Going on a long car ride or enjoying a weekend camping in the great outdoors? Do you have limited storage or seek convenience? It is always important to put your comfort first. Find the best camping pillows on this list to fit your needs and get a good night’s sleep wherever you are.
With so many camping pillows on the market, it is hard to determine which one satisfies your needs. After examining many different products, we have noticed differences in each that could be a deciding factor for you. It is important to take into consideration the shape, size, and material for each pillow.
Top 10 Best Camping Pillows
1. Therm-a-Rest Compressible Travel Camping Pillow
The Term-a-Rest Compressible Travel Pillow is perfect for any traveling occasion. Whether you are traveling by car, plane, train, or on foot, this pillow is easy and convenient.
It only weighs one pound and is four inches thick. It can compress down to minimize space and puffs up when ready for use. Its polyester fabric makes this pillow very comfortable and durable. The fabric is also very soft to increase comfort. The quality of the material improves the product compared to other camping pillows on the market. It is also easy to clean by using a damp cloth or throwing it in the wash. Therm-a-Rest Compressible Travel Pillow is environmentally friendly by utilizing upcycled foam from the brand’s mattresses.
The Therm-a-Rest Compressible Travel Pillow comes in a variety of colors and sizes. There are 8 colors to choose from. Customers can choose from four different sizes to determine the size that fits their needs. It is reasonably priced which is one of the reasons this pillow is so popular.
- Fill Material: Foam, Polyester
- Fabric Type: Polyester
- Brand: Therm-a-Rest
- Weight: 1 pound
- Thickness: 4 inches
- Compressible for storage
Sample Customer Review…These pillows are amazing! The first thing you must do after you get it in the mail is wash and dry it (it fluffs the pillow up substantially). The outer material is so soft and comfortable and the inside has just the right amount of cushion. The fill inside the pillow is made up of bits of foam which seems weird but is actually really comfortable and honestly, after a long & hard day of hiking, there’s nothing better than having a pillow to sleep on. We took these (size small) on several multi-day backpacking trips so far and they are reasonably lightweight and fit well when packed up with the rest of our gear. It definitely beats using rolled-up clothing or inflatable pillows. The pillow packs down into a small enough roll (it takes some practice to get it down) which is great when you’re short on space. It does take a little while and/or fluffing to get the pillow back into shape after it’s unrolled so it’s typically one of the first things I take out of my bag and unroll after setting up the tent. We’ve been taking these on plane flights too and they’ve worked great (I’d say they’re similar in size to the pillows you might get on a plane but much fluffier).Read more reviews at Amazon.com.
2. NEMO Fillo Elite
The NEMO Fillo Elite backpacking pillow is versatile for any traveling needs. It can compact to be easier to pack. This pillow can expand quickly. This pillow can compact down very small so it is convenient for travel. It is also protected from dust or dirt with its stuff sack. The NEMO Fillo Elite backpacking pillow is also machine washable and packed with 100% recycled insulation.
The NEMO Fillo Elite pillow attempts to provide a natural cushiony pillow feel. It also comes with a lifetime warranty to repair any damages. It is a higher-priced item compared to the other camping pillows on the market. It has an inflatable outside to allow for adjustments.
This camping pillow comes in various sizes and colors. This is one of the larger pillows on the market to ensure customers have enough pillow space to move around throughout the night while remaining comfortable. The material used is designed to provide a cooling feature. There are two types of materials that are used. The soft microsuede and jersey knit material allow the pillow to be easily washable and comfortable.
- Cooling cover
- Machine washable
- 3-inch beam baffled air cell
- Useful for many traveling purposes
- Lifetime warranty
Sample Customer Review…Great lightweight backpacking pillow, packs up nice and small. Plenty comfortable enough to sleep on, but it does kinda feel like sleeping on a balloon. I carry a bit of a heavier foam-based sleeping pad due to this “balloon” effect (backpackers know what I mean) in lighter pads, but I think it’s acceptable for a pillow. Overall not bad, fits in the Nemo sleeping bag (I used a Nemo Riff 30) perfect!Read more reviews at Amazon.com.
3. Teton Sports Camp Pillow
The Teton Sports Camp Pillow is a small flannel pillow that is easy to pack. This pillow also comes with a draw-string bag so it is easy to carry and doesn’t take up space when packing. It only comes in one size but in multiple colors. It is very convenient for multiple traveling occasions; camping, airplane rides, car rides, etc. Additionally, it doesn’t require any inflating to fluff up the pillow. It inflates by itself.
The Teton Sports Camp Pillow is easy to wash. The pillow itself and the pillowcase can be washed. This soft and light pillow comes in fashionable flannel patterns. The flannel material allows the pillow to stay warm to keep you warm.
