Best Backpacking Pillow for Side Sleepers

While most people prefer side sleeping to any other sleeping position, failure to get the best backpacking pillow for side sleeping could result in more harm than good.

The reason is that the pillow you choose determines the comfort levels and the amount of support you will derive from it.

Therefore, you will want to get a pad that will provide the right amount of cushioning and adequate support to reduce pressure points.

Since there are a lot of pillows on the market all assuming the title “the best backpacking pillows for side sleepers”, choosing the right pad can become complicated.

To help you select the best backpacking pillow for side sleepers, we will introduce you to the best-sale backpacking pillow for side sleepers and factors to consider while choosing the best backpacking pillow for a side sleeper. Read on.

choose the best backpacking pillow for side sleepers

In a hurry? Look at our top picks of best backpacking pillow for side sleepers

Inflatable design to save room and add extra softness for sleeping, ergonomic pillow to support your head, click to buy the TREKOLOGY Ultralight Pillow for Side Sleepers

Compact size for easy carrying, memory foam filling for soft care of your head, click to buy the Therm-a-Rest Backpacking Pillow

Self-inflating for good portability, hot sale pillow with very affordable price, click to buy the Teton Sports Lightweight Pillow for Side Sleepers


Table of Contents

How to Choose a Backpacking Pillow for Side Sleeping?

1. Loft

Loft refers to the thickness of the pillow. For backpacking sleepers, this is the most crucial feature to look for in a backpacking pillow. Side sleepers need medium to high loft pillows.

The reason is to provide an ideal cushioning for the head and neck without sinking low.

Ideally, the preferable loft for backpacking pillows for side sleeping should range from 3″ to 4″. Besides, you could opt to purchase a pillow with an adjustable loft when you expect to change your preference.

2. Comfort and support

The best backpacking pillow for a side sleeper must be comfortable and supportive. After all, this is the only way to protect a side sleeper from waking up to a sore neck. Therefore, opt for well-stuffed pillowcase pillows or a supportive inflatable pillow.

3. Firmness level

Side sleepers should get mid-level firmness pillows so that they can benefit from a balance of contouring and support. After all, a pillow that is too firm could result in pain and discomfort around the shoulder and neck.

More so, a pillow that is very soft could sink beneath the neck, resulting in added pressure or alignment issues.

Therefore, get a mid-level firmness backpacking pillow.

4. Size

While you might get a smaller and thinner pillow to make it more portable, note that such a pillow can’t provide adequate support.

In fact, it could result in you constantly slipping off during the night. Therefore, get thick hybrid inflatables and such pillows should be full-body size pillows.

5. Sliding

No one would want to get a pillow that is prone to slipping despite its high comfort levels. That said, avoid pillows that feature slippery textures including silk or rayon.

6. Durability

Still, the best backpacking pillow for side sleepers should be durable. After all, you do not want to be a frequent visitor on the market looking for a backpacking pillow.

Therefore, consider how frequently you use the backpacking pillow since the more frequently you use it, the higher chances of having it wear fast.

If you opt to get an inflatable backpacking pillow, note that it could puncture with time, requiring you to repair it.

To avoid high costs that come along with the need for repairs or replacements, you would rather opt for convertible stuff sacks.

7. Weight

Backpackers must consider the size and weight of the pillow to avoid adding too much on their luggage.

That said, determine the amount of weight you are willing to add on the luggage, based on the accessories you will have carried along.

Moreover, give a thought about the space that is left in the backpack to avoid getting a backpacking pillow that might end up being useless.

If you do not have a lot of room left to store the pillow, you could consider getting an inflatable pillow for side sleepers given that it is the lightweight and smallest option for people with limited space.

Stuff sacks come in next after the inflatables if you have more but limited space. Compressible and hybrid pillows are heavier and bulky, but still, a better option when comfort and support come into play.

guides to choose the best backpacking pillow for side sleepers


What is the Best Backpacking Pillow for Side Sleepers?

