Undoubtedly, inflatable air mattresses are the best choice of bed for camping because they are lightweight, compact, and affordable. Besides, these mattresses come in different sizes and levels of comfort.
Camping is one of the best ways to escape from the hassles of your daily life. You may want to camp for days or even weeks. It will be uncomfortable if you don’t have the right mattress.
For many people, sleeping on the ground might be an option. For others, blankets, duvets, and comforters may work well. Still, some might opt to carry a mattress topper.
Now, while each of the above items might help you rest during sleeping hours, none of them can replace the role of a good camping mattress. So why use an air mattress for camping?
An air mattress is portable. Usually, you can fold them into a compact piece and shove it into your backpack. Since they are lightweight, it is easy to carry the mattress to your camping site or from one camping site to the next. That sounds promising, right?
You should know that not all air mattresses are similar. There are glaring differences in structure, material, and support systems.
When it comes to choosing the best air mattress for camping and outdoor usage, you have to make a choice, and it should be the right one. Our reviews below should hopefully help you make the right choice. Don’t forget to check our buying guide for further advice.
Our Favorite Pick
SoundAsleep Camping Series Air Mattress
Finding The Best Air Mattress For Camping
To find the best mattress for camping, we narrowed it from 24 mattresses down to 10. We then validated and checked prices and availability for the selected products. For research, we cross-checked references against 8 different sources which totalled 44 hours. Below are some of the criteria we evaluated:
- How lightweight and portable it is
- Whether or not a pump is included
- Whether a pump is required or if it’s self-inflating
- How comfortable it is
- The sizes available
- The material
Our Top 10 Picks In Summary
- SoundAsleep Camping Series – Editor’s Pick
- Therm-a-Rest MondoKing 3D – Most Comfortable
- Etekcity – Best For Heavy People
- Lightspeed Outdoors – Best For Couples
- Intex Classic Downy – Best Budget Option
- Coleman Quickbed – Soft Feel
- Intex Prestige Downy – Most Luxurious
- EnerPlex Never-Leak Camping Series – Most Durable
- Coleman Self Inflating – No Pump Required
- Coleman Camping Cot – Raised Height
Camping Air Mattress Reviews
SoundAsleep Camping Series
Camping can never be comfortable without the SoundAsleep Camping Series air mattress. This premium outdoor mattress features characteristics that every camper needs.
First, it is built from eco-friendly PVC, making it ideal for people who love their environment. Besides, the PVC is tailored to meet the needs of the outdoors. That means it will stand up to the harsh conditions of the wilderness.
The coil system in this air mattresses sets apart from the rest. The comfort coil technology features I-Beam air coils, which ensures that you remain comfortable as you rest.
The air mattress comes with an efficient external air pump. That should make it easier for you to inflate and deflate your mattress. What’s impressive, though, is that the pump comes with a powerful heavy-duty rechargeable battery. You can charge this battery at home, or you can charge using your car. The pump will inflate your bed within 3 minutes.
Unlike most, the SoundAsleep Camping Series air mattress is built from an extra-thick material, which makes it suitable for outdoor uses. It can withstand harsh objects usually found in the wilderness.
You can find the mattress in either Twin size or Queen size. Once you purchase, each one comes with a carry bag for easy carrying/transportation. Plus, you get a one year warranty on this air mattress.
Therm-a-Rest MondoKing 3D
The Therm-a-Rest MondoKing 3D self-inflating mattress is another option designed to offer warmth and comfort for campers, travelers, and those at home.
The mattress inflates to 4-inch thickness, and it features a stabilization system. Such a feature makes it comfortable and reduces disturbances associated with motion transfer, a common feature in people with sleeping partners. To maximize the sleeping surface, make use of the side walls.
Since this mattress packs a memory foam layer, we believe it’s the most comfortable air mattress for camping, traveling, boats, or home use. The compressible layers of foam, together with air, offer decent support for comfortable sleeping.
A unique feature here is that is has a dual valve system. The dual valves allow the core of the compressible foam to expand and inflate once you unpack.
