Camping has gained a lot of popularity as urbanization has grown, but our comfort-accustomed bodies require some concessions to enjoy it fully. Air mattresses for camping are one of them. It’s impossible for most people to sleep on the hard ground – caveman style – especially those who are past their youthful years and suffer from joint or back pain.
Camping air mattresses ensure that you’re well rested throughout your trip, so you’re able to trek and explore to your fullest during the daytime. After all, camping is all about getting close to nature, and you won’t be able to do that well with a sore back! While this roundup is geared towards camping air beds, you’ll find air mattresses for everyday use here. Read on to take a look at our top picks for the best air mattresses for camping currently on the market.
Coleman SupportRest Airbed
SoundAsleep Dream Series Air Mattress
|#4||Therm-a-Rest NeoAir Backpacking Air Mattress||
Intex Classic Down Airbed Set
Coleman QueenCot with Airbed
|#7||EnerPlex Never-Leak Air Mattress||
Top Camping Air Mattresses
1. Editor’s Choice – Intex Dura-Beam Air Mattress
- Size: Queen
- Dimensions: 60″ x 22″ x 80″
- Item weight: 21 pounds
- Weight capacity: 600 pounds
The Intex brand prides itself in putting quality and customer comfort above everything else, and their Dura-Beam Series Air Mattress certainly lives up to that standard. Featuring an impressive 600 lb. weight capacity, it provides exceptionally good comfort and support. Dura-Beam also ensures that the air bed remains inflated and firm throughout the night as you rest after a hard camping day. To make things even better, this air mattress is made in ‘double height’ form factor to ensure it’s easy to get in and out of, which is pretty uncommon in the market.
As far as durability is concerned, this air mattress has a waterproof, extra thick flocked top that adds to its comfort, besides making it durable. The material it is made from is multilayer and puncture resistant. The high capacity pump which comes with this air mattress is extremely convenient, in that you don’t have to lug around an extra piece of hardware as you go camping. Its pump inflates the mattress in less than five minutes. To make things even easier for you, this mattress comes with its own carry bag and is available in multiple sizes. As per consumer reviews, this is one of the most popular camping air mattresses around, with only minor complaints about pump noise, initial PVC stretching and non-compatibility with standard sheets.
- Quick inflation time
- Durable, waterproof material
- Built in air pump for fast inflation
- Weight capacity 600 pounds
- Pump noise
- Some PVC stretching
2. Runner Up – Coleman SupportRest Airbed
- Size: Twin
- Dimensions: 75″ x 40″ x 20″
- Item weight: 13.86 pounds
- Weight capacity: 300 pounds
The Coleman SupportRest mattress features a reinforced construction to help you enjoy a more stable sleeping surface for the outdoors, and its 20-inch thickness makes it easy to get in and out of bed. The air pump is located at the foot of the mattress. It doesn’t include a storage area for the cord, but this allows for a longer cord, which could prove convenient when you have limited outlets available.
It only takes about three minutes to inflate this product. All you have to do is plug in the power cord and turn the knob to the inflation setting (clockwise). The internal motor does the rest. The motor is kind of loud, but it doesn’t last very long. If you carry a lot of weight and have struggled in the past with air beds that deflate quickly during the night, the Coleman SupportRest air mattress could offer the solution you’ve been looking for.
- Product’s height makes it accommodating for those with health issues
- Holds air well
- Small size makes it easy to store and transport
- Some pump noise reported by reviewers
- Some reports of uneven support
3. Customer’s Choice – SoundAsleep Dream Series Air Mattress
- Size: Twin, Queen
- Dimensions: 78″ x 58″ x 19″ (Queen)
- Item weight: 18.96 pounds
- Weight capacity: 500 pounds
Another popular choice for camping is the SoundAsleep Dream Series Air Mattress. The built-in pump in this mattress allows fast inflation and deflation of the mattress, while the integrated coil storage system will get the power cord out of the way and stored into a designated slot. The bottom of the mattress includes grip technology to make sure that the mattress will stay in place even on the most slippery surfaces. In case you want to deflate and store the mattress (or maybe take it with you on your next vacation), there’s also a carrying bag included.
As far as the design and construction of the mattress are concerned, you get what you pay for. The manufacturer has patented the ComfortCoil technology and advertises this mattress as being the only one using this technology. The Queen size model of this mattress features 40 coils that support the body to minimize motion transfer for people who sleep with a partner. They also ensure that the mattress has that bouncy feeling and the capacity to easily regain its original shape. The material of the bed promises to be puncture resistant while supporting a total weight of 500 pounds.
