Best Camping Air Mattress - Gear Lobo (1)

Best Air Mattress for Camping (2018 Update)

For some folks, the main problem with camping is that sleeping can get really uncomfortable. Well, if you feel this way, then you probably haven’t tried one of the air mattresses we’re reviewing in our search for the best air mattress for camping. Today’s materials are so good that air mattresses feel almost like the ones we have at home.

The Quick Answer

If you just came here for the best air mattress for camping, plain and simple, here’s your quick answer: the SoundAsleep Dream Series Air Mattress.

It is the most comfortable, it is queen size so 2 people can sleep on it and comes with an electric pump that can be set to 3 levels of firmness. It is not the cheapest, but that’s the price you pay sometimes.

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Our Air Mattress Comparison

We’ve reviewed the best air mattresses for several different occasions and this is described to you in detail in the next section.

Okay, we get it, you are lazy and don’t care about the full reviews. Because we’re nice, we’ll break it down for you in this nice table.

Overall Pick
SoundAsleep Dream Series Air Mattress with ComfortCoil Technology & Internal High Capacity Pump - Queen Size
Lightspeed Outdoors 2 Person PVC-Free Air Bed Mattress (Gray/Blue) - Tranquilite
Shelterin Inflatable Car Air Mattress Camping Travel Car Air Bed Back Seat Extended Mattress Air Couch with Car air Pump, Children Safety Baffle and Two Air Pillows
Air Mattress with Built-in Electric Pump, Sable Twin size Inflatable Airbed for Camping, Travelling, Overnight Guests, Height 20 Inches
SoundAsleep Dream Series
Litespeed Outdoors 2 Person
Shelterin Inflatable Car Air Mattress
Sable Twin Size Inflatable Airbed
Dimensions
78 x 58 x 19
77.9 x 55.9 x 8
53.2 x 33.5 x 20.5
74 x 39 x 20
Weight (lb)
18.96
5.34
7.2
13.2
Inflating Pump
Electrical
Battery-powered
Car Connection
Electrical
Insulation
Yes
No
No
Yes
Additional Support
ComfortCoil Technology
No
No
Wave beam construction surface
Weight Limit (lb)
500
600
441
661
Overall Pick
SoundAsleep Dream Series Air Mattress with ComfortCoil Technology & Internal High Capacity Pump - Queen Size
SoundAsleep Dream Series
Dimensions
78 x 58 x 19
Weight (lb)
18.96
Inflating Pump
Electrical
Insulation
Yes
Additional Support
ComfortCoil Technology
Weight Limit (lb)
500
Lightspeed Outdoors 2 Person PVC-Free Air Bed Mattress (Gray/Blue) - Tranquilite
Litespeed Outdoors 2 Person
Dimensions
77.9 x 55.9 x 8
Weight (lb)
5.34
Inflating Pump
Battery-powered
Insulation
No
Additional Support
No
Weight Limit (lb)
600
Shelterin Inflatable Car Air Mattress Camping Travel Car Air Bed Back Seat Extended Mattress Air Couch with Car air Pump, Children Safety Baffle and Two Air Pillows
Shelterin Inflatable Car Air Mattress
Dimensions
53.2 x 33.5 x 20.5
Weight (lb)
7.2
Inflating Pump
Car Connection
Insulation
No
Additional Support
No
Weight Limit (lb)
441
Air Mattress with Built-in Electric Pump, Sable Twin size Inflatable Airbed for Camping, Travelling, Overnight Guests, Height 20 Inches
Sable Twin Size Inflatable Airbed
Dimensions
74 x 39 x 20
Weight (lb)
13.2
Inflating Pump
Electrical
Insulation
Yes
Additional Support
Wave beam construction surface
Weight Limit (lb)
661

Air Mattress Reviews

We’ve given you the quick answer, which is a perfectly fine solution for all occasions.

But it’s as they say, to each their own. If you like to get into the details and choose the perfect solution with a specific use in mind, read on.

1. Lightspeed Outdoors Deluxe TPU Air Mattress (Best for Backpacking)

The Lightspeed Outdoors Deluxe TPU air mattress is a great, versatile option for campers, and not just because it is the best backpacking air mattress. It has a modest price tag and desirable features: it is extremely light and portable but is still comfortable and allows enough room for two people.

It also includes a battery-powered pump, which is great for portability. While it may not be the best overall, it is the best if carrying space is a priority. Definitely not a bad way to do your next night in the great outdoors.

