Best air mattress for camping

Sleeping

If your air mattress annoys you by squeaking when it rubs against the ground sheet of the tent, place a blanket between the ground sheet and the air bed.

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Which air mattress is best for camping?

Buying an air mattress for camping will make your camping trips much more comfortable so you won’t wake up each morning sluggish from lack of sleep with an achy back. But some air mattresses are better suited to camping than others so it’s important to choose wisely. 

The best air mattress for camping can be easily inflated without access to a power outlet and is compact enough to haul to your pitch. The Sierra Designs Large Camping Air Bed is an excellent choice, as it’s lightweight, durable and comfortable.

What to know before you buy an air mattress for camping

Size

The majority of air mattresses for camping are either twin or queen size. Queen air mattresses are great for two adults or three to four children to share while twin air mattresses are best for one person to sleep on, though you may be able to fit a couple of young children on one twin air bed. Consider how many people you need to sleep and the amount of space in your tent before deciding on the right size for you. 

Pump

Some air mattresses have built-in pumps that plug into a power outlet. These aren’t the best option for camping as you often won’t have access to mains electricity, making it impossible to inflate your mattress. Instead, opt for models that are inflated using an external pump. You can buy rechargeable, battery-operated, foot and hand pumps separately or sometimes you’ll find a separate pump included with your air bed. 

Height

Air mattresses can either be single height or double height. Although double-height air mattresses are slightly more comfortable, they aren’t ideal for camping — especially if you have a manual hand or foot pump — because they take longer to inflate. What’s more, if your tent isn’t particularly tall, you may hit your head on the top of the tent when you sit up. Plus, double-height options are larger when deflated and are bigger and bulkier to store and carry. As such, single-height air mattresses are the best choice for camping.

What to look for in a quality air mattress for camping

Internal support

Decent air mattresses aren’t just one big bag of air — they have internal channels and inflatable “coils” that offer support as you sleep for a more comfortable experience.

Storage bag

A good air mattress for camping should come with a storage bag so it’s easier to transport to your campsite. The bag shouldn’t be so large that it takes up too much room or is awkward to carry, but it should be large enough that you can easily fit the mattress inside. 

Puncture resistance

You want your camping air mattress to be durable enough to stand up to the wear and tear of camping so they should be made from puncture-resistant materials. 

How much you can expect to spend on an air mattress for camping

You can find some basic twin camping air mattresses for around $20-$30 while large, high-end offerings that come with pumps can cost as much as $100. You can find even pricier models but these are double-height models with built-in electric pumps that aren’t well-suited for camping.

Air mattress for camping FAQ

How many air mattresses fit in a tent? 

A. As a rule, you should half the listed capacity of the tent to estimate the number of people who can fit inside on air mattresses. For instance, a four-person tent will fit two people on air mattresses — so either two twin air mattresses or one queen air mattress — while a six-person tent should fit three twin air mattresses or one queen and a twin. 

Can you sleep on an air mattress permanently? 

A. Air mattresses aren’t suitable for everyday use. You can sleep on an air mattress at home for a few nights while you have guests staying, but they aren’t comfortable or supportive enough to sleep on permanently. Not to mention that they aren’t durable enough for long-term use, and by the time you’ve replaced an air mattress once or twice, you could have afforded a regular mattress.

What’s the best air mattress for camping?

Top air mattress for camping

Sierra Designs Large Camping Air Bed

Sierra Designs Large Camping Air Bed

What you need to know: A quality air mattress that’s highly durable and big enough for two.

What you’ll love: Comes with a battery-operated pump. Made from TPU to avoid stretching and ballooning. Integrated pillow. Handy storage bag included.

What you should consider: Although listed as a queen, it’s closer to full size.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top air mattress for camping for the money

Coleman Quickbed Twin Air Mattress 

Coleman Quickbed Twin Air Mattress 

What you need to know: This affordable twin air mattress is perfect for campers who each want their own mattress.

What you’ll love: Made by a trusted manufacturer of camping gear. Internal ComfortStrong coils are nicely supportive. Double lock valve reduces air leakage.

What you should consider: Must buy pump separately.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Active Era Luxury Camping Air Mattress

Active Era Luxury Camping Air Mattress

What you need to know: A large queen mattress that’s great for buyers who want to camp in style.

What you’ll love: Includes a rechargeable air pump and integrated foot pump. Enhanced internal support. Flocked soft-touch surface. 

What you should consider: The integrated foot pump isn’t great. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

 

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Lauren Corona writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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