Best Camping Mattress [2019]

How We Picked

To the uninitiated, a camping mattress might seem like little more than a tightly sealed bag of air that you can also keep in the house for times when a company spends the night. If you’ve ever spent the night on one of these low-quality mattresses, you likely also have a low opinion of them.

Chances are it lost air to pinhole leaks in the seams, only to leave you waking up to the sides folding in on you. If you shared a night with someone you likely had dreams of sleeping on a trampoline. Many of these older air mattresses also made people feel cold and left them with a sore back in the morning.

Fortunately, modern-day air mattress manufacturers have taken these old complaints to heart and have made major strides in providing campers, and people who need sleeping space for guests, with quality air mattress options.

When reviewing the following mattresses, we kept an eye out for a couple of key features.

Interior Structure

Traditional, uncomfortable mattresses were little more than single air bladder with little to no internal structure. A high-quality modern-day air mattress tends to have things like chambers, coils, and beams to help make the mattress stable and comfortable.

Chambers help to distribute weight throughout the air mattress, which can also help with back support. They also reduce motion transfer for the times when you need to share the air mattress with someone else.

Interior coils further add to the overall stability of the air mattress. They also reduce interior air circulation, to help keep you warm throughout the night.

All this superior stability pays off in more than just comfort. The reduced stretching and flexing also helps to reduce the risk of air leaks. Most minor or “Slow” leaks are caused by excess pulling and stretching, which causes a minor failure in a seam. These problem areas tend to be hard to find and even the best patching repairs tend to be temporary.


What a mattress is made out of can also be a factor in overall quality and durability. Most air mattresses are created from vinyl or a similar PVC material. The seams are then electrically welded to bond all the internal and external components together.

Multi-layers of vinyl or thick PVC tend to provide superior puncture and abrasion resistance. However, there are some camping air mattresses that are encased in other materials or are interspersed with nylon layers for superior rigidity.

A new material innovation showing up with many high-quality air mattresses is the use of microfibers. Most of these materials are “Proprietary” yet they are touted for superior stability, leak reductions, and abrasion resistance. They also have a growing reputation for superior comfort.

Air Pump

Blowing it up was one of the other annoying aspects of old-fashioned air mattresses. Some of them had little more than a rubber gasket that was filled exclusively by lung power. In time this gave way to foot bellows pumps and even heavy handheld, battery-powered pumps that you had to lug with you.

Of course, the seam that married the mattress to the gasket was also a prime place for air leaks to develop. For some old-fashioned manufacturers, this problem was addressed by adding extra layers or bonding with smelly adhesive compounds. While it might have helped reduced minor leaks in this area when the seam did eventually fail it tended to do so catastrophically.

Today quality air mattresses are designed with much better seals, for reduced air leaks. There are even some high-quality double high air mattresses that have a built-in pump for rapid inflation and deflation. However, most of these units need to be connected to 110 Volt AC electricity.

There are a few manufacturers who offer air mattresses with a so-called “Smart Pump.” This built-in secondary pump essentially monitors the air pressure inside the mattress. If something like a pinhole leak or a minor seam failure causes the mattress to lose air, it activates to keep it at the desired level.

This can be both a good and a bad thing. On the one hand, it spares you from having to wake up in the middle of the night to fumble around with buttons and nozzles. On the other hand, if your mattress has more than just one small pinhole, the pump might need to turn on multiple times in the middle of the night.

With some of these units, the spontaneous noise while you are sound asleep is just as disturbing as a Monday morning alarm clock. However, there are some manufacturers who address this issue and offer a nearly silent built-in secondary pump. Just bear in mind for it to operate correctly, you need to be connected to a reliable source of AC electricity.

The easiest way to work around this problem is to bring a DC to AC power inverter. You can hook it up to your vehicle’s power port and it will safely deliver the current you need to run the air pump.

A quality unit like the Ampeak 400W Power Inverter can even provide you with the basic wattage to run some other convenient camp appliances.

Any built-in air pump also needs to have a deflate feature. If it just has a release valve you will need to force all the air out yourself. Not only is this awkward, the stretching and forcing increases the chances of a minor seam failure, leading to a slow leak the next time you use it.

