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Best Overall: SoundAsleep Dream Series at Amazon
"It has a height of 19 inches to keep sleepers comfortable and away from the ground."
"Even though this pad is only 3-inches thick, it has a high insulation factor so you’ll stay warm all night."
Best Queen: EnerPlex Never-Leak Camping Series at Amazon
"The mattress’s coil-beam construction mimics the comfort of a conventional queen-sized bed."
Best Twin: EtekCity Air Mattress at Amazon
"Fits 18-inch deep sheets perfectly, and the flocked top prevents them from sliding off."
Best for Kids: AeroBed Kids at Bed Bath & Beyond
"Custom-made for little ones, with a 50-by-25-inch sleep surface."
Best Lightweight: Stansport Self-Inflating Air Mattress at Walmart
"Weighs just 3 pounds, is only 1.5-inches thick, and can be used year-round."
Best Cot: Coleman Camping Cot at Amazon
"Comes with an air bed, battery-operated pump, and two pull-out side tables with cup holders."
Best Splurge: SoundAsleep CloudNine Series at Amazon
"Although it's priced higher than others, this mattress has three comfort levels to help you sleep soundly."
Our Top Picks
Best Overall: SoundAsleep Dream Series
One of the best air mattresses out there is SoundAsleep’s Dream Series. It inflates, quite literally at the touch of a button, in four minutes, with a reliable internal pump to ensure you don’t wake up on the ground. Plus, the manufacturer says it will stay inflated for days so you won't have to worry about the mattress losing air over the course of your trip. It's tall too, with a height of 19 inches to keep sleepers comfortable and away from the unpadded ground. Inside, 40 internal air coils keep sleepers dozing peacefully, and will comfortably sleep couples with a combined weight of 500 pounds. There's also a one-year warranty. The mattress comes in twin, twin XL, queen, and king sizes, so there's a size out there for everyone (and every size of tent).
Best Budget: Lightspeed Outdoors Self-Inflating Sleep Pad
With a built-in pillow and oversized air valves for easy self-inflating after a long day of hiking and camping, Lightspeed’s Self-Inflating Sleep Pad clocks in at just 5.5 pounds—making it a great affordable alternative to a heavy air mattress. Despite it being closer to the ground than a traditional air mattress, it has a high insulation factor, meaning you’ll stay warm and cozy even though this pad is only 3-inches thick. Plus, it’s easy to take back and forth from home to campsite too, with an over-sized carry bag and two compression straps included in your purchase. This sleeping pad measures 74.5 x 25 inches and comes with a one-year limited warranty.
Best Queen: EnerPlex Never-Leak Camping Series
This queen-sized mattress lives up to its “Never-Leak” promise, with a tightly sealed external pump that inflates the bed in just 90 seconds and welded seams to keep the air in. It’s a little lower than some on our list, with just 9 inches of height, but that helps cut down on weight if that’s a concern for your camping trip. The mattress’s coil-beam construction mimics the comfort of a conventional bed with supportive construction. We like that the external pump comes with multiple universal nozzles, so you can use it to inflate inner tubes and water toys you’ve brought on your trip and you can plug it into your car charger, too.
Best Twin: EtekCity Air Mattress
Perfect for solo campers—or those who prefer to have their own space for sleeping—EtekCity’s inflatable twin-size mattress is both wallet-friendly and comfortable. Inflating it takes less than three minutes thanks to a powerful pump built into the mattress, and the inner wave-beam supports are actually more stable than the traditional air-coil beams used in inflatable mattresses. It’s built to last, too, with PVC that’s 20 percent thicker than the standard, and has a water-resistant material on top. Measuring 79 x 35 x 18 inches, this model fits 18-inch deep sheets perfectly, and the flocked top prevents them from sliding off.
Best for Kids: AeroBed Kids
Air mattresses can take up a lot of space in a tent, so if you’re looking for something for the kids, save a little interior space and look into a mattress sized just for them. This one from AeroBed is custom made for little ones, with a 50-by-25-inch sleep surface. You don’t have to worry about them rolling off, either, thanks to a 4-inch-high cushion on the perimeter. It comes with a washable fitted mattress pad with a cute star and moon motif, too, leaving you with one less item on your pre-trip shopping list. Plus, the included AC pump makes sure the bed is inflated and ready to go in less than one minute. While it’s probably not a great idea for kids to jump up and down on this air mattress, it’ll hold up for many trips to come, thanks to heavy-duty PVC construction and electronically welded seams to keep every last bit of air in.
Best Lightweight: Stansport Self-Inflating Air Mattress
Inexpensive, packable, lightweight, and durable, Stansport’s camping air mattress is one of the best to take with you on an outdoor overnight trip—especially if you’re looking to pack light for the road. It’s only 1.5-inches thick, which helps keep the weight down to 3 pounds while keeping you off the cold ground, and inflates in about two minutes. It’s built to be used year-round and has a seal designed to keep the air in even the most biting winter weather. It’ll be there for you for many camping trips to come, too, thanks to the tough oxford nylon shell that’s built to last year in and year out. You’ll have to deflate it yourself—which isn’t an issue given its one-person size—and then it neatly tucks into a mesh stuff sack for easy portability.
Best Cot: Coleman Camping Cot
Some people prefer to have a little distance between them and the ground, and that’s where Coleman’s camping cot comes in. But never fear, a canvas army cot this is not: the affordable outdoor brand, which has long been trusted for its reliable, high-quality products, makes a great cot that comes with both an air bed, battery-operated pump (meaning you don’t have to rely on electricity to pump it up), and—best of all—two pull-out side tables with cup holders (so you won't knock over your water bottle in the middle of the night). It’s truly a one-stop purchase for everything you need to make camping a little less rugged and a little more comfortable. If the queen size is a little too large for your tent—or if you just need space for one—it's available in a twin size, too.
Best Splurge: SoundAsleep CloudNine Series
If you’re serious about sleep and the last thing you want to worry about is abruptly waking up to the air mattress deflating underneath you, SoundAsleep’s CloudNine series will let you rest easy. Although this air mattress is priced higher than some other options on our list, it's auto-off pump makes it simple to inflate and it has three comfort levels. The support on this mattress is great, too, with I-Beam internal air coils to keep your sleeping surface level and a non-stick bottom so you’re not sliding around the tent floor if you’re on a slope. And if you use it at home, the Dual Smart Pump technology integrated into the mattress runs continuously, so your guests can stay comfortable all night.