The 7 Best Camping Mattresses (2022)
If you have been thinking about buying a camping mattress but don’t know where to start, here is a quick review of the best camping mattress options currently available.
Whether you’re looking for the best air mattress, sleeping pad, roll out mattress or cot, you will find a trip-improving option in your price range below.
We have also included a small buyer’s guide at the end to help steer you in a direction that will help you find the right camping mattress for your particular needs.
Best Camping Mattresses – Winners
Check out our quick recommendations here, or keep scrolling for detailed reviews:
- Best Overall Camping Mattress: Better Habitat SleepReady Memory Foam Roll Out Mattress
- Best Camping Mattress for Couples: Exped MegaMat 10 Sleeping Pad, Duo
- Best Light and Packable Camping Mattress (Great for Backpacking): Therm-a-Rest NeoAir UberLite Sleeping Pad
- Best Budget Camping Mattress: Therm-a-Rest Z Lite SOL Sleeping Pad
- Best Camping Air Mattress: SoundAsleep Camping Series Air Mattress
- Best Self-Inflating Camping Mattress: WELLAX UltraThick FlexFoam Sleeping Pad
- Best Camping Cot Mattress: Coleman ComfortSmart Cot
Best Overall Camping Mattress
- Type: Air Pad
- Dimensions: 75 x 36 x 3 inches
- Weight: 17 lbs.
- R-value: Not specified
- Comfortable memory foam
- Easy to use
- Quick roll out and roll up
- Travel bag included
- Non-slip bottom
- Comes with a waterproof cotton sheet
- Has convenient straps and clips
- Sleeps individuals with more than 230 lbs.
- A bit heavy
- Moisture absorption isn’t ideal
Although categorized as an air mattress, this Better Habitat SleepReady Memory Foam Roll Out Mattress remains true to its name and comes sleep ready. This means all you have to do is roll it out, and you are ready to go.
Furthermore, it comes with a waterproof cotton sheet, making it even more convenient to roll and sleep on. Although not the lightest of camping mattresses, it does offer you a superior sleeping experience and transports well. This is mostly because it rolls up just as easily as it rolls out. Thanks to the available straps and clips, you can easily pack it down to a reasonably small size, stuff it into the travel bag (included), and go.
Speaking of convenience, this sleeping pad also has a non-slip bottom which makes it perfectly ideal for outdoor use, especially in tents layered with a nylon bottom. This non-slip bottom quality ensures that the mattress doesn’t move around when you toss and turn at night.
Designed to take on up to 230 lbs. of weight or more, this is the kind of sleeping mattress designed for people of all sizes. Finally, the fact that it’s a memory foam mattress means that it helps relieve the pressure on your body and keep you as comfortable as possible through the night, regardless of your camping grounds.
Best Camping Mattress for Couples
- Type: Self-Inflating Pad
- Dimensions: 23.5 x 7 x 7 inches
- Weight: 5 lbs.
- R-value: 8.1
- Big enough for two people
- Covered by durable fabric
- Both soft and firm enough
- High R-Value
- High-quality build
- Quite big
- Heavier than other options
One of the biggest issues in the camping industry has been sleeping comfort for avid campers who tend to feel every rock and root underneath them when they lay their heads down to sleep. While many camping mattress brands have tried, not very many have succeeded, at least not to the level at which this Exped MegaMat 10 Sleeping Pad Duo has succeeded.
This mattress features a firm, 7-inch sleeping pad that has managed to find the sweet spot between softness and firmness. Not only does it offer you excellent support, but it also ensures that there’s just enough space between you and the cold hard ground. It’s also tall and wide enough, so you fit on it more comfortably.
Featuring high-quality open-cell foam, this camping mattress is by far one of the warmest self-inflating pads on the market. With an R-Value of 8.1, this mattress ranks at the higher end of the spectrum, which should tell you just how warm it can get.
Covered by a 50D polyester fabric at the top, this mattress is both soft and tough. The bottom is covered by a 75D polyester fabric that is tough enough to withstand any rocks or roots that might be under your tent.
