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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.

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
  • 😴Supportive In Flight Rest: Our airplane pillow has a raised lobe design that supports your head and neck no matter your sleeping position, so you can rest comfortably
  • 👍Helps with Neck Discomfort: Sleeping upright in your seat can lead to neck stiffness. With our flight pillow, you get the support you need to stay in the proper sitting position

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, Hand Luggage Belt and Backpack Clip (Grey)
  • 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 companion. At 65” in length and 40” in width the ultra cosy blanket is large enough to keep you and your friend warm. Our patent pending travel blanket is perfect for locations such as the car, plane, airport, camping and many more.
  • 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 fuzzy feel that is soft to the touch.
  • 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.
  • ATTACH IT TO YOUR SUITCASE OR BACKPACK: The hand luggage sleeve at the back of the carrying case allows you to easily attach it to your suitcase. The included backpack clip / carabiner allows you to clip the travel blanket to any backpack or your luggage.
  • THE EVERSNUG PROMISE: We at EverSnug stand behind our products with the greatest confidence that you, our customer will love our products just as much as we do. However, if for any reason you did not fall in love with your product, we have your back by providing a 100% love it or your money back guarantee.

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, Fast Pair, wireless charging, in black
  • 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
  • Power up easily on the go with JBL Live Pro+ TWS Speed Charge and Qi-compatible wireless charging, meaning your audio stays with you all day long with up to 7 hours of playback plus 21 in the case
  • Note: Make sure that the headphones are charged for a longer period of time like charging it overnight
Beats Studio3 Wireless Noise Cancelling Over-Ear Headphones - Apple W1 Headphone Chip, Class 1 Bluetooth, Active Noise Cancelling, 22 Hours Of Listening Time, Built-in Microphone - Blue
  • High-performance wireless noise cancelling headphones
  • Compatible with iOS and Android devices.
  • Pure adaptive noise canceling (pure ANC) actively blocks external noise
  • Real-time Audio calibration preserves a Premium listening experience
  • Up to 22 hours of battery life enables full-featured all-day wireless playback

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 Light 100% Eye Shade Cover, Adjustable Strap Foam Eye Mask Blindfold, Travel/Naps/Yoga/Plane/Night
  • 😎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
  • 🚢Warm Tips about Odor: If you find a little peculiar smell, please don't worry that is normal for just-produced cloth. No any toxic, only need hours sun or air-cure,or just hand wash in water below 40 ℃.
  • ✈️First Try, then Decide: We support 360 days service for you.If you do not like it, you could be retund & refunded unconditionally. Why not try it out? And then decide whether to buy it or not!

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?

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 & Portable Plane Leg Rest, Provides Relaxation and Comfortable for Long Flight
  • 【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 working a whole day at office,traveling by airplane,train,bus,steamboat and self-driving tour rest.Making you work relaxed and travel more enjoyable.
  • 【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 drawstring carry bag.If you have too much stuffs to handle and have no space to place your airplane foot rest.Just hang on the luggage case or thrown into the backpack without taking too much space or adding too much weight.
  • 【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 resting on pillows.It use three nails and two straps to form a triangle,more sturdy and durable,and we also added a lock to reinforce the strap.
  • 【Longer Adjustable Straps】Adjustable strap designed to suit exactly your height,the min length 22.83”to the max length 33.85”(appr.)The travel footrest suitable for different people,whether you are men,women,kids,adult or child.
  • 【Easy To Use & Install】Just hook the string part of the footrest onto sides of any desk,and place your feet in footrest.Enjoy it with the tray table up or down.Adjustable straps allows for the perfect length to provide the necessary support.To use as a foot rest under desk at work,suspend strap ends under desk on hook (30 pounds minimum load,heavy duty adhesive hook recommended) and adjust for desired length.NOTE:Hooks not included!

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 - Sensory Premium Weighted Blanket - Sleep Aid & Comforter for Deep Relaxation - Stress & Anxiety Relief for Adults & Children - Oeko-Tex Certified - Double, 6.8kg, 200 x 150cm
  • 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 hug, allowing you to calm down and find deep relief
  • 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 fall asleep quicker. It’s perfect for adults and children
  • 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, stress, anxiety and autism disorders
  • 365 DAY & NIGHT COMFORT - This year-round sensory blanket is breathable, 100% Oeko-Tex Certified and hypoallergenic. The double-sided duvet cover can be easily removed for hot summers or kept on for warmth in the winter. The outer cover is machine washable
  • FIND YOUR PERFECT SIZE: Medical experts recommend using a heavy blanket of around 10% of your body weight. Blyss is available in single 5.4kg (180 x 120cm) and double 6.8kg (200 x 150cm) sizes. Keep your Blyss safe with the included drawstring bag

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 & Relaxing Roll-On) - Infused with Lavender & Chamomile Essential Oils. Vegan Friendly & Cruelty Free.
  • UK's No.1 Sleep Brand*
  • Encourages a state of calm and tranquility
  • The perfect way to help you relax and unwind before bed.
  • Containing a special blend of lavender and chamomile essential oils
  • ✓ Vegan Friendly
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 and in the car - featuring securing device to keep your device safe
  • 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
  • TabletHookz have multiple viewing angles to cater for young children to tall adults
  • TabletHookz feature a device securing mechanisms to keep your tablet / phone safe

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.

2L / 64oz Water Bottle Stainless Steel, Girls Boys Water Bottle Double Walled Vacuum Insulated Water Bottles, BPA Free Friendly Bottle with Leak Proof Flex Cap with Strap,Wide Mouth,12H Hot & 24H Cold
  • ⏱️ 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 water.The liquid can be fresh in its best taste for a whole day.★ Wear a carry string with your bottle. A carry string is recommended for bottles filled with water.
  • ✨ 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, and camping, helping you to stay refreshed and hydrated to lead an active lifestyle.Warm Tips: They are not dishwasher safe.
  • ♻️ 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 is 100% BPA free and non-toxic which will never leave a metal taste or rust. For the safest water bottle that won't leech chemicals!
  • 💧 LEAK-PROOF SPOUT LID: Leak-proof design, the two twisted openings of the lid have silicone gaskets; the small bottle mouth design, with natural curvature, conforms to the shape of the mouth when people drink water. Wide mouth design, convenient to add ice, fruit, protein and more, easy to clean.
  • 📝WARRANTY SERVICES: 100% Customer and product satisfaction warranty: We stand behind our products and have great faith in our products. HEVSD is committed to high standards of durable and robust materials. HEVSD guarantees this product with a limited lifetime warranty against manufacturer defects.
  • 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
  • Soft toothbrush bristles to gently clean teeth