Nobody wants to be the parents of the rowdy kid on a flight. Make traveling easier with an inflatable flight cushion – here are our recommendations.
Air travel can be a hassle and a pain all on its own. What more if you have a screaming toddler with you? Just imagine the stress of being the parent of a child that simply won’t stay still on a long haul flight. Wouldn’t that be difficult? What if there was a way to make it easier for your toddler to get comfortable so that they can fall asleep even in economy seats? Wouldn’t that be so much better not just for you, but also for the people who are seated around you?
These days, there are thankfully a ton of different ways in which you can keep a child entertained on a flight. There are devices, toys, and inflight entertainment so that you won’t have a super bored toddler on your hands as you make your way across the world. Now, you can even use an inflatable cushion for kids so that you can have a makeshift bed for them to stretch out on and sleep during the flight.
In today’s article, we’ve put together a list of 5 of the best inflatables we could find. We’ve reviewed them (not in any particular order) and even included a buying guide. With this, we hope that you’ll be able to more easily shop for a cushion to make traveling that much easier. Let’s get started!
1. Kids Travel Pillow by 1st Class
The first product that we can recommend that can help make your life easier as you travel with your tots is the Kids Travel Pillow by the company 1st Class. This inflatable combines many things into one package: convenience, ease of use, durability, and even affordability. Thus if you are looking for an inflatable cushion that toddlers can use on the plane (or heck, even in vehicles), this is a pretty good option. Here is everything it offers at a glance:
- An inflatable footrest that is easy to use and durable too
- Extra-large to make it even more comfortable
- Quick deflation when necessary
- Works for pets too
Let’s take a more in-depth look at this travel pillow, shall we?
One of the biggest selling points of the Kids Travel Pillow by 1st Class is the fact that it is bigger than the competition’s products. As a result, you’re afforded much more surface area for your tot to spread out and get comfortable as they fall asleep. Or, even just as they recline and entertain themselves during the flight. This pillow can be inflated in multiple ways, for your complete convenience.
If you’re worried about the pillow bursting, there’s no cause for concern. The fact is this pillow makes use of a PVC base and flocking. It makes use of a valve that’s pretty high quality as well, so you can be sure that it’ll hold up to use.
This extra-large footrest allows your child to stretch their legs as they sit in the plane. Many reviews do say that it keeps their child so comfortable that long haul flights are no longer as much of a pain. Deflating it afterward is also easy, so you won’t sit in the plane for twenty minutes trying to put it away after you’ve landed.
- 3 ways to inflate
- Larger than average pillows
- Deflates quickly
- One inflation method isn’t as reliable now, as newer planes no longer have the vents used
- A bit expensive
2. Airplane Footrest by Koala Kloud
The next product that we can recommend to help you keep your toddler comfortable on airplanes is this airplane footrest from Koala Kloud. This product is marketed as a footrest, but it also doubles as an inflatable pillow for children. Of course, you can also use it when you’re taking a long road trip so that your child can sleep in the car comfortably. Let’s take a quick look at the features of this inflatable pillow:
- It’s made using premium materials that are not just kid-friendly but also eco-friendly
- A dust cover is included for free
- Makes use of an upgraded inflation valve to allow quick inflation and deflation within seconds
- Really easy to clean
- Folds up really small for easy storage when not in use
One of the things that makes this inflatable unique is the fact that you can purchase a version that has three height options. Yes, this product comes in 2 variations: standard size and a pillow that can be inflated in 3 sections for 3 different height variations. If you want to inflate only one of the sections you can and this will be a great pillow to use behind the head or behind the back. If your toddler wants a footrest without having to completely outstretch their legs, inflate one or 2 sections. And if your child wants to sleep lying down, then you can inflate all 3 to create a “bed” for them to sleep on.
This product is quite high in quality, making use of PVC flocking and a valve that was recently upgraded for increased durability. If you’re worried about having to spend precious minutes trying to inflate or deflate this pillow, you’ll be glad to know that it literally only takes seconds to blow up or deflate. Plus, as an added bonus this inflatable footrest folds up really small: as a 4 by 4 by a 7-inch cylinder that you can easily throw into your bag. Conveniently, it also comes with a dust cover so that you can keep it clean during use (or during storage).
Also, if you are not satisfied with your purchase, you’d be glad to know that the company offers a 30-day money-back guarantee. You’ll be given a full refund if you are not happy; no questions asked.
