I think I solved the pillow issue. I wrote about it in a recent book -
Here is an excerpt from the book:
Tip number 100 -The Pillow
I love a pillow under my head during sleepy time. The traditional camper will simply take a porky jacket, cram it into some big stuff sack and call it good.
If you are a true ultralight zealot, you’ll be sleeping in a very thin sleeping bag (or quilt) and comfort dictates that you'll wear all your clothes to bed. This means that there is nothing left over for your pillow.
You’ll spend roughly one third of any expedition asleep on your pad. This time is a vital component to your recovery and well being. If you need a pillow to sleep well, then don’t short yourself. There are plenty of tricked out camping pillows on the market. Very few are light enough to get called UL.
Here’s the simplest (and lightest) solution I’ve found. I’ll fill a very light stuff sack with partially inflated Ziploc baggies. I’ll blow air into them and zip them shut, and partially full is much better than beach ball tight. I use the thinner SANDWICH style rather than the dense FREEZER bags. I have an 8” x 14” stuff sack and I use 7 baggies.
Test it yourself before you go into the field, I tried different baggies over multiple nights, and the weight of my big head would end up deflating them all by morning. My R&D determined the baggies require a stout double zipper, so I use the kind of baggie with the DOUBLE ZIPPER, and it works great. Total pillow weight: 1.8 ounces. Replace the stuff sack with a wispy thin plastic grocery bag for even more weight savings.
Other UL pillow options are sight dependent. I’ve filled my backpack with pine cones and that was wonderful, but the only reason I could pull that off was because I found a huge pile of pine cones right near my sleep site. Sand in the backpack is very nice too, and tiny pebbles ain’t bad either.