Pros

  • This mattress is extremely light at only 8.2 pounds
  • When deflated, it can be folded into a small roll, allowing you to carry it inside your camping backpack or the included carrying bag
  • You won’t find many 2-person air mattresses out there at this price
  • PVC-free and made of TPU, which is good if you care about the environment

Cons

The insulation is not as good as in other mattresses, which can make it chilly on cold nights.

Who It’s For

Get it if you’re looking for a portable way to have comfortable sleep. Also get it if you’re low on budget. As long as you’re not expecting cold nights, you’ll be fine.

In short, this baby is best for backpacking travelers who are traveling light. Or should we say, traveling Lightspeed? Well, you get the point.

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2. SoundAsleep Dream Series Air Mattress

Let’s take a look at the best queen air mattress for camping. We’re talking about the most comfortable queen-size mattress, hands-down, with no concerns about portability or price: the SoundAsleep Dream Series air mattress.

The price is at the higher end of air mattresses, but if you’re like some people, no money can buy a good night’s sleep, and that’s what you get with this mattress. It features a high-capacity pump (power outlet required) and a design based on individual air coils to provide optimum support. There is still an anti-slide bottom and a carrying bag. It doesn’t get much better than this.

Pros

  • The inflating pump can be set for three levels of firmness, depending on your preference
  • ComfortCoil design with 40 individual coils is a pleasure to sleep on
  • Full queen-size. Need we say more?

Cons

  • The price tag is not exactly friendly
  • It is not lightweight, weighing just a bit short of 19 pounds
  • The pump requires a power source. In short, portability is not its forte
  • It works well inside a tent, but the material isn’t made for outdoor use or direct contact with the ground as it could get damaged

Who It’s For

The Dream Series is simply the best air mattress for camping if comfort is your priority and your size is queen. If you have no limitations regarding budget and carrying space or convenience, get it and you won’t regret it.

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3. Shelterin Multifunctional Car Inflatable Mattress (Best for Car Camping)

No matter which way you look at it, the Shelterin multifunctional car inflatable mattress is the best air mattress for car camping. It can be used in a variety of ways, making it also the most versatile bed on this list. Multifunctional indeed.

Why do we say this? Well, first of all, the gray part of the mattress fits between the front and back seats, touching the car floor and providing you support. So far, so good. But turn it upside down and you get an inflatable sofa that you can lean back on! Not bad. Wait, there’s more? Yes, you can detach this part and turn it into a regular single-size bed! There are even a couple of inflatable pillows included. Very impressive.

Pros

  • We were amazed by the sheer number of applications
  • Can be used in the backseat of your car, as a sitting couch, and as a normal single-size air mattress
  • The pump can be connected to the car outlet (obviously)
  • The most affordable option on this list

Cons

  • Lacks a battery-powered pump
  • A bit heavy for the size

Who It’s For

This air mattress is good for lots of things. If you favor versatility and do not require a queen-size bed, this is a great option. It’s also the most budget-friendly bed. But remember, you’ll need a car to inflate it.

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4. Sable Twin Airbed (Best Twin Air Mattress)

Since we’re now talking about smaller mattresses, let’s take a look at the best twin air mattress for camping, which is the Sable Twin Airbed. Basically, this is to twin-size air mattresses as the SoundAsleep Dream Series is to queen-size air mattresses.

Granted, the Sable is roughly half the price of the SoundAsleep, but that’s because it is also half the size. All in all, it is an extremely comfortable mattress, thanks to the wave beam design. It comes with an electric pump that inflates it in 3 to 5 minutes, and a handy carrying bag.

Pros

  • High above the ground.
  • Excellent comfort and insulation.
  • Can hold up to 661 pounds.
  • Electric pump is included.

Cons

Almost as expensive as the much larger Lightspeed.

Who It’s For

The Sable is best for people who want the most comfortable twin-size air mattress out there regardless of price. If the best air mattress for camping comfort-wise is what you want, this is where you’ll get it.

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5. SoundAsleep Dream Series Air Mattress (Best Full Size)

We were out there in search of the best full-size air mattress, only to realize that we’d already found it! The best air mattress for camping, the SoundAsleep Dream Series, is also the best full-size air mattress all-around, be it for camping or not. It is just that comfortable.

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Buying Guide: What to Look for in Your Air Mattress for Camping

We’ve chosen the best air mattress for camping in five different categories, but this still might not be enough. There’s a saying that goes, don’t give a man the fish; instead, teach him how to fish. So now, we’ll teach you how to fish your own best air mattress for camping.

