As a parent, it can be concerning when your child falls asleep in their car seat and their head falls forward. Can sleeping at that angle be uncomfortable or even dangerous? Can a neck pillow for kids help?
We’ve done the research and asked all the questions a parent might have about kids’ travel pillows. Do they make them for children? Are they okay for babies? Are there things to be concerned about when it comes to kids’ travel pillows?
Overall, the best travel pillow for kids is Infanzia’s chin-supporting travel pillow. From the unique design to the quality sewing and materials, this pillow works great for a large age range. While it isn’t as supportive in the neck as some other options, it can’t be beaten in terms of sleeping surfaces.
Today we’ll be discussing the best travel pillow for kids, including the best pillow for toddlers, older kids, and the best seatbelt pillow as well. We’ll also be equipping you with a handy buying guide with all the knowledge you need to make the best purchase for you and your family.
The Best Travel Pillows for Kids
Best Overall: Infanzia Chin-Supporting Neck Pillow
This chin-supporting neck pillow by Infanzia is the best travel pillow for kids. It’s apparent in the design that Infanzia gave some serious thought to the anatomy of a growing child during the design process.
The dimensions are 10.3 inches by 9.4 inches, with the neck of this U-shaped pillow being 2.9 inches around. This pillow is breathable woven cotton with cotton stuffing that’s machine washable. Choose from several different colors or fun designs.
It has a loop on the back and a snap in the front, making it easy to hook onto luggage or a backpack for travel. The arch that goes around your child’s neck is narrower, with the feet being large and round.
This construction supports your child’s chin and keeps their head from being pushed forward. Snap it closed for more support. This pillow works for ages 2 to 12 or a child still using a booster car seat.
Best for Toddlers: Trunki Yondi
Trunki’s one-of-a-kind design makes the Yondi neck pillow an excellent option for toddlers. This O-shaped pillow is 8.67 inches wide by 8.67 inches long, and the neck of the pillow is 2.17 inches around. In addition, the Yondi has a narrow size and magnetic closure for optimal chin support.
It’s made of microfleece with a microbead filling and comes in a variety of colors. The trademarked Trunki Grip is a soft plastic clip that allows you to attach it to a blanket or shirt.
This kids’ travel pillow is compact, making it great for travel. It fits in a child’s booster seat or stroller easily. Trunki’s website recommends this pillow for ages 18 months through 4 years old or for children with a neck circumference of fewer than 12 inches.
Best for Older Kids: Trtl Pillow Junior
The Trtl Pillow Junior is a unique sleep device on our list of best travel pillows for kids. This is an excellent option if you’re looking for an alternative to a traditional travel pillow. It was designed by getting feedback from elementary and middle school students.
Flexible plastic neck support and foam cushioning are hidden inside of soft, hypoallergenic fleece. Use the mitten hand to wrap the Trtl around the neck like a scarf. It weighs less than 4oz and has a tab for easy release when you’re done using it.
The Trtl is easy to fold up for storage and travel. See which color you like on their website. This pillow is designed and recommended for children 8 and older.
Best for Travel: CHDN Travel Pillow
If you’re moving around an airport or are traveling with a neck pillow, you may be concerned about losing it. This convertible kids’ neck pillow turns into a cute teddy bear by unzipping the back. It’s a fun way to interest them with a new travel buddy!
This is a larger U-shaped kids’ neck pillow with dimensions of 8.6 x 6 x 11.8 inches. It’s made of soft polyester with a microbead filling. Choose from several different cute creatures like a rabbit or penguin. There’s a clip on the top to attach it to a backpack or luggage easily.
Cstore’s convertible travel pillow for kids makes it fun for your child to cuddle when they aren’t sleeping. The microbead filling is antimicrobial. This pillow is recommended for children no longer in a booster car seat.
Best Seat Belt Pillow: Apomelo Car Seatbelt Pillow
Many children do not like the feeling of being bound around the neck by a travel pillow. Apomelo’s car seat belt pillow is an excellent alternative on our list of best travel pillows for kids. While most seat belt travel pillows are no thicker than a seat belt cover, this pillow is thick enough to support your child’s head while they sleep.
The pillow is 18 by 9.5 inches and 4.5 inches thick. The Velcro backing closes around the seatbelt cross-strap and stays up very well on its own. It’s made of soft cotton with a cotton bunting filling. There’s a selection of cute animal designs to choose from, like a unicorn or monkey.
If you are looking at a seat belt pillow, you will probably be traveling by car. This pillow is made for children who use car seat belts, meaning the child is out of a harness booster car seat.
When shopping for the best travel pillows for kids, there are a few things to consider:
Kids’ neck pillows are generally safe to use once children are out of an infant car seat. Eighteen months is a blanket age used as a guideline because most children meet the weight or height limit on an infant car seat at this age.
The American Academy of Pediatrics hasn’t offered recommendations concerning the use of a kids’ neck pillow. However, they have recommended that you shouldn’t use pillows or head support inserts that didn’t come with your infant car seat.
When purchasing a travel pillow for kids, look at the measurements of the pillow. Often, you will find fun neck pillows geared towards children, but they are way too large.
If a neck pillow is too large for your child’s neck, it can dangerously push the head forward instead of supporting it. The best travel pillows for kids will have an arch (the part your neck rests on) of 2 inches around, with 4 inches being the maximum width.
Some travel pillows for kids have a contoured shape or O-shape that supports the neck and head without the chin falling forward. Some are a simple U-shape. Car seat belt pillows can be curved or straight but should still support the head.
Many pillows have features like snaps or magnets to help close an O-shaped neck pillow to better lift the chin. If your child’s head falls forward even when using a U-shaped pillow, this may work better for them.
Some children are not comfortable with things around their neck. Some prefer something less bulky than a contoured kids’ neck pillow. Use your judgment on what features your child needs.
The best travel pillows for kids have high-quality cases with closed seams that won’t irritate children. The best material of the actual pillow is all about the child’s preference. It can be breathable cotton or polyester, or fleece. They are filled with memory foam, cotton, polyester, or antimicrobial foam beads.
If your child tends to overheat easily, consider a breathable fabric with lighter filling. Some children prefer the softer, more giving foam bead filling over firm memory foam.
Safety and Other Common Concerns
Always be present when your child is using a neck pillow. There are cases where an ill-fitted neck pillow can obstruct breathing, causing more danger than benefit. By making sure the pillow you choose is the proper size and using it correctly, you can feel better knowing that they are sleeping safely and comfortably.
Some have concerns about losing the pillow while traveling. The best travel pillows for kids have loops, clips, or snaps that attach easily to backpacks and luggage, making traveling easy.
If you are concerned about the pillow getting dirty, consider the material of the pillow. Most are machine washable, but some manufacturers recommend not washing pillows filled with microbeads.
Best Overall Neck Pillow for Kids
We looked at the best travel pillows for kids regarding features, benefits, and age range, and also addressed some of the concerns you may have about giving your child a travel neck pillow.
All things considered, the Infanzia kids’ chin-supporting neck pillow is the best on our list. Infanzia has done well creating a travel pillow for kids that supports the head and chin, is the right size for a child in a wide age range, and is easy to travel with.
We hope you were able to find something that works for your family on our list of best travel pillows for kids. If not, we hope we at least informed you about what to look out for when shopping for kids’ neck pillows.