While most don't head out into the great outdoors looking for more comfort than they'd expect at home, it's still nice to be able to rest your head on something soft. The best camping pillows for the backcountry, car camping, and hut camping are easy to transport and offer great support at a reasonable price.
Keeping your spine aligned is essential to getting a good night’s sleep, and it's all the more important if you’re sleeping on a less-than-ideal mattress or pad. First, you'll want to consider finding a pillow that can be made higher or lower to better suit your sleeping style. Then, think about where you'll be taking it; this is where weight and ease of packing come into play. Those headed out with just a backpack will want to carry the lightest and smallest option (even if that means sacrificing memory foam for an inflatable), while those who will be camping near their car or even in their backyard might want to opt for better comfort — as long as you don't mind hauling a few extra ounces.
Additionally, look for temperature insulation, especially if you're planning on sleeping on the ground. Camping pillows can also double as travel pillows, so if you'll only be heading out into the great outdoors once or twice, consider using the pillow for air travel and road trips, too.
With those factors in mind, these are the best camping pillows on Amazon, with options to suit any adventure, whether you're backpacking or hopping into an RV.
1. The Best Camping Pillow For Backpacking
At about 3 ounces, this is a lightweight camping pillow that packs down to 2 by 5 inches, making it a great choice for backpackers or anyone who doesn't want to carry a bulky pillow. Fully inflated, it's a generous 16 by 12 by 4 inches.
With a 4.5-star overall rating, this Amazon best-seller has plenty of fans who rave about the convenience, the quality neck support, and the insulation. Some even favorably compare it to camping pillows that cost more than twice the price. It features thoughtful design touches like rubber anti-slip dots and a strap to keep it attached to your slippery sleeping pad. You'll have to blow it up to use it, but that gives you flexibility to determine how soft it'll be. Plus, unlike some models, it only takes about three to five breaths to fully inflate. It's also easy to wipe clean.
Fans say: "In a job where I'm already forced to drag a bunch of equipment out in the woods and then have to sleep there, one more bulky item that may get wet/mildewy or heavier is not a welcome piece of kit. This is perfect as it rolls up small, it's waterproof and it's very comfortable. The cradled-design also ensures minimal movement during the night and supports my neck fantastically!"
2. The Best For Car Camping
If you don't mind hauling 12 ounces (or 0.75 pound), this self-inflating camping pillow will save you a lot of effort (and breath), making it a great choice for car campers or anyone who isn't as concerned about traveling as light as possible. Just twist the valve and the pillow will fill up to a generous 18 by 10 by 4 inches (though all except stomach sleepers might want to top it off with a breath or two). Then, easily adjust the loft by squeezing the pillow.
It comes with a nylon sack for storage and features a non-slip bottom so it stays well-attached to your sleeping pad. Customers give this a 4.4-star rating and say it also works well as back support. The cover is easy to wipe clean, while the open-cell foam fill helps insulate.
Fans say: "Works great! … It doesn't get really tiny like the purely inflatable ones, but it does get to a relatively small size. I'm a side sleeper and I've found the ones that are purely inflatable to have a weird echo sound effect when I'm lying on them. This one has the foam inside so it doesn't have that problem. It also has a firmness that is closer to a regular pillow. You can adjust how much air is in it by squeezing it before you close the valve."
3. The Most Comfortable Camping Pillow
Based off of the cult-favorite Coop Home Goods shredded memory foam pillow, these compressible travel pillows are a great choice for those looking for a wonderfully comfortable night's sleep. Just like the full-size versions, you can adjust it to your needs by removing or adding foam. It comes with a water-resistant stuff sack that also helps compress the pillow for easier transport. When you're ready to use it, just pull it out and it'll re-fluff to its full 19 by 14 by 4 inch size. However, it's the largest and heaviest pillow on this list.
Machine-washable, it also helps regulate temperature. With 4.6 stars after more than 500 reviews, it's a customer favorite that's a great choice for RV camping and glamping — or anyone who doesn't mind carrying a 2-pound pillow. Some customers even chose to bring this bulkier pillow on hiking trips because the "comfort level is just like home."
Fans say: "I am not sure how [I] camped for this long without this pillow. One of the most comfortable pillows I have ever slept on, period.... It provides great support while being light and soft. This pillow is not squishy, so it will maintain its form for quite a long time. Combine this pillow with a cool pillow case and you'll be sleeping soundly. One problem I encountered was the compressed size, if you are looking to do a week's worth of backpacking, this might not be the best choice."
4. The Best Budget Camping Pillow
This comfortable fiber-fill camping pillow compresses down for easier transport, while the 100 percent flannel cover will keep you warm and cozy at a stellar price. Plus, it's machine-washable.
At just over half a pound, it's relatively light for its 18-by-12-inch full size. However, the slightly bulkier compressed size means it's best suited for car camping or other scenarios where space isn't at a premium. Those who prefer a firm pillow might need to fold this, but most reviewers found it comfortable, giving it a 4.3-star overall rating and a 4.5-star rating for comfort. It's an especially good choice for those who don't like the feeling of inflatable pillows. Best of all, you can't beat the $11 price tag.
Fans say: "I was so happy that I went ahead and bought this for my last multiple night camping trip. It was totally worth it, and if you are on the fence, allow me to push you over with this review ... It is light, compresses down to a very small size, and offers just enough padding to make you forget you are on the ground. If you like thick pillows like I do, maybe buy 2 to stack. It is cool on your head as well, which is great for hotter nights ... At the price, there are literally no cons."
Bustle may receive a portion of sales from products purchased from this article, which was created independently from Bustle's editorial and sales departments.