Long car trips can get tedious on the head or neck, and sometimes your car’s headrest just doesn’t cut it for comfort. What can you do in a situation like this? You can solve this problem with one of the best car neck pillows from our roundup below.
- 1 What to Look for and What to Avoid
- 2 How We Tested
- 3 Different Types of Stuffing Material
- 4 What is Memory Foam?
- 5 Pay Attention to the Car Pillow Cover or Case
- 6 Best Car Neck Pillow: FAQ
- 7 What is the purpose of a neck pillow?
- 8 How do you use a neck pillow in a car?
- 9 Is your neck connected to your spine?
- 10 Is a car neck pillow safe?
- 11 Which car neck pillow shape is the best?
- 12 What type of car neck pillow is the best for a child?
- 13 How does a car neck pillow work?
- 14 Is the neck pillow worth it?
- 15 Are neck pillows good for your spine?
- 16 Should neck pillow be hard or soft?
- 17 Are neck pillows good for long car rides?
A quality car neck pillow is essential for long travels. While good for sleeping, neck pillows also can increase comfort by supporting the neck muscles and improving posture. Consider buying this type of pillow if you experience a sore neck after long drives or simply need a way to nap on the road.Car neck pillows come in many designs, and the best one for you is a matter of personal preference. To help you find the right pillow for your body, we’ve tested and evaluated several styles. For quality, comfort, and portability, we recommend any of the car neck pillows in the table below.
The 9 Best Car Neck Pillows of 2023：our recommendation
- BEST NECK SUPPORT：CHELIYOU Car Neck Pillow with Memory Foam Neck Support
- MOST COMPACT：TravelMate Car Neck Pillow
- BEST NECK MASSAGER：trtl Pillow Plus, Travel Pillow
If you often travel or go on long drives, you will need the best car neck pillow that offers maximum comfort to your head and neck. Car neck pillow pillows act as a cushion to your head and are ergonomically designed to offer you relief from head and neck pain.However, when buying one, you need to have a basic idea about the types of pillows available to pick one that suits you well. So, to make buying a car neck pillow a breeze for you, we bring you a list of the best car neck pillows and a buying guide. So, read on.
1.CHELIYOU Car Neck Pillow with Memory Foam Neck Support
- Perfectly takes shape to fit the neck
- Suitable for any type of seat
- Memory foam filling
- Not suitable for thick car headrests
- Not as durable as it should be
There were several reasons why we liked this car pillow. First, it’s affordable. The price is amazingly low, we could go on to buy two and three sets without going over budget.
Plus, this car pillow fits the seat headrest in the most ergonomic manner. This is one of the most popular car pillows online for very good reasons.
This car pillow is made from memory foam covered with a Fibre Velvet cover. The fabric material is synthetic, but it’s also highly breathable. Plus, the machine-washable fabric is hypoallergenic.
The car pillow is available in two colors: black and red. Both versions come with an adjustable elastic strap to suit the wearer’s height.
The seat pillow is shaped much like a regular pillow. But it’s much smaller and has a depression in the middle to prevent the head from falling off on the ride.
We can say right away that this car pillow is amazingly comfortable. The memory foam naturally bends and shapes to support the natural curve of the neck. That definitely protects the neck and the back from all-too-familiar ache and fatigues.
The elastic strap is very stretchy and can fit just about any type of seat, even the big ones in trucks. This car pillow is even suitable for flying. We were impressed by not just how comfortable this pillow was, but how versatile its application is as well.
We also loved the material, which is hypoallergenic and is suitable for people with sensitive skin. Plus, the fabric won’t attract dust or debris during long hours of travel. The exterior cover is removable and washable too.
But we have to say not everyone may love this car pillow. If your car has a thick seat, this pillow would push your head out more, making your position uncomfortable. Also, the memory foam goes out of shape with constant use.
We were extremely satisfied with this car pillow. It’s the perfect accessory for long road trips. It’s well made with top-notch material and the price is quite affordable. There are only minor downsides (really none at all).