- 2 options – standard size or 3-size inflation
- Easy and quick to inflate/deflate
- Folds up small
- Dust cover
- Money-back guarantee
- Hard to fold back into original size to fit into a bag
- Some complaints about the item deflating quickly, your mileage may vary
3. Inflatable Footrest by FlyPal
Another product that you can consider is this inflatable footrest by the company FlyPal. What makes this product great is the fact that it has 2 different parts. They can be used separately or together, depending on the height of the footrest that you want to achieve. For example, you can use the thinner section as a foot rest for you, in case you are not traveling with your toddler. Use the two sections together and you can have a portable “bed” for your tot to sleep on when on the plane. Use the thicker section alone and you can have a foot rest for your toddler to get more comfortable with.
Here’s a quick look at the features of this product:
- Makes use of double-sealed air valves that are pretty wide, allowing for manual inflation in as short as 2 minutes
- Can be used on the plane, it can also be used in vehicles or even at home just in case you want to put your feet up
- Made of premium materials for extra durability and a more premium field during use
If you’re looking for a travel companion that will make long plane rides with your child much more bearable, you found it. This product is portable and versatile – you can pretty much use it in any way that you like or need. And of course, it offers convenience in the fact that you can inflate it or deflate it in as short as 2 minutes so that you don’t have to rush as the plane lands. Furthermore, this pillow will easily fold up and store away without much hassle so that you can bring it along with you wherever you go.
It looks premium and feels premium, and as a result, you’ll find that it’s quite durable and will last you a good amount of time. One thing that can be said about it, however, is the fact that it is a bit more expensive than the competition. In fact, there are some pillows that you can buy 2 of for less than the price of one of these. However, the durability and the premium feel is quite worth the few extra dollars you pay.
- 2 part pillow allows you to use the pillow in many ways
- Looks and feels premium
- Folds up small
- Inflates and deflates quickly
- Quite a bit more expensive than others
4. Inflatable Air Cushion by Fly Tot
One of the 1st and the most popular inflatable cushion for toddlers comes from the company Fly Tot. If you’re looking for an affordable option look away – this product is easily the most expensive out of all of them. The question is, is it worth it? Let’s take a look at the features and take a deeper dive into this product to see just why it remains one of the most well known:
- The company claims that it is the highest quality cushion (inflatable, that is) out on the market today
- A warranty is included for your peace of mind
- The pillow makes use of an internal structure that is patented to ensure stability and firmness
- This product makes use of a material that wipes clean very easily
- The design comes in 2 different widths so that you can make use of it in both premium economy and standard economy airplane seats.
One thing that makes this product unique is the fact that it comes with a pump for you to more easily inflate the pillow. The pump can be operated by the foot and attached to one of the two valves on the unit. There are 2 sections on this pillow, and you can choose to inflate both or just one or the other depending on how you intend to use it. It’s made of a very premium material that looks and feels expensive and durable with the added bonus of being easy to clean.
This model is actually the updated unit, so it does feature some slight improvements over the previous iteration. For example, it now makes use of better material and now also includes a strap for carrying it.
- Can be used in many different ways because of the two inflatable sections which can be used simultaneously or separately
- Comes with a pump that can be operated with a foot for easy inflation
- Easy to clean
- Carry strap
- Most expensive option
- Two sections are still attached so can be uncomfortable if only using one part
5. Inflatable Foot Rest by WANDERING TOT
The last but certainly not the least on this list of flight cushion for toddlers is this product by Wandering Tot. Wandering Tot’s offering is highly adaptable quite lightweight for easy use. When inflated, it only weighs less than a pound so it can be easily maneuvered around. Here is a quick look at its other features:
- Versatile, it has 3 different heights so that you can use it in any way you wish
- Incredibly easy to inflate, in fact, it can even be inflated by mouth
- 2 valves for fast inflation without going out of breath
- Deflates in as short as 15 seconds
If you are looking for a product that can compete with the best of them without the exorbitant price tag, this inflatable foot rest is a good choice. It offers 2 inflation valves, one of which is for inflating quickly and another for replenishing air as necessary. The valve opens fully when you wish to deflate the product so that it can fully flatten within 15 seconds. It folds up really small and is incredibly easy to store so that you don’t have to worry about trying to put it away after your flight. Plus, you don’t even need a pump to inflate this pillow – it’s easy to fully inflate with just your mouth.
