Unless you’re flying in first or business, traveling on an airplane can be tough. You’re squished, the seats aren’t comfortable, and where do you put your legs?!

Some people overcompensate by dressing a little too comfortable when flying, but you don’t want to be that person.

How to be Comfortable on an Airplane

Here are some simple tips that will help make your next flight much more pleasant, especially if you are checking a bag and are using your carry-on specifically for in-flight essentials.

Travel Pillows

It may seem a no-brainer, and I will admit, it took me a while to buy one of my own, after many years of envying all the people I saw with them at the airport. Don’t make the same mistake I did. Buy one! You’ve got your pick of styles these days, and your neck will thank you when you land.

All-in-one Travel Pillow

woman with blue travelrest pillow, hand holding folded up blue travelrest pillow

This pillow from Travelrest keeps your head from falling forward and is inflatable, so it rolls up nicely as to not take up a lot of room in your carry-on. Available in 2 colors.

User Review: "I have tried many travel pillows and have not liked any of them. I tried this one, and right away, I knew I liked it. Can't wait to try it on my next trip to Ireland. "

Price: $25.95 on Amazon

Average Star Rating: 3.9

Neck Pillow

woman with neck pillow on airplane, red folded up travel pillow by trtl

This neck pillow from Trtl is scientifically proven to "provide the ergonomic support that you need to sleep comfortably" on long-haul flights.

User Review: "At first I wasn't too keen on the neck pillow, but after using and getting used to it, I am loving it! I now have 2 one black one and one teal colored one. I would definitely recommend this pillow to anyone who travels a lot! Not only does it fit easily into my bag but also very light."

Price: $29.99 on trtltravel.com

Average Star Rating: 4.7

Adjustable Travel Pillow

woman with FaceCradle travel pillow on airplane, forward leaning, side leaning

If you are never sure what sleeping position you may want, this is the travel pillow for you. Use it 6 different ways, including a traditional neck pillow, side neck support, and forward support.

User Review: "Used this on a flight from LAX to London. This has got to be one of the best products I have ever purchased. I'm still suffering from a rear-end whiplash accident, and this truly saved my neck. I was able to fall into a deep sleep for several hours and not wake up with a kinked or sore neck. I highly recommend this!"

Price: $49.99 on Amazon

Average Star Rating: 3.9

Related Article: 7 Shameless Ways to Make a Flight More Comfortable

Lumbar Support

Ever been next to a fidgety passenger? It’s annoying. Bring a simple lumbar support pillow, and your seat neighbor won’t spend the entire flight wondering if you’re uncomfortable or in desperate need of the toilet. Forgot to bring your pillow? Use a pillow from the plane, along with the blanket to create your own. It will make a world of difference.

Inflatable Lumbar Support

air comfy lumbar support pillow in hot pink, close up of inflation

You'll get support without taking up space in your bag with this inflatable lumbar support pillow from AirComfy. Available in 7 colors.

User Review: "I really like this pillow. The quality is very good, is not heavy and folds relatively small, and it is very comfortable to use in a plane or in the car. I have tried different lumbar pillows and this has been the best option."

Price: Starting at $19.99 on Amazon

Average Star Rating: 4.1

Classic Lumbar Pillow

Black Milliard lumbar support pillow, airplane seat with lumbar pillow

This is your typical lumbar support pillow. While it may seem a bit bulky to take with you on a plane, it will be worth it in the end. It contours to your back, relieving pressure.

User Review: "I like it! Supports my low and middle back. I am going to sit on a plane for 11 hours and take the pillow with me.
I have sciatica and hope that it will help me."

Price: $19.99 on Amazon

Average Star Rating: 4.4

Seat Cushions

Like the lumbar support, added padding to your bottom well allow you to relax just that much more and save you from a sore bum at the end of the flight. There are plenty of seat cushions you can take with you, but if you forget, or you don’t feel like carrying yet another item, you can always use a pillow or blanket from the plane.

Inflatable Seat Cushion

A simple, small way to give yourself some extra comfort on the plane, this inflatable cushion by Therm-a-Rest will do the trick.

User Review: "Self inflating, lightweight and compact seat cushion will be ideal for "boardlike" airline seats. Highly recommend."

Price: $24.95 on Amazon

Average Star Rating: 4.5

Gel Seat Cushion

Gel Seat Cushion

While a bit bulkier than an inflatable seat, this seat cushion has a built-in handle, making it easy to take along on your travels. It is ergonomically designed and has a slip-proof rubber bottom, perfect for keeping you firmly (and comfortably) in your seat through any turbulence.

