In case you’re low on time, the best air mattress for camping is Lightspeed Outdoors’ 2-Person Air Bed.
For some, a sleeping bag is all that’s needed for a good campout.
However, if you’re like me and you enjoy taking long trips, then you should look into getting something comfier. A sleeping bag might be acceptable for the first night or two, but your back will be aching after a while.
Thankfully, air mattresses have come a long way and can provide great sleep for campers.
Air mattresses keep your body in tip-top shape regardless of how much time you spend in the great outdoors.
You might be thinking, “I can only afford a sleeping bag.” What you might not know is that there are some bang-for-buck air mattress options out there just waiting to be bought. Your back will thank you!
Best Air Mattress For Camping: Our Top Recommendations
- Lightspeed Outdoors 2 Person PVC-Free Air Bed (Best Overall Camping Air Mattress)
- Etekcity Camping Air Mattress (Best For Restless Sleepers)
- SoundAsleep Camping Series Eco-Friendly Air Mattress (Best Air Mattress For Back Support)
- SoundAsleep Dream Series Air Mattress (Best Premium Option)
- Therm-a-Rest MondoKing (Best Self-Inflating Mattress For Camping)
Lightspeed Outdoors – 2 Person PVC-Free Air Bed
Lightspeed Outdoors is always one of my go-to manufacturers when I’m looking for new gear for an upcoming camping trip. I have pretty high standards, but their air mattresses always meet (and exceed) my expectations.
I’ve never been disappointed yet, and this model was no exception.
One of the things that makes this particular air mattress the best is that its dimensions will fit any queen-sized sheets. This cuts down on your expenditure since you won’t have to buy new sheets just for the air mattress.
It also comes with a carrying bag for easy transport and a high-quality battery pump that will help you get the whole thing filled up in no time at all.
The fact that this package includes pretty much everything you need means you’ll spend less in the long run.
- Any queen sheets fit the air mattress, allowing you to use the sheets you have at home.
- It comes with a carry bag for packing convenience.
- Folds up nice and small, which is crucial for camping.
- A battery-powered pump is included in the package, so you don’t have to buy one.
- Made out of TPU (rather than PVC) which helps you cut down on weight.
- Costco sells a similar mattress at a much lower price. BUT, the Costco version is designed differently and is nowhere near as comfortable or durable.
Best for: any camper. This air mattress is the whole package!
Etekcity – Camping Air Mattress
The first flaw is that this air mattress is made out of PVC, not TPU. It’s a durable material but makes this heavier than LightSpeed’s mattress. It comes with a two-year warranty, giving a strong testament to its robustness.
The reason that I ranked this mattress so high is the fact that it’s both leak-proof and almost silent.
Some other air mattresses tend to be rather noisy when you’re moving around them, but you won’t have that problem here. Regardless of how much I shift my body, I don’t hear a peep from this mattress.
It also comes with a rechargeable electric pump to ensure that you don’t run into any problems when trying to set it up.
Overall, this is a reliable choice if you’re looking for a more affordable alternative to the Lightspeed Outdoors model.
- A two-year warranty lets you sleep well at night knowing your mattress is guaranteed.
- Leak-proof – so you won’t wake up to a deflated mattress.
- Extremely silent even for restless sleepers like me.
- Includes a rechargeable electric pump.
- Priced well for such a firm mattress.
- Made out of PVC rather than TPU, making this one a bit heavier.
Best for: restless sleepers who don’t want to keep their camping mates up with their nocturnal movement, and don’t mind the extra weight.
SoundAsleep – Camping Series Eco-Friendly Air Mattress
It comes in two sizes — queen and twin. The twin variant is actually quite affordable in comparison to the larger model, but you can get whichever one fits your needs best.
The twin saves on weight but might be too small for some big fellas (like me). The queen is good if you’ve got a plus one or have a larger group.
Much like the Etekcity air mattress, this model from SoundAsleep comes with a rechargeable electric pump. This ensures that inflation and deflation are a stress-free experience for all users.
It also comes with a carry bag for easy transport such as when you’re hiking to your campsite.
- I-Beam air coils provide superior support, letting you
- Two sizes allow you to choose a price based on your needs.
- The rechargeable electric pump inflates the mattress in 3 minutes.
- A 1-year warranty keeps you sleeping well through all seasons.
- Extra thick Eco-Friendly PVC is rugged and resilient.
- Carry bag makes it easy to transport this air mattress.
- The queen variant is pricier than other models on this list, but still high quality.
Best for: campers with a looser budget who want top-notch back support.
SoundAsleep – Dream Series Air Mattress
SoundAsleep is a premium brand, and its Dream Series is the cream of the crop. I know I said that the previous option was pretty premium, but the SoundAsleep Dream Series takes the meaning of premium to a whole new level.
This series is available in four sizes from twin to king. This series is available in four sizes from twin to king. It’s not very common to see king-size air mattresses for camping. But, I must admit that the element of luxury that it brings is undoubtedly enjoyable.
As you can imagine, this level of quality doesn’t come cheap, but it’s well worth the cost if you ask me.
