5 Best Air Mattresses for Camping in 2021 (Reviewed)
Looking for the best air mattress for your upcoming camping trip? Read on!
We have all either hosted guests or been a guest, where an air mattress has been the only option to sleep on for the night. For many of us, air mattresses bring back terrible memories, of waking up pushed together with your sleeping partner in the middle of the bed, or on the hard floor, after the air mattress deflates during the night.
However, there are a lot of great air mattresses, now on the market, that have truly evolved.
And if you take them with you on your camping trips, air mattresses can turn out-back camping into a true glamping experience. The most luxurious of air beds can really make you feel like you’re sleeping in your own bed. But, you’re in the middle of stunning nature, or even sleeping under the stars!
We will recommend options for the best air mattress for camping, for those of you who want to combine your love of the great outdoors with a truly good night's sleep.
In a hurry? Here’s the test winner after 10 hours of research:
Best Air Mattresses for Camping - Overview
Here's an overview of the best air mattresses for camping (keep scrolling for detailed breakdowns with pros and cons for each of your options):
1. ALPS Mountaineering Outback Self-Inflating Air Mat
This camping air mattress from Alps is the height of luxury. But instead of some of the camping air mattress options, that looks like you’ll be getting a glamping experience, with a thick, full double bed, this is for the more serious of outdoors enthusiasts. This is because this mattress isn’t designed for hauling out when you’ve got a guest.
It’s for heavy-duty mountaineering trips. As we all know, air mattresses can easily break, in the fabric or the valve. Alps knows that this isn’t an option for you if you’re camping, especially in extreme conditions. That’s why they include a handy repair kit, so you can solve problems as they arise.
Another unique feature of this product is the vertically cored foam. The use of this material and technique means that, with this product, you get the best of both worlds between an air mattress and a foam pad. The air mat is four inches thick, and the vertically cored foam means you get excellent support of your back while you sleep.
The material makes this product not only more durable than many others on the market but also super comfortable. The use of 30D elastic fabric on the top creates a super-soft feel when you’re lying on the mattress, while a 150D fabric bottom makes the mat easy to clean and extremely durable.
The vertically cored foam also makes rolling and storing the mat really easy. It’s less than 8lbs too, meaning it’s the perfect, convenient, luxury mat for you to take with you on a long hiking and camping trip. Another benefit of the vertically cored foam is that you don’t need to worry about hand pumping or noisy electric pumps as the Outback Mat inflates itself.
Alps have developed what they call a Qwikflate valve, which makes inflation quick and easy, all you do is turn it to inflate, and it will do so! When you’re finished with the pad, the same Qwikflate valve provides rapid two-way deflation.
2. Exped MegaMat Duo 10 Insulated Self-Inflating Sleeping Pad
- SUPERIOR BASE CAMP PAD – The Exped MegaMat, this is truly the closest you can come to sleeping on your bed at home. The Megamat 10 keeps you and your partner warm and comfortable while car camping,...
This air mattress by Exped is certainly not for those on a budget. At over $300, it’s not worth considering this option unless you’re feeling really flush, or you go on camping trips very regularly and want an air mattress which will last. It’s also a great option if you’re going camping as a couple, and want to be able to cuddle up together in complete comfort under the stars.
And if you’re not keeping each other quite warm enough on a cold night, then the MegaMat duo has you covered. It’s designed for comfort in any season, with Bluesign-certified insulation that keeps you toasty even in temperatures down to -54 degrees F.
Another reason you may consider investing in this mattress is ease. This camping mattress self inflates in a matter of minutes, and you can control the firmness of it with an attached manual mini-pump. But, it doesn’t have the automatic deflating feature of the previous model.
You’re also unlikely to slide off the edge of this mattress while you’re sleeping, unlike with some other models. This is because of the vertical sidewalls, which are designed to carry the 10cm thickness of the mattress right to the edge in all directions: offering an absolutely level sleeping surface.
Although this mattress doesn’t have the outdoor durability of the previous model, it’s a great option for you if you’re looking for a combination of durability and luxury, and don’t mind spending a little extra dollar!