Weighing at 5 lbs. and measuring 23.5 x 7 x 7 inches, this camping mattress is kind of big. However, it’s perfectly sized for two adults and car camping, where the weight and size don’t really factor in that much.
Best Light and Packable Camping Mattress (Great for Backpacking)
- Type: Air Mattress
- Dimensions: 47 x 20 x 2.5 inches
- Weight: 0.38 lbs.
- R-value: 2.0
- Inflates in under two minutes
- Easy to deflate
- Packs down to a small size (one-liter water bottle)
- Comes with a puncture repair kit
- Has an R-Value of 2.0
- Not as comfortable as expected
One of the lightest air pads on the market today, this Therm-a-Rest NeoAir UberLite Sleeping Pad is an absolute beauty, especially for people who like to pack light. At only 0.38 lbs., this air pad is ultralight and extremely portable and packable. That makes it excellent for both minimalist camping and backpacking.
Although it has an R-Value of 2.0, this air pad might not be the warmest on this list, but it also features 2.5 inches of luxurious NeoAir comfort, which kind of makes up for that and then some.
Built with strict durability standards in mind, the tapered design is durable and light. Capable of inflating in under two minutes, this air mattress is what you need when you head out for an impromptu night in the backcountry (it’s small and light enough to keep in your car).
Although air mattresses have an awful reputation for getting punctures, this mattress circumvents that by providing you with an easy-to-use repair kit and a limited lifetime warranty from the manufacturer. It also comes with a stuff sack for easy and convenient storage.
Best Budget Camping Mattress
- Type: Closed Cell Foam Pad
- Dimensions: 72.05 x 20.08 x 0.79 inches
- Weight: 0.90 lbs.
- R-value: 2.0
- Reflective ThermaCapture coating and dimples for heat-trapping
- Easily packable and portable
- Softer at the top
- Not the fluffiest of mattresses; rather thin
- May be too bulky for backpacking
As far as lightweight camping mattresses go, you can’t beat closed-cell foam pads like this Therm-a-Rest Z Lite SOL Sleeping Pad. Designed for portability, this might not be the most comfortable of mattresses in terms of softness, but it is firm and does get the job done. This option is not only dependable but is durable and economical, making it perfect for backpacking and car camping alike.
Because a closed-cell foam pad is easily packable thanks to its accordion-style construction, it has been used by mountaineers and camping enthusiasts for generations.
Even though it has an R-Value of only 2.0, this mattress is designed to offer you extra warmth thanks to its reflective ThermaCapture coating and heat-trapping dimples. These features help the camping mattress capture the radiant heat of the sun during the day and increase its overall warmth by about 20%.
Designed to be softer at the top for your comfort, this mattress is much denser at the bottom for the sake of durability, insulation, and outstanding protection from the cold hard ground.
Best Camping Air Mattress
- Type: Air Mattress
- Dimensions: 78 x 58 x 19 inches
- Weight: 18.96 lbs.
- R-value: Not provided
- Extremely durable
- Multi-layer construction
- Easy to inflate
- SureGrip bottom to prevent sliding
- Can sleep two adults
- No R-Value provided
- No pump included
The size of a Queen bed, this SoundAsleep Camping Series Air Mattress is one of the most comfortable mattresses for campers on this list. Although it was designed to be inflated using a pump, the manufacturer doesn’t provide that with purchase, but you can easily use your own as long as you keep it charged.
The beauty of it is that the mattress is compatible with pretty much any other air bed pump for your convenience. Typically, inflating the mattress takes about four minutes, which is also easy to deflate and fold up.
Featuring ComfortCoil Technology, this mattress offers you excellent levels of firmness when fully inflated. It also features a SureGrip bottom which ensures that it does move around when you toss and turn at night. This camping bed has 40 internal air coils, ensuring that it remains firm and flat throughout the night.
It’s by far one of the most comfortable camping mattresses on this list, thanks to its premium “double-height” raised quality. Being large and comfortable enough to sleep two adults, it has a thick and waterproof flocked top that is nice to look at and quite soft to the touch and feel.
Best Self-Inflating Camping Mattress
- Type: Self-inflating Mattress
- Dimensions: 77 x 28 x 3 inches
- Weight: 5.95 lbs.
