Reviews

LAST UPDATED: April 13, 2019

Best Car Neck Pillows: Comfort Options for a Relaxing Drive

Car neck pillows are perfect for an improved driving or riding experience

Entering our 7th season of /DRIVE on NBC Sports, and with millions of YouTube and Facebook followers, The Drive is a leading authority of all things automotive.

The Drive on NBCThe Drive on YouTubeThe Drive on Facebook

The Review Team

  • Product Network

    26 Products

  • Clock

    7 Hours

  • Reviews

    13 Reviews

How We Decided

The Drive and its partners may earn a commission if you purchase a product through one of our links.Read more.

PUBLISHED ON April 13, 2019

Whether it’s a long road trip or just getting stuck in traffic, being in the car may not be the most comfortable place to find yourself. It can be especially rough on your neck, which can get strained or feel sore after watching the road for so long. Luckily, you can improve your riding experience by purchasing a neck pillow to relieve the strain. Here are our top picks for great neck pillows to use in the car.

  • Best Overall
    Cabeau Evolution Classic Travel Pillow
    Summary
    Summary
    100 percent high-grade memory foam neck pillow with a patented, award-winning design capable of providing 360-degree support.
    Pros
    Pros
    Includes a flattened rear cushion and raised sides for maximum comfort and support.
    Removable cover is machine-washable. It includes a phone pouch and comes in a range of styles.
    Cons
    Cons
    Not a good fit for anybody with an above average length neck.
    Not all styles include a compressing carry bag, so it may prove difficult to transport and keep clean.
  • Best Overall
    Cabeau Evolution Classic Travel Pillow
  • Best Value
    Travelmate Memory Foam Neck Pillow
    Summary
    Summary
    U.S. patented memory foam travel pillow with removable insert so you can adjust the thickness to suit your own preference and level of support.
    Pros
    Pros
    Plush velour cover is zippered and machine-washable. The built-in elasticated strap enables easy transport with hand luggage as well as stability during use.
    Cons
    Cons
    The memory foam is very soft and doesn’t provide a lot of support. The removable insert is loose inside the pillow and moves around a lot. 
  • Best Value
    Travelmate Memory Foam Neck Pillow
  • Honorable Mention
    Trtl Pillow Super Soft Neck Support Travel Pillow
    Summary
    Summary
    A completely unique neck support design, this scarf-pillow hybrid is a great travel option for drivers and passengers.
    Pros
    Pros
    Warm and comfy fleece exterior with a hidden cushion and brace for support, machine washable, and compact for portability. 
    Cons
    Cons
    The unusual design isn’t for everyone. The wrap could be too warm in hot temperatures.
  • Honorable Mention
    Trtl Pillow Super Soft Neck Support Travel Pillow

     

    Whether it’s a long road trip or just getting stuck in traffic, being in the car may not be the most comfortable place to find yourself. It can be especially rough on your neck, which can get strained or feel sore after watching the road for so long. Luckily, you can improve your riding experience by purchasing a neck pillow to relieve the strain. Here are our top picks for great neck pillows to use in the car.

    Best Car Neck Pillow Reviews & Recommendations 2020

    Best Overall

    Cabeau is one of the top brands when it comes to travel pillows, and a lot of this is due to their patented and award-winning products. The Evolution Classic Travel Pillow is backed by sleep science and is ergonomically designed—with high sides and a flattened back—to provide 360 degrees of support. 


    The high-grade memory foam body is fully adjustable for maximum comfort, although it may not be big enough for above-average sized necks. The pillow is available in a wide range of colors and styles, and the removable machine-washable cover means you can easily keep your car neck pillow clean and fresh. This is particularly important, as some styles do not have a carry bag included.


    That said, if you do have a storage sack, the pillow can be compressed down by more than 50 percent. And, unless you want something very firm, it’s a great choice.

    Best Value
    2

    Travelmate Memory Foam Neck Pillow

    The U.S patented, trademarked memory foam neck pillow from Travelmate is our best value pick. It’s designed to provide the exact balance between support and comfort for anybody sleeping on the go, and the thermo-sensitive memory foam should mold to your body for a precise fit. 


    In order to ensure maximum comfort, the pillow features a removable section so you can adjust the thickness of the pillow and the level of support on the back of your neck. The plush velour cover is zippered and machine-washable for your convenience. An elastic strap allows you to secure the pillow during use and attach it onto hand luggage for guaranteed portability.


    The foam is very soft, however, and doesn’t provide a lot of support, while the removable section is prone to move around. You might find the memory foam has an unpleasant chemical odor, too.