3. Seatopia Self-Inflating Sleeping Pad, Air Camping Mat
- Lightweight & Compact: Package size:13.39"x6.30"x6.30". Compression straps and storage bag included for easy storage and carry. Overall size: L75" x W52" x H0.8", Wide enough for Sleep comfortable all...
This air mattress by Seatopia is a great option if you want some of the benefits of the two previous models, at a fraction of the price. This mattress is also self-inflating, there’s no pump needed to get it sleep-ready. All you need to do is open the non-leak air valve and the mattress is inflated automatically. If you want to adjust the pressure, or top it up, you can add air by blowing into the valve. It has a safe lock meaning no air should escape as you sleep.
Another benefit of this model is that it comes with an inflatable cushion, attached to the mattress. This could save you space and time on your camping trip, meaning you don’t have to take an extra one with you. However, you do have to inflate the air pillow manually. Another unique benefit of this model is that you can buy multiple of these mats, and connect them with the split joint design. This can make these products even more versatile, especially if you’re going camping as a large group or as a family.
Although this product definitely isn’t as durable as the first two suggestions, the materials are more durable than you would expect, considering the low price point. It’s made of weather-resistant 190T Polyester Taffeta fabric, which is extremely durable and abrasion-resistant. It’s also made of high elastic sponge, making this comfortable to sleep on, and it’s even pretty thick at 6 inches!
However, it’s unlikely to offer you as much protection from the cold as the other two models, as the entire of the air mattress is made out of the same material. We would suggest this as a great option for those wanting to buy multiple, cheap mattresses, for a group or family camping trip in the summer.
4. Intex Classic Downy Airbed Set with 2 Pillows and Double Quick Hand Pump, Queen
- Inflatable queen airbed with two inflatable pillows, hand pump included
This is a very different option of an air mattress. The first three we have reviewed behave somewhere in between a simple camping mat and an air mattress. This model goes to the opposite extreme. It’s not designed as a camping mattress, but rather as a queen size double air bed.
It even comes with two inflatable pillows, meaning you can sleep in complete comfort. We would recommend this as a good option if you’re looking for something that will also double up as a good air mattress for guests, or if you’re planning on using this mattress just a few times in the outdoors, and you don’t need the most durable model of camping mattress there is.
Intex Classic Downy Airbed will really offer you a glamping experience. At nearly 9 inches thick, you’ll never feel the harsh reality of the ground under your tent. It also boasts a 2 in 1 valve with an extra-wide opening, and a hand pump, making inflation and deflation easy. If you like, you could consider investing in an electric pump that plugs into your car, to make the inflation process more seamless. However, the hand pump does make this model more portable: the perfect feature for camping kit.
A waterproof, plush flocked top with wave beams makes this air mattress really easy to clean, makes it more suitable for outdoor use, and means that it’s a soft surface for you to lay your head-on. This air bed also has a 600lbs capacity, meaning that it’s pretty heavyweight. However, the materials aren’t as durable as mattresses specifically designed for camping or mountaineering. Furthermore, location, temperature, and humidity will affect the airbed's firmness. So choose this option if you’re only going for a couple of nights somewhere, and you want to sleep outside in total luxury!
5. KingCamp Lightweight Camping Air Bed 2 Person Sleeping Pad Mattress PVC
- 1.Versatile pump is a battery-operated pump, which is easy to use and store. It's convenient to adjust the comfort level of this airbed
This is another different type of camping mattress. Where the first three models were a combination of air mattress and foam and the model by Intex was more of a domestic airbed, this model is a great combination of the two. If you’re looking for just an air mattress for camping, with no foam support, then this could be a great option for you. Although you do have to pay a bit more than the last model, the convenience factor might make the extra expenditure worth it for you.
One great feature of this air mattress is that it comes with a battery-powered pump. Although the batteries are not included, this does make the whole process a lot easier, and a lot less hard on your hands after a long day hiking. The Boston valve air tap and battery operated pump provides rapid inflation and deflation, so it’s convenient to adjust the comfort level of this airbed depending on the pressure you desire.
