Best Camping Mattresses
A good camping mattress could make all the difference in the world. It could help you wake up peacefully, surrounded by the sounds of nature, or be the reason you feel exhausted. Some of them are highly durable but quite uncomfortable to sleep on. Others are comfortable, but not luxurious enough. I guess, in the end, it comes down to the question of Camping or Glamping? With that being said, we have reviewed some of the best camping mattress models on the market and have explored the pros and cons of each product. It is up to you to balance the price and features to find the on-the-go mattress of your dreams!
In a Hurry? The test winner after 9 hrs of research
Maintains its shape during the night
- SoundAsleep Dream Series
- Exped Comfort Megamat 10 LXW
- Coleman Airbed Cot
- Lightspeed Outdoors Mattress
- AeroBed Comfort Anywhere 18
- Intex Cozy Kidz Inflatable Airbed
- REI Co-op Relax Air Bed
- Therm-a-Rest MondoKing
- ALPS Mountaineering Rechargeable Air Bed
- Intex Classic Downy Mattress
- Criteria Used for Evaluation
- Other Factors to Consider
- Frequently Asked Questions
Top 10 Picks
1. SoundAsleep Dream Series
Maintains its shape during the night
Pump is a bit noisy
This is a high air mattress that is comfortable for getting in and out of but it is not suitable to use in small spaces. However, this is a 40 coil camping bed that offers great support to your spine and it is large enough for two people to sleep in, even if they are not the cuddling types. This is the kind of mattress that is excellent for camping and also suitable for guests in your house.Read more
The weight that this mattress can hold is 500 pounds, which is quite impressive comparing to camping beds of this price range. Thanks to the 40 internal coils the bed retaining its form during the night, you won’t wake up sleeping on the ground as it is the case with many competitive products. The advanced coil technology is allowing the mattress to stay flat and maintain its original shape.
The air chambers in this mattress are horizontal, not vertical as many others. Reviewers believe that this is what makes this mattress so comfortable. It has been noted that you should sleep on the mattress three times before taking it outdoors. The fabric stretches and therefore deflated slightly with the first few uses.
This mattress owes its durability to the high-quality material used in the manufacturing process. It is composed of multiple layers in order to prevent punctures. This is making the camping mattress more resilient to rough rocky terrains.
Nevertheless, placing it on sharp objects and rocks is never a good idea. Also, the material is tough enough so that the inflation and deflation don’t cause wearing off or changing its properties at all. The bottom is reinforced with a waterproof piece of material which is also preventing it from slipping if you place it on an uneven surface.
This camping mattress comes with an integrated pump that is very easy to use and the inflation and deflation process will finish before you put on your pajamas.
2. Exped Comfort Megamat 10 LXW
A bit on the expensive side
If you are ready to invest in a great, longlasting product and spend a little bit more on a camping mattress, this mattress will be your loyal companion on every camping trip you take. It is designed and manufactured using a 3D technology which ensures that you will be able to enjoy a good nights sleep without seeping into a hole.Read more
It is interesting to sleep on a camping mattress that provides equal support at the center of it and on the edge. The fabric used in the production process is durable and very pleasant to the skin. It is also resistant to slipping so you are safe to use it on uneven surfaces.
This mat is incredibly comfortable. Reviewers agree that it is comfortable for any sleeping position, even side sleepers.
The Exped megamat can be used hundreds of times without worry. In the rare event that something did happen to your mattress pad, a repair kit and five-year warranty are included when you purchase. Some reviewers complain about how long it takes to deflate. This just proves that you won't need to worry about air leaking out while you're sleeping.
The brand Exped is known on the market by the design of its valves. They have integrated into this mattress two valves which are flat. They are both one-way valves which means that one is responsible for the air to get inside and the other for deflating the mattress.
3. Coleman Airbed Cot
Has side tables
Pump needs batteries
The material could be a bit tougher
This is a camp stretching mattress option that we highly recommend if the weight is not an issue for you. It is made with a steel construction that will provide an excellent support, but it will take you a bit of an effort to carry it from one place to another.Read more
As far as support goes, there is no other mattress that will give you this feeling and a good night’s sleep. It feels very similar to domestic beds and the weight it can support makes it really stand out. It could hold up to 600 lbs which is quite impressive.
