How to Choose the Best Camping Pillows in 2020

A good night’s sleep can be the difference between an enjoyable camping trip and an uncomfortable outdoor experience. Choosing the right camping pillow from all the options available can seem daunting, but here we break down some of your options to help simplify your decision.

Camping pillows come in a large variety of sizes, shapes, and materials. The ideal camping pillow provides your head and neck with support and comfort. You’ll also want a pillow that is easy to use and maintain, doesn’t weigh much, and packs down small.

Firstly, do you really need a pillow? Some people get away without one, using clothes in a bag or some other piece of gear as an alternative. My personal opinion is that a great night’s sleep in the forest is worth the extra weight of a pillow, but to each their own.

Quick Comparison Of Some Good Choices

What Kind of Trips Will You Be Taking?

This is an important question to answer in order to pick the right camping pillow. Do you camp in parks or designated campsites? Do you hike in to your campsite or drive your car right up to it? Assessing your needs is paramount to choosing the right gear.

Car Camping

If you primarily drive up to your campsite and set-up near your car, you can get away with a bigger, more comfortable pillow. You may even decide to bring your regular pillow from home, though this option will inevitably take up the most space. Keep in mind that camping gear tends to suffer some abuse, so you may want to have a designated pillow that always comes on camping trips. A pillow designed for camping will also be more rugged than one from your bed at home.


Backpackers have a completely different set of priorities than car campers. A backpacker needs to balance comfort, size, and weight in order to find a camping pillow. Backpackers carry everything they need in their pack, so a camping pillow needs to not take up too much space or add unnecessary weight. There are various options for camping pillows in this category.

Compressible pillows pack down to a smaller size, usually in a stuff sack, but expand when they are taken out. Compressible pillow are a weightier option than an inflatable camp pillow, but are usually more comfortable. Compressible pillows are usually filled with down feathers, foam, synthetic fibers, or any combination of these. Down material is the lightest and most compressible but also the priciest. Compressible pillows are the closest feeling to the pillows we use at home.

Inflatable pillows are just that: balloon-like plastic pillows that you inflate with your breath when its time for bed. Inflatable pillows are the lightest option and pack down to almost nothing, saving you a considerable amount of space in your pack. This option is usually not as comfortable as compressible pillows, but some do have added comfort features like cloth covers or a pocket you can fill with clothing for more loft. You can also make an inflatable pillow as supportive and firm as you’d like by adding more or less air. 

Some pillows have been created as a hybrid between compressible and inflatable pillows. These usually have a compressible top layer to rest your head comfortably and an inflatable bottom to increase support and reduce pack volume.

Stuffable pillows are a lightly padded fabric sleeve that can be stuffed with extra items like clothing, jackets, or whatever else you have on hand. These thin sleeves are low weight and low pack volume while still providing comfort and support.

Sleep Position and Camping Pillows

​What position you sleep in can affect what type of camping pillow will work best for you. People usually sleep in a position in one of 3 categories: stomach sleepers, side sleepers, or back sleepers.

Stomach sleepers usually require less support than those who prefer other positions. Those who prefer this position usually gravitate towards thinner, flatter pillow models.

Side sleepers tend to find comfort with a thicker pillow with lots of support to keep their heads level with their spines. 

Back sleepers are more in the middle of the spectrum, needing more support than stomach sleepers but less than side sleepers.


For such a small piece of gear, choosing the best camping pillow is vitally important. Facing a long mileage day or adverse weather is that much easier when you’ve had a good night’s rest.

Camping or outdoor activities require a lot of tools, one of them is Chairs . Find out the article 10 Best Camping Chairs for Outdoor Confort Review in 2020 to be able to choose the Best Camping Chairs you like

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