Camping trips are activities meant to reconnect with nature and oneself. It is mostly comprised of long walks, drives, and stay-overs at a certain campsite. With this, many campers become very tired once they reach the peak of their final destination. Thus, a good night’s rest is very helpful to replenish your energy and get ready for a descent.
How does one get a good night’s sleep? Well, the answer is fairly simple. Aside from a full stomach, good weather, and a nice view under the stars, having a great mattress for camping usually equates to a well-rested evening.
Now, it is time for us to look at the best camping cot or air mattress in the market. After this article, you should have a clear idea of which product you should choose and avoid tossing and turning in your sleep.
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Features to look for in a great camping air mattress
Before purchasing an air mattress, there are a couple of features that you must watch out for. Here are some of them:
Air Bed Kinds
Different situations call for a different type of air mattress. In reality, there are three types that you should know about. The first one is the Raised-type, and these are very thick air beds that reach an average of 10 inches in height. Because of this, they are considered similar to traditional mattresses due to the elevation.
On the other hand, self-inflating mattresses are those that automatically inflate and deflate without manual air pumping. This means that there is an embedded system that releases or pumps air into the foam whenever you need it.
Lastly, are convertible mattresses. These are remotely controlled so one can adjust the softness and firmness. I like this one a lot since it is similar to memory foam and it fits my body nicely. Furthermore, there are times when I like my camping bed to be firm, and it only takes one click for the convertible air bed to do it.
Another thing you should consider when buying an air mattress in size. In camping, you don’t want to travel with much baggage as it will slow you down and drain your energy. Thus, traveling light is recommended, and this stays true even for your utilities. Think of the walking distance towards your destination as well as the size of your backpack to see whether your chosen air bed will fit.
While most air beds are made up of PVC plastic, there are still others that have certain additions for features. For example, some modern airbeds feature a mix of PVC volume as well as a foam in for the topper to provide maximum comfort. Furthermore, the type of material and composition you choose will greatly determine your durability.
Inflating and Deflating
When buying an air bed, it is crucial to ask: how will I inflate the mattress? Well, there are lots of ways to do this. First is a manual pump that either uses legs or arms to provide air inside the material. The second is an electric pump that is installed externally. These can either be battery-operated or rechargeable. No matter what you choose, take note that they have varying speeds of inflation, and some pumps work better than others.
A feature that you must not neglect when buying an air bed is how well it retains temperature. This can be seen by the R-value of a material (a scientific way of measuring heat retention). The higher the R-value, the better it is at keeping heat and cold. Make sure to examine the weather conditions of your campsite as it will determine whether you want a thick or thin air mattress.
Now that you know about key features that will help you have the air mattress of your dreams, you are ready for the next part of the journey. I will give you the top ten best camping air mattresses available in the market, as well as my opinion on which of them are the best.
1. InnoTruth Raised Air Mattress with Built-in Pump
Coming in at number 1 is a well-loved air mattress with a built-in pump. The InnoTruth Raised Air Mattress is a LARGE one with an 18-inch height. How do you store something as big as this? Well, it also has a carrying bag included. The product is meant for group sleeping activities as it has twin and queen sizes available.
When it comes to materials, it is 90% PVC and 10% Flocked. The covering provides a smooth surface to sleep on and it is advertised as odorless. Furthermore, the electric pump that is built-in to the system is rated at 120 Volts, which means that it only takes 3 minutes to fully inflate it.
It can support up to 300 lbs of weight, making it perfect for 2 people or more, especially kids. Here are the pros and cons:
- Great height
- Consistent Performance
- Sleeping Space Saver
- Puncturing Issues
- Customer Service is Poor
- Prone to losing air
2. King Koil Queen Air Mattress
The King Koil Queen Air Mattress is true to its name. It is built for royalties, thanks to the comfort and flexibility that it brings the sleeping experience. King Koil Queen offers extra thick bedding ranging from 13, 16, and 20 inches which are pretty impressive for an airbed. Not only that, but it has full water resistance for long camps.
Using air coils and layers to maintain great firmness, there is no need to worry about losing air. Also, the layers are flocked with durable PVC. Meaning that wear and tear are nonexistent. In my experience, I enjoyed using the built-in pump as it was able to inflate this bulky beast in just 2 minutes.
Truly, this is one of my favorites on this list.
- Height Options
- Twin to King Sizing
- Great for Car Camps and Tent Camps
- Easy to Use
- Top-notch Customer Support
- Leaking Problems
- Frequent Replacements
- Gathers Dust
3. Intex Comfort Dura-Beam
If there is one phrase to describe the Intex Comfort Dura-Beam, it is “size and performance”. This beast of an airbed is available in three sizes, twin, full, and queen, and can support a jaw-dropping up to 600 lbs of weight. That means 4 or more people as long as they fit within a queen frame. Furthermore, it is also very durable thanks to the fiber-tech patent that it uses which gives a lightweight endurance to the material.
