Planning a family vacation with children? You’ll need the best travel pillow for kids to keep them comfortable. A great kids travel pillow can be the difference between a good travel day and a bad one! We list the best child travel pillow options below with notes about what you should look for when buying a kid travel pillow.
How a great travel pillow for children can save your travel day
Trust me, you need a travel pillow for a child. Take it from a mom traveling full time with kids: There’s nothing worse than an unhappy kid on a long trip!
We’ve done everything from 2-hour road trips to overnight train rides to long haul flights with kids, and our son’s comfort while traveling can literally make or break our experience. His happiness during those stressful few hours is the difference between getting much-needed sleep and feeling excited about our vacation destination and starting the trip feeling overwhelmed, anxious, and cranky.
And I don’t just mean the kids. We adults are pretty miserable to be around after taking care of restless, unhappy kids on a long flight!
A good children’s travel pillow and blanket will help everyone have a great travel day!
There are a few kids travel essentials we swear by when flying, and one of the most necessary is a great kids travel pillow. We’ve compiled a list of the best kids travel pillows available, and which we consider the very best kids travel pillow!
A great kids travel pillow will:
- Help your child stay comfortable on a flight or in the car,
- help his or her head stay in a safe position during turbulence,
- keep them happy and entertained as a multi-use “big kid” flight essential,
- and allow YOU to get some much-needed sleep as your child is comfortable and distracted!
The best kids travel pillows available today:
With those points in mind, here are top picks for kids travel pillows. We’ve categorized these child’s travel pillow options based on user rating, cost, and appeal. A great childrens travel pillow will not only work on planes, these are also great options for carseats and car rides! These children’s travel pillow options are all available to purchase through Amazon Prime, which makes getting one in time for any spontaneous family trip quick and easy!
|Cloudz Kids Microbead Travel Neck Pillow||5 stars||$||Many fun designs to match your kids personality with molding microbeads a button closure to minimize movement||Buy Now on Amazon|
|HUGMO Pink Unicorn Travel Pillow Hood||4.5 stars||$$||Kids will love the fun design, and unicorn hood helps to block light||Buy Now on Amazon|
|BCOZZY Kids Travel Pillow with Head Support||4 stars||$$$||Comes in many fun colors in a patented design to bend around child's head and neck to prevent bobblehead sleeping||Buy Now on Amazon|
|Tulatoo Dinosaur Travel Pillow||5 stars||$$$||Kids will love the fun design, and it has a long end for cuddling||Buy Now on Amazon|
|Oh, Susannah Astronaut Pillowcase||5 stars||$$||Choose from many designs to fit your child's personality of this washable pillow case which fits travel pillow forms||Buy Now on Amazon|
How to choose the best travel pillow for kids:
You may think all kids travel pillows are the same. Well, as you can see, even the four we’ve chosen as the best kids travel pillows vary pretty widely! Here are the main elements to consider when choosing the right one for your kids:
1. Is your child a restless sleeper? Will the child travel pillow stay in place?
One thing we always consider is if the travel pillow will shift or stay in place while our son is trying to sleep on the plane. Travel pillows with stiff ends or a button closure will keep the two sides together, like the BCOZZY and Cloudz travel pillow options above. Our son is a restless sleeper, so we want the pillow to have some firm closure to stay in place while he’s sleeping. Otherwise it will shift around and potentially wake him up.
2. Does your child like to hold something while they sleep?
Our son keeps a stuffed lion with him at all times, but other kids who like to hold something while they sleep will love the Tutaloo travel pillow. Although it doesn’t wind completely around the child’s neck, the longer end is a great option to cuddle!
3. Will the travel pillow material mold to your child’s neck or be too stiff?
We prefer our kids travel pillow to have enough fluff to be soft, but not so much that it doesn’t keep it’s shape under the heavy weight of our sleeping child’s head. I know this sounds nit-picky, but it’s a big concern!
With that in mind, I’d personally stay away from the Cloudz travel pillow option featuring microbeads. The moldable travel pillow filling sounds like a good idea, but in reality it will most likely pull to either end of the travel pillow once the pressure from the head pushes against the middle. But if your child is sensitive to materials they may like that function! This is all about finding the best kids travel pillow for your child!
For this reason we love the BCOZZY option. It features two stiff, bendable ends which can be fitted under the child’s neck to keep their head secure while flying. This way I don’t have to worry about him bouncing around during turbulence or waking up because his pillow shifts! Win win!
4. Does your child drool while they sleep? Is the kids travel pillow cover washable?
Our son loves having a kids travel pillow because it allows him to mimic his parents. He not only wears it to sleep, it becomes a fashion statement all travel day long. Unfortunately he’s also pretty careless, which means his travel pillow will be covered by marker, stickers, food, and yes, drool, by the end of our flight.
As you can imagine, I think the best kids travel pillow will have a removable cover we can wash repeatedly! Because planes equal germs. Ewww.
5. What position do your kids sleep in on planes?
A kids travel pillow that supports the neck and stays firmly in place is great for children who sleep well sitting up in their chairs. Some children may prefer to lay on a parent’s lap, or lay their heads forehead-down on the tray table in front of them (don’t judge- it’s what I do!) In this case, they should use a regular travel pillow, not a children’s travel neck pillow.
Travel pillows are the same size as toddler pillows and can be quite compact for air travel. The benefit of a regular travel pillow is the position versatility and many customization options. You can choose from a variety of toddler pillow cases to cover the travel pillow, which make the pillow cute and washable.
6. Will they like the travel neck pillow for kids?
Honestly, how much your kid enjoys their travel pillow on the plane will have a huge impact on how much they want to use it! A cool travel pillow will make your kid’s day. One of our son’s first children’s neck pillows for travel was in the shape of the Hungry, Hungry Caterpillar. It wasn’t particularly functional for him, but it featured his favorite book character so he was willing to use it on all our long road trips.
A cute travel pillow child is willing to use is always better than one you think is perfect but they refuse!
Which is the very BEST travel pillow for children?
For us, the best travel pillow for children is a no-brainer: The BCOZZY kids travel pillow with neck support.
It’s not just great for children, the BCOZZY travel pillow adjusts to fit either adults or children as the best travel pillow for airplane! Here’s why we chose this as the best kids travel pillow:
1: Neck Support
The BCOZZY travel pillow is the only one with a patented system to firmly and comfortably connect under someone’s chin for maximum support. Our son is a bobble head sleeper, and I feel better going through turbulence when his neck is firmly supported. Not only does this keep his precious noggin safe, it keeps his head in one position as he twists and turns all over the place!
2: Washable cover
As I mentioned already, my son is diiiiiiiiiiiirty! Not only is he dirty, airports and airplanes are dirty! Call me paranoid, but I just couldn’t put something so close to my son’s mouth and face if it weren’t clean.
3: Soft and comfortable filling
The BCOZZY kids neck pillow has the perfect blend of softness and structure. It won’t collapse under the weight of his head, and it’s not so firm that he’s left in an uncomfortable position. In the words of Baby Bear, it’s “Juuuuuuuuuuuust right.”