2.TravelMate Car Neck Pillow
- Helps with spinal alignment.
- Easy to move out of the way when not in use.
- Memory foam center helps relieve neck pain.
- May not fit all car seat models.
This neck pillow wraps around the car’s headrest with an adjustable elastic band. The padding itself is made out of memory foam, and it provides additional support to your head and neck. It also helps improve your posture and relieve tension and stress in your muscles too.
On top of those benefits, it also helps with proper spinal alignment.The construction is compact and ergonomic which makes it perfect for travel and driving long distances.
The pillow comes with a removable and machine-washable velour cover that is simple to remove and put back on. To remove the cover, simply unzip it and pull it off.We like this because you can throw the cover in the washer without worrying if it will alter the pillow in any way.
3.trtl Pillow Plus, Travel Pillow
- Incredibly ergonomic design
- Very easy to wash and clean
- Highly adjustable
- Comes with waterproof carry bag
- Somewhat complicated design
It’s specially designed to keep your neck cool, the rigid plastic interior is sturdy, and the fleece padding is soft and comfortable.
We recommend this car neck pillow if you’re looking for superior neck support. Because it’s a little more rigid than memory foam, the Trtl isn’t the plushest car neck pillow we tested, but that may be an advantage for you.
While it took our tester a minute to figure out how to put the Trtl pillow on, it’s easy to adjust once you understand the mechanism. After attaching the pillow, we found it had the most ergonomic design of any car neck pillow.
This was the easiest pillow to wash since we didn’t need to remove any cover. You can put the entire pillow in a washing machine set to low. It needs to air dry and takes about a day to dry out completely.
Many users enjoy the comfort of the Trtl pillow, and several say they used it to sleep on long flights and experienced no residual neck pain. The Trtl isn’t for everyone, however. Some people find the rigid design uncomfortable. And while the pillow is adjustable, those with particularly short or long necks find it difficult to use.
4.Best Memory Foam Neck Pillow Head Support Soft Pillow
- Ergonomic design
- Multi-angle protection
- Super-soft fabric
- Breathable and luxurious
- Easy to compress and store
- Adjustable buckle and strap
- Removable and washable velour cover
- Includes a storage bag
- May not be ideal for people with short necks
5.Auto Children Head Neck Support Seatbelt Pillow
- Supports neck while leaning on the seatbelt
- Washable cover
- Soft stuffing
- Made for kids
- Not suitable for all adults
- Not hypoallergenic
The car pillow is square-shaped and should be attached to the seatbelt. The pillow is filled with PP cotton. It’s not true cotton but is a highly popular material for filling things like pillows and cushions. PP cotton is very sinkable, but it is not hypoallergenic.
The exterior cover is made from a cotton velvet mix and is removable. It can be washed too. We recommend handwashing to prevent the cover from getting out of shape in the spinner.
This seatbelt cushion is best-suited for children. Since kids are too short to reach the headrest of the seat, this seatbelt pillow can step it. It can comfortably support a child’s neck while sleeping against the seatbelt.
Though the cover is intended for children, adults of a short stature can benefit from this as well. If you are used to sleeping on your side against the seatbelt rather than the headrest, this seatbelt car pillow can provide the support you need.
Be aware that this seatbelt pillow will not secure your head in place. It will not prevent the head from bobbing from side to side on bumpy rides. However, it can provide support when none exists. If you sleep against the seatbelt, you will fell way less achy when using this pillow.
The seatbelt pillow is really easy to install and remove. It’s easy to maintain as well. The cover is perfectly washable. The cushion stuffing is comfortable and soft no matter the temperature.
While we agree that seatbelt car pillows are not for everyone, they can be immensely useful. The AUS brand is top-notch and trustworthy. This seatbelt pillow is designed for kids, and if you have youngsters under the age of 12, they will certainly love it.