Of course, a built-in air pump isn’t always ideal. If you want to camp deep in the bush or your campsite doesn’t have electrical service available, you might want to prioritize a battery-powered pump. A unit that comes with one, is certainly a feather in the manufacturer’s cap. Yet even if you fall in love with one that doesn’t have one, an accessory air pump is usually pretty affordable.

Let’s look at our top 7 choices, picked by the criteria mentioned above.

SoundAsleep Dream Series Air Mattress with ComfortCoil Technology

SoundAsleep Dream Series Air Mattress


  • Internal Air Coil Structure
  • Double High Dual Chamber
  • Internal Air Pump
  • Sure-Grip Textured Bottom
  • 1-Year Warranty

The SoundAsleep Dream Series Air Mattress has two air chambers which helps keep you warm while making the mattress stable. The double-height also helps you get in and out of the bed easily.

SoundAsleep Dream Series Air Mattress

The internal structure uses its proprietary “ComfortCoil Technology.” This further improves the overall stability and comfort of the air mattress, which is especially nice if you will be sleeping with another person.

SoundAsleep Dream Series Air Mattress folded

It has a built-in air pump that was designed to inflate the bed in a little over four minutes. There’s also a convenient deflate feature, which spares you the awkwardness of trying to get all the air out of the chambers and air coils.

SoundAsleep Dream Series Air Mattress in bag

The bottom has its “Sure-Grip Texture” to help hold it in place. The flocked top is warm and comfortable while also being waterproof.

Sound asleep also backs their Dream Series air mattresses with a one-year warranty and US-based customer service. This makes a statement that they stand behind their product, and if there is a problem, they can work quickly to rectify it.

What We Liked

The dual air chambers, double-height, and internal air coils improve stability and comfort. The “Sure-Grip Texture” on the bottom might not seem like a big deal. Yet it helps keep the air mattress in place, rather than knocking around all your bedside items.


This is a quality mattress that has all the features you want when you are camping or having guests sleepover. It’s even backed by a one-year warranty.

The only serious knock on it is the fact that it is set up to only run on 110 volt AC current. If you want to take it camping at a site with no electrical service, you will need to also buy a DC to AC inverter to run off your vehicle’s power port.

  • Air Coils With Double Air Chambers
  • Internal Pump Inflates and Deflates
  • Sure-Grip Textured Bottom

King Koil California King Luxury Raised Air Mattress

King Koil California King Luxury Raised Air Mattress


  • Coil Beam Internal Structure
  • Double High
  • Built-In Air Pump For Inflating and Deflating
  • Endorsed by The International Chiropractors Association
  • 1 Year Warranty

King Koil is a mattress company that also offers a limited line of air mattresses. One of the ways they stand out is in offering a California King air mattress that meets the same dimensions as a standard mattress. This allows you to use standard sheets to “Fix” the mattress top. The soft velvet textured surface and comfort quilt top also helps hold the sheets in place, while adding to the overall comfort.

King Koil California King Luxury

The interior uses a coil-beam structure for added comfort. This also helps reduce movement if you need to sleep with another person. There is also a built-in pillow area.

King Koil California King Luxury interior

There is an internal pump that can rapidly inflate or deflate the mattress in just under 3-minutes. It’s set up with an easy one-touch switch to put a little more air into it in the middle of the night if need be.

King Koil California King Luxury Raised Air Mattress

Unfortunately, the air pump is only set up to run on standard 110 Volt AC power. If you don’t have electrical service at your campsite, you will need a DC to AC inverter that runs off your vehicle’s power port.

The King Koil California King Luxury Raised Air Mattress is endorsed by the International Chiropractors Association. It’s backed back by a one-year warranty. It also includes a patch kit with the initial purchase.

What We Liked

The fact that it meets the standard measurements of a true California King makes it easy to fit standard bedsheets without having to worry about them slipping. The double-height also keeps you up off the cold ground.

It’s also nice that it’s been endorsed by the International Chiropractors Association.


This is a nice big air mattress, which is a great place to start for a couple with a large tent, who wants to camp in comfort. The pillow section is a matter of preference.

Some people love these raised features, while others prefer a totally flat area to lay down their own pillow. If you don’t happen to like the pillow feature, yet you love everything else about the King Koil, the California King model has more than enough room for you to simply sleep sideways.

