The City Mattress Blog


Not all Neck Pillows are Travel Pillows: What’s the Difference?


Travel Pillow Neck Pillow

Summer has ended again and in just a few months, the Holiday Season will be upon us! Beyond just starting your shopping list, it also means it’s finally time to think about getting out of town for a few days. Winter Break is nearly here! You need more than jackets, boots, and sweaters in your suitcase, though. A pillow can make a big difference while on your trip!

Now is the time to start thinking about buying a travel pillow, a neck pillow, or both. That’s right; they’re not the exact same thing! Let’s dig further into what each one is, and a few of our top recommendations. 

What is a Travel Pillow?

If you ask people, often they will tell you that the worst part of traveling anywhere is the plane, train, or car ride to get there. It’s nearly impossible to get comfortable enough to sleep sitting up straight in a chair, possibly even right next to strangers. This can be greatly helped by bringing along a travel pillow!

A travel pillow will allow you to get some sleep while you’re en route. Packing a few sleep accessories can relieve some of the nightmares of sleeping on an airplane, train, or car, as well as ensure you stay well-rested and ready to fully enjoy your time away from home. Many Holiday Season destinations are far off, as you head back home for the Holidays or for a much-needed ski vacation. The last thing you want is to be awake for a 12-hour car ride or long flight and then arrive at your destination too tired to start the fun right away. With a comfortable travel pillow, you can rest enough to arrive refreshed!

You don't want to fall asleep and slump your head over the entire time. You'll wake up with serious neck pain! Before you leave for your trip, invest in a supportive new pillow. For those looking for a travel pillow, we recommend: 

Malouf Travel Neck Gel Dough + Z Gel 

The ergonomic U-shaped design correctly supports the natural curves of your head, neck, and shoulders, providing ideal support so you can sleep in a relaxed position during your ride. The liquid Z® Gel lies on top of the pillow for a cool sleeping surface that will capture and dissipate your body heat. The unique Gel Dough® memory foam creates a softer, cooler, doughier feel.

Malouf Shredded Gel Dough Travel Neck Pillow 

The Shredded Gel Dough® Pillow offers a cooler, softer memory foam that is both comfortable and breathable. As its name implies, this pillow features a shredded memory foam filling. You can sculpt it and it will shift and change into whatever shape you find most comfortable. The individual pieces in this type of memory foam neck pillow travel move independently, allowing the pillow to be moldable. 

Soft-Tex Conforming Memory Foam Travel Pillow 

This is an example of a travel pillow that is not a neck pillow. It may be helpful to call it a travel sized pillow instead, because essentially it is a regular pillow in a smaller size that makes it convenient for taking it with you. You can enjoy the same amazing benefits of a conforming memory foam pillow, in a handy take-along size. With multi-use positioning, this gel-infused memory foam travel pillow provides exceptional comfort, pressure-relief, and spinal alignment.

Malouf Travel Zoned Dough Scented Pillow 

Like the Soft-Tex option, this pillow presents the perfect combination of zoned support and comfort, in a size small enough to bring along for the trip. The Zoned Dough® memory foam both cradles your head and supports your neck. The breathable Tencel™ cover aids in obtaining the perfect sleeping temperature. Plus, it smells wonderful! You have a choice between three calming scents, Lavender, Chamomile, and Peppermint.

What is a Neck Pillow?

Some travel pillows are neck pillows, and some neck pillows are travel pillows. That being said, not all neck pillows are travel pillows and vice versa. A neck support pillow supports your neck, shoulder, head, and spine in the correct position. It may be one designed for traveling, or it could be simply for anyone who is suffering from neck pain due to the wrong pillow support. A few we recommend to those suffering from neck pain include:

Soft-Tex Conforming Memory Foam U Neck Travel Pillow 

This conforming U neck travel pillow made from gel-infused memory foam is both a neck pillow and a travel pillow. It is designed to provide lasting support as it easily wraps it around your neck, conforming to your body and holding your head up steady. 

Soft-Tex Conforming Memory Foam Neck Roll Pillow

This is a great example of a neck pillow that isn’t necessarily designed to be traveled with. Offering orthopedic support anytime and anywhere, this roll pillow features a unique cylindrical shape for targeted relief at your neck. It is a therapeutic support pillow made from gel-infused memory foam that flawlessly adapts to your body. At the same time, the compact size provides convenience on the go if you should decide to take it along. An included breathable knit cover with zip closure is easily removed for spot cleaning and offers additional softness.

Borden Textile Butterfly Neck Support Pillow

You can wake up rejuvenated and free from morning aches and pains with Borden Textile’s butterfly neck support pillow. A revolutionary design in sleep care, this orthopedic hourglass-shape pillow was developed by specialists to ensure the head and neck receive the proper support necessary for restful, sound sleep. It is specially designed to provide head and neck support to ease and prevent back pain, muscle tension, shoulder pain, and stiff neck. Because of this design, it is recommended by chiropractors to help relieve discomfort from improper sleep positions. 

You won't absolutely love your trip if you sleep terribly either on the way or while you’re there. We don’t want this to happen to you. The right pillow is the best way to stay comfortable as you snooze, no matter where you are or what position you’re sitting in. While only you will be able to determine the best travel pillow or neck pillow for you, those listed above are some of our most popular options.

If you have any additional questions about which travel or neck pillow would be best for you, reach out and ask! You can do so by speaking with a live Sleep Expert through our website. In order to do so, click the red button at the bottom right corner that says “Chat with us.” You can also visit your nearest City Mattress location and learn from a Sleep Expert in person all about our fantastic pillow options. The choice is yours, but hurry! Your Winter Vacation will be here before you know it!