We’re a nation of people who love the great outdoors and camping is a big part of that. But not all of us are prepared to sacrifice the creature comforts that we’re accustomed to, just to spend a little time in the woods with nature.
If that sounds like you and you’re tired of relying on your sleeping bag to cushion you from the ground, a blow-up mattress is what you’ve been looking for. These inflatable mattresses are designed to be laid on any surface, providing you with somewhere comfortable to sleep after your latest five-mile hike.
So ditch your old sleeping solution and try one of the best air mattresses for camping and we guarantee you’ll never look back.
Best Air Mattress for Camping In 2020
SoundAsleep Dream Series Air Mattress – Best for Durability
The Dream Series inflatable camping bed lives up to its name and will provide you with the most comfortable nights sleep away from your bedroom. Hiking related aches and pains will quickly become a thing of that past once you add this bed to your camping kit.
It utilizes an air coil system which features 40 individual air coils, each acting to support and cushion your body while you sit or sleep on it. This ‘ComfortCoil’ system is one of the best we’ve seen and is the reason this air bed is so comfortable.
As you would expect, you’re getting an internal built-in pump with runs quickly and quietly to inflate this mattress in under 4 minutes, saving you the trouble of exerting yourself with a foot or hand pump. And once you’re done the pump has a deflation mode which will let all of the air out automatically.
The SureGrip material used on the bottom prevents slipping on smooth or unstable surfaces, meaning you can place this bed just about anywhere without the fear of it moving around during the night. And the puncture proof and waterproof PVC construction will ensure that it never rips or tears on sharp rocks.
Best of all, this air mattress is available in a variety of sizes to suit your needs, with a Twin, Twin XL, Queen, and King sized model, making it perfect for any sleeping arrangement. Its even a great air mattress for everyday use.
We love it and we’re sure you will too if you’re looking for the best inflatable camping bed.
OlarHike Inflatable Camping Air Mattress – Best Alternative
The OlarHike blow-up bed is a great alternative to our top pick for those looking to spend a little less money. Its construction is very similar to the Dream Series, but it doesn’t include the stand-out features that our winner does.
What you are getting is an internal air coil system which is designed to provide exceptional support and comfort, no matter where the mattress is setup. In practice, we found it comfortable with the ability to set your preferred level of firmness and support by adjusting the internal air volume.
Again, you’re getting a built-in pump which is designed to be plugged into an electricity source if one is available. Otherwise, an electric or mechanical pump of your choosing is more than adequate. Simply attach your pump to the external manual valve for inflation.
The construction is sturdy with both puncture and waterproof PVC used as well as a soft flocked top covering for comfort. A non-slip material has also been used for the bottom for added stability.
OlarHike are onto something good with this air mattress and we whole heartedly recommend it.
OlarHike Twin XL Inflatable Camping Air Mattress – Best Budget Option
If the top 2 products in this guide seem like overkill and you’re looking for a basic setup that saves both space in your tent and in your car, this Twin XL inflatable mattress might be your best option.
Available in one size, you’re getting a low profile streamlined air bed that once inflated will provide a decent night’s sleep for one person. It could sleep two at a push, but you would be sacrificing space and the volume of air within might not be sufficient to provide enough support for larger frames.
With that said, individual air coils are still used so we wouldn’t hesitate to throw this mattress into the back of the car for a 2 night trip away somewhere wild and rural.
You don’t get a built-in pump, but you do get a small electric pump included as part of the price. It can be powered from a plug socket or via the 12v socket in your vehicle and provides an easy way to inflate the mattress.
We like it and so do many happy customers. If you’re on a budget or simply want something compact and basic, there isn’t much reason to look past this model.
Intex Dura-Beam Inflatable Airbed – Mid Range Option
Think of the Intext Dura-Beam Airbed as a halfway house between the full height air mattresses and the smaller air mattress we’ve reviewed. If the first two look like a replacement for your home bed and the smaller camping mattress looks like an oversized foam mat, this model is for you.
You’re getting many of the premium features such as an electrically operated built-in pump as well as an option for manual inflation in addition to a tough support beam system that is designed to provide support throughout the construction of the mattress.
The height is just right at 16 inches which means that once inflated, the mattress makes a great surface for lying and sitting on during the day and sleeping on at night.
Designed as a camping bed, durability has been the focal point and it shows. The seams are hardwearing and the entire surface is covered with soft flocking which provides resistance to punctures and a great feel against your skin.
We consider this airbed the Goldilocks options as its just right for just about everyone.
Intex Kids Inflatable Camping Bed Set – Best for Kids
Intex have designed an inflatable camping mattress for kids that is perfect for providing a safe, secure and comfortable space for little ones to sleep on.
The most notable feature is the raised lip which runs along the entire perimeter of the mattress. Its purpose is to prevent small children from rolling out of bed and onto the ground below. Besides its practical feature, kids love it as it provides a cocooned environment to play and relax in.
There is no internal pump included but you do get a hand pump as part of the price. If that sounds like too much work, any pump can be used instead by way of the external inflation valve.
The bed does feature a chemical like smell once taken out of the box, so we do suggest giving it a little time to air out before use.
Kids love it and that’s as good a reason as any to add this model to your camping kit.
How To Choose the Best Camping Air Bed
Not all camping air mattresses are created equally which is why it pays to shop around and look into the features you’re getting with each option. We’re covered many of those features, but there are still a few other points to consider before making your purchase.
The size of any air mattress relates to both its height and the area (length and width) of the sleeping surface. Height is a personal preference but bear in mind that more height means more air which results in greater cushioning and support.
The sleeping surface is usually measured in the same way that normal beds are, which means that most air mattresses will be Twin XL, Queen or King sized. The more people sleeping on one mattress, the larger it will need to be.
For a list of all mattress sizes available, try our mattress dimensions guide.
Your camping air mattress is going to be exposed to the elements so you’re going to need to ensure its as tough as possible. Any air mattress designed for outdoor camping should be waterproof and puncture proof so look for those features before you buy.
Air leaks are a nightmare and can ruin even the most well-intentioned camping trips so durability is important. Many models come with a puncture repair kit in case the worst happens.
All air beds can be rolled up once deflated and most of them come with their own carrying case or bag. Smaller beds will roll down to a smaller size, so make sure that you’re happy with transporting and carrying it if you’re going backpacking without a vehicle.
Larger air mattresses will also be heavier than their smaller variants so keep that in mind. Whichever size you decide on, they’re all much better than folding mattresses if your main use is going to be for camping.
Looking for an alternative? Try our floor mattress guide.
The best inflatable camping mattresses feature a built-in pump which is designed to be plugged into a power source. This can either be a wall socket or a 12v socket which you’ll be able to find in your vehicle.
Any camping air mattress without an internal pump will need to be inflated manually, either with a hand pump or an external electric pump. This is an important consideration depending on where you intend to go camping.
Some mattresses are self inflating but they’re typically smaller, thinner mattresses which are designed for backpacking.
If you regularly go touring in an RV or camper van, an air bed can also be used in place of an RV mattress. These air beds can quickly be inflated and deflated to maximize space in your vehicle, offering you more flexibility.
Sleeping on the ground is uncomfortable at best and can cause injury at worst. Camping isn’t quite meant to resemble a luxury hotel, but it isn’t supposed to be painful either.
A good night’s sleep will make your camping trip more enjoyable and will provide you with the rest, focus and energy you need when out on the trails or hunting your favorite game – so make sure you bring the best air mattress for camping with you.