Is Camping with an Air Mattress a Good Idea?

camping with an air mattress

You wake up on the first day of your camping trip and find that you forgot to bring anything to sleep on. It’s not a big deal, right? After all, you brought your trusty air mattress with you. This thought probably crossed your mind: is camping with an air mattress a good idea?

Yes, air mattresses can be a great addition to your camping gear. They provide a comfortable place to sleep and can be inflated or deflated as needed to adjust for different sleeping situations. Additionally, they can be easily packed up and transported, making them ideal for camping trips.

Things you should know before camping with an Air Mattress 

camping with an air mattress

For people who have never tried a camping air mattress, the thought of sleeping on an air mattress for the first time can be rather unnerving. It’s one thing to have your bed mattress in a tight sleeping bag, another thing entirely to sleep on an air mattress for the first time.

The reality is that sleeping on an air mattress isn’t as scary as it may seem. Camping air mattresses are designed to withstand the elements, so it’s unlikely that you will wake up to find that your air mattress has completely deflated while you were sleeping.

It’s still important to bring some supplies when camping with an air mattress though.

For example, it’s a good idea to bring a few emergency blankets in case you get cold during the night.

The blankets should be stored inside the air mattress when not in use to keep them clean.

Stew pots can also be used to keep your air mattress clean if you don’t have a handheld water pump of some sort.

Just make sure to drain the pot of any water that has been collected in it before storing it away the pot.

The best thermometer to use with your air mattress is a digital one that can accurately be read while the air mattress is inflated.

A high-quality thermometer like the Thermopen or Thermo-King is always recommended to ensure that the air mattress doesn’t deflate too quickly or too slowly.

Should you use an air mattress when camping?

At home, an air mattress is a convenient way to provide guests with a comfortable place to sleep without taking up much space.

But when venturing into the great outdoors things are different. Camping is about roughing it for several days in nature and sleeping on an air mattress sometimes does not really fit into this picture.

There are a few things to consider when deciding whether or not to use an air mattress while camping.

One is comfort – an air mattress can provide a more comfortable sleeping surface than a traditional camping mattress, which can be made of more rigid materials.

Another is weight and portability – an air mattress is usually much lighter and easier to carry than a traditional mattress, but are heavier and bigger than other option(sleeping pad, blanket).

Finally, there is the price – air mattresses can sometimes be more expensive than traditional mattresses. Ultimately, the decision of whether or not to use an air mattress while camping is up to the individual camper.

Advantages of Using an Air Mattress for Camping

There are some advantages and disadvantages of air mattresses and one should make a decision that of taking an air mattress while camping after knowing both things. So let’s first discuss the Advantages of an Air Mattress.

1. Air mattresses are comfortable: You can get a good night’s sleep on an air mattress, which is important when you’re camping.

2. They’re easy to set up: You don’t have to struggle with putting up a tent when you have an air mattress.

3. They keep you warm: Air mattresses are insulated, so they will keep you warm at night even if the temperature outside drops significantly.

4. They’re lightweight and portable: Air mattresses are easy to carry with you when you go camping since they don’t weigh much and can be easily rolled up or stored in a small space.

5. Camping with an air mattress is more fun: When you have an air mattress, camping becomes more enjoyable because you don’t have to worry about being uncomfortable or sleeping on the ground.

Disadvantages of Using an Air Mattress for Camping

1. They Take Up A Lot of Room: Air mattresses are big and bulky. If you’re trying to save space while packing for camping, an air mattress is not the way to go.

2. They’re Difficult to Inflate: If you don’t have a pump, inflating an air mattress can be a real pain. It’s even more difficult if you’re trying to do it by mouth.

3. They Can Be Punctured Easily: An air mattress is much more susceptible to punctures than a traditional camping mattress. A small hole can quickly deflate the entire thing, leaving you without a place to sleep for the night.

4 . They Don’t Keep You Warm: Air mattresses don’t insulate well, so they won’t do much to keep you warm at night. If you camp in cold weather, you’ll likely freeze during the night unless you have other blankets or sleeping bags

Are sleeping pads more comfortable than an air mattress for camping?

There is no clear winner when it comes to an air mattress vs a sleeping pad when camping. It really depends on your personal preferences and needs.

If you are looking for a comfortable night’s sleep, then an air mattress is probably the better option.

