Are travel pillows bad for your neck?

Colin A. Borden
Colin A. Borden
Are travel pillows bad for your neck

Travel pillows are often seen as a necessary evil for long journeys; however, little is known about their actual effects on our necks.

In fact, many travelers wonder whether these seemingly-simple accessories can actually be bad for our neck health. As it turns out, there may be cause for concern – depending on how you use the pillow and its quality.

While investing in a good travel pillow may support your neck appropriately, cheaper alternatives create uneven or shallow support that can lead to straining your neck muscles or supporting your head in awkward positions during sleep.

This is why it is important to evaluate both quality products and proper usage when considering preventive care measures for your neck health while on the move.

Are travel pillows bad for your neck?

Travel pillows can often be a lifesaver for long journeys, but recently they have been receiving negative feedback from frequent travelers.

Though travel pillows help to create an environment of comfort and relaxation while on the go, this same comfort is also known to weaken neck muscles over time.

The strain or continued pressure a travel pillow puts on the neck can cause soreness and even long-term problems with posture.

Despite this, there are styles of travel pillows that can actually protect the neck with special ergonomic designs that work to support the head and maintain a healthy posture so your journey will go off without a hitch.

Importance of proper positioning

Proper positioning of pillows can mean the difference between a restful night’s sleep and a sleepless night spent tossing and turning. Here are 5 reasons why the position of your pillows matters:

  • Pillows support your head and neck.
  • Pillows keep your spine in alignment.
  • Pillows help you breathe easier.
  • Pillows prevent arms numbness.
  • Pillows make you more comfortable overall.

Pillows support your head and neck. Your head weighs a lot—about 10 pounds on average—so it’s important to have a pillow that can support it properly. Otherwise, you may end up with a crick in your neck or headaches in the morning. Look for a pillow that is firm but not too firm, as a pillow that is too soft will not offer enough support and a pillow that is too hard will be uncomfortable. 

Pillows keep your spine in alignment. Your spine is designed to be straight, so when you sleep, it’s important to keep it in alignment by using a pillow that supports the natural curve of your spine. This will help you avoid back pain and will promote better posture overall. 

Pillows help you breathe easier. If you suffer from allergies or asthma, using the right type of pillow can make a big difference in your breathing at night. Look for a pillow that is hypoallergenic and dust-resistant so that you can breathe easily all night long. 

Pillows prevent arms numbness. If you sleep on your side, it’s important to have a pillow that supports your head as well as your arms so that they don’t go numb during the night. A body pillow or U-shaped pillow is ideal for side sleepers as it will provide support for both your head and your arms simultaneously. 

Pillows make you more comfortable overall. Using the right pillows can make all the difference in how comfortable you are at night, which leads to a better night’s sleep overall. Investing in some high-quality pillows is worth it if you want to get the most out of your slumber.

What’s the correct way to use a travel pillow?

A travel pillow is a great way to make your journey more comfortable, but it takes some knowledge to use one correctly. Let’s take a closer look at how to get the most out of your travel pillow.

Positioning Your Travel Pillow Properly 

To get the most out of your travel pillow, start by positioning it appropriately. If you’re using an inflatable one, just blow it up to the size and shape that works for you.

Then put it behind your neck so that when you rest your head on it, there’s no strain on your neck muscles due to sitting upright in a chair or seat.

It’s essential to ensure that all throughout, your head is facing forwards; this will help ward off any pain or soreness in the mornings when you wake up.

Adjusting Your Travel Pillow for Comfort 

Once you have positioned your travel pillow properly, it’s time to adjust its settings for maximum comfort.

Many modern pillows feature adjustable straps that allow you to customize their shape and firmness level. You can use these straps to create an ergonomic shape that supports the exact curve of your neck—this will ensure that the weight of your head isn’t too heavy on any one area of the pillow.

Additionally, some pillows come with removable inserts which can be used to adjust its firmness level; if yours does not come with these inserts then consider adding some yourself for extra comfort and support.

Care Instructions for Travel Pillows 

Finally, don’t forget about proper care instructions when it comes to using a travel pillow.

Make sure to follow all manufacturer directions regarding cleaning and storage; most pillows should be washed regularly with mild detergent and allowed to air dry before being stored away in a cool, dry place.

Furthermore, certain materials such as memory foam may need special attention when storing them; consult the product manual for more information on how best to do this! 


Investing in the right travel pillow can make all the difference in your neck health on the go.

Quality matters, as does proper positioning and usage to stay healthy and comfortable while traveling.

Make sure you invest in a good quality travel pillow that is designed specifically with neck health in mind, and always position the pillow properly so that your neck muscles are supported.

With these preventive care measures in place, you can ensure that you will be able to get the restful sleep you need during your travels and beyond.

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Colin Borden wanderlust takes him to stunningly beautiful places, where he delights in discovering new cultures and cuisines. With a passion for storytelling and a vivid imagination, Colin captures his experiences through heartfelt words that bring his adventures to life.
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