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While it’s not possible to bring your bed with you on your next camping trip (wouldn’t that be nice?), it is possible to get relaxing, refreshing sleep in the great outdoors. It’s all too easy to pack sleeping essentials that simply aren’t comfortable. Nobody likes uncomfortable sleep, which is why a camping pillow is crucial for your next trip.

Choosing the right sleeping bag, tent, and sleep pillow are three important decisions for the overall success of your trip. You might be tempted to just bring your pillow from your bed along with you. Without a proper camping pillow, you’re at risk for restless, even painful sleep.

In our top camping pillow review, we’ll not only take a look at the best camping pillows on the market, but we’ll also show you why it’s important to choose a camping pillow over your bedroom pillow to get restful sleep for the adventure ahead.

Camping Pillows Vs. Regular Pillows

There are quite a few differences between camping pillows and regular pillows, all of which directly impact your overall quality of sleep while you’re camping. A flat, shapeless pillow might be fine for your bed at home, but proper pillow support is essential for getting great sleep on a camping trip.

Camping pillows are designed to be portable while still providing excellent support. There are a few types of camping pillows, including stuff pillows, inflatable pillows, and combination or hybrid pillows.

We’ll take a look at a few specific examples of these kinds of pillows to show you what feature they have and why they are a better choice than a standard house pillow. Not only are camping pillows designed for enhanced comfort outdoors, they’re much easier to pack away and carry on a long camping adventure.

The TREKOLOGY Ultralight Inflatable Camping Travel Pillow is our top choice for a camping pillow. Not only is it extremely portable, but it’s also comfortable and provides excellent head and neck support for a restful night of sleep. This fully inflatable pillow has a gentle curve to cradle your neck and head, keeping you from having neck pains from a night of tossing and turning.

When not inflated, the pillow is just 5-inches by 2-inches, making it easier to take with you than most other camping pillows. Fully inflated, the pillow has plenty of room, inflating to a full 16-inches by 12-inches.

Compact and lightweight, it also comes with a durable carrying case. Simply deflate your pillow, pack it away in the small carrying back, and throw it in your backpack until you need it again.

The TREKOLOGY inflatable camping pillow is fully inflatable in just three to five breaths. Deflating the pillow is just as easy. Simply press in on the air valve to easily let the air out. The airtight seal makes sure your pillow is inflated all night, allowing you to sleep soundly and comfortably for hours!

pros
  • Natural contour that cradles your head and neck
  • Easy to stow away and carry
  • Fully inflates in three to five breaths
  • Durable carrying bag included
cons
  • Tears/leaks make it unusable
  • Not ideal for those that prefer foam/pillow material

Simple and rugged, the REDCAMP Outdoor Camping Pillow is another excellent pillow for all of your camping needs. When you purchase this pillow, you’re getting everything you need for great sleep. This pillow features a comfortable, durable pillowcase and a supportive hollow-fiber filling. Available in a wide range of colors, there’s a REDCAMP pillow for virtually every camper!

While it doesn’t deflate like our top recommendation, it’s designed to be transported with ease. Weighing in at just under a pound, the pillow can be stored away inside your backpack or tied to the outside for easy hiking and traveling.

REDCAMP makes it easy for campers to clean the cover. With a fully removable cover, you can easily wash and dry the cover with ease.

You’ll also get plenty of space with this pillow. Measuring at 20-inches by 12-inches, the REDCAMP camping pillow is a fantastic size without being bulky or cumbersome.

pros
  • Very affordable option
  • Lightweight and portable
  • Easy to clean
  • Comfortable flannel cover
cons
  • Filling may flatten over time
  • Doesn’t collapse or deflate

The final option on our list is another excellent camping pillow designed for easy transport and versatile fillings. The Therm-A-Rest Trekker Stuffable Backpacking Pillow Case lets you choose what you want as your pillow’s filling, making it a great option for those looking to change up their sleeping arrangement without needing to buy multiple pillows.

The fully stuffable pillowcase allows you to fold away the pillowcase for easy storage while using soft items that you may already have as the filling – a win for space and a win for comfort.

The pillowcase itself is made of soft polyester that’s also durable and very easy to clean. It’s also a decent size, measuring in at 14-inches by 17-inches. With plenty of space and high-quality materials, you’ll get a great night of sleep with tons of filling options.

The Therm-A-Rest pillowcase is the ideal camping pillow for campers that like to use what they have with maximum efficiency. After taking the filling out, simply fold up the pillowcase and take it out only when you need it.

We do recommend testing out various fillings before heading out on your next trip. Some filling types may compress over time and can become uncomfortable. Lightweight clothing, blankets, and similar materials are ideal for creating a comfortable pillow.

pros
  • Folds away to fit in your pocket
  • Stuff with virtually any material
  • Easy to wash and clean
  • Soft and durable polyester cover
cons
  • Some material can compress and become uncomfortable
  • Need to stuff pillowcase every time you use it

More Than Just a Pillow – Why A Camping Pillow Is the Best Choice

As you can see, there are tons of excellent camping pillow options out there. Whether you’re looking for a unique inflatable pillow or something that reminds you of home, you can find a comfortable, reliable camping pillow that won’t compromise your sleep quality.

The best part about a high-quality camping pillow is that some of the top choices are also the most affordable. You don’t have to spend a lot of money on a camping pillow to get great sleep. You simply need to understand what options are available, think about your own personal camping needs, and purchase a comfortable camping pillow that’s going to make a major difference in your next trip.

Remember, the pillow you use at home should stay at home. If you find yourself packing your bed pillow on your next camping trip, it might be time to upgrade to a durable camping pillow.

Getting restful, refreshing sleep is important not only in our daily lives, but also if we’re out camping in the wilderness. When you have a high-quality tent, sleeping bag, and camping pillow, you’ll certainly notice a difference when you head out to take on the day!

Rocco Bambace