Our guide to choosing the best kids travel pillow for all ages. Tips and advice on how to choose a kids neck pillow, leg rest travel pillows for children and all you need to know to pick the best travel cushion for your child (toddler and up).
It is the time in the season that I start looking at products to make our upcoming long haul flight easier on the kids.
Over the course of the years I have learned that gear makes a huge difference when it comes to comfort on planes.
Since our first totally unprepared long haul trip, I have added to our gear collection a few things that have proved invaluable. We started off with proper luggage for the children, then we added headphones and now is the turn for the ultimate travel-in-comfort companion: a travel pillow.
My 2 have asked several times for a travel cushion but I always resisted buying the cheap ones in airports.
While decent for adults, I felt they were not comfortable enough for kids and decided instead I would do some research to find the best travel pillow for children to meet both comfort and look requirement.
This is the result of my search for the best travel pillow for kids.
What are the best kids travel pillows?
No time to read the post? Just check out our top picks.
The best kids travel pillows are:
- Best kids neck pillow: Bcozzy Travel Pillow for children
- Toddler travel neck pillow for car and plane: Yondi travel pillow by Trunki
- Best leg rest travel pillow for kids: First Class Kid inflatable footrest cushion
Disclaimer: this post contains affiliate links and if you make a purchase through them, we might make a small commission a no extra cost to you. The information on this website is intended as a general overview on family travel matters derived from my experience traveling with my own children. I am not an expert on the subject and safety of kids pillow and while I try my best to include correct information, I do not guarantee its currency and accuracy.
How to choose a travel pillow for kids
When looking at buying a travel pillow, there are several things to take into account, namely shape, material and type of support.
Travel pillow for kids shapes
Kids travel pillows come in several shapes and sizes and choosing one or the other depends largely on the age of your child and the type of journey you have ahead, may it be by car, train or plane.
In general, you can think of travel pillows as belonging to one of the following categories:
Kids neck pillows/ neck ring
This is the traditional shape of a travel pillow for adults except in much smaller size. The neck rings wrap around your child neck and support their head when they fall asleep, therefore preventing discomfort and potential strains on the neck.
Neck pillows can be used on all types of transport, provided their are the correct size to fit your child body. When choosing, pay extra attention to the seams and the material. Cheaper pillows have hard seams that can scratch your child’s delicate skin and some materials are not breathable, which makes their use uncomfortable.
- Kids’ neck pillows pros: great selection of shapes and sizes to suit any child, easy to carry.
- Kids’ neck pillows cons: if the wrong size they can push the head of your child forward. Make sure you buy for the correct age/height of your child.
Leg rest travel pillow for kids
Foot rest or leg rest pillows are becoming more and more popular and approach the problem of keeping your child comfortable on the move in a revolutionary way. Instead of supporting the neck, they make your child seat longer to prevent their legs from dandling, effectively reducing the discomfort of long journeys.
Leg rest travel pillows for children can be used in cars and, airline permitting, on plane journeys.
In the car, they operate as a leg rest while one the plane, once seat belts are off, allow your small child to sleep horizontally without having to occupy an extra seat.
Please note: not all airlines accept leg rest pillows on boars. Therefore, if you are planning to use them on a plane, check with your carrier first to avoid disappointment! Also, check that the specific seats you have are suitable for a leg rest pillow: window seats on non exit rows are usually the safest but ask costumer service before purchasing your seat to be sure.
- Leg rest travel pillows for kids pros: inflatable, they occupy little space and can be used in cars as well as planes
- Leg rest travel pillow for children: not all airline accept them and they do require some work inflating them
Kids travel pillow materials
The most popular materials for children travel pillows are micro beads for younger kids and memory foam for older ones.
However, adult and kids travel pillows come in several materials both inside and outside and the most comfortable for your child depends on their age and size. When picking a travel pillow:
- Check that the material is machine washable, especially if you are going for a kids travel neck pillow, which sits just on their face/beside their mouth
- Make sure that the external material is soft and there are no hard seams
- Ensure that the material touching your child is hypoallergenic and suitable for children’s skin
- Check that the filling of the pillow doesn’t make it too heavy for your small child (this may be the case with adults pillows passed down to the next generation)
- Ensure that microbead pillows have an internal lining to prevent spillages in case of tears
Travel pillow for kids size
Last but not least, take into account the size of your child vs the travel pillow you are considering. If buying for a toddler, make sure you select a specific toddler travel pillow rather than a generic kids one.
Don’t get tempted to get a bigger one thinking it will last them longer. The wrong type of neck pillow can push the child neck forward causing strain, especially if used while the child is in a car seat. Choosing the correct car seat pillow for toddlers for proper back posture is crucial.
Best toddler travel pillows airplane /car
The best travel pillow for toddlers is safe, cute and easy to carry. Some of our favourite small kids travel pillows suitable both as car pillows for toddlers and plane seats pillows are:
I am a huge fan of trunki products. My kids adore their ride on bags and fell suitably in love with their toddler travel pillow to, the Yondi. This travel pillow for small kids is compact, easy to carry and perfect for long flights and it is also a great car seat pillow for toddlers since it is deemed car seat compatible.
