Tested: The 9 Best Air Mattresses for Camping in 2022

The ALPS Mountaineering Vertex is our top choice of best camping air mattresses

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Best Camping Air Mattresses
TripSavvy / Conor Ralph.

Air mattresses can be a convenient option for sleeping in the great outdoors and are much more comfortable than roughing it on the ground. But which air mattress is right for you? You'll probably want something more lightweight if you're hiking a few miles to your campsite. A queen mattress might be better for duos camping together instead of two separate mattresses. Meanwhile, car campers can use heavier and electric-powered air mattresses. To figure out the best air mattresses for every kind of camper, we lugged nine into our testing lab and spent two days testing them all on their comfort, portability, and more.

These are our picks for the best camping air mattresses.

Best Overall: ALPS Mountaineering Vertex Air Bed - Queen

5
ALPS Mountaineering Vertex Queen Air Mattress
TripSavvy / Conor Ralph.
What We Like
  • Easy to inflate/deflate

  • Light

  • Powerful pump

What We Don't Like
  • No patch kit

  • Side valve makes it hard to roll

The ALPS Mountaineering Vertex Air Bed impressed in our lab with its quick inflation and deflation, its comfort, and its powerful pump. The air bed is light and easy to maneuver when all packed, weighing in at just over six pounds. It comes with a drawstring style bag, making packing up easy and efficient.

With a tested inflation time of just 2 minutes and 49 seconds, it's perfect for those who need to be ready at a moment's notice (or who are just impatient). Made with polyester, it appears to be pretty durable. However, it does not come with a patch kit, so be careful where you're rolling it out. It's comfortable to lay on and stayed inflated over an entire night with about 100 pounds on it.

While the mattress itself is great, the pump seals the deal on this purchase. ALPS's versatile pump comes with three power options: charging in a wall outlet, a car outlet, or depending on the rechargeable battery. The car charging capabilities is perfect for when you forget to charge at home—you can go straight to your vehicle and get the same thing done.

Dimensions: 77 x 53 x 6 inches | Weight: 6.4 pounds | Capacity: Two people | Inflation: External pump included

ALPS Mountaineering Vertex Air Bed
TripSavvy / Conor Ralph.

Best Budget: Intex Classic Downy Airbed

4.2
Intex Classic Downy Airbed
TripSavvy / Conor Ralph.
What We Like
  • Comfortable

  • Sustained inflation

  • Comes with two pillows

What We Don't Like
  • Extremely long setup

  • No carry bag included

Our budget pick was the Intex Classic Downey Airbed Set. It came with two inflatable pillows, a patch kit, a manual pump, and a soft, comfortable topping on the mattress. We loved how comfortable it was; you could not feel the floor underneath you, and the soft topping was a nice touch. We also liked that it sustained its inflation all night long; there were barely any dips in the morning. However, it took us upwards of 15 minutes to get this mattress inflated and ready for use, not including blowing up the pillows (which have the same valve that pool toys do).

It comes with a manual pump, and after 5 minutes, our arms definitely hurt from all the pumping, and by 15 minutes, we were exhausted. It also does not come with a carrying case, making it awkward and heavy to travel with. However, deflation and clean-up only took 2 minutes and 45 seconds, and it was able to fit back into its box pretty easily.

Dimensions:  77.5 x 57.75 x 10 inches | Weight: 8.7 pounds | Capacity: Two people | Inflation: Manual pump

Intex Classic Downy Airbed
TripSavvy / Conor Ralph.

Best Queen: EnerPlex Queen Air Mattress

5
EnerPlex Queen Air Mattress
TripSavvy / Conor Ralph.
What We Like
  • Easy to inflate/deflate

  • Comfortable

  • Built-in pump

What We Don't Like
  • Heavier

  • Had a plastic scent

  • Requires an outlet to inflate so only works for car camping using your vehicle's battery

The EnerPlex Queen Air Mattress checked all the boxes. It's easy to set up and put away (it took a minute and a half for each), comfortable for two people, and sustained most of its inflation during our overnight test. (The company does put a label on the side that explains that some deflation is expected due to fabric stretching.)

It's almost exactly the same size as a regular queen mattress at 79 inches long and 59.5 inches wide, and it sits relatively high off the ground at 16 inches. (It was the tallest mattress that we tested.) It comes with a nylon case, which would keep it dry in any weather, two repair patches, and a velvet-like topper, helping make it the most comfortable mattress tested.

However, it would be hard to take this particular air mattress camping. It is pretty heavy and slightly bulky, but it also cannot be inflated without an outlet. This presents a problem if you plan to camp overnight in the wilderness. EnerPlex recommends a 1.7 amp power convertor or car outlet adapter to take this particular mattress on the road.

