If you love camping and sleeping under the stars, having a camping air mattress with you will add even more pleasure to your whole outdoor experience. It will help you have a peaceful and comfortable sleep wherever you are in the world and ensure that you wake up rested in the morning.

Choosing the best air mattress for camping involves taking plenty of aspects into consideration with one of the main ones being the size of the product, as you have to make sure that it is small enough to be used in the space that you have. Other key considerations include type, style, and weight among many other factors.

Thankfully we are here to help as we have looked through several camping air mattress reviews to show you the best camping mattresses on the market and have also written a buying guide to answer all of your questions. Once you’ve read this through you’ll have the confidence to choose the right camping air mattress for you.

How To Choose A Camping Air Mattress – Buying Guide



When it comes to the best air bed for camping, there are generally three types that you can get.

Inflatable: This is a type that will have to be inflated by either mouth or by an air pump so require that bit of effort in order to get them up to full capacity. This can take an extra bit of time when they compare with many other camping sleeping solutions.

All of the products on our list are this type and if you want to have the most comfortable night’s sleep then it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to get an air mattress which can be feasibly pumped up by your mouth without you passing out. Thankfully a lot of these products come with built-in pumps which can inflate them in a matter of minutes.

Those that don’t come with a built-in pump often come with an external pump so you can easily get it going. As there is only air in them, when they are fully deflated they are able to be packed away into a very small size, so they are highly portable.

Self-inflating: They are able to inflate themselves to a certain degree which can avoid the need for any time spent pumping your air mattress up. Once you open the valve then the pad will be able to expand on its own leaving you with a comfortable sleeping area.

These types of air mattresses for camping won’t have the same level of comfort as a full inflated model so you would need to bear that in mind. They also are generally heavier and bulkier than the inflating models so don’t have the same level of portability to them.

Closed-cell: A closed-cell foam model is transported easily as you can just lay it down and sleep without having the need to pump them up at the air will naturally fill out the foam.

These are generally very cheap but there are a few reasons why they wouldn’t be your mattress of choice. Firstly, the foam might not be as comfortable as other types of mattresses, and secondly, as there is no deflating of the product it can be a lot harder to carry and a lot bulkier.


One of the things that you need to consider before buying a mattress is what type of purpose that you are going to be using it for. Some of these air mattresses for camping are extremely comfortable and some people love being able to sleep on an air bed.

If this is you then it could well be the case that your mattress might not only be used for camping but also for your permanent bed as well. They have the ability to easily add bedsheets over them and will be able to easily give you a great night’s sleepover and over again.

There is also another reason why you might want to invest a little more in a mattress even if you aren’t going to use it as the main bed and that’s because it will also make the perfect guest bed for those who use their spare room for something else.

These are some great extra uses for an air bed but if you simply just want the most comfortable camping experience then they are also great for that as well. It could well be worth spending that little bit extra though as in the long-term it could work out to have multiple benefits that you might not even be thinking about yet.


The size of the product is something that you simply need to get right and it isn’t always as clear as simply just checking the width of your tent and seeing if your mattress is going to physically fit. Most of these products have been made for large luxury tents and for those who want more of a glamping experience. These types of tents generally have a lot of space in them so they will accommodate a large mattress. If you have a very large mattress that takes up nearly all of the space in your tent then this might not be the most comfortable of experiences as you’ll have nowhere to put your gear, get changed, or other such routines.

This can be a matter of personal preferences as you might just be comfortable having the largest sleeping space possible as you could be the type of person who needs a lot of room when they sleep. This is simply a case of planning out your camping situation and thinking in your mind about how much space you need on your bed and how much space you need around your bed. It might be for the best to match the size of your bed at home as then you wouldn’t have the need to buy any extra sheets.