  • Coil Beam Construction
  • True California King Dimensions
  • 1-Year Warranty

Englander First-Ever Microfiber Queen Air Mattress

Couple on the Englander First-Ever Microfiber Queen Air Mattress


  • Microfiber Construction
  • 5 Year Warranty
  • Built-In Air Pump
  • True to Size Dimensions
  • Puncture Resistant
  • Abrasion Resistant
  • Superior Stability

Englander is a well-established European brand with roots extending back for over a century. This air bed uses innovative microfiber construction. This makes the air bed more stable than a standard vinyl-based air mattress.

Englander First-Ever Microfiber Queen Air Mattress

The microfiber is rated to make it 20% more puncture-resistant, as well as 20% more abrasion resistant, while also giving it 30% more tensile strength. The microfiber flocking also has thermo-regulating properties that help keep you from feeling overly hot or cold.

Englander First-Ever Microfiber Queen Air Mattress

It has a built-in air pump which runs on 110 Volt standard AC electricity. This means you will need some type of DC to AC inverter if you are camping somewhere that doesn’t have shore power available. The air pump was designed for rapid inflation and deflation. It can fully inflate the queen size mattress in 2-minutes.

Englander First-Ever Microfiber Queen Air Mattress in bedroom

Englander has a strong reputation for quality is founded in superior customer service. Furthermore, they back this air mattress with an impressive five-year warranty.

What We Liked

You can’t look past the fact this air mattress is backed by a five-year warranty. It’s a strong statement that Englander stands by their product, with more confidence than you see in nearly every one of their competitors.

The microfiber construction is also an innovative touch that is relatively new in the air mattress industry. It gives this air bed superior abrasion and puncture resistance, while also giving it thermal regulating properties.


It’s hard to find a weak point with the Englander. The only minor foible is the fact that you need to have access to 110 AC electricity to operate the pump. However, you find this with pretty much all of the direct competitors, and it’s easy to get around with an inexpensive inverter.

  • Impressive Five-Year Warranty
  • Microfiber Construction
  • Durable and Thermal Regulating

Lunvon Queen Size Self Inflatable Air Mattress with Rechargeable Pump

Lunvon Queen Size Self Inflatable Air Mattress


  • Rechargeable Electric Pump
  • Two Year Warranty
  • Inflates In 3 Minutes
  • Built-In Pillow

The Lunvon Air Mattress has an innovative inner construction made from a special extra-thick non-toxic PVC material.

Lunvon Queen Size Self Inflatable Air Mattress

The top has multiple layers including a flocking layer designed to be comfortable on the skin, as well as a “Non-Dipping” film. It’s also rated to have a leather hardness of 52PHR, and there’s a built-in pillow area.

How to use a pump on the Lunvon Queen Size Self Inflatable Air Mattress

The air pump is included in the initial purchase and is rechargeable via USB. It’s rated to fully inflate the queen size mattress in three minutes. It can also deflate in three minutes and thirty seconds. The gasket closure was designed with an anti-leakage valve.

What We Liked

The USB rechargeable air pump is a nice touch that makes it easy for you to inflate and deflate the Lunvon air mattress when electric service isn’t available. They also stand behind their product with a two-year warranty.


For the price, this single-high air mattress has the comfort and durability you need to sleep comfortably when you’re away from home. The rechargeable air pump works off a standard USB charger, just like many of the other devices you bring with you camping.

  • USB Rechargeable Air Pump Included
  • Anti-Leakage Valve
  • Back by A Two-Year Warranty

Coleman SupportRest Plus PillowStop Double-High Airbed

Coleman SupportRest Plus PillowStop Double-High Airbed


  • Pump Included
  • Double High
  • Air-Tight System For Reduced Air Leakage
  • Pillow Stop

Coleman has long been a trusted name in the camping equipment marketplace. They started out with lanterns and propane appliances and have since evolved their line to include quality air mattresses.

Coleman SupportRest Plus PillowStop Double-High Airbed

This particular unit is double high which makes it easy and comfortable to get out of bed. It also has a “Pillow Stop” which prevents your pillow from sliding off, without having the sometimes–uncomfortable bulge of a built-in pillow. It has an anti-microbially treated surface to prevent mold and mildew issues, which can become an issue when you camp in rustic, humid or wet locations.