Some have compared this mattress to theirs at home. It is agreed that this is a comfortable mattress, but not if you are a very tall person.
When the steel construction and the inflatable mattress are combined, they are very durable. The pump is also going to last you for a long time and you could use it for other purposes as well. It is included in the price of the mattress, but it is a battery one pump, so you will have to purchase the batteries separately.
The additional features include tables on both sides of the mattress where you can keep your phone, battery lamp or some personal items that you might need. The steel construction is connected to an inflating mattress with a low height which you can choose to use separately or combined. Using it separately is only recommended indoors or with an isolation pad because the material is not as tough.
4. Lightspeed Outdoors Mattress
Firmness stabilizer technology
If you don’t mind the low height, this PVC free camping mattress might be the ideal choice for you. It is a two person mattress constructed from a high-quality TPU material. The leading feature of this mattress is the durability, which is incomparable to any other product on this list. And it comes at a price that won't break the bank.Read more
This is one of the rare models that has the quality of a high mattress with coil technology. However, its structure is a bit different. It has integrated connectors between the top and bottom layers which are responsible for keeping the mattress firm and maintaining the desired comfort level. The weight limit isn't listed but there haven't been any issues.
The TPU material means that it has non-stretchy properties, which means that it will maintain its firmness during the night. And of course, now you can sleep calmly while your partner is fidgeting right next to you.
Polyester laminated with thermoplastic polyurethane makes this mattress incredibly durable. It is oil and grease resistant, strong, and can resist high abrasion.
It is lighter than most models on the market and it weighs only 6 pounds. This makes it perfect for camping since it is convenient for transport. The carrying case is small and compact and sometimes it might take you some time to fit it in. However, it will ease the transport if you need to carry it.
5. AeroBed Comfort Anywhere 18
Easy to get in and out of
Top is very slippery
The AeroBed is best suited for campers that don’t want to sacrifice their comfort and luxury. Why would you when there are such products on the market?! This camping mattress would also be the perfect addition to your home; your guests would love it! And the setting up is as easy and quick as it gets.Read more
While the weight limit is not listed, reviewers have had no issues with up to 3 people sleeping on the mattress at the same time.
This camping mattress is specifically designed to provide extra comfort to your spine by utilizing a layering option. There are two layers of mattresses that are combined together in order to increase the level of comfort. This is lowering the waterbed effect and giving you the feeling that you are sleeping on an actual mattress. However, the comfort comes at a price.
Many people prefer purchasing a cheaper mattress option that they will replace a couple of times over the years over one highly durable mattress that will last you for years to come. If you are looking to change that, this camping mattress is the perfect place to start. It is versatile, durable and its quality won’t wear out with frequent use.
The bed comes with a headboard which is convenient for people who tend to push their pillows up. Although you might not feel this is necessary, it is more popular than you’d think. The inflation and deflation are of course fully automated and the process takes no more than 5 minutes. However, you would require a power source in order to plug the device somewhere.
6. Intex Cozy Kidz Inflatable Airbed
Easy to transport
Nice choice of colors
Not for children under 15 months of age
Camping is often a family adventure in which the children are included. This range of inflatable mattresses for children will ensure they are comfortable and happy. These Intex mattresses are insulated from the ground and will provide a good nights sleep so your children will be well-rested and ready to join in the families daily activities.
Transporting this is easy at a light 4.21 (Lbs)Read more
This will support a child's weight up to 200 (Lbs). A pillow is built into the product for ample head and neck support.
Kids claim that is a comfortable mattress. Many prefer to use their own pillows, but if your child can carry that to the campsite, why not?
Many people are surprised by the durability of this mattress. It is strong enough for inside and outside use, and some have even used it as a make-shift crib mattress while traveling. We all know how tough a child can be on toys and mattresses, but this one seems to stand up to them.
