Sleeping in the outdoors can be a relaxing and blissful experience with the best camping pillow, it doesn't have to be soured by a night of frustrating tossing and turning.
Your quality and quantity of sleep can make or break your camping experience, with it either ending in you waking up tired and grumpy, or well-rested and energised.
The deciding factor really comes down to the ergonomics of your sleep setup and type of pillow you take with you, which not only has to be comfortable, but lightweight and travel-friendly.
However, modern technology has produced a multitude of different models and makes, all of which claim to be the best, below are our top 5 picks with benefits and features summarised.
1. Trekology Ultralight Inflatable Pillow
So, you’ve found your ideal camping sleeping pad and now you need a comfortable inflatable pillow to suit your sleeping preferences. The Trekology ALUFT 2.0 (UltraLight Inflatable Camping Travel Pillow) be the one for you.
This is a moulded ergonomically designed pillow which is a truly supportive shape to hold your head as you sleep without any risk of slipping off due to its raised sides.
And slip-resistant rubber dots ensure that this is the case by increasing the surface friction even more.
The material is a durable water-resistant elastic TPU which is not only comfortable but it doesn’t slip around between your head and the mattress underneath.
A detachable strap which you can place underneath your sleeping pad makes sure that the pillow is held securely in place all night.
Inflation is simple – just a few breaths – and deflation is just a case of opening the valve and pressing for a few seconds.
It’s also extremely light (only 80g) and can be deflated to the size of a soda can in its supplied bag for super easy storage in your backpack or other travel case.
And what's more, it looks good – it’s been designed with style deliberately in mind. And it doesn’t feel or look like plastic!
Related: Large Family Tents
2. Gyvazla Ultralight Pillow
The Ultralight Inflatable Pillow from Gyvazla is the perfect companion to your inflatable camping sleeping pad. It can even be used as a sleeping aid at home or lumbar support at work or in the car.
The curved shape of the pillow has been designed with the assistance of doctors with the aim of relieving and preventing stiffness of the neck and pain in lower back shoulders by helping to keep the spinal column in good alignment when asleep or sitting for long periods.
This makes it ideal for travel as well as camping overnight.
The pillow will keep its shape all night thanks to a unique two-way dynamic valve preventing any escape of air.
The material is a comfortable soft and non-slippery TPU which is 100% puncture-resistant and extremely lightweight.
Measuring a generous 43.1(L)* 32.2(W)*12(D)cm when fully inflated the pillow feels just like a normal pillow.
And it can be inflated to the pressure that suits your sleeping preference – less air for tummy sleepers, firmer for side sleepers and medium for those who like to sleep on their backs.
Inflation doesn’t require any mouth blowing – it’s just a matter of pressing on the pillow gently and it will self-inflate.
Deflate by simply releasing the valve and pushing the pillow into its soft packing bag. It folds down to the size of a cell phone (12*5.8cm) and weighs just 18gm. Easily to pack anywhere, even in a pocket.
Related: Best Dry Bags
3. TETON Sports Camp Pillow
Imagine a camping/travel pillow that looks and feels exactly like the one you use on your bed at home but packs down to a small 10*18*23cm for easy stowing into a backpack or other travel bag.
The TETON sports and camping pillow is exactly that.
Made from a unique and innovative fibre fill (the same used in the company’s well-regarded sleeping bags) the pillow also comes with a soft brushed poly-cotton pillowcase for the ultimate in camping comfort.
As the pillow itself has a nice soft brushed hi-count fabric cover you don’t need to use the pillowcase if you don’t want to.
The pillow lofts up to full size (45.7*30.5cm) on its own, needing no blowing up or other inflation techniques, and the SuperLoft Elite fill retains its loft for many repeated uses. Reviewers generally like this pillow as an alternative to some other options.
For packing up it simply squashes down into the supplied taffeta tote bag with drawstring and barrel lock to tighten.
Both the pillow and its pillowcase can be tossed into the washing machine and drip-dried for easy cleaning. The pillow comes in a choice of four mixed plaid colours: Green/Yellow, Brown/Red, Black/Red and Grey/Red.
Try: Top Hydration Packs
4. REDCAMP Outdoor Camping Pillow
Weighing just 320gm the REDCAMP outdoor camping pillow is another soft fill alternative to the air-inflated camping pillows for those who want a lightweight and compatible travel pillow which has a feel that is more like being at home than the air-inflated camping pillows tend to do.
They are also popular as lumbar supports in the car or at work – being smaller than a regular pillow they are a great size for an office chair or a car seat.
The pillow measures a generous 50*30cm when fully opened out - not the size of a normal pillow but large enough for comfort when on a camping trip.
When it’s stored into its bag the pack measures a manageable 25.4*15.2*15.2cm.
That, and its lightweight, means that you won’t feel it in your travel luggage, whether that be a rucksack or a suitcase, in its supplied storage bag.
This pillow has a flannel shell, a lining of non-woven fabric and is filled with 250gm of hollow fibre.
The soft comfortable fabric combination guarantees a good night's sleep and fewer aches and pains in the morning. The pillowcase it comes with is also a soft flannel for comfort against the skin.
Both the pillow and its case are machine washable and then should be line dried. The pillow comes in several colours (matching the company’s well-known sleeping bags and pads) and can be bought as a pair or individually.
Add: Thermal Socks
5. Wise Owl Outfitters Camping Pillow
From Wise Owl Outfitters comes the self-inflating ultra-light camping and travel pillow.
This is an ideal camping accessory as well as being the perfect companion when you’re travelling, as a lumbar support for long periods of sitting in planes or cars, or at work in your office chair. Others use it at the beach or in a sunchair.
The pillow has been carefully designed to support the head on either side to prevent slipping off during the night and to provide the best in back and neck support to reduce and hopefully prevent pain and stiffness in the morning.
Adjusting the height of the pillow will allow the user to adapt it to their sleeping preference – tummy, back or side sleepers all require slightly different lofts and hardness in their pillows and this pillow design allows for that.
The pillow is made from a soft water-resistant and slip-resistant material for optimal comfort and peaceful undisturbed sleep.
Add a pillowcase and it’s even better. And it’s highly durable to last many seasons. When fully inflated the pillow measures a generous 49.5*30.5cm.
Deflated it packs down to a compact 27.9*12.7cm and weighs only 311gm for painless storage in the smallest of spaces including a glovebox.
To inflate the pillow simply blow 3-4 puffs into the valve and it’s done. Deflate by releasing the valve and quickly rolling the pillow into its soft storage bag.
To clean simply wipe down with a damp cloth.
Why You Need A Camping Pillow?
Camping pillows are portable, easy to clean and are designed with the traveller in mind. I remember growing up, going camping and no such thing existed.
Instead we'd take some pillows from the bed, which were too big for our sleeping bags and uncomfortable when using with our blow up bed.
Thankfully someone designed to create specifically designed pillows and today we looked at the best camping pillows to suit every budget.
Whether you want the latest and greatest, or something more budget friendly, there's plenty of options available to you, which will help you sleep better when camping.