The Best Travel Pillow Of All Time…And The Worst

If you’re a frequent traveler, then you know that having a good travel pillow is the key to comfort on planes, trains, and busses. Without it, you’re likely to sleep poorly and wake up with neck problems. But there are so many options out there, how do you know which pillow to choose?

The travel experts over at Travel & Leisure recently put 17 travel pillows to the test and rated them based on some of the most important factors and have found a winner. During testing, they used four categories and gave each pillow a rating between one and five for the categories. One represented poor performance, five represented perfection.

What are the four essential aspects of a travel pillow that were rated? First was support – does the pillow hold your head up or is it flimsy? Second was comfort – is the design of pillow functional and is the material soft? Third was portability – is the pillow easily packable or too much of a burden to bring on travels? Last was the pillow’s public shame potential – is it going to envoke jealousy from other passengers or make them laugh at you?

The final score for each pillow was also calculated by weighing the most important categories – comfort and support – as 35% of the score, portability as 20%, and embarrassment potential as 10%. So, what were the best and worst of the bunch?

The lowest-rated pillow was the Cloudz EZ-inflate Cloud Sleeper. A Travel & Leisure employee tested it on the roughly 8-hour drive from New York City to Pittsburgh. While it earned a 5 on support and a solid 3 on comfort, it got only a 1 in portability and public shame potential. The tester said that while it supported him well, with a hole to put arms through and a pocket for his face, it gave off some massage table vibes.

It was also not easy to deflate and fit back into the original storage sleeve. The strange design would also definitely attract some unwanted attention on a plane. Our advice? Avoid this one at all costs

As for the best, it doesn’t get better than the AirComfy Ease Travel Pillow. This one was tested on the flight from New York To Barcelona, a 7.5-hour flight. This one earned a 5 in all four categories! Being inflatable, the support can easily be adjusted and the velvet comfort makes it great to sleep on. After deflating, this one is easy to roll up and stuff bak into the sack. As for the shame factor, this pillow only draws jealousy from other passengers.