Best Camping Air Mattress 2020 – Self Inflating & Blow Up Air Beds

By | Last Updated July 9, 2020

If you want to experience all the beauty of a night under the stars, without the aches and pains from an uncomfortable night’s sleep, then you need to get yourself the best camping air mattress. These versatile beds are great for bringing some home comfort to the great outdoors.

From single-sized to queen, framed mattresses and self-inflating models, we’ve reviewed a huge variety of camping air mattresses so you can find the perfect option for your next adventure.

To help make your choice even easier, take a read through our camping air mattress buying guide to find out which features to look out for before purchasing.

Best Camping Air Mattress

Best Camping Air Mattresses

We’ve reviewed ten of the very best air mattresses for camping, so whether you’re looking to upgrade your trusty old sleeping pad, or go glamping in style, we’ve got an air mattress that’s made for you.

Therm-a-Rest MondoKing 3D Self-Inflating Foam Camping Mattress

Therm-a-Rest Camping Mattress

Buy from Amazon

If superior comfort levels are an absolute must when you’re out camping, then the MondoKing 3D by Therm-a-Rest is hard to beat.

At 77 by 25 inches, it is a little narrower than most other air mattresses, but it conveniently fits into smaller two-person tents, so you won’t have to worry about fitting in your small tent or taking up too much space in a shared tent.

With its robust 75D polyester bottom for added outdoor protection, and plush cozy topper for comfort, this model is both practical and comfortable. Its four-inches of foam, complete with StrataCore system provides excellent stability and contour-hugging softness. This self-inflating air mattress features a TwinLock valve which allows you to finely adjust inflation levels for a great night’s sleep.

While this model is undoubtedly one of the most comfortable camping air mattresses available, it is not the easiest to pack up, and it is fairly heavy at four pounds six ounces. However, if you don’t have piles of stuff to carry from your vehicle and have the time to repack it slowly, it is definitely worth the extra time and weight for improved sleep quality.

Complete with a stuff sack and integrated pump sack, this self-inflating camping mattress is easy to use and with its high R-value of seven, will keep you cozy on winter nights. While it may be a little awkward to pack away, we think it’s an excellent choice that will keep you warm, supported and very comfortable.

Coleman Double-High Air Mattress

Coleman Double Air Mattress

Buy from Amazon

Perfect for occasional camping, the Coleman Double-High Air Mattress is an inexpensive option.

If you enjoy fair weather camping but struggle to sleep well near to the ground, then this air mattress makes a good choice. However, for winter camping you may want to consider other options, as this model lacks the insulation required for bitterly cold nights.

It’s a standard queen size and stands at an impressive 18 inches high when fully inflated. Just be aware that this model does not come with a pump, so you will need to purchase one separately which will inevitably bump the price up.

In spite of its height, this air mattress offers good stability thanks to its SupportLock reinforced construction, so you can get a good night’s sleep without any wobbles. With the Coleman pump (not included) the mattress is also fairly quick to inflate given its size. However, deflating does take a while and as there is no fast deflate valve, patience is key. Once deflated simply fold, roll and pack it into the attached storage pocket for easy transportation.

One of the main advantages of this model is its removable and washable quilted top, which makes for easy maintenance and improved hygiene. While it won’t fit in smaller tents, if you have a large tent with plenty of height, then it makes a particularly excellent choice for older family members who wish to enjoy a summer camping trip but have difficulty getting in and out of bed.

Therm-a-Rest Dreamtime Self-Inflating Luxury Foam Camping Mattress

Therm-a-Rest Luxury Camping Mattress

Buy from Amazon

The versatile Dreamtime Self-Inflating Mattress from Therma-a-Rest makes an excellent camping mattress due to its superior comfort levels and highly practical modular construction.

At 25 by 77 inches, it will fit in your small tent without a problem and by using the integrated straps, you can easily attach it to another Dreamtime for sleeping with a partner. Thanks to its modular three-layer construction, you can prioritize weight and packed size over comfort or vice-versa depending upon your needs.

