How to sleep on a plane with the right travel accessories and hacks
Let’s face it, sleeping on a plane can be hard AF. Between crowded seats and loud noises, it’s hard to find a comfortable position where you can easily catch a few z’s. Although you’ve had problems in the past, if you have the right products, sleeping on a plane is actually easy.
There are also tons of travel accessories for various reasons you might have trouble sleeping on a plane. Maybe you’re someone who just can’t find the right pillow to support your head. Luckily, travel pillows have come a long way, and there are a variety of shapes and sizes to support your neck and fit comfortably in your carry-on. Let’s not forget noise canceling headphones and eye masks to block out any distractions. Many of these travel products recommended by TikTokers and even some flight attendants can also help you figure out how to sleep during car and even train journeys.
If you’re a fan of travel and looking to plan some epic adventures in the future, you’ll definitely want to check out these 17 TikTok hacks for sleeping on a plane that comes with products $50 or less. These items will help you sleep on long flights so you’re free from jet lag and ready to explore as soon as you touch down.
We only include products that have been independently selected by the Elite Daily editorial team. However, we may receive a portion of sales if you purchase a product through a link in this article.
If your problem is feeling comfortable…
Get a travel pillow that really supports your head
If traditional travel pillows just don’t provide the support your neck needs on a long flight, you might want to get a trtl pillow. TikToker @haleewithaflair is a huge fan of this travel pillow that wraps around your neck and can support your head no matter where it falls while you sleep.
Try This Viral Travel Pillow For Sleeping Ahead
For the ultimate support pillow that will help you sleep on a plane, you’ll want to get this inflatable neck pillow from Sunany. This pillow can be used in different ways depending on how you like to sleep. It’s also inflatable and can easily be stowed in your carry-on, as demonstrated by TikToker @minnieglamx. The best part of all is that TikToker @hannahhhh_g points out that you can also easily watch shows and movies on your phone in this travel pillow while you fall asleep.
Find a travel pillow that can handle whatever position you find yourself in
The right sleeping position for you may be different from someone else’s, which is why you need a versatile travel pillow. TikToker @krystaphoumiphat shows how nice it can be to have a flexible travel pillow on long flights.
This memory foam pillow lets you shape the pillow that’s right for you. For example, you can have it support your right or left side. You can even form a pillow that doesn’t have to wrap around your neck if you find that uncomfortable. One of over 6,000 5-star reviews on Amazon mentioned that after using this twist pillow, they woke up “without any pain.”
Get a self-inflating travel pillow
Let’s face it, inflating your travel pillow can be a hassle, especially if you don’t want to take off your mask to do it. Luckily, there’s this self-inflating travel pillow that does it for you with a button. With this pillow, you can also follow TikToker’s @sidneyraz travel hack by wearing your pillow in front for even more neck support.
Bring these travel slippers for extra comfort
Maybe it’s your shoes that keep you from falling asleep on a plane. For something more comfortable, bring along a pair of travel slippers. These slippers are so comfortable and come with their own travel pouch that you can easily store in your carry-on. Plus, as flight attendant and TikToker @amandanicole_ points out, planes can be hot or cold. You want to be prepared for any weather, and these pull-on socks will be there if it gets too cold.
Wear comfortable clothes during the flight
Plan a nice OOTD trip that’s also comfortable for sleeping. TikToker and former flight attendant @katkamalani suggest wearing comfortable clothes for red-eye flights. Although @katkamalani says nobody cares what you wear, you can still find some nice comfortable fits.
For example, joggers like these look super adorable with an oversized sweater. If you don’t want to wear loungewear to and from the airport, you can also take these pull-on pants on your flight, just like pajamas.
If distractions are your problem…
Wear noise canceling headphones
Noise can be your biggest problem when sleeping on an airplane. If so, you’ll want to invest in some good noise-canceling headphones like these. Even TikToker @topflightfamily agrees that noise canceling headphones are “a must” if you want to sleep on a plane. For just $50, these noise-canceling headphones are actually budget-friendly and do the trick. A 5-star Amazon reviewer even praised the color, which is vibrant and fun.
