Top Air Beds Reviewed
Sleeping in the backcountry can be a challenge.
While most campers just assume that a good night’s rest is as elusive as Bigfoot, packing a good air mattress or sleeping pad can give you some added comfort while you catch some zzz’s.
Nowadays there are plenty of good air bed options no matter what your style of camping is.
For glampers and family camping trips there are full-sized air mattresses that can give a more home-mattress feel.
For lightweight backpackers, you can just as easily roll up an ultralight sleeping pad in your pack and fit it in your sleeping bag for a padded barrier between you and the cold, hard ground.
Both options are easily portable and have plenty of features like electronic pumps, self-inflation, and extra padding.
Be sure to check our list below of top air mattresses and sleeping pads.
Also check out our featured article, “Best Air Mattresses and Sleeping Pads For Camping” for tips and information on how to choose the best airbed, mattress, or sleeping pad for your next adventure!
Top Air Beds Rankings
Last update on 2019-11-12 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
Air Beds Buying Guide 2019
How to Pick
There are quite a few details to look out for when searching for the right air mattress for your adventure.
To start, make sure you really know what your camping needs are and how the air mattress you choose fits into those plans.
There are some really great air mattresses available but some are just not right for the outdoors.
Some work really well in your guest bedroom.
But then you take it outdoors and the second you lay it out it on your tent floor all hell breaks loose.
There are quite a few outdoor obstacles that can obstruct your air mattress’ effectiveness.
First and foremost if the material catches the side of a rock and your toast.
Even worse is that moment you realize that you can’t pump up the mattress without electricity and there’s not an outlet to be found.
Below are some other features to keep in mind when looking for a camping air mattress:
Air Mattress Size:
Finding the right size mattress for your trip all depends on your own size and comfort level.
What size mattress do you sleep on at home?
Do you absolutely need that same size or can you rough it with something smaller?
The sizes of mattress vary between twin, queen and king sized mattresses.
There’s more than enough variety to find something for everyone.
Most reasonable beds will get you anywhere between 70-80 inches in length and between 40-60 inches in width and between 1-2 feet in height off the ground.
Typically the dimensions of the bed follow suit to whether its twin, queen, or king.
But the big feature you want to be on the lookout for is height.
The number one complaint about anyone sleeping on an air mattress is that it felt too close to the ground.
When fully inflated you want as much air between you and the ground as possible.
This is where you’ll really feel the comfort while avoiding the cold, hard, jagged ground.
For campers and backpackers, another important size feature is the deflated size and weight.
If you’re going to be traveling with the mattress keep in mind that most mattresses can still be quite bulky and heavy.
Most are usually closer to 20 pounds when fully deflated.
To make transporting of the mattress easier, make sure it comes with some sort of tote bag.
Air Mattress Comfort
There are a few factors that play into how comfortable or uncomfortable an air mattress is.
Its size, of course, is a factor.
But also knowing how much weight the mattress can support is a good thing to know.
If the mattress can support a heavier weight then it’s a good bet that it offers some good cushioning to lay on.
What kind of materials is the mattress made with?
Does the mattress provide any kind of air coils or inflated air beams for added support and extra firmness?
Or is it simply a bed that doubles as a flotation device?
Air Mattress Pump: External vs Self Inflating
The pump is where you’ll start seeing some differentiation between air mattresses.
Some air mattresses come with an external pump that can be either electronic or manual.
But most newer model air mattresses include an internal pump meaning the pump is built into the mattress.
This provides self-inflation for a more precise and complete fill of the mattress.
Most self-inflating mattresses also offer a deflation option.
This comes in handy to get all the air out of the mattress in a fraction of the time it would take otherwise.
Air Mattress Warranty
It’s important to buy an air mattress, especially if it’s for camping, with a solid warranty from a trusted retailer.
As anyone who’s ever owned an air mattress can tell you, these things can be very fragile.
You fall asleep on a full air mattress, you wake up on a sad puddle of deflated polyester while the whole time having no idea that there’s a tiny leak somewhere on the bed.
You want to know that the company who sold you the mattress can at least stand behind it.
Especially if it happens in the first month or even the first year that it happens.