Best Air Mattress For Camping – Buyer’s Guide 2018 4

If the idea of camping appeals to you but the thought of no 5-star tent with a king sized luxury bed, Egyptian cotton sheets and air-con has you breaking out in hives we might have the solution. Over the years air mattresses for camping are a ‘thing’, offering city-slickers the comfiest of sleeps while roughing it out there in the wild. Although it can’t be considered roughing it if you’re using one of these.

Gone are the days of lying on a thin layer of plastic protecting you from the hard ground underneath. Thanks to air mattresses a comfortable camping bed is now an option for weekends away, backpacking and extended camping trips. In the past, to get a good night’s sleep, you would have to take a camp cot along but the inconvenience and discomfort of lugging something so heavy around ended up with you rather leaving it at home or giving up on camping altogether.

Not anymore, not with air mattresses made especially for camping. They are comfortable, easy to use and lightweight enough to carry with you. They take up a lot less space in your tent and most can be inflated or deflated within a few minutes, should you decide to move camp sites. Comfortable camping beds or inflatable air beds raise you off the ground so you don’t feel the cold and they are a good choice if you have any back or joint problems.

Camping mattresses aren’t like your typical everyday pads. While sleeping pads are small and lightweight with backpackers in mind, camping mattresses are designed for the ultimate in luxury. They are available in different sizes, are big enough to sleep two, provide loads of support and take your camping experience to a whole new level. If it is comfy camping you’re after then look no further.

Depending on the air mattress you choose it can also double up as a guest bed at home or for impromptu sleep-overs. There is such a wide variety available and with a little bit of research you will find the best air mattress for camping to suit both your needs and your budget.

Below are our top 5 air mattresses for camping that’ll have you ready to take on the great outdoors, in comfort of course.

Top Picks

MattressHeightSizePump TypePrice
SoundAsleep Camping SeriesLowTwin/QueenExternalbutton_check-price
Intex Pillow RestRaisedTwin/QueenBuilt-Inbutton_check-price
Insta-Bed Never FlatRaisedTwin/QueenBuilt-Inbutton_check-price
ALPS Rechargeable Air BedLowQueenExternalbutton_check-price
AeroBed Mattress For KidsLowTwinExternalbutton_check-price


1. The SoundAsleep Camping Series Air Mattress with Rechargeable Air Pump

best camping air mattress



  • Excellent value for money
  • Heavy duty rechargeable battery
  • One-year warranty
  • 500 lbs. weight capacity


  • Size-wise it is limited to larger tents

The SoundAsleep Camping Series Air Mattress is built solely for camping and the manufacturers have managed to make an air mattress so comfortable you’ll forget you’re not at home.

Everything about the mattress screams convenience, which is what you should be looking for. The internal pump inflates it to full size in about 4 minutes and deflates just as quickly, with the simple turn of a dial. Unlike an ordinary plastic sleep pad that makes you sweat, the SoundAsleep air mattress has an extra-thick flocked top which reduces any sweating and helps with insulation in cold weather.

The air mattress has enough space for two adults and can easily hold up to 500 lbs. which means you’re not going to be rolling into the middle during the night. It also means the mattress won’t sink or sag. The 40-coil, dual chamber design is what makes the mattress so comfortable.

While some might consider the SoundAsleep Camping Series Air Mattress to be expensive, we think that the durability, comfort and convenience of it is worth every dime.


2. The Intex Pillow Rest Raised Airbed with Built-in Pillow and Electric Pump

best air mattress for camping



  • Excellent back and neck support
  • Built-in pillows
  • 3 minutes to inflate and deflate
  • Well-priced
  • Durable and built to last


  • It is affected by the weather
  • Regular use (inflating and deflating) increases wear and tear
  • Size only comes in twin

There is a good chance you will associate the low price of the air mattress with inferior quality, but you will be mistaken. Intex has managed to combine quality and affordability with the Pillow Rest Raised Airbed, allowing those of you on a tight budget to camp comfortably.

