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View of a full plane cabin from the back
diy13 | Adobe Stock

6 Hacks for Maximum Airplane Seat Comfort

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.

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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

Woman wearing a blue travel neck pillow and yellow headphones sleeping on a plane
New Africa | Adobe Stock

It may seem a no-brainer, but 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

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 3 colors.

Neck Pillow

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

Adjustable Travel Pillow

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.

Lumbar Support

Close up of person zipping up the AirComfy lumbar pillow in its removable case

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

You’ll get support without taking up space in your bag with this inflatable lumbar support pillow from AirComfy. Available in 2 colors.

Classic 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. Its ergonomic construction is designed to relieve pressure.

Seat Cushions

ComfiLife and XtremeComforts gel 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.

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.

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.

Foot Rest

Close up of person using the Angemay foot hammock footrest on airplane

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.

Foot Hammock

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.

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

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.

Wear Comfortable Clothing

Close up of woman wearing cozy sweater and listing to music while using her laptop on an airplane
tonefotografia | Adobe Stock

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.


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

Lounge Pants

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

Thick Slipper Sock

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.

Cozy Fleece

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.

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