When it comes to features, it has an edge lock, indented sides, pillowtop system, as well as velvet coating to provide optimal comfort to users. This is a very optimal air bed for car campers, especially because it has an electric pump. However, in case of power failure, a manual pump is included.
This is one of those camping air mattresses that will make you fall in love (and asleep) quickly.
- Large Capacity for Camper
- Easy to Use
- Easy Set-up and Folding
- Loses Air Sometimes
- Heavy even when folded
- Needs consistent air supply to avoid sagging
4. Bedsure Queen Air Mattress
Bedsure Queen Air Mattress has a tagline of “Get Cozy”, and it does well in it. First of all, they are a well-known company thanks to their experience in home textiles such as comforters, duvets, and blankets. Thus, it is not a surprise that they also provide a high-quality air bed. Also, the polyester fiber composition of the bed makes it it is less prone to punctures.
Raised edges are also one of its selling points, helping to prevent sudden falls during the night. Not only that but the electrical wire can be stored inside the bed in case the pumping phase is over. The thing I like the most about the Bedsure is the double knob which helps adjust firmness and softness with just one twist.
- Easy Inflation
- Deflating issues
- PVC Coil bursting problems
5. Active Era Queen Air Mattress
The Active Era Queen Air Mattress is a 17 inches bed that is built for durability. When you take into account the raised pillow that is built-in, it has a total of 20-inches of height. Apart from it, the Active Era also has 35 air coils that are designed to evenly distribute weight for the optimal side-sleeping position.
The inflation pump boasts a 3-minute 0 to full air pumping, and it has a high-grade PVC as outer covering. Not only that but the top layer is flocked in such a way that comfort is prioritized. A bag is also included for portability.
- High Sleep Quality
- Quick Inflation
- Easy to Keep
- Deflating issues overnight
- Needs Air Top-up
- A bit cold
6. Intex Dura-Beam Series 2021
The Intex Dura-Beam Series 2021 can be seen as an alternative for the Intext Comfort. It is a Pillow-raised airbed with a built-in pump that has twin and queen sizes and deluxe or standard patterns. The Fiber tech and side rings provide stability during sleep, while the pillow supports the neck to avoid pain.
What I like about the Dura-beam series is that it greatly avoids dips and sinking. This is due to the smart support system which ensures equal distribution of weight. Also, the internal pump is very useful for deflation and you can just place it in the carry bag afterward.
- Easy Inflation
- Great Sleep Experience
- Hangs Off for Tall People
- Needs Air Top-up
- Rolling Over Issues
7. Ivation EZ-Bed (Queen) Air Mattress
The Ivation EZ-Bed (Queen) Air Mattress is one of the most expensive air mattresses in this batch. It is a bed built for comfort, convenience, and consistency, and one can even compare it to high-end foam mattresses out there. For air storage, it has 48 support coils paired with dual-sheet PVCs and airlock seams. Furthermore, it has a frame that can be raised to 24-inches, simulating a real bed.
The duffel bag which houses the bed when folded has a length of around 26 inches. Also, it has an inflation system that makes use of a knob to either deflate or inflate; as well as 3 comfort levels depending on your preference. It is one of the most customizable beds out there.
- Easy Inflation with Comfort Levels
- Extra Pillow Topper
- Airtight Seams
- Popping Out Inside Issue
- Uncomfy for some buyers
8. Enerplex Queen Camper Air Mattress
The EnerPlex Queen Air Mattress is a well-loved product evident from the thousands of positive reviews that it has. With high design as well as a built-in battery operated pump, it is perfect for car camping trip as well as long drives. You also have choices in terms of size such as twin, queen, and king, as well as height in the form of 13 up to 18 inches.
The whole inflating process only takes up to 2 minutes and it has 2 valves made for inflation or deflation. Also, the supporting coil beams are great in keeping your sides or back even throughout the night. The exterior is sealed with airtight, making it a leak-free mattress you will surely love.
- Loved by Many
- Comfort Sleep
- Airlocked Sides
- Quick Folding
- Strong Smell Out the Box
- Puncturing Issues
- Short length of Wire
9. SoundAsleep Dream Series Sleeping Pad Mattress
The SoundAsleep Dream Series is the most popular mattress on this list. Well, that is not a surprise since it is very versatile and consistent. It features 5 different sizes; twin, twin XL, full, king, and queen mattresses. Furthermore, it has a 15 gauge resistant material that helps against punctures in case of durability issues.
