If you enjoy weekend camping getaways or even longer trips, you probably know that sometimes a sleeping bag just doesn’t cut it. Waking up day-after-day as if you’ve been sleeping on a bed of rocks gets pretty old. Air beds and mattresses have come down in price and are now a reasonable option even if you are just using it for camping. In this story, we feature our list of the best air mattresses for camping and how to pick the right one, according to your needs.
The nice thing about them is that they are multi-purpose. If you have guests over it can be an excellent option over condemning them to the couch. It is also great for traveling since it can be deflated and rolled up. Some of the nicer airbeds are a great option as a main bed and even have platform legs to keep you away from the ground. If you are living somewhere temporarily or don’t have the cash for a pricey mattress, a trusty air bed will treat you well.
- 1 12 Best Camping Air Mattresses
- 2 Camping Air Mattress Guide Part I: What to Look for in the Best Air Mattress for You
- 3 Camping Air Mattress Guide Part II: Some Air Mattress Brand Gossip
- 4 Camping Air Mattress Guide Part III: Benefits of Air Mattresses Designed for Camping
- 5 Camping Air Mattress Guide Part IV: General Thoughts on Air Mattresses
12 Best Camping Air Mattresses
Without further ado, here is a summary of each of the 12 best air mattresses for camping.
Light & Portable Air Mattresses
Here’s our top picks for the best portable air mattresses.
LightSpeed Outdoors 2-Person Air Bed is a queen sized battery operated pump that is specifically designed for campers. The detail that went into the mattress itself is quite impressive, with 192 independent stabilizers between the top and bottom layers. This provides a firm surface level with no unfriendly dips and divots to discover after a long day of activity. It is lightweight and comes with a giant storage bag giving it one of the best portability ratings of all the mattresses we’ve reviewed. The material isn’t PVC like it appears, but actually incorporates TPU (thermoplastic polyurethane) that minimize stretching and ballooning that is a common problem in PVC type mattresses. The Boston valve makes for a speedy deflation, and the portable pump takes 4D batteries so you can pump it up in your tent.
ALPS Mountaineering Rechargeable Air Bed is an awesome outdoor air mattresses with a business like look. The yellow and dark grey makes the mattress look rugged and built for the outdoors. A rechargeable pump that can be plugging in using the included wall and car chargers makes finding a way to inflate the bed easy as pie. The soft flocked top prevents you from slipping off once you get hunkered down. The premium fabric and coil construction is the best in durability, with a notable 17% thicker air mattress bottom than other competitors. The battery lasts a long time on the pump so you’ll be good for a weekend trip no problem.
Etekcity Camping Portable Air Mattress is a very affordable bed that also comes with a rechargeable battery pump. Surprisingly this pump can inflate the mattress in about 1 minutre, which exceeded our expectations for the price point. If you are looking for something for occasional camping trips and guests this is a good low cost option. The velour finish provides added comfort. It also blows up in just a minute flat, and is light and easy to store. The only downside is the rubbery smell that stinks things up for days until that newness period runs out. It comes with a carrying bag with easy carry handle to help you take it on the road or store away for future use.
Aerobed Classic Inflatable Mattress is a great budget option with heavy-duty construction. Probably one of the best camping air mattresses avaialable. It has a flocked fleece surface and puncture-resistant PVC (plastic) vinyl. Even though the pump isn’t build in it has an auto-on feature for hands free inflating. It comes with a helpful storage bag, so taking it on the go is no problem. You can go a step up with Aerobed’s Extra Bed model, which comes with a built-in pump and sits three inches higher. You pay about $50 extra for these nice little features though. Plug in a converter into your car and plug this baby in and it will inflate in about 3 minutes.
This bed is considered by the company to be the most versatile bed of the lot. It can be used for a number of purposes be it for guests or as you go camping. Based on wave beam construction, this bed not only has plush flocking but is waterproof too. One difference that this best selling mattress has over other brand offerings is that it has a 2-in-1 valve with an extra-large opening, which makes inflation or deflation quick and easy.
Also, you can use fitted sheets to make sleep more comfortable. One more thing: the pump that comes included with other beds is not available with this one, but it hardly matters since you can inflate the bed with all popular manual and electric pumps.
Amongst the lot, this camping mattress can be used just about anywhere – both indoors and outdoors – making it one of the most popular mattresses sold by Intex. It has all the features that come with the other mattresses from this brand but only one: the electric pump is omitted. Of course, you can easily inflate or deflate this 600-pound mattress while also using sheets if you’d like.
