Best Camping Pillows: Top 8 Picks

Let us look at some of the best camping pillows in the market today. For a quick run-through, go through the table below

Best Air Pilllow
Trekology Ultralight Inflatable Camping...
Best Foam Pillow
Therm-a-Rest Compressible Travel Pillow for...
TETON Sports Camp Pillow; Great for Travel,...
Wise Owl Outfitters Camping Travel Pillow -...
Best Value
REDCAMP Outdoor Camping Pillow Lightweight,...
Hikenture Camping Pillow with Removable Cover...
Shape
Semicircular
Semicircular
Rectangle
Rectangle
Rectangle
8-Shape
Size
12'' x 16'' x 4''
16" x 23" x 4"
12" x 18" x 18"
14"x 18"x 4''
20" x 12" x 3
17.3" x 12.2" x 4.7"
Folded Size
5" x 2"
16" x 7" x 7"
4" x 7" x 9"
14" x 8"
10" x 6" x 6"
3" x 3" x 5"
Outer material
80% polyester
Polyester
Flannel
Micro Suede
Non-Woven Fabric Lining with a flannel pillowslip
Soft cotton and woven polyester
Filling
Air
Foam
Hollow Fiber
Memory Foam
Hollow Fiber
Air
Weight
0.25 lbs
0.75 lbs
0.6 lbs
0.8 lbs
0.7 lbs
0.35 lbs
Prime
-
Best Air Pilllow
Trekology Ultralight Inflatable Camping...
Shape
Semicircular
Size
12'' x 16'' x 4''
Folded Size
5" x 2"
Outer material
80% polyester
Filling
Air
Weight
0.25 lbs
Prime
Best Foam Pillow
Therm-a-Rest Compressible Travel Pillow for...
Shape
Semicircular
Size
16" x 23" x 4"
Folded Size
16" x 7" x 7"
Outer material
Polyester
Filling
Foam
Weight
0.75 lbs
Prime
-
TETON Sports Camp Pillow; Great for Travel,...
Shape
Rectangle
Size
12" x 18" x 18"
Folded Size
4" x 7" x 9"
Outer material
Flannel
Filling
Hollow Fiber
Weight
0.6 lbs
Prime
Wise Owl Outfitters Camping Travel Pillow -...
Shape
Rectangle
Size
14"x 18"x 4''
Folded Size
14" x 8"
Outer material
Micro Suede
Filling
Memory Foam
Weight
0.8 lbs
Prime
Best Value
REDCAMP Outdoor Camping Pillow Lightweight,...
Shape
Rectangle
Size
20" x 12" x 3
Folded Size
10" x 6" x 6"
Outer material
Non-Woven Fabric Lining with a flannel pillowslip
Filling
Hollow Fiber
Weight
0.7 lbs
Prime
Hikenture Camping Pillow with Removable Cover...
Shape
8-Shape
Size
17.3" x 12.2" x 4.7"
Folded Size
3" x 3" x 5"
Outer material
Soft cotton and woven polyester
Filling
Air
Weight
0.35 lbs
Prime

A few months back, I started getting a bit of pain in the neck whenever I went camping. I realized that the issue is because I was using the wrong kind of pillow! 

I searched around and talked to a few of my camper friends and came up with eight of the best camping pillows based on their comfort, filling, size, durability, design, ease of use. I am sharing my list for the benefit of all those like me!

In this review, you will learn.

  • A guide to selecting the Best Camping Pillows.
  • Eight Best Camping Pillows.
  • Answers to some FAQs that I often hear from fellow campers

What To Look For In A Camping Pillow

Comfort & Design

The comfort level of your pillow depends upon the design and material used in making it. The common camping pillow types I came across are:

  1. Inflatable: Inflatable pillows are robust, easy to use, and pack into a very small space. Most of them are rugged and puncture-free, and water-resistant too. The pillow with good ventilation will work the best here. 
  2. Foam-filled: Foam filled pillows take up more space, but provide a lot of comfort. There can be several types of fillings: memory foam (which retains shape and is good for back and neck support), shredded memory foam (gives soft support), hollow fiber (which is light, soft and durable) and others.

Shape

Camping pillows are available in various shapes:

  1. Semi-circular: This shape is more ergonomic; it supports your neck and shoulder in maintaining their natural shape.
  2. Rectangular: Rectangular pillows are standard, the most common ones.
  3. 8-Shaped: This is again meant for those with back and neck problems
Best Camping Pillows

Thickness

Most of the camping pillows come in a 4″ thickness. This is the best choice as it provides enough thickness when you lie down on them to support your neck. 

Dimensions

The length and width of the pillows vary between 12″ to 20″. If you are looking for a large-sized pillow, go for 20 “x12”. For a smaller size, 12 “x16” pillows can also solve the purpose.

Space Efficiency 

Inflatable pillows are easy to use. You just need to fill in the air, and you are done. Once you are done, you can just let the air out and roll them right back into any small space. Foam-filled pillows take up more space.

The 8 Best Camping Pillows

#1. Trekology Camping Pillow: Best Air Pillow

TITLE_Trekology Camping Pillows

Check Price and User Reviews

Rating

  • Size: Score 9/10 
  • Durability: Score 9/10
  • Design: Score 9/10 
  • Ease of Use: Score 9/10
  • Overall Score: 9/10

Technical Specifications

  • Brand: Trekology
  • Shape: Semicircular
  • Inflated Size: 12” x 16” x 4” (also available in 3 other sizes)
  • Packed Size: 5″ x 2″
  • Type of fabric: 80% polyester
  • Fill Material: Air
  • Color: 6 color options
  • Weight: 0.25 lbs

Bottom Line

This is the smallest and lightest pillow in my article. If space is the most important criterion for you, this is the obvious choice. For this reason, it is one of the Best Camping Pillows. 

Pros:

  • Good size and shape for back and stomach sleepers. The design offers support to the back and the neck.
  • The lightest and smallest pillow on my list
  • Waterproof.
  • Removable elastic strap to hold the pillow in place
  • Fills up in a mere three to five breaths.

Cons:

  • The pillow comes in only one size, which might be small for some people.
  • It makes a lot of noise when you are inflating it.

Details

  • Size: When deflated, the pillow is very compact, having a size of 5″ x 2″, saving storage space in the camping bag. When you inflate the pillow, it goes to 12″ x 16″ x 4″. 
  • Durability:  The TPU coated fabric of the pillow has high elasticity, which makes it strong as well as water-resistant. Due to its high elasticity, it does not lose air easily. 
  • Ease of use: The air valve of the pillow has a dual decked button, which lets you inflate it in the up position and deflate it in the down position. This makes it very easy to fill it up, as you don’t lose air while inflating. It takes a mere three to five breaths to inflate the pillow completely. Similarly, deflation is also very quick. You can watch the air valve in action here. 
  • Non-slip design: The pillow has a detachable pad strap that you can use to strap around the sleeping pad to keep the pillow in place throughout the night. To complement the strap, there are anti-slip rubber dots at the back of the pillow, which also hold it in place. 
  • Ergonomic Design: The curved bottom of the pillow gives support for the shoulder and neck when you sleep on it.

Check Price and User Reviews

#2. Therm-a-Rest Camping Pillow: Best Foam Pillow

TITLE_Therm-a-Rest Camping Pillows

Check Price and User Reviews

Rating

  • Size: Score 9/10 
  • Durability: Score 8/10
  • Design: Score 8/10 
  •  Ease of Use: Score 9/10
  • Overall Score:8.5/10

Technical Specifications

  • Brand: Therm-a-Rest 
  • Shape: Semicircular
  • Inflated Size: 16″ x 23″ x 4″
  • Packed Size: 16″ x 7″ x 7″
  • Type of fabric: Polyester
  • Fill Material: Foam
  • Color: 9 color options
  • Weight: 0.75 lbs

Bottom Line

If you are looking for a soft but compressible foam pillow, then this is the best one on the market.

Pros:

  • Very soft urethane filling
  • Since it’s a foam pillow, you don’t need to spend time inflating and deflating it.
  • Compresses to a small size despite its foam filling
  • Machine washable, ripstop fabric

Cons:

  • In the packaging, this pillow comes a bit lumpy and hard. You have to let it rest a few days; maybe wash once with your hand to get the right shape and size.
  • Expensive

Details

  • Foldable: This pillow can be folded neatly into a 16″ x 7″ x 7″ size, despite its foam filling, which makes it a darling of backpackers. You can easily fit it in a tote bag, backpack, or suitcase. To compress the pillow, you have to use the drawstring and cord lock. You can watch how this magic works here
  • Sizes: The foam-filled camping pillow comes in four sizes (12″x 16″, 14″ x 18″,16″ x 23″, 16.5″ x 27″). It has a four inch thickness that gives support to your neck, back, and head. 
  • Fabric: The fabric cover is made with brushed polyester, which is soft against your skin. It is a ripstop fabric, which is stain-resistant and has high strength. It is machine washable as well.
  • Softness: The foam filling inside the pillow is made with soft urethane. Urethane has the property that it collapses easily, which is why this pillow is so easily compressed as compared to others. It is also softer than other foam fillings. Urethane is also very light, which is why this pillow weighs just 0.75lbs.

Check Price and User Reviews

You may also like How To Make Your Winter Sleep System: Complete Guide

#3. TETON Sports Camping Pillows: Best Hollow Fiber Pillow

TITLE_TETON Sports Camping Pillows

Check Price and User Reviews

Rating

  • Size: Score 8/10 
  • Durability: Score 8/10
  • Design: Score 8/10 
  •  Ease of Use: Score 9/10
  • Overall Score: 8.25/10

Technical Specifications

  • Brand: TETON Sports
  • Shape: Rectangle
  • Inflated Size: 12″ x 18″ x 18″
  • Packed Size: 4″ x 7″ x 9″
  • Type of fabric: Flannel
  • Fill Material: SuperLoft Hollow Fiber
  • Color: 4 check-pattern colors
  • Weight: 0.6 lbs

Bottom Line

Continuing with soft and easily compressible foam pillows, this is your best choice if you are not looking to spend a lot on the Therm-A-Rest pillow, which is quite expensive.

Pros:

  • Inexpensive
  • Folds to a small size: 4″ x 7″ x 9″
  • Flannel covers are warm in winters.
  • Machine washable
  • Hollow fiber filling compresses and expands quickly.

Cons:

  • Only one size is available, which might be small for some users.
  • Not great for side sleepers because it is too soft.

Details

  • Compact Size: Weighing just 0.6 lbs, the pillow folds down to 4″ x 7″ x 9″ and even comes with its own carry bag. You can easily fit it in your backpack or tote bag. When unfolded, it opens to a size of 12″ x 18″ x 4″. Watch how it folds down here.
  • Filling: The pillow has a “SuperLoft Elite” 4-channel filling. That’s just a long and jazzy name for hollow fiber, a polyester fiber that is hollow on the inside, which traps air in it. This gives the pillow a duvet-like filling like you are sleeping on an air bed. This is also why the pillow is so light and inflates so easily (because it basically just quickly fills up with air in the fibers). Polyester filling is very durable too. 
  • Cover: The cover is made from a brushed flannel. The brushing used on the flannel makes it soft. It has an envelope-style opening (no struggling around with stuck chains!) and can be easily washed in a machine. 
  • Design: The pillow is rectangular in shape. Its design matches with TETON’s sleeping bags, so if you already have one of those, this pillow will make a cute sleeping set.

