam, the Palmate is bulkier than an inflatable pillow. Though you can fold it or stuff it into the included cloth bag, it’ll take up a decent chunk of precious carry-on space unless you hook it onto the handle of your suitcase.
  • Durability: 9/10. The Palmate Pillow feels sturdy and well made.
  • Cool Factor: 8/10. Let’s face it—most travel pillows don’t look particularly cool. (When a colleague first saw me with the Palmate Pillow, she thought I was wearing a neck brace.) But this pillow isn’t large or obtrusive, and catching a few winks on a long flight is worth any second glances you might get from other passengers.

Final Verdict: If you haven’t yet found a travel pillow that works for you, the Palmate Pillow is worth a try.

More from SmarterTravel:

Follow Sarah Schlichter on Twitter @TravelEditor for more travel tips and inspiration.

Editor’s Note: Reviews are based on usefulness, portability, durability, value, and “cool factor.” Some review products are sent to us free of charge and with no incentive to offer a favorable review. We offer our unbiased opinions, positive and negative, and will never accept compensation to review a product. If you have any questions or comments concerning our reviews, or would like to suggest a product for review, please email us at

By Sarah Schlichter

Deputy Executive Editor Sarah Schlichter's idea of a perfect trip includes spotting exotic animals, hiking through pristine landscapes, exploring new neighborhoods on foot, and soaking up as much art as she can. She often attempts to recreate recipes from her international travels after she gets home (which has twice resulted in accidental kitchen fires—no humans or animals were harmed).

Sarah joined the SmarterTravel team in 2017 after more than a decade at the helm of Sarah's practical travel advice has been featured in dozens of news outlets including the New York Times, the Chicago Tribune, USA Today, Budget Travel, and Peter Greenberg Worldwide Radio. Follow her on Twitter @TravelEditor.

The Handy Item I Always Pack: "A journal. Even years later, reading my notes from a trip can bring back incredibly vivid memories."

Ultimate Bucket List Experience: "Road tripping and hiking through the rugged mountains of Patagonia."

Travel Motto: "'To awaken quite alone in a strange town is one of the pleasantest sensations in the world.'—Freya Stark"

Aisle, Window, or Middle Seat: "Aisle. I get restless on long flights and like to be able to move around without disturbing anyone else."

Email Sarah at

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