This is not a camping mattress for couples. Its actual size, when fully expanded, is 77 x 25 x 4 inches. However, you can add a second mattress to extend the sleeping surface. This way, you can accommodate 2 people.
When you buy the ThermaRest MondoKing, you get stuff sack and limited lifetime warranty.
The unique pat with the Etekcity camping air mattress is that it uses the latest technology. The mattress can support up to a weight of 650 pounds. The support system features an inner beam structure, which is naturally more stable and durable than the standard air coil beams. So buying this mattress means decent support, comfort, and durability.
You will be amazed to know that the Etekcity air mattress features quality material and construction. Besides, the materials are devoid of lead, cadmium, and phthalates, which makes the product safe.
The top is multi-layered and flocked. It utilizes PVC that is 20% thicker than ordinary PVC. As such, it is puncture-resistant and waterproof. The thick impervious surface ensures that the air mattress doesn’t sink, i.e., it remains firm and level. Besides, it eliminates any chances of leakages.
When fully inflated, the mattress stands at 9-inch thick. That makes it comfortable for sleepers of any kind. The best part is, it collapses into a compact 13 x 7 x 15 inches from 80 x 60 x 9 inches when deflated.
This one too has a 2-in-1 valve system. The inner valve is ideal if you want quick inflation while the outer valve works well if you need topping up in small increments to attain desired firmness. Once you are done with inflation, ensure the valves are completely closed.
Supplied is a storage bag and a rechargeable pump with AC/DC adapters that can inflate the mattress in 90 seconds.
What is clear about this outdoor mattress from Lightspeed is that two people can comfortably use it. Besides, the material is devoid of both Phthalate and PVC.
With the Lightspeed air mattress, you can adjust the firmness to get what suits your sleeping style. Typically, it features a two-way bottom valve and a patented stabilizer system. Apart from adjusting firmness, the systems minimize motion transfer, a common feature when you sleep with your partner. That means you get a more stable mattress for camping trips.
Designed from durable TPU, this mattress is meant to last numerous sessions of outdoor camping. Essentially, it is abrasion resistant and will last longer than an average PVC air mattress.
The TPU is not only durable but also confers a lightweight construction to the mattress. Weighing only 5.6 pounds, it means you can easily carry it while hiking or trekking. The carry bag makes traveling even easier.
It is large enough to accommodate two people, considering it measures 80.1 x 55.1 x 7.1 inches when inflated. Though the mattress comes with a rechargeable external pump, you will have to buy the battery separately.
Intex Classic Downy
The Intex classic downy airbed set is a full package. In addition to the air bed, you get two pillows and a hand pump. You won’t stress out because of electricity or dead battery in case you need to inflate your bed; however, a hand pump isn’t for everyone’s taste.
It is a Queen size camping bed, which means it can accommodate two people comfortably. And with a pillow, both of you can comfortably support your heads and necks as you sleep.
The fantastic part is that the top is flocked and is waterproof. That should make the surface comfortable for your skin, regardless of the season. On the other hand, the design of the weave beams allows for easy cleaning.
The Intex air bed is a budget option. Even so, the valves allow you to adjust the bed to get the right firmness. At eight 3/4inches, this camp bed is comfortable enough for people up to 600 pounds as it offers extra soft comfort. Great value overall.
The Coleman Quickbed should be your option if you are looking for a camping bed that offers an extra soft sleeping surface. Essentially, it has a velvet-like sleeping surface. This confers a soft plush top that is ultimately comfortable.
There is decent support because it utilizes the ComfortStrong coil construction. The system ensures that you do not sink deeper into the bed.
The manufacturer eliminates the chances of leakages by using an airtight and double lock system. Such a system seals all possible points of leakages, especially near valves.
While other camping beds can prove a little bit difficult to roll up, this Coleman product is a breeze to fold after deflation. The manufactures have integrated the Wrap’ N’ Roll storage system within the structure. This allows you to fold, roll, and store with ease.
The air bed is 8 inches thick. This, together with a plush soft top, should give you a comfortable sleeping surface.
Intex Prestige Downy
This is another option from Intex, this time the Prestige Downy airbed kit. Like other Intex products, the top is flocked. But unique to this air bed, its top is super soft, offering a luxurious sleeping surface.
The air bed comes with a 3-in-1 valve system. The valves have an extra-wide opening to allow for quick inflating and deflating. The good news is that it comes with a battery-operated pump that uses 6 C-size batteries. But you will buy these batteries separately.
Much work is put into the construction of this product. That is why the bed can support up to 600 pounds at a go.
EnerPlex Never-Leak Camping Series
It only takes 60 seconds to inflate this luxurious waterproof EnerPlex camping air mattress. It comes with a high-speed pump to ensure you achieved desired firmness in no time.
With the latest never-leak technology, once you inflate your mattress, it should stay that way all night long. Unlike others using similar leak-proof technology, this actually seems to work. Besides blowing up your air mattress faster, the twin pump will also seal it quickly.
The creation of the EnerPlex gives comfort, similar to a real bed. The 9-inch thickness does a great job in providing such feel, and it makes the camping mattress safe for people of all ages.
Besides, the Coil beams mimic the real bed experience as it confers maximum comfort to the sleepers of all kinds.
You can use this mattress both indoors and outdoors. Unlike others, you can use it while plugged into an AC adapter. But with a powerful portable pump, you can set up this one anywhere.
The manufactures offer a two-year warranty and a 30-day money-back guarantee on this quality product.
Coleman Self Inflating
If you are preparing for camping, this Coleman self inflating pad should top the list of your requirements. The inflatable sleeping pad offers additional cushioning to your sleeping surface while on camping trips.
It is soft and has a tufted design, and if you have a sleeping bag, you can use this inflatable pad to add an extra layer of cushion to the bag. You can still use it directly on the ground; just ensure there aren’t sharp objects around.
The exciting part is that this Coleman sleeping pad is self-inflating. It has a free flow valve that lets in the air without the need for a pump. This process occurs faster. Similarly, deflation occurs more quickly, thanks to the compression straps, which force air out.
It is 2.5 inches thick; thus, it may not be a very comfortable option. But the mattress is durable, thanks to the durable polyester shell, and comes at a very competitive price.
Coleman Camping Cot
This is a full kit for anyone who needs a luxurious sleeping surface. The 3 piece kit features a cot with side tables, a battery-operated pump, and the air mattress itself.
The side tables feature a pull-out design to make it easier for you to store it. Each table has a cup holder, so you don’t have to worry about where to place your cup while taking a drink on your bed.
The cot has a sturdy steel frame, and it can support up to 600 pounds.
The outstanding thing with the Coleman camping cot is that it offers superior support because of its coil construction system contours to the body shape. The essence of contouring to your body is to ensure that you get decent support, pressure relief, and comfort while sleeping.
Hands down the best camping cot on the market, it comes with a sewn-in cover that ensures that it stays in a fixed position all night long. This way, you don’t have to keep adjusting the position of the mattress.
Guide To Choosing The Best Air Mattress For Camping
By now, you should know that there are multiple kinds of camping air mattress choices on the market. Understanding how each one functions, its durability, portability, and maintenance modes, among other factors, will make you choose the right one. Nonetheless, let’s look at principal factors to put in mind:
Types Of Air Mattresses For Camping
First, it is important to understand the different types of air mattress in the market today. Here they are:
- Self inflating air mattress: Overall, possibly the best camping air mattress is the self-inflating type. You do not need an external pump to inflate them. That means you can take them anywhere. Additionally, they are lightweight, which makes them highly portable. Still, some manufacturers add a layer of foam or flocking on the mattress surface to make them comfortable.
- Standard camping air mattress: These are the thinnest and lightest of all camping mattress. You will find them in all the camping shops. You can easily roll them up into a compact piece. However, you will need a pump to inflate them, and they have poor insulation.