Type of Pump

In terms of the most expensive product then that is going to be the type that comes with a built-in electric pump. There is a reason though that these cost a little bit extra and that is because they are extremely easy to use. You can simply press the button to let it run and in only a few minutes your mattress will be fully inflated. Some products come with a pump included for you to use while others you will have to buy it separately.

There is also the option of blowing it up with your moth but in reality, this isn’t really an option as it would be too difficult and take up too much time. There is also the option of a foot pump but even though this is possible, it’s going to require a lot of effort.

If you’re choosing one of these air beds then you want to be choosing one which has an electrical pump and it’s most ideal if this electric is powered by batteries so you don’t have to worry about plugging it into any outlet. Some pumps are rechargeable too and this can be done in your car which would make them even more convenient.


In order to get a high-profile airbed, you need to make sure that your tent would be tall enough to accommodate it. There is little use in getting a comfortable high bed if you are unable to sit upright once you are in it. You just need to ensure that the clearance above it is going to be enough for you.

The extra profile on some of these beds means that extra materials are also being used in order to make them higher and that extra material is going to add a lot more weight. If weight is going to be an issue for you then it would be a better idea to get a mattress which has a lower profile.

People get used to sleeping on a bed which has a large clearance from the ground and many find this to be a much more comfortable sleeping experience. If you ever plan to use your air bed as a main or guest bed then it’s probably a better idea to get one with a higher profile.

There are advantages to having a bed with a lower profile as well with one of those reasons being the fact that they are generally the cheaper of the two products. Not only that they are also lower in weight but also they are easy to transport. 


Most of this simply comes down to personal preference and there is not a lot of choices when it comes to colors and you also need to consider that a lot of people will be placing sheets over their air mattress anyway. One style option which might dictate your buying option is whether or not you want a product that has a built-in pillow section or not. Some people might like this idea of having that pillow support while others would just prefer to bring their own. Most of these products though look very similar and there is not a lot to choose between them in terms of style.

Mattress – Top

When it comes to the top of your air mattress there are a few boxes that you need it to tick before and one of those boxes is comfort. Not everyone would want to worry about bringing sheets with them to a camp so you want the top to be comfortable enough to easily sleep on without one.

This comfort comes from what is referred to as a soft flocking layer which is where small fibers are added to a surface and on an air mattress, this is crucial whether you use want sheets or not. That’s because if you don’t want them it makes it comfortable and if you do want them it gives you a non-slip surface.

You also want to check the texture of the layer on the top surface to ensure that it’s going to be comfortable for you and many of these products come with a lip around the side to make it even easier. As mentioned previously as well, some products come with in-built pillows while others are a lot flatter so you just need to decide what your preference is.

Mattress – Bottom

While you may not think that the bottom of your air mattress is too important, there are a few key things to consider before you get a mattress otherwise you could be left regretting your decision as it wasn’t quite what you expected.

One of these requirements is for the air mattress to be the complete opposite of the top in many respects as you don’t care about the comfort and instead you will only care about it protecting itself from any punctures that might occur. When you are camping, you are never quite sure what is going to be underneath the surface so you want a bottom that is thick enough to cope.

There is also the fact that the material that the bottom of your tent is made out of might be quite slippy and it certainly won’t be a surface that has a lot of grips. If the bottom of your mattress was made out of the same material then there is a good chance it could slide while you are trying to get in and out of it. Due to this, you want an air mattress bottom which isn’t going to slide around.

Packability And Weight

When you are camping, packability and weight are always going to be key but if you are using these types of air mattresses then it’s unlikely that you are going to be hiking or having to carry them any great distances.

You will still have to carry them to your camp though, store them and transport them into whatever vehicle you’re going to be in. The air mattresses with the high profile are going to have a higher weight and be harder to pack so you need to make sure that you’re going to have enough space for this.

A lot of these products appreciate the challenges of carrying them though which is why quite a few of them come with a duffel bag which can be very useful. If you’re worried about weight then it might be a better option to get a lower profile air mattress which will be easier to carry and store.