Dimensions: 79 x 59.5 x 16 inches | Weight: 16.89 pounds | Capacity: Two people | Inflation: Built-in pump

EnerPlex Queen Air Mattress
TripSavvy / Conor Ralph.

Best Twin: Exped MegaMat Duo 10

4.9
Exped MegaMat Duo 10
TripSavvy / Conor Ralph.
What We Like
  • Comfortable

  • High-quality

  • Portable

What We Don't Like
  • Slow inflation

  • Expensive

The Exped Mega Mat Duo 10 tops our list when it comes to single-person use. Even though it's a little smaller than a regular twin mattress at 32 x 73 inches, it doesn't feel like it when you're laying on the inflatable air pad. The pad comes with an adjustable shoulder strap and is pretty light, making it portable, and deflation and rolling it back up took less than 5 minutes. However, it's important to note that the company advises you to wait at least an hour before blowing it up the first time and letting it sit out for up to 24 hours for the best experience. As we didn't open up the mat until the testing day, we could not consider that.

One of the reasons we loved this mat was the high quality of the material. We spoke to a representative at Exped who told us that material choice was critical when bringing their products to life. "In choosing fabrics and materials for the MegaMat collection, this tinkering began with the dual requirements of high quality and sustainability," the Exped rep said. "All fabrics are Oeko-Tex 100 certified, and MegaMat Duo is part of EXPED's carbon-neutral sleeping mat line." This pad comes in different sizes to suit every individual's needs.

The pad sustained its inflation during our overnight test, although a slight dip was observed its the center. However, the pad might not have been in its optimal condition because it was not left to sit out for 24 hours beforehand.

Dimensions: 73 x 32 x 5 inches | Weight: 7.95 pounds | Capacity: One person | Inflation: Hand Pump

Exped MegaMat Duo 10
TripSavvy / Conor Ralph.

Most Durable: REI Co-op Kingdom Insulated Air Bed

4.4
REI Co-op Kingdom Insulated Air Bed
TripSavvy / Conor Ralph.
What We Like
  • Stays solid throughout the night

  • Easy to put away

What We Don't Like
  • Slow inflation

  • High-effort pump

If you're looking for a durable mattress that'll stay inflated all night, we recommend considering the REI Co-op Kingdom Insulated Air Bed. It comfortably fits two people and is just a fraction smaller than your average-sized queen mattress.

It is a little heavier than some of the other mattresses we tested at this size, but it did come with a nice bag, making it easier to transport. This mattress comes with a rather sizeable manual pump, and it took a significant amount of effort to blow it up—a little more than 7.5 minutes, to be exact. However, once you get it inflated, it'll stay inflated.

The mattress was solid when we tested it right after blowing it up, and it remained that way overnight. There was virtually no air leakage. I would recommend not filling it up all the way, as it did get harder as more air was added. Clean-up was relatively quick; it only took 2 minutes and 23 seconds to deflate, roll up, and slip back into its bag.

Dimensions: 79 x 54 x 6 inches | Weight: 8.1 pounds | Capacity: Two people | Inflation: Manual pump

REI Co-op Kingdom Air Bed
TripSavvy / Conor Ralph.

Best Lightweight: Therm-a-Rest MondoKing 3D

5
Therm-a-Rest MondoKing 3D
TripSavvy / Conor Ralph.
What We Like
  • Comfortable

  • Light

  • Durable

What We Don't Like
  • Price

  • Small carrying case

The Therm-a-Rest MondoKing 3D wowed in all categories—it's packable, lightweight, and durable. Coming in at only 5.39 pounds, it's the perfect choice when weight is a concern. But don't be fooled by its weight; it's still thick and insulated enough to keep your body off the ground and comfortable when you sleep.

Since the pump is sold separately, you can either opt for a hand pump or blow it up by mouth. We chose to blow it up by mouth, which took approximately 2 minutes. Bonus: It comes with an adjustable shoulder strap, making it easy to carry on one's back.

The pad is also super comfortable and survived our sustained inflation test with flying colors. This pad is more expensive, but it is comfortable and built to last. Clean-up of this particular mat did take a bit of time—it took almost 4 minutes to get it deflated. The air doesn't come out by itself, so it has to be sat on or rolled out to get all the air out. Its carry case was also small, so getting it back in was a bit of a challenge.

Dimensions: 80 x 31.5 x 4 inches | Weight: 5.39 pounds | Capacity: One person | Inflation: Manual

Therm-a-Rest MondoKing 3D
TripSavvy / Conor Ralph.

Best for Couples: Coleman Camping Cot, Air Mattress, and Pump Combo | Folding Camp Cot and Air Bed with Side Tables and Battery Operated Pump

4.3
Camping Cot, Air Mattress, and Pump Combo

Amazon

What We Like
  • Off the ground

  • Holds over 300 pounds

  • Twin or queen option

What We Don't Like
  • No locking mechanism

  • