7 Best Camping Pillows for Restful Sleep on the Road
The best camping pillow can make roughing it a bit more comfortable when it's time to sleep.
Our editors and experts handpick every product we feature. We may earn a commission from your purchases.
RD.COM, VIA MERCHANT (3)
In the past, campers had to rely on finding a comfortable log or a makeshift pile of shirts to support their heads at night. However, modern-day camping offers plenty of options for the best camping pillow for a taste of home, even when you’re roughing it in the wilderness.
Our camping experts rounded up the top pillows suitable for backpackers, side sleepers and anyone else in need of nighttime comfort while on the go, whether you’re sleeping in an RV or staying at a scenic campsite.
The best camping pillows
- Best overall: Nemo Fillo Camping Pillow
- Best budget: Teton Sports Camp Pillow
- Most comfortable: Coop Home Goods Adjustable Travel Pillow
- Best for side sleepers: Therm-a-Rest Compressible Pillow
- Most lightweight: Aeros Premium Pillow
- Best for backpacking: Therm-a-Rest Air Head Down Pillow
- Best on Amazon: Trekology Ultralight Inflatable Camping Travel Pillow
Nemo Fillo Camping Pillow
What really sold us on the Nemo Fillo Camping Pillow as the best camping pillow is that it supports broader shoulders due to the 6-inch thick open-cell foam. At the same time, it can be packed into a stuff sack the size of most water bottles and weighs less than a pound.
The baffled air cells eliminate air pockets and the self-inflation process takes seconds. Customer reviewers agree the camping pillow does an excellent job of elevating your head off the ground, while the smooth-textured jersey-blend cover provides a soft spot to rest.
- Exceptional value and very comfortable
- Cushy baffled air cell eliminates balloon feeling
- Easily inflatable
- It packs down into a small size
Pricier than other options
Teton Sports Camp Pillow
Don’t underestimate the affordable Teton Sports Camp Pillow. It may not be like other camping pillows, but it offers a comfort-to-price ratio that surpasses all others. While it can’t be packed down quite as small, you don’t need to inflate it; simply plop it down and give it a few seconds to loft up.
We highly recommend this pillow for car campers, glampers or anyone else who doesn’t need to worry about pack size and wants a pillow that feels like home while camping. After your trip, toss both the pillow and the cover in the washing machine for easy cleaning.
- Affordable price
- Multiple designs and color options
- No inflating necessary
Larger pack size
Coop Home Goods Adjustable Travel Pillow
The Coop Home Goods Adjustable Travel Pillow brings the comfort of memory foam pillows to the great outdoors. What’s more, you can add or remove foam to find the perfect firmness to fit your needs. If you’re still skeptical, there’s a 100-day money-back guarantee so it doesn’t hurt to take it for a test drive.
Reader’s Digest Senior Shopping Editor Megan Mowery has used this pillow on all of her camping trips over the past few years. “I’m a huge fan of the original Coop pillow, so when I found the brand’s travel-sized version, I purchased it without a second thought,” she says. “I never travel without my mini Coop. I like that it rolls up into the included carrying bag, which has a strap to compress the pillow and makes it more portable.”
This pillow isn’t just for camping, either: “I swear this pillow helps me get a better night’s sleep when I’m tent camping, but it’s also a lifesaver—er, neck- and back-saver—when I sleep on stiff pullout couches while visiting family,” adds Mowery.
- Adjustable memory foam filling
- 100-day money-back guarantee
Not ideal for prolonged outdoor use
Best for side sleepers
Therm-a-Rest Compressible Pillow
The Therm-a-Rest Compressible Pillow is one of our best camping pillow choices, though we like it most for side sleepers who want extra support no matter how their body contorts at night. It’s adjustable, soft and comfortable enough for most seasons.
It didn’t earn our top overall spot due to its slightly larger pack size, but it’s still very portable. We also appreciate the eco-friendly construction: It’s stuffed with excess foam from the brand’s sleeping pad production, and the soft cover is made from a recycled poly blend.