This inflatable mattress is good for camping or as a put-me-up at home if your child has a friend sleep over. The surface area for sleeping is flocked to ensure a gentle contact with the child's skin. Even better, is the built-in pillow, so you have one less thing to carry. This mattress is also available in a nice range of kid appealing colors. This is a single bed model, with dimensions of 34x62x 7inches.
7. REI Co-op Relax Air Bed
Low quality pump
Smaller than advertised
Even though the durability and comfort this REI camping mattress provides are undeniable, the sizing is a bit off. So if you decide to get yourself one, make sure you double check the dimensions, because they don’t match a queen size bed.Read more
It provides a great support and it is able to maintain its firmness during the night.
In fact, it is able to maintain the comfort level for the entire weekend so you probably won’t have to additionally inflate it. It will prevent sore muscles in the morning since the R-value is pretty high and the firmness it could reach is great.
This mattress is made from PVC-free thermoplastic polyurethane. Whether using this mattress for sleeping or as a low sofa in the daytime, you will not need to reinflate. The strong material of this mattress will stay firm for days (or nights) on end.
Even though the mattress is in top shape, the pump does not follow its lead. It is a bit louder than expected and it takes a bit longer to get the job done. It is also manual with a 1-way valve which is able to inflate your mattress only. It is up to you to take care of the deflation process.
8. Therm-a-Rest MondoKing
No air leakage
Not convenient for rocky terrain types
Therm-a-rest is a basic type of mattress that will provide you with enough comfort so that you feel well rested on your next camping trip. It is not suitable for uneven ground since its height is only 4 inches and even a small rock will create discomfort. If you need a camping mattress for such terrains, look through our higher suggestions.Read more
It offers great support which is shown with its R-value. The R-value is recommended to be higher when the temperatures are higher since, with a higher R-value, your mattress will resist the heat better. The insulation power will also be higher, although this does not guarantee that it will stay the same during the night. This camping mattress has an R-value of 11.4 which is much better than the average of 9.
Reviewers refer to this as a luxury mattress. The insulation will keep you warmer than a traditional air mattress. There are many different size options available to keep you comfortable and the pad seems to be long enough for tall people, also! However, you must be cautious about where you decide to set up this mattress, it is not very thick and you may be able to feel rocks or sticks underneath you.
The urethane foam core promises a durable, long lasting mattress. While the company has been around since 1972, this particular mattress is new and may not have been tested enough to truly report on years worth of durability.
Thanks to the core construction made of foam, this is a camping mattress which you would be able to use in all weather conditions. The foam will keep your body warm and it will serve as an isolation between the ground and yourself.
The sleeping space is also about 20% bigger than the average size of such mattresses, and this definitely increases the comfort. The inflation and deflation is controlled by the valves on the top which are tightly closed and don’t leak air.
9. ALPS Mountaineering Rechargeable Air Bed
Soft Flocked top for added comfort
Rechargeable battery pump
Solid coil design
Only single height mattress
The ALPS Mountaineering mattress is a perfect choice if you need a quick and easy, but comfortable bed. While this is on the heavier side (so take that into consideration when buying), the rechargeable pump battery is a great feature that might offset the carrying weight.Read more
As far as comfort goes, this is somewhere in the middle. It's a typical air mattress so you're not looking at anything fancy. However, the design is comfortable and the rechargeable pump battery ensures that even in the middle of the woods, you'll never find yourself with a deflated mattress.
This is a comfortable mattress when fully inflated. A few reviewers have griped about the mattress leaking air in the night and losing its comfortable plush feeling.
This is one of the few PVC air mattresses on our list. There is some speculation of PVC being toxic, but nothing solid yet. However, PVC is the strongest plastic, therefore, making this a very durable mattress.
Pump, Pump, and Pump. If you often find yourself with a dead pump battery this is for you. You can be out in the middle of nowhere, yet still be able to top off your air mattress with air before bed. The construction of the bed makes it a little bit heavier than others for carrying, but it's not outrageous and might be worth it for the added benefit of a working pump.
10. Intex Classic Downy Mattress
Inflatable pillows included
Shorter lifespan than other mattresses
The Intex brand of air beds is the perfect fit if you are on a limited budget and you are looking for a mattress that will get the job done. This mattress is made from vinyl and may require a refill of air over time, as the material stretches. Although it does not have superior properties in comparison to the other products on our list, it comes with the lowest price on our list.Read more
This Intex mattress can comfortably support up to 600pounds. It's soft surface and official Queen size make using a fitted sheet simple. If you don't mind a bit of bounce, this mattress will work well for you. You may be able to feel the movements of your partner, but you will otherwise feel very comfortable.
The mattress itself is said to be quite comfortable, but some reviewers have referred to the pillows as "useless." While you may be able to feel the movements of your partner, the bed itself is not super bouncy.
To be honest, you get what you pay for. This mattress is about 1/5 the cost of other mattresses on our list. The reason for its low price lays in the durability of the product. If you are looking for a comfortable sleep for the weekend and know that you may not get many more uses out of it afterward, this may be the product for you. Although if you take good care of it, it will last you for years. If you want it to last, some reviews suggest using a pad underneath.
The top of the mattress is covered with a waterproof material which makes it ideal for a camping trip in wet conditions. It is light enough to be moved from one place to another. In fact, you would feel perfectly ok carrying it to your campsite for a couple of hours. Its case is small and compact and when inflated the mattress doesn’t look too bulky. It is the ideal choice for a two-person tent.
Criteria Used for Evaluation
A high-quality mattress should be able to support your body by distributing your body weight evenly and prevent lumps from being formed. This is a quality which is pretty difficult to find and if you do manage to find a model that possess it, it will come at a higher price. Such a model would have a net of air coils that are well distributed and as many as possible. These internal chambers would contribute to the comfort of the mattress and they could count as high as 30. If you are looking for a double bed, it is recommended that you do not even look at the models that are without internal chamber system. If they don’t possess this feature, your partner and you will end up cuddling all night. This might not be such a bad thing if you are the cuddling type, but if you are not, definitely go with the coils.
How comfortable an air mattress, or any mattress for this matter, is opinion. However, we felt that this was an important topic to address and we scoured the reviews to get a feel for the overall consensus. In this section, we focused on whether the mattresses were too soft, too hard, or just oddly uncomfortable.
No one wants to throw away their money. In this section, we focused on how well the product stands up. A camping mattress gets put through a lot of wear and tear. If the materials of the mattress aren't strong enough, you are likely to end up with a hole. A simple way to help elongate the life of your camping mattress is to use a matress pad underneath it. This will act as a barrier between your mattress and the outdoor ground.
Another thing to consider is whether or not the mattress comes with a warranty and what exactly that warranty offers. The warranty time varies from one brand to another. However, if it is not at least one year, it is not a recommended model. There are warranties for the pumps as well regardless of whether you have purchased it separately or it came together with the mattress.
Inflation and deflation process
If you are looking for a single sized mattress you might manage without a pump. However, anything above that size would greatly require a pump that will take care of the inflation process. If you blow it with your mouth it would take about half an hour to get it fully inflated. If you, however, have a pump at your disposal, it only takes 1 minute and you don’t even have to get yourself involved in the process. However, a pump requires that you are camping near an electricity source or at least camp with your vehicle nearby. Most pumps come with a car charger, so this is one way to go.
The tricky part is that once you manage to inflate the mattress to the desired level of firmness, it should stay that way during the night. However, with air beds, this almost never happens. Over the night, the temperature outside is not constant. In fact, it greatly differs. For this reason, the air inside the mattress is spreading or shrinking depending on the temperature. This causes that the mattress gets more inflated or deflate itself. The only way to prevent this is by purchasing a mattress with an inflation control system. This system is measuring the pressure inside and it is maintaining the desired level. This way, you are able to sleep on your mattress and not wake up in a hole in the morning.
Another thing is that when using an air bed, always make sure that the valves are tightly sealed. This will prevent air leaks and it will decrease the temperature deflation.
