The Best Air Mattress For Camping Of 2024 | Top 7 Camping Air Mattresses

Sleep more soundly with the best air mattress for camping in 2024. Find out which camping air mattresses will give you the best night’s rest on your next camping adventure!

Having the best air mattress for camping will offer you more rest and comfort while you head out to enjoy the outdoor world. And while an air mattress may not be at the top of the list of hiking essentials, it’s great if you plan to do any car camping.

With so many camping mattress options available, we’ve narrowed our list down to the top 7 that we think are worth your investment.

We’ve thoroughly researched and sampled a variety of camping mattresses and are confident that you’ll find the perfect one that meets your specific wants and needs.

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Our Pick – Alps Mountaineering Vertex

2-Way Electric Pump

Lightweight and Durable

Multiple Sizes

Other Great Options…

7 Best Camping Mattresses At A Glance



Packed Size(LxW)

Inflated Size(in)

Weight (lbs)

Weight Capacity (lbs)

Inflation Method

$150 - $175





 Electric pump

$150 - $200





Electric pump

$40 - $50





Pump not included

$75 - $100





Electric Pump 

$175 - $250






$300 - $350





Self inflating

$225 - $275





Self inflating

The Best Air Mattress for Camping – Our Expert Guide

We took a look at air mattresses big and small to provide a full spectrum of information to help you make the best buying decision.

These mats scored highly across the board in key factors like portability, comfort, insulation and inflation to prove themselves essential to providing a great night’s sleep. 

NOMADasaurus Pick: Alps Mountaineering Vertex

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  • Price Range: $150 – $175
  • Inflated Size: 80 x 39 x 6 in
  • Weight Capacity: 250 lbs
  • Inflation Method: Electric Pump

The Alps Mountaineering Vertex mattress for camping can comfortably fit two to serve as the best way to end a great day outside.

It’s our editor’s choice for its affordability and efficiency, but there’s a whole lot going on underneath the hood to make this good mattress great.

Anyone who doesn’t want to rely on a hand pump will love the battery-operated pump that can also be hooked up to an extension cord for one of the quickest inflates in the business.

At a flip of a switch, this same pump can work to deflate your mattress in a hurry, so you can sleep in and still head out on time.

You can choose between twin and queen sizes, neither one of which is setting any lightweight records. Still, the comfort-to-weight ratio is fantastic, especially the queen-size air bed, which only weighs 6.4 lbs.


  • Three-way external pump
  • The PVC-free fabric stays puncture resistant
  • Queen-sized mattress is small enough to carry a kilometer or two from the carpark


  • The air pump can be questionable
  • Not big enough for 2 people
  • Known to be a bit uncomfortable

READ NEXT: Check out our buyer’s guide for the best camping tents!

Coleman Camping Cot 

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  • Price Range: $150 – $200
  • Inflated Size: 74 x 24 x 7 in
  • Weight Capacity: 300 lbs
  • Inflation Method: Electric Pump

Sometimes you’ve got to lift things up off the cold ground to get a good night’s sleep. While you can’t bring a bed frame on your camping trip, this Coleman Camping Cot will simulate the feeling at a fraction of the weight.

The cot ships with its own external pump and oversized carry bag. To make the woods feel even more like home, this air mattress even comes with a side table complete with a cup holder.

Coleman is the king of affordable luxury in the great outdoors. This isn’t the most portable sleeping space on our list, but there is a certain charm to the cot-style camping mattresses that car campers will find as comfortable as their actual bed.


  • The closest thing on our list to sleeping at home
  • A splash of extra width makes this a true queen-sized mattress 
  • The cot can separate from the mattress to effectively double your amount of sleeping space 


  • Steel beams make the air mattress too heavy to carry far 
  • It’s a tight fit to get the mattress back inside the carrying case 

Intex Classic 

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  • Price Range: $40 – $50
  • Inflated Size: 80 x 60 x 8.7 in
  • Weight Capacity: 600 lbs
  • Inflation Method: Pump not included

If you don’t want to shell out the big bucks for a queen mattress, this simple beauty by Intex has everything you need for under $50.

The mattress even stretches things out a bit more than most air beds on our list to fit nicely with fitted sheets.

Alongside your comfortable air mattress, you’ll receive a set of inflatable pillows and a manual pump.

The sleeping surface is separated by wave beams that run vertically along the Intex air mattress to make it easier to sleep through your partner’s bathroom runs.

This air bed is a bonafide classic at a great price. While it might not have many perks that make it specifically built to be the best air mattress for camping, it brings along tons of value and simplicity that make it an essential aspect of any hallway closet or car camping trunk. 


  • The best camping air mattress for folks on a budget
  • Solid weight capacity
  • Built to fit nicely with fitted sheets 


  • No pump included
  • The built-in pillow won’t take you very far

READ NEXT: Be sure to grab a great sleeping bag to keep you comfy on your air mattress!

