All camper knows the importance of choosing the best mattress for camping. After all, your choice of mattress can determine how well you will sleep at night. But when it comes to selecting the right camping mattress, there is more to comfort than you think.
You bought a camping mattress and used it on your yearly camping trip. But as it turns out, the cheap camping mattress you purchased is no good. It is too thin and does not give your body the support that it needs. It also does not offer adequate protection from the stones and other blunt objects in the ground.
As a result, you ended up not sleeping the entire night. The next day, you feel groggy. In fact, you are too tired to push through with the activities that you have planned for the day. Moreover, you feel aches and pains all over your body.
Because of a simple buying mistake, you were not able to make the most out of what should have been the most wonderful camping trip of your life.
You would not want that, right? Well, I don’t want that to happen to you too, and that is why I have created this comprehensive buying guide to help you find the best mattress for camping in the market.
Best Mattress for Camping Comparison Guide
SoundAsleep Camping Air Mattress
Lightspeed Outdoors Air Mattress
Coleman Airbed Cot with Side Table
Air Mattress/ Cot
22 and 23.5 inches
Therm-a-Rest MondoKing Camping Mattress
Intex Inflatable Camping Mattress
72.5x 26.5x 6.75
The Best Mattress for Camping of 2019: My Top 5 Pick
1. SoundAsleep Camping Air Mattress – Exceptional Coil Support
The air mattress features a rounded rectangular shape. What makes this air mattress special is its company’s patented ComfortCoil Technology. The mattress has 40 I-Beam air coils which ensure that the mattress will stay inflated throughout the night.
The mattress also has a double height form factor which makes it easy for the user to get in and out of the bed. Because of this, it is recommended for people with back and knee problems.
It has multiple layers of eco-friendly PVC material that is resistant to punctures. At the top of the mattress, you can find a waterproof and extra-thick material which makes it more comfortable. The bottom part of the mattress features a SureGrip coating which ensures that unwanted sliding can be prevented.
The mattress comes with a carry bag for easy transport.
The Inflation and Deflation Process:
For your information, the mattress comes with a battery-operated one-click internal pump for easy inflation and deflation. According to most users, the mattress reaches its full firmness and inflation within just 3 minutes.
Considering it is an air mattress, you will be surprised to know that you can buy it in just less than $100. Now, that’s a steal!
Even if this mattress is affordably priced, it comes with a reasonable warranty period of one year.
2. Lightspeed Outdoors Air Mattress – Perfect for Two
This is another air mattress with a rounded rectangular shape that features the Lightspeed’s patented stabilizer system. This system allows the user to adjust the firmness of the mattress.
Aside from the adjustable firmness features, the stabilizing system also helps to evenly distribute your weight and keep your spine in proper alignment.
The mattress is made up of PVC-free TPU material which has lots of amazing features. The material is temperature stable, durable, and abrasion resistant. It also does not give off any plastic odors like most mattresses.
This eye-catching mattress comes with an equally bright, stylish and roomy storage bag.
The Inflation and Deflation Process:
The mattress has a single cap valve for fast and easy inflation and deflation. It comes with a battery-operated pump (batteries not included).
Considering that the mattress is just for two people, we can say that this mattress is pretty expensive. But with the quality of material used in making this product, I would say it is well worth it.
Just like most camping mattresses, this mattress also come with a 1-year limited warranty.
3. Coleman Airbed Cot with Side Table – Most Versatile
This is the most versatile mattress in the list just because the product is a cot with a thick and comfortable mattress on top. This product combines the best of both worlds. It features the isolation you would want in a camping cot or stretcher, but at the same time, it offers the comfort that camping mattresses offer.
Just like our first product, it also has a coil system called ComfortStrong which promotes the support and comfort of the mattress. Additionally, the mattress has an AirTight System with a double lock valve which prevents the air in the mattress from leaking.
The cot is supported by a sturdy steel frame that has a high maximum weight capacity. It can support a weight of 300 pounds and accommodate the height of up to 6 feet tall.
Another unique feature of the product is it has two side tables with cup holders for convenience.
The Inflation and Deflation Process:
Just like most air beds, this also comes with a pump. Its pump is battery operated and can inflate the mattress without any need for electricity.
It is much pricier than most mattresses in the list, but that is to be expected since this product comes not just with a mattress but sturdy steel frame as well.
There are no warranty details provided in the company’s website. But given the fact that Coleman is one reputable company, it is most likely that they are offering warranty for their products. To know more about it, you should contact their customer service representatives.
4. Therm-a-Rest MondoKing Camping Mattress – Warm and Spacious
Claimed as a luxury self-inflating mattress, the mattress offers superior warmth and comfort to the user during the colder months. The mattress has a polyurethane foam at its core, 75D polyester at the bottom, and 75D reverse diamond polyester at the top. These materials, when combined together, create a warm and cozy sleeping space.
For a spacious sleeping space, the vertical sidewalls of the mattress can extend the width of the mattress by 20%.