One thing I like the most about this product is that it has a Sure-Grip bottom. This provides stability and keeps it from moving regardless of how rowdy you are during sleep. Also, it is a great bed for camping and even for visitors who will spend the night at your beloved home!
- High material quality
- Very Comfortable
- Some Units Prone to Replacement of Gear
- Leaks over time
10. Englander Queen Size Air Mattress
The Englander Queen Size Air Mattress is a luxury bed built for endurance. It features a 20-inch height as well as thermoregulated temperatures to keep you warm or cool during the night. The exterior is a micro-fiber that is also puncture-free. The interiors, on the other hand, are enforced with coils and beams for the best quality of sleep.
What I love about the product is the long cord that it has. I do not need to bring an extension wire during camping since it will suffice. Once done, I can just keep the whole mattress in a travel bag for portability. Overall, it offers a great balance between price and comfort.
- Value for the price
- Avoids Back Pain
- Good Sleep Quality
- Overnight Deflation
- Leaking Issues
Buyer Guide & FAQs
What to look for in camping air mattresses
Durability. What is the greatest enemy of a camping air mattress? Well, the answer is simple: HOLES. These will deteriorate the quality of your bed as no matter how much you pump; air will still move out. Thus, it is important to always make sure that the outer coating of the mattress can withstand prickly objects.
Comfort. An air mattress has no use if it can’t give you a good night’s rest. Thus, it needs to have the perfect size and height. Not only that, but you should also consider the overall flexibility, as well as pumping mechanism as these, will save you time in the long run.
Different Types of Air Mattresses
These are mattresses that don’t have any sort of frame or elevation. You just pump the air source and it props up quickly. However, it should be known that these mattresses lie a bit low, making them perfect for camping.
Contrary to the normal type, this air mattress has a frame supporting the underside of the bed, helping it to stay higher. This makes it very suitable as a substitute for foams and perfect for bedrooms. However, it is not recommended to use them for camping as they are bigger and heavier.
Key points for consideration before buying?
Space Storage. How will your camping air mattress be usable during hikes or car camps? Do you have the space to store it in the car or on your baggage? These are some questions that you need to ask yourself before purchasing. After all, the focus of buying a camping mattress is portability.
Camp type. Different camping adventures call for different beds. If you are going car camping, then you can bring heavier mattresses since you have extra space. On the other hand, hiking entails a more portable and lighter bed so that your back will not be strained from carrying it.
How can I make my camp mattress more comfortable?
There are many ways to make your camping mattress more comfortable! The first is to add sheets and covers as it will provide better warmth. The second is to adjust the air inside for firmness and softness. Lastly, you can even add some pillows or blankets to have the best sleeping experience.
What’s the difference between a sleeping pad and an air mattress?
The great difference between a sleeping pad and an air mattress is that the former does not need inflating but the latter does. A sleeping pad can be laid out instantly then slept on, but they are not good at regulating temperatures. Also, air mattresses are bulky when inflated but very portable when kept.
What should I look for in a camping mattress?
For the perfect camping mattress, you should look at comfort, durability, ease of use, and course, the price. Comfort will help you get through a tiring day at camping, and give enough energy for a new one. Durability will make sure that you don’t need to repeatedly buy a new bed just because it’s riddled with holes. Ease of use refers to how you can speedily set up the bed during nighttime and keep it a day. Lastly, you should never purchase a mattress that does not have the value for its price.
What are the sizes available for an air mattress?
Sizes can range from twin, twin XL, king, and up to the queen. Also, there are varying heights but most of them reside at around 16 inches onwards. There is no need to worry about capacity too, as many beds can accommodate 300 lbs and even 600 lbs of weight.
How fast do self-inflating mattresses finish pumping?
Some of the products in this catalog range from around 2 minutes to 4 minutes of pumping using their built-in systems. However, this is a case-to-case basis as they also differ in size, height, as well as power delivery.
Will an air bed be warm?
Yes, air beds usually have high R-ratings, making them good regulators of heat. This means that they can keep you warm even on cold nights.
Why should you be excited about an air mattress? The answer is simple. These utilities can readily replenish your energy from a tiring hike or a long drive. However, you should always check what type of camp you are partaking in to have the optimal camping mattress.
For car camps, I will always recommend bigger mattresses as you have extra storage and floor space. But, lighter air beds are suggested for foot travelers to remove unnecessary weight during the hike.
I like the Intex Comfort air bed and have been using it for most of my camps in the past two years. However, I guarantee that any product from this catalog will be a good choice since they are trusted by users all over the world.