A good night's sleep is vital when you’re on a camping trip, making sure you’ve recovered from the trek the day before and have plenty of energy to go again the next day. That’s where a reliable camping pillow can come in handy and make all the difference between waking up refreshed or with a stiff neck.
How to choose a camping pillow
With so many different types of camping pillows available it's important to consider which would specifically suit you and the type of trip you have planned. First of all it's worth deciding if you want to prioritise something lightweight that will be easy to carry in your backpack, or something with a bit more weight to it that could lead to better rest.
If you're likely to be exhausted after a long day of hiking or exploring the mountainside it's also worth keeping in mind how long you want to spend pumping up your pillow, as there are some that come pre-padded with memory foam and others that self-inflate if you want to preserve some puff.
Some pillows are designed for a single night to tide you over until the next morning, while others are made with a longer duration in mind so it's worth investing in something more long-term if you plan to be camping for a few nights.
Do you need a camping pillow?
Aside from the obvious additional comfort, a backpacking camping pillow can also help support your head and neck on uneven ground to make sure you don't wake up with any aches and pains.
You may feel even more comfortable with a slightly different shape that you can place under your back or even to prop you on your side, to make sure you're on top form.
Best camping pillow to buy in 2022
Trekology Inflatable Pillow for Camping
Designed to be especially lightweight so you can carry in your pack with no problem on long treks and trails, the inflatable pillow from Trekology weighs just 120g, promising to be both lighter and more compact than a typical drinks can.
Once it’s inflated it should provide all the comfort you need to see you off into a well-earned sleep. The fabric has been made to be nice and breathable as well as soft on your skin, producing limited noise so it doesn't disturb you or your fellow campers either.
It shouldn't lose any air throughout the night due to its thick TPU layer and tight sealing, and has a versatile shape so it can be placed beneath your head while you doze, or under your back for lumbar support, whatever is most comfortable.
Aeros Ultralight Pillow
Perfect for comfortable camping, this lightweight cushion from SeaToSummit is ideal for a quick sit down to take the weight off your feet, or as a pillow when it's time to get some sleep.
The core material is polyester which should be especially welcoming to sink into when you need a good rest. It has a durable TPU coating to ensure it keeps its shape, and weighs just 70 grams so it's easy to carry in your pack until it comes in handy.
For those seriously intense trips where you’re unlikely to have enough puff in you at the end of the day to blow up your pillow, this self-inflating option does all the work for you.
Once the valve is turned it will begin to inflate itself, so all you'll have to worry about is getting comfortable, which should be no problem at all thanks to its ergonomic design. It even comes with a repair kit should you encounter any issues on your trip.
JÖKEL Inflatable Pillow
This ergonomic pillow has been designed to keep you comfortable whichever position you prefer to sleep in. Helping to support your neck, back and even suitable for those who prefer to sleep on their stomach, you can adjust the valve to find the ideal pressure and surface firmness.
Promising to inflate in seconds, it will undo just as quickly so you can pack it down in the morning with no hassle and be on your way.
Sea to Summit Premium Pillow
Aiming for a premium sleep, this pillow has a durable TPU bladder on the interior which is covered with a comfortable polyester knit with a synthetic in-between for additional comfort.
Weighing just 79 grams it won't slow you down on your walk, but you'll be grateful you brought it when it's time to turn in for the night with curved lines in the centre that aim to hold and support your head in an especially comfortable position.
You'll only need a couple of good breaths to inflate the entire thing as well, thanks to the two-way valve attached.
Forclaz Inflatable Travel Pillow
For those with an extensive trip planned, this travel companion has been designed to see you through several nights of sleep in a row without compromising on comfort.
Light and easy to carry, once you do settle down it should be very soft to the touch. You can either use the inflatable pillow that comes attached to fill it up, or if you'd prefer a firmer surface you can pack it with clothes.
It's also very simple to clean when you return, simply pop it in the washing machine, making sure to look at the care instructions beforehand.
REM-Fit Luxury Travel Pillow
Boasting a range of properties which include spinal alignment and pressure relief, this luxury travel pillow is made from a gel based memory foam to give you the support and comfort you need after exerting yourself.
It's also wrapped in their Re-Ax mesh cover which works to introduce the flow of fresh air to keep you cool as you sleep, especially ideal for the summer.
Easy Inflate Fleece Pillow
Designed to wrap around your neck for a snug fit that will support your head while you sleep, this backpacking pillow also has a comfortable fleece lining to make sure you're as cosy as can be.
To make inflation easy there is a large valve, and the whole thing should compact very neatly the morning after, with a handy carry bag so you can store it safely away.
Alkamto Travel Pillow
Packed with viscoelastic memory foam, this pillow should spring into action once it's been released from its attached waterproof carry bag, and should fold up just as easily when it's time to pack up.
The pillow has been made with a versatile flat shape so it can be adjusted wherever works for you, whether that's beneath your head or as a body support, with special contours that will help cradle your neck if you prefer to use it in a conventional way.
Promising a special ventilation property that will stop you sweating at night, it also boasts temperature regulating fibres in the cover which will essentially cool you down or heat you up as needed.
Andrew Lloyd is a digital writer covering the latest gadgets, appliances and devices across Immediate Media's special interest brands. Whether you’re relaxing at home, exploring a mountainside, or staring into space, he likely has a recommendation for you.