10 Best Air Mattresses for Camping

A comfortable air mattress can make all the difference between an enjoyable camping trip or one spent tossing and turning all night. This detailed guide reviews the 10 best air mattresses for camping based on portability, durability, and comfort.

Benefits of Using an Air Mattress for Camping

Air mattresses designed for camping provide many advantages over sleeping directly on the ground:

  • Portable and lightweight for easy transport unlike bulky mattresses
  • Quick to inflate and deflate when on the move
  • Provides cushioning and separates you from the hard, bumpy ground
  • Available in a range of sizes from twin to queen for solo to family camping
  • Much more affordable than hotel costs when traveling
  • Easier to clean and pack away than sleeping pads or cots

With the right materials and design features, today’s air mattresses allow you to get surprisingly comfortable sleep anywhere your adventures take you.

What to Look for in an Air Mattress for Camping

Key factors to consider when choosing an air mattress for camping:

1. Durability

The most puncture and abrasion resistant materials prevent leaks. Look for TPU or PVC vinyl with higher denier weight fabric.

2. Portability

Compact storage size for packing and lightweight make transit easier. Carry bags also help.

3. Inflation

Manual pumps get tiring. Quick inflating built-in or rechargeable pumps save time and effort.

4. Comfort

Layered or coil designs add stability, support and thickness for softer sleep surface.

5. Size

Make sure mattress fits your tent space or camping needs. Understand sizing charts.

6. Special Features

Consider foam or pillow tops, velour flocking, raised air coils and other comfort technologies.

Using these criteria, below are the top air mattress models for camping available in 2023.

1. SoundAsleep Camping Series Air Mattress

Key Features:

  • Durable Eco-Friendly PVC
  • I-Beam air coils for comfort and support
  • Camping optimized size and weight
  • Integrated pump for inflation in 3 minutes
  • Carry bag included
  • 1 year limited warranty

With a robust design meant for outdoor use, the SoundAsleep Camping Series provides excellent comfort in a portable package.

Price: $$

Buy the SoundAsleep Camping Series Air Mattress on Amazon

2. EnerPlex Never-Leak Camping Series Queen

Key Features:

  • Three-layer reinforced design
  • Durable TPU vinyl tested up to 1000 lbs
  • Twin, queen and king size options
  • Integrated pump auto inflates in 2-3 minutes
  • NeverLeakTM technology prevents air loss
  • Carry bag included

The EnerPlex Never-Leak lives up to its name with patented leak prevention and rapid auto-inflation excellent for car and tent camping.

Price: $$$

Buy the EnerPlex Never-Leak Camping Series Queen on Amazon

3. ALPS Mountaineering Rechargeable Air Bed

Key Features:

  • Durable PVC construction
  • Rechargeable pump built in
  • Inner coil system prevents air shifting
  • Velour top adds softness
  • Twin, queen and king sizes
  • Carry bag included

With the convenience of a rechargeable pump and velvety soft top, this ALPS Mountaineering air bed excels at keeping campers comfortable.

Price: $$

Buy the ALPS Mountaineering Rechargeable Air Bed on Amazon

4. Etekcity Camping Air Mattress

Key Features:

  • Wave beam interior design
  • Durable rugged PVC
  • Quilted velour top for softness
  • Built-in rechargeable pump
  • Twin to Queen sizes available
  • Carry case with straps

This Etekcity model combines reinforced materials with a comfy quilted top and rechargeable pump excellent for car camping and overlanding.

Price: $

Buy the Etekcity Camping Air Mattress on Amazon

5. King Koil Luxury Raised Air Mattress

Key Features:

  • Thick quilted top for comfort
  • Built-in 120v pump
  • Durable laminated PVC
  • Raised air bed design
  • Queen and king sizes available
  • Waterproof carrying case

The raised pillow top design of this King Koil luxury air mattress helps provide the extra comforts of home even when sleeping outdoors.

Price: $$$

Buy the King Koil Luxury Raised Air Mattress on Amazon

6. Lightspeed Outdoors 2-Person PVC-Free Air Bed

Key Features:

  • Durable TPU construction instead of PVC
  • Contouring body mapping design
  • Battery operated pump for inflation
  • Queen and king size options
  • Integrated cord storage pockets
  • Carry bag included

With an eco-friendly TPU exterior, built-in pump, and body mapping, this Lightspeed Outdoors mattress takes the hassle out of camping.