When thinking of using an air mattress, often our minds go straight to our bad experiences of the past, remembering waking up on the ground after the air mattress has deflated during the night. However, this model protects you against this, with its 192 stabilizers between the top and bottom, and valves to prevent leakage.
However, you would probably get more reliable support with a foam-air mattress hybrid. But, seeing as it deflates to a small size, is light at only 6lbs, and has a handy carry case, this is a great option for couples who are looking for an easy, comfortable sleeping solution, to carry with them with ease on their camping and hiking trip.
6. Sleepingo Camping Sleeping Pad
- 2" THICK SLEEP SUPPORT! YOU WILL LOVE THIS SLEEPING PAD! Want to sleep comfortably anywhere? No need to suffer with a cheap flimsy short outdoor sleeping pad! This quality portable camping mat pad is...
This model by Sleeping is a great option for people going camping on their own, especially those who are hiking a long way before setting up camp, and who don’t want to break the bank. Although it only offers you 2 inches of support while you sleep, which isn’t as much as the other models we’ve looked at, the main benefit of this camping mattress is its portability. It packs down to the size of a water bottle, so you can easily carry it in your backpack, and only weights 14.5 oz.
The second benefit of this mattress is that it’s self-inflating, meaning you can get ready for bed quickly, even after a long hard day. Another benefit is that its made of durable material, which is tear-resistant: ripstop nylon fabric, with an impressive 20 denier thickness used only for the strongest camping equipment designed to last a lifetime in the most severe conditions. You can tell that this product is durable and that Sleepingo trust in it, as they offer lifetime replacements. Seeing as the product is less than $40, what could go wrong?!
Don’t choose this mattress if you’re a couple, or you’re looking for the soundest sleep possible. But if you’re backpacking on your own, and looking for a cheap, easy, durable, light and portable solution, then look no further.
7. Coleman Camping Cot, Air Mattress, and Pump Combo
Our last suggestion may seem a little off the wall but bear with us. Camping cots can completely change up your camping experience, raising you off the floor and giving you a better night’s sleep all round: protected from the discomfort and the cold of the ground. For our complete buying guide of camping cots, take a look here.
This camping cot and air mattress combo really is unique and will leave you feeling like you’re sleeping on your bed at home. It’s a queen mattress, comfortably sleeping two and then some, on top of a sturdy steel cot supports up to 600 pounds. It includes a 4D battery-operated pump, making set up a breeze. The air mattress itself is also top-notch. It has an AirTight system prevents the mattress from leaking; the ComfortStrong coil construction for support and comfort.
With this model, therefore, you’ve got a portable, luxury bed, that’s almost guaranteed to help you sleep easy in any location. However, that’s reflected in the price. At $144, you pay for what you get. If you’re in the market for a really luxurious camping air bed for two, this option really takes the biscuit.
Obviously, we would never recommend this for backpackers, but if you’re going on a romantic camping getaway, with your car, then this bed from Coleman will make you feel like you’re cuddling up together in a hotel, while you’re surrounded by stunning nature. It doesn’t get more romantic than that!
Our top pick for the best air mattress is hard to pinpoint. This is because we’ve shown you multiple different types of air mattresses that all suit the different needs of different campers. However, if we were pushed to choose our winner and the model we would take on our camping trips, it would be the ALPS Mountaineering Outback Self-Inflating Air Mat.
This is a perfect option for serious outdoor enthusiasts or those who enjoy mountaineering, but still, want to be sound asleep even in remote and challenging climbs. This comfy matl is portable, durable, and will last you for any outdoor adventure, no matter the season or location.
The best camping mat for you really depends on your needs. Will you be sleeping in a campsite, or primitive camping? How thick is your sleeping bag, and do you want extra inches of support while you sleep? How portable do you need your mat to be? Consider the answer to these questions, and choose from our favorite tried and tested models, to find the best air mattress for camping for you!
Bonus tip: For a break down of the differences between an air and a foam mattress, watch this useful video: