Best Air Mattress for Camping: Top 8 Picks of 2021

Best Air Mattress for Camping Inside Tent
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Sleeping bags are great, but it can get pretty old lying on an uneven bed of gravel and pebbles and the occasional acorn or pile of leaves. Air mattresses are a great solution to get your back off the ground, and luckily, there are plenty out there perfect for camping! What is the best air mattress for camping? Stick around to find out.

Our Top Picks: Best Air Mattress for Camping

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick overview.

Fox Air Beds Plush High Rise Best Overall: Fox Plush High Rise
With thicker vinyl than the industry standard and a two-way air pump, this mattress is everything you want and more.
SoundAsleep Dream Series Air Mattress Best Runner-Up: SoundAsleep Dream Series
Waterproof, dozens of internal coils, included electric pump that’s 20% quieter than other standard options, and a specially-designed carry case? What’s not to love?
LightSpeed Outdoors 2-Person Air Bed Best Eco-Friendly: LightSpeed Outdoors
This alternative air mattress is made of TPU, which doesn’t emit toxins when breaking down, lasts longer, and is more eco-friendly to produce than PVC.
Intex Dura-Beam Standard Series Pillow Rest Raised Airbed Best Budget: Intex Dura-Beam Standard Series
Solid structural support, plenty of comfort, and thousands of positive reviews at a price you can afford. 
Intex Classic Downy Airbed Best for Tent Camping: Intex Classic Downy
This mattress is comfortable to sleep on, fits comfortably in your tent (you won’t hit your head!), and stays inflated all night long — everything you need when tent camping! 
Insta-Bed Raised Air Mattress with Never Flat Pump Best for Couples: Insta-Bed Raised
With patented NeverFlat technology, you can rest assured that you and your bed partner will wake up the same distance from the ground you started the night at
FBSPORT Extended Car Camping Mattress Best for Car Camping: FBSPORT Extended
Sleeping in the car no longer means an uncomfortable crick in your neck, thanks to this specially-designed mattress, available in multiple sizes to suit most vehicles.
Intex Kids Travel Bed Set Best for Kids: Intex Kids Travel.
This mattress prevents nighttime falls with the high-edged frame. It makes changing sheets and cleaning up bed-wetting accidents a breeze with the removable sleep pad.
 

1. Fox Air Beds Plush High Rise

The best air mattress for camping overall

Fox Air Beds Plush High Rise

Brand: Fox | Size: Queen | Weight Capacity: 500 lbs | Profile: Raised | Price: 💰💰

Fox Air Beds Plush High Rise mattresses are some of the best in the business. The reason? They use vinyl material thicker than the industry standard, making their mattresses much more durable and much less susceptible to air leaks and deflating. This heavy-duty construction makes it great for camping. The built-in two-way air pump can be used to both inflate and deflate the mattress, making both set-up and take-down quick and easy. And thanks to the additional pinch valve, you can still inflate the mattress if the built-in pump malfunctions or you don’t have access to a power source. 

As for comfort, a plus texture poshmarks the surface of this mattress. Inside, upper and lower side chambers around the edge of the mattress help keep the ends from sagging, even when you sit on the edge. I-Beam coils throughout the mattress offer vital structural integrity, so you get the support you need all night long.

  • Incredibly durable material stands up to rough-and-tumble use 
  • Internal coils with upper and lower side chambers keep everything properly supported
  • Built-in two-way pump with pinch valve means there’s always a way to inflate or deflate, no matter your power situation

  • Slowly deflates overnight
  • The mattress on the heavier side

2. SoundAsleep Dream Series Air Mattress

The best air mattress for camping runner-up

SoundAsleep Dream Series Air Mattress

Brand: SoundAsleep | Size: Queen | Weight Capacity: 500lbs | Profile: Raised | Price: 💰💰💰

With a dual-chamber construction and industry-leading ComfortCoil Technology, this raised air mattress is built for comfort. 40 internal coils give plenty of structural support, meaning the mattress won’t collapse in on itself when you sit down. The Sure-Grip bottom prevents any kind of sliding, even on the slippery tarp of your tent floor.

The flocked top is soft to the touch, and the entire thing is waterproof, making it a popular choice whether you want to use it indoors or out. Puncture-resistant PVC material helps minimize air loss and sagging, even for those who toss and turn all night long. This queen-sized mattress can easily support up to 500 pounds, making it perfect for individuals and couples.

The EZ Pump electric pump that comes with this mattress inflates it at the click of a button. It is 20% quieter than other standard air pumps. The sheer size of the mattress is great, and this is definitely the best queen air mattress for camping around. As a bonus, the mattress comes with a specially-designed duffel bag that makes it easy to carry and protects the mattress when stored. 

  • Built-in pump is convenient and easy to use
  • Raised sides help prevent rolling off the mattress
  • Deflates and stores easily so you can break camp quickly

  • A few reviewers found the dimples in the surface unpleasant
  • Some reviewers had issues with bowing in the middle with only one sleeper

3. LightSpeed Outdoors 2-Person Air Bed

The best eco-friendly air mattress for camping

LightSpeed Outdoors 2-Person Air Bed

Brand: LightSpeed | Size: Queen | Weight Capacity: 500 lbs | Profile: Low | Price: 💰💰

For those with the planet on their mind, consider this TPU air mattress. The manufacturing of TPU is much more eco-friendly than the manufacturing of PVC. Additionally, TPU doesn’t emit dangerous toxins when it breaks down at the end of its life like PVC does. TPU minimizes the stretching and ballooning that is a common problem in PVC type mattresses. Plus, TPU will last longer. 

Beyond just material, this air mattress is pretty impressive. With 192 independent stabilizers between the top and bottom layers, you’ll appreciate the firm surface level with no unfriendly dips and divots to discover after a long day of activity. It’s also lightweight, features an integrated carry handle, and comes with a giant storage bag, making it one of the most portable mattresses we’ve ever seen. The two-way Boston valve ensures fast and easy inflation and deflation. Simultaneously, the battery-operated pump means you can inflate whether or not you have access to a power source — perfect for camping!

  • Stays inflated for months at a time with no leaks
  • Lightweight and battery-operated pump, great for camping
  • TPU material is durable, long-lasting, and environmentally-friendly

  • Pump is moderate quality
  • Some reviewers had issues with their pump overheating quickly

4. Intex Dura-Beam Standard Series Pillow Rest Raised Airbed

The best air mattress for camping on a budget

Intex Dura-Beam Standard Series Pillow Rest Raised Airbed

Brand: Intex | Size: Queen | Weight Capacity: 600 lbs | Profile: Raised | Price: 💰

The Intex Dura-Beam is one of the most affordable mattresses we’ve found, all with great quality and solid structural support that won’t feel cheap. Plus, you still get the built-in pump for easy inflation! The super-powered pump just needs to be plugged into an AC outlet, and it inflates in about three minutes. It also allowed for easy adjustments so you can have a firmer or softer bed, depending on preference. 

Thanks to the sturdy bottom ring, the mattress stays securely in place and stays rigidly supported throughout the middle. Lightweight Fiber-Tech technology offers additional support and comfort. A gently-raised head-end acts as a pillow, so you don’t have to pack one of your own, saving you space in your bag. 

  • Built-in pillows save space for short trips
  • Lightweight construction is easier to carry around
  • All the comfort of a high rise with a lower profile so your head doesn’t hit the top of the tent when you sit up

  • The edges aren’t raised, so some reviewers felt it was too easy to roll over the sides
  • Most reviewers noted that all size options (twin, queen, and king) were smaller than their standard counterparts

5. Intex Classic Downy Airbed

The best air mattress for tent camping

Intex Classic Downy Airbed

Brand: Intex | Size: Queen | Weight Capacity: 600 lbs | Profile: Low | Price: 💰💰

When it comes to your standard, short-term, uneventful tent camping trip, you don’t need all the bells and whistles. You don’t need something big and bulky and heavy — you need something comfortable to sleep on that will fit in your tent and won’t cause problems that detract from your vacation. That’s exactly what Intex had in mind with their Downy Airbed. 

