Anyone who travels frequently knows the importance of a good travel pillow. The difference between a comfortable and difficult flight can color the whole memory of a trip. Neck cramps and discomfort can ruin a vacation and cast a shadow over any business trip. A good travel pillow prevents these issues. It’s worth investing in a decent one.

The classic travel pillow has something of a horseshoe shape. There’s an opening that sits at the front of the neck. The cushioned part supports the back and sides of the neck. There are still many travel pillows made on this model. The old classics are still going strong, whether they’re filled with polyfill or small foam beads. However, there have been some innovations, even with the most common design. Memory foam versions offer better support for users. Best of all, there are many affordable memory foam filled travel pillows on the market today. There are popular versions on Amazon for as low as $12.

For people with chronic neck pain, there are traction-style travel pillows. Though these can look imposing, users swear by them. A typical cervical neck traction device is air-filled. Users inflate until it feels right for them. These devices don’t just support the neck. They also stretch the neck and keep the head lifted so that vertebrae do not become compressed.

Some travelers have long bemoaned the gap in the traditional travel pillow. One wrong movement in their sleep can lead to serious neck pain. Luckily, wraparound travel pillows with interlocking ends have been developed. They wrap around the neck almost like a fitted scarf. This ensures the opening stays closed. It keeps the head in place, instead of allowing it to fall forward.

Though the horseshoe is by far the most common shape for a travel pillow, there are other versions, too. Some are made to bend and be adjustable. Some travel pillows are simple wedges that sit behind the neck. One popular option has an innovative cross-body design. This inflatable cushion is a great option for people who sleep on their sides. It provides ample support, and with a price point of about $30, it’s a great investment. This pillow also inflates and deflates quickly, for maximum convenience.