If you can’t stand the thought of camping without your own bed, then you’ll love the Intex air mattress: it feels like home, just more convenient and easier to carry around. The built-in pillows and a built-in pump mean you don’t need to worry about forgetting them at home and the flocked top is super soft and you can tuck your sheets in. The flocking on the Intex, like with the SoundAsleep, reduces sweating and helps with insulation. For any of the air mattresses we suggest if you are camping in the cold to take a mattress topper or an extra sleeping bag for additional warmth.

The built-in air pump works with a generator, a power outlet and a car power converter or you can go the ‘old-fashioned’ way and pump it manually or with a battery air pump. Deflating the mattress is just as easy, it folds up nice and easy and packs away neatly in its carry bag. Weighing in at a mere 11 and a half pounds it is lightweight and portable too. If you are looking for an affordable, well-made air mattress for camping, this is it. The Intex is easily a contender for the ‘best air mattress for camping award.


3. Insta-Bed Raised Air Mattress with Never Flat Pump

best camping air bed



  • Well-priced
  • Comfortable and durable to sleep on
  • Automatically shuts off when inflated
  • Pump is quiet
  • Remains inflated all night.


  • It needs power the entire time to stay inflated
  • The weather and the altitude can affect the firmness
  • Not east to repair the small tears or punctures, even with the included patch kit

No list of the best camping air mattresses won’t include the Insta-Bed with Never Flat. Available in four sizes, the twin and queen are the most popular for camping.

The air mattress has a main pump for inflation and deflation, as well as a secondary Never Flat option. The Never Flat stabilizes the air pressure depending on how firm you want the mattress: there are three options Firm, Medium and Plush. An additional feature is automatic shut off which kicks in when the air mattress is fully inflated. It can support up to 500 lbs. and comfortably fits two people.

If you’re after an air mattress for home or for a fun-filled weekend of camping you can’t go wrong with the comfort and durability of the Insta-Bed. It will meet everyone’s needs and provide one of the best night’s sleep on an air mattress. We like that the Insta-Bed comes with a carry bag and a one-year warranty.


4. Browning Camping 7635014 Rechargeable Air Bed

best inflatable bed for camping



  • Comfortable and durable
  • Very well priced
  • Quick to inflate and deflate
  • Flocked top
  • Fits easily into most sized tents


  • Some people have disagreed on the comfort bit

This Browning Camping Rechargeable Air Bed comes in under $100 and offers comfort and durability as good as mattresses twice the price. Just like on the more expensive air mattresses this one also has a soft flocked top that keeps the sheets in place while you sleep and as far as durability goes, the material is made from a thick PVC and is finished off well.

There is a rechargeable external pump included that can be charged in your car or at a wall socket, making it easy to inflate as well as deflate. This air mattress is sized to fit in most tents and it has its own carry bag, adding to the convenience.


5. AeroBed Mattress for Kids

best queen air mattress for camping



  • It is quick to inflate and deflate
  • Lightweight and portable
  • Easy to clean
  • It is made tough for the roughest of children


  • Not suitable for babies
  • Inflation pump needs an electrical outlet

If you like camping as a family then the Aerobed Mattress for Kids is perfect. It measures 25 inches wide and 50 inches long and has a safety cushion around it preventing any little ones rolling over in the bed. For added convenience it has a thick fitted sheet that is washable and is covered in moons and stars, ideal for nights out under the starry sky.

The AeroBed is well-priced, comfortable for children and the added cushioning makes them feel safe while keeping them safe. It’s also durable and will last as long as they are able to fit in it.


Criteria Used For Evaluation of Camping Air Mattresses

In order to give you fair and unbiased reviews the camping air mattresses were all rated according to the same criteria, including their comfort, how easy they are to use, their versatility, durability and warmth, to name a few.


Questions you need to ask yourself:

Is it Comfortable?

It is a given that the most important thing to consider when choosing an air mattress for camping is its comfort. While it comes down to personal preference the mattress must still be comfortable, easy to get up from, have a flocked top to prevent sweating and have lots of support. While only a few air mattresses might be as comfortable as traditional ones, it is important that it is still more comfortable than sleeping on the ground on a plastic sheet.

