Why the right pillow can make traveling 10 times better

words Alexa Wang

right pillow

It is easy to grow attached to your own sleep space. Sleeping in your house, in your bed, with your blankets and your pillow can feel essential to getting the best possible sleep. If travel is part of your life, this can be difficult.

Whether you’re visiting family, taking a vacation, or on a business trip, sleeping well will support the best possible travel experience. Any way in which you can preserve your ability to sleep restfully while traveling will make your trip more enjoyable, regardless of why or where you are traveling.

You may not be able to bring your memory foam mattress with you when you travel, but nothing is stopping you from bringing your pillow. 

Why Travel With Your Pillow?

Habits are hard to break, so having a pillow from home may help you fall asleep when you aren’t in a familiar space. What used to be your security blanket as a child might quickly be replaced by your favorite pillow.

At some point in life, everyone has tried to sleep with a pillow that just isn’t cutting it. Remember that thin pillow that left your neck sore all day or that musty old pillow at the hotel that you didn’t want to let anywhere near your face? Then there are the old lumpy pillows that you can never seem to adjust to feel comfortable. Sometimes the problems are more subtle, like just being so attached to your pillow that nothing else will do. Sometimes the issues can be more substantial, like allergies or chronic neck pain.


Airline pillows are horrible. Can they even be called pillows? Sleeping on a plane isn’t always easy, or possible, but bringing your pillow can improve your chances of snoozing through that next six-hour flight. Traveling with your pillow might mean you start actively trying to book a window seat as quickly as possible, as a home-brought pillow between you and the window can be a pretty comfy sleep spot in a pinch.


Hotel pillows are hit and miss. This could be because of frequent use, but the truth is, hotels don’t usually want to invest in pillows of any quality because they often get stolen as often as towels.

The vast majority of hotels offer flat or lumpy pillows, or pillows densely packed with foam and feathers. It isn’t uncommon to wake up with a sore neck after a night of sleep in a hotel. That might not be something you can afford, especially during prolonged stays or work trips.

travel pillow


Ever experience allergies or have them flare up during a trip? The unfortunate reason is likely dust mites. Dust mites feed on dead skin and hair, contributing to asthma and other allergic reactions. With the revolving door of people snoozing on hotel pillows, they can be a dust mite breeding ground. Even higher-end hotels are not immune to irritation from dust mites. Some pillows can be hypoallergenic or fitted with dust mite proof pillow protectors, but this is uncommon for most hotels. Dust mites can

Another good reason to bring your pillow is a potential sensitivity to the chemicals used in hotel sheet-washing facilities. Hotels often use harsh cleansers for cleaning and keeping their bedding odor-free. These can be irritating to your respiratory system and skin.

Pillow Menus

If you are traveling in style, one option offered by some luxury hotels is a pillow menu. This isn’t something offered at most budget accommodations, but if you have your stay booked at a high-end location, inquire about a pillow menu. A pillow menu is what it sounds like; your choice of a pillow to suit your tastes. Choose from a wide range of materials and qualities such as down soft, down super firm, synthetic soft, synthetic medium, memory foam, silk, or even rubber.

This isn’t common though, and bringing your pillow still makes the most practical sense, especially if it’s part of your sleep routine.

Depending on where and how you are traveling, as well as what you are bringing, packing your pillow isn’t always easy. Another concern is making sure you don’t walk out of your hotel room without your pillow in the morning. Forgetting your pillow somewhere can be devastating when you’re used to having its comfort whenever you need it. If you don’t take your pillow from the bed in the morning, the housekeeping staff may mistake it for any other and take it for cleaning.

All risks aside though, traveling with your pillow can make a significant difference in your quality of sleep. The moral of the story is that once you find that perfect pillow, never travel without it. It will provide you with a piece of home while providing you with the comfort needed to enjoy your travels.


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