Best Camping Pillows for Optimal Support and Sleep Quality

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When it comes to a relaxing night’s sleep in the wonderful outdoors, a comfortable pillow can make all the difference.

We will take a closer look at the top camping pillows on the market, designed to provide optimal support, portability, and convenience for outdoor enthusiasts.

Whether you’re a seasoned camper or new to the camping world, our curated selection will help you find the perfect camping pillow to enhance your outdoor sleeping experience.

Say goodbye to restless nights, and hello to restful slumber under the stars with the best camping pillows of the year.

5 Best Camping Pillows Reviewed

1. Sea to Summit Inflatable Camping Pillow

Sea to Summit Inflatable Camping Pillow
  • Lightweight inflatable pillow with a soft brushed knit…
  • Multi-function mini valve provides easy inflation, fast…
  • Technical fabrics reduce weight, will withstand exposure to…

Game-changing outdoor products very, very rarely measure in at a mere 3 by 3 inches and weigh in at a tiny 2.8 ounces, but in the Sea to Summit Aero, we find an outstandingly practical and high-performing exception to the rule.

This pillow is an absolute dream for the gram-counter, ultralight minimalist, and comfort-seeker alike, and without a doubt the best backpacking pillow we’ve ever had the pleasure of laying our heads on.

In addition to its tiny pack size and featherlight weight, this pillow is a marvel of convenience, blowing up with just a couple of large puffs and featuring an adjustment button that allows you to find the ideal level of inflation for your sleeping style.

This one, however, truly outperforms its competitors in terms of comfort and quality.

The Aeros sandwiches a thin but very effective layer of protective synthetic fill between a tough but supple TPU bladder and a superbly soft, 50-denier knitted polyester exterior, all of which combine to make this one of the softest and most puncture-resistant pillows out there.

Just as importantly, the pillow’s height and slightly cambered shape mean that it cradles your head, making it ideal for side-sleepers, back-sleepers, and front-sleepers alike.

While the price of the Aeros may put off many potential buyers, given the quality of the materials used and S2S’s lifetime warranty, it’s kind of difficult to go wrong.

If you use the pillow just 50 times in your lifetime, that works out to a matter of cents per excellent night’s sleep. Worth it?

There are plenty of cheaper camping pillows on the market, but we believe in the simple dictum “buy well, buy once,” and any buyer of the S2S Aeros, for our money, is buying as well as is currently possible for anyone looking for the perfect blend of portability, comfort, practicality, and overall quality.

Pros

  • Tiny pack size
  • Very lightweight
  • Incredibly comfortable
  • This is perfect for individuals who sleep on their sides, backs, or faces.
  • Easy to inflate and deflate.
  • Tough and durable materials

Cons

  • A little noisy
  • Not machine-washable.

Product Information

  • Dimensions: Regular—14x10x5 (2.80 oz); Large—16.5×11.5×5.5” (3.7 oz)
  • Material: brushed, 50D polyester knit; synthetic fill between pillowcase and TPU bladder
  • Warranty: Lifetime
  • Dishwasher Safe: No
  • Inflation adjustment button

2. NEMO Fillo Camping Pillow

NEMO Fillo Camping Pillow
  • Easily Packable – The Nemo Fillo Pillow packs remarkably…
  • Designed for Comfort – 3″ I-Beam baffled air cell eliminates…
  • Luxuriously Soft – Thick luxury foam and a soft,…

The S2S Aeros is a tough act to follow, but in the Nemo Fillo, the Aeros finds a very worthy competitor that may even prove to be more appealing to some would-be buyers.

The Nemo Fillo features a hybrid design that uses a combo of air, foam, and a microsuede cover to deliver a pillow that’s simply a dream for your dome.

With five inches of loft from the super-soft foam fill and the lush texture of the microsuede cover, this is a pillow that takes your comfort seriously.

At 0.85 pounds, this isn’t the lightest pillow in our review and probably isn’t the best option for long-distance backpacking trips.

However, compared to other pillows that prioritize comfort over portability and packability, it is, relatively speaking, at the lighter end of the scale. As such, this represents a comfortable medium between ultralight models like the Aeros (above) and the Thermarest Travel Pillow (below).

Granted, it’s pricey, but the manufacturer backs it with a limited lifetime warranty in exchange for a long-lasting pillow.

If you purchase this pillow, note that you must store it outside of the stuff sack to prevent the foam fill from losing loft and shape over time.

