Top Air Mattresses For Camping: Buyers Guide

It was only until I met my now husband that I got into camping. I was always the type of person who slept in a comfortable bed, never liked the outdoors and hated sleeping anywhere else than in my house. My husband camped a lot as a kid and a teenager and he thought it would be fun to introduce me to it. Well, the first time I went I slept on this half deflated air mattress that ended up sinking to the ground while I was sleeping. I was so sore the next morning and decided that if he wanted to make this an every weekend thing, I was going to need the highest rated camping air mattress that was more durable and heavy duty for my delicate self.

Today, we don’t have to worry about an air mattress since we have a pop up camper, but for those of you who are in need of one, I have compiled some helpful information about the best air mattress for camping.

Looking for everyday use air mattresses? Check out our recommended list.

Best Camping Air Mattress Comparisons

Brand

Special Feature

Weight

Warranty

Prices

Our Ratings

ALPS
Mountaineering

Rechargeable

Air Bed-Queen

Electric pump w/ wall & car charger

 9 lbs & 12 oz

30-day warranty

$$$

Intex

Classic Downy Air-Bed with 2 Pillows- Queen

Hand pump and inflatable pillows

11.6 lbs

30-day warranty (unused)

$

Light Speed Outdoors

PVC Free Air Bed- Queen

Battery operated pump

6 lbs

1-year limited manufacturer
warranty

$$$

Sound Asleep

Camping Series Air Matress-
Queen

Rechargeable external pump w/car charger

14 lbs

1-year limited manufacturer
warranty

$$$

Intex

Inflatable Fabric Camping with Built-in Pillow

No pump, lightweight package

3 lbs

30-day warranty (unused)

$

Air Mattress vs Ground

For some, the thought of sleeping on the cold, hard ground just doesn’t seem right. Who would actually choose to sleep on the ground over sleeping on a bed of air? For me, there really was no comparison. Well, you would be surprised as to how many people like to enjoy all of what nature has to offer, including the ground. But, with that comes disadvantages and more health issues for those who already have health concerns.

Ground Sleeping

First of all, if you think that sleeping on the floor may be fun, make sure your partner thinks the same way as you. I tried to sleep on the floor once, worst thing I ever did. I woke up sore and miserable.

My husband, on the other hand, can sleep anywhere so it didn’t bother him as much as it did me. Some people also enjoy sleeping on the ground because apparently it does have some health benefits such as support to the spine.

Anyway, besides it being uncomfortable, for me, sleeping on the floor can also get very cold in the winter months. I mean, if you are brave enough to camp in the winter, more power to you. Aside from it being cold, there are also bugs, everywhere.

So, unless you are a fan of waking up to tiny critters crawling all over you, I would suggest elevating yourself off of the ground just a little bit. I’m sure sleeping with bugs can’t be sanitary or attractive, unless you’re Bear Grylls.

Air Mattress

This is my sleeping location of choice, on an air mattress. I would absolutely choose one over sleeping on the ground any day. The reasoning for this is because for one, it is off the ground and away from bugs and for two, if my husband and I are sleeping on the same one, the firmness on each side can be adjusted with some mattresses. Also, air mattresses can keep you much warmer than sleeping on the ground can. As long as you have a sheet or blanket under you, you won’t feel the cold air coming through the bed. If you do decide to go the air bed route, try to find one that you are going to be able to blow up with what you have around you. If you are going into the middle of the woods, you may want to consider one that you hand pump. If you are going camping at a campground and have access to electricity, you could choose one that has an electric pump. It will be easier and quicker to blow up. Also, make sure your air mattress fits in your tent if you are using one. It would be quite inconvenient if it hung out of the opening flap leaving your feet a perfect target for hungry mosquitoes.

Getting The Most Out Of Your Air Mattress

If you aren’t the type of person who wants to buy a new air mattress each camping season, then it would be best for you to know how you can get the most out of it. It would be a shame if you packed up your air bed for a trip only to find out it has a hole in it. If you have spent a good amount of money on a top rated camping air mattress, you are going to want to keep it nice. So, here are a few ways you can make sure your air mattress is always in good camping condition.

Keep It Handy

One of the most beneficial things that you can do for your mattress is to keep it handy. If you stuff it in the back of a closet or it sits on the floor of the basement or garage, it can be susceptible to damage or even being forgotten. I can’t tell you how many times my husband forgot to pack it because it was buried in our storage room. If you keep your mattress somewhere easily accessible or in plain view, you’ll never forget it and you may even use it for more than just camping.

