Health & Wellness

9 Travel Gadgets to Help You Sleep Away from Home

It doesn’t matter if the bed is a luxury pillow-top in a five-star hotel or a lumpy mattress in a shared hostel room—what traveler hasn’t lain awake, staring at a new ceiling and wishing for sleep? Between jet lag, unfamiliar surroundings that are scientifically proven to keep half your brain half awake the first night, and inconvenient sleep environments, travel can wreak havoc on your sleep schedule. These gadgets can help.

Sound + Sleep Mini


[st_content_ad]Thin walls, a busy street, and even the hotel ice machine are no match for the Sound + Sleep Mini sound machine. Its small size makes it portable, and it can even run on battery power so you don’t have to worry about finding a power source. Unlike traditional sound machines, the Sound+ Sleep Mini doesn’t use looped track which can wake you up or distract you. You can pick from soothing noises such as rain, ocean, or a fan; or choose a white, pink, or brown noise program. The mini also allows you to set a timer for auto-shut off after 30 to 60 minutes.

Travel Halo


Humans aren’t designed to sleep sitting up. Unfortunately, that’s often our only choice on long plane/train/car rides. The Travel Halo disrupts the traditional neck pillow concept – it has a flat back that doesn’t push the head forward, side stabilizers to keep the head from flopping around, and a built-in eyeshade to block out light.

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Plantronics BackBeat Pro2 Noise Cancelling Headphones


Even if you’re on the world’s longest flight, Plantronics BackBeat Pro2 Noise Cancelling Headphones have you covered. The battery lasts for up to 24-hours of listening, so you won’t have to worry about a mid-flight recharge. The active noise cancellation will drown out service carts, screaming kids, and the drone of flight engines, so that you can sleep – and the cushioned ear cups are comfortable even if you’re sleeping against the window.

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Grand Trunk Hooded Travel Pillow


A hooded sweatshirt is great for sleeping on a plane or train, as the hood covers your eyes and blocks out light, plus protects your head from gross seatbacks. Now combine a micro fleece hood with a memory foam neck pillow, and you’ve got the perfect travel pillow – Grand Trunk’s Hooded Travel Pillow.

Instavit Sweet Dreams Spray


About 30 minutes before you want to sleep, spray Instavit Sweet Dreams into your mouth. This calorie and sugar-free spray delivers melatonin and chamomile to help you sleep better.

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ReTimer Light Therapy Glasses


Wish you could power yourself up the same way you do your phone? That’s the premise behind ReTimer, which is a pair of glasses designed to reduce jet lag, help you sleep better, and improve energy. Wear ReTimer for 60 minutes per day, and a green-blue light will shine under your eyes as a form of light therapy.

Sleep Innovations Travel Contour Pillow

Bring a Sleep Innovations Travel Contour Pillow with you on your next road trip and never get stuck with a lumpy, musty vacation rental pillow again. Sleep Innovations’ mission is to help you sleep better, by offering travel-size pillows with a cotton blend cover.

[st_related]Product Review: Glo to Sleep Mask[/st_related]

Sleep Induction Mat


The Nayoya Acupressure Mat is portable—it’s about the size of a pillowcase and can roll up for travel. Lay down on the mat before heading to bed and it will utilize acupressure points on your back to help encourage relaxation and deep sleep.

Trtl Pillow


Regular neck pillows never work for me, since my head always flops forward. The Trtl Pillow is the solution – it’s designed to wear more like a scarf than a pillow, wrapping completely around your neck. Built-in flexible internal supports hold your head upright, so you won’t get constantly woken up every time your head bobs down.

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Caroline Morse loves travel and hates being sleep deprived. Follow her on Instagram TravelWithCaroline and on Twitter @CarolineMorse1 for photos from around the world.

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.

Editor’s note: This story was originally published in 2017. It has been updated to reflect the most current information.

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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