    Honorable Mention

    Our honorable mention neck support for cars is the Trtl Pillow. A completely unique design, this travel pillow keeps the head in a comfortable position when trying to sleep in a seat. This makes it ideal for passengers who want to nap on a long trip and drivers looking for extra support. 


    Designed to look like a scarf, this pillow is made of fleece and hides an internal support system and cushioning. The exterior is made to be machine-washable. It is also incredibly lightweight and has none of the bulk that regular neck pillows have. When not in use, the pillow is designed to attach to backpacks or luggage bags, making it ideal for travel.


    Since this neck support pillow has such a unique design, it can be too odd for some. People who dislike tight collars or necklaces would find the wrap uncomfortable. The four available colors may not be a wide enough selection to match everyone's style.

    Why Trust Us


    All of our reviews are based on market research, expert input, or practical experience with most products we include. This way, we offer genuine, accurate guides to help you find the best picks.

    Learn more

    Benefits of a Car Neck Pillow

    • Pain relief. Sitting upright for hours on end is going to be a pain for anybody—literally. Neck pain and the discomfort that comes with it can be eliminated by getting a neck pillow that is both soft and supportive. 
    • Posture. As if the temporary improvement over your comfort isn’t enough, using a good neck pillow can even have positive long-term effects. Cushions with the best-designed neck support can improve your overall posture.
    • Portable comfort. Regardless of whether or not the pillow comes with a strap designed for your car seat, every car neck rest pillow can be used in a multitude of settings—like planes, buses, and even the office.
    • Ease-of-use. If you’re thinking that added comfort sounds good but having another thing to clean and take care of doesn't, then you’re in luck. Neck pillows are made with removable cases that are machine-washable.
    • Universal fit. Most accessories you buy for your vehicle have specific limitations like only fitting certain manufacturers or requiring different sizes for different types. Neck cushions, though, are completely universal—designed to fit absolutely any car interior. 

    Types of Car Neck Pillows

    Roll Pillow

    Essentially a log-shaped pillow, roll pillows are designed to support the arch of your neck. These are typical in office and bedroom settings, as well as in the car. Because of this, they usually do not come with a strap to fasten to the back of the seat. Instead, they are held in place by leaning against it.

    U-Shaped Pillow

    Often seen on planes as a sleeping aid, these pillows have great neck support, making them great for comfort. The pillow's round shape is similar to the roll pillow; however, the sides curve in, creating either a U- or O-shape around the neck. Since these pillows are made for travel, they do not attach to the seat in any way.

    Contour Pillow

    The most common type of car headrest pillow, these cushions are shaped to conform to your head, neck, and upper shoulder areas. It is typical to see these car neck support pillows with headrest straps so that they stay in place even when you leave the vehicle. The ergonomic design relieves the stress from your shoulders and up, plus it doesn't use the car's headrest (a benefit if you find the factory headrest uncomfortable).

    Wrap

    A newer type of "pillow" that's become popular is the neck wrap pillow. These almost look more like a scarf with foam padding. They connect to the driver or passenger, wrapping around the neck so it doesn't move around. 

    Top Brands

    Cabeau

    A former professional basketball player, David Sternlight sought to make a comfortable pillow for traveling after years of playing on the road. After months of research and development, he created the popular Cabeau Evolution Memory Foam Travel Pillow in 2009. Since then, the company has expanded to make a whole line of travel products. 

    Samsonite

    The travel and luggage giant has a reputation for making reliable products. Samsonite has been producing on-the-go lifestyle products for over 100 years. It has a very successful Car Headrest Pillow as well as a Lumbar Support Pillow.

    Trtl

    Most well known for its Trtl Pillow, the company has grown and expanded since its first product was released. Mechanical engineering students Michael and David founded the company in 2013 after developing the neck wrap pillow. The company is headquartered in Glasgow, Scotland.  

    Car Neck Pillow Pricing

    • Under $20: The less expensive neck pillows share similar designs to the more premium competitors. The most significant difference is in materials; most neck pillows for cars often use polyester and foam.
    • $20 to $40: The best car neck pillows are typically at this price point. You'll find premium memory-foam filling with plush or genuine leather covering. Added features can include straps to hold the cushions in place and matching lumbar support pieces. 
    • Over $40: Once you get to this pricing, these neck cushions for cars will either have incredible premium features or sets of multiple pillows. The premium features could include full back support, heating, or massaging capabilities. 