Given that it can be used for camping, this bed is raised 8.75 inches above the floor and can folded away easily after you’ve finished using it. No matter where you are, and at a price so low, this mattress offers a softer and comfortable sleeping surface that might not be possible in its absence. If you are on a tight budget, this is the best camping mattress for the money.
- Can be used both indoors and outdoors
- Softest sleeping surface
- Wave beam construction for extra comfort and durability
- Very easy to clean and waterproof
Raised Air Mattresses
Here’s our top picks for the best raised air mattresses.
One thing that stands out in this list: Intex’s offerings seem to have resonated with most people who take camping very seriously. The only other company that lives up to their standards is SoundAsleep that makes into this list of top options that fall into the best air mattress for camping category.
Insta-Bed Raised Air Mattress with Never Flat Pump is one of the most popular air beds of all time. The automatic controls are wonderful. Flip a switch and go kick back and let the air bed’s pump work its magic. The primary pump inflates the airbed in under 5 minutes. You can even customize your comfort level with a firm, medium, or plush setting. Insta-Bed included its patented neverFLAT pump system in this air bed, so it actually monitors its own inflation level. Sensors constantly monitor the air pressure to keep you comfortable throughout the night. Never again will you wake up with your head sinking into seemingly oblivion because of deflation. The secondary pump quietly maintains inflation level all night.
The queen version of this bed comes in three different options: regular, pillow top, and headboard. Queen is the most popular air bed size so Insta-Bed sought to cater to a wide audience with this airbed. They also offer this airbed in a twin size. The mattress is very supporative with dozens of circular coils that help maintain a level sleep surface. The materials used to construct this mattress are also puncture and water resistant so a camping trip is in the cards.
Serta’s Raised Air Mattress is very much like Insta-Bed’s as it uses the exact same dual pump technology NeverFlat to keep things pumped up. It’s a bit more spendy because your getting one of the most respected brands in sleep tech and they offer the best warranties in the business. Also, you may prefer the lighter color style that Serta decided to run with. As mentioned earlier, while Insta-Bed offers a 1 year warranty, Serta confidently backs their’s with two year warranty. Paying the extra $10 or so may well be worth it, as one of the most common complaints on air beds is their lack of longetivity.
Intex Dura-Beam Standard Series Pillow Rest Raised Airbed is the most affordable mattress for its quality level. It is a queen sized mattress and it also includes a built-in pump. To get an air mattress for this price that has a built-in pump is very rare. We also like that this air mattress has a raised pillow at the head of the bed. In inflates in about 3 minutes with its super powered pump. The pump is plugged into an AC outlet like the Insta-Bed air mattress. While not as customizable as the Insta-Bed, the vinyl beams and flocked top provide a good mix of comfort and sturdiness.
Built with technology that is no different from the Intex Raised Downy Airbed, one clear difference is that it is much lighter. You can inflate this bed in under 4 minutes with a high-powered electric pump, while easily making adjustments if you want a softer or firmer surface to sleep on. Since the mattress is twin sized, you can add fitted sheets in order to sleep more comfortably. Without a doubt, this suits travelers who still want a proper bed to sleep in, even if it is a blow-up mattress. Much like the other mattresses offered by this brand, you will need to re-inflate the mattress ever so often since the vinyl used tends to relax over a period of time.
Compared to the other beds in this list, this mattress weighs only 300 pounds when fully inflated. That is as light and portable as it can get, making it useful in any situation that you can imagine. Based on the technology that the Intex Raised Downy bed uses, its mid-rise height offers comfort much like a traditional mattress does. If that’s not enough, one doesn’t even need to bring pillows since they are already built-in. Of course, as with other mattresses offered by this brand, a built-in electric pump can inflate the bed in a matter of minutes – with no agonizing hand pumps to use – especially when it’s time to go to bed. That’s the last thing you really want to do when you are tired. And with a price of $32.85 to purchase this mattress, the versatility, convenience and longevity is well worth the purchase. If you want the best air mattresses for camping that is both lightweight and durable, look no further.
- Perfect for both travel or the home
- Lightest Air bed among the top 5 weighing at about 300 pounds
- Comes with built-in pillows
Fox Air Beds Plush High Rise mattresses are some of the best in the business. The main reason for this is the thickness of the vinyl material they use, it makes the mattress much more durable and much less susceptible to air leaks. You can inflate this mattress with built it or an external pump. The con is that this air mattress is much heavier than others, because of this heavy-duty material. But again on the plus side it will likely last quite a bit longer as long as you aren’t cuddling with ninja stars every night. Another differentiating feature is that Fox installed a two way pump which you can use to deflate and inflate. This is definitely an indoor airbed for guests or primary bed use as it isn’t very portable and too nice to use in the great outdoors.
