Air Mattresses Guides

Best Air Mattress for Camping: Ultimate 2020 Buyer’s Guide

Camper Pumping Bed

Several years ago, camping was often referred to as roughing it, as people slept out under the stars or on the tent floor. However, these days we can enjoy a more comfortable camping experience. Using the best air mattress for camping can mean the difference between getting a good night’s rest and tossing and turning all night. The latest models on the market are durable, comfortable, and feature easy inflation and deflation, making them a cinch to use.

But, if you want to make sure you end up with a mattress that isn’t going to tear or start to deflate on you the first night or two of your camping trip, then you need to do a little research and make sure you purchase one that’s designed to last. That’s where I come in. This buyer’s guide will include all the features you need to look for that can indicate quality, how you can determine a model’s durability, which type of material is considered the most durable and long-lasting, and how to get the most out of your air mattress on your next camping trip. I’ve tested out many of the leading models on the market, narrowing it down to 6 air mattresses that you will never want to go camping without.

Below, you’ll find a comparison chart that includes each of the models that landed on my list, their best features, and how they rated.

Air Mattress for Camping Comparison Chart

ProductSizesPumpHeightRating
EnerPlex Luxury
Series Air Mattress

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2Battery9 Inches
Coleman Air Mattress

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1None18 Inches
Intex Dura-Beam
Elevated Airbed

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3Electric13 Inches
AirExpect Camping AirBed

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1Battery9 Inches
EZ INFLATE Luxury
Air Mattress

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2Electric16 Inches
Lunvon Queen
Air Mattress

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1Electric10 Inches

EnerPlex Luxury Series Air Mattress


Our Rating: (5/5)

According to the manufacturer, this bed can be inflated in as little as ninety seconds. If you’re looking for a fast and efficient setup, this bed delivers. The included wireless pump can inflate the mattress up to six times faster than an electric pump, with just a single charge. The mattress is designed using never leak technology, making this one of the most durable models on the market. The internal air mattress coils are designed to provide comfort that’s comparable to a traditional mattress. The nine-inch low-profile design also makes this model suitable for children and seniors. While the bed is designed for both outdoor and indoor use it can also be used while plugged into an outlet, via an AC adapter.

Unlike a standard bulky airbed, this model features a streamlined design that makes it easy to move and transport, even when it’s inflated.

Pros

  • Fast inflation time
  • Wireless pump
  • Durable
  • Leak proof technology
  • Thirty-day money-back guarantee

Cons

  • Difficult to inflate

Conclusion

This model is perfect for camping, guest room use, and can handle both indoor and outdoor conditions. The bed itself is comfortable and supportive, making it feel more like a traditional mattress. The rechargeable pump offers six inflations per charge, so you’ll only need to charge it up once before your camping trip. This durable bed is a great buy for campers on a budget or anyone in search of a comfortable airbed that can be used for the guestroom, a campout, and much more.

Coleman Air Mattress


Our Rating: (4.5/5)

This heavy-duty air mattress offers top of the line back support as the coil construction works to mold to the contours of the body for improved comfort and support. The mattress itself is double high. This type of extra height makes it much easier for users to get in and out of the bed. The top of the bed is covered with a faux velvet material that’s soft to the touch. The reinforced design offers better than average stability. The valves are double sealed, which prevents the mattress from leaking during the night. It has a max user weight of six hundred pounds, which is impressive for a mattress of this size. The easy inflation process allows you to air up the bed quickly and efficiently. Unfortunately, this model doesn’t come with its own pump, so you’ll have to purchase one separately. The bed comes with its own carry bag, so once it has been deflated, all you have to do is roll it up and store it inside the carry bag for easy transport.

Pros

  • Double high mattress
  • Durable
  • Carry bag included
  • Coil construction molds to the contours of the body for improved support

Cons

  • Does not come with a pump

Conclusion

This model is easy to inflate, features an airtight system that has been factory tested against leaks, and offers a support lock reinforced design that will prevent the bed from leaking throughout the night, offering a stable and supportive sleeping surface. This bed is also a cinch to clean after a long camping trip. all you have to do is remove the quilted top and toss it in the wash. The included carry bag allows you to easily store the bed when not in use and also makes transporting it a cinch. Like other Coleman products, it’s clear that this is a bed that’s designed to last.

