Best Car Pillows

Updated October 2019
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
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Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
How we decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

44 Models Considered
7 Hours Researched
1 Experts Interviewed
239 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Buying guide for best car pillows

Last Updated October 2019

Do you dread driving in a car because the seats are just plain uncomfortable? Since buying new seats is expensive, consider using car pillows instead. Car pillows can provide support, relief, and comfort to drivers and passengers.

Car pillows come in all shapes and sizes to provide lumbar, neck, and lower body support. They offer varying levels of support based on the type of stuffing they contain; memory foam, regular foam, and poly fill are all common. The unique design of a car pillow can promote better alignment of the spine and improved posture, helping to relieve tension throughout the body. In fact, some people find them so helpful that they also use a car pillow in their home or office chair.

Finding the right support is personal, so you’ll want to compare features and benefits between styles. Our buying guide can help you choose a car pillow that makes you more comfortable for short rides and road trips alike.

You may need to adjust your seat settings to accommodate your car pillow. Lumbar pillows may require you to move the seat back a bit, and neck pillows may require adjustments to the angle of the headrest.

Key considerations

Car pillow styles


Lumbar pillow

Lumbar pillows sit at the small of your back to provide support to the lower back. They come in several sizes and can be as small as a neck pillow or large enough to span the length of your back. As lumbar pillows hold a great deal of your body weight, they’re usually made with quality memory foam to provide adequate support.

Neck pillow

Neck pillows are placed over the headrest and provide support to the nape of your neck. These help realign the cervical spine while you drive, as they fill the gap between the headrest and the top of the seat. Neck pillows tend to have similar measurements across the board, though some jut out more than others. For the most part, they’re made of either poly fill or memory foam.

Seatbelt pillow

Seatbelt pillows attach to the upper portion of the belt and provide a cushioned surface at the head and neck level. They don’t provide much in the way of support — they’re geared toward comfort more than anything. As such, they’re usually made with soft poly fill. They’re around eight to 12 inches in length and secure to the belt with Velcro.

Seat pillow

Seat pillows are placed on the car seat to provide support to your buttocks, hips, and lower body, all of which help realign your spine. They’re often used by those who suffer from back pain, sciatica, or other orthopedic conditions. Seat pillows are made with dense, high-grade memory foam because like lumbar pillows, they hold a significant amount of body weight.

Safety

Car pillows add comfort to your driving and sitting experience, but it’s important to keep safety in mind when using them. For one, car pillows shouldn’t hinder or obstruct a driver’s range of motion, especially when checking mirrors or looking over the shoulder for passing. If anything, a car pillow should be barely noticeable while you’re driving, and if it begins to become a distraction, it’s dangerous to continue using it.

As far as seatbelt pillows go, it’s recommended that only passengers use them. A seatbelt pillow shouldn’t change the way the seatbelt fits across the body, and there are safety implications if it doesn’t fit right. Therefore, you should only use a seatbelt pillow on passengers of an appropriate age, as young children can be suffocated or smothered by them.

EXPERT TIP

If your car pillow doesn’t have a machine washable cover, spot clean it regularly to keep stains and dirt at bay. You should also go over it when you vacuum your car’s interior.


Staff  | BestReviews

Features

Materials

Exterior

Car pillows are usually covered with soft materials to avoid chafing or irritation if they come into contact with skin. Plush and velour coverings are the most common, as they’re the softest. Mesh is popular, particularly in lumbar pillows, because of its breathability. Synthetic material blends including Spandex or Lycra are seen in various pillows as well.

Support fill

Car pillows utilize different materials for their support fill, which include memory foam, regular foam, and poly fill. Memory foam is usually seen in mid-range or premium pillows, as it’s more expensive to manufacture and shape. Regular foam is far less expensive and is typically used in car pillows that only offer fair support. Poly fill is most often used in neck and seatbelt pillows and is densely packed to provide firm yet soft support.

Removable covers

Premium car pillows come with removable covers that are secured with either a zipper or Velcro. These make care and cleaning simple since they’re often machine washable. Usually, they need to be hung or line dried — the heat in a dryer can damage the materials.

Adjustability

Certain car pillows come with adjustability options to improve the way they fit on your seat. Almost all neck pillows feature straps made adjustable by elastic bands or Velcro which fit around the headrest. Some lumbar pillows include similar strap systems which fit around the back of the seat.

