Best Air Mattress for Camping

September 28, 2021
CAMPING

You've just got back from an extensive journey of hiking in the woods, sightseeing, and fishing, and you're exhausted. As you lay face-up in your tent, the feeling of sticks, stones, and twigs harass the back of your head. This is going to be a terrible night's sleep unless you find an alternative. Bibak wants to offer you that alternative with the best air mattress for camping we could find. To take all the trial and error out of the equation, we've listed air mattresses that offer the best bang you can get for your buck.

What Makes a Good Air Mattress?

So what should you be looking for in an air mattress? Well, for starters, it would be nice if it didn't pop right from under you, so the material is a big one. The next on the list for most would likely be how you're going to inflate it. Undoubtedly you've inflated a floaty by mouth before, so imagine that times 20… yikes. Since this is a camping trip and you'll likely have to carry this thing, it would suck if you had to deadlift the mattress, so weight is another BIG factor. Finally, the price of the mattress matters; we're obviously not talking to you, Richie rich. These are all aspects worth consideration when picking out which bed you're going to pass out on. The best air mattress 2021 has to offer owns an outstanding balance of all of these things.

Material

When it comes to materials, you really only have two options: PVC and TPU. That said, there's a vast difference between the two. Simply put, PVC is plastic, and TPU is rubber. If you're looking for something sturdy and long-lasting (emphasis on sturdy because plastic will outlast us all), you'll want to go with TPU. If you're looking for cheaper, lighter, and more portable, PVC air mattresses are the way to go. That's what's on the inside; what's on the outside usually goes one of two ways. Either it's plastic vinyl-like texture or flocked, which is a fabric similar to a polyester velour fabric, the latter having more friction than the former. 

Inflation

Inflation can easily be the best or the worst part of owning an air mattress. It all depends on the method of inflation. Depending on the price range, some air mattresses come with an air pump, and other times you have to fend for yourself. Should you have to get your own pump, there's one thing you need to pay attention to; is it an automatic or manual pump. Ideally, a compatible or even built-in pump will come along with the mattress or in it. Then there are regulated self-pumps that make sure your mattress never gets flat.

Weight & Size

When you're walking around with your entire world in your backpack, every pound counts. An air mattress can weigh anywhere from 1.25lbs to 19.26lbs. Not only that, you'll have limited space to work with inside of a tent, so the size similarly matters. Taking a mixture of these two things into consideration is highly advised when choosing an air mattress for camping.

Product Lifespan

Comfort, weight, size, and price all mean nothing if it pops after the first week. Heaven's not as attractive if you have to come back. So the lifespan of your air mattress is just as important as anything. A good heuristic to go off is the internal material that holds the air in and the outer material that keeps it in. As TPU is generally stronger than PVC mattresses, that's a decent place to start for durability. The second data point to go off of would be the outer material. Typically, something flocked is made to be more puncture-resistant, but there are exceptions. Finally, just observe the ergonomics of the internal structure of the mattress. A lot can be gleaned from the design of the inside of the mattress. Some general rules of thumb:
• More pillars (circular coils) = more support = good
• More layers = greater durability = good and vice versa
• Self-regulating internal pumps = good

Top 5 Best Air Mattresses

There's a world of air mattresses out there, and we can't give them all their due, but before we start with our list, let's list a few meritorious air mattresses. A common trend with these air mattresses is bringing quality at a more significant expense, a self-inflating pump, and puncture resistance. 

Naturehike TPU Double Sleeping Pad

Naturehike is a brand that believes in bring the best value to the nature-loving community. Their products place emphasis on quality, convenience, and compactness. Their award-winning products satisfy customers across 72 countries. You can expect their sleeping pad to live up to the same standards. Each product of theirs goes through rigorous trial and error to bring you the best outdoor products at an affordable price, their air pads being no exception.

  • Material: 40D Nylon and TPU
  • Weight: 3.5lbs (1.6kg)
  • Size:82.6x53x5in (210*135*13cm)
  • Pump Included: No

Pros

  • Big enough for two
  • In-built pillow
  • Increased durability from TPU-lined inside
  • Compact Storage

Cons

  • Hand Pump

Final Thoughts

When you're planning for two, Naturehike's double sleeping pad is worth packing. Its TPU interior ensures sturdy and secure inflation, while its nylon exterior makes it comfy to the touch. Naturehike's double air mattress is light, compact, and easy to take wherever you wish. While you will have to worry about getting a pump, you won't have to worry about sleeping well.

SoundAsleep Dream Series Air Mattress

SoundAsleep is an air mattress brand that seeks to maximize customer's comfort. A general theme of their products is eco-friendly material, long product lifespan, and comfort. Their anti-slide, puncture-resistant mattresses make it an ideal choice for indoor and outdoor use alike. Each product comes with a year warranty if you ever find the product not be to your liking.

  • Material: Eco-friendly PVC
  • Weight: 19lbs (8.6kg)
  • Size: 78x58 x19in
  • Pump Included: Yes

Pros

  • Built-in air pump
  • Flocked Exterior
  • Inflated/Deflated in 4 minutes
  • Supports up to 500lbs

Cons

  • Spacious

Final Thoughts

Now that we've gotten the minimalist air mattresses out of the way let's talk luxury. If you've wondered what an air mattress looks like when the price isn't a factor, that's the SoundAsleep Dream Series Air Mattress. It comes with a built-in self-inflating pump, flocked exterior, 3-minute inflation, and Queen-sized to boot. Basically, you're getting a mattress experience on an air mattress for camping budget.

Intex Dura-Beam Air Mattress

Intex is an inflatables brand for all things family-related. Whether that's a comfortable air mattress for camping or floaties for your kids. Since their forte is inflatable, you can be assured that they know their way around an air-filled structure. Their company motto is affordable, quality, and comfortable. All of these values reflect exceptionally well on their Dura-Beam Air Mattress series. 

  • Material: PVC
  • Weight:10.66lbs
  • Size: 39x75x13
  • Pump Included: Yes

Pros

  • Built-in air pump
  • Flocked Exterior
  • Inflated/Deflated in 3 minutes

Cons

  • Spacious

Final Thoughts

Similarly luxurious is Intex's Dura-beam air mattress. This one, however, is still for the bachelor and bachelorettes that enjoy the solo experience. This air mattress rocks a built-in air pump, lots of legroom, and PVC material comfortable enough to justify getting two. Despite its relatively smaller size, it can support up to 300 pounds! Pretty sure a few of these could support a declining economy. 

Naturehike TPU Camping Sleeping Pad

  • Material: TPU and Nylon
  • Weight: 22.2oz (630g)
  • Size: 23.2 x 78 x 2.5 in. (59 x 198 x 6.5cm)
  • Pump Included: No

Pros

  • Increased durability from TPU-lined inside
  • In-built pillow
  • Compact both inflated and deflated
  • Super Small Carry

Cons

  • Hand Pump

Final Thoughts

If solo-camping is your game, Naturehike has a similar selection of single-person-sized air mattresses for you to peruse. This particular air mattress comes with a built-in pillow. Talk about an efficient purchase. It has a relatively short inflation time, is waterproof, and is wear-resistant. Overall, it's a pretty solid choice if you're looking to be a lone wolf in the wild.

King Koil Queen Air Mattress

King Koil is a luxury brand made in 1898 in the industry of making mattresses. Today, King Koil brings comfort to over 90 countries around the world. At its core, it's a hand-made bed company, but now they've brought their luxury bed standards to the air mattress market to bring you the most comfortable, portable bed money can buy. Expect to feel that 100+ years of experience in your air mattress.

  • Material: Flocked
  • Weight: 17lbs
  • Size: 80x60x20in
  • Pump Included: Yes

Pros

  • Built-in air pump
  • Flocked Exterior
  • Inflated/Deflated in 2 minutes
  • Waterproof

Cons

  • Spacious

Final Thoughts

As implied by the name, the air mattress is fit for a king. Among the options on this list, it is among the most expensive and the most lavish. As far as an air mattress for camping goes, it doesn't get much better than this. The mattress can be anywhere from 13 to 20 inches thick with a fully flocked exterior. It's waterproof, has a reasonable weight of 17 pounds, and best of all, it's self-inflated. This is the best air mattress 2021 has to offer at its given price point. You'll forget you were even in a tent and might cop one for the house. Expect a sound slumber wherever you set it down.

Conclusion

If I had to choose one of all the air mattresses above, I would definitely choose the Naturehike TPU Camping Single Person Sleeping Pad. I would choose this one because when I go camping, I am always looking for a way to save space as I pack. I believe this air mattress is the biggest bang for your square inch. It is high quality, easy to pack, and light to carry.

Link to Winning Air Mattress

Why use an air mattress? Previously air mattresses were synonymous with a high-quality air balloon that's fragile, stiff, and uncomfortable to lay on. Fast-forward to today and they're almost, if not just as good as a regular mattress. What's more, they're definitely an upgrade from the sleeping bags you'd roll yourself into on a camping trip. Air mattresses provide a relatively cheap, comfortable, portable alternative to anything else you'd take in the back of your trunk. In conclusion, whether you're just looking for a minimalist air mattress or a hotel bed with air, there's a suitable mattress for everyone.

Honorable Mentions

There's a world of air mattresses out there, and we can't give them all their due, but before we start with our list, let's list a few meritorious air mattresses. A common trend with these air mattresses is bringing quality at a more significant expense, a self-inflating pump, and puncture resistance. 

Serta Raised Air Mattress with Never Flat Pump

  • Material: Polyvinyl Chloride
  • Weight: N/A
  • Weight Capacity: 500 lbs
  • Size: 78x60x18in.
  • Pump Included: Yes

Serta is a titan mattress brand with an emphasis on the comfort and sustainability of its products. The cloth, springs, and wood are made from eco-friendly materials, from recycled steel to non-pollutant foam. With their 90 years of mattress-making experience, they bring you their Never-flat Pump Air Mattress with all the comfort you'd expect from such a brand. 

EnerPlex Queen Air Mattress for Camping, Home & Travel - 16 Inch Double Height Inflatable Bed w/ Built-in Dual Pump

  • Material: Polyvinyl Chloride, PVC
  • Weight: 19.26 lbs.
  • Size: 80x60x16 in.
  • Pump Included: Yes

EnerPlex is an air mattress brand whose motto is long-lasting, puncture-resistant beds for constant use. Their air mattress lines encompass outdoor and indoor models, so they have something for the whole lot. Additionally, if you find their products unsatisfactory, they are one of the few brands that dare to insure an air mattress with a limited-time warranty. So should you enjoy your purchase or despise it, be reassured that you can reconsider. Their #2 place for camping and home air mattresses on Amazon's best sellers speaks of the quality of EnerPlex's Air Mattress.

Insta-Bed Raised Air Mattress with Never Flat Pump

  • Material: Polyvinyl Chloride
  • Weight: 22lbs
  • Weight Capacity: 500 lbs
  • Size: 80x60x19in.
  • Pump Included: Yes

Insta-Bed is an air mattress brand centered around its unique take on the never-flat pump. Inflate, deflate, setting comfort, firmness, and an auto-pilot pump is next level. While this air bed is more suited for indoor use, there's nothing that says you can't bend the rules a little. The comfort and consistency of Insta-bed's products make it a great air mattress for camping. 

Link to Best Air Mattress