- Made of microbead filling for soft yet supportive fit
- Equipped with second internal lining to prevent spillages in case of tear
- Suitable for ages 2 – 5 years (also has a bigger size, age 5+)
- Car seat compatible
- Comes in several colours
- Has magnetic clips to safely wrap around your child’s neck
- Made of soft fabric
- Dimension: 22 x 20 x 5 cm Max neck size: 30cm
Skip Hop toddler travel pillow
Another brand I trust for all things toddlers, Skip Hop, has good quality toddler travel pillows with their signature super cute characters.
This is a good car seat neck pillow and can be used on road trips and plane rides.
The skip hop toddler travel pillow, aka Skip Hop Zoo Travel Neckrest
- Is suitable for both car and plane journeys
- Features a signature characters from the Zoo collection
- Made of soft, plush velour
- Recommended for ages 2-4
- Polyester fill
- Non toxic materials according to current regulatory standards
- Kids travel pillow dimension: 10.5l x 3w x 10.5h (inches)
Nido nest kids travel pillow for preschoolers
Another travel pillow marrying comfort and a cute character. The Nido Nest travel pillow for toddlers comes in several animal variety and suitable for both car and plane journeys. This is another one of our favourite car seat neck pillows for small children.
- Is lightweight
- Is made of breathable material to prevent overheating
- Has micro beads filling not to push your toddler’s delicate neck forward
- Come in a lovely variety of colours
- Has removable and washable exterior
- Dimensions: 10.5 x 10.5 x 3 inches
Best travel pillows for kids aged 3+
Older children have a wider range of options when it comes to kids travel pillows materials. They can choose between microbeads and memory foam travel pillows, more child or adult like designs and can still go for the leg rest option, provided their height allows.
Critter Piller kids travel pillow and friend
Being an ‘older’ kids doesn’t mean giving up on cute and cuddly gear. Critter Piller caters for kids 3 and up with their super cute range of animal travel pillows.
Critter Piller specs:
- Material: polyester and feather-soft microfibers
- Machine washable
- Soft, cute, and cuddly
- Suitable for age 3 and up
- Filled and finished in the USA. The zipper tab is removed for safety
Rest Cloud kids travel pillow
This kids travel pillow has an ergonomic design that holds the child’s head upright back or side of the pillow. This is a good pillow for plane journey and also works well as a kids car pillow.
The RestClouds kids travel pillow:
- Ergonomic design holds child’s head upright
- Naturally antimicrobial and resistant to allergens material
- Comes with a stuff sack
- Can be used both on cars and planes
- Cover Material: 69.7%cotton,30.3% Grass Coral viscose fiber
- Product size: 9.0″ x 8.7″ x 2.8″
- Suitable for age 3-12
Bcozzy chin support travel pillow for kids
The bcozzy pillow has an innovative design that makes is suitable for both dults and kids (2 sizes available). Unlike other pillows that effectively only have one fixed shape, the Bcozzy can be wrapped around the neck as loosely or as tightly as comfortable, adjusting to the individual wearing it.
The children Bcozzy travel neck pillow:
- Supports the neck from all angles
- Is fully machine washable
- Is made of polyester fiber inner, micro-fleece outer
- Gets easily attached to luggage thanks to built in strap
- Is light and flexible
- Comes in a variety of colour
Best kids travel pillows for cars: seatbelt cushions and leg rest pillows
If travelling by car you can choose one of the travel cushions above or go for a different concept, a seat belt cushion or leg rest.
Seat belt pillows help your child sleep supporting their neck and use the car seat-belt to be kept in position. When choosing, the same type of concerns as for plane travel pillows apply, especially when it comes to materials.
Our top picks for car seat pillows for children are:
Wo Baby Car Seatbelt Cushion Pillow
The Wo Baby car pillow is:
- Safe for baby materials
- Ergonomic design
- Durable and fully machine washable.
- Fits seatbelt of car or baby pram
- Material: 100% Cotton
- Size: 12 x 6 x 4.2 inch
First Class Kids leg rest pillow
First class kid travel pillow does what its name suggests: turns your child economy seat in a first class style one!
Or at least, sort of! This is a leg rest pillow and works as as leg support: it wedges between your child seat and the seat in front of them and prevents their legs from dangling.
On planes, when permitted, it also allows your small child to lie flat and therefore sleep better.
- Inflatable leg pillow with one-way valve for easy set up
- Can be used on car, bus and some airlines (to be set up at cruising level only and only on permitting aircraft)
- Can be rolled or folded for easy of transport
- Non stick, non sweaty material (PVC base and Flocking)
- Damp cloth cleaning
I hope you found this round up of the best travel pillows for kids useful and this guide helped you pick the best one for your childm
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