These are the best products to help you sleep on a plane so you arrive at your destination well rested
Sleeping on a plane. Some people have no problems with it. Others really struggle.
If you’re one of those who struggles to get rest on a plane, or even if you just want to get better sleep on your next flight, you need to take a look at this list of the best products for sleeping on a plane.
You don’t need all of these products. I have had success with combining several of these travel sleep accessories to help me arrive at my destination more well rested than I would have been without them.
You can significantly improve your comfort and chances of getting some good rest on your next flight with these products.
And at the end of this post, you’ll find my best tips (sort of my routine) for falling asleep on an overnight flight.
This post includes affiliate links. If you make a purchase through one of these links, I may earn a small commission at no additional cost to you. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. See disclaimer.
Melatonin: my must-have product for sleeping on a plane
My preferred nonprescription (in the United States) sleep aid for air travel is melatonin.
I never travel without it, but I only use this to help me sleep on a plane when I have enough time on my flight to sleep for at least a few hours.
Related Post → How to Survive Long Flights in Economy
If you can get melatonin without a prescription and it works for you, I highly recommend you give it a try on your next long flight.
It costs literally just a few pennies per dose, and it’s the one thing that makes it more likely I can sleep on my long flight.
Hubby and I both use the same brand of Melatonin, but I prefer these 5mg fast dissolve tablets.
You don’t need water to take them, and I find that the fast dissolve version gets to work faster than the regular tablets.
5mg is just perfect for me. Hubby prefers a lower dose.
Please note that the fast dissolve tablets are NOT gluten-free. But they are vegetarian.
The thing I really like about melatonin is that it is drug free so I don’t feel groggy when I wake up.
And it helps me keep to a somewhat normal sleep schedule when I’m traveling.
Hubby can’t take the fast dissolve melatonin since it isn’t gluten free so these are the tablets he uses.
He also prefers to take only 2 mg, so he’ll take two of these 1 mg tablets to help with sleep.
Plus the next item on the list…
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Mack’s Pillow Soft Silicone Earplugs are virtually the only thing that makes it possible for hubby to sleep on the long overnight flights to Europe.
The soft silicone helps him mold these to fit perfectly and block out distracting noises on the plane while he’s trying to sleep.
They’re also popular with travelers who have trouble sleeping in hotels.
They can block out ambient noise, street noise and loud hotel neighbors.
Mack’s silicone earplugs are non-toxic and non-allergenic.
If you prefer foam earplugs, you might like these instead. These earplugs also have a higher Noise Reduction Rating (33db) than the moldable silicone earplugs (see above).
Noise cancelling headphones
If earplugs aren’t for you, might think about trying a pair of noise cancelling headphones to help you fall asleep on your flight.
These Anker Soundcore Life headphones reduce ambient noise by up to 95%. They’re also a #1 best seller on Amazon and a good value for the money.
You’ll get an estimated 40 hours of play time on a single charge. But if you need to charge up fast you can get 4 hours of play time on a 5-minute charge.
They also feature memory foam cushioning around the ears.
If you want to invest in a pair of high-quality headphones, I will always recommend Sony headphones over Bose.
The features of these headphones include a built-in microphone so you can take calls, voice access to music through Alexa, and “quick attention mode” so you can instantly adjust your music to have a conversation.
Since I prefer to travel carry-on only I’m always interested in cutting down on bulk when packing.
So, I prefer to pack my carry-on with earbuds than over-ear headphones.
When I’m ready to sleep I turn on my free white noise app (keep reading to see my recommendation!), pop in my earbuds, put on my sleep mask (see below) and off I go.
And I think these earbuds are a great value for the money.
A good quality sleep mask is a must for me on a long-haul or red eye flight. I’m one of those people who needs dark to sleep well.
And you never know when you’re going to find yourself seated next to someone who wants to stay up all night and keep their personal light on.
Those things are annoyingly bright when I’m trying to sleep.
This mask is adjustable so you can get it to the pressure that’s perfect for you and completely block out light.
And there’s plenty of room for your eyelashes so you can blink freely and won’t destroy your eye makeup.
It’s hand washable and comes in a ton of fun colors and patterns to match your personality.
Inflatable Travel Pillow
If it helps you sleep on airplanes, pick up a good quality travel pillow.
Getting some sleep on your long haul or red eye flight can make a world of difference in beating jet lag.
The AirComfy Ease Inflatable Travel Pillow is more than just a pillow for your neck.
You can also use it for upper back and lumbar support. And since it’s inflatable you can control the firmness.
It weighs only a few ounces and (deflated) packs into a small bag that you can clip onto the outside of your carry-on if you wish.
Trtl Travel Pillow
If you’re looking for more neck support than a traditional or inflatable travel pillow, you might like the popular Trtl Travel Pillow.
The idea behind this travel pillow is that it provides the necessary support to keep your head in an ergonomic position the entire time that you’re sleeping.
The Trtl Travel Pillow weights only about half a pound and is machine washable.
Check out this video for more information on how to use your Trtl Pillow.
World’s Best Cozy-Soft Microfleece Travel Blanket
This cozy fleece blanket is designed specifically for travel, but you can use it anywhere.
It’s lightweight, machine washable and small enough to roll up and stow in your carry-on bag.
If you suffer from swollen feet and legs when you travel for long periods, you might benefit from compression socks.
Compression socks help with circulation that can slow down when seated in a confined space for a long time…like sitting in economy on a transatlantic flight perhaps.
They can make you more comfortable. And I always sleep better on a flight when I’m more comfortable.
Free white noise app
I use the free White Noise Generator app from Relaxio.net to help me sleep when I travel.
The White Noise Generator app comes with many sounds including rain, wind, running water, waves, fan, crackling fire, crickets, forest, train and more.
And you can combine up to 10 sounds (and adjust the volume on each) to get exactly the sound you want to help you sleep.
I don’t just use this app on the plane either.
It’s also perfect to help you sleep at your accommodations to cover up ambient or street noise. Or noisy hotel neighbors.
Final thoughts on products for sleeping on planes
Everyone is a little different in what they need to help them sleep on a flight. Here’s what helps me:
- Wear comfortable clothing
- Avoid caffeine and sugar as much as possible on travel days
- Stay hydrated
- Eat well. I can’t sleep if I’m starving.
- I take one 5mg quick dissolve melatonin tablet approximately 20 – 30 minutes before the time I want to “go to bed” for the night.
- If possible I try to minimize screen time once I’ve taken my melatonin.
- Set my White Noise Generator app to the mix and volume that I want.
- Plug in my earbuds
- Put on a sleep mask
With my sleep mask on and my white noise playing through my earbuds, I’m virtually completely blocking out all extraneous noise and light that could keep me up.
I don’t play the white noise so loud that I can’t hear an announcement from the captain in the event of an emergency.
What are your favorite products to help you sleep on a plane? Please leave a comment below and share with us your favorites!
Posts related to sleeping on a plane
- Travel planning resources
- The best products for long flights
- How to survive long flights even in economy class
- What to pack for a flight in your carry-on
- Fly for less with these tools to save money on flights
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