Comfort

This is probably the most important characteristic of an air mattress if it is to be called the best air mattress for camping. After all, if comfort wasn’t your priority, you’d probably be looking for a sleeping pad. They are cheaper and easier to carry, no?

When judging an air mattress’ firmness, there are a few things to pay attention to. If possible, lie on the mattress before buying it. Although it is not the same as sleeping for a whole night, it lets you have an idea of how comfortable it is.

You should also look for options that are framed, which means they’ll provide better support. One way to see if a mattress has a frame is to press down on one of the corners and see if it gives in too much. If it does, it is not framed.

Material

Air mattresses are filled with air, right? So far so good. Well, if there are leaks, the mattress will start losing air, meaning it won’t take long before it is filled with nothing.

Some air mattresses come with a leak repair kit, but more important than patching is preventing. And the best way to make sure an airbed won’t have leaks is to make sure the material it is made of is sturdy.

Another important feature may be the type of material that covers the top of the mattress. It should have a plush feel on the top surface. It will be more comfortable and less slippery than conventional rubber ones.

Size

What will you need the air mattress for? Do you want it for camping or do you just want to host some guests at home? Is it just for yourself or two people?

Other than that, you’ll also have to consider the space limitations you have, especially if you’re considering a queen-size mattress. If it is for camping, does it fit inside your tent? If it is for your home, can you fit it inside one of your rooms? Those are some things to think about.

Portability

When we’re talking size, we’re thinking more about an inflated air mattress, so portability is about the mattress’ size when it is deflated.

Are you going to carry the mattress around a lot? Do you have enough space to store it at home? Consider not only the volume of the deflated mattress but also its weight. Heavy materials are no good for backpacking.

If the mattress comes with any accessories, like an inflating pump, consider you’ll have to carry and store it too. If you’re going for portability, there are pumps powered by batteries which save you the trouble of looking for a power outlet.

Price

Price is always an aspect to consider, because everyone is looking for a good deal and nobody wants to waste money. But if an air mattress sounds too cheap to be any good, then it probably is.

That being said, there are certainly quality models that are more affordable than others. Also, consider the bed’s size: queen sizes will always be more expensive than twins. If a queen is priced the same as a twin, either the twin has an amazing quality, or the queen is a bit wanting.

Air Mattress for Camping FAQ

Is an air mattress good for your back?

This question doesn’t have a straightforward answer. However, we can say this: Air mattresses are not necessarily bad for your back and can even help with back pain (more on that here).

This varies a lot from person to person. Even if you were only considering conventional mattresses, they come in many different types and materials, which one person may love, and another may hate.

The fact is that air mattresses were usually seen as last resort solutions, but this isn’t the case anymore. Nowadays there are some great designs that can be even more comfortable than conventional mattresses.

How do I find a hole in my air mattress?

First of all, make sure that your mattress actually has a leak. Even the best air mattress loses some air over time, but if it completely deflates in a matter of minutes or a few hours, then it might have a leak.

If it does, try to find it by inflating the mattress and listening for hissing sounds. If you can’t, run your hand around the surface of the mattress to try and feel the escaping air. You can wet your hand to make it easier to feel.

Make sure to check the bottom surface of the mattress, which has a lot of potential for being scratched or damaged as the mattress is moved around during use.

Why is my air mattress cold?

Air mattresses aren’t very warm by nature. Let’s think of a simple rubber mattress, filled with air. Since the air moves inside the mattress, the cold air that is near the ground eventually makes its way up, coming in contact with your back. This happens more if the mattress doesn’t have enough height and can be uncomfortable on cold nights.

Some air mattresses offer an insulation layer, as well as a coating material on top to help prevent this effect. If you feel it still isn’t enough, you can put a sleeping pad or some kind of insulator between the mattress and the ground, as well as between the mattress and your body.

Conclusion

These are the most important aspects to consider. They should give you something to think about when doing your own search.

Meanwhile, we’ve also presented you with five mattresses that you can’t go wrong with, depending on the use you want to give them. Each has its own pros and cons, but this is only natural.

Want more camping gear? Check out our other reviews on:

Sleeping Bags

Camping Chairs

Camping Cots

Camping Tents

Hammocks

Camping Stoves

Lanterns

Camping Pillows

Camping Gifts

Vintage Camping Gear