It really doesn’t matter if you’re an exec that flies business and sleeps at the Ritz or a backpacker that takes the redeye and books a dorm: having a dedicated travel pillow case will improve your sleep.
It was a college friend that first told me about bringing a pillow case from home when I travel and while I didn’t grasp the idea at the time, it quickly became something that I won’t leave home without for a few main reasons.
What Is a Travel Pillow Case?
It’s just what it sounds like – a pillow case you only use when you’re traveling. It can be any shape, any color, and any material (though some materials are better than others, which I’ll touch on later), but it should only be used for traveling.
Why not use it at home? Good question – the answer is that if it gets into regular laundry circulation you are more likely to forget it when the time comes to pack – I wash mine after each trip and toss it back into my bag so I don’t forget.
Why not use a pillow case from home? Also a good question, one that my sister learned the answer to the hard way when she brought a pillowcase from her bed and left it in Europe. Unless you want to run the risk of having mix-matched pillows on your bed upon your return, spend the money to buy a dedicated travel pillowcase and ONLY USE IT WHEN YOU TRAVEL!
Why Does It Matter if I Use a Travel Pillow Case?
For the longest time, it didn’t matter to me what my bed or pillowcase looked like – all sleep was created equal and a bed was a bed was a bed.
Until I had the bed from hell in Cambodia.
Seriously, after arriving on a late night bus I got the last room at a hostel and it looked like the sheets and pillow cases were made by hand and then never washed. It was terrible.
Since then I’ve heeded my friend’s advice and included a travel pillow case (and sheet, depending on the destination) whenever I pack. Now I don’t have to worry about how my pillow will smell or whether or not it’s clean – I just break that bad boy out as soon as I unpack, slip it on, and know that I’m resting my head on a little piece of home.
In addition (and oddly enough), I’ve found some materials are more likely to make my face break out so bringing a pillow case that I trust saves me that risk as well.
What Makes a Good Travel Pillow Case?
There is no secret to what makes a quality pillowcase – my advice is to buy something identical to the one (in size and material) you have at home. If you’re like me and had no idea what your pillowcase is made of, here’s a fabric cheatsheet for your Amazon shopping pleasure:
- Polyester: cheapest, a little rough for my taste
- Silk: best for your skin, most expensive
- Cotton: most breathable, can absorb oils and irritate skin if not cleaned
- Cotton/Silk blend: the best of both worlds and what I use for my travel pillow case
Want More? Here Are 5 Travel Pillow Cases for Your Next Trip
Take my advice and don’t stress about getting the best travel pillow case – it will undoubtedly get stained, torn, or lost during some future trip and the more time you spend finding the best one now the more it will stress you out then.
Get something in a color you like that’s made with the fabric you prefer – you’ll likely have to buy at least 2 so keep one as a backup should the first one get sacrificed to the travel gods.
Spasilk Satin Hair Beauty Travel Pillow Case
The SpaSilk Silky Satin Hair Pillow Case tops the list of our favorite travel pillowcases because it is both affordable as well as optimized for healthy hair and skin. Let’s face it, when we’re traveling, sometimes we don’t want to have to do our hair our keep up with our regular beauty routine. With this SpaSilk travel pillowcase, however, you don’t have to worry about bedhead because it’s been created to stop bedhead from happening altogether! Its smooth satin weave allows hair to glide smoothly along its surface, helping to avoid split ends and messy bed head.
In regards to keeping up your beauty routine, sometimes that is simply not going to be an option. If you travel light like I do for trips (sometimes just bringing a carry-on for the weekend), then odds are you do not have the space for your multi-step face and skincare routine. If that’s the case for you, you can rest assured that this travel pillow case has been created to help minimize wrinkles, meaning you can relax knowing you are still taking care of yourself while you sleep.
This luxurious travel pillow case comes in a variety of colors, but my favorite color remains “blush.”
American Pillowcase 100% Egyptian Cotton Travel Pillow Case
Making it second on our list of the best travel pillow cases, American Pillowcase’s set of 2 100% Egyptian Cotton is luxury travel at its finest! These are luxury hotel quality, meaning you get a durable and soft pillowcase that you can travel with for a long time. Although this material is smooth and soft, it is not going to provide the same beauty benefits that you can find with the likes of satin and silk. That said, its high thread count means it will maintain its integrity and softness until the end of time.
These pillowcases make our list of the top travel pillowcases for those who do not like silk but still want the softness and luxuriousness of a premium travel pillow case. Keep in mind, if you purchase this set, that you will receive two pillowcases. You heard me right, it’s practically like getting one free!
YANIBEST 100% Mulberry Silk
Making it among our list of the 5 best travel pillow cases, YANIBEST offers a 100% Grade-A mulberry silk travel pillow case that feels like you’re lying on a sweet, puffy cloud. Similar to SpaSilk’s satin pillow case, the YANIBEST pillow is known for helping to reduce wrinkles, except in an even more natural form – 100% silk. This pillow helps to reduce wrinkles, is hypoallergenic, breathable, and downright comfy.
This pillow also helps to reduce split-ends and hair damage, as the hair simply slides along the silk rather than getting messed up during sleep. If your hair is easily damaged, this could be a really great travel pillowcase for you, as not only will it help reduce damage, but it will also reduce bedhead along the way so that you can wake up and go adventure! Keep in mind that to maintain integrity of this pillowcase, it is recommended that you hand wash or dry clean this travel pillow case. Simply drop it off at your local dry cleaner’s after you get back from your trip and then set this pillow aside until your next trip!
19mm 100% Mulberry Silk with Cotton Underside Travel Pillow Case
Here we have another 100% mulberry silk pillowcase, but it’s a bit different than the other one that made our list of best travel pillow cases. One one side is 100% silk, and on the other side is cotton! You get the same benefits of 100% silk, including a natural wrinkle and split-end reducer, but with the cotton underside, you can guarantee that the pillow doesn’t slide allover the bed while you are sleeping!
I love the luxury of silk pillow cases, but if you are sleeping in silk sheets, you can find yourself slipping around under the covers, and, to be honest, one of the best pillowcases is the one that stays under your head during the entire night. This is a perfect combination to make silk pillowcases practical while also helping to provide a natural beauty alternative. Personally, I find the purple and dark red options to be a bit too aggressive for sleep, so I would opt in for either the light blue, light plum, or ivory color choices. We hope you like this travel pillow case as much as we do!
MYK 100% Mulberry Silk with Cotton Underside
If the last travel pillow case didn’t trip your trigger, maybe you will like MYK’s travel pillowcase a little more. Here we’ve got another 100% mulberry silk pillow case on one side with a cotton underside to prevent slippage. Hair stays hydrated and strong with silk protein while wrinkles stay at bay throughout the night. This travel pillowcase is able to maintain its integrity with a cold machine wash, which makes it a bit more practical than the hand wash / dry clean varieties.
To take care of this travel pillowcase, you can a dallop of your favorite hair conditioner to its rinse water, which helps to keep the silk smooth and flexible. This travel pillow case comes at a fraction of the cost, as you are investing in only half of a silk pillowcase. You can splurge and buy two of these pillowcases, if you so desire, and always keep one color as your designated travel pillow case and the other color for home!
Do you bring your travel pillow case with you on your adventures? Let us know where your travel pillowcase has joined you and why you think it’s worth packing along for the ride! Comment below!