The Best Air Mattress To Take Camping

As always in anything to do with camping, the Coleman name is going to be somewhere at the top of the list. They have been in the camping gear years for as long as can be remembered and their stuff has always been known for its dependability. However, Intex, AirBedz, and Serta are other name brands that make nice inflatable beds too.

But, What Kind of Mattress Do You Need?

What fits your needs will vary depending on whether you’re going car camping, backpacking in the woods, or anything in between.

Consider The Weight

If you’re looking for comfort and durability, go for a mattress that’s heavier. It will hold air longer than light inflatable mattresses, but it will also be difficult to carry the further away you get from your car or your home.

Inflation Methods

There are 4 basic inflation methods:


Hand pumps are smaller and easier to carry around with you.

Portable Pumps

Portable electric pumps are a little bulkier than hand or foot pumps. Some of them can be plugged into your car’s 12V outlet, but most of these will be AC powered and will need to be plugged into a normal electrical outlet at home.

Battery Powered

Some air mattresses will come with pumps built into them that will require 4 D batteries. This is great for when you don’t have access to an electrical outlet.

Self Inflating

Self-inflating air mattresses are easier to deal with than large ones, but they aren’t nearly as comfortable as other types. They’re very thin and lightweight and are more like a sleeping pad than a mattress.


Size is a big deal. Most single people will want a twin size model, while most couples will want a full or queen size mattress. But, if you want a larger mattress or an airbed cot, make sure your tent is big enough for it to fit.


Budget is a pretty hefty concern for most people, but everyone knows that if you buy too cheap, you get exactly what you paid for. Cheap items that look too good to be true probably are. It’s usually worth spending the extra money and making sure you have something that lasts than gambling on the less expensive products.

Ultralight Sleeping Pad by Hikenture

This is listed as a sleeping pad, but because it’s inflatable, we’re listing it here under mattresses. It best fits inside a mummy or envelope-style sleeping bag. It only weighs 1lb and if you have a good sleeping bag for your climate, its R value of 1.3 won’t be an issue. It has a maximum supported weight of 180lbs.

AirBedz Lite Full Truck Bed Air Mattress

This truck bed mattress is the best in its class. It fits 6′ to 8′ long truck beds, evenly distributes the weight and uses high grade PVC construction. Oh, and wheel wells? This mattress has sections cut out to fit around those.

Therm-A-Rest NeoAir Dream Mattress

There’s no other mattress like this one available that we’ve seen yet. It has a microfleece shell that wraps around a foam topper that sits on top of an inflatable mattress.  It includes the pump, sack, and repair kit.

Coleman Airbed Cot

Whether you want to sleep indoors or outdoors, this air mattress has you taken care of. The durable stainless steel frame can support 600lbs and includes 2 side tables. It includes a 4D battery pump for inflation.

Queen Size Also Available

Coleman Support Rest Air Bed

This twin size air mattress has an antimicrobial sleep surface; it helps prevent odor and mildew from forming on the product. It has a built-in 120V pump that can inflate the bed for you in less than 2 minutes. The inner support system is made of air coils, so you’ll feel much more supported while you’re asleep. The outer edge is also raised so you don’t keep losing your pillows!

Intex Ultra Daybed Inflatable Lounge

It’s big, it’s round, and it has an extra strong laminated bottom so it doesn’t puncture as easily as other air mattresses do. It’s made for lounging around in, but who says you can’t take it with you camping? Not I!

Serta Raised Air Mattress with Never Flat Pump

The Serta raised air mattress has 2 pumps that inflate your mattress automatically to the fullness that you select on the front of the unit and keeps it inflated as long as it’s on. It sports 35 coils (similar to the Insta-Bed EZ Bed below) for more support. Serta is a well known brand in sleep products and you can’t go wrong with it.

Insta-Bed EZ Bed – Queen

 This is a dual pump system that will keep your mattress inflated all night long; it has an auto-shut off feature so when your bed is fully inflated or deflated, it shuts off on its own. With this air mattress, you also have a sturdy frame so your mattress is never directly on the ground. Need the mattress inflated to a specific amount for comfort? The pump system has 3 preset inflation amounts, one of which is bound to fit your needs. No more guessing! It has 35 coils to keep the sleeping surface supportive and the top cover is washable.

The Insta-Bed EZ Bed and the Serta Raised Air Mattress appear to use the same exact dual pump system.

Air Mattress Maintenance Tips:

  • What you must keep in mind when you take an air mattress camping is should be handled with care. If possible, take along a pad to put underneath the mattress in your tent like an old bed comforter. Even if your tent has a bottom in in it, the extra pad under the mattress will help to keep rocks or sticks from poking into it while you are on it.
  • Before you put your tent up, clear away as many little rocks, sicks or other debris where your floor will be. Not only will it help protect your tent bottom and air mattress, it will be more comfortable to walk on if you’re barefoot.
  • Keep in mind that an air mattress is just that, an air mattress. It’s probably not going to be as comfortable as your bed at home, but I can tell you from my own experience, sleeping on air mattress when you’re camping is a dream come true compared to sleeping on the hard, cold ground in a sleeping bag! Take your repair kit along and your pump if your mattress requires one and you will enjoy sleeping much better.