Re-inflate Regularly

If you plan to go camping for more than just a few days, it is essential that your air bed gets re-inflated often. The reason for this is because they begin to sag after a few days of use because of normal stretching and air loss. If you don’t keep it inflated, it is going to continue to sag and it won’t help you get a comfortable night of sleep.

Use Sheets

Sheets can be used for more than just keeping a bed looking nice and protecting the mattress. Sheets can be used to keep the cold air away from the surface of the air mattress that comes up from the ground. Most mattresses are topped with a velvet material that helps to keep some of the cool air away, but sometimes it just isn’t enough. For optimal comfort, grab a sheet and put it on the bed. It will improve the warmth, comfort, and breathability of your bed.

Toppers

If you have the room during your camping expedition, a topper wouldn’t hurt to have. Even though air mattresses do offer quite a bit of support, a topper will help with softness and more comfort. You also won’t have to worry about sagging too much with the topper on it. You will be surprised as to how much even a cheap featherbed or memory foam topper will help with elevation, comfort, and warmth.

Camping Air Mattress Reviews

ALPS Mountaineering Rechargeable Air Bed-Queen


Overview

  • 9 pounds 12 oz
  • 60 x 80 x 8.5 inches
  • Electric pump w/ wall & car charger
  • Storage bag

If you are looking for a versatile camping air mattress that you can use virtually anywhere, then the ALPS mountaineering rechargeable air bed would be an ideal choice. This air bed fits in most tents and comes with a rechargeable pump. This is a nice feature because if there happens to be a power outage, you can still blow up your bed as long as it is charged. Be advised that you must charge the pump fully for 12 hours prior to the first use.

Since 1993, ALPS Mountaineering has been providing its customers with quality air beds that are perfect for backpacking and camping. They have made sure that this particular bed was made of thick and durable PVC to ensure a long lasting life by being puncture resistant. Along with durability, this mattress is also comfortable with its soft flocked top.

This mattress can be easily transported with a convenient carrying bag while being lightweight. Weighing in at just 9-pounds, it is one of the most lightweight mattresses on the market. When you are ready to inflate, just take it out of the travel bag and flip the switch. You will then have a durable, comfortable and perfectly sized sleeping surface to enjoy.

Pros

  • Comfortable
  • Affordable
  • Pump is rechargeable
  • Comes with storage bag
  • Quickly inflates
  • Lightweight
  • Good quality material

Cons

  • Pump malfunctions
  • Loses air quickly
  • Seams fail

Intex Classic Downy Airbed Set with 2 Pillows-Queen


Overview

  • 11.6 pounds
  • 60 x 8.75 x 80 inches
  • Built in foot pump
  • No storage bag
  • 30-day warranty (unused product) 15-days (used)

Intex has always been the maker of quality and comfortable air beds with options ranging from cheap and classic to expensive and luxurious. The Intex classic downy air bed is just one of their more affordable beds that offer great quality and a 15-day warranty if there is anything wrong with it once it has been used.

This particular mattress has a waterproof flocked top that can be cleaned easily thanks to its wave beams. The flocked top also helps to keep the cold air inside of the mattress and away from your body. You can also put a sheet on it to help keep some of the cold air out as well. You will also find two inflatable pillows included in the package. This is a nice feature because sometimes there just isn’t enough room to pack your own pillows.

The bed itself is raised 8.75 inches from the floor when fully inflated and equipped with 14-gauge vinyl beams and 15-gauge sides and bottoms for added durability with a 600 pound weight limit. When you are ready to inflate, you can use the built in foot pump that easily fits into the extra wide 2-in-1 valve. When you are ready to deflate, just open the valve and watch it go down.

Pros

  • Durable
  • Comfortable
  • Pillows included
  • Doesn’t stretch
  • Affordable

Cons

  • Poor quality pump
  • Busted seams
  • Leaks
  • Sags

Lightspeed Outdoors 2-person PVC-Free Air Bed-Queen


Overview

  • 6 pounds
  • 6.25 x 55 x 79 inches
  • Battery operated pump
  • Storage bag
  • 1-year limited warranty

If you are going camping with your spouse or a friend and need to share a bed due to lack of space, the Lightspeed Outdoors 2-person air bed may be the right fit. As it says in the title, it is made for the outdoors unlike some other air mattresses. This particular one is PVC-free and is more stable, temperature wise. It is also abrasion resistant and offers more durability than standard air mattresses thanks to its thermoplastic polyurethane material construction.

Once you inflate it with the included battery operated pump, you will enjoy sleeping even more because it also has a two-way Boston valve and patented stabilizer system. No more will you have to worry about rolling over to the other person’s side because of sagging. You can sleep on this mattress without too much bother from the other person moving around.

