We’ve tried different types of air mattresses to determine which one is the best air mattress for camping. We’ve looked at thick mattresses, air and memory foam camping mattresses, and self-inflating pads.
Read on to find out which ones we found the most comfortable and the most suitable for camping.
Camping air mattresses come in all sizes and forms. Hence, it can be difficult to choose one that will fulfill all your requirements and will help you sleep comfortably after an eventful day. While some mattresses have waterproof exteriors, others can self-inflate which makes life a lot easier.
So, which one is the best for camping? Which aspects should you prioritize? What metrics determine whether the mattress you choose will live up to your expectations or not? Which Camping Air Mattress is the best on the market these days?
Well, time to demystify air mattresses! In this article, you will find the answers to all of your questions and which air mattress is the most suited to your camping needs.
So, let’s begin with all of our recommendations for the Best Air Mattress for camping this year. After this, we will discuss the importance of a good camping air mattress and some factors that might help you choose the best air mattress for your next camping trip.
Last but not the least, we will discuss some of the most frequently asked questions so keep reading!
Best Camping Air Mattress – Our Recommendations
- Our favorite: Therm-a-Rest MondoKing 3D Self-Inflating Mattress
- Crazy comfortable: QOMOTOP Self-Inflating Camping Mattress
- Top choice for couples: Coleman Air Mattress
- Great value: EnerPlex Never-Leak Camping Series Queen Air Mattress
- Best air mattress for car camping: ALPS Mountaineering Velocity
- Best queen air mattress: Sable Air Mattress for camping
- Best single air mattress: Lightspeed Outdoors Air Mattress for Camping
Quick Answers: Air Mattresses for Camping
1. Therm-a-Rest MondoKing
Our Top Pick
This is by far our favorite mattress for camping! The Therm-a-Rest MondoKing 3D Self-Inflating Camping Mattress is soft, comfortable, and super easy to pack up. It’s perfect for car camping, RVs, and boats.
What we liked the most:
- Can be paired with a second MondoKing for a double sleeping pad.
- R-value of 8.0 for maximum year-round comfort.
- Dual valves allow compressible foam core to expand and inflate quickly.
This is a luxury self-inflating foam air mattress that offers great comfort and warmth for camping all year round.
The Therm-a-Rest MondoKing 3D features 4 inches of compressible foam with dual valves that allow the foam core to expand and inflate when you unpack it.
This mattress is for one person but we really liked that you can pair it with a second mattress to create a nice extra-large bed for two people.
It measures 77 x 25 x 4 inches expanded and 7 x 26 inches when it’s rolled up. It weighs only 5.5 pounds, it comes with a carry bag and is made in the USA!
They say you’ll sleep like camp royalty with the Therm-a-Rest MondoKing 3D Self-Inflating Mattress. We thought that was a big call but we have to admit it did live up to that claim because it is indeed super comfortable!
- Weight: 4.7 pounds
- Thickness: 4 inches
- Inflation: Self-inflates
- Inflated Size: 77 x 25 x 4 inches
- Pack Size: 7 x 26 inches
- Carry-Bag: Yes
2. QOMOTOP Self-Inflating Camping Mattress
Best foam camping mattress
We love that the QOMOTOP self-inflates so you don’t need to drag around an electric pump. The memory foam on this mattress is the cherry on top! It’s so comfortable whether you’re a back or side sleeper.
What we liked most:
- It’s comfortable with just the right amount of firmness.
- You don’t need an air pump or your mouth to inflate the mattress.
- It doesn’t make any noise like many other camping air mattresses.
The QOMOTOP self-inflating camping mattress is made of TPU material and is wear-resistant. This is a memory foam camping mattress/air mattress.
You can use this mattress all year round. With an R-value (level of insulation) of 9.5, the QOMOTOP air mattress can prevent heat loss and will keep you warm in colder temperatures.
This camping air mattress can be inflated up to 4 inches thick. It’s really soft and comfortable. You can adjust the softness of the mattress to meet your preference by increasing or decreasing the amount of inflation.
It comes in two sizes – single or double. The single weighs 7 pounds while the double weighs 13.6 pounds.
Compared with traditional memory foam mattresses, the QOMOTOP is more space-saving and lightweight. Due to its inflatable design, it can easily be compressed and folded to an ideal size for storage and carrying which makes it a great choice for RV or car camping.