    Key Features

    Ergonomic Design

    When it comes to your comfort and improving your riding experience, the overall design of the neck pillow you need is a huge factor. While most are made with support in mind, it's good to know whether you need a cushion with firmer support or with softer features. Also, pillow size (more specifically, what areas of the body they support) can help make the best decision for you.

    Seat Strap

    One of the best features you'll find on headrest pillows is a strap to hold it in place. Typically, they'll either adjust or stretch in order to fit over any car seat. This makes getting comfy easy on every drive since you won't need to move the cushion each time you get in your vehicle.

    Memory Foam

    For peak performance and results, the best neck pillows you can find are going to be made from memory foam. While soft to the touch, memory foam will conform to the contours of your body to maximize comfort and provide support wherever needed. Memory foam won't flatten out or lose its shape over time, so it will improve your drive for years to come. 

    Other Considerations

    • Color: Neck pillows come in a wide range of designs and colors. If you want one that matches the interior of your vehicle, then it's important to pay attention to the available materials and designs that a cushion may come with.
    • Materials: Aside from looks, the exterior materials play a functional role in your overall level of comfort. For example, you may want to find a neck pillow that is made from breathable materials so you don't get too hot while using it. Conversely, you may not care about breathability, but instead, want the softest materials possible.

    Best Car Neck Pillow Reviews & Recommendations 2020

    Best Overall

    Cabeau is one of the top brands when it comes to travel pillows, and a lot of this is due to their patented and award-winning products. The Evolution Classic Travel Pillow is backed by sleep science and is ergonomically designed—with high sides and a flattened back—to provide 360 degrees of support. 


    The high-grade memory foam body is fully adjustable for maximum comfort, although it may not be big enough for above-average sized necks. The pillow is available in a wide range of colors and styles, and the removable machine-washable cover means you can easily keep your car neck pillow clean and fresh. This is particularly important, as some styles do not have a carry bag included.


    That said, if you do have a storage sack, the pillow can be compressed down by more than 50 percent. And, unless you want something very firm, it’s a great choice.

    Best Value
    Travelmate Memory Foam Neck Pillow

    The U.S patented, trademarked memory foam neck pillow from Travelmate is our best value pick. It’s designed to provide the exact balance between support and comfort for anybody sleeping on the go, and the thermo-sensitive memory foam should mold to your body for a precise fit. 


    In order to ensure maximum comfort, the pillow features a removable section so you can adjust the thickness of the pillow and the level of support on the back of your neck. The plush velour cover is zippered and machine-washable for your convenience. An elastic strap allows you to secure the pillow during use and attach it onto hand luggage for guaranteed portability.


    The foam is very soft, however, and doesn’t provide a lot of support, while the removable section is prone to move around. You might find the memory foam has an unpleasant chemical odor, too.

    Honorable Mention

    Our honorable mention neck support for cars is the Trtl Pillow. A completely unique design, this travel pillow keeps the head in a comfortable position when trying to sleep in a seat. This makes it ideal for passengers who want to nap on a long trip and drivers looking for extra support. 


    Designed to look like a scarf, this pillow is made of fleece and hides an internal support system and cushioning. The exterior is made to be machine-washable. It is also incredibly lightweight and has none of the bulk that regular neck pillows have. When not in use, the pillow is designed to attach to backpacks or luggage bags, making it ideal for travel.


    Since this neck support pillow has such a unique design, it can be too odd for some. People who dislike tight collars or necklaces would find the wrap uncomfortable. The four available colors may not be a wide enough selection to match everyone's style.

    Tips

    • After buying a newer neck pillow, always wash the cover before use. Also, consult any directions or product guides so you know which materials are machine-washable and which ones require dry washing.
    • Try your neck pillow in a few different positions before securing it. You may find the best spot for long-term comfort isn’t what you expected. 
    • Don’t be afraid to try out your car pillow in other environments as well. You may find that these can be really helpful in relieving any aches and pains when you're sitting anywhere for extended periods of time. 

    FAQs

    Q: Will any headrest pillow fit in my car?

    A: Most likely, yes. Most driving pillows are universal. Straps can be adjusted for different seat sizes to accommodate any vehicle. 

    Q: Can I use a car neck pillow if I’m over 6 feet tall?

    A: The cushions and back support can all be moved to fit drivers of any size. Neck pillows are made to wrap around the factory headrest, so you can adjust the height of the pillow.

    Final Thoughts

    Our overall best option is the ergonomically designed Cabeau Evolution Classic Travel Pillow, which comes in a range of styles to suit all tastes.

    The adjustable, plush velour Travelmate Memory Foam Neck Pillow is our best value pick.