- Flocked top is waterproof
- Built-in pump for inflating and deflating the mattress in four minutes
- SureGrip bottom keeps the mattress in place on any surface
- Construction integrates air coils for body support and good motion transfer
- Comes with a carry bag for easy storage and transportation
- Not very good edge support
- Power cord may feel a little short
4. Best Ultralight –Therm-a-Rest NeoAir Backpacking Air Mattress
- Size: Regular, Regular Wide, Large
- Dimensions: 72″ x 20″ x 2.5″ (Regular size)
- Item weight: 0.75 pounds
- Weight capacity: N/A
The Therm-a-Rest NeoAir air mattress for backpacking is an ideal option for those who are focused on packing light, as this mattress weighs under one pound. It comes in three sizes: regular, regular wide and large, and includes a pump sack, stuff sack and repair kit that you can take with you on your camping trip. This airbed deflates three times faster than a standard valve, and also deflates super quick compared to many other currently on the market. This is ideal for individual sleepers only, so partners should look at our alternative picks on this list for queen sized options if that’s more suitable for your needs. The airbed provides optimal warmth for those cooler nights, yet is still quite breathable with its alternating ridges of air and foam.
- Great comfort while being super lightweight, ideal for backpacking and traveling
- Triangular Core Matrix provides optimal warmth with a continuous layer of thermal foam
- Alternating ridges of air and foam for breathability
- All sizes will only sleep one person
- Somewhat expensive compared to larger sized mattress
5. Best Value – Intex Classic Down Airbed Set
- Size: Queen
- Dimensions: 80″ x 60″ x 8.75″
- Item weight: 10.8 pounds
- Weight capacity: 600 pounds
Intex is known for providing extra features you would see in a higher priced option all while keeping the price to a very affordable level. This mattress comes with 2 pillows, a double quick hand pump and is rated at a capacity of 600 pounds. While it might not be as comfortable as the Sound Asleep model, it comes at a price that more than makes up for it. Customer service and warranty aren’t always the greatest and the term “you get what you pay for” comes to mind. In this case however, you can’t complain too much with the price being what it is.
- Flocked top provides comfortable sleep
- Rugged vinyl construction, quality tested for durability
- Double quick hand pump is lightweight and works efficiently after you get used to it
- Wave beam construction provides uniform sleeping surface
- Official Queen sized dimensions that ensure a snug fit for fitted sheets
- Takes some time getting used to the manual pump
- Pillows are a bit too small for regular home usage
- The intake valve doesn’t have a stopper on it
6. Best Elevated Cot – Coleman QueenCot with Airbed
- Size: Twin, Queen
- Dimensions: 78″ x 59″ x 22″ (Queen)
- Item weight: 22.5 pounds
- Weight capacity: 600 pounds
The QueenCot is a true multipurpose air bed that can serve as both an excellent camping bed and an indoor makeshift bed. With its detachable elevated cot, this air bed will give you the feel of a real bed, and also the support of one (600 pounds is the limit). It even comes fitted with side tables to let you put your belongings such as smartphone, clock, spectacles or a book, which is the most convenience we’ve seen in a camping air mattress.
The raised cot frame makes it safe from cuts and leaks from the sides, making it one of the longest lasting products on the market. Campers who don’t feel comfortable sleeping on conventional low mattresses will find this option safe, dependable and damp free. This mattress can easily take the weight of two adults, but will require periodic refills. And if you intend to go out on cold nights, this product is great as it doesn’t come into contact with the cold ground. Remember that the cot frame will be a nuisance for longer camping trips, but you can always remove it and take just the mattress with you.
- Elevated detachable cot bed provides security, longevity and convenience
- Can be used as a proper indoor bed and an outdoor mattress
- Periodic refills required for extended use
7. Best Double-Height – EnerPlex Never-Leak Air Mattress with Built-in Pump
- Size: Queen
- Dimensions: 80″ x 60″ x 16″
- Item weight: 19.11 pounds
- Weight capacity: N/A
Available as a twin or queen size option, the EnerPlex Never-Leak Mattress is built for comfort and offers a 16-inch height complete with coil-beam technology for weight distribution and support. The built-in dual-pump design allows you to fill the bed more quickly than similar designs, and has a storage area for the 110-volt cord that works with a home outlet or simple inverter for when out camping.
A flocked top creates a soft sleep surface, and the slightly raised lip along the edge helps create a firm bed edge. A non-slip bottom keeps it in place as well and was designed for both outdoor and indoor use. Plus, a welded seam design helps keep air where it belongs and makes it leak-free. It also comes with a full 2-year warranty and life-time support to provide peace of mind.
- Very firm and holds air wonderfully
- Incredibly fast air fill-up
- Awesome for ‘glamping’
- Standard 110 volt plug requires an inverter when on the road
What is an Air Mattress?
Air mattresses are exactly how it sounds: an inflatable pad or mattress that provides a firm, supportive surface to sleep upon. Depending on their design, they can be folded or rolled for storage, and come in a variety of sizes and heights to fit your needs. They are regularly used for tent camping, RV and campers, and backpacking.
Choosing A Camping Air Mattress – Buying Tips
Camping air mattresses come either as heavy or light, and this is because of the materials used in their construction. If comfort is your chief priority, a heavier bed is recommended because it will be made of a thicker, more comfortable material that will also last you longer. These mattresses work well for people who camp close to their homes, or those who have kids.