Price: $$

Buy the Lightspeed Outdoors 2-Person PVC-Free Air Bed on Amazon

7. Intex Comfort Plush Elevated Dura-Beam Airbed

Key Features:

  • Raised height with layered pillow top
  • Fiber-tech interior construction
  • Built-in high powered electric pump
  • Durable laminated PVC
  • Twin, Queen and King sizes
  • Carry bag included

This rugged Intex air mattress combines an elevated design with plush top and integrated pump, ideal for car camping and RVs.

Price: $$

Buy the Intex Comfort Plush Elevated Dura-Beam Airbed on Amazon

8. EnerPlex Luxury Queen Air Mattress

Key Features:

  • Soft quilted top for comfort
  • Durable laminated vinyl
  • NeverFlatTM technology prevents sagging and loss of loft
  • Whisper-quiet built-in pump auto inflates in 90 seconds
  • Camping optimized carry bag
  • 2 year warranty

This EnerPlex luxury air bed lives up to its name with whisper-quiet inflation and patented NeverFlat technology excellent for camping.

Price: $$$

Buy the EnerPlex Luxury Queen Air Mattress on Amazon

9. WEY&FLY SUV Air Mattress

Key Features:

  • Durable rip-stop polyester with TPU backing
  • Extended length and width for SUVs
  • Dual chamber construction
  • 12V DC powered built-in pump
  • Built-in pillows
  • Carry bag included

Shaped to fit SUVs and outfitted with a battery-powered pump, this WEY&FLY mattress takes comfort to the next level for road trip warriors.

Price: $

Buy the WEY&FLY SUV Air Mattress on Amazon

10. Lazery Sleep Air Mattress

Key Features:

  • Durable laminated PVC
  • Comfort coil system provides cushioning and support
  • Electric pump for inflation in under 5 minutes
  • Carry bag with straps for easy transport
  • 7 different size options
  • 1 year warranty

With robust construction and a quick-inflation electric pump, Lazery Sleep makes a quality budget air mattress ideal for car camping and temporary accommodations.

Price: $

Buy the Lazery Sleep Air Mattress on Amazon

Choosing the Right Size Air Mattress for Camping

Make sure to pick the air mattress size best suited for your tent space, vehicle, and the number of people sleeping. Here are the most common air bed sizes:

  • Twin: Great for one adult or child. Fits small tents.
  • Full/Double: Accommodates two smaller adults or kids. Wider but same length as twin.
  • Queen: Ideal for couples. More room to spread out and still fits most tents.
  • King: Extra space for families. Requires large tent. Harder to inflate and pack.
  • SUV/Truck beds: Shaped to fit inside vehicle beds. Varying sizes.

Measure your setup to ensure the mattress dimensions fit your intended camping situation properly. Understand sizing can vary slightly between brands.

Air Mattress Materials Guide

PVC Vinyl

Most common. Very durable but potential odor. Heavy. Not eco-friendly.

TPU Vinyl

Tougher than PVC. Lightweight. More eco-friendly. Minimal odor. Added cost.

Polyester Fiber Fill

Provides cushioning and insulation. Quilted layer improves comfort.

Rubber or Urethane

Dense, stretchy, durable materials used in premium air beds. Added weight.

Consider intended use, weight restrictions, and environmental impact when choosing the right materials.

Manual vs. Battery vs. Electric Pump for Inflation

Manual Hand/Foot Pumps:

  • Don’t require batteries or power
  • Take more time and effort
  • Difficult for larger air beds
  • More affordable option

Battery-Powered Pumps:

  • Run off D or C battery
  • Quicker than manual pumps
  • Limited battery life
  • Moderate noise level

Electric Air Pumps:

  • Fastest inflation, often under 5 minutes
  • Required access to wall or car outlet
  • Can be very noisy
  • Most expensive option

Consider convenience versus noise level based on your specific camping situation.

Air Mattress Comfort Options

Built-In Pillows

Integrated pillows provide added comfort and remove need to pack pillows separately. Not adjustable.

Quilted Tops

Layered, pillow-top style surface increases softness. Need a fitted sheet. Provides insulation.

Raised Height

Thicker mattresses around 18 inches high easier to get on and off. Feel more like a real bed.

Air Coils/Beams

Interior air support chambers provide structure, support and motion isolation.

Flocking

Nylon velour flocking on top creates a softer, more velvety sleep surface. Delicate.