If you’re wondering about its durability, take comfort in the fact that it makes use of a very high-quality PVC (flocked). It’s also kid-friendly and is very safe to use. You can use this inflatable in 3 different ways thanks to the adjustable height. So if you need to use it as a footrest for yourself, you most certainly can! This pillow is even strong enough to be used as a chair or seat by your toddler regardless of where you are.
One thing that we like about this product is the fact that you can purchase it completely risk-free. If your airline does not allow you to use it, you’ll be given a full refund – even if it’s past the 30 day return period.
- Adjustable height offers versatility
- Easy to inflate and deflate
- Air can be replenished easily
- More affordable despite the premium quality
- Still not as affordable as other options, but hey, it’s worth it!
Your Buying Guide for the Best Inflatable Flight Cushion for Toddlers
There’s really not that much to include in a buying guide for a flight cushion for toddlers. Most of it is common sense, but just to make it that much easier for you, here are a few things that you can consider as you shop.
Ensure That Inflatables Are Allowed
One thing that many people get surprised by once they’ve purchased their inflight cushion is that their airline actually will not allow it on the plane. Therefore, if you’re planning to purchase an inflatable cushion for a specific flight, inquire with the airline to make sure that it is allowed. After all, the last thing that you want is to try and bring a cushion onto the plane only to find that it will be confiscated or that you’ll be told to put it away. What a waste of money, right? Make your life easier and do the necessary research so that you won’t stress out on the day of your flight.
One of the biggest things for you to consider when you’re shopping for such a product is its convenience. As you are traveling, one of the biggest things that you’ll probably want to make sure of is that the pillow is not bulky when deflated. After all, you want to be able to throw it into a carry-on without much thought, not have to plan around it and pack around it. This is very much a big factor when purchasing an inflatable flight cushion. Also, you’ll want to make sure that it’s lightweight when inflated and when deflated – after all, carry-on baggage has a maximum weight limit.
Since we’re talking about convenience, you’ll probably want to take a look at some features that’ll make the product easier for you to use. Is it easier to inflate and deflate? Does it come with a pump or do you have to inflate it by mouth? Is there a carry strap or a dustcover? Does a carry case come with your purchase?
Quality and Price
Naturally, you will want to make sure that you are purchasing quality. This might not be as necessary if you’re only intending to use your inflatable cushion for one round trip flight. But why purchase a disposable product if you can get something that will last you a long time for only a few dollars more? A good way to find out if a product is of good quality is to check the reviews online. Most users will leave their praises or their gripes about a product so you can find out quickly which to purchase and which to avoid like the plague.
Of course, you shouldn’t just be looking for quality. You should be looking for a product that offers quality, but for a fair price. Some products out there are priced at a premium because of a brand name. However, if you can look beyond labels you might find a gem hidden just waiting to be discovered! Again, look at reviews to make it easier for you to determine which pillow is worth it and which should be avoided.
Tips and Tricks for Traveling with a Toddler
Now that we have gotten through our recommendations and our short buying guide, we want to give you a few tips to make traveling with a toddler easier. Here are a few things that you can do for a smoother flight:
Prepare Activities for Long Flights
If you know that you’ll be going on a long haul flight, it’s a good idea to ensure that your child will have entertainment all throughout. These days, it’s a lot easier because most planes will come with an inflight entertainment system. However, you can bring things such as cell phones or tablets with installed games or downloaded media (from streaming services, for example) that your child can watch during the flight. You might want to stay away from things like crayons and markers because your child might draw on the plane surfaces.
Calming Sprays or Rubs Can Help
If your child is having trouble adjusting to the flight or falling asleep, you might find some success with some calming sprays and rubs. Look for chamomile and lavender scents because they are well known for helping to soothe the mind and the body and induce relaxation. Also, if your child struggles with pain in their ears due to air pressure adjustments, do bring gum or candy for them to chew on. You might want to make sure that whatever you bring is sugar-free to avoid your child bouncing off the walls of the plane due to a sugar high.
Make Sure You’re Close to a Bathroom
Aisle seats are your friend when it comes to flying with a toddler. You’ll probably also want to book a seat that’s somewhat close to a bathroom just to make your life easier as well. Need we say more?
An inflatable flight cushion combined with activities and entertainment that they can do on the plane can be life-changing. If your toddler is properly entertained and comfortable to boot, chances are they’ll sit quietly and be well behaved throughout your long haul travel. Plus you’ll enjoy knowing that your child will be able to sleep properly in their portable bed! Just ensure that you purchased a cushion that is not only convenient but also well made and durable so it will last you a long time.