6.GUSODOR Car Neck Pillow
- Fabric is breathable.
- Comes in pack of two.
- Ergonomic design helps improve posture.
- Won’t shrink or deform with use.
- Headrest needs to be in a certain position for proper fit.
The pillow is guaranteed not to deform or shrink, and its ergonomic design helps improve posture while driving.
The material inside is memory foam which provides the utmost comfort and is heat-retentive to help with muscle tension, while the back has a tight elastic band to attach it to the headrest of your seat.Keep in mind that this should comfortably support your neck but may not provide much head support due to its design.
If you’re planning on going on a long car trip with somebody, these are certainly ones to consider. Having a spare pillow for a fellow traveler is always a good option. Plus, as they match, you can always keep them in the car without worrying about aesthetics.
7.Sea to Summit Aeros Premium Traveller Inflatable Neck Pillow
- Ergonomic shape
- Durable air bladder
- Designed to fit better against headrests
- Isn’t machine washable
It’s lined with a brushed 50D polyester knit that’s soft and comfortable.This is a good neck support pillow if you want a portable cushion you can easily pack in a backpack or suitcase. It’s simple to use but not machine washable. This pillow provides excellent support when fully inflated, but it’s not as plush as a memory foam pillow.
Our tester found the Aeros Pillow quite comfortable when fully inflated. It deploys easily and is ready to go after only four strong breaths. Deflating the pillow is just as easy and allows you to adjust its firmness.
If you’ve rested on any inflatable pillow or inner tube, you have an idea how this feels. However, the Aeros is a bit more comfortable than a typical inner tube because of the microfleece cover.The biggest downside of this car seat neck pillow is you can’t clean it in the washing machine. You must hand wash it in warm water.
Users appreciate how easy the pillow is to inflate and deflate for packing away. Many customers praise the adjustable snaps and supersoft lining, and several users prefer the inflatable pillow to a foam car pillow because it allows you to adjust the firmness.
Some users received pillows with leaky valves and say they deflate during use. Our tester didn’t experience this problem, so it may be an issue only with certain defective products.
8.anzhixiu Car Neck Pillow for Driving
- Fills up any design gaps in the current car seat
- Easy pressure absorption from the head and neck regions
- Ergonomic design
- Straps in humanized design
- Double headrest covering for better protection
- Washable and breathable cover made of updated polyester fiber
- High-density inner cover for protection against dust and sweat
- High-quality buckle and invisible zipper
- Might be a little too soft for some
The neck pillow for car is supported by two straps that are adjustable for maximum comfort and convenience.
9.LANGRIA Infinity-Shape Car Neck Pillow
- Ergonomic design
- Washable cover
- Memory foam stuffing
- Made from certified-safe material
- Can be expensive
This pillow sports what the brand calls an “infinity” design. That is to say, it is very longish, compared to the square-ish shape of most car pillows. The pillow has a bow-like cinch in the middle, which is really what supports the neck.
The ergonomic design naturally supports the curve of any neck. The pillow is made from material certified safe from CertiPUR-US. You won’t have to worry about the stuffing inside containing any harmful materials. The pillow is very environmentally friendly.
The pillow has an elastic strap to secure it to the headrest or the seat. The stuffing of the pillow is memory foam. The navy blue cover of the pillow is machine-washable.
We are very pleased with the performance of this pillow. It feels so wonderfully soft underneath the head and provides just the right support for the neck. This car pillow can prevent the head bobbing from side to side. Even if it does, the pillow can cushion any impact that might cause pain later.
If you already suffer from neck pain, we highly recommend this pillow. The elastic strap of very sturdy and secures the pillow in place, so your head doesn’t have to. The texture of the pillow is very velvety and doesn’t feel synthetic at all.
Plus, this pillow is hypoallergenic and anti-bacterial, according to the brand. We could use it safely without fearing toxic vapors.
This car pillow should fit just about any headrest unless it is abnormally large. The only drawback is the price, which is a bit expensive.