The mattress comes with a stuff sack with a carry handle for portability.
The Inflation and Deflation Process:
Well, this might have the easiest inflation process of all the mattresses. After all, it is a self-inflating mattress. When the mattress is unpacked, the dual valves permit the core to expand and inflate. You can easily adjust the firmness by blowing a few breaths into it.
According to the manufacturer, the foam self-deflates too but as per some reviews, the user has to sit atop the mattress to release the air inside it.
To know how to use this product, please watch this video:
This camping mattress is the most expensive product on the list. However, this does not come as a surprise as it has the easiest inflation process as well as the biggest surface area among all the products. Let us also not forget about its heating abilities.
So far, this has the most extended warranty period on the list. According to the manufacturer, they provide a 2-year limited warranty for the purchase of this product.
5. Intex Inflatable Camping Mattress –No- frills and Lightweight
This lightweight mattress features a wave beam construction to distribute the body weight of the user evenly and at the same time, offer a comfortable sleeping experience. To maximize its comfort factor, the manufacturers topped the mattress with fabric.
As if that’s not enough, they also coated the mattress with laminated vinyl to protect it from environmental elements. Lastly, the mattress has a built-in pillow for convenience.
Given the fact that this is a no-frills small camping mattress, it is expected that the mattress will be very cheap. Oh, it is, all right!
The Inflation and Deflation Process:
The mattress needs a pump to be inflated. However, the mattress does not come with a pump, so it is up to you to buy one. Since the mattress is not as thick or as big as other mattresses, the inflation process will be swift and easy.
Sadly though, there is no provided warranty information. It is best that you talk with their customer service representative to know more about it.
For more details about this product, watch this video:
The Complete Camping Mattress Buying Guide
If you wish to determine which is the most suitable mattress for you, you can find all the information you need right here:
Types of Camping Mattresses
You will be amazed to know that camping mattresses actually come in different types. In general, there are three types that you should know about. Each of which come with their pros and cons that you should be familiar about.
• Self-inflating Mats
These are commonly called 4WD inflating mattresses and has become widely popular due to ease of its installation. This type of mattress is liked by many due to its low price and durability.
From its name, these mattresses are capable of self-inflation. This feature is supported by valves located at the bottom part of the mattress. As you roll the mattress, the air inside is pushed towards the valves. Because of this, the mattress, when placed in a horizontal position, the valves open and the mattress self-inflates.
However, the rolling process is not as easy as companies claim it will be. Additionally, the mattresses are heavier and bulkier than most of its counterparts.
• Foam Pads
Are you camping with a caravan? If that is the case, space will not be an issue for you, so there is no need for you to choose a camping mattress that is foldable or inflatable.
Instead, the best option for you would be the foam mattress. These pads are made of high-density foam which provides better cushioning and keeps you feeling comfortable all night long. But to enjoy these benefits, you have to choose a mattress that is thick enough.
It is also easy to put in place as you need to roll it out and you are good to go. This type of mattress is also known for its low price.
However, foam pads are not foldable. You can fold it in half, but that’s how good it is going to get. Additionally, they take too much space.
• Air Mattresses
Also known as blow-up mattresses, these are the best options that you have if you are dealing with limited space. This mattress requires to be inflated, but unlike the self-inflated ones, it only has one valve and must be inflated manually. This is why most air mattresses come with an air pump.
Air mattresses are known for their affordability and high compressibility which makes it an excellent option for backpacking.
However, it is prone to leakage. It is also not suitable for rocky and stony surfaces as they can easily be punctured.
• Camp Stretchers
There are camping beds that are composed of a mat that is held up by two aluminum frames. This is the fastest and cheapest option that you have. Additionally, this can become highly useful when you wanted to be isolated from the ground due to wet grounds, low temperatures, and muddy terrains.
However, it is not the most comfortable option that you have because it lacks a foamy surface.
To determine which type of camping mattress you should choose, please watch this video:
What to Consider When Choosing A Camping Mattress
Aside from familiarizing yourself with different types of camping mattresses, you should also be aware of the various considerations that can help you find the right camping mattress for your needs:
Most people tend to disregard the importance of mattress height. You need to bear in mind that the air inside the mattress acts as insulation between your body and the ground.
If you want to buy a mattress that can withstand all types of weather and terrain, a higher mattress is the best option for you. After all, the higher the mattress, the more isolated you will be.
During the summer season, you won’t feel as hot, and you won’t feel as cold during the winter season. Also, higher mattresses are great for older people or people who are struggling with getting out of bed.
• Deflation and Inflation Process
If you want an easy deflation and inflation process, then you should go for the self-inflated mattress.
But if you are planning to go for the air mattress, then the inflation and deflation process would be of paramount importance for you.
If you are buying a single-sized mattress, you can blow the mattress up without the use of a pump. But if it is bigger than that, then using a pump is in order. Sadly though, most pumps need an electrical source to properly work. If this will be a problem for you, then you should go for battery-operated ones so you can pump the mattress without any hassles.