Although there are a lot of backpacking pillows on the market, not all of them are suitable for use by side sleepers. That said, allow me to introduce you to qualities of the best backpacking pillows for side sleepers.

1. Thicker pillows

Ideally, the best pillow for side sleeping should be a thicker pillow, given that most side sleepers must cushion their shoulders and neck. Such a pillow should fill the space beneath the neck and head for better comfort and support.

2. Pillows with fillers that do not flatten readily

Moreover, side sleepers need a loft that ranges from 3″ to 4″. A pillow made from fillers that do not flatten readily is a better option. That said, pillows that feature memory foam or latex are a better choice for providing the required loft and softness.

So, which is the best backpacking pillow for side sleepers?

In this case, we would recommend the

Trekology Ultralight Inflating Travel/Camping Pillow

This pillow is a perfect combination of portability, function, durability, and ergonomics. It is an inflatable pillow constructed using durable elastic TPU fabric for excellent water resistance and durability.Trekology backpacking wedge pillow

The pillow features an ergonomic design with enhanced neck support. Therefore, it can fill the space beneath the neck and head, thus an ideal choice for use by side sleepers.

It is easy to inflate and deflate, thanks to the simple click of a button that allows you to inflate it with approximately 3-5 breaths. Moreover, it includes a Quick Deflate feature that releases the air within seconds.

The pillow incorporates a slip-resistant material to protect your head from moving around while sleeping. Plus, it folds down to a compact size while it comes with a carry bag to enhance portability.

Why this pillow is outstanding?

  • It packs into a compact and ultra-lightweight pillow for easy carrying.
  • Curvature design for ergonomic neck support.
  • It pairs well with inflatable sleeping pads.
  • The air valve system offers an airtight closure to prevent air from leaking.


Best Backpacking Pillow for Side Sleepers Reviews

We’ve picked some outstanding pillows for your backpacking trip, let’s take a look.

Full Size – Featherlight Full-Size Inflatable Body Pillow

full size lightweight pillow for side sleepers


  • Durable
  • Lightweight
  • Enough comfort


  • Fairly pricy

With a full-size backpacking pillow, you will be confident of getting the ultimate support you so deserve. That is what you get by choosing this impressive Featherlight Inflatable Body pillow.

  • Material

It will suffice to mention that this pillow boasts of 75D polyester, whose longevity you can hardly doubt. On top of that, this material is 50D elastic. With this fabric, you are sure of unparalleled softness and ease on the skin. The elastic nature

  • Design

It allows for spinal alignment for any side sleeper, thanks to how ergonomic and subtly contoured it tends to be.

  • Weight and size

You can hardly ignore how ultralight this product is, thanks to its 7.5-ounce weight. With this, you have every reason to appreciate its portability. It measures 37*13 inches, which is relatively big too.

Buy on Amazon


Compact Size – Therm-a-Rest Compressible Travel and Backpacking pillow


compressible backpacking pillow for side sleepers


  • Light
  • Friendly fabric
  • Compact design


  • Small for some people

This option is ideal for those who value compressible pillows.

  • Fabric

The material used in making this backpacking pillow is brushed polyester. This material is both soft and skin-friendly. It also features foam fillings, which ensure that you do not become too susceptible to too much heat on your body sides.

  • Weight and size

This pillow weighs 7 ounces and measures 12*16*4, which gives you enough area to rest. You will also fall in love with this lightweight nature.

  • Design

The compact and ergonomic design of this backpacking pillow is remarkable. That means that you will effortlessly pack it in a bag whenever necessary. Besides, this design ensures that your head and neck are in the best position, ensuring that your entire body remains aligned.

  • Versatility

You will be free to use it anywhere. Whether you are traveling on a plane, car, or even camping, this choice remains suitable.

Buy on Amazon


Inflatable – TETON Sports ComfortLite Pillow for Side Sleepers

inflatable backpacking pillow for side sleepers


  • Compact, ergonomic design
  • Soft fabric
  • Portable


  • Not suitable for long use

What makes this product popular is how inflatable it is.