Special Features

  • Never Flat technology – prevents air loss and sagging overnight
  • Dual zone construction – allows each side to inflate to different firmness
  • Patch kits – to repair holes and tears in emergencies
  • Storage pockets – built-in pouches and hooks to stow items
  • USB port – allows charging devices from the built-in pump
  • Cup holders – built-in recessed holders keep drinks nearby but secure

Tips for Sleeping Comfortably on an Air Mattress

  • Use a mattress topper or pad for additional softness and insulation
  • Add a fitted sheet to make it feel more sheet-like and help you stay in place
  • Position away from cold ground and tent walls so air doesn’t leak out
  • Inflate slightly firmer than preferred to account for air loss overnight
  • Refresh inflation in the morning if needed to restore full loft and shape
  • Let air out and roll up loosely when packing to prevent creases and cracks

Choosing the right model paired with smart use helps you get the most comfortable camping sleep possible on an air mattress.

Cleaning and Maintaining Your Air Mattress

  • Wipe down with mild soap and water only, no harsh cleaners
  • Fully air dry before packing away to prevent mold
  • Store loosely rolled or flat, not tightly folded
  • Use repair kit or patches for small holes
  • Add mattress protector to shield from dirt and extend life
  • Check valve stem for cracks and replace if needed
  • Keep away from sharp objects and abrasive surfaces

Proper care keeps air mattresses in good working condition trip after trip.

Camping Air Mattress Pros vs. Cons

Pros:

  • Lightweight and portable
  • Quick to inflate and pack away
  • Affordable compared to regular mattresses
  • Easy to clean and maintain
  • Comfortable cushion between you and hard ground
  • Many sizes from twin to king available

Potential Cons:

  • Durability issues and prone to leaks/holes
  • Must re-inflate regularly as air escapes
  • Can be noisy from pumps or vinyl
  • Not as supportive as a regular mattress
  • Traps body heat without good ventilation
  • Can feel cold in very low temperatures

Common Problems and Troubleshooting Air Mattress Issues

Not inflating fully:

  • Check for leaks, listen for hissing air and repair
  • Clean valve and reattach pump for airtight seal
  • Inadequate pump wattage – use secondary pump

Deflating and losing air:

  • Locate leaks using bucket of water and patch
  • Replace valve stem if cracked or stretched
  • Reinforce seams with seam sealant

Uncomfortable sleep surface:

  • Add a mattress topper or soft sleeping pad for cushioning
  • Make sure inflated to capacity and refill if needed
  • Use fitted sheet for added comfort and grip

Air pump problems:

  • Clean valve connection and retry
  • Ensure properly powered – charge battery, use wall outlet
  • Contact manufacturer if issues persist after troubleshooting

Most common air mattress issues stem from small leaks or pumps not creating a complete air seal.

Frequently Asked Questions About Air Mattresses for Camping:

How do you find air leaks in an air mattress?

Submerge fully inflated air mattress in bath or pool and look for air bubbles escaping out of holes. Also listen for hissing sound and feel for air movement.

How to fix a leak in an air mattress temporarily?

For a temporary fix, apply duct tape, bandages or glue over the leak on the inside of the mattress. For a more permanent solution, patch larger holes from the inside using a repair kit.

Where is the best place to store an air mattress?

Store air mattresses folded or rolled loosely rather than tightly in a cool, dry place away from sharp objects. Make sure fully dried before storage to avoid mold.

Can you put an air mattress on the floor?

Air mattresses work fine on bare floors, but will be cooler. Use with blankets or sleeping pads for insulation and added cushioning. Avoid dragging on rough surfaces.

Originally posted on September 18, 2023 @ 7:48 pm

Author

  • Dr. Barry Jarvis

    Dr. Barry Jarvis is a renowned sleep specialist, dedicating their illustrious career to the intricate world of sleep medicine. Holding a medical degree from a prestigious institution, Dr. Jarvis has cultivated a deep understanding of the complex mechanisms that govern sleep and its pivotal role in overall health and well-being. With a compassionate approach and a meticulous eye for detail, Dr. Jarvis has helped countless individuals reclaim restful nights and vibrant days. Beyond their clinical expertise, they have contributed to groundbreaking research in sleep medicine, unraveling the mysteries of sleep disorders and pioneering innovative treatments that stand at the forefront of the field.

    View all posts

Dr. Barry Jarvis is a renowned sleep specialist, dedicating their illustrious career to the intricate world of sleep medicine. Holding a medical degree from a prestigious institution, Dr. Jarvis has cultivated a deep understanding of the complex mechanisms that govern sleep and its pivotal role in overall health and well-being. With a compassionate approach and a meticulous eye for detail, Dr. Jarvis has helped countless individuals reclaim restful nights and vibrant days. Beyond their clinical expertise, they have contributed to groundbreaking research in sleep medicine, unraveling the mysteries of sleep disorders and pioneering innovative treatments that stand at the forefront of the field.

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