User Review: "Best product to buy for back pain. I have been using it for 2 years. Best!!!!! That’s all I can say about this."

Price: $34.95 on Amazon

Average Star Rating: 4.4

Orthopedic Memory Foam Seat Cushion

This memory foam pillow is your run of the mill seat cushion and will get the job done if you're looking for something basic that you know will work.

User Review: "This cushion gives great comfort and relief to the lower back and glutes. It has a textured bottom, so it stays put on your chair. It also has a zipper cover."

Price: $37.99 on Amazon

Average Star Rating: 4.4

Foot Rest

I constantly need to put my feet up on something to give myself the best ergonomic positioning, and one of these footrests can do wonders while you’re traveling.

Blow-up Foot Rest

I realize this may seem ridiculous, but it will make your flight 100 times better. This blow-up footrest from Sunany will be the envy of all your flight companions and can be used for kids to stretch out onto from their seat.

User Review: "I've purchased a similar product before, but this one is better and cheaper. Good quality with special valves that make it easier to inflate. The valves have a flap to prevent air from escaping, allowing you to rest and catch your breath without losing air that's already in."

Price: $19.89 on Amazon

Average Star Rating: 4.5

Foot Hammock

man with feet resting on foot hammock on airplane, woman with feet in foot hammock by angemay

This is one of those things you will see someone with and think, "I wish I had one of those." Attach it to the tray in front of you, and you have instant comfort.

User Review: "It’s amazing & it doesn’t affect the person in the seat in front of you. Footrest solution for long (I’m 6ft tall) or short legs (my friend is 5’1 and used it too)."

Price: $5.99 on Amazon

Average Star Rating: 4.2

Arm Rest Divider

We all know that one of flying’s greatest battles is the armrest conundrum. Throw this into your carry-on bag, and relax: you both will get the shared armrest.

Fold Up Divider

armrest divider, divider folded up

This armrest divider from Soarigami folds up nice and small and ensures that everyone is happy. You'll be the most popular person on the plane when you whip this out- making everyone around you more comfortable.

User Review: "Quality product. I bought one for myself and after using it, I bought a second one for my dad who travels often. If you're like me and enjoy having space to rest your arms when you fly, this is what you've been missing. Fairly easy to carry as well, which is always a plus.

Price: $19.99 on Amazon

Average Star Rating: 4

Wear Comfortable Clothing

Please listen to me. Wear pants with an elastic waist that you can comfortably move in. Pretend you are going to a yoga class. Just wear something you can sit comfortably in, stretch in, and move around in. If for some reason I will never understand, jeans are comfortable for you, then go for it. However, I’d go way more casual. Wear slip-on shoes. This way, you can slyly slip them off, and give yourself maximum comfort.


woman in black sweaty betty leggings

Get a pair of nicer leggings, like these from Sweaty Betty.

User Review: "I usually have a tough time finding leggings that fit, but these are great. While most leggings are short on me, these stretch comfortably length-wise. The fabric is very soft and comfortable."

Price: $108 on Sweaty Betty

Average Star Rating: 4.5

Lounge Pants

mans legs wearing black polo ralph lauren lounge pants

If you really don’t care what you look like, these lounge pants for men are perfect.

User Review: "Love these. Got the black color and its typical Polo medium black, not a saturated black. But the fabric is nice and if taken care of should last a really long time. Great for those lazy weekend mornings."

Price: $38.00 on Nordstrom.com

Average Star Rating: 4.5

Thick Slipper Sock

womans legs in jeans wearing tee hee slipper socks

I’d even dare to say bring along a thick slipper sock to really enhance your experience. If you do slip off your shoe, you'll feel more relaxed in a thick, cozy sock.

User Review: "Very nice and cozy and comfortable socks. Keep your feet warm whenever you wear them! One thing to keep in mind: When going through Homeland Security at the airport, the silver threads will trigger the alarm. So place them in a tray before proceeding through Security!"

Price: Packs of 2 Starting at $10.99 on Amazon

Average Star Rating: 4.5

Cozy Fleece

A man and a women wearing North Face fleece sweatshirts

Don’t forget to bring something cozy in case it gets chilly, like a nice fleece from The North Face like these for men and women.

User Review: n/a

Price: $65.00 for Men, $99.00 for Women

Average Star Rating: n/a

All products and services mentioned on Airfarewatchdog are independently selected by our team of expert travelers. If you buy something through our links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

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