There are a few things to consider when choosing between a sleeping pad and an air mattress for camping.

First, consider how much space you have in your tent or sleeping area. If you have a lot of space, an air mattress may be a better option because it will take up less room than a sleeping pad.

However, if space is limited, a sleeping pad may be a better option because it can be rolled up and stored more efficiently than an air mattress.

Second, consider how comfortable you want to be while camping. An air mattress will typically be more comfortable than a sleeping pad, but it may be less comfortable if the ground is uneven.

A sleeping pad may not be as comfortable as an air mattress, but it will provide more support and insulation from the ground.

Third, consider how easy each option is to set up. An air mattress requires an air pump to inflate, which can be a hassle to carry and set up. A sleeping pad can be rolled out and does not require any special equipment.

Fourth, consider how durable each option is. An air mattress can puncture easily and is not as durable as a sleeping pad. A sleeping pad is made of tougher materials and is more likely to withstand wear and tear.

In general, a sleeping pad is a better option for camping than an air mattress. It is more compact, easier to set up, and more durable. However, an air mattress may be more comfortable and is a good option if space is not an issue.

What weather is best for camping with an Air mattress?

There is no definitive answer to this question as everyone enjoys different weather conditions when camping.

However, if you are planning on using an air mattress while camping, then you will likely want to choose a campsite that is located in an area with mild weather conditions.

This way, you can avoid any extreme temperatures that could make sleeping on an air mattress uncomfortable.

Additionally, you will want to make sure that there is little to no chance of rain or other precipitation, as this could also make your air mattress uncomfortable to sleep on.

In general, camping with an air mattress is best done in weather that is not too hot, as the air mattress will provide little insulation from the ground.

Conversely, weather that is too cold may make it difficult to inflate the air mattress. moderate weather is therefore typically best for camping with an air mattress.

Which Type of Mattresses Are More Ideal for Camping?

Camping mattresses come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and materials. The most popular types are air mattresses, foam mattresses, and self-inflating mattresses.

Air mattresses

Air mattresses are the lightest and most portable option, making them a good choice for backpacking and car camping. They are inflated with a pump and can be deflated and rolled up for easy storage.

Some air mattresses have an internal pump, while others require an external pump.

Foam mattresses

Foam mattresses are made of closed-cell foam and are lightweight and inexpensive. They are not as comfortable as air mattresses, but they are a good choice for car camping and short backpacking trips.

Self-inflating mattresses

Self-inflating mattresses are a hybrid of air and foam mattresses. They have an internal coil that expands when opened, inflating the mattress. They are more comfortable than foam mattresses and are a good choice for car camping and backpacking.

Moreover, Camping air mattresses come in various shapes and sizes, so it really depends on your needs as to what type is ideal.

If you need something lightweight and easy to carry, an inflatable mattress is probably your best bet.

However, if you need something more sturdy and comfortable, a foam mattress might be a better option.

Ultimately, it just comes down to personal preference and what will make your camping trip more enjoyable.

What to Look for When Buying an Air Mattress for Camping

When you’re looking to buy an air mattress for camping, there are a few key things to keep in mind. 

Size of Mattress

First, consider the size of the mattress and whether it will comfortably accommodate you and any camping partners. You want to make sure that the mattress is big enough for you and your camping gear. 

Second, think about how easy the mattress will be to set up and take down – you don’t want to be fumbling around with complicated instructions when you’re trying to enjoy your camping trip. 

Price And Durability

The third is the price. You want to make sure that the mattress is affordable for you.

The fourth is durability. You want to make sure that the mattress can withstand the elements and last for many camping trips.

Though most of the mattresses made for camping are durable and tough, however, it is best to check everything before you buy a mattress.

–To check the durability of the mattress you need to check the thickness and Denier range. The denier range for camping mattresses is between 50D to 150D. The higher the denier range the tougher the mattress and less probability of puncturing.

Material is also a concluding factor in deciding the durability of the mattress.

Finally, make sure to check the weight and portability of the mattress, as you’ll want to be able to easily carry it with you when you’re out camping.

With these factors in mind, you’ll be sure to find the perfect air mattress for your next camping adventure.

Check the R-value

R-value is a measure of thermal resistance used in the building and construction industry. R-value is the capacity of an insulating material to resist heat flow.