Other features that we focused on in this sections were things such as weather resistance, color options, ease of use, and storage abilities.
Expert Interviews & Opinions
No matter what the reviews say, you should test out your camping mattress before bringing it out into the wilderness. You may have received the one dud of the entire factory. Sleep on it for a night and make sure that it is comfortable and has no leaks.
Bringing a good set of sheets (if you have the room) can make a great difference. If you can set up the mattress as you would at home, it will be much more comfortable. If you also have a sleeping bag, you could fully unzip it and use it as a top or bottom layer for more warmth and comfort. Sleeping directy on a mattress will decrease it's durability and could cause odors.
Other Factors to Consider
This may seem obvious, but the size that an air mattress is offered in is an important thing to look at. Depending on where you plan on using the mattress, you need to know the measurements. Will the mattress fit in your caravan or your one-person tent?
Most camping mattresses are offered in a variety of sizes and are typically true to size. However, there have been a few complaints about the dimensions listed not being the actual dimensions of the product received.
Frequently Asked Questions
As you can notice from the suggested products, as well as the previously explained features that a mattress could possess, there are several types of mattresses and each one works on different principles. For instance, the self-inflating mattresses are working together with a valve, or several valves, that are responsible for the inflation and deflation process. Since they are self-inflating, the air is pretty much sucked in or thrown outside through the one-way valve and you are good to go.
However, the self-inflating mattresses are much different than the ones that require a pump to do the inflation and deflation process. These camping mattresses come with a pump or it is sold separately. However, you cannot inflate the mattress without one. The pumps could run on batteries, which would additionally require that you purchase batteries, or they could work with a power source. Regardless of the power source type, the pump will take care of the inflation and deflation process for you and it will only take about five minutes. Although this is quite impressive, remember that the pump is adding extra weight which is not too pleasant if you should walk to your campsite.
Simply put, R-value represents the capacity of the mattress to be inflated to the maximum. This means that some mattresses have the possibility to be more inflated and have a firmer surface and others are not recommended to inflate as much and they provide a softer, less comfortable support. The higher the R-value, the more insulated/thermal resistant the mattress is. Depending on the climate where the mattress will be used, your sleep can be interrupted by an unstable temperature inside the air mattress. If the ground is extremely cold, or hot, a low R-value will not keep you from feeling these effects. An R-value of 1 is fine for summer, while an R-value of 5 or higher is recommended for winter or extreme cold. All in all, the higher the R-value, the better is the camping mattress.
The most important features you should consider are the R-value, which is explained in the previous question, the size and height of the mattress and whether it can maintain the level of firmness that is promoted. Some mattresses come with great R-value and non-stretchy materials but over the night, their firmness changes.
This is because of the variation of temperature and it is normal for most mattresses. However, there are those who have a stabilizer integrated inside and it is constantly measuring the firmness of the mattress. Once it gets the desired support, the pump is activating and the re-inflation begins. However, in order for a mattress to possess such qualities, it is important for it to be made from non-stretchy materials such as TPU.
This is a popular question but varies from person to person. Just like taste buds, we don’t all love the same mattresses. Comfort is person specific. Browsing this list, you will see a range of mattresses from firm to cushiony soft. I personally prefer a soft mattress, while my partner prefers firm. To please us both, we each have our own twin size mattress and push them together when we sleep. Through research and a bit of trial and error, you will find which style gives you the best nights rest.
This is a practice that most campers ignore, which is why they will need to throw away a perfectly good mattress after a while. Experts suggest that you sustain yourself from this desire. By blowing into the mattress with your mouth, you are introducing bacteria and moisture inside the mattress. This could cause moisture freezing and could cause you to feel extremely cold while sleeping in low temperatures. Even worse, you could even grow mold inside the mattress. Needless to say, there is no way of getting the mold out, so you would be stuck with the burden of buying a new one, or sleeping on a smelly old mattress. If you insist on adding extra air, it might be worth it to you to buy a hand pump. This is much safer and saves you time and energy.
- How to get good sleep while camping, Sleep website, Mar 06, 2018 ,