Using all three layers – the self-inflating mattress, the contour-hugging foam pillow top and the plush, washable cover gives you an extraordinarily high level of comfort, almost as good as a home mattress. With all three layers, you also get a cozy R-value of 10. For warmer times of the year and when you need to pack light, use the mattress separately and you will still benefit from an R-value of six to ensure you don’t feel any ground chills.

While the Dreamtime isn’t the easiest to pack back up and is fairly heavy, it will keep you warm during the colder seasons, making it by far one of the best camping air mattresses for winter. With the stability, warmth and comfort provided by its foam core, this highly durable model is one you can count wherever, and whenever, you need to sleep away from home.

Hikenture Double Inflatable Camping Air Mattress

Hikenture Double Inflatable Camping Air Mattress

Buy from Amazon

If you’re looking for a comfortable, reasonably priced double camping air mattress, then this model by Hikenture could be just what you need. While other air mattresses may be more luxurious and comfortable, this model is both lightweight and highly packable – making it perfect for more remote trips.

Non-self inflating, this mattress comes complete with a foot pump, so it’s suitable for camping off-grid. At 3.75 inches thick and 47 inches wide, it can accommodate two sleepers with comfort, no matter what your sleeping position. Made from durable polyester, it is also waterproof and wear-resistant – specially designed to live up to your outdoor adventures.

With a packed size of only 13.8 by 5.9 inches and weighing just 3.64 pounds, you won’t have to worry about it taking up too much space in your trunk or when carrying it from your vehicle to your destination. For this reason, this camping air mattress is suitable if you are planning on camping out in the wilderness and need to cover several miles on foot before setting up camp.

Unfortunately, though, this model only has an R-value of approximately 1.5, making it unsuitable for use during winter or cold weather. However, with the space and money you save, you could invest in an additional foam pad to improve its insulation.

Despite this issue, if you are looking for a low price double camping air mattress and you’re not planning on camping in cold weather, this model could be just what you are looking for.

Lightspeed Outdoors 2 Person Air Bed

Lightspeed Camping Air Bed Mattress

Buy from Amazon

This two-person air bed by Lightspeed Outdoors is a good budget choice if you’re an occasional, summer-time camper. At 80 inches long and 55 inches wide, it’s bigger than most standard two-person camping mattresses.

Made from a strong abrasion-resistant TPU, you won’t have to worry about it developing a leak when using it outdoors. With an inflated thickness of 7.1 inches, this air mattress is comfortable even for side sleepers, ensuring you won’t end up with your hips touching through to the ground as can happen with thinner models. Thanks to its independent connection system between the top and bottom layers, this mattress will remain stable even when you’re sleeping with a partner, for reduced motion disturbances and a better night’s sleep.

Its Boston valve allows you to finely adjust the air levels to just the right amount of firmness for extra comfort. This model uses the included battery-powered pump to inflate, so you can use it off grid – just make sure that you have spare batteries available so you don’t get caught out. Also, as it weighs just under six pounds, it may be a little heavy if you’re planning to carry far from your vehicle.

This air mattress doesn’t have an R-value, and as uninsulated mattresses tend to be rated around one, you’re unlikely to want to use it during the winter months. However, if you’re looking for a fairly high air mattress for summer camping that can take two people and won’t break the bank, this model makes a decent choice.

Coleman Air Mattress with Camping Cot

Coleman Camping Cot Air Mattress

Buy from Amazon

If you’re more of a glamper than a camper, then the Coleman Air Mattress with Camping Cot is your best choice for home-away-from-home comfort. This set includes a strong steel folding frame, an air mattress and Coleman’s 4D battery-powered pump.

With a bed height of 22 inches, you won’t struggle to get in and out of bed and as you’re sleeping far off the ground, you shouldn’t feel the cold. While this mattress does take up a fair bit of space, you can use the area under the bed for extra storage. There are even two sewn-in side table flaps complete with drink holders that can be used to hold lighter items such as books or maps.

Thanks to its ComfortStrong coil system, the air mattress remains stable all night long, even if your sleeping partner tends to move around. The DoubleLock valve ensures leak-free inflation and will keep your bed intact for the duration of your trip, while the sewn-in cover ensures that your mattress won’t slip off the frame.

As you can imagine, this set is fairly bulky and heavy. It folds up into the included wheeled carry bag, that is comparable in size to a small tent; so it’s really only suitable for when you’re parking up at a campsite.

While it’s not for everyone, if you want to enjoy your camping trip with a “real” bed and have the space available, then this model makes a good choice.

KingCamp Double Self Inflating Camping Sleeping Pad

KingCamp Double Inflating Camping Pad Mattress

Buy from Amazon

If you are looking for an upgrade to your foam camping pad, but don’t want to go for a full-on air mattress, then this self-inflating sleeping pad by King Camp makes a great option. Wide enough for two at 51.2 inches, it also folds down the middle into a single-person bed for added versatility.

Although it is only 1.6 inches thick when inflated, this sleeping pad is surprisingly comfortable when compared to your average non-inflatable camping pad. Thanks to its insulated foam filling, it has an R-value of four, which makes it suitable for three-season use, if you’re happy to wrap up warm on colder nights.

It is extremely easy to inflate, simply open the valve and it inflates itself. The two included pillows are also self-inflating which saves time when setting up camp. Once your trip is over, deflation is simple and the mattress comes complete with a convenient carry bag.

However, it should be noted that, at 9.7 pounds, this model is rather heavy, a lot heavier than your average camping pad. For this reason, it’s not the most practical choice for backpacking or hiking trips.

That said, if weight is not an issue and you’re looking for an inflated pad rather than a full-on mattress, this is a great in-between model that is surprisingly comfortable and easy to set up.

Ivation EZ-Bed (Queen) Air Mattress with Deflate Defender

Ivation EZ Bed Air Mattress

Buy from Amazon

If you want to enjoy the great outdoors but don’t want to sleep on the ground, try out the EZ-Bed by Ivation. Ideal for glamping, this queen-sized air mattress turns into a 24-inch high bed, with a folding frame. Completely self-deployable, all you have to do is open it, plug it in and watch the bed unfold and self inflate with its built-in pump.

At 61 inches wide, there’s plenty of space for two and the silent secondary pump with Deflate Defender technology will ensure that your mattress stays fully inflated all night long. The 48 interior support coils provide the stability and support that you need for a good night’s sleep, without any annoying sagging or shifting.

While this model is extremely easy to use, it does have several caveats. It is very heavy at 50 pounds, although it does come with a wheeled storage case. Also, this model is expensive and there are some questions over its durability with long-term use.

Lastly, this bed takes up a lot of space and due to its frame design, there is no under bed storage space. However, if you have the spare cash and you want a self-deploying bed for use at developed campsites, then this model will keep you off the ground for a “real” bed sleeping experience under canvas.

Nemo Nomad 30XL Sleeping Pad

Nemo Normad Sleeping Pad

Buy from Amazon

If you are looking for a lightweight yet comfortable sleeping pad for your next camping trip, be sure to check out the Nemo Nomad 30XL. At 30 inches wide and six inches thick when inflated, it’s a good choice for a comfortable night’s sleep. Purchase two and you can attach them together to create a standard queen size sleeping area.

Made from a robust and durable 75D ripstop polyester, you won’t have to worry about camping off the beaten trail with this air mattress. With its lateral baffles, it maintains a stable and even sleeping surface all night long. You can even adjust the level of firmness to your liking thanks to the micro-adjust valve.

With its handy in-built food pump, you can go camping off-grid and still benefit from the comfort of this superior sleeping pad. What’s more, the raised perimeter helps to keep your sleeping bag in place and stops you slipping off. While there is no given R-value for this model, if you are looking for a four-season model, there is an insulated version that has an open-cell foam interior. On the downside, it is fairly expensive.

