There are lots of dangers campers encounter, from wild animals to rough trails. The risk most campers sleep on though is not providing the proper support for their head or body while camping so they wake up with annoying aches and troublesome pains.
Whether you camp in a hammock or sleep in a tent, a good camping pillow can mean the difference between waking up feeling ready to greet the day, or waking up after a restless night’s sleep, drowsy, with pain in your neck.
‘No time for reading? Here are our picks for the best camping pillows.’
This comprehensive guide features reviews on the best camping pillows on the market in 2021 along with helpful purchasing tips. Make sure your camping trip is as enjoyable as possible with a camping pillow!
To get great zzz’s you don’t have to spend a lot of $$$. The Trekology Ultralight Inflatable Camping Pillow is perfect for backpackers buying on a budget.
While this pillow’s price is low, its quality is high. It’s made with durable TPU fabric that’s completely water-resistant. Although it’s definitely sturdy, it has just enough stretchiness to make it comfortable. The contoured shape of this pillow is great for side and stomach sleepers, firmly holding your head in place.
Inflatable pillows, because of their sleek fabric, can have issues with slipping out from underneath camper’s heads. This pillow was designed with that problem in mind. It has tacky dots on the backside and elastic latches to hold it in place.
This pillow is easy to inflate, it should only take 3-5 breaths to fully fill it. After you use it, simply press all of the air out of it and it will deflate to the size of a potato. It comes with a tiny stuff sack so you can fit it neatly in your bag. It should be noted though, the stuff sack is slightly small, so fitting the pillow in it can be a hassle.
- Made with 80% polyester
- Fill with air
- Weighs 3.4 ounces
- Folds down to 5 x 2 inches
- Contoured design
You can have a light pillow without having light sleep-the Cocoon AIR CORE Hood/Camp Pillow flawlessly balances being lightweight and comfortable.
Weighing only 3.8 ounces, and packing down to 4 x 3 inches, this is the perfect pillow for backpackers. The lightweight fabric on this pillow is not only functional but also comfortable. It has a microfiber face that’s super soft, providing extra warmth on cold nights. For hot summer nights, flip it over to the cooler, smooth 20D nylon fabric side.
For added comfort, not only does this pillow fill with air, it also includes a layer of synthetic filling. The extra filling will keep you cozier and warmer while the air filling makes this pillow uber portable since you can easily collapse it to fit in your bag.
Inflate this pillow to the right firmness setting for you with its easy to use twist valve. It also lets you adjust the size of your pillow so you can fit it snuggly into your sleeping bag.
This innovative pillow was designed specifically to be used in the hood of a sleeping bag. Its contoured half-moon shape prevents any movement once it’s placed inside a sleeping bag. For backpackers who sleep in sleeping bags, this pillow is a must-have.
- Made with 100% polyester
- Filled with air and filling
- Weighs 3.8 ounces
- Folds down to 4.7 x 3.15 inches
- Lightweight and small
- Perfect for mummy bags
- Cool and warm sides on the pillow
- Nylon side can stick to sweaty faces on hot nights
The Therm-a-Rest Compressible Camping Pillow is one of the top-rated camping pillows available - for good reason. This lightweight pillow packs down small but inflates to the huge size of 27 x 16.5 inches. This is one of the most functional yet luxurious camping pillows available.
The fabric on this pillow is made from super soft, recycled polyester. It’s filled with pieces of high-quality foam that will make you feel like you’re sleeping at home. The foam is upcycled scraps from Therm-a-Rest mattresses, so this pillow doesn’t only feel good, it’s also good for the environment.
The fluffy foam provides excellent insulation from the cold so this is a great pillow for winter campers. However, while this pillow is definitely one of the comfiest on this list, it’s also one of the heaviest which means it isn’t the best option for backpackers. That’s not to say it’s heavy, it weighs just under a pound, but if your priority is that your pillow is light, this isn’t the best option for you.
Providing excellent head, neck, and back support this pillow can be used while camping, traveling, or just lounging outdoors.
