What you’ll find here – The best camping air mattress within three categories: overall best camping air mattress, the best essentials air mattress, and the best budget air mattress. We review camping air mattresses from the top air mattress brands like SoundAsleep, Intex, and camping Aero beds to bring you the best of the best. If you’re looking for the best air mattress for camping (car camping or for short backpacking trips) and would like a self inflating air mattress, then see our reviews of the best below.
Overall Best Camping Air Mattress
Size: Twin, Twin XL, Queen
Pump: Built-in, fully inflates bed in 4 minutes
Weight: 13.58 lbs
Pros: Multi-layered flocked top creates a comfortable sleeping surface, pump is quiet and fast, the bottom of the mattress as extra grip so it does not slide during the night
Cons: Newly opened beds have a strong smell. We suggest you let them air out before first use
Bottom line: With superior comfort and inflate time, the SoundAsleep Dream Series Air Mattress is our favorite camping air mattress. It’s tall from a duel chamber construction and stays inflated for days. It’s even made of highly puncture resistant Eco-friendly materials. Given the double thickness of this camping air bed, is usually best to place it within a tent as a truck bed may be too small.
Top pick: For a self inflating mattress, this one is great. You’ll have a fully inflated bed within 4 minutes and you can pack up quickly too (deflates within 4 minutes). If you’re car camping this mattress is luxury at a good price. You should note that if you plan on using this as an air mattress for car camping (meaning within your car and not within a tent) be sure to make sure the height (18 inches) will not be an issue. This inflatable camping mattress is the one we use out on our adventures and has become one of our favorite items in our top gear picks.
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Page last updated: March, 2021
Summary of the best camping air mattresses
|Category||Best Air Mattress||Price||User rating|
|Overall Best Camping Air Mattress||SoundAsleep Dream||$94 (check for sale)||4.5 average (view rating)|
|Best Essentials Air Mattress||Intex Dura-Beam Pillow||$55 (check for sale)||4 average (view rating)|
|Best Budget Camping Air Mattress||Intex Dura-Beam Single-High||$18 (check for sale)||4 average (view rating)|
Best Camping Air Mattress with all the Essentials
Size: Twin, Queen
Pump: Built-in, inflates within 3-4 minutes
Weight: 16 lbs
Pros: Built-in pillow, enhanced back support, very durable, nice soft top
Cons: Tends to run small so size up to the queen, the edges are round so it rocks a little bit when you adjust on it
Bottom line: It’s not the tallest self inflating air mattress but we find the comfort to still be outstanding. Consider this a mattress if you might be tent camping and also want an air mattress for car camping as is it not too tall (16 inches in height). This mattress has all of the essentials at the right price. Even though it has a built-in pillow, we still recommend taking your own as well. Pillows are among the most frequently forgotten items while camping.
Best Budget Camping Air Mattress
Sizes: Twin, Full, Queen
Pump: Foot or Battery Pump options, foot pump takes around 5 minutes to inflate the bed, battery pump needs 6 “C” batteries which are not included
Weight: 6.4 lbs
Pros: Affordable, you have options for the pump, the bed itself is much lighter than many other camping air mattresses.
Cons: Base model does not come with a pump, no build-it pillow, it’s not as thick (comfortable) as other mattresses.
Bottom line: The Intex Dura-Beam Standard Single is a great option for those on a budget. If you plan to camp in your car, this is the camping air bed for you because it’s only 10 inches tall and doesn’t push you too close to the roof. We found that you’ll want to use a sleeping bag or sleeping pad on this air mattress because the beam ridges can feel a little funky.
Choosing the best camping air mattress for you
Car camping – Air mattresses are great for car camping because you don’t need to be as worried about the weight or size of the item. Some people will place the air mattress within their tent and some will use the bed of a truck. If you’re going to use your car or truck to place the camping mattress in, make sure you consider the dimensions of the bed and test it out before you hit the road. If you’re looking for an alternative to air mattress camping, consider camping sleeping pads as they are much smaller and lighter.
Easy inflation – For many people, inflating a large air mattress using a hand pump is not desirable as it can take much longer to inflate the mattress and takes a fair amount of effort. Consider a self inflating air mattress like the SoundAsleep Dream Series as it has a built-in pump and inflates within 4 minutes. If you are okay with a battery or hand pump, which usually decreases the overall weight of the mattress setup, check out the Intex Dura-Beam Standard.
Weight – If you are going to carry the air mattress to a campsite not very close to where you park your car, consider the weight as these beds are very heavy. Most come with a carrying bag but you still will not want to lug this thing into a camp area a few miles down a trail.
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