One of the main advantages of this mattress is its lightweight. Weighing in at only three pounds, it is easy to carry even if you’re well loaded. It also folds up fairly easily thanks to its quick-release dump valve and is only 11 by 6 inches when packed for effortless transportation.

In short, this comfortable, highly-packable air mattress makes a great upgrade to your average sleeping pad.

ALPS Mountaineering Vertex Air Bed

Alps Mountaineering Air Bed

Buy from Amazon

If you are looking for a good queen-sized air mattress for camping, then take a look at the Vertex Air bed by Alps Mountaineering. Ideal for use during summer camping trips, you’re sure to sleep soundly on this six-inch thick air mattress.

Thanks to its internal coil system, this model provides a stable and comfortable sleeping surface, even when you are using it as a couple. At 4lbs 12oz, it’s fairly lightweight for its size and packs up easily into the included carry bag.

One of this model’s main advantages is its rechargeable pump. You can use a standard wall or vehicle outlet to recharge the pump, or if you forget to you can run it while plugged in. This is very handy, especially given that the pump does not have a charge level indicator. Simply switch on the pump to inflate or deflate at the flick of a switch, making this one of the easiest camping mattresses to inflate and deflate.

While it is classed as queen size, bear in mind that it is actually only 56 inches wide, so it is slightly narrower. Also, it is not insulated, so using it in winter can be very cold.

However, for a decent night’s sleep without the need for shore power to inflate it, this model is a good choice for extra comfort when camping.

How Does an Air Mattress Work?

Air mattresses provide you with a comfortable sleeping surface when inflated with air. They are a great space-saving solution as well as being highly portable, making them suitable for camping.

To inflate your air mattress, you will need a pump. Pumps can be rechargeable, battery-powered or mains powered. Some models are foot or hand-operated.

Once pumped up, thanks to their air-tight design, the air is trapped inside of your air mattress, creating a solid, comfortable surface on which you can sleep. Some air mattresses will offer internal coils or baffles to ensure extra stability – perfect for couples or restless sleepers.

Before reading our best camping air mattress buyers guide we think you’ll also love our camping cot and hammock sleeping pad guides.

Buyers Guide to Buying the Best Camping Air Mattress

With so many excellent models on the market, it can be tricky finding the best camping air mattress for your needs. Here are some of the most important factors to bear in mind when deciding which model to go for:

Price

Price is often the deciding factor when choosing a new camping mattress.

However, to ensure that you make the right choice for your needs and that you get good value for your hard-earned cash, we recommend always looking at a couple of models both below and above your price range. That way you can make sure that you’re not missing out on some valuable features for a little extra money, or that you’re not paying over the odds for something that is available at a lower price.

When it comes down to camping equipment, weight and portability is everything, so you will pay a premium for lighter models that are easier to transport. However, if you are parking up at your campsite, you can get away with using air mattresses that are cheaper, but consequently heavier and bulkier.

Bear in mind that high-quality, more expensive models often tend to offer greater durability, so the old adage you get what you pay for often rings true. But if you’re just an occasional camper and don’t expect really high comfort levels, you don’t need to spend big bucks on a fancy model to enjoy your vacation.

Weight and Dimensions – Getting the Perfect Size

Before purchasing your air mattress, always make sure that it will fit in your tent before hitting buy. If you don’t already have an air mattress, find out the size of your tent’s floor area, taking into account the height if you are opting for a high-rise mattress or one with a frame.

Generally, you will be looking at a choice of single or two-person mattress sizes. Some single models have the advantage of connecting to another single one to provide a queen-sized sleeping area. This can be much more useful than one large mattress if you often take family trips.

Pump – Foot, Hand, Electric and Self-inflating

When choosing your mattress, be sure to find out how it inflates. While electric pumps can be quick and easy at developed campsites, if you ever want to go off grid, you’re going to be stuck.