Check Price and User Reviews

#4. Wise Owl Camping Pillow: Best Memory Foam Pillow

TITLE_Wise Owl Camping Pillows

Check Price and User Reviews

Rating

  • Size: Score 8/10 
  • Durability: Score 8/10
  • Design: Score 7/10 
  •  Ease of Use: Score 8/10
  • Overall Score: 7.75/10

Technical Specifications

  • Brand: Wise Owl Outfitters
  • Shape: Rectangle
  • Inflated Size: 14″ x 18″ x 4″ (also available in 12″ x 16″)
  • Packed Size: 14″ x 8″ (approx)
  • Type of fabric: Micro Suede
  • Fill Material: Memory Foam
  • Color: Available in three colors
  • Weight: 0.8 lbs

Bottom Line

If you are looking for a more firm filling or extra neck and back support, this pillow has memory foam filling, which would be perfect for you.

Pros:

  • The memory foam filling is great for neck, back, and shoulder pain.
  • It has a soft micro-suede outer cover.
  • Machine washable and dryer friendly

Cons:

  • The stuff sack is quite big, so it does not pack small. Wise Owl could have made the sack smaller.

Details

  • Size: The pillow comes in two sizes, the medium: 14″ x 18″ x 4″ and the small: 12″ x 16″ x 4″. When folded, it contracts to fit a cylindrical stuff sack which is about 8 inches wide. The stuff sack is waterproof too.
  • Filling: The pillow has a memory foam filling. Memory foam has the special property that it aligns itself with your body and cups it in position, which makes it a great material for people with back and neck problems. 
  • Cover: The micro-suede cover is soft and provides a flexible texture to the pillow.
  • Machine friendly: The pillow is machine washable (in fact, it is recommended to put it in the machine to get the maximum thickness). It is also dryer-friendly, unlike many others.

Check Price and User Reviews

You may also like Do Sleeping Bag Liners Actually Work? And Which Ones?

#5. REDCAMP Camping Pillows: Value For Money

TITLE_REDCAMP Camping Pillows

Check Price and User Reviews

Rating

  • Size: Score 8/10 
  • Durability: Score 8/10
  • Design: Score 7/10 
  • Ease of Use: Score 7/10
  • Overall Score: 7.5/10

Technical Specifications

  • Brand: REDCAMP
  • Shape: Rectangle
  • Inflated Size: 20″ x 12″ x 3″
  • Packed Size: 10″ x 6″ x 6″
  • Type of fabric: Non-Woven Fabric Lining with a flannel pillowslip
  • Fill Material: Hollow Fiber
  • Color: Available in five check-patterns
  • Weight: 0.7 lbs

Bottom Line

If you are looking for a slightly less thick pillow that has a soft filling, this one will expand only to three inches and comes at a great bargain price too.

Pros:

  • Less thick than others. Great for neck problems
  • All the benefits of hollow fiber fillings: expands quickly, softer, more durable
  • Flannel outer cover keeps you warm in winters.
  • Super price. Great value for money.

Cons:

  • It’s not great for side sleepers because it is very thin.

Details

  • Size: It opens to 20 “x12″ x3”, which is a good size if you have neck problems and your doctor advises you to use thinner pillows. However, this pillow is not a great option. Otherwise, most people will find it too thin. The carry bag is a bit large, though.
  • Inexpensive: This pillow is at a great bargain price. For a basic one or two-day camping trip, I would vouch for this any day.
  • Machine Washable:  The pillowslip and pillow can be easily washed and dried, so it easy to maintain them. 
  • Filling: I explained the benefits of hollow fiber earlier. It is durable, breathable, inflates quickly, and soft like a duvet. 
  • Cover: The cover is made from flannel, though not brushed flannel, so it’s not as soft as the TETON pillow. I like the way it stays warm when you are out camping in the winter.

Check Price and User Reviews

#6. Hikenture Camping Pillow: Best For Neck Lumbar Support

TITLE_Hikenture Camping Pillows

Check Price and User Reviews

Rating

  • Size: Score 8/10 
  • Durability: Score 7/10
  • Design: Score 7/10 
  • Ease of Use: Score 7/10
  • Overall Score: 7.25/10

Technical Specifications

  • Brand: Hikenture
  • Shape: 8-Like
  • Inflated Size:17.3″ x 12.2″ x 4.7″
  • Packed Size: 3″ x 3″ x 5″ 
  • Type of fabric: Soft cotton and woven polyester
  • Fill Material: Air
  • Color: Available in five colors
  • Weight: 0.35 lbs

Bottom Line

Air pillows are not known for their lumbar support, but this one has a nice 8-like rectangular shape.