SoundAsleep Camping Series Air Mattress

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  • Price Range: $75 – $100
  • Inflated Size: 78 x 58 x 8 in
  • Weight Capacity: 300 lbs
  • Inflation Method: Electric Pump

The SoundAsleep Camping Series air mattress comes nine inches thick and fully insulated to offer a more relaxing experience than other air mattresses for camping.

A small battery-operated pump is ready for business, holding up to 24 hours of inflation per charge.

It only takes four minutes to fully inflate the camping air mattress.

Once you’ve got the Camping series air mattress inflated, you can rest easy thanks to the waterproof flocked top. These slightly ridged pressure points and a durable bottom lock your mattress into place and help pump comfort into uneven terrain.

The air mattress comes tent camping ready with a convenient carry bag that helps reduce things down a size or two.


  • I beam air coils help a sleeping bag fit quite snugly
  • The pump battery should last for a few camping trips, but it also comes with a car charger to fill it up on the road. 
  • A portable pump helps you deflate as well as inflate in a hurry


  • The pad’s simple inflation scheme doesn’t make for the most comfortable air mattress
  • The complete lack of insulation is limiting

Therm-A-Rest Neoair

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  • Price Range: $175 – $250
  • Inflated Size: 47 x 20 x 2.5 in
  • Weight Capacity: 265 lbs
  • Inflation Method: Lungs

The Therm-a-Rest Neoair is a good air mattress to take with you if your camping trip winds up far from the nearest car park as it is more of a sleeping pad than air mattress.

This pack is designed to sacrifice everything in the name of staying lightweight and has earned recognition as the best choice for ultralight missions and sleeping on the mountaintop.

You won’t find air mattresses with this kind of credentials very often.

This tiny sleeping pad scores highly with a 4.2 R-value, which ranks as one of the warmest possible insulation scores a camping mattress can offer. The camping air mattress is chock full of high-quality parts, with absolutely no bells and whistles.

The Therm A Rest Neoair doesn’t come with a built-in pump, but it won’t take much more than ten breaths to fill up the slight frame. A quality wing lock valve helps speed things up a breath or two.

This niche specialist is a high-tech backpacking choice that condenses down to a size smaller than a water bottle. 


  • The industry standard for self-inflating pad-style camping mattresses
  • Condenses down to a travel size smaller than a Nalgene bottle
  • The quality air lock valve helps you inflate this air mattress good and quick 


  • A bit too barebone for most casual excursions
  • You can hardly roll around on this sleeping mattress, you definitely can’t fit two no matter how much you snuggle

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE: Read our post on the best camping hammock as an alternative to an air mattress!

Exped Megamat

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  • Price Range: $300 – $350
  • Inflated Size: 74 x 41 x 4 in
  • Weight Capacity: 300 lbs
  • Inflation Method: Self-Inflating

When a lot of the best camping air mattresses started shedding weight to fit ultralight packing lists, Exped had better ideas.

This air bed zigs where the competition zags, going all in on comfort and pumping out one of the best ways to sleep comfortably while car camping.

If you’ve always skipped out on camping trips because you can’t imagine a way to get a good night’s sleep, these camping air mattresses may be your solution.

The Exped is rugged, durable, and packable, and the self-inflating sleeping pad takes care of the hard work for you once you get to camp.

The key to the comfort of this air mattress isn’t in fancy thermal foam or insane features, its quality construction. If you’re car camping or festival hopping, there is no need to cut back on the mattress size. Splurge for comfort and you’ll spend more nights outside. 


  • Reps the highest R-value of any queen-size air mattress on our list 
  • Available in many different sizes so you can find your perfect partner 
  • One of the only queen-size self-inflating mattresses


  • It’s a self-inflating sleeping pad, but you may have to finish it off with a few breaths of your own
  • Most expensive air mattresses for camping on our list 

Therm-a-Rest MondoKing

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  • Price Range: $225 – $275
  • Inflated Size: 79 x 25 x 5 in
  • Weight Capacity: 250 lbs
  • Inflation Method: Self-Inflating

This unit is a serious camping mattress. The Therm-a-Rest MondoKing packed loads of high-tech features that deliver the company’s warmest, most supportive mattress yet.

To top it all off, they added puncture-resistant 50-denier polyester to protect your investment.

The result is a full air mattress that might just be the best self-inflating air mattress for camping.

Newer models continue Mondoking’s rein by adding on a double lock valve that helps aid inflation without losing any air. An air pump or a fresh set of lungs will quickly inflate the inner, which is further boosted by 10 cm of thick memory foam.