  • Measurements

This backpacking pillow measures 18*10*4 inches, which guarantees you a relatively large surface area. It also weighs around 12 ounces, which allows the body to remain aligned when sleeping.

  • Inflation

Did you know that this pillow boasts of self-inflation? All you will have to do it to open its twist valve, and everything else will work out seamlessly.

  • Material

This product is durable and soft, thanks to its microfiber top. Further, you will fall in love with its imposing, non-slip bottom. For this reason, side sleepers will not keep losing their pillows when sleeping.

Buy on Amazon


Stuff Sack – TETON Sports Camp Pillow

stuff sack backpacking pillow for side sleepers


  • Unmatched comfort
  • Self-inflating


  • Not ideal for extended camping experiences

If you are looking for the best stuff sack, this is it.

  • Material

First, you cannot ignore the soft firmness of this product. But besides that, the pillow is breathable, smooth, and machine washable. It comes with poly-fiber fills and a soft poly-flannel top surface. These fillings ensure that side sleepers do not feel too much heat on their body sides.

  • Design

This design of this pillow is friendly to side sleepers, as it primarily supports the neck when sleeping on the side

  • Measurements

This backpacking pillow weighs approximately 0.8 pounds. It measures 4*7*9 inches when deflated. This relatively small size makes it one of the most portable options at hand.

Buy on Amazon


Lightweight – Klymit X Inflatable Backpacking Pillow for Side Sleepers

lightweight backpacking pillow for side sleepers


  • Rugged durability
  • Enhanced support
  • Lightweight


  • Has no non-slip base

Sometimes, all you wish to get is an ultralight backpacking pillow. And Klymit Pillow X is the ultimate solution.

  • Design

This product boasts of an ergonomic design, assuring you of the comfort you so need. The X design ensures that your neck and your head get to rest comfortably. Besides, did you know you can adjust the pressure and the height of this pillow?

  • Weight and size

Undoubtedly, this is the lightest option you could ever get, thanks to its 0.95-ounce weight. Further, its compact size means that you get 4.5*2.5*1 inches in dimensions. These dimensions ensure that your spinal alignment remains stable.

  • Fabric

The 30D polyester this product comes with assures you of luxurious comfort. It is not only skin-friendly and light but also durable. It is a single-foam product that offers enough support to the neck and head when side-sleeping.

Buy on Amazon


Best Budget – RedCamp Outdoor Backpacking Pillow

affordable backpacking pillow for side sleepers


  • Robust construction
  • Easy to clean
  • Relatively light


  • Not suitable for long use

If you are on a budget, you might not find a better solution than this.

  • Weight and dimensions

This product comes with about 0.7 ounces in weight. As such, you will find it to be relatively portable. It measures around 20*12*3, which guarantees you an incredible surface area.

  • Design

You will hardly resist the compact and soft nature of this pillow. With this, side sleepers will not feel too much pressure from beneath them. Nothing could provide more comfort than this.

  • Fabric

It will be unfair to overlook the softness of this pillow. Ideally, it is a blend of flannel and non-woven fabric. It also features hollow fabric, which guarantees you of enhanced comfort, especially for side sleepers.

Buy on Amazon


What Type of Backpacking Pillow Suits Side Sleepers?

1. Inflatable Pillows

Inflatable pillows are pillows that should be filled with air when you want to use them. These pillows feature a valve that requires you to blow in the air before use. Once it expands, seal the valve to protect the air from escaping during use.

Inflatable pillows are an excellent choice for anyone who desires a portable backpacking pillow for side sleepers. Also, they are an ideal choice when you need a pillow that is easy to set up because of the ease of inflation and deflation.

Advantages of inflatables


When looking for portable backpacking pillows for side sleepers, I would recommend inflatable pillows. They are lightweight for easy maneuvering. After deflating, the pillows can fit into a backpack or pocket for secure transportation.

