An air mattress can turn your camping sleeping experience from meh to amazing in a blink of an eye. But what makes a good air mattress? Choosing a promising model from the dozens on the market is often daunting. That’s why we did the hard work for you and picked the five best camping air mattresses you can get your hands on. Check them out below.
1. SoundAsleep Dream Series Air Mattress (B00FAW4O0A)
The SoundAsleep Dream Series Air Mattress is hands-down the best you can find. It impresses with an industry-leading design that incorporates exclusive technologies to ensure firmness, stability, and ultimate comfort.
We like the SureGrip bottom that prevents slipping and sliding inside the tent. Furthermore, 40 internal air coils enhance the stability of the structure and ensure an ergonomic rest throughout the night.
An internal pump ensures easy inflation and deflation, so you won’t have to worry about carrying a pump or alternative inflation methods as long as you have a power generator nearby.
This mattress reaches full inflation in under 5 minutes and has a premium double-height raised air bed profile. It’s more suitable to use in a big tent or RV, but it comes in three sizes, so you can pick the one that best suits your needs.
Puncture resistant, waterproof, and comfortable, this air mattress can undoubtedly give a positive twist to your camping nights.
2. Intex Comfort Plush Mid Rise Dura-Beam Airbed (B07F3QF2MQ)
Intex has long been known as a premium manufacturer of inflatables. A star in their airbed category and one of the cheapest air mattresses on the market, the Comfort Plush Mid Rise Dura-Beam can easily satisfy your needs.
This mattress inflates to mid-height and is more suitable for smaller tents. It also comes in three sizes you can match with the floor space in your tent or the number of people you want it to accommodate.
A soft, velvety exterior enhances the mattress’ resistance to punctures and makes it more comfortable to sleep on.
But the best feature is the Dura-Beam construction that adds strength and stability. This mattress can withstand a load of up to 600 pounds thanks to the beam-style internal construction. You can also inflate it quickly and easily, either with its internal pump or an external one.
Easy to carry around and to pack compactly in a convenient transport bag, this is the best camping air mattress for anyone shopping on a budget.
3. King Koil Luxury Raised Air Mattress (B06XWG7H3S)
If you’re more of a full-raised bed enthusiast and need ultimate comfort even when you’re camping, check out the King Koil Luxury Raised Air Mattress. Similar in many ways with our top pick, this bed comes with a soft flocking layer and built-in pillow designed to enhance your outdoor sleeping experience.
The coil beam construction adds strength to the mattress, providing extra spinal support. We also like the ultra-grip bottom that prevents sliding on the tent’s floor.
Due to its height, this airbed is more suitable to use in bigger tents and RVs, although it depends on how much headroom you really need in your shelter. Regarding its specifications, the King Koil holds the air very well, and you can expect no sudden deflation during the night.
A proprietary built-in pump also ensures quick inflation and deflation as long as you have a power source nearby. It works with 120V AC and is compatible with most portable power generators.
Coming in twin, queen, and king size, this mattress is undoubtedly a great alternative to our top pick.
4. BAYKA Queen Air Mattress (B07GQRS9LP)
The BAYKA Queen Air Mattress fits the bill as one of the most affordable out there. It has a double-raised structure, it comes in twin or queen size, and it can easily enhance your outdoor sleeping experience.
The mattress is made from puncture-resistant PVC and is covered in a soft, velvety material that boosts comfort and grip. It can support up to 600 pounds thanks to the inner-coil air-beam construction. Besides strength, the construction also ensures ergonomic support.
Due to its thickness, the mattress also provides excellent thermal insulation on the colder nights; like all mattresses on our list, this one comes with a built-in pump and a separate air inlet valve for inflating and deflating with an external pump.
The bed tends to change shape over time, but it packs compactly and fits nicely in a trunk. It’s great for short-term use and undoubtedly great for occasional camping.
5. EnerPlex Never Leak Luxury Air Mattress (B07GT22NZT)
Last entry on our list of the best camping air mattresses, the EnerPlex Never Leak Luxury Air Mattress impresses with a slim profile that’s just perfect for a tent. It’s not very high, a characteristic that makes it easy to pack, yet it’s comfy enough to improve your sleep in the wilds.