- Weight: 13.8 lbs
- Weight Capacity: 500 lbs
- Thickness: 4 inches
- Inflated Size: 80“×52”
- Pack Size: 30″×8″×8″
- Carry Bag: Yes
3. Coleman Air Mattress
Best camping mattress for couples
After much consideration, we found the Coleman Camping Cot Mattress to be ideal for couples who want extra space and a bit of luxury.
What we liked most:
- The steel frame keeps the mattress off the ground and is an ideal height for getting in and out of bed easily.
- Super soft microfiber cover to keep the mattress in place.
- Very handy side tables with cup holders to keep a light, your phone and your drink within arm’s reach.
The first thing we noticed about the Coleman Air Mattress was the number of accessories it comes with. In addition to the air mattress, you also get two side tables and a battery-operated pump.
The mattress’s coil construction makes it one of the most comfortable mattresses for camping.
The mattress also comes with a long-lasting and well-built steel frame that can support as much as 600 pounds. Furthermore, the two pull-out side tables have integrated cup holders!
We really like the sewn-in cover which helps to keep the mattress firmly on the cot. All you need to do is insert it into the cover and zip it up!
- Weight: 41.9 pounds
- Weight Capacity: 600 pounds
- Thickness: 6 inches
- Inflated Size: 78 x 59 x 22 in.
- Pack Size: 39.5 x 11.5 x 11 inches
4. EnerPlex Never-Leak Queen Air Mattress for Camping
The EnerPlex Never-Leaking Camping Air Mattress is comfortable, reliable, and affordable. You can set it up or take it down real quick. It’s also puncture and water-resistant.
What we liked most:
- Soft, comfortable and durable
- Comes with a very fast pump and nice large carry bag.
- Great value for money
You can inflate the EnerPlex Never-Leaking Camping Series Queen Air Mattress under 5 minutes which makes it perfect for camping. It’s made from top-quality PVC which is puncture resistant as well as water-resistant.
The mattress features coil beams which were specifically designed to provide good level of comfort and make you feel like you’re on a proper bed.
It’s a 9-inch low profile mattress which we find helped to save a lot of space inside the tent! (80 x 60 x 9 inches)
We particularly liked the fact that the EnerPlex Air Pump comes with 3 universal sized nozzles which will help you to not only inflate/deflate your mattress but a variety of other inflatables; like your pool toys and floating devices.
The quality of the bed seemed good and durable. The mattress felt comfortable and soft which was good enough for us. The EnerPlex air mattress also comes with an oversized travel bag which makes it convenient to carry.
Overall, we think the EnerPlex Never-Leaking Camping Series Queen Air Mattress offers great value for money and is a good choice for camping on a budget.
- Weight: 12 pounds
- Weight Capacity: 600 pounds
- Thickness: 9 inches
- Inflated Size: 80 x 60 x 9 inches
- Pack Size: 16.06 x 13.74 x 5 inches
5. ALPS Mountaineering Velocity Air Bed
Best Air Mattress For Car Camping
Our favorite aspect of the ALPS Mountaineering Air Mattress is its construction. The built-in coil system helps distribute your weight evenly and makes this bed super comfy!
What we liked most:
- Lightweight and easy to pack up.
- Very comfortable and quite sturdy for an air mattress.
- Made of top grade materials with no noticeable smell.
The ALPS air mattress is made from top-quality polyester Oxford fabric which feels really soft to the touch. This material is known worldwide for its stretch-resistant characteristics and for providing the necessary firmness to prevent back and neck pain.
The built-in coil system gives you a comfortable yet firm sleeping surface by evenly distributing the weight so you don’t feel any pressure points.
The Air Pump that’s included with the mattress comes with 12V and 110V AC adapters so you can charge it using the cigarette lighter in the car or power outlets in the camper. Furthermore, you can inflate or deflate your mattress using a simple switch on the pump. No complicated instructions!
It weighs only 5 pounds which makes it a great option for camping. When inflated, its size increases to 56 x 80 x 6 inches and it can withhold a maximum weight of 500 pounds.
- Weight: 5 pounds
- Weight Capacity: 500 pounds
- Thickness: 4 inches
- Inflated Size: 56 x 80 x 6 inches
- Pack Size: 19 x 8.5 inches
5. Sable Queen Air Mattress
Best queen air mattress for camping
If you’re after a queen size bed as comfortable as the one you have at home, this may be what you’re after. The Sable camping air mattress is super thick and has an integrated pillow. It also comes with a built-in electric pump which makes it really easy to inflate.
