When you spend a night camping out in the great outdoors, chances are you won’t have the comfort of your bed at home. That’s why it’s so important to choose an air mattress that provides warmth and stability. The last thing you want is to wake up in the middle of the night with a cold back because your air mattress has sprung a leak.
Fortunately, we’ve done all the research for you and rounded up some of our favorite options below. As you read through these options, remember that not all air mattresses are created equal. There are plenty of factors to keep in mind when choosing an air mattress for your next trip, and we cover these in more detail later in this guide.
To determine which air mattresses are best for camping, we considered a number of factors that make a good camping mattress:
A good air mattress for camping should be comfortable and allow you to get a good night’s sleep. It should be big enough to fit you on it with room to spare, preferably with an extra person if need be. The material the air mattress is made from should also play an important role in its comfort level as some mattresses will have more cushioning than others.
When you go camping, your sleeping pads and mattresses are likely exposed to the elements–rain, dirt, gravel or rocks–so durability is important when shopping for one.
- Ease of set-up/removal and packing away
No one wants to spend hours trying to figure out how to set up their sleeping pad or deflate it before packing it away into its bag after a long day of hiking or climbing or swimming (or all three). Single mats should be easy enough that they can be quickly inflated by yourself (and not require manual inflation), while double mats may need two people inflating them with two separate pumps simultaneously if they don't have a double flocked valve system like the Exped MegaMat Duo 10.
- Easy to inflate
All inflatable sleeping pads/mats should come with at least one pump (either hand-operated, battery operated or foot-operated) that makes inflating the mat quick and easy; this way, if your mat comes without any batteries pre-installed in the pump mechanism when you unpack it for your first use at home, you can easily find some batteries at your local store and install them so that when you do take your brand new pad out into the field on your next adventure trip, everything will work smoothly and won't delay you setting up camp because there is no pump available or because there's not enough air in the mattress due to limited pumping capacity per inflation cycle time until fully inflated.
Best Twin Air: Exped MegaMat Duo 10
The Exped MegaMat Duo 10 is a perfect sleeping solution for couples camping in the backcountry. This double-wide self-inflating mattress comes with two built-in pillows and is rated to support up to 660 pounds—that’s more than enough weight capacity for two people. The mattress is almost an inch thick, which means you get a great night’s sleep without compensating on pack size or weight.
It’s incredibly comfortable, with many reviewers saying it offers “unrivaled comfort for your outdoor adventures.” It packs down small enough to fit into most tents and has built-in handles that make it easy to carry around camp. The included stuff sacks make packing up easy and eliminate any guesswork about getting everything back inside if you have to break camp in a hurry due to bad weather or other emergencies.
As one reviewer notes, this isn’t your run-of-the-mill air mattress, it will change the game when it comes to car camping trips with your significant other.
Best Budget: Intex Classic Downy Airbed
The Intex Classic Downy Airbed is a stand-out choice for those looking to save money while still getting the benefits of sleeping on an air mattress while camping.
It's well worth it for campers who mostly spend their time outdoors during the day, but come into their tents at night to sleep. It's also a good option for those who don't need an elevated surface that feels like a traditional bed frame. The heavy-duty vinyl construction also means you can sit or lie on it without risking punctures or tears. The built-in pillow won't replace your favorite soft, fluffy one, but it will keep your head and neck supported as you snooze away.
This product may not have all of the bells and whistles of pricier options, but the fact that it's durable and affordable makes it a great buy for anyone wanting to get started with camping without shelling out hundreds of dollars in purchases before they ever even leave home.
Headboard-type: A-ER-FA Queen Size Air Mattress with Headboard
The A-ER-FA Queen Size Air Mattress with Headboard is a unique product that will appeal to campers who enjoy the comforts of home.
It's unique in that it has a built-in headboard, which some people may find more comfortable than pillows. Additionally, it features an ergonomic design, which should make it easy to carry. It also comes with a raft patch and glue kit in case of punctures or leaks, so you can easily repair your air mattress on the go and get back to sleep. The manufacturer has made the bed with non-toxic PVC and 20% thicker vinyl materials than competing products, so users should be able to rest assured their air mattress will be free from harmful chemicals while they sleep. Lastly, this product comes with an external pump that can inflate your air mattress quickly (and keep it inflated all night long). This way you can spend less time inflating and deflating your air mattress and more time enjoying the outdoors or catching up on sleep.
Technology-based: SoundAsleep Dream Series Air Mattress with ComfortCoil Technology & Internal High Capacity Pump
If you’re looking for a high-end and durable camping air mattress, the SoundAsleep Dream Series Air Mattress is an excellent choice. This air mattress features 40 internal air coils that help provide a more consistent and supportive night's sleep, as well as ComfortCoil Technology that helps reduce motion transfer between partners.
The SoundAsleep Dream Series Air Mattress comes with a built-in pump that inflates the bed in around 4 minutes. There’s also an easy-to-use dial gauge to help deflate the bed when needed. The plush thermo-regulating fabric cover will also keep you comfortable all night long, while still maintaining its durability against wear and tear. If anything happens to your air mattress within 1 year of purchase, there’s also a 1-year warranty included to keep you worry free if something goes wrong.
The SoundAsleep Dream Series Air Mattress comes in both queen and twin sizes so you can choose which size best fits your needs for camping.
Low-cost: Sierra Designs Queen & Single Camping Air Bed Mattress
For those on a budget, the Sierra Designs Queen & Single Camping Air Bed Mattress is an ideal choice. The mattress is made of heavy-duty, waterproof PVC that keeps dampness at bay and allows you to use it on even the most jagged ground (up to 2,200 pounds per square foot). This air bed is available in twin, queen and king sizes, making it ideal for different group sizes.
It's very easy to inflate. You won't have any problem getting this mattress blown up before climbing into your tent at the end of a long day.
On top of being durable and affordable, this air bed comes with a carry bag that makes it easy to pack up and transport. Side caps prevent air from escaping when you're not using it.
Battery-operated: KingCamp Lightweight Camping Air Bed
The KingCamp Lightweight Camping Air Bed is a great option for those who would like to use their air mattress indoors, but do not have access to an outlet. Made from PVC material, this light and portable camping air mattress is powered by a rechargeable battery that conveniently inflates the bed in less than two minutes. The KingCamp Lightweight Camping Air Bed comes with a carry bag that makes it easy to store and transport it when not in use.
One thing to keep in mind: since this product requires its own power source, it does not come equipped with a pump. Additionally, customers say the battery life of this air mattress is relatively short-lived, so you may want to consider investing in additional batteries if you plan on using your mattress frequently.
Lightweight: King Koil Luxury Air Mattress Queen with Built-in Pump for Home
The King Koil Luxury Airbed is a lightweight mattress, which is easy to inflate and deflate. It has a built-in pump that comes in handy when you need to inflate the mattress for use. The mattress is also made of soft flocking material, which makes it cozy and comfortable for people with sensitive skin.
Besides being comfortable, this air mattress is also waterproof and puncture proof, which makes it ideal for both indoor and outdoor use. You can either place it directly on the floor or put it on your tent platform when camping outdoors.
The good thing about buying this air bed is that you will have a one-year warranty in case of any damage or defects. It measures 80 by 60 by 20 inches and can fit two adults comfortably (the company boasts that some customers have fit up to three adults on the bed!).