Just because you’re camping doesn’t mean you want to skimp out on a good night’s sleep. These are some of the best camping pillows. Whether you’re backpacking or want ultimate luxury, these pillows are compactible and easy to pack for travelling.
I’ve been there, you’ve probably been there, we’ve all been there…forgetting your pillow when you go camping. Once you’re tired from the first day setting up the tent or hiking to your location, you’re ready to settle down for a night of sleep only to realize that your pillow did not make the trip.
Next thing you know, you’re scrunching up your hoodie to sleep on and wake up with a kinked neck.
I’ve also been guilty of taking my favourite pillow from my bed to bring camping. While it makes my sleep while camping much better, I hate coming home and having what feels like a dirty pillow.
I’ve scrubbed all the camping grime off of my body, and the last thing I want to do is sleep on the pillow covered with bug spray and camping smoke. Even with a fresh pillowcase!
So, let’s make things easier by getting a dedicated camping pillow. You can always keep this handy with your camping gear, so you’ll never forget a pillow for camping ever again.
Best Inflatable Camping Pillow
You want your inflatable camping pillow to be the opposite of those inflatable plane pillows. AKA, you want it to be actually comfy and useable.
The NEMO Fillo is a very popular inflatable pillow. The shape resembles a typical pillow and eliminates the balloon feeling of most inflatable pillows. It also has a layer of foam on top to help improve comfort.
Inflatable pillows are really great for those who want to save on space or something lightweight to carry. They compress very small and typically only require a few breaths to fill up. The NEMO pillow compresses to the size of a Nalgene bottle and has a cord backing, so you can add clothes if you want to make your pillow even more robust.
The one thing about inflatable pillows is that they can get cold since your head rests on a pillow of cool air. This can be great in the summer but less stellar in the shoulder season. The NEMO pillow prides itself on providing a cool, luxurious feel with the machine-washable pillowcase.
Best Camping Pillow for Backpackers
When you’re doing some backcountry camping, there are two things you’re looking for in a pillow: small and light. When you’ve got to carry everything on your back, you must be very selective with what you bring.
This Gear Doctor’s inflatable pillow is smaller than a soda can and only weighs 3.5 oz (99 grams). It has anti-slip rubber dots to keep the pillow in place and can easily be wiped down for cleaning. It also has a latch to help tie the pillow to a sleeping bag or elsewhere.
So if you’re backpacking, you really don’t need to sleep on your scrunched-up, dirty clothes. You can still have the comfort of a pillow.
Best Camping Pillow for Comfort
A camping pillow with real down feathers!? Yes, your dreams can become a reality. If having a good sleep is your #1 goal, you might want to splurge on comfort with the Sea to Summit Aeros Down Pillow.
This pillow has a down topping, making it plenty cozy and adding a layer of warmth to the cool air beneath it. Then, you inflate the rest of the pillow for a full, cushiony effect.
The pillow compresses into a pack, weighing a total of 2.5 oz or 70 g, which is excellent considering all the down as well. They also advertise a “Pillow Lock system” that keeps the pillow in place while sleeping.
It comes in 3 sizes: regular, large, and deluxe, so you can find the best fit for your sleeping bag.
Best Camping Pillow for Luxury
If you want a camping pillow that’s as high of quality as something you would find at home, you’ll want a Therm-a-Rest pillow. These pillows are made of foam, so they’re very cushiony and don’t require any inflating.
They also won’t need as much fluffing as a pillow with a cotton or polyester fill, so they’re great for those who want a firmer pillow. Plus, you can adjust the pillow firmness by cinching the cord once unpacked.
What makes them camping pillows? Well, they’re compressible! You can squeeze them up to save on precious packing space when not in use.
For ultimate luxury, go with the large pillow. For luxury on a smaller scale, go with the small size.
Best Simple Camping Pillow
Not many camping pillows resemble the typical pillow you find at home. If you like to keep things simple, I recommend the TETON Sports Camp Pillow. It’s filled with cotton and has a polyester flannel top, so it will give you that comfortable resemblance of home.
You’re not getting anything fancy, and the price reflects that, but it’s simple and effective at lulling you to sleep. It packs down into a small carrying case and weighs 272 grams.
It’s also washable, both the pillow and pillowcase, so you can easily toss it in with the rest of your clothes at the end of your trip for easy cleaning.
Best Camping Pillow for Travellers
If you want a multi-use pillow that you can use while camping, out in the hammock, while road-tripping, on a plane, or even as a seat cushion, I like this all-around travel pillow by Wise Owl Outfitter.
It’s a memory foam pillow covered in microsuede, so it will let your head sink right in. Just give it a good fluffing beforehand, and you’ll be good to go.
The pillow comes in small and medium sizes, both of which compact into a nice carrying case. It’s machine washable on cold, so it should be an all-around easy pillow to keep clean after use.
Best Budget-Friendly Camping Pillow
Sometimes, you don’t need something fancy with a high price tag. For budget-friendly pillows, I really like this one by HIKENTURE.
It has an ergonomic shape that should make it easy for side, back, and stomach sleepers.
Two great features are the anti-slip strips on the bottom so your pillow doesn’t wander in the night and a machine washable pillowcase so you can easily wash your pillow once you’re home.
I especially like the quilted top, giving it some nice comfort even at a lower price point.
I hope you find your dream pillow match for camping. Good night!! zzzz