- Double height bed: These mattresses are suitable for people who want to keep high above the ground. When you sleep on them, they give you a feeling of sleeping in the real bed, thanks to a high level of comfort and raised double-height. Note; these mattresses are bulky, and you can only inflate them effectively using an electric pump. So, not the best choice unless you have close access to a power source.
- All in one bed: These versions of airbeds have a sleeping bag attachment, a design that makes them ideal for camping. They offer decent comfort to sleepers of all kinds. Another advantage is that they are self-inflating.
Weight & Dimensions Of Mattress
Camping mattresses fall into two major categories – heavy and lightweight. The weight depends on the dimensions and the materials used in the construction.
A lightweight air mattress is an excellent option if you will be doing lots of trekking, hiking, and mountain climbing. However, these categories of mattresses will not offer you decent comfort as their heavier counterparts. Besides, the majority of bulky mattresses are built from quality material, which means they last longer than the lighter mattresses.
Usually, the majority of the camping mattresses are self-inflating, but different mechanisms power them. The self inflating air mattress is a good option for many people going camping because they are lightweight and easy to deal with.
Other mattresses use pumps for inflation. And of course, when you buy a mattress, it comes with a pump (sadly, not all air mattresses do). Sometimes you may opt to buy a more powerful pump. Just make sure it is compatible with your choice of camping bed.
There are different kinds of pumps:
Electric pumps work faster than any other pump. However, while camping, you always do not have access to electricity. However, if you have your car nearby, you can use it as a source of power to inflate your camping mattress.
In other cases, you may opt to buy a battery-operated or rechargeable pump. These pumps do not need electricity to work. Alternatively, you can use a hand or foot pump, but such a pump might take you a while to fully inflate your outdoor mattress.
Measure Your Tent
As we already mentioned, the dimensions of an air mattress matter a lot, especially when searching for the best camping mattress for couples. What you should look at is whether the mattress will fit into your tent. So if you have a small tent, you must buy a small mattress, which comfortably fits the tent. On the other hand, if your tent is large, you can get a wider and thicker mattress.
Keep in mind that most air mattresses come in Twin, Full, and Queen sizes. This gives you an idea of what you should buy.
The thickness is vital in giving you comfort and the much-needed support for a restful night. However, the comfort level in air mattresses is highly subjective. The best way is to consider the bed’s design and how supportive the mattress can be.
The best air mattress is one that has a stabilizing system. The system ensures that you remain stable all night long, even if your sleeping partner tosses around the bed. What’s best is that you can adjust the firmness of these mattresses. Such a feature ensures that you get the right comfort and support regardless of your sleeping position. However, these are usually powered by an electric pump (or car), so not ideal where there is no power source.
Air Mattress Material
The majority of air mattresses for camping are built from PVC. Nonetheless, some people may not like such air mattresses considering that PVC isn’t environmentally friendly. Therefore, you might want to find air mattresses that are built from ecofriendly material such as TPU.
Still, you can purchase camping beds in different feels. For instance, some have a soft suede-like surface. You can sleep on such surfaces comfortably, even without sheets.
Camping mattresses come in different price ranges. Therefore, you can buy a mattress based on your budget, whether it’s low, medium, or high. The price of an air mattress is determined by the size, material, and the type of the pump. Before you hit the air mattress market, set a budget, and then compare the various features versus the price.
A decent warranty is a show that the airbed will last longer. So you must look at the details of the warranty – length and aspects it covers. It doesn’t feel right to spend money on something that won’t last beyond a few camping trips.
If you are an ardent camper, you thoroughly understand the importance of getting the best air mattress for camping. You need to have enough support and comfort as you sleep. Besides, it should be easy to inflate, deflate, and pack away. Above all, the material and construction should stand up to the outdoor conditions.
That notwithstanding, it is essential that you take great care of your air mattress. Even the best camping air mattress won’t last long if you subject it to conditions you would otherwise avoid. For example, always ensure that you remove any sharp objects on the ground before you place your air mattress.
Otherwise, what we have reviewed are the best options in the market.