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The 14 best flight accessories for sleeping on a plane (even in economy!)

The 14 best flight accessories for sleeping on a plane (even in economy!)

If you want to get some shut eye on your next flight then here are the best flight accessories for sleeping on a plane.

To sleep on a plane you need to be:

  1. Comfortable
  2. Warm (but not hot)
  3. Able to block out everything around you

Thankfully there are plenty of flight accessories to help you sleep.

Here we go, the best products for sleeping on a plane.

Let’s start with the comfort…

U-Shaped Memory Foam Flight Pillow

I’ve tried so many flight pillows, from weird and wonderful shapes to different fillings, textures and materials. All of them.

I’ve found the best pillow for a flight is a U-shaped memory foam pillow. They usually sell these in the airport but they’re much cheaper to buy online.

Everlasting Comfort Memory Foam Travel Pillow - Airplane Neck Rest & Plane Accessories (Black)
  • 💺No Longer Struggle with Uncomfortable Airline Seats: Made with premium memory foam, our neck pillow adapts to your shoulders and neck to cradle and support your upper body during long flights
  • 🧺Stays Fresh in Between Flights: Making sure your plane pillow is always ready for travel is easy. Simply remove the cover and toss in the wash on the gentle cycle. Tumble dry with no heat
  • ✔️Compact and Easy to Take With You: Lightweight, our memory foam neck pillow is the perfect travel partner. Convenient travel bag is easy to carry in your hand, on luggage, or in car trunk

Stay warm and cosy during your flight

The temperature on most flights is between 22-24 degrees Celsius, but it can often feel much chillier when you’re sat still for hours on end.

I recommend wearing:

EverSnug Travel Blanket and Pillow - Premium Soft 2 in 1 Airplane Blanket with Soft Bag Pillowcase,...
  • THE PERFECT TRAVEL COMPANION: Forget thin airline blankets that never keep you warm, the EverSnug Travel Blanket is a lightweight and extra comfy all-season blanket that is the perfect travel...
  • PREMIUM MICRO PLUSH FABRIC: Our carefully crafted Microplush Blanket is ultra soft and lush, you wont want ever take it off! Made with our exclusive premium microfleece yarns, creating a velvety and...
  • USE IT AS A PILLOW OR A BLANKET: Not only does the travel blanket keep you warm when needed, the Microplush carrying case can also act as the perfect place to rest your head.

Read more: 7 stylish airplane outfits and inspiration for comfy travel outfits

Noise cancelling headphone too block out everything around you

To block out the noises and lights around you you’re going to need a good pair or noise cancelling headphones and an eye mask.

When it comes to noise cancelling headphones, you have two options:

  1. Earbuds
  2. Over ear headphones

Personally, I prefer ear buds because they’re small and easy to travel with. I know they can get a little uncomfortable after hours of use and it can be difficult to lean on your ear if you have an earbud in. But I’ll still take earbuds due to the convenience of them being small.

Over ear headphones are bulkier but generally comfier on your ears, although they’re also awkward if you want to lean on one side of your head while you sleep.

I have the JBL Live Pro+ TWS earbuds and I love them.

I also have the Beats Studio 3 wireless over ear headphones and these are great.

JBL LIVE PRO+ TWS - True Wireless In-ear Noise Cancelling Bluetooth Headphones with 28-hour battery,...
  • Live Pro+ TWS wireless headphones are small but powerful, with 11 mm dynamic drivers for incredible JBL Signature Sound all day, every day and are compatible with Hey Google, Alexa, iOS and Android
  • Adaptive noise cancelling ensures zero distractions when you focus on your studies or get your groove on, while Smart Ambient allows you to hear the world around you without removing your earphones
  • Live Pro+ TWS wireless earbuds feature 3-mics technology with a feedback mic for wind suppression and environmental noise reduction and dual beamforming mics to capture your voice with crystal clarity
Beats Studio3 Wireless Noise Cancelling Over-Ear Headphones - Apple W1 Headphone Chip, Class 1...
  • High-performance wireless noise cancelling headphones
  • Compatible with iOS and Android devices.
  • Pure adaptive noise canceling (pure ANC) actively blocks external noise

What’s the best eye mask to sleep on a plane?

