Best camping pillows of 2023: Inflatable and ultralight options tried and tested
Sleeping in the great outdoors will always be an unforgettable experience and the kind of holiday more Brits have enjoyed off the back of the pandemic. Figures from analyst Mintel found that 16.7 million of us went on a camping or caravanning trip in 2022, so there must be something in it – right?
The key to comfortable al fresco living is to be prepared. With the right pieces of kit, you can be as comfortable as you’d be sleeping in your own bed.
As well as a good tent with plenty of space for all your things, including headroom so you can stretch and stand, investing in a camp bed will up the comfort levels. If you’re planning to do more camping in the future, a decent sleeping bag is non-negotiable. This being the UK, you’re better off getting a warmer one and investing in a sleeping bag liner if there’s a heatwave. Similarly, add blankets for delicious cosiness when sleeping under the stars: remember that the countryside often feels much colder than the city at night with no buildings nearby to provide warmth or a windbreak.
And last, but by no means least, a camping pillow to lay your head on at night is essential. Sleeping on rolled towels or clothes is not an adequate stand-in for a bona fide pillow; trust us, your neck and shoulders will thank you in the morning.
Camping pillows are usually rudimentary things as they tend to be inflatable, which is a helpful choice if you’re off to a festival and need to think about space as well as weight. If you’re going to a camping site and taking the car, we recommend throwing a traditional spare pillow or cushion into the boot. The filling will offer far more support and warmth, elevating your entire camp bed situation.
Best camping pillows at a glance
- Best for ergonomic design: Hikenture Camping Pillow with Removable Cover – £16.13, Amazon
- Best for portability: Pro Action Inflating Camping Travelling Pillow – £10, Argos
- Best for full head support: YUANYU Ultralight Camping Pillow – £9.95, Amazon
- Best for casual campers: Klymit Luxe Camping Pillow – £64.99, Mountain Warehouse
- Best for superior support: alkamto Camping Pillow-Orthopedic Neck Support Memory Foam Pillow – £29.90, Amazon
- Best for sleeping smuggly: HI-GEAR Luxury Camping Pillow – £9, Go Outdoors
- Best for cosiness: Eurohike Flannel Pillow – £7, Go Outdoors
- Best for memory foam support: Quechua Camping Pillow – Ultimate Comfort Limited Edition – £19.99, Decathlon
- Best for wide shoulders: SEA TO SUMMIT Almohada Aeros Premium L Azul Marino – £33.11, Amazon
If you’re looking for a new camping pillow to take your camping gear up a notch, we’ve rounded up the best options below.
Hikenture Camping Pillow with Removable Cover
Best for: ergonomic design
Proving that you don’t have to fork out lots of cash for a great camping pillow, Hikenture’s option comes with a removable cover in black, green, grey or sky blue to keep it fresh once you’re back from the fields.
It’s comfortable to lay upon with a skin-friendly layer that’s soft to the touch. The ergonomic shape makes it an ideal choice for back or side sleepers and it can be used as lumbar support too, which is helpful if you’ve got a long drive home to look forward to. The inflatable design comes with a one-click valve which gets it plumped to full tilt in just a few breaths. Once packed, it’s about the size of a 330ml can.
Pro Action Inflating Camping Travelling Pillow
Best for: portability
A flocked design to match your inflatable mattress if you’ve got one, this inflatable pillow is as big as a standard pillow (H9 x W23.5 x D37cm) so there’s plenty of space to get comfortable. Once it’s deflated, the pillow folds down and will pack into the smallest of spaces. Comes with a one-year’s manufacturer’s guarantee.
YUANYU Ultralight Camping Pillow
Best for: full head support
With a dip in the centre to promote better spinal alignment, this inflatable travel pillow promises to have you snoozing in comfort. It’s water-resistant and easy to clean, made with TPU-coated ripstop fabric which should defend against accidental punctures and leaks.
A one-way valve means blowing it up is hardly any effort, and deflating is easy too. Folded down, it will fit into the palm of your hand, so it’s not going to take up much room size-wise. The pillow is available in a range of colours including this bright orange.
Klymit Luxe Camping Pillow
Best for: casual campers
This hybrid inflatable pillow uses polyester fill to enhance comfort levels, while the outer shell sports a cradling design to keep your head in an optimal position until dawn. The standard-size pillow packs down to minuscule proportions and weighs 200g making it an essential part of any casual camper’s packing checklist.
alkamto Camping Pillow-Orthopedic Neck Support Memory Foam Pillow
Best for: superior support
Available in a range of sizes and depths, this self-inflating pillow is one for regular campers and hikers. It comes with a waterproof travel bag – no one wants to sleep on a soggy pillow – and an extra cotton cover so you can keep it feeling fresh on long expeditions.
The temperature-regulating camping pillow inflates quickly, but even compressed will take up the same space as a rolled picnic blanket, so bear that in mind if you’re backpacking.
HI-GEAR Luxury Camping Pillow
Best for: sleeping smuggly next to pillow-less mates
Covered in microfleece that’s made for nuzzling down into, this bright orange camping pillow from Hi-Gear offers a drop of luxury when you’re out camping in green fields. It’s on the smaller size which is a win for portability but not wonderful if you roll around in your sleep. Still, if you’re a part-time camper, it’s a worthy purchase.
Eurohike Flannel Pillow
Best for: cosiness
Soft and cosy, Euohike’s 100 per cent cotton flannel pillow is the one to reach for if the forecast looks temperamental over your camping dates. The lightweight design packs down small into a stuff sack to save space and can serve as an airplane and car pillow too, making it an excellent purchase, especially at this price.
Quechua Camping Pillow – Ultimate Comfort Limited Edition
Best for: memory foam support
From one of the leading outdoors brands comes this memory foam pillow, made with production scaps from Quechua’s Italian supplier. As it’s made from foam, it’s unsuited to machine washing but the pillow is easy to keep clean, just wipe with a damp cloth and allow it to air dry. That said, the zipped cover can be machine washed, so you can sleep on a pillow that feels and smells daisy fresh.
SEA TO SUMMIT Almohada Aeros Premium L Azul Marino
SEA TO SUMMIT
Best for: wide shoulders
A little pricier than a bog standard camping pillow, you’ll feel the quality of the extra pounds spend on this camping pillow from the very first use. The oblong-shaped product offers plenty of depth, making it particularly suited for side-sleepers with side shoulders, and is extremely light and compact.
The only downside is that it doesn’t include a strap to keep it steady on an airbed, which for the money, the brand really should include. The multifunctional valve makes it easy to set up and deflate.