Between the foam and your air lies the Stratacore. It helps make the MondoKing a waterproof air mattress by providing a continuous layer of ridged foam. This foam also brings in a wealth of weather protection.

At the cost of a few grams, this is one of the best air mattresses for staying comfortable through all sorts of foul weather. 


  • Solid R rating is perfect for car camping in colder temperatures
  • Square side walls give one sleeper enough space to roll around comfortably
  • The most comfortable single-person air mattresses on our list 


  • Not one of the lighter or most compact single-person air mattresses for camping 
  • Most expensive camping mattress on our list

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Choosing the Best Air Mattress for Camping 

Sleeping under the stars is even more relaxing with a comfy mattress supporting your slumber. The best air mattresses out there will combine with some lovely weather and a crackling campfire to turn any night outside into the real deal, and have everyone in your tent planning the next adventure over breakfast in the morning. 

The mattresses we discussed in this post cover all sorts of adventures and provide options for every budget. While money will always be a factor, we would implore you to take comfort more seriously when shopping for your air mattress. 

Anyone who thinks sleeping in a tent isn’t comfortable just hasn’t had the right air mattress underneath them. Once you get a taste of the air mattresses on our list, there won’t be enough weekends in the year to spend outside. 

Let’s narrow down the field and find the best air mattresses for your needs. You’ll have to balance your objectives with your budget to come up with your perfect night’s rest.

This section will break down the criteria that will make up our mattress match.

Choosing the right type

Each style does something better than any other option, but no one option achieves absolute perfection, so be prepared for a little give and take.

Foam pads

This style is more of a backpacking sleeping pad than a bonafide air mattress. In fact, no foam pads made our list today. That’s because they are generally very thin and a bit pointless unless you plan on camping miles from the nearest parking lot.

Even in that scenario, I’d rather have the Therm a rest Neoair than any foam pad on the market. 

Foam pads are old-school, lightweight camping mattresses that are made of dense foam. It makes for an incredibly fast deployment time, but you’ll likely have to strap a foam pad to the outside of your backpack. 

Some folks still swear by foam pads, but if you’re shopping for your first foray into camping air mattresses, I’d highly recommend shelling out a few extra dollars for something else.

Air Mattress Camping
The right type of air mattress can make any camping trip better!

Air Camping Mattress

Something else like an air-inflating pad, perhaps. This performance-oriented category combines the extra comfort of an air mattress with the packability and lightweight stature of a foam pad to make a new kind of backpacking and camping mattress. 

At one end, you’ll have loads of backpacking specialists that inflate in a matter of puffs and condense down to a size smaller than a water bottle. At the other end of the spectrum are air mattresses that come with immense pump operation schemes and can also be used as a spare bed if your mates have one too many. 

These pads are thicker than foam, which also brings more warmth to your campsite. Some modern air camping mattresses even pack in dense foam that works with the air to create a truly plush outdoor sleeping experience.

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE: Check out our list of the best camping gifts to give to a friend or to add to your packing list!

Self-inflating pads

Self-inflating air mattresses still have a few kinks to work out, but the potential is staggering. Nobody wants to lug a large pump with them into the woods, and even some car campers may have trouble finding a cord to inflate their air mattresses. 

These types of pads use compressible foam and two-way valves to condense down and quickly expand to support your weight. Current self-inflating pads will still likely require a few extra huffs and puffs, but they will be way easier to inflate than most traditional air mattresses. 

There are some serious pros to this category, but the high price point can be hard to justify unless you really want to get away from a plug-in. 

Choosing the Right Size

Most of the air mattresses we covered, save the Therm a Rest NeoAir and Mondoking (twin only) and the Intex air mattress (queen only), come in a few different sizes ranges very similar to your beds at home. 

You’ll have to choose between Twin, Full and Queen sized mattresses to support your adventure. Obviously, twin-sized mattresses will condense to a smaller size but will have no chance of supporting two people. Queen sizes can be a bit unwieldy to carry and may have trouble fitting into truck beds. 

Unless your queen-sized mattress is a true backpacking specialist, you’ll have no hope of hauling most larger sleeping pads more than a kilometre or two from your car.

It’s unfortunate, as sleeping together on two different sleeping pads isn’t ideal, but you’ll have to choose your size based on how much distance you plan on covering. 

You may notice that some companies get a bit liberal when describing their mattresses as queen beds. Most queen-sized camping mattresses will feel more like a full or double-sized mattress at home, but camping is more fun with a bit of snuggling involved anyways. 


Whether inflated by air or self-inflating, thicker is always a bit better. Unless your mattress is 6+ inches filled with nothing but air, the more cushion in your mattress, the better.

However, there’s a reason why you have to choose a camping mattress specialist, space is limited! The thicker your mattress is, the heavier it will be also, so you’ll have to strike your own balance. 