The higher the R-value of a material, the more effective it is as an insulator. The R-value of a camping mattress will vary depending on the type and thickness of the material but is typically between 3 and 5.

For winters go with the R-value of the mattress between 3-5. For summers, you can go between 1-3 R-values. If you are camping out in the snow in minus degrees celsius then, go with a mattress that has an R-value of more than 5.

In the context of camping mattresses, the R-value is a measure of how well the mattress will insulate you from the cold ground. A higher R-value means better insulation and a warmer night’s sleep.

Yes, you can put an air mattress in a tent. However, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, make sure that the air mattress is the right size for the tent. Secondly, you’ll want to inflate the mattress partially so that it doesn’t take up too much space in the tent.

Lastly, be sure to put a sheet or something down on top of the mattress to protect it from getting dirty or wet.

How to Make an Air Mattress Warmer to Sleep On

There are a few things you can do to keep your mattress warmer to sleep on.

  1. You can buy a mattress pad or electric blanket specifically designed to fit underneath your sheets.
  2. use a camping pad or groundsheet underneath it. This will help insulate the mattress from the cold ground.
  3. Another is to use a sleeping bag designed for use with an air mattress. These have an insulated bottom that will help keep the mattress warm. These will help trap the heat and prevent body heat from escaping.
  4. Further, you can also use a camp stove or fire to heat the area around the mattress, which will help keep it warm.
  5. Finally, make sure to dress warmly when you go to bed, including wearing socks. This will help your body stay warm throughout the night.

For more information, you can check this article – How to keep bedding dry when camping?

How to keep air mattress from getting holes while camping

There are a few things you can do to keep your air mattress from getting holes while camping.

First, make sure you set up your tent on a level surface. If you’re putting your mattress on an uneven surface, it’s more likely to get holes.

Secondly, invest in a good air mattress. Some air mattresses are made with thicker, more durable material that is less likely to puncture.

Third, if you’re using an air pump to inflate your mattress, be careful not to overinflate it. Overinflating the mattress can cause it to burst.

Finally, don’t use anything sharp on or near the mattress. This includes knives, keys, and other pointy objects. If you follow these tips, you should be able to keep your air mattress in good condition for many camping trips to come.

Sleeping bag vs Air mattress, which is better for camping?

There is no clear consensus on which is better for camping – a sleeping bag or an air mattress. Each option has its pros and cons, so it really depends on your individual preferences. 

Sleeping bags: are generally more compact and lightweight than air mattresses, making them easier to carry around. They also don’t require external equipment (like an air pump) to set up.

On the downside, sleeping bags can be less comfortable than air mattresses, and they may not provide enough insulation if the temperature drops too low. 

Air mattresses: on the other hand, are typically more comfortable than sleeping bags, and they can provide extra insulation in cold weather. However, they can be bulky and difficult to carry, and you’ll need an air pump to inflate them. 

So, which should you choose? If you’re looking for a compact and lightweight option that’s easy to set up, a sleeping bag is probably your best bet. If you’re more concerned with comfort and insulation, an air mattress might be a better choice.

Sleeping on the ground vs sleeping on an Air mattress while camping?

When deciding whether to sleep on the ground or on an air mattress while camping, there are a few factors to consider.

If you are car camping, weight and bulk may not be as big of a consideration, and an air mattress may be more comfortable.

However, if you are looking to save space and weight, then sleeping on the ground may be the better choice. Ultimately, it is up to you to decide what is more important to you when choosing between an air mattress and sleeping on the ground.

Some people prefer to sleep on the ground while camping because they want to attach themselves to nature and skip the hustle of carrying things that eat up their time.

If you are fit and you don’t have any problem sleeping on the ground, then you can lay a big piece of cloth underneath you and enjoy the night. However, I would not recommend this option for winter.

There are a few downsides to sleeping on the ground without any support.

Firstly, the discomfort, if you have never slept on the ground before then you will be very uncomfortable sleeping on the ground while camping.

Secondly, there is no insulation. Moreover, you have to deal with bugs and make sure the surface is clean before laying any cloth over the ground.

How to fix a hole in an air mattress without a patch kit while camping?

If you’re camping and find yourself with a hole in your air mattress, don’t worry – there are a few ways to fix it without a patch kit.

