Best Camping Pillows of 2020

The best camping pillows balance comfort, weight, and size to provide outdoor adventurers with a good night’s rest.

By Nicole Gleichmann

As you gather outdoor equipment to turn your tent into a luxury getaway, one must-have is an excellent pillow. We’ve gathered the best camping pillows in 2020 to help you find one that fits your needs—whether that be the ultimate minimalist pillow for backpacking or a lavish camping pillow for absolute comfort. 

Our Top Picks for the Best Camping Pillows

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Nemo Inflatable pillow

Best Overall: Nemo Fillo Inflatable Travel Pillow

The Nemo Fillo Inflatable Travel Pillow earned our spot as the best overall camping pillow. It offers a cozy feel and ample support in a compact and lightweight package. Pretty much, it’s  everything you could want from a camp pillow. 

The Nemo Fillo Inflatable Travel Pillow is made up of two layers: a top layer of 1” luxury foam and an inflatable compartment that you can fill up to 3”. By adding more or less air, you control the loft and level of firmness. 

By combining the weight and size benefits of an inflatable pillow with the snuggly feel of foam, you get a product that is at once lofty, plush, and lightweight. You can compare the compact size to that of a plastic water bottle, but lighter. 

You can choose between a soft, velvet-like microsuede cover or a cooler, more casual feeling jersey cover. The solid options are microsuede, and the patterned are jersey. Both covers are machine washable. 

  • Packed Dimensions: 4” x 6” 
  • Weight: 9 oz
Trekology Travel pillow

Best for Backpacking: Trekology Ultralight Inflatable Camping Travel Pillow

For anyone looking for an incredibly lightweight yet comfortable pillow, we recommend the Trekology Ultralight Inflatable Camping Pillow. Weighing just over 3 ounces and compacting to a tiny 5” by 2”, the Ultralight Inflatable pillow can come along backpacking trips or fit into a snug trunk on group camping trips. When fully deflated, the Ultralight pillow is smaller and lighter than a can of soda. 

Once you inflate the pillow, it measures 4” high, 16” wide, and 12” deep. Its ergonomic design provides a comfortable surface for back and side sleepers. With a non-slip design, you don’t have to worry about excessive movement when you reposition during the night. And if you have an inflatable sleeping pad, they include a latch strap that will help keep the pillow in place. 

Thanks to a waterproof design, this pillow works well in any environment. 

  • Packed Dimensions: 5” x 2” 
  • Weight: 3.4 oz
Coop Home Goods travel pillow

Best Comfort: Coop Home Goods Adjustable Travel and Camping Pillow

The Coop Home Goods Adjustable Travel and Camping Pillow is a smaller, portable version of one of our favorite memory foam pillows. Measuring 19” by 14” when uncompressed, it provides ample space for moving around at night.

Their shredded memory foam is CertiPUR-US and GREENGUARD certified to be free from toxic chemicals. This high-quality memory foam is more breathable than non-shredded foam pillows, helping to keep you cool and dry on warm nights. 

But our favorite thing about this pillow is that it’s adjustable. By adding or removing shredded memory foam, you can ensure that the loft is where it needs to be to provide you with optimal support. It comes with a waterproof cover, keeping it safe even in humidity or when accidentally exposed to rain. With a stuff sack that compresses it down to just 7” by 8”, it can easily fit into most bags.

Because this pillow is heavier than many camping pillows, it is best used for car camping, plane travel, or when you won’t be backpacking too far. The Coop Travel and Camping Pillow is made for those looking for a pillow equally as comfortable as the one they love at home, just smaller. 

  • Packed Dimensions: 7” x 8” 
  • Weight: 36 oz
Therm-a-rest travel pillow

Best Looking: Therm-a-Rest Compressible Travel Pillow

Are you someone who likes to have quality outdoor gear that doesn’t just work well but looks good too? The Therm-a-Rest Compressible Travel Pillow comes in nine fun shades and colors, enabling you to find one that fits your style. It even comes in four sizes, ranging from 12 x 16 inches up to 16.5 x 27 inches. You can decide what size best fits your sleeping habits and camping needs. 

And you won’t have to sacrifice comfort for appearance. Its soft polyester cover is luxurious, while the lightweight foam yields a squishy, moderate level of support. What’s more, this pillow is made from upcycled byproducts that come from the manufacturing of Therm-a-Rest mattresses, making it an eco-friendly option. As an added bonus, it’s easy to care for; all you need to do is machine wash it.

  • Packed Dimensions: 16” x 7” 
  • Weight: 12 oz
Teton Sports travel pillow

Best Plush: TETON Sports Camp Pillow

Do you appreciate a pillow that’s simply soft and lightweight? The TETON Sports Camp Pillow is a budget-friendly, plush camping pillow with a cover that feels like extra-cozy flannel bed sheets. TETON’s Sports Camp Pillow is a solid option when you’re looking for a simple, budget-friendly pillow that works for camping and travel. 

The lightweight fiber-fill stuffing simply fluffs up on its own and easily packs into its carrying case. When it’s time to launder it, all you need to do is machine wash it.