• Inflation Control System
The challenge does not stop after you have inflated the mattress. The challenge continues because you need to make sure that the bed has to stay inflated.
As you see, mattresses spread or shrink depending on the changes in temperature. Sadly, the temperature at night is not constant so the cushion may get deflated at any point in the night.
To prevent this, you must buy a camping mattress with inflation control system. This technology measures the pressure inside the mattress. If there are any changes in the pressure, the system works to compensate.
If the mattress does not come with this system, the least that you can do is to make sure that the valves are tightly sealed so it can prevent temperature deflation and air leaks.
• Body Support
The main factor to consider would be how the mattress supports your body. With that in mind, it is essential that the bed helps to distribute the weight of the body evenly.
For this, you would want a mattress with a well-distributed net of air coils as these chambers can boost the comfort factor of the mattress. However, this can be expensive. If you do not have the money and you are only going for a single-sized mattress, then you can forego this feature.
But if you are looking for a double mattress, this must be a non-negotiable factor for you.
• Packed Size and Weight
I know that camping is not an easy physical activity. You will be required to carry your own stuff up to the camping site. The journey to the site may be a bit bumpy and challenging, so you must make sure that your stuff will not be too heavy or too big for you to handle. This is most especially true if you do not have enough space in your rig.
Lucky for you, most of the companies state the packed size and weight of their products so you may want to check out that first before making a final decision.
• Weight Capacity
If you are a person on the heavy side, then you should make sure that the maximum weight capacity of the mattress is suitable for you.
Since you will be using the mattress in the outdoors (I know that there is a shade and everything but the mattress will be in close contact with the ground), it is most likely that the bed will get punctured or spring a leak.
Because of this, it is vital that you make sure that the mattress is durable enough to withstand all that. To make sure of that, you should check out the denier ratings of the mattress.
The denier ratings of camping mattresses range from 50D to 150D with the highest being the most resistance to tear.
In addition to the Denier rating, you should also need to consider the thickness of the fabric in the bottom part of the mattress, The thicker this fabric is, the better.
• Valve Quality
As you know, most people would go for a mattress that is self-inflating, and that is why most mattresses that you can find in the market are self-inflating and come with a twist valve.
Because of this, you must ensure that the valves of your mattress will be of high quality. However, as per customer reviews, not all valves are created equal. Some are flimsier while others are sturdier, so you need to take a look at this part when buying a mattress.
You should always ensure that your purchases are covered by a warranty. However, you should take note of the fact that the duration of the warranty may vary from one brand to another. The least duration of warranty that is acceptable is one year.
If the mattress comes with a pump, it is best that the pump should be covered by a warranty too.
• Sizing (Length and Width)
Of course, let us not forget about the fact that you will be lying down on the mattress so you must make sure that the length and width of the mattress can accommodate the built of your body.
You should also consider the way you sleep. If you tend to turn and toss at night, it is recommended that you go for a wider mattress even if you are a bit on the thin side.
Aside from your built and sleeping habits, you may also want to consider the size of your tent.
Camping Mattress FAQ’s
I know there are a lot of things that you should know when it comes to buying a camping mattress. I hope this section will answer any more questions that you may have.
• What are the other features I should look for in a camping mattress?
There are a few other features that you should look for. These are as follows:
- Linking Ability
Some models can connect to another mattress. This is a lot more convenient and flexible than buying a larger sized mattress. After all, you can carry each mattress separately then link each other together so you can have a bigger sleeping space.
- Built-in Pillow
Using a separate pillow can be a bit of a hassle. After all, it will add an extra burden to you as you walk to the camping site. Moreover, it tends to slip or slide around while you are sleeping.
Most models come with a built-in pillow which will always stay in place and inflate along with the mattress.
If you plan to camp during the colder season, this feature is a must for you as it can protect you from the coldness of the ground.
• What are the types of mattress pumps?
Well, there are three. The first one is the electric pump which is the fastest and easiest option to inflate the mattress. However, the downside is, you may need an electrical source to make it work.
The second option is the battery-powered one. This pumps the mattress smoothly and quickly without any need for an electrical outlet. However, this type of pump is heavier and bulkier than most.
The last one is the hand or foot pump. This pump uses pressure generated by either your hand or foot to inflate the mattress. This type of pump is small and portable and would not require battery or electricity to function. However, it would require physical effort.
Which is the Best Mattress for Camping?
As you may have noticed, the characteristics of the camping mattresses in this list are different from one another. That is why it can be difficult for you to choose which is the best mattress for camping.
But upon further consideration, I have come up with three different options—one for each purpose.
If you are a single camper and you have lots of stuff to bring with you, the best option that you have is the Intex Inflatable Camping Mattress. However, it can be quite uncomfortable, so this is only recommended if you plan to stay only one night.
If you are a combination sleeper and you plan to camp during the colder season, then the Therm-a-Rest MondoKing camping mattress is your best bet.
But if you want a comfortable and lightweight mattress, I recommend that you go for the SoundAsleep Camping Mattress.