- Supports side sleepers
- Packs into itself
Bulkier than most camping pillows
Aeros Premium Pillow
Coming in at less than three ounces, you might forget the Aeros Premium Pillow is in your backpack since it’s so lightweight. The pillow’s adhesive hook-and-loop patches guarantee it remains securely attached to your sleeping pad or air mattress. Its contoured design provides a comfortable fit for your head; while a TPU bladder enhances airflow to keep you cool throughout the night.
- Weighs less than three ounces
- Attaches to sleeping pads
- Curved internal baffles create contours that cradle the head
- Multiple colors available
Best for backpacking
Therm-a-Rest Air Head Down Pillow
We selected the Therm-a-Rest Air Head as our top choice for the best backpacking camping pillow because it’s as comfortable as your favorite pillow from home, despite being significantly smaller in size. It takes up as much space as a Nalgene water bottle when inflated and even less room when deflated and packed away. Additionally, it is rare to find an inflatable pillow filled with duck down.
- Compact and comfortable
- Duck down filling
May not be firm enough for side sleepers
Best on Amazon
Trekology Ultralight Inflatable Camping Travel Pillow
With more than 15,000 five-star Amazon ratings, the Trekology Ultralight Inflatable Pillow has been tested and approved by more campers, truckers and backpackers than any other travel pillow on Amazon. The biggest benefits are the petite pack size (smaller than a soda can), the waterproof and durable TPU fabric and a simple setup that requires fewer than 10 breaths.
Even more: The back has rubber anti-slipping dots so the pillow stays firmly planted on sleeping bags; while a latch strap attaches to inflatable air pads to prevent it from moving around at night. The ergonomic design is also perfect for people who are looking for comfort on a budget.
- 21,000+ Amazon ratings and a 4.5-star average
- Very affordable
- Non-slip design
Air filling isn’t the most comfortable
What to consider when buying the best camping pillow
When looking for the best camping pillow, consider the size, fill and pack size. When we say size, we mean the literal size of the pillow, the same way you’d choose a home pillow. Larger people will require bigger pillows. If you’re using a sleeping bag, you’ll also want to check if the pillow can fit in the hood.
Pack size is how small the pillow can be stored when not in use. Most premium camping pillows can be deflated and stuffed into a sack the size of a typical reusable water bottle. Pack size also refers to how heavy the bag is, which is especially important if you’re backpacking and need to limit your camping gear.
Camping pillows come with different fills, including synthetic fibers, down and air. Also consider the pillow’s thickness, which is a good indicator of how high it’ll be off the ground. Side sleepers will want a much thicker pillow compared to back sleepers.
Types of camping pillows
- Inflatable camping pillows: As their name suggests, inflatable camping pillows are inflated with your breath. They’re very lightweight, but often aren’t as comfortable as other camping pillows.
- Compressible camping pillows: Compressible camping pillows are more like your home pillows and are compressed and put into a stuff sack when not in use.
- Stuff sack pillows: Stuff sack pillows are stored in an attached pouch. These are better for people who are car camping or going on short journeys since they’re often much bulkier than other camping pillows.
How we found the best camping pillow
As shopping experts, our only job is to help you find a winning product. We start with the research and reporting basics—what products are made of, what they look like and how much they cost—to ensure that we’re only recommending the buys that are worth your time and money. Then, we research the features that speak to the product’s quality, taking advice from industry insiders and subject matter experts on what makes a product a smart value (or worthy of a splurge). Finally, we do the work of combing through user reviews to see how real people interact with the product, and if it stands up to the test.
Are inflatable pillows comfortable?
Inflatable pillows can be comfortable, but due to their nature, they’re often much smaller and thinner than other camping pillows. They typically aren’t the best options for side sleepers who need a more firm option (like this genius Ear Pillow).
What do backpackers use for a pillow?
Backpackers often use inflatable camping pillows because they pack very small and don’t add much weight to their gear.
Stop hunting for the best products and deals—get our expert scoop on secret sales and discounts, gift ideas for everyone and can’t-miss products. Sign up for the Stuff We Love newsletter.