You’ll also want an eye mask but don’t get any old eye mask. The best masks for planes are ones with slightly raised 3D pockets for your eyes. The 3D shape ensures things stay dark without the mask feeling tight, restrictive or weird when you try to blink.

onaEz Sleep Mask for Women & Men, 3D Comfort Ultra Soft Premium Eye Mask for Sleeping, Block Out...
  • 😎Keep All Light Out: Inner side adds soft and adjustable nose bridage for 100% Light blocking all the way around the nose,no matter what size of your nose.
  • 🚝No Touching Your Eyelids & Eyes: Unique eye-shaped structure left enough space for eyes moving, no pressure comparing with common sleep mask.
  • 🏡Comfortable & Breathable: Made of premuim memory foam with soft silk lining, for breathable and comfortable experience; adjustable strap for 99% women and men

The 6 things you need to help you sleep on a plane (even in economy!)

Realistically, there are just 6 things you need to help you sleep on a plane…

  1. U-shaped memory foam pillow
  2. Cosy sweatshirt
  3. Travel blanket
  4. Warm socks
  5. Noise cancelling headphones
  6. 3D eye mask

But are there any other gadgets, gizmos or accessories that might help you sleep on a plane?

The best products for sleeping on a plane are…

A portable footrest

There are two types of portable footrests you can get for planes. 

One is a hammock footrest which loops onto the arms of your food tray. I think some airlines could moan about this (Ryanair, I’m talking to you) but the reviews are good and it would be easy to hide (especially if you have a window seat) as it sits under your tray. 

The other is an inflatable footrest. You can half fill this to whatever height you like, or fully inflate it so it’s as high as your plane seat and can make a little bed for babies and toddlers.

Airplane Footrest - Best Travel Foot Rest, Airplane Travel Accessories, No Clashing Foot Hammock &...
  • 【Multi Occasions】Wherever you are,this Footrest will give a super comfort to your feet.The hanging footrest will relieve the stress on your back,knees,improves body circulation.Works great in...
  • 【Lightweight and Compact】Weight:3.2oz (90g),folded size 8.66*2.36*1.97 inch.This space-saving designed easily fits into your carry-on luggage or favorite flight travel bag.Includes a handy...
  • 【High Quality Travel Gadgets】This airplane footrest is crafted with high-quality soft premium foam material,greatly enhance your travel experience.It’s like sitting in a recliner with your feet...

Weighted blanket

A weighted anxiety travel blanket

Many people find weighted blankets to be comforting and therefore help reduce stress and anxiety and help you sleep. This weighted blanket comes with a small canvas bag which makes it easier to travel with.

TheaWellbeing Blyss Premium Weighted Blanket Adult, 6.8kg, 200 x 150cm Sleep Aid & Comforter for...
  • A MOMENT OF BLYSS - Goodbye stress, hello Blyss. This weighted anxiety blanket is ideal for stress relief, insomnia and restless leg syndrome. It provides Deep Pressure Stimulation similar to a gentle...
  • BLISSFUL NIGHT’S REST - This heavy blanket’s 7-layer design and noiseless glass bead inner evenly distribute weight to your body. This helps put you in a state of ultimate relaxation, helping you...
  • KEEP CALM - The heavy comforter helps to ground you, letting you produce blissful hormones that can leave you more relaxed and in a better mood. Ideal for alleviating the daily effects of depression,...

White noise apps

If the silence of your noise cancelling headphones isn’t working for you, but the noise of the plane is…well too noisy then try white noise apps.

Personally, I find them really irritating and can’t listen to them! But my husband loves them.

Download a couple of free ones to find the ones you like.

Lavender scented products

If certain scents help you relax then it might be worth getting something like a lavender pillow mist, essential oils, balms or moisturiser.

Personally, I wouldn’t say any of these products help me sleep but they are lovely and help me to relax. They make nice gifts for frequent travellers too!

