Home Breaking News This $40 travel pillow is actually worth every penny: This is why

This $40 travel pillow is actually worth every penny: This is why

This $40 travel pillow is actually worth every penny: This is why


Travel pillows must strike a tough stability: no longer supportive ample and likewise you’ll stay up with a crick in your neck, too gargantuan and stiff you’ll, er, stay up with a crick in your neck. They moreover beget to be compact, lightweight and straightforward to tidy — no minute feat for a humble travel accessory!

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CNN Underscored spent weeks sorting out 10 of the most licensed and best-rated travel pillows within the marketplace. We evaluated pillows of all diversified designs and materials on every comfort and originate to resolve the suitable travel pillow for journeys by plot of airplane, bus or vehicle. And whereas most of the pillows we tested had their merits, there became one distinct winner:

The Cabeau Evolution S3 is the Goldilocks of travel pillows: We discovered it company ample to red meat up our head and neck, soft ample to doze off on and perfectly portable, attributable to its being made from springy reminiscence foam that allows you to compress it to half its size.

The Evolution S3's adjustable front clasp let us slightly tighten or loosen the neck opening to our liking.
Julianne Ross

The Evolution S3’s adjustable entrance clasp let us a little tighten or loosen the neck opening to our liking.

The Cabeau Evolution S3 updates the fashioned U-fashioned travel pillow assemble with raised sides that progressively cradled our head and neck once we weak it. The S3’s flat relieve moreover rested fairly flush against our seat, combating our head from uncomfortably jutting forward, whereas an adjustable entrance clasp let us a little tighten or loosen the neck opening to our liking, which makes it that you just would ponder of to tailor the pillow to travelers of diversified sizes.

We discovered that the S3 works finest when leaning your head to the aspect or as a cushion against a solid surface, but it restful supplied first price chin red meat up. Its two built-in straps hooked as a lot as almost any seatback we tested on, conserving the pillow in discipline and helping to reduce whiplash at some level of surprising stops or turbulence.

The S3’s reminiscence foam manages to be soft, springy and supportive all with out delay; it’s company ample that it kept our head from slouching too a long way to the aspect but no longer so company that it dug into our cheeks and ears (not like one other well-liked reminiscence foam model we tested). For certain, reminiscence foam, however cushy, is below no situations going to be the lightest or most breathable discipline materials around. And whereas we didn’t overheat whereas utilizing the Cabeau, it moreover wasn’t the good pillow we tested.

The S3's cover (right) is made from a more breathable, quick-dry fabric that felt cooler to the touch than Cabeau's original Evolution pillow (left).
Julianne Ross

The S3’s duvet (appropriate) is made from a extra breathable, rapidly-dry fabric that felt cooler to the contact than Cabeau’s fashioned Evolution pillow (left).

That acknowledged, the S3’s duvet is a particular upgrade from Cabeau’s fashioned Evolution pillow. Whereas that older model’s duvet is made completely from velour, the S3’s is made from a extra breathable, rapidly-dry fabric that did indeed feel cooler to the contact. The S3’s duvet is moreover fully removable and machine-washable — a must in the case of one thing that touches extremely trafficked surfaces fancy airplane seats. Actually getting that duvet on and off the S3’s reminiscence foam insert proved trickier than we’d beget cherished, but it held up perfectly effectively in a previous wash cycle.

The comfiest travel pillow on this planet is ineffective if it’s too gargantuan to travel with, which is why one of the well-known appropriate issues in regards to the Evolution S3 is the reality that it compresses down to half its size. All it is advisable to to lift out is roll the pillow up fancy a cinnamon bun and then stuff it inside the incorporated carrying case. Doing so took a little of elbow grease and became very best on a solid surface, but we ponder that’s a enticing designate to pay given how a lot dwelling it ends up saving.

The S3’s carrying case, in flip, is one other major upgrade from the fashioned Evolution pillow and became a long way and away our current case of the bunch. It clips straight to your luggage and is made from ripstop fabric that’ll decide your pillow tidy and stable till you’re willing to use it.