Pros:

  • Good neck lumbar support
  • It has an extra layer of TPU. Does not bleed air quickly.
  • Easy to inflate and deflate.
  • It has a soft outer cover, machine washable.

Cons:

  • It comes only in one size.
  • Not very good for side sleepers

Details

  • Size: When inflated, the pillow goes to a size of 17.3″ x 12.2″ x 4.7″. But it packs really small at 5″ x 3″ x 3″.
  • Retains Air: The pillow has an additional bladder made with thickened TPU material. TPU is elastic like rubber but rip-free like plastic. It helps to keep the air inside the pillow. The manufacturer claims that they have done many quality checks to ensure durability and quality.
  • Cover: The outer cover is made with soft cotton, which is breathable and machine washable. It also has a soft inner layer made from woven polyester, which is a durable fabric. 
  • Valve: This pillow has a one-click button valve, which is better than the Trekology pillow because it won’t wear out easily. You can inflate the pillow easily without losing air, and deflation takes only a few seconds. 
  • Design: To provide better comfort, the pillow has a washable and removable cover that is breathable and skin-friendly. 
  • Elastic strap: Just like the Trekology pillow, this one too has an elastic strap to hold it in place on your camping bed.

Check Price and User Reviews

You may also like No, You Don’t Need a Sleeping Bag for Camping (With Alternatives)

#7. Rugged Camp Camping Pillow: Lightest Pillow For Backpacking

TITLE_Rugged Camp Camping Pillows

Check Price and User Reviews

Rating

  • Size: Score 7/10 
  • Durability: Score 7/10
  • Design: Score 7/10 
  • Ease of Use: Score 7/10
  • Overall Score: 7/10

Technical Specifications

  • Brand: Rugged camp
  • Shape: Rectangle
  • Inflated Size:16″x 12″ x 4″
  • Packed Size: 4.5″ x 3″ x 3″
  • Type of fabric: Cotton
  • Fill Material: Air
  • Color: Comes in four colors
  • Weight: 0.17 lbs

Bottom Line

If weight is what matters the most to you, this pillow will only add 0.17 lbs to your backpack. It’s slightly cheaper than Trekology and Hikenture, but just as good.

Pros:

  • Lightest and smallest pillow
  • Ergonomically designed.
  • Strong knitted cotton fabric.
  • Fills up in just two breaths.

Cons:

  • It does not have an elastic strap or rubber grip on the button to keep it in place.

Details

  • Size: When compressed, the pillow weighs 0.17lbs and measures 4.5″ x 3″, which is the lightest and smallest pillow that you can get on the market! Inflated, it goes to a size of 16″ x 12″ x 4″. 
  • Fill valve: This pillow uses a third system of valves (different from Trekology and Hikenture). It has a no air-loss valve, which you can use to quickly inflate the pillow with just two breaths, but you can also plug it out while deflating. It’s a bit more complex and probably less durable than the Hikenture button system.
  • Cover: The waterproof knitted cotton material. Knitted cotton is made by knitting the threads together instead of weaving them, which makes the fabric much stronger. The material is also waterproof, so you don’t have to worry about the vagaries of weather.
  • Design: This is another ergonomically designed pillow that offers good neck support.  

Check Price and User Reviews

#8. Outbright Memory Foam Camping Pillow: Softest Pillow

TITLE_Outbright Memory Foam Camping Pillow

Check Price and User Reviews

Rating

Size: Score 6/10 

Durability: Score 7/10

Design: Score 8/10 

Ease of Use: Score 7/10

Overall Score: 7/10

Technical Specifications

  • Brand: Outright
  • Shape: Rectangle
  • Inflated Size:16″ x 12″ x 5″ 
  • Packed Size: 12″ x 6″
  • Type of fabric: Organic Bamboo
  • Fill Material: Class-A PU memory foam
  • Color: White
  • Weight: 1.55 lbs

Bottom Line

The pillow uses shredded memory foam, which makes it soft, and moldable while still retaining the properties for which memory foam is famous. It retains its shape for almost 3+ years. 