Some pumps can be battery-powered or are rechargeable for portability, but you run the risk of getting caught short if you run out of charge in the wilderness. Other models have self-inflating pumps or traditional hand or foot pumps, so you can use them wherever the road takes you if you don’t mind some physical work.

When deciding upon the best option for you, you’ll need to take into account where you’ll be using your air mattress. In general, the more options your pump has the better.

Comfort

Comfort is the most important factor; however, it’s also the most subjective.

Some people like a soft sleeping surface, others a firm one. What’s comfortable for you, might be uncomfortable for someone else. For this reason, it can be a good choice to opt for an air mattress that allows you to finely adjust the firmness of your air bed with a microvalve. Simply add a few breaths of air for a firmer sleeping surface or release a tiny amount for more give.

Comfort is also affected by the thickness of your sleeping mattress. But bear in mind that increased thickness doesn’t always equate to increased comfort. For example, a thinner foam and air-filled mattress can be just as, or more comfortable, than one twice the depth that is only filled with air.

When considering your anticipated comfort levels, you should also look at how the mattress is constructed. Interior coils or systems that connect the upper and lower layers all add stability for a better night’s sleep. Foam toppers can provide contour-hugging comfort, while a plush removable sleeping surface can give that extra touch of comfort that makes all the difference.

Material and Durability

Take a close look at the materials that your air mattress is made from. The higher the denier, the more robust the fabric will be for better resistance to tears and punctures. Depending upon where you most often camp, developed or undeveloped sites, the more important this will be to you.

More robust materials generally mean your air mattress will last for longer. However, where and how often you use your air mattress will also have a direct impact upon its lifespan. A well looked after air mattress that is not overexposed to the great outdoors can last several years.

For best results always check your tent’s groundsheet is clean and there are no protruding rocks or vegetation before setting up your air mattress.

R-value and Insulation

An R-value is a measurement of thermal resistance. Basically, the higher the R-value, the better your air bed is at insulating you from the cold.

Standard air mattresses with no insulation tend to make for very cold sleeping surfaces. As you sleep your body warms the layer of air nearest to it, which creates a convection current. The warm air is replaced by cool air, and then the displaced warm air is cooled in a continuous cycle – thus making it impossible to stay warm without insulation.

For this reason, if you are camping with an air mattress at any time of year other than the middle of summer, it is important to look for a mattress with a good R-value of at least five or above. But if your air mattress lacks the insulation you would like, you can always try adding some extra bedding between yourself and your mattress to fend off the cold.

Easy to Deflate and Repack

Some air mattresses can seem to take an eternity to get deflated, while others can be extremely tricky to get packed up into their carry bags after use.

If you enjoy leisurely camping trips, then rapidly getting your mattress deflated and repacked may be less of an issue for you. However, if you’re camping with small children, as a group or have an early start the next morning, you’ll definitely appreciate an air mattress that is quick and easy to pack away.

Air Mattress vs Foam Mattress

For camping all-year-round, foam mattresses tend to have the edge as they are much better insulated than plain old air mattresses. However, they are generally more expensive and weigh quite a bit more. For this reason, it’s up to you to decide which type best suits your camping style depending upon where and when you plan to be using your air mattress.

Some inflating foam sleeping pads offer the best of both worlds, with high levels of insulation. They inflate just like an air mattress but have a layer of foam that keeps the cold out and your body heat in, for a more comfortable, warmer night’s sleep.

Final Thoughts

If you are looking for an air mattress to keep you comfortable on your next adventure, it’s clear that there are many excellent models available to choose from.

Whether you want an authentic camping experience with a lightweight, yet comfortable air mattress, such as the KingCamp Self-Inflating Sleeping Pad, or a home-away-from-home “real” bed such as the Coleman Air Mattress with Camping Cot, you’re sure to find the best camping air mattress for your needs in our selection.

Leave a Comment