Ability to adjust the firmness and thickness

You can easily adjust the firmness level of inflatable pillows. To do so, you could add more air or let out some air until you are comfortable with the firmness level.

Consistent level of comfort and support

Since inflatables feature air as their filling, these pillows can provide a consistent level of comfort and support.

Downsides of inflatables

They can get punctured – Inflatable pillows can become punctured causing them to let out air and requiring you to repair them.

2. Compressible Pillows

Compressible pillows are pillows that integrate compressible fiber as the filling. These pillows are filled using synthetic fibers, feathers, foam, or a combination of these.

Compressible pillows are an excellent choice for anyone who desires a soft and comfortable backpacking pillow for side sleepers.

Advantages of Compressibles

Soft and comfortable

Compressible pillows have a soft texture that makes them super comfortable to use. More importantly, pillows that feature down feathers are super comfortable and suitable for anybody in need of a backpacking pillow that is comfortable to use.

Downsides of Compressibles

Heavy and bulky – Compressible pillows are kinda heavy and bulky. Therefore, they are not an ideal option for lightweight backpacking.

3. Hybrid Pillows

These are pillows that combine the features of inflatable pillows and compressible pillows as they aim to maximize the benefits of the pillows while minimizing their downsides. Hybrid pillows adopt an inflatable air sack on the bottom side and a compressible top layer.

Hybrid pillows are suitable for anyone who desires a supportive and comfortable backpacking pillow for side sleepers. They are a little bit heavy, which means that you must be able to manage their weight while backpacking.

Advantages of Hybrid pillows


Hybrid pillows feature a thin layer of compressible material against your face to increase the comfort levels. This material helps to reduce the “balloon” sensation that most people do not like in inflatables.


Hybrid pillows can provide better support, thanks to the inflatable bottom side that helps with this while reducing the packed volume.

Downsides of Hybrid pillows

Heavy – Compared to inflatable pillows, hybrid pillows tend to be on the heavier side. Also, they are less packable compared to inflatables thus not the very best option for anyone whose main goal is that of purchasing a portable backpacking pillow.

4. Stuff Sacks

Also referred to pillowcase pillows, stuff sacks are lightly padded sacks that provide room for you to stuff them with clothing or cushioning. Ideally, the products you stuff into them entirely depends on you, where you could choose to stuff them using socks, jackets, other items

If you want a backpacking pillow for side sleepers that will allow you to customize your comfort and support, a stuff sack is the ideal pillow for you.

Advantages of Stuff Sacks

Customizable comfortable and support

With a stuff sack, you can customize the amount of comfort and support that these pillows could deliver. You could choose to add more clothing for added firmness or reduce the amount of clothing to reduce the firmness.


Pillowcase pillows are lightweight and packable, thus an ideal option when looking for a portable backpacking pillow for side sleepers.

Downsides of Stuff Sacks

Comfort level depends on the stuffed items – Given that what you stuff into these pillows depends on you, stuff sacks are only as comfortable as the items you stuff into them.


What is the Best Backpacking Pad for Side Sleepers?

So, having looked at the factors to consider when selecting the best backpacking pillow for side sleepers, which is the best backpacking pad for side sleepers?

I would recommend a mattress with a medium level of firmness. Avoid pillows that are too thin since such options could sink into the mattress. Moreover, avoid options that are too thick to avoid more pressure on the hips and shoulders.

Also, opt for thicker pillows and pillows with a strong-enough fill so that they can resist deep compression and maintain a supportive surface. Side sleepers should get pillows with a loft ranging from 3″ to 4″.

Plus, opt for pillows that feature fillers that don’t flatten readily including latex and memory foam.



Side sleeping is an effective means of promoting even alignment of the spine. However, choosing the wrong pillow could result in more pressure points, and worse yet, failure to get adequate support resulting in poor alignment of the spine.

That said, pay attention to each of the factors reviewed in this article so that you can select the best backpacking pillow for side sleepers.