Feather and Down Travel Essentials Gift Set

L’Occitane Lavender Hand Cream (travel size)

NEOM Perfect Night’s Sleep Pillow Mist

Feather & Down Travel Essentials Gift Set (Pillow Spray, Melting Shower Cream, Sleep Butter &...
  • UK's No.1 Sleep Brand*
  • Encourages a state of calm and tranquility
  • The perfect way to help you relax and unwind before bed.
Lavender Hand Cream (Travel Size) - 30ml
  • Lavender hand cream: leaves skin nourished and protected.
  • ENRICHED WITH: Shea Butter (nourishing & moisturising), Lavender Essential Oil from Haute-Provence (relaxing)
  • ADVICE: Apply to hands any time of the day and massage in to absorb.
NEOM- Perfect Night’s Sleep Pillow Mist, 5ml
  • HELPS YOU RELAX AND SLEEP - thanks to the expert blend of 14 purest possible essential oils including English Lavender, Chamomile and Patchouli
  • 88% CUSTOMERS HAD A BETTER NIGHT’S SLEEP on the Neom Sleep Programme. Consumer research trial involving 65 women undertaken July 2015
  • FORMULATED WITH 100% NATURAL FRAGRANCES - that not only smell wonderful but also have a relaxing effect on the mind and body

Phone or tablet holder

If you’re the kind of person who likes to fall asleep while watching a film or TV show then get yourself a phone or tablet holder so you can hang your device from the seat in front. You’ll then be hands free to fall asleep in peace.

It’s worth noting that most sleep experts agree that the light from phones and tablets actually makes it harder to sleep so it’s best to avoid this if possible.

TabletHookz v2 - hands free seat back entertainment device holder. Can be used on the plane, train...
  • Version 2.0 of TabletHookz is the latest model designed to fit more modern airline cabins in addition to older cabins.
  • TabletHookz allow you to create your own hands-free entertainment anywhere
  • TabletHookz can be used on planes, trains, cars and at home

My top technique for sleeping on a plane – Fake it ‘till you make it!

If you looked at me on a plane you’d probably think I was a Pro Plane Sleeper! But the truth is that I’m usually faking it.

I’ll be sat there with my eye mask on, my noise cancelling headphones drowning out the noise, my blanket wrapped tightly around me and my neck pillow helping me sit comfortably. But I’m probably not asleep. Not yet anyway!

My trick is simply to pretend I’m asleep and – as if by magic – I’ll be there soon enough.

Is there any benefit to resting without sleeping?

One thing that keeps me in this restful state while I pretend to be asleep is the knowledge that resting is also beneficial. 

While resting is no substitute for sleeping, calmly relaxing helps to conserve energy so you will feel more refreshed when you come out of the quiet wakeful state.

I like to remind myself of this when I start getting stressed that I’m not falling asleep.

We’ve all been there. You’re anxiously wriggling in your seat, fretfully trying to fall asleep while feeling stressed that you’re not asleep and counting down the hours before your red-eye flight arrives back into London and you need to go straight to work. You REALLY need to get some sleep! But the harder you try, the more sleep pervades you. 

Flight accessories for when you wake up

When you wake up after sleeping on a plane you’re going to feel gross.

The three things you really need will be water, caffeine and to brush your teeth ASAP. Brushing your teeth instantly freshens you up and just makes the world a better place.

I always travel with a large insulated water bottle (don’t forget you’ll have to empty this to go through security), a travel toothbrush and toothpaste and I’ll grab myself a coffee at the earliest opportunity.

64oz Water Bottle Stainless Steel, Girls Boys Water Bottle Double Walled Vacuum Insulated Water...
  • ⏱️ ANTI- SWEAT AND BURN FREE, KEEPS WATER 12Hrs HOT and 24Hrs COLD: The durable stylish powder coat helps enhance your grip and helps to keep the outer surface cool even when you put the hot...
  • ✨ VACUUM INSULATION WATER BOTTLE TRAVEL FRIENDLY: The large capacity of 64 ounces reduces the number of refills of water. The large water bottle makes it easier for you to enjoy traveling, hiking,...
  • ♻️ BPA FREE MATERIAL: Most cheaper plastic water bottles leech chemicals and alter the taste of your drink when refilled. The HEVSD water bottle is made up of 18/8 foodgrade Stainless steel that...
  • Easy-to-carry toothbrush folds into a compact size
  • Includes cover to keep bristles clean
  • Two levels of bristles to clean the surface and in between