But if you’re the type of camper for whom the main goal is hiking, trekking or rock climbing rather than sleeping in a tent, you should stick with a lighter weight air bed, which enhances portability and convenience at the cost of durability. This does not mean that the mattress will be very flimsy or damage prone, just that you can’t have kids jumping on it.
Hand/Foot Pump or Electric Pump?
Hand Vs Electric
Using an electric pump for your air mattress will be fine if your camping spot is close to where you park the car. If however, you have to walk a long distance to reach the camping spot, the bulkier electric pump will make things difficult for you so it is best to choose a mattress that comes with a hand/foot pump.
Remember that you can always buy an electric pump later on – they come with either DC or AC plugins. A DC electric pump will draw power from your car’s 12V outlet whereas an AC electric pump will require a generator or a wall outlet.
Some products on the market will come with an air mattress pump built in, and is run off of a pair of 4D batteries. This is ideal for times when you want the luxury of an easily inflatable mattress and have no access to outlet power or your vehicle outlet
Very lightweight and easy to handle. This is ideal for long distance treks and hikes. Not your most comfortable air mattress but better than the cold hard ground.
If you have a small tent that doesn’t have room for a queen size air bed then obviously trying to fit a queen size air mattress in your tent is going to bulge out the sides and leave no room for you to walk around your tent or store other supplies. Always think about the size of the air bed in relation to where you’ll be placing it.
There are a number of popular brands of camping air mattresses out there, but going by brand name alone, as many experts suggest, can result in a poor choice. User reviews paint a truer picture of the camping air bed’s performance and durability, and you should consult them before you decide on an air mattress. Take a look at our comparison charts and read our reviews to find the best camping air mattress. We cover the pros and cons of each mattress, scour and compile user reviews to make the best recommendations depending on what type of camper you are.
There are camping air bed brands to cater to every budget, be it low, moderate or high. What you really need to understand is that low cost normally means fewer convenient features and less durability, but it can be advantageous in certain circumstances. For example, you may have already purchased an electric pump, and you don’t want to spend extra money on a costly air mattress that comes with its own – you have the option of purchasing a cheap camping air mattress that doesn’t have its own pump to save cash and put your existing electric pump to good use!
It goes without saying that camping in the wilds is a hobby that requires a certain degree of hardiness and determination, but it needn’t be as difficult or uncomfortable as it is made out to be. The camping air mattresses available today have features that provide comfort comparable to indoor sleep, without having to bring an actual bed with you! In fact, there are so many different brands in the market today that newcomers might get confused, but the bottom line is that if you’re clear on the kind of expeditions you’ll undertake, you will have no trouble selecting an air mattress that exactly suits your camping needs.
August 30, 2021: Two new products have been added to our list due to popularity: the SoundAsleep Dream Series and Therm-a-Rest NeoAir Backpacking Air Mattress. Additional Resources and FAQs have been included to refer readers to related content and address common queries.
October 18, 2021: The EnerPlex Never-Leak Air Mattress with Built-in Pump has been added to this roundup as a popular double height option.
- Why Do Air Mattresses Deflate Overnight?
- Camping on an Air Mattress in Cold Weather
- Are Intex Air Mattresses Any Good?
- How to Repair Your Intex Air Mattress?
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the best air mattress for camping?
After comparing and contrasting our top recommendations above, our choice for the best air mattress currently on the market is the Intex Dura-Beam Air Mattress. It gives you a significant weight capacity, can comfortably fit two sleepers and is from a brand that's a leader in the air mattress industry.
Are air mattresses good for camping?
Air mattresses are a great option for those camping trips when you want a lightweight, easy to pack sleeping option that will still give you optimal comfort for the outdoors.
What is the best thing to sleep on when camping?
While air mattresses are a popular sleeping option for camping trips, you could even go one step further if you're taking a longer trip and invest in mattress toppers or pads to take with you. These will give you that extra support and will feel like you never left your bedroom.
Is sleeping on an air mattress bad for you?
Air mattresses aren't known to be permanent sleeping solutions, as they can't offer you the same level of support as your regular mattress does. While they're perfect for camping trips and for having guests sleep over, long term use of an air mattress may lead to shoulder, neck or back issues. If these are problem areas for you, it's best to only sleep on an air mattress for short periods of time.
How do you fix a leak in your air mattress?
It's important to look out for any leaks, holes or rips before your trip as these can develop after prolonged use of the air mattress. Leaks can be taped up securely with durable duct tape so the holes don't grow further.
How do you inflate and deflate an air mattress with a pump?
Many electric pumps have an option for both inflation and deflation, where deflation essentially does the reverse of pumping air into your mattress (sucking out all air so that it's fully deflated). To inflate with an electric pump, simply insert the valve, plug in the pump and wait until your air bed reaches the right level of firmness for your needs. If yours doesn't have the automatic deflation feature, it's usually very simple to do without a pump. You can either let the mattress air out naturally by simply opening the valve, or press down and spread out the mattress to remove all air manually.