Intex Dura-Beam Deluxe Comfort Elevated Airbed


Our Rating: (4.5/5)

This model comes equipped with a built-in internal pump that offers 120 volts of power. The pump can easily inflate the mattress with just a push of a button, with an inflation time of three minutes. The sides of the bed are flocked. This design makes the bed abrasion and puncture resistant. This model has a lower max user weight compared to other models I’ve reviewed, coming in at 300 pounds. The built-in electric pump can make this model a poor choice if you’re not camping at a campsite that has an electric outlet. However, if you’re bringing a generator along, or you are at a modern campsite, then this model will allow you to quickly set up your sleeping space in a matter of minutes.

Pros

  • Built-in pump
  • Easy to inflate
  • Abrasion and puncture resistant
  • Affordable

Cons

  • Low max user weight
  • Must use a generator or camp at a modern campsite in order to inflate the mattress

Conclusion

This model isn’t the best choice for backcountry camping, unless you bring along a generator. The durable, puncture and abrasion-resistant design make it suitable for outdoor use, while the spacious sleeping surface can accommodate up to two adults. While this isn’t the toughest model in my lineup, it’s a solid choice for the camper on a tight budget and anyone who needs a bed that’s easy to set up, deflate, and store.

AirExpect Camping AirBed


Our Rating: (4.5/5)

The PCV flocked top provides an extra layer of warmth in colder temperatures. The height of the mattress is nine inches, which will put plenty of space between you and the ground. This is a twin-sized mattress that has a high max user weight of six hundred pounds. The 0.45 millimeter extra-thick nontoxic PVC material is waterproof and puncture resistant. The air mattress is equipped with an internal air coil system that’s designed to provide top of the line support for the body, promoting spine alignment and allowing you to rest easy at night. The included pump is battery powered and designed to inflate the mattress in just ninety seconds. The bed’s airtight seals will prevent the mattress from leaking air during the night, so you won’t have to inflate it daily.

Pros

  • Battery-powered pump
  • High max user weight
  • Made out of thick PVC material
  • Puncture and water-resistant

Cons

  • One size option available

Conclusion

This twin-sized airbed is perfect for any camping adventure. The included battery powered pump will inflate the mattress in as little as ninety seconds, allowing for a faster than average setup time. The puncture-resistant and water-resistant mattress is designed to handle even rocky terrain, so you can rest easy at night and enjoy sleeping on a supportive mattress that will keep you warm and comfortable in both hot and cold weather.

EZ INFLATE Luxury Air Mattress


Our Rating: (4.5/5)

This durable, easy to inflate mattress can handle up to six hundred pounds, is designed to maximize sleep space, and comes with a soft flocked top, complete with rounded edges. The coil beam technology offers better than average support and stability, promoting a good night’s sleep. The mattress measures in at sixteen inches tall and features a waterproof top and a built-in pump for a fast ninety-second inflation time. The drawback about the pump design is that it needs to be plugged into a power source. So, if you’re bringing along a generator or you’re camping at a modern campsite, one that has a power source, then this model is a great buy. If you plan on using this model in the backcountry, then you’ll need to plan on bringing a generator along.

Pros

  • Thirty-day money-back guarantee
  • High max user weight
  • Offers excellent back support
  • Fast inflation

Cons

  • Begins to lose air after a few months

Conclusion

This durable, double height mattress comes with a built-in pump, a two-year product warranty, and a thirty-day, money-back guarantee. It features a durable rugged design, which makes it an excellent choice for outdoor use. The large, supportive surface will also provide a more comfortable sleeping experience, even when you’re supposed to be camping out and roughing it. Built tough and covered by a two-year warranty, this bed is a great investment for the avid camper.