Coleman SupportRest Plus PillowStop Double-High Airbed

The accessory air pump that comes with the purchase isn’t necessarily as fast as the built-in air pumps you find in the higher-priced competition. Still, it gets the job done in a reasonable amount of time. It’s set up to plug into a standard AC outlet, which means you will need to come up with a way to power it when you are in the bush.

If you don’ have easy access to a power post or a DC to AC inverter, Coleman does sell a secondary battery-powered air pump for a very reasonable price.

What We Liked

This air mattress is backed by Coleman’s reputation for quality. The thick flocked upper surface has been treated to prevent microbial issues, which is a feather in their cap for individuals who want to camp in the often-damp forest.


This mattress is a little bit of a utility air bed. It will give you a good night’s sleep and won’t get musty with mold and mildew. Just bear in mind that while the size states “Queen” it fits “Full” size sheets better.

  • Durable Air Mattress
  • Anti-Microbial Surface
  • Double High

Serta Raised Queen Pillow Top Air Mattress with Never Flat Pump

Couple on the Serta Raised Queen Pillow Top Air Mattress


  • 2 Built-In Air Pumps
  • Proprietary “Never Flat Technology”
  • Adjustable Comfort Settings
  • Washable Pillow Top
  • Coil Construction
  • 2-Year Warranty

Serta is another traditional mattress company that offers an air mattress as part of its expanded product line. As such they bring a few extra bells and whistles to bear with their Queen Size Pillow Top Air Mattress.

Serta Raised Queen Pillow Top Air Mattress

The proprietary “Never Flat Technology” runs on two air pumps. The primary pump can quickly inflate and deflate the air mattress in around four minutes. There is also a secondary pump that monitors the internal pressure and will essentially top it up.

Serta Raised Queen Pillow Top Air Mattress in bag

The secondary pump is much quieter than some other similar systems, which can be annoyingly loud when you are sleeping. The pump also has adjustable comfort settings “Plush, Medium, and Firm” which you set via a simple dial.

However, both pumps are set up to run off 110 Volt AC electricity. To pump it up in the bush, you need to have a power post or keep the bed connected to a DC to AC inverter. This is probably a better mattress for camping with utility access or if you need some extra mattress space in your RV.

The mattress has internal coil construction for superior comfort. The soft, suede flocked top helps hold sheets in place. There is also a comfortable washable pillow top, which is a nice touch for sleeping in cold conditions.

What We Liked

The “Never Flat Technology” with a nearly silent secondary pump is a very nice touch and something that’s rare in similar units. It works nicely with the adjustable comfort settings. The internal coil construction also helps maintain the integrity of the mattress top.


To really make the most out of this mattress when you are camping, you will need to have a minimal amount of AC electricity connected to it. You also need to bear in mind that even though Serta is a traditional mattress manufacturer, that this air mattress still isn’t meant to be used as a “Daily Sleeper” mattress.

Keeping all that in mind, this is a great option for camping where reliable utility service is available. The fact that Serta backs it with a two-year warranty, also means that they stand behind their product.

  • Adjustable Comfort Settings
  • Dual Pump “Never Flat Technology”
  • Washable Pillow Top

Etekcity Camping Air Mattress with Rechargeable Air Pump

Etekcity Camping Air Mattress with Rechargeable Air Pump


  • Coil Beam PVC Construction
  • 9-Inch Single High
  • Rechargeable Air Pump
  • Soft Flocked Top
  • Non-Skid Bottom Texture
  • Lightweight and Includes Carrying Bag
  • 2-Year Warranty

If you need the ability to camp off the grid, or perhaps take an air mattress with you on a hiking trip, then you likely aren’t in the market for a double-high air mattress with a built-in air pump. In these scenarios, lightweight, and durability tend to a priority. An air mattress with a convenient pump also spares you having to improvise with a foot bellows or blowing it up yourself.

Etekcity Camping Air Mattress with Rechargeable Air Pump

If this sounds like you, then you might want to take a good hard look at the Etekcity Camping Air Mattress with Rechargeable Air Pump. It’s a single-high air mattress made from thick PVC. It uses internal coil beam construction for added stability and comfort.

Etekcity Camping Air Mattress on a camping trip

The top is flocked to help hold sheets secure. The bottom has an anti-skid texture to help hold the mattress in place.

It only weighs a little over ten pounds, which makes it easy to pack along for a hiking trip. It also includes a convenient carrying case.

