Choosing The Best Travel Pillow

Lets face it, sometimes it is just nice to sleep on your own pillow. Find the best travel pillow for you with our trusty advice.

For some travellers, a travel pillow is a necessity; for others, it can greatly add to the comfort of their trip. Either way, it is very handy to have this travel product in your luggage!

Most people love their own pillow, and unless you have a car, it is very difficult to take your pillow with you when you're travelling! The perfect solution is to have a pillow to take on the road.

A travel pillow is an essential if you will be staying in places that don't provide bedding. This is mostly for campers and backpackers. Some dorm rooms don't provide bedding, and some pillows will be so horrible you'll be very glad you have a travel pillow!

There are several different types of travel pillows, and there are good and bad examples of each type. It all comes down to how much space you can give up (and how much you want to pay) for a comfy place to lay your head.

If you are looking for a pillow to wrap around your neck while on the road, check out our advice on neck support pillows.

Types of Travel Pillows

The Inflatable/Self Inflating Travel Pillow

While not the most comfortable type of pillow, the inflatable pillow has one big advantage - it doesn't take up much space. This type of pillow is great for backpackers who only need it occasionally when their dorm doesn't provide a pillow (or it's too gross to sleep on)! There are good inflatable and bad inflatable pillows - watch out for the bad ones ones with a hard nylon exterior, they tend to make lot of noise every time you turn your head!

This is not the best travel pillow, but is a great cheap travel pillow option. If, however, you think you will be sleeping on it regularly, make sure you get a good one or check out something a bit more comfortable.

Cost: $10-$30

The Compressible Pillow

This type of pillow is filled with a light, compressible material (often pre-consumer recycled polyester), which can be squashed down to a much smaller size. These pillows can range in size from slightly smaller than a normal pillow to a 10cm by 15cm pad. These do take up more a lot more space than an inflatable pillow, but they can be significantly more comfortable.

These are great for people who are camping with a vehicle. If you are really short on space, but your head likes its comforts, check out the last variety.

Cost: $15-$30

Down Travel Pillows

Some people love down travel pillows, and others hate them. These pillows, usually made from goose down, compress to little more size than an inflatable pillow, but are much more comfortable.

The biggest negative thing with this pillow, is that you compress it too much. Some people find that it compresses so effectively that when you actually use it, it becomes too thin to be an effective pillow. Some people however, don't find it a problem. So be sure to test one of these out in the shop before you buy it!

"We camped a whole European summer with down travel pillows. They always inflated, their not very heavy and they don't take up much space. Comfort was why we choose them." Alex and Gemma

Cost: $20-$40

The Air-Core Pillow

Of all the types of pillows on this page, we believe this is the best travel pillow. It has the the best space to comfort ratio.

While this technically is an inflatable pillow there is a big difference - these are actually comfortable. When inflated, the centre of the pillow is filled with air which is surrounded by a (thin) layer of padding. This type of pillow combines the best of the inflatable pillow and the compressible pillow - very small and light, yet reasonably comfortable.

Easily the best travel pillow on the market!

Cost: $25-$40

So it all comes down to the space you have available, the cost, and the importance to you of choosing the best travel pillow. Whatever your choice, you are sure to be more comfortable with your own pillow!

Where Do I Buy One?

Make sure you try before you buy to get the best travel pillow for you! You can buy travel pillows in most outdoor, camping and adventure stores. Most will come with a storage bag to put your pillow inside.

Other great travel accessories that you might need if you are backpacking are a sleep sheet, a travel clothesline or a travel towel.

Checkout more essential Travel Accessories, the best Security Accessories and importantly our Travel Packing Checklists.

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