Lunvon Queen Air Mattress


Our Rating: (4/5)

This airbed is specifically designed with the camper in mind and is made out of extra thick nontoxic PVC material that’s designed to improve durability. The mattress is ten-inches high and will insulate the user from the wet, cold ground. The bed uses an electric pump for a faster inflation time of three minutes and thirty seconds. The top of the bed is equipped with waterproof flocked material that’s designed to keep the surface of the mattress dry. The bed’s double layer construction and top of the line material will ensure this bed lasts season after season.

Pros

  • Fast inflation time
  • Includes electric pump
  • Carry bag
  • Easy to clean

Cons

  • One size option only

Conclusion

This bed is perfect for camping at a modern campsite, but since it comes with an electric pump, if you’re planning on heading out to the backcountry, you’ll need to purchase a battery powered or manual pump. The bed itself is durable, easy to clean and maintain, and designed for the avid camper on a tight budget.

Air Mattress for Camping Buyer’s Guide

While roughing it in the backcountry can be a rewarding experience in itself, you’re probably not looking forward to tossing and turning all night or waking up with an aching body and a sore back. Using an air mattress when you’re camping can eliminate all of these problems. So, not only will you sleep better at night, but you’ll also wake up feeling refreshed. Finding a durable air mattress, one that can handle camping life, can take plenty of research. This buyer’s guide will go over all the must-have features to look for before you hit that buy now button. But before I delve into the features that can make all the difference in terms of air mattress quality, first, I’ll go over the many benefits you can enjoy when you take an air mattress with you on your next outing.

Benefits of Using an Air Mattress for Camping

man blowing air

  • When you bring along an air mattress on your camping trip this means you’ll wake up in the morning refreshed and ready for the day.
  • Many campers will agree that an air mattress can have a major positive impact on the quality of their sleep when they’re camping out.
  • Those new to camping are probably familiar with how to use an air mattress, and how to inflate and deflate them. Bringing along an air mattress makes camping out simple. These mattresses are very easy to pack and store, and most models are made out of a thick durable vinyl material. Unlike when dealing with camping cots that require metal supports, you don’t need to bring along extra gear to use with an air mattress.
  • Sleeping pads or cots can take up plenty of storage space. If you’re planning a big camping trip, then space will definitely be an issue. Fortunately, air mattresses are very easy to store. In fact, they roll up into a very compact package so you can bring more than one along on your next adventure. Fortunately, storing them when they’re not in use is also very easy. In terms of maintenance, they don’t require much other than a cleaning before they’re stored. And that’s it.
  • If you’re planning on hiking a mile or two from where you parked your vehicle, then the last thing you want to bring along is a heavy camping cot or a bulky camping pad. Many of the latest air mattresses on the market come with a carrying bag complete with handles so all you have to do is swing the bag over your shoulder and carry this lightweight bundle to your campsite.
  • In most cases, cots and sleeping bags that are designed for camping are meant for single sleepers only.
  • Air mattresses are available in a variety of sizes and can sleep 1-4 people depending on the size you choose. This will allow you to pick out a model based on how many people will use it and the size of your tent. Most brands offer queen, double, twin, and single sizes.
  • Buyers will also have total control over choosing a bed that offers the right weight capacity. So, before you buy make sure you take a look at the spec sheet and check out the model’s weight limit. Many of these models are built tough and can have a max weight of over 600 pounds.
  • A high-quality model can be just as comfortable as a traditional bed. Unlike when you’re lying on a cot or sleeping pad, with an air mattress you’re lifted far off the ground so you will not feel the hard surface or uneven terrain in your back.
  • Sleeping off the ground can protect you from hungry insects that will invade your tent as you sleep.
  • Unlike camping cots, these mattresses are very affordable. Even the family on a tight budget can afford one or two new air mattresses for their next camping trip.
  • Since you’ll be in total control of how much air you use to fill up the mattress you can also adjust a model’s firmness. If you want a softer sleeping space, then you can remove some of the air. For a firmer sleeping surface you’ll simply inflate the mattress all the way.