What we liked most:
- Super thick and super comfy queen size bed.
- Click inflation and deflation given its size.
- Raised sides stop you from rolling over and off the mattress.
Embracing I-Beam air coils that adjust to your body shape, weight, and sleeping posture, the Sable Queen Air Mattress for Camping provides the perfect balance between soft and firm.
The mattress also adorns a 1-click internal electric pump which makes the inflation/deflation process a lot easier. All that’s required from you is 5 minutes and voila!
We loved the size of this bed. This is a high airbed! This queen size model inflates to 90 x 60 x 17 inches. It’s thick, it’s big and it’s comfy!
The mattress is made of waterproof and puncture-resistant PVC with a thick flocked top . It also features seamless welding which prevents air from leaking.
The Sable air mattress is a super comfortable mattress but we think it’s probably not the best choice if you plan on free camping with no access to power.
On the other hand, if you have a large tent at a powered site and that optimum comfort is your top priority, the Sable Air Mattress may just be the one for you.
- Weight: 19 pounds
- Weight Capacity: 661 pounds
- Thickness: 17 inches
- Inflated Size: 90 x 60 x 17 inches
- Pack Size: 13 x 7. 5 x 15. 5 inches
- Storage bag: yes
6. Lightspeed Outdoors Self-Inflating Air Bed
Best single air mattress
The Lightspeed Outdoors Air Mattress for Camping is compact and lightweight with a mix of air and foam which make this mattress really comfy and perfect for all types of sleepers.
What we liked most:
- The perfect combination of air and foam makes this camping mattress a dream to sleep on.
- Quick and easy to roll up and pack into the oversized carry bag.
- Integrated pillow means you don’t have to take your pillow with you when you have limited space.
The mattress features dual oversized air valves which we thought worked well to inflate it up to a size of 77 x 30 x 3 inches without the need for an air pump.
The mattress is made from non-slip stretch material and a 3-inch thick soft foam which gives the most comfortable sleep during the night. We noticed that the material also eliminated the popping noise you might get from other air mattresses and we appreciated this!
Another unique feature we found in this particular mattress was a built-in pillow! Some of the other add-ons include free compression straps and an extra-large carry bag.
Since it’s a mixture of air and foam, the mattress is ideal for all types of sleepers; sleeping on your back, on your stomach, or your side.
- Weight: 6 pounds
- Thickness: 3 inches
- Inflated Size: 30″ x 77″ x 3.5″
- Pack Size: 1 30″ x 7.75″ x 7.75″
- Carry bag: yes
7. KingCamp Deluxe Self-Inflating Air Bed
The KingCamp Deluxe Air Mattress is perfect for any type of camping. It self-inflates so you don’t need to carry around an air pump. It lets you adjust the comfort level by simply using the compression straps or the valves.
What we liked most:
- Really comfortable without usual pressure point problems.
- Self inflates really quickly.
- Heavy-duty mattress.
The KingCamp Deluxe Self-inflating Air Mattress is made from 100% Polyester 150D Oxford Jet Stream foam which expands to its maximum size (78 x 51 x 3 inches) within seconds.
It weighs only 11 pounds and can be easily carried from one place to another in its oxford travel bag. It also comes with a free repair kit.
Furthermore, each pad has a pair of hard-wearing brass valves. These help in instant inflation and deflation of the mattress.
We liked that the foam padding retains its form when it inflates and that there is room to inflate more air to the mattress for some added comfort.
The KingCamp Deluxe Air Mattress is a little bit bulky and therefore we don’t think it would be the most suitable for long backpacking trips. It is however a great choice if you the room whether you’re car camping or camping off-grid.
- Weight: 11 pounds
- Thickness: 2.95 inches
- Inflated Size: 77.95 × 51.18 × 2.95
- Pack Size: 1 26.37 × 12.59 × 12.59
Air Mattresses for Camping Buying Guide
Just like we promised before, in this section you will find all of the answers to the questions you may have about camping air mattresses! We will discuss all the things that we think are important while shopping for an Air Mattress so you can make an informed decision.
Memory Foam Mattress vs Air Mattress
So when should you buy a camping air bed for camping or a Memory Foam mattress? What’s the difference between the two? Which one is better?
First, let’s discuss the main characteristics of both kinds of mattresses.
A Memory Foam Mattress is made of synthetic foam with the traditional kind made with polymer known as polyurethane.
The key selling point of this type of mattress is that it takes the form of your body so that you can get maximum comfort during your sleep. The material quickly rebounds back to its original shape as soon as you get off the bed.