Simply put, this is the best camping bed on the market. With technology like Fiber-Tech beam construction at its core, the horizontal air chambers and the plush flocking that ensure its durability, comfort and longevity. Yet this brand has simplified the setup of this bed by including an electric, high-powered pump that should inflate the bed in a matter of under 4 minutes. But that’s not all, you can adjust comfort levels at the mere touch of a button.
Given that it is a queen-sized mattress, there’s definitely room for more than one person to get a good night’s rest. Since you can easily adjust the firmness or softness of this mattress, it is ideal for people who have back problems or even joint or body pains.
Without a doubt, this air bed can be used for a number of reasons while being able to offer a high degree of customization for literally every type of user. Also, while it weighs about 600 pounds when inflated, you can easily deflate the mattress and fit it into a duffle bag that comes with its purchase. That said, for the price of $60, you literally get all the comforts that come with a traditional bed, but you can take it on your travels. Probably the best inflatable mattress on our list.
- Primarily useful for the home
- Uses Fiber-Tech construction
- Tallest mattress in this list raised at 22 inches
The ComfortCoil Technology which uses 40 internal coils has made it an industry leader and a popular choice among its customers. The electric pump that comes along with this mattress inflates the mattress at the click of a button. Given that it is queen-sized, this mattress is based on dual chamber construction as well a Sure-Grip bottom to prevent any kind of sliding. The sheer size of the mattress is great, and this is definitely the best queen air mattress for camping around. This mattress has a waterproof flocked top that adds to its durability and makes it a popular choice whether you want to use it indoors or outdoors. Last but not the least, this mattress comes with a 1-year warranty that keeps the consumer protected against a defective product.
Since shape and firmness play an important role in one’s comfort when sleeping, this is also an advantage that the ComfortCoil Technology has to offer its users. Apart from this, and to boost durability, the use of puncture resistant material has been used to handle normal wear and tear, and it can also support weights up to 500 pounds.
Minimizing air loss and sagging when using this mattress has been a focus, thanks to the kind of material that is being used. Also, the EZ Pump that comes with the purchase of this mattress allows for one to inflate the bed quickly and quietly. Most of all, when deflated, you can fit the mattress into a specially-designed duffel bag. One more thing: you get a 1-year warranty with this mattress that has a blue top and a beige body. One of the best camping beds money can buy.
- Patented ComfortCoil Technology
- Versatile mattress that is used at home
- Electric pump is 20% quieter than other competing products
With dual chamber construction being the basis of its design, the upper chamber works as a mattress while the lower chamber acts just like a box spring form on a traditional bed. Along with this, the mattress also has a 20.8-gauge waterproof flocked top that comes with an electric pump that can inflate this bed in a matter of 3-4 minutes. Another interesting feature is the indentation at the side that will help grip fitted sheets for more comfort as you sleep. Again, you can adjust the softness or firmness settings just by the click of a button.
Thanks to dual chamber construction technology used, this airbed is raised almost 22 inches off the ground – more than any other mattress in this list – while weighing at the usual 600 pounds when inflated fully. Along with these features that offer durability, you can enjoy the comfort that is offered by a traditional mattress, with the waterproof flocked top that is supported by vinyl. It takes only about 5 minutes to inflate the mattress, thanks to the in-built electric pump. Finally, it comes in the Heather Grey color and costs a mere $44.99 for all these truly fantastic features.
- Primarily for home use
- Raised at 22 inches just as Intex Comfort Plush model
- Dual chamber construction technology
- Still portable despite its dimensions and weight
Camping Air Mattress Guide Part I: What to Look for in the Best Air Mattress for You
There are many air mattress options on the market. It can be a very tedious process finding the right one for you. In this article, we have an overview of the best and most popular air mattresses on the market. We then take a closer look in our reviews section. First, we want to show you the key features you want to identify to help you narrow your search. Here are the things you should decide on first and foremost before making a purchase.
- Purpose. We discussed this a bit earlier, but this is the first stop. What will this air mattress be used for—occasional guests, as a main bed, or for camping?
- Size. Twin, full, queen, or king? Of course probably the most important is the size of your air mattress. This factor alone will help you narrow down your options. It also helps if you know a price range because a King sized mattress is going to run much farther north in the price department than a twin sized mattress. Many times if you are purchasing for just yourself it comes down to preference on how much space you like to have when you sleep. If you like to sprawl out or have a claustrophobic like fear of rolling off the edge, you may want to go with at least a queen.