EXPERT TIP

If you are a driver using a car pillow, make sure it’s a help and not a hindrance. If you have to adjust it constantly, it could become a dangerous distraction.


Staff  | BestReviews

Car pillow prices

Car pillows range in price from $15 to $50. Price is mostly determined by the type of support they offer and the grade of their support fill.

Inexpensive: If you spend between $15 and $20 on a car pillow, you end up with neck and seatbelt pillows. Styles in this category rarely have memory foam and instead normally have poly fill. That having been said, you still get decent support.

Mid-range: Mid-range car pillows cost between $20 and $35 and mostly include lumbar and seat pillows. These styles have memory foam and often have well-designed, ergonomic silhouettes. As a result, support and comfort level are consistently decent.

Expensive: Between $35 and $50, expect high-quality lumbar, seat, and neck pillows. These are individually sold or come in value packs. They use memory foam and often incorporate removable covers and adjustability options to improve their overall fit into your seat.

EXPERT TIP

Avoid leaving weighted objects on top of or against car pillows, especially those with memory foam. They can cause permanent indentations and warp the pillow’s shape.


Staff  | BestReviews

Tips

  • Adjust and secure all areas. To avoid unnecessary shifting while you’re using your car pillow, make sure all their adjustable areas are secured firmly.
  • Regularly spot clean your pillow. Car pillows take a lot of wear and tear, so regularly spot clean yours to keep dirt, spills, and stains at bay.
  • Consider buying one for gamers. Car pillows are great seat accessories for those who play computer games at home. They provide support and encourage better alignment of the spine, which is important for gamers who play for hours at a time.
  • Purchase one for postoperative comfort. For those who have postoperative restrictions on activity levels, lumbar pillows are helpful. As it’s likely the patient is spending a lot of time in a seated position, they make sitting more comfortable for extended periods of time.

Other products we considered

We also liked ComfiLife Gel Enhanced Seat Cushion, which provides incredible support and relief for those who suffer from sciatica and back pain. This ergonomically designed seat features layers of premium gel and memory foam helping to cradle your body in hard car seats lacking support. There’s no need to worry about this cushion moving around while you sit since it has a non-slip rubber bottom.

If you’d like substantial neck support, pick up Feagar Car Seat Neck Pillow, as it resolves the gap between your neck, seat, and headrest. Firm yet gentle support to the cervical spine is provided by this pillow’s high density memory foam and soft, breathable machine-washable cover. As your neck is in a more comfortable position, your spine also has the chance to realign, which in turn promotes better posture and more comfortable sitting. With two adjustable straps and pinch buckle closures, your pillow stays secure on the headrest. Best of all it has a one-year quality guarantee.

Car pillows with memory foam (as opposed to regular foam) mold to the shape of your body. If you don’t know which foam is in your pillow, press it with two fingers. If the material temporarily indents, it’s memory foam.

FAQ

Q. How long does it take for the memory foam of my car pillow to wear out?
A.
There are different grades of memory foam utilized for car pillows, so it varies between manufacturers. On average, expect a memory foam pillow to last for approximately three years of regular use. If you use it to drive for several hours a day on a regular basis, expect to replace yours annually.


Q. Can I use a lumbar pillow or a seat pillow in a regular chair?
A.
Yes. Some consumers opt to bring their pillow into the home or office to enjoy the ongoing comfort provided. It’s recommended to use lumbar and seat pillows on more rigid chairs, like office chairs or dining room seating. While they still provide comfort in softer, cushioned furniture, they are most effective on harder styles of seating.


Q. Can I bring my car pillow on a plane?
A.
Yes, and it will likely be counted as a personal item if it’s not stored in your carry-on bag. Like all other items brought onto planes, the car pillow is subject to TSA security check. Some passengers who bring pillows decide to cover them in a pillowcase for the duration of the flight. This protects them from germs that may be present throughout the airport or lingering on your plane seat.

The team that worked on this review
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    Eliza
    Production Manager
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    Enid
    Editor
  • Karen
    Karen
    Writer
  • Katherine
    Katherine
    Editor
  • Melinda
    Melinda
    Web Producer
  • Sian
    Sian
    Writer

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