The air pump is rechargeable. You can plug it in at home before you leave, or you can charge it up with the DC to AC car charger. Not only does it make the mattress portable, it tends to weigh less than traditional battery-powered air pumps that use heavy C or D batteries.

What We Liked

The lightweight construction with a rechargeable battery makes this a great option for the times when you just want a basic single high mattress to pack with you. The non-skid bottom is a nice touch that you only really appreciate when you realize your bedside items haven’t been scrambled around by sloppy-moving mattress.


This is an all-around well-designed mattress for the money. The fact that the Etekcity backs it with a two-year warranty ensures a return on your investment, while also demonstrating that they stand by the quality of their product.

  • Rechargeable Battery-Powered Air Pump
  • Lightweight and Easily Portable
  • Coil Beam Construction

Buyers Guide

Modern manufacturing technology and product quality standards have helped camping air mattresses to evolve into modern-day sleep solutions. This also means there are some important factors to keep in mind while perusing your options and choosing the one that best meets your needs.

Material Matters

The camping air mattress marketplace has a long-standing reputation for marketing terms that play fast and loose with claims about their air mattress being “Puncture Proof” or “Leak Resistant.”

While the air mattress industry has undergone a massive revolution in materials and design quality, there still are some old versions with a presence in this niche. This can make it hard sort out which ones are truly deserving of your hard-earned dollars.

The first thing to beware is claims about being leak proof or puncture-resistant without an explanation. It’s okay for a manufacturer to claim their air mattress won’t leak, so long as they back it up with a good reason or some type of testing statistics.

The following are some of the more common construction and material explanations you might find in an air mattress that is worth your money.

Multi-Layered And Thick Vinyl

A multi-layer air mattress with electro-welded vinyl might have three or even five layers to help prevent leaks. Even if a single layer fails, the additional layers will keep the air from completely escaping. There are also some manufacturers who will use exceedingly thick vinyl to make the mattress rigid as well as durable.

Still, if you accidentally drop your hunting knife on it, you can expect a severe puncture. Once these mattresses are damaged you can attempt to patch or repair them, but it rarely holds for long.

Nylon Encasing

This type of air mattress tends to use a new vinyl that has never been recycled and then encases one or more layers in a laminated layer of nylon film. This essentially makes the mattress durable and light. At the same time, it also reduces the amount of stretching and flexing, which reduces the chances of seam leaks.

Microfiber Polymers

These are essentially proprietary polymer strands that provide the air mattress with additional structure. You find them in the greatest density in the interior of the mattress reinforcing cells or air coils. The microfiber polymers don’t stretch as much as vinyl. This makes the mattress more stable, and less likely to leak. If you are sharing the air mattress with someone else, it will also reduce motion transfer.

Interior Structure Affects Sleep Quality

Chambers, beams, and coils all work on a similar principle of helping to distribute weight throughout the air mattress. This makes it more comfortable and also tends to provide superior back support. It also reduces motion transfer when you share the air mattress with someone else.

Interior coils further add to the overall stability of the air mattress. They also reduce interior air circulation, to help keep you warm throughout the night.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Does The Surface Texture Matter?

A. It might not seem like a big deal when you are reading the label, but the top and bottom surface texture can make the difference between a good and bad night’s sleep. In the past air, mattresses had the same surface on the bottom that they did on the top.

It allowed you to flip the mattress for the same consistent feel. Even though this had no real bearing on performance. It also tended to make them slide around easily on the tent’s floor, which led to constant problems with bedside items being knocked around.

Ideally, you want an air mattress with a textured bottom. This usually looks like little dots or bumps that help to hold the mattress firmly in place.

The top surface texture should be described as something like “Flocked,” “Velvet Soft” or “Gently Textured.” This helps with surface comfort when you are laying on it, especially when it’s humid out. It’s also very nice if you plan to fix the air mattress with a fitted sheet. The soft texture holds onto the sheets better, keeping the corners from annoyingly slipping off when you roll over at night.

Q. Does Size Really Matter?

A. Choosing an air mattress is another one of those times when you really do want to measure twice. Most tents have curves or changes in dimension. It helps to set your tent up and measure the headspace dimensions, and just how long it is. This will give you a good idea of just how much of a presence the air mattress will have when you walk through the door.