The largest issues to look for when browsing for travel pillows are comfort and portability: You need one thing that’s going to offer precise red meat up with out taking up a bunch of dwelling in your luggage (thus defeating the motive of being a travel pillow). With these issues in solutions, we settled on two major rubrics for our pillow sorting out requirements: comfort and originate. We then had one short tester and one gargantuan tester decide in solutions how completely satisfied and supportive the pillows felt when within the relieve of our heads, below our chins and within the crooks of our necks. We gauged how straightforward the pillows beget been to transfer by rolling them up, smooshing them down and packing every into its carrying case (if incorporated). We hooked up these carrying situations to our bags and noted how doing so impacted our mobility. We moreover noted how the pillows’ covers felt against our pores and skin and then slipped these identical covers off and set apart them thru a machine wash cycle. Sooner or later, we factored within the cost and looks of every pillow to resolve their general worth and to web the suitable pillow for many travelers.

We weak the next explicit courses and subcategories for sorting out:


  • In the relieve of head comfort/red meat up: We noted how completely satisfied and supportive the pillow felt when positioned all the plot thru the neck and/or within the relieve of the pinnacle.
  • Aspect comfort/red meat up: We noted how completely satisfied and supportive the pillow felt when leaning our necks to the aspect besides to when leaning against a exhausting surface (as a traveler would be in a discipline to lift out when sitting in a window seat). We moreover noted how straightforward it became to readjust the pillows whereas resting on them (i.e., to replace sides).
  • Front comfort/red meat up: We noted how completely satisfied and supportive the pillow felt when letting our heads slump forward and resting our chins on it.
  • Fit: We noted if every pillow match folks of diversified heights equally effectively and within the occasion that they beget been adjustable the least bit.


  • Portability: We noted every pillow’s size, whether it incorporated a strap or salvage for easy toting and if it will even be compressed to absorb much less dwelling. Whereas some pillows beget been indeed heavier than others (taking a beget a examine you, reminiscence foam units), we discovered that a couple of extra ounces weren’t noticeable when carting the pillows around. Total size, case quality and the flexibility to glue pillows to our bags made a a lot extra well-known distinction in portability.
  • Material: Nearly the total pillows featured a soft, velvety shell made from a velour or fleece-fancy discipline materials, but there became a differ in the case of plushness. We noted how every pillow felt against our pores and skin.
  • Washability: Equipped that travel pillows contact your face, they beget got to be straightforward to tidy. We moreover noted how advanced it became to web the pillows’ situations on and off when distinguished.
  • Breathability: We noted whether the pillows felt breathable and frosty to the contact besides to within the occasion that they tended to lure heat.
  • Look: We made display of every pillow’s general look and gauged how seemingly they beget been to plot funny looks to be like.

Jensens Inventions J-Pillow ($24.95; amazon.com)

The J-Pillow is a beautifully completely satisfied likelihood with a gargantuan caveat: It works finest in case you’ve obtained a window seat. Due to the the J-Pillow doesn’t put straight to your neck or your seat, it tended to streak around except it became wedged against a exhausting surface. The J-Pillow became moreover too chunky for us to effortlessly stuff right into a lift-on salvage or personal item.

Whereas a much less versatile likelihood than our high web, the J-Pillow’s lack of neck attachment can also actually be a plus for folk who procure in vogue U-fashioned travel pillows restrictive. And once we are capable of also lean against a exhausting surface, the J-Pillow supplied good head, neck and entrance-going thru/chin red meat up. Cherish the Cabeau S3, it comes with a sturdy (despite the truth that much less compact) travel case that clips to your luggage. There moreover aren’t any covers or zippers to take care of; the total pillow can also moreover be tossed within the wash.