Memory foam is very durable and its major advantage is its ability to relieve the pressure points by evenly distributing body weight on the mattress.
An air mattress looks and feels just like a traditional mattress. The only difference is that it has an air-filled interior. The core of an Air Mattress consists of air pockets mostly and sometimes has a singular compartment filled with air.
The compartments are constructed from plastic, rubber, or similar material and have foam padding. Furthermore, the exterior of the mattress consists of a layer of synthetic fabric that usually keeps it safe from water damage, punctures, and other types of damages
The key advantage of this type of mattress is that you can adjust it according to your needs. Since the mattress inflates with air, you can easily adjust the firmness of the mattress by adjusting the amount of air inside it.
Now that we have the basic information about both types of mattresses, let’s discuss some of the drawbacks of each one.
- The memory foam works with the body heat of a person to take the form of the person’s shape. However, though the heat can be advantageous, it can cause discomfort as well by accumulating the heat in the mattress. This is great on cooler nights but not so much in hotter temperatures.
- On the other hand, Air Mattresses can cause backaches for people who love a super-firm sleeping surface. Over time, an air mattress is more susceptible to succumbing due to leaks and punctures.
Which mattress is perfect for camping and why?
Most people prefer air Mattresses for Camping since you can roll them up into a compact form when not in use. Hence, it’s perfect for storage as well as portability. Furthermore, you can adjust the comfort level of an air mattress which is something impossible for a Memory-Foam Mattress.
Some rare mattresses like our top pick the QOMOTOP incorporate air and a layer of memory foam on top. This is the best of both worlds because this makes an extremely comfortable mattress that’s also easy to store.
Factors that will help you to choose the ideal Camping Air Bed
Now that we have discussed the 7 best Air Mattresses for Camping, we need to know what distinguishes each from one another so you can select your favorite.
The following factors might help you choose a mattress that will work the best for your intended purpose. Whether you plan on camping on the ground, in a car, or RV, these factors have proven to help many campers choose the right product.
We are sure that if you keep these points in mind, your shopping experience will become easier and you will most likely end up with the perfect mattress for you!
You can start by pinpointing the size and dimensions of the mattress that will work in your tent or car. You can determine this by measuring the floor space and the height of your tent to determine which mattress will fit easily into your tent.
While the dimensions of the mattress will indicate its height or thickness. The height of a camping mattress is so important that we had to make it a separate point!
Height is proportional to the level of comfort. How? The height is the thickness of the mattress and the thicker the mattress, the more comfortable the mattress will be! In saying this, should you only focus on getting the thickest mattress for camping? Probably not.
Bear in mind that with thickness comes the weight and increased pack size. With that said, it all comes down to the type of camping you do. If you have a large space to accommodate your bed and you travel by car or RV, you can pretty much pick any air mattress based purely on its comfort level.
On the other hand, if you have a small tent and plan on backpacking or hiking to your campsite, then, the pack size and weight of the mattress will be the deciding factor.
Getting a mattress that is made from top-quality materials is extremely important. Not only will it indicate how well you will sleep, but it also suggests how long your mattress will last and how prone it is to damage.
One of the most common types of material used for air mattresses is Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC). It’s a type of synthetic plastic that can withstand prolonged heat exposure as well as rain and other elements.
Another type of material that you will find on the market is Laminated Vinyl. These types of mattresses give you the feel of an actual mattress. Furthermore, the lamination helps to keep the mattress from stretching out which in return promotes durability.
As we mentioned above, the height of the mattress plays a role in comfort level but there’s also the design. The thickest mattress won’t be comfortable if it’s poorly designed. It’s a good idea to consider the way an air mattress is designed and what kind of support it provides.
Some have a coil system to ensure the firmness and stability of the mattress so you don’t feel the person moving around next to you.
You can usually adjust the firmness of air mattresses until you’re happy with the level of comfort.
Self-inflated or Inflated by Air Pump
A question you need to ask yourself is whether you will be more comfortable on a self-inflated mattress or on a mattress that you inflate with an air pump.
A self-inflating mattress, as the name suggests, inflates on its own and does not need any medium to help fill it up. All you have to do is open the air valves of the mattress and let it do its thing.
The inner foam core will soak up the air and expand to its maximum size. Inflation can take as much as hours or as little as a few minutes. Thus, while choosing a self-inflating mattress, note the time it typically takes to inflate or deflate.
