Looking For A Great Air Bed Or Inflatable Mattress For Camping In The Great Outdoors?
You've Come To The Right Place.
Shopping for the right outdoor air mattress can take a lot of time and efforts.
There are dozens of brands to choose from.
You also have to know which exact type of air mattress you need and the best place to shop for it. Most outdoor retail outlets only carry a few brands, not to mention the fact that prices are all over the place - some air mattresses are $15 and others cost $1,000+.
And outdoor/sports stores mark them up - a lot.
For camping or outdoor use, you need a high-quality air mattress that is waterproof, durable, lightweight and compact enough to carry around and a breeze to use.
What’s In This Buying Guide?
We created this in-depth shopping guide to help you find the best camping air mattress.
Based on our research of verified customer feedback and by comparing features of different brands, we’ve selected the top camping airbeds that meet the needs of most campers.
All of the mattresses reviewed here have been sold for months and are highly rated on sites like Amazon, Walmart and other retail sites.
Read through the brief reviews of each air mattress below until you find the best one for your needs.
To learn more about a mattress, click the LEARN MORE button.
Best Air Beds and Inflatable Mattresses for Camping
Best Pick For
Best Air Mattress for Camping Outdoors
Camping & Outdoor Use
Best Air Mattress for Camping Indoors
Camping In Your Home
Best Air Mattress for Sleeping in Your Car or Truck
Sleeping in Your Car or Truck
Best Air Mattress With Rechargeable Pump for Camping
Best Camping Air Mattress for Kids
Best Camping Air Bed for Toddlers & Babies
Toddlers & Babies
Best Inflatable Sofa Bed for Campers
Intex Classic Downy Airbed w/ 2 Pillows & Hand Pump
Best Inflatable Sofa for Camping
Campers Who Lounge
Best Overall for Camping Outdoors:
Coleman Airbed Cot
One reason for selecting this Coleman cot as the best outdoor camping air mattress is the included elevated support frame. It provides more protection from critters on the ground and cold compared to placing a camping air pad directly on the ground.
The Coleman Airbed also includes two side tables and cup holders, providing a convenient surface to place your drinks and personal items.
The Coleman Airbed can comfortably support up to 600 pounds, so couples can safely sleep on it. A ComfortStrong coil construction system provides additional support and prevents bulging at the sides.
The Coleman Airbed comes with a battery-operated pump that fills the mattress with air in just a few minutes. It uses four D batteries. So make sure you stock up on several pairs before you hit the road.
The air mattress itself has an airtight system that guarantees that the mattress will not leak during the night. The system consists of dual valves, one to prevent leakage as you remove the pump and the second to keep air in as you sleep.
In the morning, it takes just a couple of minutes to deflate the Coleman Airbed. You can fold it up into a compact roll and stuff it into the provided carry bag. This makes it easy to carry the mattress either by hand or in your car.
Best Air Mattress for Camping Indoors:
SoundAsleep Dream Series Air Mattress
You don’t always have to go to the great outdoors to enjoy camping.
Sometimes, especially with kids, it’s more fun to camp indoors.
Getting the right air mattresses for everyone makes it even more fun and ensures everyone is comfortable away from their usual cozy beds.
We recommend the SoundAsleep Dream Series Air Mattress for indoor camping. It is a self-inflating air mattress, so you don’t have to bother about a manual pump.
Just connect it to an outlet, click a switch and your mattress will be ready in less than four minutes.
This Dream Series mattress uses ComfortCoil technology to provide adequate support and ensure the mattress lasts long. ComfortCoil consists of 40 air coils inside the mattress to hold up your weight. The coils keep the mattress flat, ensuring your back has proper support.
Because the Dream Series air mattress has a flocked top, you can use it with or without sheets. It’s comfortable either way. The external material is waterproof and puncture-resistant, which adds to its durability.
The SoundAsleep Dream air mattress comes with a carry bag that makes it easy to store or transport the mattress. If you are going camping at a friend’s house, just throw the bag in your car trunk, and you are good to go.