Other Important Features

When you’re shopping around for a new air mattress there will be many features to look for including material type, durability, size, and weight capacity. Below, I’ll go over many of these important features in order to help you find the perfect model for your next camping trip.

Types of Air Mattresses

Air mattresses have come a long way over the past few years. In the past, sleeping on one of these beds didn’t guarantee you’d sleep great, in fact, you were probably better off sleeping on the cold hard ground. Today, there are many new styles available to choose from that use innovative technology and modern materials to ensure you sleep just as well as you do at home. But deciding which type of air mattress to choose will be more a matter of personal preference, since some campers will prefer an ultra-firm mattress, a model loaded with features, or a basic, softer mattress that allows them to enjoy being surrounded by a cushioned comfortable bed.

Raised

Many people prefer beds that are raised, since this can make it much easier to get in and out of the bed. Raised models look similar to a traditional mattress once they have been inflated. Many campers swear they’re also just as comfortable as their beds back home.

Memory Foam

If you’re planning on staying at your campsite for a few weeks or even the whole summer, then a model made with memory foam is the way to go. Some of these beds come equipped with a remote control that allows you to control the firmness of the bed. These models are similar to traditional memory foam beds and are designed to adjust to the contours of the user’s body in order to provide the most comfortable sleeping experience possible. Of course, these beds are more expensive than your standard air mattress, but most buyers can agree that they’re worth every penny.

Framed

Framed models are popular with campers who want to put a few feet between themselves and the ground. The frames are often made out of metal and are easy to set up and highly portable.

Self-Inflating

This type features an internal pump that allows you to instantly inflate, deflate, or adjust the firmness of the mattress with the touch of a button. However, if you’re at a campsite that doesn’t have power outlets, then this type of mattress isn’t very practical. Yet, many campers claim that this mattress is among the most durable. These models are made out of heavy-duty materials and are able to easily handle uneven surfaces and rocky terrain.

Size

Air mattresses are available in a wide range of sizes including twin, full, double, and queen.  However, I still recommend taking a close look at the product dimensions to ensure that the mattress you’re choosing will fit inside your tent.

Weight Capacity

girl pumping a mattress

Air mattresses will come equipped with a weight capacity. The max weight capacity will indicate how much weight the mattress is able to handle. The weight range can be directly impacted by the quality of the mattress, the size, and the types of materials used. In most cases the weight capacity will range from 200 pounds up to 600 pounds. However this can vary from brand to brand.

Support

An air mattress for camping is only as good as the comfort it provides. The mattress should provide the right level of support, so you don’t wake up sore in the morning. Search for a model that provides even air distribution, which will prevent bubbles and uneven surfaces. Models that come equipped with chambers or internal air coils can offer the most comfort, making them a great choice for people in need of a more supportive mattress.

Height

The height of the mattress is another important consideration. If you’re placing the mattress directly on the tent floor, then you want a thicker mattress, since this will prevent you from feeling the hard surface below you. Additionally, a taller mattress will make it easier to get in and out of bed, especially for people with back problems or arthritis.

Material

Most modern air mattresses are made out of thick PVC. This material is durable, affordable, and waterproof.

Urethane Plastic

Urethane plastic is a type of synthetic material that’s more commonly being used to make air mattresses. It’s very similar to PVC and is easy to maintain. However, it’s much softer and more durable. While beds that are made out of this material are more expensive, they also have a reputation for providing a more comfortable sleeping experience.

Thermoplastic Urethane

Thermoplastic urethane is said to be the best material. To begin with, it’s much lighter than the alternative materials used and it’s also highly abrasion resistant. Mattresses that are made out of this material are the priciest, yet considering the durability, these beds are a great choice for longer camping trips and offer a sleeping experience that’s comparable to that of a traditional mattress.