Most mattresses come with a free air pump. While some mattresses have a built-in electric pump, others have a battery-operated external pump or manual pump.
A built-in electric pump has a small plug on the side which is inserted in the main socket. The battery-operated pumps usually run off 4 D-cell batteries whereas the manual pumps require you to do the work.
When you’re choosing an air pump, note the time it takes to fill up the mattress, how effective it is in its function, and how much noise it makes. If the noise doesn’t bother you, you can overlook this.
Set-up time is another important factor to take into account. The last thing you want when you’re camping is an airbed that takes hours to blow up. The best air mattresses are quick to inflate, deflate and pack up, allowing you to get on with your day.
Air Retention and Weight Capacity
Air Retention Capacity means how well the mattress you have chosen can withhold the air even if the temperature changes. While camping, you might take a nap in the middle of a warm sunny day and sleep at night in cooler temperatures.
Temperature changes can affect the amount of air in the mattress and it might end up collapsing under your weight if there’s less air in it.
Bodyweight is another factor that can affect the air capacity of the mattress so check the air retention capacity and the weight capacity of the mattress before investing in one.
RELATED: Best Camping Electric Blanket Options
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q.1. Are air mattresses good?
Yes, but on some occasions, no. Air Mattresses are good if you want to take them on a camping trip or use them for short-term purposes.
These can give the feel of an actual mattress/bed and relieve pressure points of the body. Also, a good air mattress distributes the weight equally and you can easily adjust the firmness using the air valves.
However, air mattresses are not known to provide great support. Some people might not be happy with the firmness or comfort level of an air mattress. Some people, especially older people, might get backaches if sleeping on an air mattress for long periods.
Thus, yes, an air mattress is a good option for short-term use and no, an air mattress is not good for long-term use.
Q.2. Are self-inflating mattresses comfortable?
Self-inflating mattresses, as the name suggests, inflate on their own and don’t need an air pump to fill them up. They are similar to standard inflatable mattresses in the sense that they are just like an airtight bag that, when filled with air, can support your body.
The main difference is that they are made with foam that squashes down when you roll it up. When you unroll it the inner foam core soaks up the air and expands to its maximum size within a few minutes.
Because they are predominantly made of foam, they are very comfortable and quieter as well. Another great thing about a self-inflating mattress is that if for some reason you get a hole in it, you will still be sleeping on the foam layer rather than ending up completely flat on the ground.
Q.3. How to inflate an air mattress while camping?
There are several ways you can inflate air mattresses while camping. If you’re at a campsite with electric outlets, you can simply plug in an electric pump. If there are no hookups at the campsite you can use your car’s cigarette lighter if the air pump has a 12-volt adapter.
Alternatively, a power bank can also power an electric air pump. If you don’t have access to any power at all, a manual air pump or your own breath is your only option.
Q.4. What happens if you overinflate an air mattress?
If you overfill an air mattress, the fabric might get stretched beyond its elastic limit. And this might damage your mattress forever. In the worst-case scenario, the mattress might even leak air or burst due to the immense pressure.
Most professionals suggest that you should fill an air mattress up to only 90% of its total capacity.
Q.5. Why is my air mattress deflating but no holes?
As we discussed in the above section, air retention capacity varies in different mattresses. Some air mattresses deflate a bit when the temperature changes or when you put excess weight on the surface.
Thus, your air mattress is most likely losing air because it is going through a physical change. But don’t worry! It’s not a major problem. Almost all air mattresses undergo some degree of deflation. Some just deflate a bit more than others.
If you want a good and soothing sleep at night, you need a good mattress. When you’re camping, the need for a comfortable and durable mattress amplifies because your days are full of adventures and if you want to be able to keep on going, you need to sleep properly.
Thus, if you’re looking at camping air mattresses, check out the Therm-a-Rest MondoKing 3D Self-Inflating Foam Camping Mattress. It is by far our favorite because it’s comfortable, lightweight, and easy to pack away. It has every feature that one might need in an Air Mattress for Camping.
If the Therm-a-Rest doesn’t take your fancy, take a look at the Coleman Air Mattress or the QOMOTOP. These are just as great as the Therm-a-Rest Mondoking but with aspects that might suit your preferences or budget a little bit more.
We hope this article was helpful and you got all the information you need regarding the Best Air Mattress for Camping.
Are you looking for a mattress specifically for an RV? Check out our recommendations for the best RV mattress!
Go here for more camping gear recommendations.