Pros

  • Luxurious comfort—it feels like your pillow at home.
  • Detachable pillow slip
  • A hybrid design uses air and foam.
  • 5 inches in thickness.
  • A pleased medium between bare-bones ultralight models and heavily compressible models

Cons

  • A bit heavy for backpacking.
  • Pricey

Product Information

  • Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 5 inches (0.85 pounds)
  • Material: foam with a microsuede cover.
  • Warranty: Lifetime
  • Dishwasher safe.
  • Integrated stuff sack
  • Adjustable inflation valve
  • Shock cord lacing on the underside allows you to attach clothes for added loft.

3. Therm-a-Rest Camping Pillow

Sale
Therm-a-Rest Camping Pillow
  • Ultralight (9 ounce) compressible travel pillow with soft…
  • Foam filling expands into a 4-inch thick pillow for head,…
  • Compact design packs into a backpack, duffle, suitcase, or…

More than any other pillow in our review, this one replicates the feel of our pillow at home thanks to its plush, brushed polyester cover and plump, four-inch urethane fill.

While some potential buyers may be tempted to focus on the less endearing specification listed in this one’s product description—that is, the fairly hefty 12 oz weight—this pillow wins our vote on account of not only its undoubted quality but also its generosity as regards quantity.

At 16 by 23 by 4 inches, with this pillow, you get a lot of loft, length, and breadth for your buck.

Those dimensions, in combination with the superbly soft foam fill and that brushed cover, create a pillow that offers oodles of comfort, neck support, and plenty of leeway for those prone to tossing and turning in their sleep.

So, are there any downsides? Other than the weight and lack of packability, it’s difficult to find fault with the Thermarest Travel Pillow.

It’s reasonably priced, well made, durable, machine washable, and about as comfortable as they come, making it ideal for anyone not hiking far before bedtime.

This might not be the ideal pillow for long-distance backpacking owing to its ever-so slightly ponderous weight, but for car camping or single overnighters in the backcountry, there are few, if any, more comfortable pillows out there.

Pros

  • Light for a compressible pillow
  • This is possibly the best camping pillow for neck support out there.
  • Made in the USA
  • Incredibly comfortable

Cons

  • Heavier than inflatable competitors
  • The filling grows to 4 inches thick.

Product Information

  • Dimensions: 16 x 23 x 4 inches (12 oz)
  • Material: brushed polyester cover; urethane filling
  • Warranty: Lifetime
  • It is dishwasher-safe.
  • Available in multiple patterns and designs
  • Available in four sizes

4. Coop Home Goods Camping Pillow

Coop Home Goods Camping Pillow
  • FEEL AT HOME – Take the comfort and luxury of our…
  • ADJUST IT AND ENJOY RESTFUL SLEEP – Our backpacking pillow…
  • SLEEP WITH PEACE OF MIND – Confidently use our CertiPUR-US &…

If you value comfort, support, and luxury over packability and portability, this pillow may be right for you.

Using a memory foam fill in combination with a machine-washable, thermo-regulating, and wonderfully soft polyester and viscose rayon cover, this pillow oozes quality, coziness, and comfort from the second you get your hands on it.

And when you finally get the chance to lay your head on it, it performs none too shabbily, either! Weighing in at a hefty 36 ounces and measuring 10 by 6 inches when compressed, this pillow is unlikely to gain too many fans from the gram-counting or ultralight community.

However, we can only judge the merit of any given product using the parameters of its specific category or niche—we would, after all, hardly lament a lack of simple parking ability or favorable miles-to-the-gallon ratio when buying a beast of a utility vehicle, would we?

Being a pillow that belongs very much to the big and beautiful class of camping pillows, the metrics by which we can fairly measure this option’s worth are comfort, support, and ability to provide a satisfying night’s sleep, and in all three of these aspects, it delivers as well as any travel pillow or camping pillow we know.

As with the Thermarest Compressible Travel Pillow, this one isn’t going to win any awards for portability, but in terms of comfort and luxuriousness, it’s as excellent as any camping pillow we’ve ever come across.

Pros

  • Nicely sized
  • Breathable memory foam filling
  • Customizable
  • Extremely comfortable

Cons

  • Very heavy
  • Bulky even when compressed (10”x6”)

Product Information

  • Dimensions: 19 x 14 inches (36 oz)
  • Material: memory foam filling; Viscose Rayon and Poly Blend cover (40% bamboo-derived Viscose Rayon, 60% polyester)
  • Warranty: 5 years
  • It is dishwasher-safe.
  • Cover is naturally thermo-regulating, hypoallergenic, and dust mite-resistant.
  • The product is made without ozone depleters, PBDEs, TDCPP, TCEP flame retardants, mercury, lead, heavy metals, formaldehyde, phthalates regulated by the CPSC, or CFCs.

5. TREKOLOGY Inflatable Camping Pillow

TREKOLOGY Inflatable Camping Pillow
  • SMALL in SIZE – BIG on COMFORT! This is the most compact &…
  • NEWLY DESIGNED with YOUR ULTIMATE COMFORT in MIND – Improved…
  • NOW MORE DURABLE THAN EVER! Enhanced design with added…

To summarize, the Trekology Inflating Travel Pillow is an ultralight backpacking pillow that fulfills all our requirements while remaining more affordable than many of its lightweight competitors.

Sound good? Well, it’s about to sound a whole lot better.

This dead-ringer for the S2S Aeros (see above) is not only cheap but boasts the kind of specs that will make anyone undecided about whether or not a backpacking pillow is worth space in their pack reconsider in a hurry.

This is the most portable pillow in our review, weighing in at a tiny 2.75 ounces and packing down to 5 by 2.5 inches.

It also delivers surprisingly well in terms of quality—using a water-resistant polyester-TPU blend that’s more than strong enough to deal with the odd poke from other items in your pack or scuffs from abrasive rocks, trees, dirt, or whatever other inanimate aggressors it may come into contact with.

Compared to the S2S Aeros, this pillow lacks a little in terms of durability and doesn’t have the same soft material on the pillow’s exterior, but given that it costs just a fraction of the price, these flaws are very forgivable.

While this pillow represents excellent value for money and is, to our mind, undoubtedly the best cheap camping pillow out there, it lacks the long-term durability of some of the pricier models featured above.

Pros

  • Very reasonably priced
  • Surprisingly high-quality construction
  • Tiny pack size
  • Very lightweight

Cons

Product Information

  • Dimensions: 16 x 12 x 4 inches (2.75 oz)
  • Material: 80% polyester, 20% TPU
  • Warranty: 1 year
  • Dishwasher Safe: No
  • Slip-resistant design
  • A simple inflate/deflate button
  • Water-resistant materials

Things to Consider Before Buying

camping pillow in tent

For those of us who have embraced the outdoors through camping, the concept of home takes on a new meaning.

It becomes any place where we rest our heads, whether that’s on a snow-covered mountain slope, amidst the vastness of a desert, on the soft earth of a forest, or perched on a small portaledge on the side of a towering cliff.

The beauty of nature transforms these spots into our temporary homes, no matter how rugged or gentle they may be. Often, however, even when we’ve chosen our camping location very carefully, there are a number of variables that make the place we’re laying our heads a little less “homely” than we’d like.

Lumpy sleeping bag hoods, ill-made improvised pillows, rocks beneath our tent, and uneven terrain are just a few of the potential variables that can get in the way of us getting a comfortable night’s sleep.

Thankfully, the solution to such problems is easy to find, very small, and very affordable—the camping pillow. Traditional outdoor enthusiasts once scoffed at camping pillows, associating them with city dwellers seeking comfort. However, times have changed.

Thanks to technological improvements, these pillows have become more compact, lightweight, and comfortable. Now, even the most experienced campers consider them essential, recognizing their value as a crucial part of their camping gear.

Size

While the size of your pillow is important for storage, its dimensions also play a big part in its overall usefulness and appeal in terms of comfort.

A small pillow might seem like a space saver in your pack, but after your head slips off for the tenth time at night, doubts creep in.

You might ponder whether using your jacket or stuff sack would have been a wiser choice. Or perhaps you’ll consider that a slightly larger, more comfortable pillow would justify its space by effectively fulfilling its intended purpose.

Material

The material used in your camping pillow is important for two reasons: durability and comfort.

With regard to comfort, the general rule is that compressible models are superior to inflatable models, but as a result, they usually lose a lot in the way of portability.

While comfort is a very personal and subjective metric to measure, the air chamber in inflatable models often has a tendency to feel a touch on the rigid side when fully inflated, and most inflatable models also lack a detachable, soft cover.

The obvious drawback and trade-off here is the pack size, with inflatable models being more pocketable than simply packable and compressible models (that use foam, down, or synthetic fills), which typically weigh much more and are far bulkier.

For a medium that offers the best of both worlds, hybrid models are often the way to go, with pillows like the S2S Aeros featured above delivering on both the packability and the comfort front by using a combination of air (inflation) and a thin layer of foam or other synthetic materials to boost comfort.

One point worth noting with regard to down pillows, however, is that although they are super soft and more compressible than most foam models, if you happen to get them wet, they can take a short time to dry out—not ideal if you’re at the start of your backpacking trip as opposed to the end!

Compressibility

When we’re backpacking, more often than not, every inch of space in our pack is prized real estate.

Therefore, any equipment that can condense into a small bundle is quite advantageous.

When it’s time to finalize our packing, we’re likely to forego a camping pillow that doesn’t compress and takes up too much pack space, considering it a luxury item we could live without.