Understanding R-Value and Heat Loss

When it comes to camping and sleeping on anything then knowing its R-Value can be very important, especially if you’re going to be sleeping in a colder climate. The R-Value of a product is essential for how good the material is at blocking the flow of temperature from one place to another.

You want this number to be as high as possible if you are looking for insulation. If you are sleeping on the cold ground and a product has a very low R-Value then what it means that the cold ground is going to cool the air above it, which will then cool the air in the air bed before eventually being transferred to a cold area to sleep on which is obviously something that you don’t want.

This also works the other way around. Obviously, human bodies are very warm and you want to lose as little of that heat as possible when you are sleeping so, you ideally want an air mattress which isn’t going to dissipate that heat to the air below.

In terms of reducing heat loss as well, it’s ideal to have a product that is going to have chambers inside of it which will reduce the circulation of air. As you will have different sources of hot and cold coming into the air mattress it can create internal currents that can actually produce a wind-chill effect that you want to avoid.

All of this though is pretty irrelevant if you are a fair-weather camper and will only go out camping in warm weather. If you only go camping when it remains warm outside then the R-Value is going to be fairly irrelevant and not something that you need to worry about.



Q: What Is An Inflatable Camping Mattress?


An inflatable camping mattress comes in the form of a pump that will be able to direct air into it in order to fill it up. The benefit of this is that you can have something which packs down to a very small size and as big as your bed at home. They are very comfortable and will be able to give you a great night’s sleep anywhere in the world. In order to be suitable for camping, your mattress needs to resistant to punctures and abrasions. It should also have a tough bottom to prevent the matress from stones or sharp objects.

Q: Are Air Mattresses Safe For Camping?


Yes, there is nothing unsafe about using a mattress for camping and it can make your time in the outdoors a lot more enjoyable. A large part of that reason is due to the fact that these mattresses are very well made with thick materials that are very resistant to sharp objects and abrasions. Even with the risk of puncture being low, there are times when it can happen but this isn’t a big issue. They are fairly easy to repair and a lot of the products also come with puncture repair kits as well.

Q: What Is The Difference Between A Regular and Camping Air Mattress?


The difference between the two types is mainly due to durability, material and ease of use. A camping mattress has to be more rugged than a regular mattress as it is a lot comes into contact with things that might puncture it. The bottom of the mattress also needs to have an anti-slip material which means that it will be able to stay in the same place. There are other features as well which will help you while you are out there camping such as having an in-built electric pump. While this would be a useful feature for any mattress when you are out there camping you don’t want to have to spend too much time having to set it up.

Q: Can I Use My Regular Air Mattress For Camping?


There is little reason why you wouldn’t be able to use tour regular mattress apart from the fact that it might not quite be as durable and portable. A regular mattress might lack the convenient features that a camping mattress has and it might also not be the perfect fit for your camping bed. If you’re in doubt then it’s probably for the best to get two different products and have one for each if this is something that you can fit into your budget.

If you only wanted to have one mattress,  you can get one and use it for both of the different scenarios and you’ll know that when you are camping that you have a tough and durable product at all times.

Globo Surf Overview

An air mattress is one of the best pieces of camping equipment to have, especially if you are a more fixed camp. In order to choose one of the best air mattresses for camping, there is a lot of criteria to be considered such as size, whether you will go with a battery-powered built-in model or not, portability, and most importantly the material it is made from. Once you have taken all these factors into account then you’ll be in a much better position to get a top-rated air mattress for camping. Hopefully, this buying guide has answered all the questions you have and will enable you to buy your own with confidence, knowing that camping is just about to get a lot more comfortable.

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Globo Surf
My name is David Hamburg. I am an avid water sports fan who enjoys paddle boarding, surfing, scuba diving, and kite surfing. Anything with a board or chance I can get in the water I love! I am such a big fan I decided to start this website to review all my favorite products and some others. Hope you enjoy!