Pros

  • Soft and moldable
  • The hypoallergenic bamboo cover is machine washable.
  • Odorless and chemical-free.
  • Three-year warranty.
  • Includes a lavender sachet in the packet
  • Ideal for shoulder, back, and neck pain.

Cons

  • The carry bag is far too large. It can easily be compressed to a smaller size for camping or backpacking.
  • It is heavier than most other pillows in this article.

Details

Size: This is a slightly thicker pillow than the rest of those in our article (16″ x 12″ x 5″). It can compress down to a smaller size than what the 12″ x 6 “carry case suggests. 

Chemical Free: The pillow has OEKO-TEK certification, which means it is 100 % safe, does not contain harmful chemicals, and is odor-free. 

Filling: The cushion contains class-A Polyurethane shredded memory foam. You can even add more memory foam to make the pillow thicker. Shredded memory foam makes it moldable and soft while still retaining the orthopedic benefits of memory foam that reduce neck and spine pain. It supports the back and the shoulder too. 

Fragrance: The pillow included a lavender sachet that gives it a fresh and soothing, and relaxing fragrance. With a pleasant flowery fragrance, sleeping becomes stress-free.

Check Price and User Reviews

You may also like Roll or Stuff a Sleeping Bag (And Why Stuffing Is Better)

Frequently Asked Questions

Q How Do I Wash My Camping Pillow?

A. Different pillows have different requirements for cleaning. If you are washing an inflatable pillow, make sure its valve is closed. If you wash it with valve open water and soap might destroy its inner lining. Some pillows can be easily washed in a dryer or a washing machine. But before tossing one in, make sure you read the washing instructions carefully. Also, for washing, you can use regular laundry soap; it shall work fine. 

Q Do I need a camping pillow with a mummy sleeping bag?

A. Most of the mummy sleeping bags come with a travel pillow. Hence, you don’t need to pack one separately with the same. If by chance, your mummy sleeping bag does not have one, you can go for a small camping pillow.

Best Camping Pillows

Q What would be the best pillow to use with mummy sleeping bags?

A. Mummy sleeping bags are very compact sleeping bags and can hardly accommodate a large pillow. Hence it is better to use a small camping pillow with such bags. One of the smallest pillows on our list is the Hikenture Camping Pillow. It is very compact and measures only 12 “x16”; you can easily use it with a mummy sleeping bag. If you have a bigger pillow-like REDCAMP Camping Pillows (20 “x12”), you can place it vertically at 90° and comfortably use it. 

Q Can I use something instead of a camping pillow if I forget to keep one?

A. If such a situation occurs and you can’t sleep without a pillow, you can fold a blanket, towel or a piece of cloth (like a jacket, etc.) and use it as a pillow. It’s advisable to go for a softer material else you may wake up with a sprain in the neck. 

You may also like Do You Need a Sleeping Pad for Camping? (And Alternatives)

Conclusion

A camping pillow is one of the essential things when you are out camping. This I learned the hard way after spending a few sleepless nights in the camp. 

After much research, Trekology Camping Pillow is my pick for air filled pillows. This is because it easily folds into a 5×2 inches size and fits in my backpack. Its anti-slipping rubber dots stick well with my inflatable sleeping bed hence offers a peaceful sleep.

Best Camping Pillows

Therm-a-Rest is the best when it comes to foam filled. This is because of its soft foam filling that expands into a 4-inch thick pillow for the head and supports the neck. Also, its brushed polyester cover is soft against the skin and offers comfort.

For a budget pick, you can go for the REDCAMP Outdoor Camping Pillow. It has hollow fiber filling and is priced very reasonably.

If interested I also wrote article on 5 Clever Camping Pillow Alternatives.