Travel Footrests: A ‘Must Try’ Travel Accessory & 5 Top Picks

We’ve all been there: Trying desperately to get just comfortable enough to sleep on a long flight. I’ve suffered through far too many red-eye flights without a single wink. Typically I arrive for these flights armed with many travel accessories to help get through a flight: eye masks, neck pillows, even melatonin. However, I noticed that many of our readers were buying (and presumably trying) travel footrests. I had never really considered a travel footrest but was intrigued by the wisdom of the crowd. A typical long-haul flight for me included trying all sorts of ridiculous contortions to get my feet up, tucked, crossed or in any sort of comfy position. I figured it was time to give travel footrests a shot. Wow! Awesome!

Although I am reluctant to add another item to my must-pack list, travel footrests really made a difference for me and my kids…basically for any short or mid-sized traveler. I really like the option to curl up when I doze on a flight but rarely find any realistic spot for my feet even when I’m lucky enough to be in business-class where they offer footrests. These footrests are seemingly for people that are taller or have longer legs. I liked both the inflatable style travel footrests and those that are set up more like a sling. I’d give a slight edge to the sling style travel footrest as it seemed more versatile and took up less space in both my carry-on bag and in the already cramped quarters when flying in coach.  The kids in my crew gave the edge to the inflatable models. Once the inflatable models were set up there was clearly less to think about. Just a nice place to get your feet propped up and settled.

Here are five of our top picks for travel footrests you might want to try:

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One side benefit of travel footrests I hadn’t considered before I tried them was a reduction in the amount my feet swelled up on a long flight. Ever since I struggled to get my feet back into a pair of boots after a long flight I’ve used compression socks when I travel on flights three hours or longer. But sometimes I slip up and pack them with the rest of my socks. When I made this mistake but still had a travel footrest I noticed a ton less swelling after a five-hour flight without the compression socks. Hope one or more of these options work for you!

Happy travels!

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