The Best Camp Pillows for a Comfy Night Sleep

Luke Cuenco   08.15.22

Head Rest: The Best Camp Pillows for a Comfy Night Sleep

Those that like to keep the camping experience genuine (meaning no glamping or RV camping) but also don’t want their necks yelling at them all through the experience will want a good sleep system as part of their standard camping gear. This would inevitably include a nice sleeping bag, sleeping pad, and of course, a pillow to rest your weary head on for a better night’s sleep. While you could bring your own pillow from home, normal pillows are usually very large, incompressible, and worst of all I’m sure your significant other wouldn’t like the idea of having your nice home pillows coming back smelling like the great outdoors. That’s why today we’re checking out some of the best camp pillows you can bring along on your next camping trip to keep everyone’s heads and necks comfortable during the summer camping season.

Head Rest: The Best Camp Pillows for a Comfy Night Sleep

Head Rest: The Best Camp Pillows for a Comfy Night Sleep


Table of Contents

1. Therm-a-Rest Compressible Pillow


Therm-a-Rest Compressible Pillow

The Author’s Choice

I tend to have a bit of trouble sleeping with very stiff pillows. For me, comfort is more about the ability for me to move around and have my head be comfortable. That’s why my pick for the best camping pillow would be the Therm-a-Rest Compressible pillow. The compressible pillow might not be the best at space-saving or weight-saving, but it more than makes up for it with its sheer comfort when you’re out camping in a sleeping bag.

Pros/Very comfortable and affordable

Cons/Doesn’t pack down light or small making it a very bad choice for backpacking or long hiking/camping trips

Bottom Line/If you’re maximizing for comfort, this one isn’t too much of a pain to haul around for weekend camping trips.

2. NEMO Fillo Elite Luxury Pillow


NEMO Fillo Elite Luxury Pillow

The Editor’s Pick

The NEMO Fillo Elite Luxury Pillow is a backpacking and travel pillow for resting your head on every adventure. When you can bring your own pillow with you, sleep will surely be more comfortable. Inflate to your desired firmness plus a layer of recycled PrimaLoft insulation for extra cushion. The jersey cover is ultra-soft for resting your skin against. This one is great for adjustability and is comfortable enough to use in most camp settings and light enough to bring along backpacking. Best of all it’s machine washable making it infinitely reusable and fresh!

Pros/Machine washable, lightweight, compact, and comfortable

Cons/kidn of expensive compared to other options, pillow is kind of small

Bottom Line/A great jack of all trades!

3. HEST Pillow


HEST Pillow

Maximum Comfort

Even better than my pick for this category in terms of comfort, the HEST pillow rises head and shoulder above what is considered comfortable for a camp pillow. Whether you’re living the van life or traveling via airplane, out camping with the family, or sleeping on your BFF’s couch, this will prop your head up nicely while you snooze. Soft, cozy, and less bulky for travel than your at-home pillow.

Pros/Maximum Comfort and Size so you can sleep in style

Cons/Expensive, Very Large, Very heavy – not a good option for anything other than normal camping or traveling

Bottom Line/A great option for those who are traveling by car and want something consistent to rest their head on

4. Sea to Summit Aeros Premium Pillow


Sea to Summit Aeros Premium Pillow

Coming in about midrange in terms of price and features is the Sea to Summit Aeros. The Sea to Summit Aeros Premium Pillow is an inflatable pillow for sleeping in the backcountry. Just because you’re in a tent, doesn’t mean your head doesn’t have to be properly cushioned and propped. Inflate and then adjust to your liking with the multi-function valve. Lay your head down on the soft, brushed polyester cover and catch some z’s. Made from Brushed 50D polyester knit for comfort and durability, and also features synthetic fill between the pillow case and TPU air bladder so that you’re not sleeping directly on air (something i hate). Best of all this one is super easy to fill up and deflate so packing up or setting up is a breeze.

Pros/Good combination of portablity and comfort. Great inflation vale for setup/takedown

Cons/Kind of firm due to the air bladder design

Bottom Line/Great for long backpacking trips where weight savings and space savings matter

5. Trekology Ultralight Inflatable Camping Travel Pillow


Trekology Ultralight Inflatable Camping Travel Pillow

Most affordable Option

In my research, this particular pillow has come across as the most affordable yet still comfortable camp pillow out there. The camp pillow compresses down into a small bag about the size of a soda can and fills up with just a few puffs of air. Where the Trekology Ultralight really shines is in its small footprint, and lightweight (only 3.8 oz). The unique “U” shaped design makes its a perfect fit for mummy style sleeping bags and during winter camping or backpacking this could turn out to be a very helpful option.

Pros/Lightweight, inflateable, durable and easy to use

Cons/Fabric is noisy and the pillow isn’t very comfortable compared to other (heavier) options on this list

Bottom Line/You’re trading comfort for compactness and features with this one

I’m stuck out on a trail and I don’t have a dedicated camp pillow. What is my best option?

In the absence of a dedicated camp pillow, your best option is to use a jacket or some other type of clothing folded up to your comfort. A better way to accomplish this would be with a stuff sack or perhaps even the sack that you store your sleeping bag in. If you stuff one of these up, it will keep the contents bundled together better which should be enough to keep your neck elevated for a comfortable night’s sleep in an emergency situation.

Are there camp pillows that are better for particular seasons?

Yes, there are some camp pillows out there that fare better in colder and hotter weather dependent on their design. One of the best brands for winter or fall weather camping pillows is the Therm-a-Rest brand which has great insulative properties. Any pillow with down in it is also a good option for colder temperatures. The air-filled pillows also tend to be better for summer months but once again, they lack the same comfort that bulkier pillows have,

Why can’t I just sleep without a pillow?

You could. I have, but I wouldn’t recommend it. Pillows are important because they keep the head aligned with the neck and backbone during sleep. If a person’s spine or neck is not in a neutral position, they may wake up during the night, causing sleep loss. According to the National Sleep Foundation, the goal should be to keep the head in a neutral position. Keeping your head in this position also keeps your neck and head from falling into an awkward position which could cause pain when you wake up and make for an uncomfortable day.

Avatar Author ID 693 - 1004168213

Luke Cuenco

Luke is currently a full-time writer for,,, and of course, Luke is a competitive shooter, firearms enthusiast, reloader, outdoorsman, and generally takes an interest in anything that has to do with the great outdoors.
Luke is also a private certified pilot and is currently pursuing his commercial pilot’s license in the hopes of becoming a professional pilot. Some of Luke’s other interests include anything to do with aviation, aerospace and military technology, and American Conservancy efforts.
Instagram: @ballisticaviation

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