Get noise-canceling headphones that fit in your carry-on
Big headphones can be a hassle when trying to cram everything into one carry-on. For something smaller, you might want to get noise canceling headphones. These Bluetooth headphones are waterproof and come with their own compact charging case. These headphones are also on sale, and one 5-star Amazon reviewer says they’re “better than a lot of expensive branded headphones.”
Download a white noise app before takeoff
TikToker @topflightfamily suggests that if you’re sitting in the middle seat, a travel hack to fall asleep is to download a white noise app to listen to with noise canceling headphones. The extra white noise in your headphones will really help you relax.
Wearing foam earplugs can also help reduce noise
If you don’t want noise canceling headphones, these foam earplugs work just as well to eliminate distractions. A 5-star reviewer said these earplugs are the “best” they’ve used. They even come with their own case for travel.
Wear an eye mask to block out the lights
Block out all lights on the plane with a comfortable eye mask. This contoured mask from Amazon is not only comfortable, but really keeps the light out. Dr. Noc suggests on TikTok that to have better sleep hygiene, you need a dark sleeping environment.
While late night flights usually have dim lights, you don’t want to be distracted by TV screens and reading lights. An Amazon reviewer even said: “[The mask] becomes completely dark, even in a sunny room. The best part of all is that this sleep mask also comes in a variety of colors like purple and red to match your luggage.
Wearing an eye mask on red-eye flights is a must
This sleep mask has over 18,000 5-star reviews on Amazon, with one reviewer saying they’ve found their “must-have mask.” Along with wearing comfortable clothes, TikToker @katkamalani also says having an eye mask is something she would like to know before flying on a red-eye flight. This will not only eliminate distractions, but the silk material will really make you feel more comfortable.
If you want to sleep, that’s your problem…
Try Sleep Gummies with a small dose of melatonin
TikToker @andreaabroad thinks that in addition to trying to reach your destination time zone a day before your flight, OLLY gummies also help improve your sleep on a plane. Amazon reviewers agree that these gummies help you fall asleep faster, but taking melatonin supplements isn’t for everyone.
Sleep doctor and TikToker @sleeping.beauty_md suggest only taking a small dose of melatonin if you’re traveling East to avoid jet lag. Doctor and TikToker @jennahsiwakmd only recommends 0.5-1mg which would be a third of a candy.
Stay hydrated with a travel water bottle
TikToker @chloejemma_ also says staying hydrated is one way to avoid jet lag while sleeping on a plane. Since you’re traveling and trying to maximize your carry-on space, get a collapsible water bottle. You can refill this after you pass through security and once you’ve finished drinking it can be rolled up and put back in your bag.
Drinking water can prevent jet lag
Since bringing liquids through security is a hassle, you can often forget to drink enough water during the flight. Kunal Sood MD on TikTok says staying hydrated will really help with jet lag, so you really want to remember to bring a bottle of water on your flight.
For something that can easily fold up and fit in your carry-on, try getting this flexible water bottle. A 5-star Amazon reviewer raved about this bottle, saying, “The convenience is immeasurable”, and that they’ve taken these bottles with them “around the world a handful of times”.
Stay warm with a good travel blanket
One of TikToker @chloejemma_’s travel tips for sleeping on a plane is to stay warm. When you’re hot, you’re more likely to fall asleep, so it’s best to have a travel blanket. This one has over a thousand 5 star reviews and can also become a pillow with its own pillowcase.
Try lavender essential oil
Another way to get in the mood for falling asleep is to use lavender essential oil. TikToker and former flight attendant @katkamalani also says lavender will let “your body know it’s time to go to sleep.” Of course, when using fragrances, you want to be aware of your neighbors on the plane and not overdo it.
For something small, try this lavender essential oil roll-on that has been diluted. A 5-star reviewer on Amazon says they “use this product every night!”