The wave beam construction is comfortable and supportive but still low-profile, so you can sit up without hitting your head on the roof of your tent. It’s lightweight and folds up compactly, so it won’t take up too much space in your car on the way there, or in your tent during the day. The durable vinyl material is going to stand up to the rough abuse of the great outdoors. It is both flocked and waterproof, making it easy to clean in case of tracked-in dirt or sand. Thanks to the two-in-one valve with its extra-large opening, it takes no time at all to inflate and deflate the mattress, so you can set it up nightly if you’d rather not have it in the way during the day. 

As an added bonus, the mattress comes with two inflatable pillows (depending on where you buy from).

  • Thick, durable material stands up even to wandering fur babies
  • Wave beam top is soft to the touch and comfortable to sleep on
  • The extra-large valve opening makes inflation and deflation much easier than you’d think

  • The included pump has to be operated by hand, though it only takes a few minutes
  • Some reviewers found the inflatable pillows uncomfortable and more hassle than they’re worth

6. Insta-Bed Raised Air Mattress with Never Flat Pump

The best camping air mattress for couples

Insta-Bed Raised Air Mattress with Never Flat Pump

Brand: Insta-Bed | Size: Queen | Weight Capacity: 500 lbs | Profile: Raised | Price: 💰💰💰

We chose the Insta-Bed Raised Air Mattress with Never Flat Pump as the best camping air mattress for couples because of its track record when it comes to preventing air leaks and deflation. Especially when two people are sleeping on the same air mattress, you often have to deal with waking up closer to the ground than when you started — but not anymore!

The Insta-Bed’s patented “Never Flat” pump system monitors its own inflation level. Sensors constantly monitor the air pressure to keep you comfortable throughout the night. Never again will you wake up with your head sinking into seeming oblivion because of deflation. The secondary pump quietly maintains inflation level all night. The automatic controls are wonderful. Flip a switch and go kick back and let the air bed’s pump work its magic. The primary pump inflates the airbed in under five minutes. You can even customize your comfort level with a firm, medium, or plush setting. 

The mattress itself is comfortable and supportive, with dozens of circular coils that help maintain a level sleep surface. Both puncture- and water-resistant, you won’t have to fear that your state-of-the-art air mattress will incur any kind of damage in the great outdoors.

  • Durable materials that are both puncture- and water-resistant
  • Interior circular coils offer structural support to keep you level and comfortable
  • NeverFlat pump system keeps your mattress exactly where you set it for days on end

  • The raised edges aren’t raised enough to prevent rolling off like other raised-edge mattresses
  • The mattress weights over 20 pounds when deflated, making it heavy and bulky to carry around

7. FBSPORT Extended Car Camping Mattress

The best air mattress for car camping

FBSPORT Extended Car Camping Mattress

Brand: FBSPORT | Size: Car | Weight Capacity: 300 lbs | Profile: Low | Price: 💰

Whether you’re hoping to save on hotel costs for your next road trip, or want to try out that car-living lifestyle that’s all the rage, there’s no better way to sleep in the car than with a car camping mattress. The best of the camping car mattresses is, without a doubt, the FBSPORT. You spread it out across your back seat, and the underside support fills the space between the front and back of the car, so you’re supported across the whole mattress. There’s even an inflated cushion designed to bridge the gap between the front seats (where the center console is) so you don’t accidentally get your foot or arm caught in the middle of the night. 

