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There’s no doubt about it. Traveling with kids is easiest when they’re comfortable. And traveling while they sleep soundly without asking for a snack/drink/their sibling to stop looking at them every five seconds? Downright blissful. Whether you’re taking a twenty minute drive to grandma’s or a cross-country flight, a cozy kids’ travel pillow can be just the tool you need to keep everyone napping happily.
But before we get into the nitty gritty, it’s important to note that most infant and toddler car seats have built-in head rests and support that make using a travel pillow unsafe. Adding bulk can put their head into a less than optimal position and travel pillows on car rides should not be used until they’re in a booster.
When it comes to the best kids’ neck pillows, there are a couple things to consider. First, the shape. A traditional u-shaped pillow isn’t super helpful for little ones who already bob forward. They’re often bulky at the back and seem to make matters worse. Instead, opt for a style that’s thinner at the back. Another detail that’s important when kids are involved? Washability. Whether they’re a car puker or a sleep drooler, the ability to clean it is key.
If you’re about to set out on your first plane ride with kids in tow or gearing up for an epic summer road trip, we’ve rounded up the best travel pillows for kids to make it all a bit more peaceful. Hopefully.
Our favorite kids' travel pillows
A version of this article was published April 11, 2022. It has been updated.