- R-value: 9.5
- Two valves make it easy and quick to inflate and deflate
- R-Value of 9.5
- Comes with a carry and storage bag
- Tear-resistant cover
- Only sleeps one
This WELLAX UltraThick FlexFoam Sleeping Pad is a compact, 3-inch thick mattress designed to offer you the ultimate level of comfort when you are camping. It treads that fine line and finds a way to combine the comfort of an air mattress and the firmness of a self-inflating camping sleeping pad to give you the perfect camping mattress.
With an exemplary R-Value of 9.5, this mattress is warm and capable of making your camping trips more comfortable and enjoyable. In fact, that level of warmth and comfort makes this mattress perfect for any kind of outdoor activity, including backpacking, camping, picnicking, and traveling.
Featuring a revolutionary design, this mattress is covered by a laminated 20D ripstop as well as a TPU Layer. This makes it waterproof and rather silent, so it doesn’t make weird noises when you are asleep.
Featuring Advanced Self-Inflating technology, this air mattress has two valves which not only makes it easier to inflate but also quick to deflate. That makes it ideal for people who want to enjoy more of their camping experience gazing at the stars instead of setting up their sleeping area.
Best Camping Cot Mattress
- Type: Foam
- Dimensions: 80 x 30 x 15 inches
- Weight: 19.62 lbs.
- R-value: Not Provided
- Comes with a handy sleeping pad
- 1 -year warranty
- No R-Value provided
- Not the lightest nor the most convenient of camping mattresses
- Not ideal for cold weather
- The pad doesn’t provide much cushioning
As the name suggests, this Coleman ComfortSmart Cot is more of a cot than a camping mattress. Designed for car campers, this sleeping cot comes with a camping mat or a sleeping pad made of foam attached to a steel frame that makes up the bed. At 19.62 lbs. and 80 x 30 x 15 inches, this isn’t the lightest nor most portable camping mattress, but it does fold down well to fit onto your truck. However, it isn’t advisable for cold weather camping.
Made to last, the bed frame is made out of durable steel and can support up to 300 lbs. Capable of sleeping people who are 6 feet tall and below, this camping cot is comfortable and offers superior support. Even though it’s bulky and quite heavy, it’s the ideal camp sleeping setup for people scared of creepy crawlies and who feel much better sleeping off the ground.
Camping Mattress Buying Advice
Whether you are new to this or are a camping veteran looking to upgrade your sleeping arrangements for your next camping trip, buying a high-quality camping mattress can be a challenge. This is mostly because there are so many options available to choose from.
- Do you want a self-inflating pad or a foam mattress?
- If you go for an inflatable mattress, should you also buy a foot pump, or is a rechargeable pump good enough?
- How about the R-Value? Which rating is best for you?
These are just some of the many questions that may be swirling around in your head as you try to narrow down the best camping mattress options.
Thankfully, we have experts who have tried almost every camping mattress category available today. They have come up with a list of factors that you must consider finding the best camping mattress for your specific type of camping.
So, with that in mind, here is our camping mattress buying guide and tips.
Style of Camping
Your specific style of camping will have a direct effect on the kind of camping gear you buy. If you are primarily a backpacker who loves exploring the backcountry, then chances are you will want to travel light. And to do that, you don’t want a camping mattress that weighs 10 lbs. You need something much lighter.
You will also want to find something that is easily packable and easy to deploy. The exact opposite goes for people who enjoy car camping. Car campers don’t have as much of a concern for weight as their backpacking counterparts. As such, they can afford to carry something that is to their liking, albeit heavier.
Now, the third kind of camper is the glamping enthusiast. This is someone who likes to live in luxury even when they are out camping. There’s a good chance that this person won’t want to sleep on the ground, or if they must, they will want as much distance between them and the ground as possible. For these people, a camping cot or a larger air mattress will do regardless of the weight.
Are you more comfortable with a foam mattress or an air mattress? The type of camping mattress you buy is primarily a matter of preference; however, there are some pertinent factors and advantages, and disadvantages that come with pretty much every type of mattress that must factor into your thinking.