Best Air Mattress for Sleeping in Your Car or Truck:
FBSport Car Travel Inflatable Mattress Air Bed
The FBSport Car Travel Inflatable air mattress is perfect for when you want or need to sleep in your car. It’s great for camping when you don’t want to sleep on the ground. You can also use it on long road trips and during festivals.
The FBSport travel mattress measures 56.3" by 34.25" by 17.72". So it should fit across the rear seats of most cars.
From customer feedback, the mattress can be used in Honda Civic Sedan, Ford F350, Chevrolet Equinox, Toyota Rav4, Toyota Tacoma, Ford F150 and Mazda3 sedan among other car models.
There are two air pillows included.
For inflating, the mattress comes with a pump that can be connected to your car cigarette lighter. It takes a couple of minutes for the mattress to fill up. When you are done with it, just deflate it and roll it into the provided carry bag.
The mattress has a flocked top so you can just plop down on it without spreading a sheet. But for more comfort, carry a pair of sheets with you. Twin size sheets are perfect for its dimensions.
Best Air Mattress With Rechargeable Pump for Camping: SoundAsleep Camping Series Air Mattress
One of the most important things to consider when you select an air mattress is how you are going to inflate it. A manual pump may not always be the best for a larger air bed because inflating it is too tedious.
An inbuilt electric air pump will also not work. You are not going to plug it into a tree.
Another great option is a rechargeable external air pump. This SoundAsleep Camping Series Air Mattress comes with such a pump.
It has a rechargeable battery that can be charged at home using a standard power outlet or just plug it into your car’s 12V cigarette lighter.
So you can charge it before leaving home or while on the road.
The mattress is made from a highly durable material designed specifically for outdoor use. It will not puncture easily and is of course waterproof.
A carry bag is also included for easy storage and transportation.
There are two sizes available: queen and twin. The queen size is perfect if you are planning to go camping as a couple. The twin is great for kids or solo adventurers.
Best Camping Air Mattress for Kids:
AeroBed Air Mattress For Kids
The AeroBed air mattress for kids is one of the best choices for younger campers. With dimensions of 50 by 25 inches, it’s perfectly sized for kids up to around 6 or 7 years of age. They’ll snuggle up in it cozily through the night.
To keep your kid from rolling out of bed at night, the mattress has a 4-inch high cushion all around the edge.
For comfort, the Aerobed comes with a thick and soft fitted mattress pad. So you don’t even have to use sheets with this mattress. If the pad gets dirty or stained, you can take it off and wash it.
The external material is thick and durable to withstand the wear and tear of outdoor use.
The only downside of the Aerobed air mattress is the AC-powered pump.
It’s no problem when you're ready for some indoor camping fun. Just plug it into a standard outlet and it inflates to full capacity in less than a minute.
But what are you going to plug it into when you camp outside?
One solution is to inflate it at home and carry it like that. This could work but only if you have plenty of space at the back or trunk of the car. But it’s also risky in case the mattress deflates when you are far from home.
One way to solve the problem is buying an inverter for your car’s cigarette lighter. You can then inflate the mattress in the car.
You can also buy an external rechargeable or battery-powered pump.
Best Camping Air Bed for Toddlers & Babies:
The Shrunks Toddler Travel Bed
You need to take even more care when camping with a toddler or a baby. You have to place a lot of emphasis on safety.
That’s why we recommend the Shrunks Toddler Travel Bed. You can use it for camping, sleepovers at home or when visiting other people.
You can even use this air bed in a hotel room.
The Shrunks Toddler Bed has a unique design. There is the inner sleeping pad surrounded by a protective guardrail.
You tuck in sheets in the inner mattress rather than around the entire airbed. This keeps the sheet from shifting or coming loose.
The Toddler Bed mattress measures 60 x 37 x 9 inches. The sleeping surface itself is 47 by 24 inches, and the weight capacity is 100 pounds. So your child can use it until they are 5-6 years old.
The Shrunks Toddler Travel Bed's pump is electric, so you may want to invest in an inverter or battery pump if you are planning to go camping. But if you're just buying it for indoor sleep, the included electric air pump is perfect. It inflates the airbed in less than a minute.
Best Inflatable Sofa Bed for Campers:
Intex Pull-out Sofa Inflatable Bed
This air mattress is technically a sofa - and a bed. It’s the perfect addition to your camping gear whether you camp alone or with your family.
This Intex pull-out sofa can comfortably sleep two people and a seat just as many. The mattress is queen sized. It measures 76" X 87" X 26" when fully inflated.
Despite its complex-looking crossover design, the Intex inflatable bed is quite easy to use. It has valves for quick inflation and deflation. When inflated, it takes just a couple of seconds to turn it from a sofa to bed.
An important thing to note is that this inflatable bed/sofa does not come with a pump.
But you can use any airbed pump. It can be an electric AC pump (for home use), a battery pump or a rechargeable pump for the outdoors.
The bed is made of high-quality vinyl and feels quite comfortable even without a sheet.
When deflated, it folds into a compact size that can be easily stuffed into a bag.
If you are planning to relax with a book on your next camping trip, definitely carry this inflatable bed along.
Best Low-Priced Air Mattress for Camping Outdoors:
Intex Classic Downy Airbed with 2 Pillows
If you love camping but don’t want to spend large bucks on an air mattress, the Intex Classic Downy airbed is for you.
It’s a great bargain without compromising on quality or durability.
This Intex is a queen airbed so it will comfortably sleep two people.
The Classic Downy includes two inflatable pillows for added comfort. The mattress dimensions are 60 x 8.75 x 80. It can hold weight of up to 600 pounds.
The waterproof flocked top makes the mattress more comfortable. It also helps keep your fitted sheets in place as you sleep.
You can easily wipe down the top when it gets dirty or stained.
Perhaps what makes this mattress cheap is because it does not come with an electric pump. It uses a manual one, instead.
It takes a bit of time to fill this queen size mattress. Most customers say it takes around 10 minutes.
The valve is extra wide to make it easier to inflate the mattress. Inflating the pillows takes less than a minute for each.
In the morning, just open the valve to deflate the mattress quickly. You can then roll it up and stuff it into a bag for easy carrying.
Best Inflatable Sofa for Camping:
Air Chair Inflatable Lounger
This one-person lounger is perfect if you want a place to relax other than your camping bed. The inflatable sofa looks like a hammock or a canoe when inflated and it’s comfortable.
The Air Chair lounger is made from lightweight materials that are also tough enough to withstand water, sunshine and your weight (capacity: 400lbs).
So don’t be afraid to take the Air Chair for camping or in the yard for backyard camping afternoon with your kids.
You can even use it as a pool float. It’s that versatile.
And because the material is so light, carrying it around is not an issue.
There are convenient stitched pockets on the sides of the Air Chair where you can put your smartphone, Kindle or even a drink.
The best part about this inflatable lounger is that it doesn’t require an air pump.
You can literally fill it using the wind. So you can use it anywhere as long as there is some wind. It only takes a few seconds to fill up, and it stays full afterward.
If you are looking for a cool useful item to add to your camping kit, I recommend the Air Chair. It won’t take up much space and adds a lot of fun to your adventures.
How We Rate Air Beds and Inflatable Mattresses for Camping
Click on a feature below to learn more about how we factor it into our ratings and reviews.
We look at how the price of an air mattress compares to its quality and features. A relatively pricey but high-quality camping airbed with added features such as a raised support frame will rate highly. So will a cheaper mattress as long as it doesn’t compromise on quality.
The warranty says a lot about the quality and expected durability of the product. So we rate higher air mattresses that have a longer warranty.
The average warranty period for most air mattresses is one year. There are also some air mattresses, especially the cheaper ones, that have no warranty at all. But you can still request for repair or replacement within a certain period after purchase.
There isn’t as much size versatility in air mattresses compared to ordinary mattresses. Most camping airbeds come in one of two sizes: twin or queen. Some also have smaller sizes for kids.
The more size options there are, the higher we rate the mattress.
For camping air mattresses, we prefer those that come with a manual handpump, a battery-powered pump or a 12V-powered pump. If the pump is waterproof, it gets higher ratings.
Unless you are planning to camp indoors or out in your yard, we don’t recommend the standard air mattresses with integrated electric pumps.
This is a must-have feature when we are rating camping beds. The material used to make the mattress must be not only tough and durable but also waterproof.
We look at whether the mattress is rated for outdoor use (i.e., It can withstand some rain, dust and the sun). If it’s not, we don’t recommend it for camping.
You can add a sheet to most air mattresses, and they will be comfortable. But flocked air mattresses offer more comfort and give you the option of sleeping on it without a sheet.
So we give higher ratings to air mattresses for camping with a flocked top. This type of top is especially important for kids and infants as they need to be fully comfortable.
When ranking air mattresses, we look for those with a higher weight capacity. This is especially so for queen size mattresses as they are the ones most likely to be used by two people.
For queen airbeds, we prefer a weight capacity of at least 400lbs. Most camping air mattresses can support up to 600lbs of weight.
Unfortunately, most camping air beds have no ground support. You have to lay something on the ground before setting up the mattress. You can also buy your support frame or just place the mattress directly on the ground. This comes with the risk of bugs and mattress punctures from sharp stones and small thorns.
That’s why we have rated the Coleman Airbed Cot as the best camping airbed overall. It’s one of the few that come with a raised support frame.
This is another extremely important issue we focus a lot on when ranking camping air pads and mattresses. The mattress needs to be easily portable, which makes it easier to transport it either by car or even hand.
Highly rated air mattresses deflate into a very compact shape, they are fairly light when deflated and come with a carry bag you can easily carry the mattress in.
Granted, aesthetics don’t matter much when you are out in the wild. What we look for mostly is what environment and situation a camping air mattress are designed for.
A plain rugged design is great for the outdoors. Flowery and cartoony aesthetics are perfect for kids’ airbeds. Additionally, some designs are more suited for indoor camping rather than out in the wild.
Before buying an air mattress, it is essential to check what kind of sheets it requires, if any. Some air mattresses have a flocked top, which you can sleep on without sheets.
But if you want to use sheets, all the air mattresses we recommend using ordinary sheets. Note that you need fitted sheets that don’t need tucking.The same fitted twin or queen-sized sheets you would buy for your ordinary mattress are the same ones you use with your airbed.
Setting It Up and Taking It Down
Unless you are using a manual pump, an air mattress should take no more than five minutes to set up or take down.
We look for features such as extra-wide valves for quick inflation/deflation and quick-fill pumps that can inflate a queen size mattress in less than 4 minutes.
Additional features make your camping experience much smoother. We rate highly mattresses that provide bonus features such as double-valve leak protection, additional support structures, automatic pressure regulation, inflatable pillows, and safety cushion (for kids’ air mattresses) among others.
Customer Reviews and Comments
Finally, we listen to what actual users of the mattresses have to say. Was the mattress easy to use? Did it cause any problems? How long did it last?
Customer feedback, including reviews, comments, and ratings, matter a lot in our mattress ratings.
Why Buy an Inflatable Mattress for Camping?
There are many good reasons to consider an air mattress for camping beyond the comfort factor - click on an item below to learn more.
- Spending Time With Your Kids/Teens
- Overnight Camping Trips Outside
- Overnight camping inside your home/sleepovers
- Vacations with babies or toddlers
As long as they know they will be sleeping on a mattress that’s almost as comfortable as their home mattress, your kids will be more willing to accompany you on your camping trips.
With kids, you don’t need to get them an expensive air mattress. Something cheap with basic features will do. Make sure it’s easy to repair especially if you have young kids who might sometimes treat the mattress as a bouncy castle.
Personally, I find an air mattress to be more comfortable than a sleeping bag. It feels like I’m still sleeping in my bed.
If you prefer an air mattress for camping, make sure you buy one that is waterproof and extra-hardy. Also check that it’s lightweight, compact (when deflated) and easy to set up and pack.
Indoor camping can be just as fun as outdoor camping, especially with your family. Kids love it.
The trick is to make the experience as realistic as possible. Get a tent, prepare some ‘campy’ food, tell frightening stories by torchlight and of course sleep on the floor on air mattresses.
Because you are indoors, you don’t have to get a heavy duty air mattress. Focus more on aesthetics. Find a mattress with a nice design that looks good inside your home. It should have an electric pump for effortless inflation.
Yes, you can go camping with a toddler or baby. You just need to find an ideal camping site with plenty of activities to keep them entertained.
For toddlers and babies, the best air mattress is the safest one. Look for those kids’ airbeds that come with a raised protective cushion around the edges to keep them from rolling over.
Other Great Camping Air Beds and Mattresses To Consider
Shelterin Multifunctional Car Inflatable Mattress
This is a good alternative to the FBSportcar air mattress. With its fluffy flocked top, it’s a bit more comfortable than the FBSport.
The mattress is made of tough and durable oxford cloth, ensuring you will use this mattress for many camping adventures and road trips before it wears out. The cloth is scratch-resistant, friction-resistant and waterproof.
When inflated, the mattress measures 53.2" by 33.5" by 20.5". This is big enough for an adult but still compact enough to fit across the rear seats of most standard-size cars, pickup trucks SUVs and MPVs.
The mattress includes floor support along one edge. The support is divided in half, which allows you to set up the mattress even in cars with a bridge on the floor.
Note that the mattress has a 200lbs weight capacity. So it’s meant for use by just one person.
The mattress comes with a small electric air pump that fills up the mattress in just a couple of minutes. Deflating is even quicker. You can then roll up the mattress and pack it in the included travel/storage bag.
Other items the mattress comes with include a repair kit, two inflatable pillows and a safety baffle for kids.
Intex Dura-Beam Deluxe Pillow Rest Airbed
If you want a premium Intex camping airbed, we recommend this queen-sized one. It starts with a soft and luxurious flocked top for maximum comfort.
The main mattress material is made from tough polyester fibers that add to the support and durability of the mattress.
A perimeter frame provides further stability and support especially for couples who tend to sleep closer to the edges.
The Dura-Beam airbed has an integrated electric pump, meaning it requires an outlet to inflate the mattress. So it’s ideal only for indoor camping unless you are going to a campsite with electricity access.
The pump inflates the mattress to capacity within 3 minutes. When you need to pack it up, just open the valve to deflate it. You can then roll it up and stuff it into a bag for easy storage or transport.
The mattress has a built-in pillow, so you don’t need to carry your own. However, some customers recommend using king sized fitted sheets. Queen-sized ones won’t fit because of the pillow.
Intex Pillow Rest Raised Airbed
This is another great buy for indoor camping. Like the Dura-Beam, it has an integrated electric pump that you connect to a power outlet to inflate the mattress.
It also comes with a built-in pillow for added comfort and convenience although this means you need to use larger sheets.
The mattress has a grooved design at the sides that allows fitted sheets to tuck in snugly and stay tight through the night.
The mattress itself is quite high, 19 inches to be specific. This gives it a realistic bed look and makes it more comfortable to sleep on.
The raised height is handy when the floor beneath is cold.
Intex Prestige Downy Airbed With Battery Pump
This twin-size mattress comes with a battery-powered pump. So you can use it at home or outdoors. Just make sure you have carried enough batteries with you. The pump requires 6 C-cell batteries.
The Prestige Downy is quite cozy thanks to the soft flocked top. You don’t have to lay down a sheet on it. It’s comfortable enough that way. But you can use a sheet if you want (twin-size fitted sheets).
The mattress measures 39(W) by 8.75(H) by 75(L) inches and has a weight capacity of 300lbs. It’s designed for use with one adult. It can also hold one or two kids.
When deflated, the Prestige Downy airbed weighs around 7lbs so it should be easy to carry around even by hand. There is a bag included for storage and portability.