These Travel Accessories Make Sleeping on Airplanes Way Easier

You won't want to fly without these items

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There are two types of travelers in this world: those who can sleep on planes and those who can't.

This one ability — or lack thereof — can make a world of difference, particularly for flights any longer than six hours. It's a matter of landing and feeling functional (albeit a bit groggy and stiff) versus arriving at your destination and feeling as if you've undergone some twisted form of sleep deprivation in an otherworldly dimension of crying babies, armrest battles, and movies with a max rating of 55 percent on Rotten Tomatoes.

For travelers who fall into the latter category, it's worth exploring any avenue to secure some precious in-flight shut-eye — even if the methods elicit more than a couple raised eyebrows from fellow passengers.

These products may look a little ridiculous, but they'll also help you finally slip into a glorious, elusive slumber in the skies.

Here are our favorite items for a comfortable flight:

Ostrichpillow Light Travel Pillow

Ostrichpillow Light - Travel Pillow

Amazon

Why We Love It: It can be used as an eye mask or neck pillow and is adjustable, making it a perfect versatile travel accessory.

What to Consider: This pillow should be spot cleaned only, so take care to keep it clean while traveling.

The internet has gone wild for a variety of oddly-shaped travel pillows from Ostrichpillow, and while they may look a little strange, customers swear by them for successful airplane sleep. This soft, circular-shaped pillow provides neck support and doubles as a surprisingly comfortable eye mask.

Price at time of publish: $45

Cabeau Evolution S3 Travel Pillow

Cabeau Evolution S3 Travel Pillow

Amazon

Why We Love It: The carrying case keeps the pillow in a compact, easy-to-pack space and off the floor, so you can snuggle up knowing you're staying germ-free.

What to Consider: Be sure to check the dimensions since the supportive memory foam is not adjustable and may not be comfortable for shorter necks.

This memory foam pillow has just about everything you could want in a travel pillow: It provides plenty of neck support, is made with breathable fabric, and comes with a convenient carrying case. This product is a major upgrade from the standard, bead-filled neck pillows that have become synonymous with overpriced airport gift shops. With a sturdy, ergonomic design and real memory foam, it's effective enough to be worth the investment.

Price at time of publish: $40

Andyer Portable Travel Footrest

Andyer Portable Travel Footrest

Amazon

Why We Love It: It's light, easily fits into carry on bags, and is easy to set up to maximize comfort.

What to Consider: While the straps are adjustable, this is likely not the best option for tall travelers

This portable footrest secures around the seatback tray table to solve the where-the-heck-do-I-put-my-feet issue that's all too common in an era of limited legroom and oversized carry-ons.

Price at time of publish: $13

Bucky 40 Blinks Eye Mask

Bucky 40 Blinks Eye Mask

Amazon

Why We Love It: The mask sits far enough away from your eyes that you don't feel pressure and can blink easily.

What to Consider: Where traditional eye masks are secured with an elastic strap, this face mask is adjusted to your size using Velcro straps.

This Bucky eye mask is a vast improvement from the flimsy option that came with your last international flight care package. It may look a little Martian, but it's available in a variety of colors and patterns — some that actually verge on stylish. Plus, it comes equipped with a strong strap that won't lose elasticity the third time you use it.

Price at time of publish:
$14

Bose Noise-Cancelling Bluetooth Headphones

Bose Noise-Cancelling Bluetooth Headphones

Amazon

Why We Love It: The comfortable and lightweight earcups allow you to follow asleep easily.

What to Consider: Bluetooth headphones are not (yet) compatible with most airline entertainment systems, so bring a backup pair of corded buds if you plan to fall asleep watching an in-flight movie.

A pair of noise-canceling headphones is a must-have while traveling. For serious travelers who are willing to drop a pretty penny for a night of sound sleep, these may be worth it. For those seeking the noise-canceling power of these headphones for a fraction of the cost, consider the Rohm portable white-noise machine. Although this product is more suited for a hotel room than an airplane, it gets high reviews for effectiveness.

Price at time of publish: $379

Kiehl's Facial Fuel Eye De-Puffer

4
Kiehls facial fuel eye de-puffer

Kiehl's

Why We Love It: It comes in a TSA-approved container and is easy to use right from your seat.

What to Consider: This may not be suitable for sensitive skin, so be sure to give this product a test run before your big vacation.

Before you scoff at the seemingly superfluous nature of this product, it's worth giving it a try on your next long flight. This eye de-puffer by Kiehl's refreshes and cools your under eye area. Made with caffeine, it will help reduce puffiness after a long (or overnight) flight.

Price at time of publish: $22

Lysol Disinfecting Wipes

Lysol Disinfectant Wipes

Amazon

Why We Love It: Each pack holds 15 wipes, so you can continue to use throughout your trip wherever you go.

What to Consider: Disinfecting wipes are great for cleaning surfaces, but should not replace hand sanitizers.

We'll do you a favor and refrain from delving into the statistics behind bacteria and germs on the average commercial airliner. If you're losing sleep on planes because of the mental ick factor of traveling in a less-than-sterile environment, carrying these on-the-go Lysol wipes for your tray table and armrests may help ease your mind.

Price at time of publish: $15

Travelrest Travel Blanket

4-in-1 Premier Class Travel Blanket

Amazon

Why We Love It: Not only is it the perfect size for a travel blanket, but it's machine washable, making your life easier after you return home.

What to Consider: Just like any blanket, it's a bit bulky, so may not fit inside your carry-on luggage.

You might not have ever thought to bring your own blanket on an airplane, but doing so is a real game changer. You can wear this travel blanket from Travelrest as a poncho, so there's no question that you'll be warm and cozy during your flight. It can also be folded up and used as a neck or lumbar support pillow.

Price at time of publish: $30

Tips for Buying Travel Accessories

Prioritize comfort

No one wants to start their trip cranky and tired. If you're determined to sleep during your flight, you should bring anything necessary to get the rest you need. If you can't sleep unless it's quiet, splurge for those noise-canceling headphones. Don't like the light? Bring an eye mask that fits you best. Only you know what you need to maximize your comfort.

Consider carry-on space

Some items you need to make a flight extra comfortable may be too large to pack in carry-on luggage. If you're taking a quick weekend trip or not checking a bag, you may need to pack strategically, so consider what you absolutely need for the flight, and what items you'll also need throughout your trip. Prioritize travel accessories that can be used in more than one way to cut down on extra accessories if you're short on space.

Why Trust Travel + Leisure

For this article, Travel+Leisure contributor Stephanie Walden and ecommerce editor Madeline Diamond used their expertise as travel writers to select the best accessories travelers may need to sleep well on their next flight.

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Additional reporting by
Taylor Fox
Taylor Fox, Commerce Updates Writer at Travel + Leisure
Taylor Fox is a Commerce Updates Writer at Travel + Leisure where she tests, researches, and writes about travel products. Taylor holds a Master’s in Geography and has been a writer and editor for over seven years.
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