  • Packed Dimensions: 4” x 7” x 9” 
  • Weight: 12.8 oz
Teton sports self-inflating pillows

Best Support: TETON Sports ComfortLite Self-Inflating Pillow

We love the firm yet comfortable support offered by the TETON Sports ComfortLite Self-Inflating Pillow. When fully inflated, it measures 4 inches tall, 18 inches wide, and 10 inches deep. The 4” loft is reliable and won’t deflate as the night goes on, making this camping pillow a good choice for those who need continuous support, such as side sleepers.

You can choose one of two options. The orange pillow has a luxurious microfiber top and gray non-slip bottom that reduces slippage during the night. The blue pillow is covered in 100% organic cotton that is soft on both top and bottom. Both pillows self-inflate in minutes and easily pack down into a carrying case for your convenience. 

Each pillow comes with TETON Sport’s limited lifetime warranty, demonstrating TETON’s commitment to excellence and their belief in the quality of their pillow.

  • Packed Dimensions: 13” x 3.5” 
  • Weight: 12 oz
Paria outdoor travel pillow

Best Down: Paria Outdoor Products Down Backpacking Pillow 

There’s something incredibly comforting about resting your head upon the fluffiness of down. With the Paria Outdoor Products Down Backpacking Pillow, you can bring this luxury with you wherever you go. 

The top of this pillow is a thin layer of down covered with warm fleece. The bottom layer contains a pocket that can be stuffed with clothing, making the pillow as thick as you desire. 

The versatility brought about by the adjustable loft design results in a pillow that can be customized to fit the needs of stomach sleepers, back sleepers, and side sleepers. 

With an affordable price combined with a lifetime manufacturer’s warranty, the Paria Outdoor Products Down Backpacking Pillow offers both affordability and quality. 

  • Packed Dimensions: 4” x 7” 
  • Weight: 7 oz

How to Choose a Camping Pillow

People who find camping uncomfortable probably aren’t doing it right. Dedicated campers invest ample time and money into ensuring that their nights spent under the stars are restful. From high-quality sleeping pads or camping mattresses to downy sleeping bags, it takes top-of-the-line gear for a peaceful night in the woods.

Related: Best air mattress

There is no single camping pillow that is best for everyone. Rather, you must consider what it is that you’re looking for in your camp pillow. There are three questions that you should ask yourself before choosing the pillow best for you. 

1. Do you care about compact size and weight?

Backpackers and some campers require a lightweight pillow that packs down to minimal size. Yet, not everyone needs their pillow to be light and small. If you plan to use your pillow only when car camping or traveling, you may prefer choosing a pillow based on feel alone.  

2. What is your sleep position?

Whether you’re shopping for a home pillow or a travel pillow, the ultimate goal is the same. You want to find a comfortable pillow that encourages proper alignment of your head and neck.

First, consider your sleep position. The best pillows for front sleepers are those that are not overly supportive. As for side sleepers, they require a high loft and medium-to-firm support. Back sleepers fall in the middle, doing best with pillows that boast moderate loft and support. 

3. What are your pillow preferences?

Some pillows are lightweight and fluffy, others stable and firm, and others able to mold to your head. Think about what you find comfortable and try to find a pillow that suits your needs. Even the pillowcase can influence how you sleep, with some being warm and soft and others light and breathable. 

Once you understand the qualities that you’re looking for in a pillow, you can narrow down which type of camping pillow best fits your needs. 

The 3 Types of Camping Pillows

Inflatable Camping Pillows

Inflatable pillows are those that have a chamber that fills with air to create firm support and ample loft. They are one of the best options for backpacking pillows because they tend to compact to the smallest size. 

Pros:

  • Lightweight
  • Pack down to a small size
  • Offer soft to firm support
  • Inexpensive options

Cons:

  • Not soft and cuddly 

Traditional Camping Pillows

Traditional pillows are those that resemble miniature versions of the pillows that you use at home. There are many types of traditional pillows, but most are made from some type of fiber, foam, or feather. 

Fiber pillows, like polyester fill or microfiber pillows, are lightweight and fluffy, offering soft-to-medium support. These are often inexpensive and easy-to-wash. 

Foam pillows are more supportive and tend to mold to the shape of your head and neck. These attributes are particularly beneficial for side sleepers. 

Feather pillows made for camping are generally made using down, the bottom layer of feathers that are incredibly warm and soft. These pillows are warm and plush, but offer very little support. 

Pros:

  • Lightweight options
  • Readily compressible options
  • Offers all levels of support
  • Inexpensive options

Cons:

  • Foam pillows are heavy
  • Expensive options

Hybrid Camping Pillows

Hybrid pillows include an inflatable layer underneath a comfort layer made from down, fiber-fill, or foam. Their versatility allows you to have customizable firmness and loft along with the cuddly feel of a normal pillow. 

Pros:

  • Can be lightweight
  • Offer support and comfort
  • Adjustable air chambers allow for a personalized feel

Cons:

  • More expensive than other options

Finding the right camping pillow can be the difference between peaceful dreams and a night spent tossing and turning. Be sure to consider what you will use the pillow for as well as your unique needs before choosing the best one for you.


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