Everyone knows comfort is very much subjective: while a hard mattress is comfortable for one person it could be the means of horrible torture for another. If this is the case then it is best to get a mattress that is adjustable in terms of its firmness.

Also have you ever noticed when people are test-driving mattresses, traditional or air, they all lie on their back? Unless you are Count Dracula and only sleep that way it is a good idea to try the mattress on your side and even lying on your stomach. This will give you a true indication of the mattress’ comfort.


Is it Easy to Use?

Convenience and easy to use is the name of the game. Campers want to be wrestling with a wayward mattress as much as they want to wrestle a grizzly bear and in the same breath, and you’ll need a few, you don’t want to be blowing it up manually using your lungs.

Mattresses must be easy to inflate, deflate, pack away and store and ideally you want the convenience of a built-in pump. If, however, you choose a mattress with an external one you at least want it to be easy to use, with minimum fuss.

While some mattresses can be used indoors and outside, if you are looking for an air mattress specifically for camping it is important to remember not all have AC powered, built-in pumps. They might have battery-powered pumps, or none at all: you will have to hook up a separate pump, car-lighter powered or a foot pump. Try get one that is going to work the best for you. Camping mattresses should also be made of lightweight material so they’re easier to carry.


Is it Durable?

There is nothing worse than waking up in the middle of the night, cold and on the floor because your air mattress has sprung a leak. When deciding on a mattress suitable for camping you need to make sure it’s made of a hardy fabric, that it is stitched well and can withstand the elements.


Will it fit in your tent?

When buying an air mattress for camping you need to consider the size of your tent, keeping in mind other things need to go in there as well, not just the bed. Before you make your final decision it is a good idea to measure the height, width and length of your tent to get the sizes and dimensions correct. It makes sense that if you and the family enjoy camping over long weekends or for a week or two at a time you are going to have a comfortable sized tent which will accommodate a bigger mattress. If you tend to hike and set up camp at a new spot every two days or so you will probably have a smaller tent, and will want a smaller, lighter and more convenient air mattress or sleep pad.


How Warm is it?

Not necessarily something you look for when choosing an air mattress for use indoors but definitely essential when buying a camping mattress is its warmth. It is easily overlooked but the thermal properties are very important; if you don’t think so then it might be a good idea to spend a night or two in below-freezing temperatures to get a better understanding. A mattress that loses heat, or retains too much, will affect how warm (or cold) you get when camping in the great outdoors, which will in turn affect the entire experience.


Is it Compact to Carry?

This applies to an air mattress from the moment you pack it into your car, to lugging it around the camping site and setting it up. Obviously a mattress built with comfort in mind isn’t going to squeeze into a lady’s purse, but it also mustn’t take 6 grown men to carry it into the tent. Try and see the size it folds into once in its carry bag, which should come with the mattress to add to the convenience and portability.


Is it Versatile?

Think about the versatility of your air mattress by asking yourself the following questions:

–           Can I use it any time of the year, during summer or winter?

–           Does it pack down easily and is it easy to put into its carry bag? Does it have its own carry bag?

–           How much time will it take me to set it up and pack away?

–           Is it temperature controlled for all types of weather?

–           Does it have straps or handles making it easier to move around?



Because an air mattress isn’t a cheap, everyday purchase you need to do some research when deciding on the best one for you and your family. You need to consider so many things, from whether you want a single or a double, what kind of support you’re after, what kind of features do you want and, of course, how much you want to spend.

The camping air mattresses that are made today have features that camping into ‘glamping’ and because more and more families are doing, there is even more of a choice available.  In fact there are so many brands around that you’re bound to get confused and feel overwhelmed. But if you have an idea of what you are after and what you are expecting from it you’ll find the perfect air mattress to suit your needs.

It is a heck of a lot to take in and remember but hopefully this review of the top 5 air mattresses for camping will, at the very least, steer you in the right direction.

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4 thoughts on “Best Air Mattress For Camping – Buyer’s Guide 2018

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