- Made with 100% polyester
- Filled with foam
- Weighs 9 ounces
- Folds down to 14 x 5 x 6 inches
- Soft and comfortable
- Eco-friendly materials
- Foam needs time to fully expand
- Comparatively heavy weight
The Sea to Summit Aeros Premium Pillow is incredibly lightweight, extremely comfortable, and totally versatile. This pillow is perfect for side sleepers, providing them with plenty of support. The curved internal baffles cradle your head comfortably while this pillow’s bottom scalloped edges center it around your shoulders.
It has a high-flow valve so you can adjust how much air is in it to your personal preference - whether you like a firmer or squishier pillow. This affordable pillow has super soft 50D polyester knit fabric and a thin layer of synthetic filling which increases this pillow’s warmth, comfort, and breathability.
Comfort-wise though, it should be noted that this pillow performs worse than the others on this list. Nevertheless, it’s still pretty comfortable and is perfect for backpackers who want a lightweight, affordable option.
- Made with 50D polyester
- Filled with air and filling
- Weighs 2.7 ounces
- Folds down to 4.7 x 3.2 x 2.7 inches
- Great support
- Packs down small
The Nemo Fillo Pillow is so comfortable you may even want to sleep on it while you’re home. It’s completely functional, durable, and versatile. Without a doubt, this is one of the best camping pillows in existence.
Its microsuede cover is super soft, while its foam filler is the right amount of squishy. This hybrid pillow mostly fills with air. It only takes a few breaths to fill it and then you can use the twist nozzle to customize its firmness to your liking.
Once you’re done with it, it deflates to the size of a softball. While it packs down small, it could weigh less, although 9 ounces is still fairly impressive. The stuff sack that comes with it can also be difficult to fit it into, which is something to keep in mind.
Otherwise, you’ll love this pillow and want to keep it forever, which you can because it has a lifetime warranty!
- Made with microsuede fabric
- Filled with foam and air
- Weighs 9 ounces
- Folds down to 6 x 4 inches
- Super comfortable
- Lifetime warranty
There are a handful of different types of camping pillows. The most common ones are described below:
Inflatable Pillows: These air-filled pillows are lightweight and compress to a very small size. Their only downsides are that they aren’t as comfortable as foam pillows and can slip around while you sleep.
Foam Pillows: If you want to camp in luxury, get a foam pillow. They squash down to a small size but are not as small as inflatable pillows, and weigh a bit more.
Hybrid Pillows: These pillows are inflatable, with an air pocket, but also include foam for added comfort. They have all the advantages of foam and inflatable pillows.
What to Consider When Purchasing a Camping Pillow
Before you purchase a camping pillow, be sure to consider the features and factors below.
Your Sleeping Style: Specific camping pillows will suit different sleep styles differently. Make sure that the camping pillow you choose works with your sleep style.
Temperature and Climate: If you camp in the cold a lot, get a pillow that will provide you with some warmth. If you’re a warm-weather camper, go with a pillow meant for hot weather that won’t cause you to sweat in your sleep. If you camp all year-round, get a versatile pillow.
Weight and Size: This factor is extremely important for backpackers because they need pillows that pack down small and don’t weigh a lot. If you’re a car camper, it doesn’t have to be a priority for you.
Washability: Your camping pillow will get dirty, it’s unavoidable, so make sure you get one that’s washable.
Comfort: Comfort should absolutely be one of your priorities since being more comfortable is the point of having a pillow. Consider things like will the pillow slide and how much noise does it make along with more traditional comfort criteria.
Support: Your pillow should provide you with adequate support so you don’t wake up the morning after sleeping on it with aches and pains in your neck and back.
Using this guide, you should have no trouble finding the perfect camping pillow for you so you can snooze peacefully through the night and be well-rested to enjoy your camping adventures during the day.
I hope you found this guide to the best camping pillows helpful! If you did, be sure to share it and comment below with any questions!