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Best Air Mattress for Camping – Review and Buyers Guide for 2019

There is nothing quite like escaping into nature every once and a while. The breeze rustling the trees, the rushing water burbling over the rocks near your campsite, and of course the taste of perfectly roasted marshmallows in the middle of gooey s’mores all combine to make a relaxing get away trip. 

What isn’t so great about camping is sleeping in nature. The ground is always too cold or too hot. It gets really wet with the morning dew. There are bugs crawling around that can work their way into your gear. Even setting that aside, the rocks and twigs in the ground make for a very uncomfortable night and a sore wake up call in the morning.

That’s why most campers these days bring a mattress. The best camping mattress will be light enough to pack away but substantial enough to insulate you from all the problems that occur while sleeping on the ground. If you want to know what the best camping air mattresses all have in common, then this article is for you. 

We have reviewed the best inflatable mattresses available for you so you can decide on what to buy. Whether you’re looking for the best air mattress for everyday use or something you use on trips then stow away, you will learn the best air mattress for your needs as well as some helpful tips for buying in the future!

Best Inflatable Mattresses – Reviewed

With a flood of available air mattresses on the market, it can seem nearly impossible to sort out which ones are amazing and which ones fall flat. These are the top 4 air mattresses that we have tested and approved for various situations!

SportBB Portable Air Bed

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The SportBB Portable Air Bed is the best air mattress for everyday use. This mattress is extremely durable and loaded with some great features. It’s perfect for camping because it stores easily, and cleaning it simply requires wiping it down with a damp cloth. 

The mattress is extremely versatile, and can be used for nearly any situation. Along with the camping use, it can also be used for when guests come to visit. The raised height of the bed makes it much easier to get into and out of than floor level air mattresses, and provides support and protection against the cold, hard floor. 

OUR RATING

One of our main concerns with this purchase is that there isn’t a lot of information. It’s a relatively new air mattress, so it doesn’t have tons of buyer reviews online. On top of that, the information from the sales copy is very brief. There’s no way to know what the weight capacity, internal construction, thickness, and actual dimensions are due to some inconsistencies on delivery. 

Despite that, this mattress has always been very comfortable to sleep on at night. It doesn’t lose too much air, so you won’t wake up to discover that you’ve sunk into the middle of your mattress overnight and put enough pressure on your spine to cause a ton of back pain. 

The mattress also comes with its own pump, storage bag, and repair kit. This allows you to easily inflate it and to repair it if it gets any pricks or rips when you’re out in the woods. 

Insta-Bed Raised Air Mattress

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The Insta-bed Raised Air Mattress is the best rated air mattress on the market. To date, it has not received anything less than a full 5-star rating, and after trying it out it is easy to understand why everyone loves it. 

This is a raised, Queen sized air mattress, so if you take it camping you’ll need a bigger tent and it is probably more ideal for campsites that are close to the car, or have brought a generator for power instead of for campers who are backpacking alone without heavy equipment.

OUR RATING

This mattress is self inflating, so just tell it whether you want a plush, medium, or firm pressure when you sleep at night and it will set itself to your preferences. It also comes with a never flat system, so it uses sensors to determine whether the air has leaked enough to disrupt your firmness preference. If these pressure levels fall below a certain point, a secondary pump will kick in and automatically re-inflate your mattress until you’re back to proper form.

The only real complain we have about this mattress is that the PVC thickness isn’t listed. Based on support, we are pretty sure that the mattress is at least the recommended 0.4 mm thick, but we can’t guarantee this for you. 

We do love the fact that this mattress pulls you off the ground. While nature is really fun, waking up sore because you slept on a rock all night is not. The elevated level of this mattress feels almost as good as sleeping in a real bed! 

Vremi Inflatable Queen Air Mattress

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The best Queen air mattress available is the Vremi Inflatable Queen Air Mattress. This mattress is best for when you have company over and not enough beds, but it also works really well for campers who like to bring all the amenities to the woods with them. 

This air mattress is a way to bring your elderly family members with you when you camp. Normally, camping would be too difficult for guests who have a harder time with mobility, and sleeping on the ground with be out of the question for friends with arthritis. Thanks to this bed being a full 21 inches off the ground, your elderly family members can enter it as though they were sitting in a chair, and they will be so far off the ground that the temperatures and bumps won’t even be noticeable. 

OUR RATING

It’s also extremely durable and supportive. It has a 600-pound weight capacity and kids can even bounce on it without loss of air. It’s got a sturdy sleeping surface that fully supports an aligned spine, with no sinking into the mattress or having back issues due to more pressure on hips and shoulders than other areas of the body. 

The only real issue with this mattress is that it tends to lose a bit of air each night. While this would be an issue in a bedroom, it’s not really a big concern for camping trips. The amount of air it loses in a single night is negligible, and you can simply re-inflate it before bed if you’re camping for more than 1 night. 

Beautyrest Simmons Extraordinaire

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The Beautyrest Simmons Extraordinaire is both the best air mattress for guests and the best air mattress for camping! It is a Twin sized mattress that will fit inside tents, but raised enough to offer support for campers who don’t like sleeping on the ground. 

This mattress has a huge weight capacity. Even though it’s a Twin sized bed it can carry 700 pounds, which is 100 pounds more than the average queen sized air mattress! This makes it a fantastic option for campers who have limited space in their pack, because if you get into an emergency, it can easily hold you, a friend, and all of your gear if you need to use it as an emergency floatation device to paddle through a river. 

OUR RATING

The vinyl is a great material for the wilderness. It’s incredibly stable, so it won’t rock, sway, slip, or tip. It’s also an extra thick material that will be resistant to air loss, punctures, and ripping against rocks. If I doe happen to have issues, you can always use the repair kit it comes with to quickly mend small issues. 

It also offers a lot of support. It uses curved iFlex beams to mimic the construction of traditional mattresses. This means that it can respond properly to your pressure points instead of heavier points of your body sinking further into the mattress than other areas. 

The vinyl is a great material for the wilderness. It’s incredibly stable, so it won’t rock 

Camping Air Mattress Buyers Guide

If none of these mattresses are quite what you’re looking for, then there are a lot of available options out there. Here are some of the things to take note of when you do your comparison shopping. Knowing these things will help you find a high quality mattress.

Weight

Air mattresses can be either heavy or light depending on what materials are used to make them, how big they are, and other factors. Choosing the right weight will be largely dependent upon your needs and camping style.

Heavier air mattresses are built for comfort. If you hate low beds or sleeping on the ground, then the high rise, supportive mattresses will be better for you despite the added weight. These are made of thicker materials that offer more support to your back and they will usually be far more resistant to tears and punctures. These are ideal for people who camp close to home, or drive up to their campsites. 

Lightweight camping air mattresses are built for backpackers and hikers. These offer little more than insulation from the ground moisture, and although they will offer a little bit of cushion from the ground, they will offer very little support and still feel like roughing it. These are much easier to carry around and they roll tightly to attach to backpacks, so they’re also much more portable than thicker mattresses for longer hikes. You likely won’t want to use this for overnight guests or with kids on camping trips. 

Height

Air mattresses these days come in either high or low options. Each has its own benefits and drawbacks, so consider your needs carefully when making this decision.

Low Air Mattresses

Low mattresses tend to be only a few inches off the ground. These are usually the best option for camping, hiking, and backpacking, because they pack neatly into a tight roll that can be strapped to the outside of a backpack rather than taking up space inside the pack. They are also much more lightweight, so carrying them won’t be cumbersome. 

The drawback of these mattresses is that hey are often little more than insulation. They don’t offer the same level of support and comfort that raised mattresses do because of how thin they are. These will insulate you from the worst of the temperature issues but they won’t even cover up all the digs from rocks that may be on the ground underneath you. 

Raised Air Mattresses

Raised air mattresses are extremely comfortable. The elevated height will keep campers far enough off the ground that they won’t notice temperature extremes, be affected by morning dew and ground moisture, won’t have bugs crawling all over them, and won’t feel any rocks and twigs in the ground. Many of these models are at least as comfortable as traditional mattresses and beds!

The downside to these is that they are much heavier. They fit into bags, but many of them weigh 20 pounds or more. When you’re hiking upwards of 10 to 20 miles a day with all your supplies on your back, this is a significant amount of weight for a single item to add to your burden. On top of that, many of them require electric pumps to inflate. While campers who drive up to their sites can often run power from their car or bring a generator to power the campsite, backpackers do not often have the luxury of a strong enough power source in the middle of the woods to power up the mattress for the evening. 

Inflating your Air Mattress

You also want to look into how air mattresses inflate. If you’re buying a mattress for home use or glamping, then you very likely want an electric pump that inflates thick mattresses quickly. However, if you’re backpacking a significant distance, you may not have access to a power source for your trip and will need another way to inflate.

Almost no one uses their own breath to inflate camping air mattresses anymore. It takes forever, and they have developed quite a few small, lightweight pumps that will get the job done much more efficiently without taking more than their fair share in a pack. 

Electric pumps are ideal for camping spots that are right by the car, or for campers who have brought a generator with them to power their campsite. For hikers, the bulky electric pumps are too heavy and require a power source they don’t have. These campers should choose a hand or foot pump instead, like the ones used to inflate bicycle tires or soccer balls. 

Portable pumps are also important if you do go for electric pumps. Electric pumps take either AC or DC plugins. A DC plug can draw power from your car’s outlet, but the AC powered pump will need a wall outlet or generator.

You can also buy a battery powered pump. Some companies have begun making air mattress pumps that run off of 4D batteries. This is a great option for campers who wan a nice, inflatable mattress but don’t have access to generators or their car when in the wilderness.

Self inflating air mattresses have also become quite popular. These are very lightweight and easy to pack. These mattresses are great options for long distance hiking. They’re not very thick or comfortable, but they offer insulation from the ground. 

Size Matters

When you’re camping, you also need to factor in the size of your mattress. If you have a small single occupancy tent, you are very unlikely to be able to fit a large, raised platform mattress in the tent comfortably because you’ll end up with your face only a couple inches from the ceiling. Similarly, a Queen sized mattress is unlikely to fit into that tent at all. It’s going to start popping out the sides of your tent and leave you without any rom for storing supplies or changing. 

However, if you are camping with giant family tents, then a Queen mattress might fit better than multiple personal air mattresses. If you’re opting to sleep without a tent, and just putting up a little half shelter or bivouac, then you are free to choose any option you find comfortable. 

Budget

Naturally, your budget will also play a factor in determining the right camping air mattress for your needs. There are very good mattresses in every budget level, whether you want to invest in a top of the line, raised bed mattress that could replace a box spring mattress for daily use in your bedroom or a cheap but functional mattress for weekend camping trips. 

The main thing to remember is that the lower a mattress price is, the less likely it is to be as well constructed and the fewer features it will have. The way to save money with these is to look at what features you don’t need. If you’re willing to had pump a mattress, then you can get a decent quality mattress that is cheaper simply because it doesn’t have a built in pump rather than because of quality issues. 

Durability

No one wants to keep buying a new air mattress every time they go camping. This means that you want to buy a mattress that is durable the first time, to avoid issues down the road. Here are some of the things you need to know for durable mattresses. 

PVC Thickness

The thickness of an air mattress is a large part of what determines how durable a mattress can be. The PVC thickness is therefore one of the most important factors to check when making a purchasing decision. A minimum thickness of 0.4 mm is highly recommended, but it would be even better to ensure at lease 0.6 mm if you’re heavier or taking it into rougher conditions. 

Air Loss

Air loss occurs naturally due to factors such as humidity, temperature, and barometric pressures. This type of air loss is completely unavoidable. Usually, though, this is a negligible amount of air loss night to night. 

The main cause for leaking air mattresses that lose tons of pressure overnight is due to inferior quality in construction. You need to check the connection near your pumps and valves to make sure that air loss isn’t happening, because you will often not be able to detect such a low pressure leak immediately. Seams can also have leaks if they weren’t made well or bonded tightly together. Make sure you use a reputable brand and think about purchasing an air mattress with a never flat pump if you’re concerned with air loss. 

Rave Reviews

Another good way to judge the quality of a mattress is by reading reviews like this one. No one is better informed to tell you all about their authentic experience with the product than customers who have purchased and used it. 

Just remember that companies frequently change their construction process without changing the name of their product – especially if that product is a best seller with a fantastic reputation and a lot of consumer trust. Make sure you sort reviews by Most Recent to find out how the product is currently performing. 

Amenities

There are also other amenities to consider based on your situation and preferences. A lot of air mattresses come with flocked surfaces. These surfaces make the mattress feel much softer to the touch. They also keep the mattress from getting slippery, so your sheets and pillows will stay in place instead of popping out and flying across the campsite. 

Many air mattresses for camping also offer waterproof or water resistance surfaces. You may or may not need this feature, depending on where you choose to make camp and what the weather conditions are like when you go camping. 

Repair kits are a great feature to have, and most quality air mattresses will come with a repair kit. If you’re camping, the last thing you want is to be stuck in the middle of the woods with a torn or punctured air mattress. The repair kit allows you to patch the hole and continue using the mattress.

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