While the TravelMate Neck Support Pillow is certainly an upgrade from an inflatable neck pillow, it’s not checking all of our boxes just yet. Where is there room for improvement and who is this a good fit for? I put this pillow to the test to find out – check out aall these details and more covered in my full video and written reviews below.
Who Makes It?
The name TravelMate sounded vaguely familiar when I received my pillow and I originally thought it was a company name, but on the pillow’s packaging, it states that TravelMate is a registered trademark of IPT LLC. I did a decent amount of online sleuthing but was not able to figure out exactly what type of company IPT LLC is or what other products they manufacture.
To purchase any TravelMate pillow, I’ve always been directed to Amazon for the purchase and, aside from pillows, it looks like IPT LLC also makes seat cushions under the TravelMate trademark.
See how the TravelMate neck pillow ranks on my best travel pillows page.
- Dimensions: 11” x 12” x 3.8”
- Weight: 5.9 ounces
- Core: Memory foam filling
- Removable foam insert
- Cover: 75% cotton and 25% polyester cover
- Carry-on luggage attachment
- Machine Washable/Dryable
- Removable cover
- Multiple color options
- An additional loop for carry-on luggage
- Removable foam insert allows for a “flatback’ design for high-backed seats
- Features a zippered and removable/washable cover
- Offers a responsive memory foam filling
- Includes a soft fabric cover that can be washed separately
- Works well with earbuds/headphones
- The fabric dye bled upon first wash
- The label recommends ventilating pillow cover before use; takes some time to off-gas
- No connecting toggles to keep the pillow anchored to the traveler; a lack of chin support so there’s potential for the head to fall forward
- There’s no way to compact it to a smaller size for packing
- It was not dense enough to support my neck comfortably
The pillow comes in a clear package with a large white label that highlights several features of the pillow, who makes it, and a rather lengthy disclaimer about ventilating the pillow.
This is the first pillow I’ve seen that has a paragraph dedicated to informing me that my pillow may have a “distinct smell” that should dissipate in a few days and encourages me to remove the cover to let it “air out.” This is tied to the foam filling and may be familiar to those who have gotten a new foam pillow or foam mattress – we call it “off-gassing.”
Despite the fact that the note says the smell is “natural and harmless” it does seem like a lot of effort to tell me to air out my pillow. I don’t want to risk figuring out what happens if I don’t air it out so I went ahead and immediately followed the guidelines.
There is another paragraph warning people with allergies to wait a few days before using this pillow as well. Fortunately, I don’t have issues with allergies related to different scents so I had no issues at all. Maybe this is overkill but I do appreciate the brand’s over communication for those with sensitivities or allergies.
I do my due diligence and let my pillow air out or “off-gas” on my back porch for two days and afterward, I removed the cover and the gentle machine washed it in warm water (as per instructions).
The deep blue fabric definitely bled and I used a dye-catching sheet in the washer and it came out light blue. My washer was also filled with small pieces of blue fabric that came off the cover during the wash, so I’d wash this alone the first time to be safe.
The plush fabric of the cover and squishy memory foam gives this pillow an overall feeling of luxury and comfort. The foam has some weight to it and feels relatively substantial and when I placed the pillow around my neck it stayed in place and felt comfortable.
This pillow was re-designed to include a removable section in the back of the horseshoe shape. This removable piece of foam creates a “flat-back” design and keeps a person’s head from being pushed forward in a high-backed chair (like that on a plane).
The memory foam filling is pleasant but plush and I agree with the other reviewers who prefer it to the inflatable neck pillow. However, I have a hard time seeing myself being able to fall asleep with this for a long cross-country flight because, as a side sleeper, my head tends to fall to the side and I didn’t find enough support from this neck pillow to keep my neck from getting stiff. The memory foam just wasn’t firm enough for me.
What I did find comfortable was taking out the removable foam section in the back of the pillow and resting my head backward (while reclining slightly) in my glider. The removable section creates reduces the amount of foam behind my head and stops my head from being pushed forward and provides a decent amount of support, two features I think would make it deal for plane travel. Bonus points for being able to wear my glasses and my headphones with no issues.
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What To Consider Before Buying
While this pillow’s memory foam filling and its soft removable cover make it a cozy place to rest one’s head, it is best suited for travelers who want to lay their heads back, as it does not provide neck-brace level stability for comfortable side sleeping.
It’s also not going to work well for people looking to sleep facing forward with their chins pointed down because the pillow does not connect a the two ends so it can’t be turned 180-degrees to support the chin.
The fabric did bleed a light blue when I first washed it, plush about a dozen pieces of loose fabric came out in the washer as well, which is not an ideal situation but something that should dissipate with each cleaning. The packaging did come with a disclaimer about a “new foam smell” and encouraged me to air out the pillow before use, which I’d recommend.
In a few other reviews that I read, reviewers mentioned the seam ripping easily but I didn’t have any durability issues.
Related: Best Travel Pillows
Amazon has this pillow listed at $12.99 (originally $28) and I cannot find it sold anywhere else online. For the quality of the materials and the overall simplicity but the efficiency of the design, it seems like a good price to me for a memory foam-filled travel pillow.
I like that it has additional features, including the ability to add it to carry-on luggage and to remove the cover and throw it in the wash, but overall the super plush foam was just too soft for me.