For example, if you are keen on backpacking trips instead of car camping, you don’t want to carry an air mattress that requires a pump. Even though they are comfy, you will have to carry an extra pump, which only adds weight.
In this case, you might consider bringing a thin camping pad that is lightweight and doesn’t require you to do any pumping. It can also be easily rolled out and rolled up whenever you need to go.
On the other hand, if you are going camping as a couple and you want your partner to be as comfortable as possible, there’s a good chance that you will bring a heavy-duty air mattress for two.
Even though things like inflation and deflation will play a central role in your sleep preparation, you will probably be fine with that sacrifice because it’s all about comfort and warmth.
Sleeping Mats vs Air beds
Like most debates, the argument between sleeping mats and air beds often comes down to personal preferences. However, that isn’t to say that they both don’t have their own objective advantages and disadvantages. Taking a keen look at these advantages and disadvantages will give you a good sense of which option you might grow to like.
Let’s take sleeping mats, for example. These have to be the easiest and most efficient options when it comes to camping mattresses. They are easy to use (you only have to roll them out), but they are also ultralight and often waterproof, which makes a lot of sense considering you will be sleeping in the wild.
The problem with sleeping mats is that they often have a rather low R-Value, which determines how warm they can get. This means that if you are mountaineering, although the lightweight will be an advantage, the low R-Value will be a problem when it gets really cold.
Another issue is that, while they are easy to roll out and up, they often have ends that roll back up. This means that you might always have to place something heavy like your dry bags on those ends.
What about air beds? The thing about air beds is that they are extremely comfortable. These beds often walk that fine line between softness and firmness, making them excellent for people who can’t stand sleeping on the cold, hard ground despite their love for camping. They also often have a rather high R-Value, at least higher than most sleeping mats, making them quite warm. The best of them have a non-slip bottom which increases durability while decreasing slippage.
The biggest issue with air mattresses is that they often require some kind of preparation before use. This means you need to either use a foot pump or an electric pump to blow them up, which involves carrying extra gear.
Yes, there are some that you can blow up with your mouth, but these are often thin, not as comfortable, and still quite a bit of work. Another issue is that they are often bulkier and heavier, albeit more comfortable.
What About a Cot?
Although camping cots give the illusion of security, at least from the cold ground, they are more trouble than they might be worth in most cases. That is unless you are into car camping. The issue with camping cots is their weight and bulk, making them a not-so-viable option for backpacking or typical camping.
That being said, there’s something to be said about the comfort of camping cots. The frames are often made out of durable steel, which makes them quite hardy. They are also quite easy to set up and come with a camping mattress attached, which means you get two pieces of camping equipment for the price of one.
They also provide that mental satisfaction that you aren’t sleeping on the ground, which some people need to have a good night’s sleep. Finally, you can always use a camping cot as an extra guest bed, even at home.
Mattress Insulation: R-Value
The R-Value of the mattress indicates its insulation level and just how much warmth it can provide you. Mattresses with high R-Values are warmer than those with low R-Values. Of course, if you are strictly camping in a warm region where the nights are just as warm as the days, then you might not need a camping mattress with a high R-Value.
In fact, that might even work to your disadvantage. However, if you are winter camping, you need as much insulation as you can get, and choosing a mattress with a high R-Value might be the best option for you.
Mattress Comfort and Thickness
The whole idea behind camping mattresses is the comfort they bring. Granted, any camping mattress, even a camping pad, is going to be more comfortable than just a sleeping bag laid out on the ground. In which case, you can argue that it doesn’t matter what you have as long as it’s an extra layer of padding.
However, if you suffer from a bad back or back stiffness, you will want your camping mattress to be thick and comfortable. People who value thickness often go for air mattresses, while people who value comfort might decide to go for sleeping pads which are often made out of memory foam and provide the kind of firmness that works best when sleeping on the ground.
Finally, there are factors such as price and brand to consider, but those are highly subjective. The idea is to find a camping mattress that tows that fine line between being comfortable, warm, and portable.
The list above gives you excellent options and is representative of a wide spectrum of camping enthusiasts. All you have to do now is choose the best camping mattress for your next trip.