If I’ve been walking all day and am dog-tired by the time I get to camp, I could care less about my sleeping pad thickness as long as it gets me off the ground. But if I’m posting up close to my transporter, I’ll make sure my air mattress has an extra few vertical inches of ‘aaaaah’ space. 

Obviously, your camping trip would be more comfortable if you could make a sleep number bed fit into a tent, but until then you may have to sacrifice some thickness for portability.

Still, look for sleeping pads that get creative to provide a bit more cushion between you and the ground, like adding special patterns or combining foam with air to create a smooth sleeping surface. 

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE: Consider buying the best sleeping pad as an alternative to an air mattress!


R-values are a measure of how well your sleeping holds up against cold weather. The rating scores your air mattress against thermal resistance and defines how well it prevents the cold ground from leaking into your sleeping bag. 

As a general rule of thumb, an R-value of 2.0 or less is okay for summertime, late spring, and early fall. You shouldn’t bank on anything with an R-value of less than 5.0 for winter camping. And if you plan on setting up camp close to some snowfall, don’t bring anything less than 7.0 with you. 

Camping In The Snow
You need good quality camping gear if you’re camping in cold weather.


Modern camping equipment is all about cutting down on weight. It makes a lot of sense at first glance. High-quality materials allow you to carry less without sacrificing quality, and why not look to cut down on your pack at every corner? 

While it’s true that leaner is meaner, it only really matters if you plan on hiking off into the sunset. 

What difference does a pound or two truly make when car camping? Nobody is advocating for you to bring your exercise equipment or even the kitchen table. But some folks have decided that a good night’s sleep is more important than a light load. 

It’s up to you to decide on your own adventure. There are a few options that are ultra-portable and still very comfortable, but they won’t come cheap. Between budget, comfort, and portability, you can often choose two, but you can rarely choose three. 

It all comes down to what you have to pack your air mattress in and how far you plan on walking. Nobody loves taking a second trip even if the camp is just a few hundred feet from the car. So be sure to factor in how compact your sleeping mattress can condense down to. 

Smaller packed size works the same way as weight. You can either spend big, sleep less, or suck it up and take a second trip. 

Inflation Method

This is a pretty crucial consideration to make when shopping for your air mattress. An airbed at home doesn’t feature the same kinds of variability.

No matter which mattress you choose, you’ll have plenty of outlets handy to deploy your sleeping situation. That’s not always the case in the woods.

Electric Pump

If you’re lucky enough to have a favorite campsite that is within an extension cord of some sweet 120 Volt electricity, you can bring along just about any air mattress you’d like. Car campers can also easily find mattress pumps that connect to your starter battery through the cigarette lighter.

Choose a pump with an applicable plug, and the strain on your battery will be minimal while you watch your bed inflate in seconds. 

Battery-Operated Pump

Either through rechargeable batteries or hefty D-batteries, there are a few pump options that bring the power far away from the car. These pumps can hold a charge through plenty of fill-ups. So even if you’ve got a leaky air mattress you can get through a long weekend away.

Most of them aren’t quite ergonomic enough to make it far from the parking lot, but they are a great choice for most campground and festival camping. 


Ahh, the old-fashioned way. There are a few air mattresses that you can blow up with nothing more than the power of your lungs, although I wouldn’t expect a great night’s sleep from anything that light. 

There are also plenty of hand and foot pump options that will only require a few minutes of sweat to set up shop. 

Camping Stars
Make sure you get the right camping air mattress for you!


Nothing left to do now but start shopping and start packing. Any air mattress on our list is a tent and sleeping bag away from a good night’s sleep in the great outdoors.

If you want to get into the backcountry without sacrifice, our editor’s choice Alps Vertex is the comfiest thing that’s happened to backpacking and car camping alike in a long time. 

NOMADasaurus Pick

Alps Mountaineering Vertex

Lay down to rest on this cushy mattress, and you’re in a seriously comfortable night’s sleep.

This is a no-nonsense air mattress that won’t deflate on you while bringing on plenty of cushion in a hurry. 

The built-in electric pump inflates in under three minutes and stows away in less than two, and the lush sleeping surface brings it all together. 

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Alesha and Jarryd

Hey! We are Alesha and Jarryd, the award-winning writers and professional photographers behind this blog. We have been travelling the world together since 2008, with a passion for adventure travel and sustainable tourism. Through our stories and images we promote exciting off-the-beaten-path destinations and fascinating cultures as we go. As one of the world's leading travel journalists, our content and adventures have been featured by National Geographic, Lonely Planet, CNN, BBC, Forbes, Business Insider, Washington Post, Yahoo!, BuzzFeed, Channel 7, Channel 10, ABC, The Guardian, and plenty other publications. Follow our journey in real time on Facebook, YouTube and Instagram.

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