SoundAsleep is committed to providing sound sleep, so they give you a full year warranty. But, I don’t anticipate that you’ll need to use it since this air mattress is absolutely reliable.
The one-click internal pump is definitely top-notch. It inflates and deflates the mattress without any hassle in minutes. It really doesn’t get any easier than this.
Its raised, double-height construction means that you’ll be higher off the ground and thus warmer. Some tents have pretty thin floors, which isn’t a good idea. Getting a taller air mattress will ensure that the cold ground doesn’t leech the warmth out of your body.
- Four sizes to choose from – all the way up to king-sized.
- One-year warranty promises that this mattress will pull through.
- The internal pump requires no annoying setup or hoses.
- Double-height construction keeps you off the ground (warm & dry).
- SureGrip material on the bottom reduces sliding more than any other air mattress.
- Not exactly affordable, but well worth the price
- Bigger and more cumbersome, but much more comfortable than lighter mattresses.
Best for: campers who prioritize comfort and ease above price and weight.
Therm-a-Rest – MondoKing
If you’d prefer a self-inflating foam mattress as opposed to an air-filled one, you’ll definitely enjoy the MondoKing by Therm-a-Rest. I personally lean towards air mattresses, but that doesn’t stop this from being a high-quality product.
Although pricey, you will save on setup time. You don’t need an air pump for this mattress. All you do is throw it out and let physics take over since it inflates it in seconds.
One thing that I really like about the MondoKing is the fact that you can use it at home just as quickly as you’d use it while camping. The versatility factor definitely helps justify the higher price of this product.
- Foam construction means you don’t need to lug an air pump to the campground.
- Lightweight – only 5 lbs.
- Versatile usage – can be used while camping or when your in-laws come to visit.
- High-quality construction that won’t break or tear.
- Its 80” length means that campers of any height can sleep comfortably without their feet hanging off the edge of the mattress.
- Definitely pricey; however, the back support might be worth it.
- Foam doesn’t circulate well, providing warmth. It might not be optimal for summer camping, but great for winter.
Best for: campers who want a premium self-inflating mattress that they can use on their next camping trip, or as a guest bed when relatives visit.
Choosing The Best Air Mattress For Camping
As you might’ve realized by now, there is a certain level of intricacy when picking the right air mattress. To clear the air, I’ll now walk you through a few of the things you should consider before making your decision.
Not all air mattresses are created equal. There are different types of air mattresses that you can choose from, and each type comes with its own unique set of pros and cons.
For instance, air pump mattresses are comfier, keep you higher off the ground, and are even better for children. However, you’ll need to carry a pump along with you if you plan on using such a mattress which will add to the weight. Even the mattress in itself will likely be denser than most self-inflated mattresses.
Speaking of self-inflated mattresses, they too have their own advantages and drawbacks. The most significant benefit of using them is the fact that they’re very light and easy to transport since you can simply roll them up at the end of your trip.
Every pro comes along with a con, though. Self-inflated foam generally provides less support than air mattresses that you pump up. You’ll also be more vulnerable to creepy crawlies since these pads are closer to the ground.
Overall, the debate on pump-up vs. self-inflated will likely go on for years to come, so just pick whichever one suits you best.
Whether you’re choosing a tent, sleeping bag, or even an air mattress, pay close attention to the product’s material.
For instance, one material may fare better than another in cold weather. Knowing that fact beforehand will help you make an informed decision.
Vinyl and PVC are the two most common materials for camping air mattresses. Some manufacturers incorporate other elements (like a laminated finish) to increase their durability. Self-inflated variants are usually made of polyester or nylon, which might be a more comfortable surface.
Some pad models have a coating applied to their bottom so that it can maintain a firm grip on the ground even under slippery or windy conditions. Whichever option you go with, just ensure that the product is made out of the right material for the job.
Some people think that accessories are nothing more than a ploy by manufacturers to squeeze every bright green dollar out of your wallet. However, I contend that some are actually genuinely useful and could help you escape certain sticky situations.
For instance, having a repair kit with you on camping trips will make it easy to patch up any leaks that might develop in your air mattress. It’s not at all uncommon for a tear to occur while you’re on your way to the campsite, and you might not even notice it until you start pumping up the mattress.
There was this one trip where my boys and I were wondering why the mattress wouldn’t inflate even though we were pumping for a solid 10 minutes. It turns out that a loose branch had punctured that mattress.
Thankfully, I had my repair kit with me and was able to seal the hole and set everything up as planned. Beyond repair kits, you’ll also find that carry bags or spare pumps can be handy.
I’m not saying you should hoard accessories, but some things are “better to have and not need, than need and not have.”
I hope that you found this guide helpful. There’s certainly a lot that goes into the decision of which air mattress to get. But, the information that I covered in this article should make it easier for you.
Personally, I have to say that the Lightspeed Outdoors air mattress is my top pick out of the five options that I covered here. There are a few things that led me to favor it over the other high picks.
For one, its TPU construction really takes the durability to a whole new level. The pump that comes with it is also top-notch. Lastly, the air mattresses come in a variety of colors allowing you to choose one that reflects your personality.
I’m gonna leave you here but be sure to stay tuned for my upcoming pieces and share this article with a friend or two if it helped you out.