Turtl Pillow ($39.99; amazon.com)

The Turtl is essentially a padded neck brace and became essentially the most portable pillow we tested. It folds down fairly flat, taking up practically no dwelling in your luggage, and one of our taller testers liked its sturdy red meat up. That acknowledged, the Turtl proved a long way too gargantuan for our shorter tester, and every testers can also feel the plastic brace within the center poking thru its padding. The Turtl became moreover very heat (which is wise, provided that you just’re fundamentally wearing a wool scarf), and we didn’t love that it is advisable to to absolutely unwrap and rewrap the pillow around your neck if you are going to wish to replace the aspect you’re sound asleep on.

Cabeau Evolution Classic Pillow ($29.99; bedbathandbeyond.com)

Cabeau’s fashioned Evolution model is a essentially first price travel pillow and more affordable than our high web. That acknowledged, it lacks the S3’s straps, extra breathable duvet and a long way superior case. In a desire between the two, the S3 is indubitably worth the minor bump in designate.

Therm-a-Relaxation Compressible Travel Pillow ($24.95; backcountry.com)

As a lightweight likelihood to toss in your salvage for camping or backpacking journeys, Therm-a-Relaxation’s compressible pillow is an good desire. It compresses down right into a compact roll and is every supportive and completely satisfied when weak fancy a fashioned pillow (i.e., when mendacity down). Nonetheless because it doesn’t wrap around your neck or beget any straps to decide it in discipline, it’s no longer a gargantuan likelihood for searching for to rest whereas sitting factual.

Bcozzy Chin-Supporting Travel Pillow ($29.97; amazon.com)

Bcozzy’s well-liked pillow didn’t offer us almost ample neck red meat up, and the discipline materials, whereas soft to the contact, felt much less luxurious than our high web. On the plus aspect, it’s fairly minute and gentle-weight-weight, and can also moreover be folded in half for added red meat up in case you’ve obtained a surface to lean against (it’s inclined to slipping around otherwise).

Travelrest Nest Closing Memory Foam Travel Pillow ($39.95; amazon.com)

Travelrest’s bestseller is a effectively-made and supremely soft pillow, but its reminiscence foam proved too stiff in our sorting out, and its sides beget been so gargantuan that they pushed uncomfortably against our cheeks. This stiffness moreover made it advanced to compress the pillow into its carrying case. We prefered the squishier reminiscence foam and shorter aspect profile of the Cabeau units.

Huzi Create Infinity Pillow ($39.90; amazon.com)

If you’ll beget a exhausting surface to lean on, the Huzi can also moreover be finagled right into a essentially completely satisfied discipline. It requires an illustrated handbook to lift out so, however, and on its dangle doesn’t offer a good deal neck red meat up. And whereas we liked (liked!) its silky, breathable bamboo fabric, the Huzi doesn’t near with a carrying case and took up a ton of dwelling in our bags.

Cloudz Microbead Travel Neck Pillow ($10.85; amazon.com)

The ever display microbead pillow is lightweight and cheap, but its low profile leaves a lot to be desired in the case of precise neck red meat up. We didn’t love the feel and sound of the microbeads when pressed against our ears, and this pillow moreover doesn’t near with a carrying case. Equipped that it moreover isn’t machine-washable, this doubtlessly isn’t a pillow you’d must rub your face against prolonged sprint. We moreover discovered that it tended to flatten out a little with persevered use over the weeks that we tested.

AirComfy Ease Travel Pillow ($19.99; amazon.com)

Ought to you would fancy a essentially lightweight and conveyable lumbar pillow, the AirComfy Ease isn’t a dismal desire. Ought to you would fancy a versatile travel pillow, this is just too stiff, too minute and too slippery to be of use. It with ease attaches to the relieve of any seat for added red meat up, but it appropriate isn’t very completely satisfied. And whereas inflatability is frosty in view, in apply it feels fancy searching for to sleep on a fuzzy balloon.

Read extra from CNN Underscored’s hands-on sorting out:

This $40 travel pillow is actually worth every penny: This is why