This is truly an excellent product made from high-quality material. The neck support this car pillow provided was truly exceptional.
What to Look for and What to Avoid
Now that you know the different options on the market, there are some things you need to look out for before you choose. Car neck pillows may seem like an easy purchase, but comfort and support is all important, so you want to choose with care.Consider these things when choosing your pillow.
Level of Support
The level of support a car neck pillow provides is perhaps the most important thing to take note of. After all, the entire reason you’re buying one is to feel more comfortable while you’re in the car.
Without proper support, the structures in your neck will be stressed, and that can cause chronic neck and back pain.
When choosing, check how firm it claims to be. As important as support is, you want to be comfortable as well. If you aren’t a fan of super firm pillows, try finding one with less foam padding.
Ease of Installation and Removal
A pillow that is difficult to install can be frustrating. This is especially true if you plan on switching it between vehicles. When making your decision, take note of how it needs to be installed and if there are multiple steps.
Easy to Clean
Another thing to keep in mind is how easy it is to clean. Is it machine washable? Spot clean only? Ideally, you want one that you can throw into the washer, but you should also be careful here. Sometimes machine washing can alter the shape of the pillow if it isn’t made very well.
Next, we have the material it’s made out of. This is important when considering how suitable competing products are. Some made of latex can cause a big problem if you happen to have a latex allergy.
Out of all the materials we’ve discussed, the most effective will probably be memory foam. Because of it’s molding qualities it’s most likely to provide the most comfort.
How it Looks
And of course, you want to make sure you like the look of the pillow. Practicality is nice and all, but some people are into aesthetics, and that’s completely okay. Making sure you like how it looks in your car will make you feel better about using it.
What You Need it for
When you’re shopping, ask yourself whether you’ll need it as a driver or a passenger. This will greatly influence the type you buy. If you want it for driving, you’ll probably want one that can attach to the back of your headrest.However, if you’re going to be a passenger on a long car trip, you have a bit more flexibility.
And last but not least, we have vehicle compatibility. Above everything else, you need to ensure the pillow will fit in your car, particularly if it’s an over the headrest or strap attachable style. Make sure that it fits your model of car, and any straps are long enough to fasten securely.
How We Tested
To test car neck pillows, our review team affixed each pillow according to the manufacturer’s directions. Our tester wore each pillow for an hour while seated in a cloth-upholstered car seat. While wearing each pillow, our tester assumed various postures that included sitting upright and trying to rest with his head inclined.
Each car neck pillow we recommend in this article underwent two rounds of reviews. We started by searching Amazon for top products, looking at customer ratings, Amazon superlatives, and prices.
We ordered several pillows and tested each, focusing on support, comfort, adjustability, and portability. We also washed each neck pillow to ensure it held up in a washing machine.
- Support: A saggy neck pillow will do little to ease neck strain. Products that scored best in this category offered stable neck support and didn’t bow under the weight of the tester’s head.
- Comfort: A scratchy or overly firm neck pillow can be uncomfortable. We gave the highest marks in this category to pillows that use soft cushion material and keep the head in a comfortable posture to maintain for long periods of time. Pillows made of breathable materials that don’t get overly hot also scored well in this category.
- Adjustability: Everyone’s head is different, so the best neck pillow should be adjustable to fit snugly and securely. Pillows that scored best in this category feature easy-to-use mechanisms for finding the perfect fit.
- Portability: Car neck pillows typically serve as travel pillows, so portability is essential. Pillows that are easy to carry and stow scored highest in this category.
Different Types of Stuffing Material
Car pillows are stuffed with different materials. Do these matter to your purchase?
If you have sensitive skin or have eco-friendly sensibilities, you might want to stay away from potentially toxic materials. Most car pillows are stuffed with memory foam, a highly popular material that offers excellent support. However, some may be stuffed with synthetic cotton or a similar material.