When it comes time for you to pack up, you can easily store the bed in the handy travel and carry bag that it included. This air bed is also more lightweight and packs much smaller than others, making it an ideal choice for your camping needs. If anything happens to it along the way, no worries, Lightspeed offers a 1-year limited warranty from the date of purchase.

Pros

  • PVC-free
  • Lightweight
  • Battery operated pump
  • Storage bag
  • TPU material construction
  • No leaked air
  • Comfortable
  • Durable
  • No chemical or plastic smells

Cons

  • Batteries for pump are inconvenient
  • Takes too long to inflate
  • Seams bust
  • Popped for no reason

SoundAsleep Camping Series Air Mattress-Queen


Overview

  • 14 pounds
  • 78 x 60 x 9 inches
  • Rechargeable external pump w/car charger
  • Storage bag
  • 1-year limited warranty

SoundAsleep is the maker of some of the world’s most comfortable air beds. They are all made with a Sure Grip bottom that keeps the mattress from sliding on the ground and puncturing. The SoundAsleep camping series queen sized air mattress is the perfect example of such technology. It is eco-friendly and uses synthetic material that ensures a long lasting mattress backed with a 1-year warranty. Since it has been specifically made for outdoor use, it has extra thick material to help withstand the terrain and objects of the outside environment such as rocks and twigs.

This mattress features SoundAsleep ComfortCoil technology with i-beam air coils that help aid in its durability and is specifically designed for outdoor use. The external pump, which is patented, ensures an easy inflation and deflation process. The pump itself offers a heavy duty rechargeable battery that can be charged at home or on the go with a car charger. Full inflation takes roughly 3 minutes and can be topped off with ease. Once inflated, the dimensions of the bed are 78 x 60 x 9 inches, perfect for two people.

Also included is a convenient carrying bag for easy transportation to and from your car. Once you are done using it, the carrying bag fits nicely into closets and small spaces for safe storage.

Pros

  • Rechargeable battery
  • 1-year warranty
  • Comfortable
  • Specifically made for outdoors
  • Feels durable
  • Affordable
  • Holds air well
  • Quick inflation and deflation

Cons

  • Some issues with faulty pumps
  • Nozzle sealing issues
  • Noisy with movement

Intex Inflatable Fabric Camping Mattress with Built-In Pillow


Overview

  • 3 pounds
  • 72.5 x 26.5 x 6.75 inches
  • No pump
  • No storage bag
  • 30-day warranty (unused product) 15-days (used)

For those who are looking for just a cheap and effective air mattress for a quick camping trip, the Intex inflatable fabric camping mattress could be an option for you. This lightweight air bed is a quick and simple solution for your camping bedding needs. It provides comfort and distance between you and the ground and comes with a built-in pillow for added comfort.

Not only can you use this practical air bed for sleeping, but you can also take it with you out on the lake since it is functional as a pool or lake floatation device as well. That makes for a huge space saver. You wouldn’t need to pack separate floats for each, unless you don’t want to use your bed in the water. The only downside is that it does not come with a pump and you have to blow it up manually.

Intex strives in providing its customers with affordable mattresses for all kinds of personal needs. They have always made sure that their customer satisfaction was backed by a 30-day warranty if your product is unopened and a 15-day warranty if it has been opened. Hopefully, with this one, you won’t have to go through that hassle. This bed has been designed to be ultra lightweight, compact and durable thanks to its laminated material. It is also ideal for just one person because it is only 72.5 x 26.5 x 6.75 inches, unless you’re on the smaller side, then you may be able to fit two people.

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Cheap yet practical
  • Built-in pillow
  • Compact
  • Has more than one use

Cons

  • Loses air
  • Valve cap doesn’t seal right
  • Difficult to inflate
  • Punctures easily

Conclusion

Based on all of the reviewed products, the clear winner from this group would definitely have to be the SoundAsleep Camping Series Air Mattress. My reasoning for this is because it is specifically made for the outdoors and seems more reliable than the other ones. Yes, you will have to pay a little more for this particular one, but with all of the positive features, it is impossible to not want to spend that little bit extra. Not to mention, it seems to have the most practical warranty for your convenience. The reliability and functionality of this mattress are the key factors that would convince me to purchase it.

About the author

Brenda Bostwick

Brenda has over a decade of experience in the industry and is the lead editor for Sleep Buffs. She’s also a sleep enthusiast and loves to weed out the good from the bad when it comes to sleep products, and she’s seen her fair share of bad ones! Brenda knows how important sleep health is and through Sleep Buffs she hopes to share that passion with visitors so they can find the products that are right for them and rest assured they are making the right choice.

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