How to make a pillow sleeping bag?

If you’re an outdoor enthusiast or someone who loves the idea of having a cozy and convenient sleeping setup, a DIY pillow sleeping bag is an excellent project to consider. This versatile sleeping solution combines the warmth and comfort of a sleeping bag with the convenience of an integrated pillow.

Whether you plan to use it for camping, festivals, or simply for a comfortable movie night in your living room, this DIY guide will walk you through the steps to create your very own pillow sleeping bag, customised to your preferences.

A guide on how to make a pillow sleeping bag

Materials Required:

  1. Durable fabric (for the exterior): You can use materials like polyester, nylon, or a water-resistant fabric if you’re planning outdoor use.
  2. Soft fabric (for the interior lining): Flannel, cotton, or fleece are ideal choices.
  3. Padding or insulation: thin foam, batting, or a specialised sleeping bag insulation.
  4. Standard-sized pillow or pillow filling.
  5. Sewing machine (or needle and thread if sewing by hand).
  6. Pins.
  7. Measuring tape.
  8. Scissors.
  9. Zippers or Velcro strips (for closure).
  10. Fabric marker or chalk.

Step-by-Step Guide to Making a Pillow Sleeping Bag:

  1. Measurements: Decide on the length and width of your sleeping bag. A standard size might be 75 inches in length (including the pillow section) and 30 inches in width. However, adjust these measurements based on your height and comfort preferences.
  2. Cutting the Fabric: Based on your measurements, cut two pieces from both the exterior and interior fabrics. Remember to add a couple of extra inches on all sides for seam allowances.
  3. Pillow Pocket: On one end of both the interior and exterior fabric pieces, mark a section equivalent to the size of your pillow (e.g., 20 inches x 26 inches for a standard pillow). This section will be used to create a pocket for the pillow.
  4. Attaching the Insulation: Lay down one piece of the exterior fabric (right side facing down), then lay the insulation on top, and finally place the interior fabric on top (right side facing up). Pin all layers together.
  5. Sewing the Pillow Pocket: Fold down the top sections (that you previously marked) of both the inner and outer fabrics, and sew them to create pockets. Insert the pillow or pillow filling into the pocket of the interior fabric.
  6. Sewing the Sleeping Bag: With the pillow inserted, fold the fabrics so that the right sides of the exterior pieces face each other, and similarly, the right sides of the interior pieces face each other. Pin them together, leaving an opening at the bottom for turning. Sew around the perimeter, making sure to secure the insulation in place.
  7. Adding Closure: Turn the sleeping bag right side out from the opening you left at the bottom. Sew on zippers or attach Velcro strips along the side and bottom edges, ensuring that you can easily get in and out of the sleeping bag.
  8. Final Touches: Sew the bottom opening shut. You can also add additional features like a carrying handle or even a storage pocket on the side.

Remember, the beauty of a DIY project is that you can customize it to your liking. Choose fabrics and patterns that resonate with your style, adjust the thickness for the desired warmth, and add features that enhance its usability. With your homemade pillow sleeping bag, restful adventures await!

Is sleeping bag pillow any good?

A sleeping bag pillow can be a convenient and useful addition to your camping or outdoor gear, but whether it’s “good” for you depends on your specific needs and preferences.

Here are some factors to consider when deciding if a sleeping bag pillow is right for you:

  1. Comfort: Sleeping bag pillows are typically smaller and less cushioned than regular pillows, so they may not provide the same level of comfort. However, they can still offer some support and make your sleeping experience more enjoyable, especially if you’re camping or backpacking.
  2. Portability: Sleeping bag pillows are designed to be lightweight and compact, making them easy to carry and pack. If you’re traveling light or on a backpacking trip where space is limited, a sleeping bag pillow can be a good choice.
  3. Versatility: Some sleeping bag pillows are designed to be multifunctional, with features like inflatable inserts, adjustable firmness, or reversible covers. These options can cater to a wider range of sleeping preferences.
  4. Cost: Sleeping bag pillows are often more affordable than high-quality camping pillows or regular pillows. If you’re on a budget, they can be a cost-effective solution.
  5. Hygiene: Many sleeping bag pillows come with removable, washable covers, which can help you maintain hygiene during extended outdoor trips.
  6. Weight and Size: Consider the weight and size of the sleeping bag pillow in relation to your overall packing needs. If space and weight are critical factors for your trip, a compact and lightweight pillow can be advantageous.

Ultimately, the effectiveness of a sleeping bag pillow depends on your individual comfort requirements and the type of camping or outdoor activities you engage in. Some people find them perfectly adequate for their needs, while others may prefer the extra comfort of a larger camping pillow or even a rolled-up jacket or clothing as a makeshift pillow.

Before making a decision, you might want to read reviews, try out different options if possible, and consider factors like your sleeping style, the duration of your trip, and the conditions you’ll be camping in. This will help you determine whether a sleeping bag pillow is a good choice for you or if you should invest in a different type of pillow for your outdoor adventures.


What is a sleeping bag pillow?

A sleeping bag pillow is a compact and portable pillow designed for outdoor use, particularly camping and backpacking. It is typically lightweight and easy to pack, making it a convenient accessory for sleep in the great outdoors.

How do I clean a sleeping bag pillow?

Cleaning a sleeping bag pillow varies depending on the material. Many come with removable and washable covers that you can launder. For the inner pillow, follow the manufacturer’s care instructions, which may include spot cleaning or gentle hand washing.

Are sleeping bag pillows suitable for all types of camping?

Sleeping bag pillows are versatile but may not provide the same comfort as regular pillows. They are best suited for lightweight and compact camping, such as backpacking or hiking trips. For car camping or when comfort is a top priority, you may prefer a larger, more traditional pillow.


Creating a pillow sleeping bag can be a fun DIY project for outdoor enthusiasts or those looking for a custom sleeping solution. By gathering the necessary materials and following the steps outlined in the FAQs, you can craft a comfortable and functional sleeping bag tailored to your preferences and needs. Don’t forget to personalize it to make your camping or outdoor adventures more enjoyable.

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