It can be difficult to sleep comfortably when camping, but it doesn’t have to be. To set you up for sleeping success, you should be using the correct sleeping bag, pillow, and sleeping pad. After using spare jackets as makeshift pillows, I am personally well aware of the benefits a pillow can offer. What you need is a pillow that allows you to rest your head in comfort.
Whether you want the best pillow for hammock camping or the best camping pillow for side sleepers, all pillows in this buyers guide are designed to maximize your comfort, no matter your situation. Please note that while there are many pillows designed especially for camping, not all of them are recommended by us. Without further ado, let’s dive in!
1. Nemo Fillo
In our opinion, the NEMO Fillo is the best inflatable camping pillow. It has a foam-filler, so I guess you could also argue this is the best memory foam camping pillow too. After personally trying most pillows on the market, I always go back to the Fillo when I need a good night sleep. There are slightly better pillows for specific purposes, but the Fillo is an unbeatable all-rounder.
As one of the most comfortable camping pillows, we need to take a look at how the pillow is made. Well, the Fillo is an inflatable pillow that is surrounded by a foam-filler. There is a microsuede cover that surrounds the whole outside of the pillow, which allows for a soft to the skin.
As an inflatable pillow for camping, you have to force air into the pillow before you can you use it. But this isn’t an issue as the pillow blows-up with just a few short breaths. When it comes to packing-up, just use the twist nozzle to release air. The stuff-sack attached to the underside of the pillow makes portability and storage even easier.
The Fillo is perfect for nearly every camping situation. I say nearly, because the only slight negative of this pillow is the weight. It weighs 0.5lb, which isn’t notably heavy, but it may prevent some extreme backpackers from using it. To sum up, from our testing this is the best blow-up camping pillow. It also comes in a huge array of colors, so you can pick the ideal one for your personal taste.
2. Sea to Summit Aeros
As one of the best small camping pillows, this is a lightweight camping pillow for backpacking adventures. In fact, the inflatable pillow weighs just a few ounces and folds-up to the size of an orange when packed-up.
For comfort, we love the soft cover that is made from polyester, which feels nice on the skin. With that said, we didn’t find this as comfortable as the camping pillows with memory foam. What it is good at is providing head support and keeping your head above the ground when you need it most. The slight arch of the pillow is great for supporting your head after a long day of backpacking.
To sum up, this is the pillow we use for those backpacking adventures where both extra space and weight is essential.
3. Therm-a-Rest Compressible
After testing, we believe this is the best compressible camping pillow for those on a budget. If you need a pillow that just gets the job done, this is it. It has a foam stuffing, with a cloth exterior that is soft to the touch. To be honest, it is similar to a pillow found in your everyday home.
Something many people don’t know is that these pillows are stuffed with the excess foam pieces from their foam sleeping pads. We love this economical use of materials.
It compresses and packs away well, but it didn’t pack down as well as we thought it would. But in this price bracket we can’t complain too much. The pillow is ideal for a wide range of camping adventures. To be honest, we can’t think of many situations you couldn’t use this pillow. Howevr, if you want a portable camping pillow, you would be better off with the Sea to Summit Aeros above.
How to find the best camping pillows?
Before deciding on your perfect camping pillow for sleeping, we must first look at the following factors:
Price – Don’t be fooled by thinking that high prices automatically mean high quality. We need to make sure that the pillow represents value for money. However, all of budgets are different, and we can’t recommend trying to save when it comes to something as important as a good night sleep. If you have the funds and you value a comfortable sleep, then it can be worth getting the premium option. If not, there are more affordable options, like the Therm-a-Rest Compressible.
Weight – If you’re backpacking or hiking, then you’ll want the best packable camping pillow, like the Sea to Summit Aeros. On the other hand, if you’re planning to drive, then the weight of the pillow won’t matter, although you may as well just take your normal pillow.
Comfort – Camping pillows are made in different ways. Some are made of memory foam, while others are inflatable, and some combine both memory foam and air! Pillows also come in different shapes and sizes.
With so many camping pillows on the market, it is difficult to know which one to choose. You will need to think about the size, weight, and your personal budget — among other things.
Each of the three pillows in this review has been chosen because they are the best-in-class for their specific purpose. For example, the NEMO is our overall favourite and best memory foam/inflatable combo, whereas the Sea to Summit is great for hiking and backpacking.