The Teton Sports Camp Pillow has a competitive advantage over the other pillows on the market with its non-slip material on the bottom of the pillow. It allows you to move around and get comfortable throughout the night without having to worry about your head not staying on the pillow. It is a heavier pillow so it is not recommended for long-distance hiking.
This pillow is one of the lower-priced pillows on the market and also comes with a lifetime warranty.
- Easily washable
- Weighs 0.6 pounds
- No inflating necessary
- Flannel material
- Matching camping gear
- Versatile for multiple occasions
Sample Customer Review…I used this pillow for three weeks while camping in Alaska and for every plane ride I’ve had since. It was fantastic. Perfect size, comfy, really pretty and well made, good quality, and everything I hoped it would be. You can easily take the case off for washing and the bag it comes in is easy to carry, doesn’t take up much room, and the pillow slides in and out easily. I will probably buy another one because it’s so good. It saved my life in Alaska and gave me a great night’s sleep. The quality of the fabric and pillow is outstanding and very durable.Read more reviews on Amazon.com.
4. Klymit Drift Camping Pillow
The Klymit Drift Camping Pillow emphasizes the importance of comfort. This pillow is filled with pieces of memory foam to give customers the most comfortable camping pillow option. It is very convenient for all traveling needs. The memory foam inside the pillow provides comfort along with support so you can have a good night’s sleep.
The Klymit Drift Camping Pillow is easy to clean and compacts to be easy to store and travel with. Its water-resistant outer cover protects the pillow from being damaged.
The Klymit Drift Camping Pillow comes in two colors and two sizes. It is reasonably priced compared to the other pillows on the market. It also has a reversible pillowcase. This pillow is protected and prepared for whatever traveling activities you encounter.
- 95% Polyester, 5% cotton
- Easy to clean
- Useful for multiple travel occasions
- Water-resistant outer shell
- Memory foam
Sample Customer Review…I was looking for something to replace my old Thermarest & decided to give this a shot—I am so impressed!! The pillow itself is soft but holds its shape well due to the combination of shredded memory foam and gel fiber core. This feels like a real pillow—my Thermarest feels like it has popcorn inside of it. The dual pillowcase design is brilliant—slide the pillow to one end and it’s covered by a protective waterproof case for travel. Slide it to the other end and a soft jersey knit pillowcase is revealed for sleeping. All of it can be removed for washing. The pillow can be folded in half and a Velcro strap is included to help compress it. It is definitely intended for car camping, not backpacking, but it’s worth every penny. This pillow, combined with our Klymit Insulated Double V pad & our Big Agnes Camp Robber Bedroll makes our tent as comfortable as our bedroom!Read more reviews on Amazon.com.
5. TREKOLOGY Ultralight Inflatable Camping Travel Pillow
The Trekology Ultralight Inflatable Camping Travel Pillow comes with many beneficial features. This pillow deflates and compacts down to the size of an aluminum can. Due to its small size, it also doesn’t weigh much. It is extremely easy to inflate and deflate to save space and boost convenience.
To prevent the pillow from moving throughout your sleep, the Trekology Ultralight Inflatable Camping Travel Pillow has rubber material on the back to solve this problem. This allows customers to find their comfort without the pillow moving. You can sleep without worry that you will always have a pillow supporting your comfort needs.
Trekology Ultralight Inflatable Camping Pillow is waterproof to protect the pillow. It is very easy to clean by using a wet towel and leaving it out to dry. It also comes in a variety of colors. Trekology has continuously been improving the pillow to produce the most durable pillow. It is designed to provide a firm pillow feel.
The shape of this pillow is different from others on the market. It is small and lighter compared to other camping pillows as well. It is lower priced and easy to inflate using 3 breaths. The Trekology Ultralight Inflatable Camping Pillow is a great product if you are on a budget.
- Very small when compacted
- Inflates and deflates quickly
- 3.4oz weight
- Inflate pillow by mouth
- The rubber material on the back of the pillow to prevent slipping
Sample Customer Review…Very good quality. Easy to inflate. Better than regular pillows. I liked it very much. Great support and sizing for sleeping. I didn’t feel it is ‘inflatable’ because of the special shape of this pillow. I’ve read reviews of the old version of this pillow, and Q&A, where seller/manufacturer advises to use 16″x12″ pillowcases if you want. The size of this one is “Inflates to a generous 16 x 12 x 4 inches” – exactly, maybe even more. I bought 16 x 12 pillowcases which I could not use. The size is correct, but you probably need 18×14 for these pillows. I prefer to use them without pillowcases, and save money. If you need, buy a new pillow instead of trying to wash the old one. Of course, you can clean it with a wet damp towel, and even use antibacterial soap if needed.Read more reviews on Amazon.com.
6. Sea To Summit Aeros
The Sea To Summit Aeros Pillow is small to transport and comfortable to use. It is lightweight so it doesn’t add too much weight to your luggage.
This pillow is made of a thermoplastic polyurethane pouch and there is material in between the pouch and the pillowcase. The quality of the material is different compared to other pillows. The quality of this pillow explains why it is priced relatively higher compared to other camping pillows. The polyester material provides softness to expand the comfort of this pillow.
The manual inflation function takes about 2-3 breaths to inflate the pillow. This also allows you to be able to adjust the thickness of the pillow to fit your needs.
The unique design of this pillow with its curvy features provides comfort and support around your head. This style also makes it beneficial to have for different traveling purposes. Using it while you are sitting up in an airplane or a car makes it comfortable so your head and neck do not fall and make you uncomfortable.
The Sea to Summit Aeros comes in two colors and two sizes. It is also easy to clean so no matter what travel activities you encounter, you could always have a clean pillow.
- Polyester builds softness
- 2-3 breaths in inflate
- Weighs 4 ounces
Sample Customer Review…This is great for travel. It stows into a small pouch and easily inflates to whatever level of firmness is desired. The material is strong and stretchy. If you have to sit in hard chairs or are sitting for extended periods, this is great. It makes a great travel pillow as well. It’s nice having a consistent pillow when traveling. It’s just one little comfort that can provide familiarity when traveling. This is a top-quality product we purchased in anticipation of extended travel. It was a good choice.Read more reviews on Amazon.com.
7. Big Agnes AXL Air Pillow
The Big Agnes AXL Air Pillow is very lightweight and convenient. This pillow is made with highly stretchable nylon material. The shape also allows you to have continuous support and comfort throughout the night.
It easily deflates and comes with a bag to place your deflated pillow. It is very easy to bring for any travel experience. It is reasonably priced but is placed on the higher end of the price scale. It is easy to inflate and the manual inflation allows you to adjust the firmness of the pillow to your liking. The deflated pillow can pack down to save you storage space when traveling.
The Big Agnes AXL Air pillow is also very easy to inflate. It is higher priced compared to some of the other pillows. This pillow has a competitive advantage against others because it has technology that allows the pillow to stay warm in cool conditions.
- Nylon material
- Quick manual inflation
- Easy deflation
- Stuff sack included
- One size and color
Sample Customer Review…By far the best backpacking/travel pillow I’ve owned yet. Super lightweight and tiny, with very little noise. The shape works great keeping my head and neck in a good sleep position. Easy to inflate/deflate and adjust firmness. My husband and I are close to ultralight backpackers… my pack is usually around 25lbs, and thanks to this new pillow, I’m even lighter! I’m also a traveling musician who ends up on planes and buses/shuttles almost weekly at ungodly hours and this pillow goes everywhere with me… the best catnaps ever thanks to this little guy.Review from REI.com.
8. Klymit Inflatable Camping Pillow
The Klymit Inflatable Camping pillow is designed to support you the entire night. The firmness of the pillow is adjustable. It is also very easy to inflate using only 1-2 breaths. This pillow inflates quickly and can be compressed very small that it can fit into your pocket. It comes with a pressure gauge that allows you to adjust the firmness of the pillow.
On the bottom of the pillow, it has material that protects against rough grounds. For example, if you are camping in the woods, this material will protect against any tears or damages that may come from the ground.
The design of this pillow is to satisfy the comfort of people who sleep on their backs. If you sleep on your stomach or side, this pillow may not fulfill your comfort needs. This pillow is very inexpensive and is appropriate for customers who are on a budget.
- One size
- Weighs 1.95oz
- Inflates in 1-2 breaths
- Comes with Stuff Sack
- Limited lifetime warranty
Sample Customer Review…I wasn’t sure whether I’d like this when I got it. It’s definitely an odd design, but it’s pretty brilliant. The center of the pillow is thinner than the sides, so the edges are like little built-in neck pillows. I usually have problems with camping pillows sliding around or getting out of place during the night, but this one stays exactly where it’s meant to be. It’s comfortable for both side and back sleeping, and it packs down to about the size of a deck of cards, (except lighter). The valve design is brilliant; it can latch, and even when it’s unlatched, it won’t let the air out until you want it to. The only issue I have with this pillow is the way the chambers are linked — getting the last of the air out is like solving a puzzle, and it can be kind of annoying when you’re just trying to pack up and get going. But that’s a small issue compared to how light, comfy, and inexpensive it is.Read more reviews on Amazon.com.
9. Wise Owl Outfitters Compressible Foam Camping Pillow
This compressible camping pillow is stuffed for a great memory foam texture without creating bulk. When pulled out of the bag, it fluffs into a proper pillow. Just fold and roll it up for easy storage inside its free waterproof carrying bag.
It comes in three different sizes to meet your needs, including a size small enough for kids. The cover is easy to clean, resistant to water and stains, and machine washable. Plus, there are a few color options.
- Micro-suede, machine-washable cover
- 5 inches thick when expanded
- Includes waterproof drawstring bag
- 3 sizes
- 3 colors
Sample Customer Review…First off, this compressible pillow is incredibly lightweight and so easy to travel with. I hooked it onto my carry-on bag with a carabiner clip (Wise Owl Outfitters no less), and it was a breeze to carry around. As soon as the plane took off, I unpacked the pillow travel sack and plopped the portable pillow on my lap. My toddler laid her head on the pillow (she loved the maroon color and the super-soft suede material!) and within minutes was fast asleep. And she stayed asleep for two solid hours! She loved the pillow so much that she sleeps with it on her bed now. It’s got an amazing memory foam feeling, but with the sturdiness of a sponge pillow.Read more reviews on Amazon.com.
10. Cocoon Air-Core Pillow
This pillow’s round shape was designed specifically to fit inside a sleeping bag or hammock. It’s lightweight, packs down inside an included drawstring bag and has an adjustable twist valve for comfort.
The cover is made of microfiber on one side and nylon on the other—perfect for both cool and warm nights! On top of the inflatable core is a thin layer of filling for extra comfort. The twist valve lets you release air to maximize softness and fit it into your mummy bag.
- 3.8 ounces
- Nylon and microfiber
- Inflatable and synthetic
- Packs down to 4 x 3 inches in the included bag
Sample Customer Review…This pillow packs up itty-bitty inflates really fast and easily, and is the perfect fit for straight spinal alignment while I sleep on my side. The fleecy side is cozy and comfortable. I swapped out my Thermarest compressible camp pillow because it felt like I was sleeping on cotton balls, and it just wasn’t that packable. This Cocoon pillow is 100x better. I just used it on a one-night campout so far and it was perfect.Read more reviews on Amazon.com.
Buying Guide: Things to Consider Before Buying The Best Camping Pillows
Most travel pillows are either inflatable or compressible. Inflatable pillows have a foam interior that is expanded when unpacked. They can be packed into small spaces and are lightweight. However, these pillows must be inflated manually by blowing into them. This design isn’t a good fit if you have lung problems or plan to travel in high-altitude areas. They can also accumulate bacteria and moisture in the long term.
Compressible or self-inflating pillows are more like standard pillows. They are filled with foam, fiber, or feathers. Unlike inflatable pillows, they don’t need to be blown up. They are often softer, but they weigh more and take up more space in a bag. These are great for car and plane rides.
It’s possible to find pillows that are a combination of inflatable and compressible types. They usually have a compressible top layer with an inflatable bottom or sides. If you can’t decide between inflatable or compressible, this option is a good way to save on weight and space without sacrificing comfort.
The way you sleep should inform the type of pillow you buy. Because travel pillows are small, many are contoured to keep your head in place and support your spine all night long. If you sleep on your side, look for a firm pillow with more height. This design will help support your neck and relieve the weight of your head from your shoulders. Some pillows even come with inflatable bladders which can be adjusted to your liking. Back and stomach sleepers should look for softer, shorter pillows. These are lower to the ground and cradle your head instead of propping it up.
If you plan to use your pillow mainly for car or plane rides, look for a design with higher sides and lower middles. The U-shape will keep your head from falling to either side when sitting up in a seat and save you from unnecessary neck pains.
When traveling, the best pillows are small pillows. If you’re really tight on space, some even pack down to about the size of a deck of cards. Having a pillow that can be compressed and stuffed into a pack will help you save space and time. Depending on your specific needs, you might invest in a pillow without valves or extra insulation to save on storage.
Some travel pillows are silent, but others make lots of crinkling noises. If a quiet night’s sleep is important to you, look at online reviews or try out pillows in person to find out how much noise they make.
There’s no point in investing in a pillow that is uncomfortable. Look for soft materials and fabrics or buy a removable pillowcase to keep your head snug and cool at night. A removable pillowcase has the added advantage of washability. You can wash the outer fabric without washing the pillow, perfect for droolers or those with sensitive skin.
With so many options to choose from, we hope this list will help you find the best camping pillows for your trip. Many people all over the world travel. Long or short, close or far, car or plane, there are many travel pillows on the market. They are different shapes, materials, sizes, and colors. This article should help guide you in your camping pillow purchasing journey. Find the comfort and sleep you could have never imagined in uncomfortable places.
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Written by Megan Sackman and Abigail Honbarger.
Are camping pillows worth it?
This will depend on your personal preference and how you’re camping. If you need the extra support and comfort but are worried about weight or space, there are plenty of pillows that are lightweight and compact for traveling. If you have the space, it won’t hurt to bring a pillow for extra comfort.
How do I choose a camping pillow?
For backpackers, its suggested that you bring a lightweight pillow that will fit with everything else you’re carrying. If you’re using a camper, its ok to bring a pillow from home.