Mattress size is also a factor when it comes to sleeping with another person. You might have a queen size mattress at home, but a queen size air mattress might not feel like it has the same real estate. The total square inches might be a little less than you are used to at home. If you have the room in your tent, you might want to choose the next size up. Especially if you will be sharing it with another person.

There are indeed many air mattresses out there that advertise themselves as being “Queen” size, yet full-size sheets fit them better. There are also a few King size mattresses with slightly abnormal dimension, that cause sheets to slip off the corner in the middle of the night. Double-checking the dimensions of the mattress against the sheets you intend to use can be a factor in your overall sleep quality.

Q. Does Height Matter?

A. Double high or double chamber beds keep you off the ground more. Which is nice if you need to get up in the middle of the night. A double chamber interior further reduces the interaction between the cold lower air and the warmer air near your body.

Q. How Do I Keep My Air Mattress From Feeling Cold?

A. If you are camping in all but the hottest of summer weather, then chances are you will notice a gradual cooling effect with your air mattress. It’s even more likely to be an issue with single height or low profile air mattresses.

This is often related to the heat sink of the cool moist earth under the air mattress. As time goes on the bottom of the air mattress cools, which further cools the air, which then draws heat away from your body while you lay there. You might not even notice it when you first lay down. Then once you fall asleep, your body temperature naturally starts to drop, and the combined effect of the cold air mass below you further starts to sap heat. This can be further compounded by the overnight low temperature.

There are a few different ways to address this problem.

The first is to put an additional layer between the bottom of the air mattress and the ground. Even something as simple as an old blanket will work. This creates an insulating layer to reduce the relationship between the air and the cold ground under your tent.

The second is to fix the air mattress with sheets just like your bed mattress at home. This is yet another insulating layer between you and the surface of the cold air mattress. Flannel sheets are especially nice for spring and fall camping. Even if you are going to still be sleeping in a sleeping bag, this is still a nice touch.

Third, you want to make sure your sleeping bag is rated for the temperature and conditions. If it gets down to 40 degrees for the overnight low, your 50-degree rated sleeping bag simply won’t be able to keep up with the potential heat loss.

Lastly, consider the quality and characteristics of your air mattress. A single air bladder or low profile air mattress not only holds a smaller volume of air, but it also places you closer to the ground and the cold night air that pools on the floor.

Many quality mattresses also have internal chambers, beams or air coils. This reduces the micro air currents inside the air mattress that can further draw away more of your body heat.

Q. Can I Sleep On An Air Mattress Every Night Like A Traditional Bed?

A. Most high-quality air mattresses can handle multiple nights of occupancy without damage. While they are meant to handle the rigors of a week-long camping trip, they still aren’t meant to be used as an everyday bed. Even the most durable materials and electrically welded seams simply can’t hold up to months of wear and tear.

Even the air beds that are backed by a manufacturer’s warranty will often include language in the fine print that voids coverage when used to replace a traditional bed.

Q. Is An AC Powered Built-In Air Pump Inconvenient?

A. Twenty years ago, the only places that tended to have electric service available were RV parks or RV parks that also offered premium campsites. Today an increasing number of campgrounds offers electric service, even if it is via a simple power post.

Even if you have a built-in air pump that requires AC power, you can still get around it with a DC to AC inverter. They can usually be set up to run off a vehicle’s power port or by a set of alligator clips connected to an independent 12 Volt, deep cycle battery


There are a lot of different options and quality takes available in the camping air mattress marketplace. It can help to think about how you will most likely use the air bed when prioritizing features.

Most air mattresses with a built-in air pump need reliable electricity to fill them up. A so-called “Smart Pump” or a system with a one-touch secondary pump that essentially tops up the air pressure also needs to remain connected to electricity to work as intended. Though there are some easy ways to address this and with something like a simple DC to AC power inverter, you can use your vehicle’s onboard 12-volt battery to run the air pumps if necessary.

With more primitive campgrounds and hike-in campsites, you might prioritize a single high or double high mattress with a portable air pump. There are traditional battery-powered options available as well as new rechargeable batteries that take advantage of new technology.

Coil beam construction and new microfiber innovations make modern-day air beds more comfortable as well as durable. Just bear in mind that even the highest quality air mattress still isn’t meant for everyday use.