- Type of Pump. It is extremely convenient when your air mattress comes with a built in pump. It’s as easy as flipping a switch and letting it run for 5 minutes or so and then coming back to a fully inflated mattress. But mattresses with built in pumps, as you can guess, are more expensive then sets that come with external pumps. With some models, you will need to hold the external pumps and keep an eye on progress, but you’ll save yourself some bucks. And then there are others you will need to do the work yourself, but hey on the bright side at least you’re getting a bit of a workout. Two birds one stone right?
- Profile. You can opt for either a low-profile or a raised one. Note that a raised profile air mattress will feel much more like a bed. These are the type of air beds that people often purchase as a guest bed or even a main bed. It gives you that up off the ground feel that many of us have become accustomed to. But these are also bulkier and take up quite a bit more space. Many campers purchase low-profile beds because they are cheaper and they are less likely to worry about them getting dirty. They are also less weight to haul around. The slimmest profile beds are known as sleeping pads, which are the best for camping.
- Mattress-Top. Some air beds have pillow tops and others have simple line patterns; straight lines, zigzags, etc. Another thing to observe is the raised edges on some air mattresses. These are known as stability rings. In addition, others offer a “headboard” so you don’t have to chase pillows around at night. If you have your sights set on a memory foam topper, it is a really god idea for it to come with a repair kit, or else your stuck buying a brand new one the first time trouble rears its frightful head.
- Style. This factor definitely comes down to personal preference. While comfort is always first priority, it still is nice to get something that isn’t an eyesore, particularly if it’s going to be used at home. We look at a variety of style choices that will fit any space.
Camping Air Mattress Guide Part II: Some Air Mattress Brand Gossip
There’s nothing wrong with finding a brand that you like and sticking with it. Over the years, some brands have beaten out others and are lauded as the best on the market. It’s still a bloodbath out there, but there are a few winners have risen to the top. The good thing about this heavy competition in this market is that you as the consumer wins with lower prices and better quality. Here and now, when it comes to air beds you want to keep your eye on Insta-Bed, Aerobed, Serta, Coleman, Sound Asleep, and Intex are the top brands.
Each of these brands has a couple “fluke” models if you will, but they also each have a couple of the best air mattresses money can buy. We won’t be covering the fluke models here, we’re only interested in the best products. These brands are top notch and have been tested in the lab and over the years by the masses. Nevertheless, there are some new kids on the block that have been making a name for themselves in this gladiator arena. Lightspeed Outdoors and Fox are two new brands that have excellent products.
Camping Air Mattress Guide Part III: Benefits of Air Mattresses Designed for Camping
- Easy to set up
- Light weight and portable
- Puncture resistant material
- Comes with car adapter or cordless pump for automatic blow up
So, what do all these features mean to the average layman?
Ultimately each of these mattresses should offer certain qualities that serve you well in the long run, correct?
Let’s look at the benefits for each and every air mattress for camping that we have discussed so far:
Of course, apart from this comprehensive review, you can go to an outdoor goods store and ask around for second opinions.
But, in general, you should be glad to note that the average duration of a high quality air mattress extends up to 15 years. This is easily twice the number of years that a traditional mattress lasts. Also, you’ll find these mattresses to be very versatile while offering benefits such as being lighter, as durable and comfortable as a traditional mattress.
As for selecting the best air mattress for camping based on the information provided, it should be easy enough to decide which one you’d like – just as quickly as it takes to inflate one of these air beds. After you look at some of the air mattress for camping reviews you will know exactly what you need! And with that you can be rest assured that your next camping trip will be a well-rested one.
Camping Air Mattress Guide Part IV: General Thoughts on Air Mattresses
Taking some time off to spend time with Mother Nature can be really refreshing. Just disconnect that WiFi, and make that connection with the plants, trees and even the wild beasts. One thing a lot of people struggle with when venturing into the great outdoors is getting a full night’s rest. A high quality, comfortable air mattress can help alleviate this stress, and make sure your whole trip is a awesome experience! It just so happens that on this very page we have a list of the top 12 best air mattresses for camping! Checkout our list in the section above.
You’ll rediscover that childlike wonder and awe for life — all it takes is for you to arrange a camping trip for a day or two, with your family or your loved ones. You could even go off on your own and learn a thing or two about surviving in the wild. One thing is for sure: you’ll not only learn to appreciate the world around you but you will also learn a lot about yourself too.