Fix a hole in Mattress while camping

  1. One way is to use a piece of duct tape to cover the hole. This method works well if there is a small hole.
  2. Another way is to use an inflator tube or a soda can to patch the hole. Simply cut a small piece of the tube or can and place it over the hole. If you have a sewing kit with you, you can also try sewing the hole shut.
  3. If that doesn’t work, you can try using a small piece of cloth or even a band-aid. If the hole is too big for either of those options, you can try using a piece of cardboard or even a dollar bill. Whatever you use, just make sure it’s airtight.

Best Mattresses for Camping

In this list, I will go through the three best camping mattress options for different types of camping. The list includes the best camping mattresses and mats for car camping, for normal camping, and lastly for backpacking and camping.

For Car Camping

EnerPlex Never-Leak Camping Series Twin/Queen Camping Airbed

Type: Twin Air Mattress

Weight: 8.2 lbs

Best for: 

Price:  $79.99

Thickness: 9 inches

Pros: extremely comfortable to sleep on, durable, Fast Inflation

Cons: Heavy

What we think

This is the best Air mattress for car camping at a decent price. Though the price of the mattress is low but the brand didn’t sacrifice the quality of the mattress.

The mattress is made of PVC material(a very tough material used in mattresses), which adds up to the durability of the mattress. Moreover, it is very rare that it will get punctured.

It is also very comfortable to sleep on, thanks to its 9-inch thickness. This mattress might be a big mattress but is very easy to inflate with the help of a high-speed pump. It only takes 2 minutes to inflate the mattress.

If you are car camping then this is the best option you can get in the market. However, we don’t recommend this to a light camper or backpacker because of its weight.

If you want to fit a mattress of this size in a tent then check this article- Best Tents That Fit A Queen Air Mattress 


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For light Camping and Backpacking

Nemo Quasar 3D

Type: Air pad

Weight: 2 lb. 1 oz.

Best for: One person(unisex)

R-Value: 3.3

Price: $200

Thickness: 3.5 inches

Pros: very light, easy to carry and pack

Cons: Not as durable, pricer

What we think

One of the best options in the market for light campers and backpackers. This Air pad is extremely light and you can carry it easily because of its weight and portability.

Though the thickness of the pad is low as compared to other options which decrease the comfort.

It is good for a single person who is looking to save space on their vehicle or backpack.

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Best Camping Air Bed

REI Co-op Kingdom Insulated Air Bed – Queen

Type: Air mattress

Weight: without pump(5 lbs. 13 oz)

Best for: two people (unisex)

Price: $149

R-value: 2.6

Pad thickness: 6 inches

Pros: comfortable, best for car camping, moderate price

Cons: Big and bulky, not a good option for winters

What we think

This is the best option for family campers or who camp with their patterns and need a space for comfortable sleep. The plus of this Air mattress is that is super comfortable and cushiony and gives a home-like feeling while camping.

It also comes as a budget-friendly option, the price of this Mattress is neither too high nor too cheap.

We also like that it comes with two valves one for inflating and one for deflating.

Lastly, we recommend this option for couples or two people. For a single person, it is too big and takes up a lot of space.

This is the best option for summer or mild winter. For cold winters you should skip this option.

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How to Take care of Camping Mattress

To extend the life of your camping mattress and keep it in good condition, follow these tips:

– Store it in a cool, dry place when not in use.

– When packing it up for transport, roll it tightly rather than folding it.

– When setting it up, unroll it completely and allow it to air out for a few hours before using it.

– Use a mattress pad or sleeping bag liner to protect it from dirt and moisture.

– Spot clean spills and stains as soon as possible.

– If it starts to develop mildew, clean it with a mixture of water and vinegar.

– Don’t allow pets on the mattress, as their claws can damage the fabric.

– Make sure to clean them regularly. This will help to prevent the build-up of dirt and grime, which can be difficult to remove.

– When storing camping mattresses, make sure to keep them in a dry place. If they get wet, they may mildew and become unusable.

– Be sure to patch any holes or tears in the mattress as soon as possible. Otherwise, they may become larger and more difficult to repair.


Air mattresses are safe to use when camping. There are two issues to consider: the safety of the air mattress, and how the mattress is stored when not in use.

The air mattress is a safe purchase for camping. It has a built-in valve for inflation and deflation.

If you plan on using your air mattress for camping, it’s important to make sure that the air isn’t leaking out. When not in use, the air mattress should be stored in a place that is dry and has good air circulation.