The Best Air Mattresses for Camping

Check out our favorite air mattresses for your next camping adventure.

By Stephanie Janetos

When the lure of a long weekend sleeping under the stars calls to you, your sleep quality might not be your highest priority. But with the right camping air mattress or sleeping pad, you’ll wake up every morning of your camping trips ready to take on the day and enjoy your time in nature.

kid camping

Choosing the right inflatable air mattress may not seem like a big deal, but there are many different types available and when you’re looking for an air mattress for camping, there are special considerations you’ll want to make. Camping mattresses are not the same as other air beds for hosting overnight guests in your home, and other factors than simple comfort should be considered.

To choose a camping mattress, campers should consider:

  • Durability
  • Bulk
  • Cost (camping mattresses can range from $15 to $500)
  • Twin size or queen size
  • Weight capacity
  • R-rating, which is the mattress’ ability to retain heat in cold weather and stay cool in hot weather
  • Air retention
  • Mode of inflation and deflation
  • Warranty
  • Comfort

Because there are so many important considerations to make, Mattress Advisor is here to help walk you through your decisions to be sure you get the best air mattress for your camping trips.

How We Found the Best Air Mattresses for Camping

We’ve divided our list of the camping mattresses into two categories: car camping mattresses and backpack camping mattresses.

Car camping mattresses are a bit larger and designed to pack into the trunk of your car. They’re ideal for campsite camping, where you have more packing space and access to electricity. These include low-top inflatable air mattresses and high-top inflatable air mattresses. Sleeping pads and mats take up less space. They’re best for backpacking trips where you’ll carry all your supplies with you.

We have broken down the best options for every price point, ranked by the above criteria. The first section includes our picks for best car-camping mattress. The second section includes our picks for best backpacking mattress.

Air Mattresses for Car Camping

REI Co-Op Camp Dreamer Double Air Mattress

Best Luxury Option

REI Co-op Camp Dreamer Double Self-Inflating Deluxe Bed – $269

This is a truly luxurious, self-inflating pad for true luxury camping. It’s only 4 inches high, but still warm and comfortable with a foam core and separate valves so co-sleepers can each choose their desired firmness. It also has vertical sidewalls to enhance stability and is equipped with extra durability due to the welded side seams which will prevent air leaks. Finally, it comes with a compression storage bag to minimize its storage space.

SoundAsleep air mattress

Best Middle of the Road Option

SoundAsleep Camping Series Air Mattress with Eco-Friendly PVC – $89.95

This mattress is made with I-beam coils which add sleeper comfort and support. It is made of thick, eco-friendly PVC material, which is generally considered the most durable material for air mattresses. This mattress for camping comes in twin size or queen size. Standing at 9” high and weighing just over 13 pounds, this low-top mattress won’t take up too much space in your tent. It takes about three minutes to inflate with the included air pump.The air pump is what makes it really special. It is battery-powered and rechargeable, and can be charged at home before your trip or recharged from your car. This makes the mattress ideal for trips where you might be away from electricity. The SoundAsleep Camping Series Air Mattress also comes with a sweet 1-year warranty.

Intex Dura-Beam Air Mattress

Best Budget Option

Intex Dura-Beam Standard Series Pillow Rest Raised Airbed w/Built-in Pillow & Internal Electric Pump – $37.29

With a weight capacity of 600 pounds, this queen-sized inflatable mattress is a great other for couples. It’s one of the most comfortable budget-friendly options available. Why? The flocked top stops sheets and sleeping bags from slipping when you move around in the night. It also stops heat-build up if you’re camping in hot temperatures. Most importantly, this is a dura-beam mattress. That means it is constructed of internal chambers which separate the air, keeping it evenly distributed. This adds stability and prevents you from sinking into the middle of the bed. Finally, it inflates and deflates with a built-in pump, which you manually shut off when your mattress reaches your perfect firmness.

Air Mattresses for Backpacking Camping

Nemo Cosmo 3 Sleeping Pad

Best Luxury Option

Nemo Cosmo 3D Sleeping Pad – $139.95 – 179.95

This mattress includes a built-in pillow to evenly distribute your weight and to save packing space. You may also choose to top off the built in pillow with your own, depending on your preferred sleeping alignment. The body-mapping design allows for stability and keeps sleepers centered and comfortable. This is made from durable 7SD fabric which resists tears and punctures. Its hero feature is a built-in foot pump which allows for quick inflation without introducing moisture to the mattress.  

Lightspeed Super Plush Camp Pad

Best Middle of the Road Option

Lightspeed Outdoors XL Super Plush FlexForm Premium Self-Inflating Sleep and Camp Pad – $84.99

This self-inflating mattress includes dual oversize air valves, which mean a pump is not necessary to inflate it. It can be topped off with a few breaths if you prefer a firmer sleeping surface. It is PVC-free so it carries no plasticky smell. Plush FlexForm material keeps your body weight evenly distributed. We love it because of the super high insulation rating or R-value of 9.66. This rating makes this sleeping pad the best for extreme temperatures. It means the sleeping pad minimizes heat loss and will keep sleepers warm in cold temperatures. Keep in mind that it weighs in at 6 pounds and packs at 30” x 7” x 7” and won’t fit inside a backpack.

Klymit Static V2 Sleeping Pad

Best Value Option

Klymit Static V2 Inflatable Sleeping Pad – $48.71

We love this sleeping pad because it’s super comfortable while still being light and streamlined. It features side-rails to increase stability if you’re sleeping on uneven terrain. It also has a V-chamber design which limits heat loss overnight and adds to insulation, and prevents the air from moving if you toss and turn. And most importantly, it is easily the smallest packed size on our list, at only 3” x 8” and just over 1 lb.


Looking for more sleep supplies once you return from your camping trip? Come on back to Mattress Advisor to find exactly what you need.


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