Support

The support provided by your pillow is crucial to ensuring you don’t wake up with any nasty cricks, strains, or stiffness in your neck and upper back.

The amount of loft any pillow provides (usually measured in inches) and the type of materials used in its construction can quantify support.

In light of the above, when surveying the specs of any pillow, pay particular attention to the fill type and the depth of the pillow, which are always the smallest of the three figures quoted in the product’s dimensions.

For most sleepers, a pillow with 4 or 5 inches of girth will prove to most closely resemble their pillow at home, with a few slight variations depending on how you sleep.

For side sleepers, a thicker pillow is usually required to keep the spine safely and comfortably aligned, whereas stomach sleepers require much less support and usually feel more comfortable with as little as 2/3 inches of loft.

Back sleepers are typically somewhere in the middle, with 4 inches being the ideal amount of loft for most users.

Regarding materials, it’s crucial to understand that most inflatable models will maintain their loft—and, consequently, their support—during the night, while foam, synthetic, or down pillows will experience some loft loss due to the weight of your head pressing against them.

Durability

For durability, look for ripstop materials and, in inflatable models, supple but robust rubber or thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU).

It can be challenging to determine a pillow’s durability, especially when shopping online and depending solely on the manufacturer’s often exaggerated claims about their product, such as “highly durable” or “built to last.”

Sherlock Holmes-style digging is the best way to predict your pillow’s long-term performance.

Head online, locate the user reviews, and hunt down any posted by users after a significant period of use to see how the pillow stood up to the test of time. Finally, never buy a pillow without a substantial warranty period.

Most reputable sellers offer a lifetime warranty, so if your pillow’s manufacturer is offering anything less than 5 years, raise a wary eyebrow, ask yourself why, and seriously consider taking your money elsewhere.

Why Do You Need a Camping Pillow?

A camping pillow is a luxury item that many campers have neglected over the years, and many will continue to do so in the future.

Those aforementioned campers, or at least a terrific many of them, will have either shared at least one of the four following experiences or do so regularly due to their stubbornness in choosing not to purchase a camping pillow.

  1. After spending a night camping (and possibly every night), neck becomes extremely stiff.
  2. Sleepless nights were spent fighting and fiddling with bundles of usually smelly hiking clothing, trying to fashion an improvised pillow.
  3. Many frustrating minutes are wasted trying to fill a stuff sack with the appropriate amount of clothing to make a makeshift pillow that has the ideal loft.
  4. Envy their pillow-carrying campmates. One of the few downsides to spending our nights in the great outdoors is the lack of a few home comforts that would make the experience all the more enjoyable and, for some, just plain tolerable.

Consider the value of a high-quality camping pillow: it can offer comfort nearly equivalent to your pillow at home. The cost is minimal, perhaps slightly more than a 12-pack of beer.

It is more efficient in terms of space, occupying less than a single can from that pack would. The difference it makes—shifting from a sleepless night to one of restful slumber—makes it an obvious choice for your outdoor excursions.

Furthermore, there are numerous health benefits to using a supportive pillow. Even if medical advice doesn’t usually sway you, the adverse effects of poor sleep are undeniable.

Fatigue, irritability, and subpar performance in your outdoor pursuits are all consequences that are easily preventable with the right pillow. So, it’s clear that bringing along a camping pillow is a wise decision.

Washing a Camping Pillow

The materials used to make your camping pillow will determine how you wash it.

For down varieties, this may mean using a special down wash detergent that will restore a little “loft” to the down filling at the same time as laundering the pillow’s interior and exterior.

With inflatable pillows, hand washing and air drying are the only ways to go. To prevent water from entering the bladder while washing, first close the valve.

Then, using regular laundry detergent or soap, dunk the pillow in lukewarm water and scrub the exterior with your hands.

Because facial oils and grease can be fairly stubborn and soak into the fabric, you may have to repeat the process a couple of times before drying on the line or inside at room temperature (not on a radiator).

Wrap-Up

A suitable camping pillow can not only prove to be the difference between a suitable night’s sleep and a miserable one but also help you avoid all of the potential knock-on effects a sketchy night’s sleep can bring—fatigue, irritability, and a general lack of enjoyment the following day.

The majority of content campers we’ve encountered believe their camping pillow is invaluable, and we’re confident you’ll agree if you try any of the previously mentioned options.

The ideal model for you will ultimately depend on your personal preferences, sleeping style, and outdoor lifestyle. If you fall into any of these categories, we’re confident that you’ll have many more enjoyable nights spent outdoors on your upcoming adventures.

Source link: https://www.shtfpreparedness.com/best-camping-pillows/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=best-camping-pillows by Mike Napier at www.shtfpreparedness.com