The 7 Best Backpacking & Camping Pillows for Side Sleepers of 2022


We independently research, test, and rate the best products. We may receive a small commission if you click the link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.

Camping is one of the most satisfying experiences out there, provided you are well equipped to spend the night in the great outdoors.

And talking about camping equipment, one of the essential accessories that you must pack is a pillow. No longer do we live in the days of lumping our jackets under our heads and sleeping under the stars. Today, there’s a wide variety of camping pillows available.

However, not everyone sleeps the same, and the pillow that’s suitable for you might not appeal to your partner. As side sleepers are the most common, today, we’re going to focus on the best camping pillows for side sleepers. 

Best Inflatable Camping & Backpacking Pillows for Side Sleepers

Sea To Summit Aeros Premium Pillow
Photo: Sea To Summit

As far as camping pillows go, Sea To Summit is certainly a brand to reckon with, and the Aeros Premium camping pillow from the brand proves it. This gray-green inflatable pillow is ideal for side sleepers looking for creature comforts while roughing it.

First off, the pillow is extremely easy to inflate due to the multi-functional valve technology it uses. At the same time, the brushed 50D polyester knitting ensures that the product is soft as well as durable.

Next, we need to mention the high-quality synthetic filling between the TPU bladder and pillowcase. It performs the dual function of providing extra comfort and absorbs any night-time perspiration that might disturb your sleep.

Further, the curved and ergonomic contours of the pillow help to cradle your head while you rest, ensuring a good night’s slumber. And at just 79 grams, it’s one of the lightest products available on the market. So, you can forget any worries about carrying it around on your trips; just deflate and tuck it into a convenient corner of the backpack.

What we like:

  • Comfortable and warm
  • Consistent Adjustable Support
  • Easy to Inflate

What we don’t like:

  • Expensive
Sea To Summit Aeros Premium Pillow Grey/Green, Regular
  • Inflate pillow in just a couple of breaths with the...
  • Synthetic fill between pillow case and TPU bladder increases...
  • Curved internal baffles create contours that cradle your...
  • Scalloped bottom edge centers pillow around your shoulders...
  • Regular: 14 x 10 x 5 in. (2.80oz / 79g)

Best Value Camping & Backpacking Pillows for Side Sleepers

Photo: Therm-a-Rest

Up next, we have the Therm-a-Rest compressible travel pillow that’s ideal for backpacking, camping, and long airplane rides. Filled with high-quality foam and sporting a polyester covering, this ultralight 9-ounce pillow ensures impeccable comfort at an affordable price.

The first thing that impressed us about this product was its availability in multiple sizes, namely: Small, Medium, Large and X-Large. This way, you can easily select the size you’re most comfortable with and can pack lightly.

The soft foam filling of this product helps to provide ample comfort as it expands into a 4-inch thick pillow for proper head and neck support. Also, the compact design and lightweight build ensure you can stuff it in your backpack without much hassle.

Coming to the brushed polyester cover of the product, it’s incredibly soft against the skin and equally comfortable. All you need to do is to fluff and shake it a bit to restore the loft. Further, it’s entirely made in the USA and machine washable, so you can toss it into the washer for a quick tumble.

What we like:

  • Very comfortable
  • Easily compressible for packing
  • Lightweight

What we don’t like:

  • Lumpy
Therm-a-Rest Compressible Travel Pillow for Camping, Backpacking,...
  • Ultralight (9 ounce) compressible travel pillow with soft...
  • Foam filling expands into a 4-inch thick pillow for head,...
  • Compact design packs into a backpack, duffle, suitcase, or...
  • Brushed polyester cover is soft against skin for comfort;...
  • Pillow measures 14 x 18 x 4 inches (14 x 5 x 6 inches...

Best Budget Inflatable Camping & Backpacking Pillows for Side Sleepers

Trekology Ultralight Inflatable Camping Travel Pillow
Photo: Trekology

Trekology is a name that needs very little introduction to camping enthusiasts, and the ALUFT 2.0 inflatable pillow ensures the brand lives up to its name. Compact, ergonomic, and comfortable, this pillow provides ample neck and lumbar support during camping trips.

Small in dimensions yet pretty big on comfort, this is one of the lightest and smallest camping pillows available on the market. It folds to a mere 5 x 2 inches when deflated and weighs a mere 110 g; that’s lighter than a soda can!

What’s more, the 2.0 version is even more durable with its water-resistant elastic TPU fabric. Also, the brand’s proprietary Dot and Latch design ensures your head is provided with enough friction to prevent slipping while sleeping.

Finally, since it can be inflated with just 5-8 breaths, you don’t have to put too much pressure on your lungs to set it up. And as far as deflation is concerned, the Quick Deflate feature ensures you can deflate it within just a few seconds. In short, the ALUFT 2.0 provides an ideal mix of convenience and comfort, all at a price that doesn’t hurt your pocket. 

What we like:

  • Best Price
  • Easy to pack
  • Very lightweight

What we don’t like:

  • Not durable
Trekology Ultralight Inflatable Camping Travel Pillow - ALUFT 2.0...
  • Small in Size - Big on Comfort! This is the most compact &...
  • New in 2.0! Now More Durable Than Ever! Enhanced design with...
  • New in 2.0! Sleep Without Worry with Our Propitiatory Dot...
  • New in 2.0! Newly Stylish Designed with Your Ultimate...
  • Ease Of Use! With the simple click of a button, Inflate...

Best Memory Foam Camping & Backpacking Pillow for Side Sleepers

Photo: Coop Home Goods

This one from Coop Home Goods fits the bill nicely for those looking for a comfortable memory foam camping pillow. Made from a combination of rayon and polyester, it’s a plush white offering that’s ideal for any outdoor sleeping situation, be it camping or in the car.  

The best thing about this product is that it makes you feel right at home even while on the road. Since it’s made of memory foam, the pillow easily contours to the sleeper’s head shape, thereby offering a calm and comfortable night’s sleep.

Another aspect that we like about the product is that you can add or remove filling from it as per your preferences. And since it’s CertiPUR-US and GREENGUARD Gold certified, you can rest assured about the product quality. It even comes with a stuff sack that lets you compress the pillow down to nearly half its size.

Along with the above qualities, it’s also water and dirt-resistant, which means you won’t need to spend too much time maintaining it, even with regular use. The breathable and washable cover, along with the soft and supportive memory foam, makes this one a product you can undoubtedly trust with your eyes closed.

What we like:

  • Firm Memory Foam
  • Super comfortable
  • Good quality

What we don’t like:

  • Subtle chemical smell
Coop Home Goods Adjustable Travel Pillow -Small Camping Pillow...
  • FEEL AT HOME – Take the comfort and luxury of our...
  • ADJUST IT AND ENJOY RESTFUL SLEEP – Our backpacking pillow...
  • YOU WILL LIKE IT, WE GUARANTEE IT – If you don’t fall in...
  • MINI PILLOW FOR MAX COMFORT - The water-resistant stuff sack...

Best of the Rest

Exped Air Pillow UL
Photo: Exped

Incredibly light and much more comfortable than a regular pillow, the Exped inflatable air pillow is an essential inclusion for your backcountry sleeping experience. At just 1.7-2.75 ounces, you’ll hardly notice it in your backpack.

Although it’s ideal for side-sleepers, even back and stomach sleepers will find this pillow extremely comfortable. The height-adjustable, anatomical shape provides ample neck and head support no matter what position you’re sleeping in.

The durable flat valve (with a one-way flap) and deflation pin make inflating and deflating it a breeze. What’s more, the 20D stretchable tricot fabric ensures that the pillow surface is smooth to touch. At the same time, the GripSkin anti-slip coating ensures the pillow remains in place all night long.

It even comes with fabric eyelets that allow convenient attachment to your pad. And the 5-year warranty offered by the brand protects you against any manufacturing defects. The brand even provides repair services in case you need them. 

What we like:

  • Ultralight and compact
  • Custom Support

What we don’t like:

  • A step down in build quality
Exped Air Pillow UL (2020) - Ultralight Inflatable Camp & Travel...
  • Superbly comfortable lightweight AirPillow.
  • Comfortable tricot fabric. Adjustable height for side and...
  • Anatomical shape holds head in place.
  • Sturdy flat valve for inflation and deflation (using...
  • Stuffsack included.
Nemo Fillo Pillow
Photo: Nemo

Available in multiple colors such as Canopy Green, Koi Stripe, and Goodnight Gray, the Nemo Fillo Pillow is sure to make heads turn on any camping trip. The solid rectangular build offers ideal combinations of durability and comfort, all for a price that’s suitable for most. 

First, let’s talk a bit about the pillow cover, which is soft and cool enough to provide a feeling of luxury whenever you sleep on it. Another advantage is that the cover is fully machine washable, so you don’t have to worry about throwing it in with the rest of the laundry.

It features a 3-inch, I-beam baffled air cell, which works to eliminate the feeling of sleeping on a balloon. Instead, it creates an ergonomic shape that cradles your head and ensures impeccable comfort during sleep. We also like the easy-to-use valve that lets you inflate it within a few seconds.

When deflated, the entire unit shrinks to the size of about a potato, which means you can easily carry it around in your backpack. It even comes with an integrated stuff sack that ensures the unit won’t get lost among your luggage.

What we like:

  • Comfy
  • Good quality

What we don’t like:

  • Subtle chemical smell
Nemo Fillo (Canopy Green)
  • UPGRADED - Our best-selling Fillo backpacking pillow is...
  • NATURAL SUPPORT - A 3" I-beam baffled air cell eliminates...
  • INTEGRATED STORAGE - The Fillo packs down to about the size...
  • VERSATILE - While the Fillo is amazing in the backcountry,...
TETON Sports Camp Pillow
Photo: TETON Sports

Up next, we have another quality product from TETON Sports, a well-known brand among camping and hiking enthusiasts. This small but extra soft camping pillow comes with an affordable price tag but ensures quality at the price.

Perfect for camping, backpacking, and any road trips, this unit provides your head and neck with support, even if you’re camping on rough terrain. It’s designed to be taken wherever your wanderlust takes you and is entirely machine washable to ensure low maintenance efforts.

We also love how this pillow doesn’t need you to waste any breath on inflating it. It simply lofts up automatically as you unpack it from the carry case. Further, it comes in multiple color and design variants that match with TETON sleeping bags.

As it features a brushed, poly-flannel pillowcase, the pillow is incredibly soft against your skin. In short, if you’re looking to forgo the hassle of inflating your pillows yet want a lightweight and portable option, this is the one to go with.

What we like:

  • Cheap
  • Comfy

What we don’t like:

  • Pretty small
TETON Sports Camp Pillow; Great for Travel, Camping and...
  • SMALL PILLOW THAT’S BIG ON COMFORT: Extra soft travel...
  • WASHABLE: Designed to be taken anywhere; This travel pillow...
  • NO INFLATING NECESSARY: Pillow lofts up on its own; Whether...
  • MATCHING CAMPING GEAR: Each pillow matches the lining of one...
  • TETON SPORTS PROMISE: Reach out to our AMAZING product...

Backpacking & Camping Pillows for Side Sleepers Buying Advice


So, now you know about the best camping pillows for side sleepers…but does that mean you can pick one blindly? We wish it were that easy, but we’ve found that there’s a lot more to consider when selecting the best camping pillows for side sleepers.

Choosing a pillow for camping is a lot different than selecting one for home use, and there are several factors that you need to consider. In this section, we’re going to list down some of the common considerations you need to keep in mind while selecting a suitable camping pillow.

Style of Camping

This is, without a doubt, the most crucial consideration when selecting a camping pillow. For those used to car camping, a larger foam pillow is suitable as you don’t have to carry it around. In this regard, the Therm-a-Rest option on our list can be a good pick.

However, if you’re backpacking and have to carry the pillow, we recommend going with inflatable ones as these are usually lighter and suitable for packing tightly in a small space. You can also choose the Nemo Fillo Pillow, which combines an air core with foam cushioning.

Comfort Level

Since sleep is the one thing you don’t want to compromise on when camping, you need to keep the comfort levels in mind. While foam-filled options are usually more comfortable, they weigh more and occupy more space in your luggage. Inflatables are more efficient as far as portability is concerned.

We recommend that you try to reach a tradeoff between portability and comfort. Several brands, such as Trekology and Sea to Summit, provide ergonomically contoured pillows for extra support and comfort while sleeping.

Packed Size


This refers to the size the pillow can be packed down to. As you can well understand, inflatable pillows have the smallest packed size, whereas foam pillows occupy a bit more space. In case you have a spacious backpack, you can go for a foam-filled option. Otherwise, it’s best to stick with an inflatable variant.


Finally, let’s talk a bit about durability; this is not a significant issue for foam pillows as they will usually work well even with a few pokes and tears. However, inflatables can easily get damaged by sharp rocks or twigs. 

To ensure protection against accidental tears, make sure you select a pillow made of durable material, such as thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU). Also, take care to test the valve of any inflatable pillow you’re buying, as these can be the weakest link in a camping pillow.  

Final Thoughts

Selecting camping pillows for side sleepers is no mean feat.

But with our guide by your side, we’re sure you’ll be able to come to a perfect decision. Just keep in mind your sleeping patterns, the amount of weight you’re willing to carry around, and comfort preferences.

And do keep the budget in mind, as you don’t want to spend too much on a pillow. Just make sure you reach the appropriate tradeoff, and you’ll be good to go. Also, if you’re new to camping, make sure you ask someone experienced for their opinion before buying.

That’s all for now. Happy camping!

Explore More:

Matt Scofield
Matt Scofield

Hi! I’m Matt, an adventure freak who lives and breathes the great outdoors. Spending time under the open sky always appealed to me, even as a kid. Perhaps that’s why I liked camping with my dad so much. The days spent hiking and the nights around the campfire are times I’ll cherish forever.

Leave a Comment