But don’t feel confined to the car — this mattress can be taken out and set upside-down on the ground, creating a little couch for you to sit on and enjoy a meal, watch the concert, or relax in the sun. The included air pump plugs into your car so you won’t need another power source. It blows up the mattress in under a minute, so you can be ready for bed as soon as you’re sleepy. Plus, it comes with two inflatable pillows.

  • Inflates in under a minute with the car-compatible pump
  • Multiple styles and sizes to choose from to suit most any automobile
  • Underside support to fill the gap between the front and back seats and ensure comfort across the entire mattress
  • The mattress itself is pretty thin
  • Most reviewers noted that the bed isn’t really long enough for taller individuals — but then, neither are cars!

8. Intex Kids Travel Air Mattress

The best camping air mattress for kids

Intex Kids Travel Bed Set

Brand: Intex | Size: Crib | Weight Capacity: 100 lbs | Profile: Low | Price: 💰

If you’re looking for a separate kid-sized air mattress made just for a little one in your family, then the Intex travel bed set is one of the best designs we’ve seen. Rather than just down-sizing a regular air bed, this Intex air mattress is specifically designed for kids.

The raised frame ensures your kiddos stay securely in the bed, no matter how much they toss and turn, so you don’t wake up at 2AM to a screaming child that’s hit their head on the floor. The sleeping pad nestled in the raised frame is removable, making it perfect as a portable play surface without all the bulk of the whole mattress. Plus, you can take the pad out and clean it should there be any nocturnal accidents. This design also makes it easy to add and change sheets The Intex kid-sized travel air mattress comes with a manual air pump.

  • High frame keeps kids from falling out of bed in the night
  • Easily change out sheets or wash the sleep pad in case of accidents
  • Removable sleeping pad for a comfortable play, rest, or nap surface anywhere

  • Some reviewers noted a plasticky, chemically smell that took some airing out
  • The manual air pump takes a lot of work, and most reviewers recommended finding an alternative means of inflation

What to Look for in the Best Air Mattress for Camping

The Best Air Mattress for Camping
Image by Lucid Waters / Deposit Photos

Here are the things you should consider first and foremost before making a purchase:

1. Purpose. 

What are you going to use this mattress for? A night in the backyard, or a week on the Appalachian trail?

2. Size. 

Twin, full, queen, or king? Be sure to keep in mind how many people will share the bed, as well as how big your tent is.

3. Type of Pump. 

Some air mattresses come with their own pump, and some have a built-in pump that blows the thing up for you. These are usually more expensive, of course, so you’ll have to decide if the luxury is worth the price. 

4. Profile. 

Low-profile air mattresses probably spring to mind when you think of air mattresses, or any mattress in general. They look like your average mattress thickness, and have you lying lower to the ground. On the other hand, raised mattresses look like the thickness of two or even three mattresses stacked on top of each other. These feel much more like a bed and are generally more comfortable, but they are more expensive, too.

Low-profile is usually the choice for tent camping because they let you sit up in bed without hitting your head on the tent ceiling. But a raised mattress might still fit in your tent, depending on its size. Low-profile mattresses also weigh less, which may be a major factor if you’re looking to backpack or hike with it on your back. 

5. Top. 

Some air beds have pillow tops for added comfort. Others have simple line patterns or stitched-in soft materials (straight lines, zigzags, etc.). An air mattress might also have raised edges to help keep you from rolling too far to one side, or a raised end meant to function as a pillow, so you don’t have to pack your own.

6. Style. 

This factor boils down to personal preference. While comfort is always the first priority, it can still be nice to get something that isn’t an eyesore.

And there you have it! To sum up, the best air mattress for camping is out there, waiting to join you on a new adventure.

Our Process

For this guide on air mattresses for camping, our team spent 5 hours researching the most popular options from over 35 brands and manufacturers big and small. We then read about one hundred user reviews (both positive and negative) to discover what shoppers thought about each mattress. After comparing this data, we narrowed our list down to the top 8 air mattresses for camping on the market. You can count on this research to guide you to a mindful purchasing decision.

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