If you want a hypoallergenic car pillow, always look for the hypoallergenic label. Don’t assume the product is suitable for people with sensitive skin.
What is Memory Foam?
When you browse for car pillow products, you will notice that most are stuffed with memory foam. You may have come across this material before, but what exactly is it?
Memory foam is a trade name for polyurethane, also known as viscoelastic. It was originally developed by NASA to be used in airplane seats. Memory foam is very popular because it can take shape of the body when it presses into the material.Memory foam is sensitive to pressure and heat. When your head rests on a memory foam pillow, it will naturally take the shape of your head, thus supporting the natural contours of your body. It’s better than a cotton pillow, which only dents.
This material responds to heat as well. In warm or hot conditions, memory foam softens like cotton. But in cold weather, it’s hard and only softens under body heat.Some people praise the benefits of memory foam, claiming they can’t sleep without it. There are some disadvantages, too. The foam can feel hot in warm weather. It’s also known to give off a smell, especially when new.
Pay Attention to the Car Pillow Cover or Case
The car pillow must have a removable cover or a pillowcase. Otherwise, you won’t be able to regularly wash the pillow. It’s not possible to wash memory foam or other stuffing, obviously.The manufacturer must specify what type of material the pillow cover is made from. You can determine how comfortable and hypoallergenic the pillow is depending on the material.
Most car pillow covers are made from synthetic, breathable material. Synthetic fabrics, unlike natural fabrics such as cotton, don’t retain water, That means the pillow won’t get soaked if you perspire during the drive.Breathable means the material doesn’t retain heat. So you can rest your head on the pillow for a prolonged period without feeling very hot on one side.
Some pillow covers are made from a synthetic leather with enough holes (perforation) to make it feel like fabric. These leather covers are comfortable, and may even be easier to maintain than the fabric variety.Hypoallergenic fabrics should be listed as such. You can determine what type of material you like the best.
Best Car Neck Pillow: FAQ
What is the purpose of a neck pillow?
The purpose of a neck pillow is to reduce strain on the neck during long periods of travel, such as a road trip. Some people need a car neck pillow to fall asleep while seated upright.
How do you use a neck pillow in a car?
Some car neck pillows attach to your neck. Others attach to the back of the car seat. To find the best way to install and adjust a car neck pillow, consult the owner’s manual.1How to Use a Travel Pillow: 13 Steps (with Pictures)
Is your neck connected to your spine?
Yes, your neck is a part of your spine. The human spine connects to the base of the skull and terminates with the tailbone.
Is a car neck pillow safe?
The best car neck pillows come with safety certifications. Besides offering comfort and convenience, they help reduce neck, head, and shoulder strains during long drives.
Which car neck pillow shape is the best?
Choosing a car neck pillow based on its shape is a subjective decision. Choose one that offers comfort and is the best fit for your car seat.
What type of car neck pillow is the best for a child?
The best car neck pillows for children are determined by their size, adjustability, and comfort they offer. Usually, pillows that come with a soft cover and are highly adjustable are ideal options for children.
How does a car neck pillow work?
A car neck pillow reduces the gap between the headrest and the head and keeps you comfortable while driving. It is generally made of memory foam and is malleable.
Is the neck pillow worth it?
As a general rule, travel neck pillows don’t offer any support, alignment, or comfort and are not recommended for travel. Even though neck pillows have existed for almost 100 years, there is no evidence, either personal or scientific, to suggest that these travel neck pillows have any efficacy.
Are neck pillows good for your spine?
You may feel better and sleep better with a neck pillow. It’s sometimes called a cervical pillow because the upper part of your backbone (where your neck is) is called the cervical spine. Research suggests that a pillow with good cervical support can help relieve neck pain and improve rest.
Should neck pillow be hard or soft?
Are neck pillows good for long car rides?
Travel pillows are the perfect way to get some peaceful rest in the car as they keep your neck straight while offering you some level of support. For your next road trip, bring along a travel pillow so you can have a comfortable way to pass the time.