Each type of material offers their own pros and cons. Of course, for some, the higher cost will be the biggest drawback. It’s possible to find models made out of PVC that offer the same type of durability as these higher priced materials, yet PVC definitely lacks the type of comfort many buyers are looking for. This won’t be quite as important for those short camping trips, but for the serious camper who is planning a month-long trip, comfort will be everything.

Pumps

You’ll find that some models will come with a hand pump or an electric pump. Obviously, the electric pumps will allow you to quickly inflate your bed, but if you’re camping out in the backcountry and don’t have electricity, then you’ll need to plan on packing a hand pump. Hand pumps can be difficult to use, especially those that are included with low-quality air mattresses. Manually inflating an air mattress can be back breaking work, which can make them a poor choice for users with arthritis. In cases such as these, purchasing a battery-powered pump is a great choice. Unfortunately, not many manufacturers will include this type of pump with their air mattresses.

Patch Repair Kits

Accidents happen. Since these beds are inflatable, having a patch repair kit on hand in the event of a puncture is always a wise move. Fortunately, some higher priced models will come with a patch repair kit included in the package. If the model you choose doesn’t, then I recommend purchasing a repair kit separately and taking it with you on your next camping trip.

Price

Standard air mattresses are very affordable and can be found for $30 and up. These are the mattresses that can handle a few days of camping, but they’re not designed for extended use. If you want to invest in a durable model, and one that will provide more back support, then you can expect to pay more, with prices that range from $50 up to around $150.

Warranty

If you’re buying a low-quality air mattress, then it’s unlikely that it will be covered by any type of warranty. Higher priced models, such as self-inflating or memory foam mattresses will often come with a six to twelve-month warranty. This will give buyer’s a little peace of mind knowing they can return a model, should it prove to be defective.

Tent Compatibility

Whether you already have a tent, or you’re shopping for a new tent as well as an air mattress, make sure that the tent you use for your camping trip is compatible with your mattress. Keep the dimensions of the mattress handy so you can compare them to that of the tents. Many tent manufacturers will clearly list what size of air mattress a tent can accommodate. Bigger tents may list that they can handle up to two queen sized air mattresses. Keep in mind, in a tent, these beds can take up quite a bit of walking space, so if you’re traveling with a large party, you may want to purchase an extra tent to store all of your gear and supplies.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is an Air Mattress Good for Camping?

Many of the leading air mattresses are a great choice for camping, especially for people with arthritis, back pain, or issues with getting up off a cold tent floor. An air mattress can provide a comfortable and supportive place to sleep when you’re roughing it outdoors and offers just a taste of the type of comfort you’re used to back home.

Is it Okay to Sleep on an Air Mattress Every Night?

Low-quality air mattresses can make existing back pain worse, since these mattresses don’t usually offer much in terms of back support. However, many of the latest air mattress designs now provide a more supportive sleeping surface, which can make certain models okay to use nightly and for the long-term.

Are Self-Inflating Air Mattresses Comfortable?

Yes, especially those that are available in full and queen sizes. These beds provide a comfortable sleeping surface and much needed insulation for the cold ground, so you’ll stay nice and warm, even in lower temperatures.

Why is My Air Mattress Deflating but no Holes?

Some models will begin to deflate during the night due to the pressure placed on them or the temperature. Many lower priced models are not airtight, which is why it’s so important to invest in a high-quality model, especially if you’re planning a longer camping adventure.

Why Does My New Air Mattress Keep Deflating?

If you’re camping out during the winter or in colder temperatures, then waking up to find that your air mattress has deflated slightly during the night is very common, since cold weather can cause the air that’s inside of the mattress to condense.

Final Thoughts

The best air mattress for camping should provide a comfortable sleeping surface, a durable design, and can provide a sleeping experience that’s similar to what you’ll get back at home using your traditional mattress. Of course, not all models are created equal, which is why it’s so important that buyers know more about what features to look for, how to determine if a model they’re interested in is designed to handle the rugged conditions of the backcountry, and which models are currently crushing the competition. This guide and my product recommendations will help you find the perfect air mattress for your next camping trip, one that will work for your specific sleeping needs, tent size, and budget.