It inflates very fast and boasts a coil-beam construction that enhances stability and ergonomics.
An external pump makes it easy to inflate and deflate the mattress, and it even comes with a selection of nozzles that allow you to inflate beach toys and other inflatables too. The waterproof and puncture resistant materials also make it suitable to place directly on the grass, for even more camping fun.
The airbed is easy to transport and store in its carry bag; it comes in twin and queen size and is ideal for all tents.
Camping Air Mattress Buying Guide
Choosing the best camping air mattresses is much harder than picking an inflatable bed for your guests. Outdoor sleeping comes with various challenges, including much more threats for the mattress itself.
Sticks, branches, and rocks can puncture the mattress even if they are under the tent. The inflation also poses a few challenges, especially if the airbed comes with a built-in electric pump. To stay on the safe side and ensure you can make good use of your choice, here’s what to consider before buying.
Air Mattress Materials
Air mattresses are usually made of PVC, but there is a huge difference between the best and the cheapest models. The high-end airbeds consist of various vinyl layers that enhance the structure and boost puncture resistance – an essential thing for a camping mattress.
Another thing to check is the exterior material. Most mattresses are covered with a velvety material which plays a double role.
On the one hand, this material boosts comfort if you want to sleep directly on the mattress. In fact, vinyl is not the most pleasant material to sit on, especially on a hot sticky night.
On the other hand, the velvety material also provides a non-slip surface for your bed sheets, in case you plan to use them while camping.
Also, check the bottom of the mattress. Some of them have a non-skid layer that improves grip and prevents the mattress from sliding from one side of the tent to the other.
Another essential thing to check is the inner structure because it’s the only thing that can prevent an airbed from sinking while you’re sleeping. Today’s air mattresses can have either a coil beam or a chamber structure.
Both are designed to create internal compartments and prevent the mattress from collapsing under your weight, but the chamber provides greater overall stability and is also suitable for heavier people.
Some manufacturers even combine the coil and chamber designs to provide even more strength, and we really recommend this type of mattresses if you’re after utmost resistance.
Pump and Inflation
Most airbeds come either with a built-in pump or an external one and in most cases, both types work on electricity. As you can expect though, most models also have a separate air valve that let you inflate the mattress with a hand or foot pump in case you have no access to a wall outlet.
Although we really like the mattresses that come with built-in pumps, they are not the most practical. An external pump can be easily replaced if it breaks and adds no extra weight to your airbed.
An electric pump can usually inflate the air mattress in under 5 minutes, and the word electric shouldn’t make you steer clear just because you’re planning on using the mattress for camping. These pumps usually work on 120V and are compatible with most gas or solar camping power generators.
How small or big of an airbed you need is obviously a subjective consideration, but you must know what to consider if you want to get an air mattress that lives up to the expectations. There are two things to weigh in, thickness and wideness.
- Thickness: Air mattresses can be as thin as cardboard or as thick as a regular mattress. It’s easy to understand that thicker is comfier, but that’s not always practical for camping. When choosing the thickness, also consider the height of your tent and how much room the mattress actually occupies. If you’re claustrophobic, a thinner airbed could be a better choice. Thinner mattresses also pack more compactly and are easier to transport, especially if you’re backpacking. If you don’t really care about headroom but want utmost comfort, go for the thick kind.
- Wideness: Twin and queen size air mattresses are the best for camping. They fit well in most tents and are ideal for two people. If you have a small tent or a very large one, single or king size mattresses could be more suitable though.
Lastly, don’t forget to check safety. Some PVC materials can release toxic fumes, especially when exposed to heat. It is important, therefore, to make sure the mattress is safe to use in all circumstances and that it poses no threats, especially if you’re camping with children. While all mattresses available on today’s market respect certain standards and are free from toxic chemicals, you can even opt for a PVC-free airbed if you don’t trust the standards or are concerned about your kid’s safety.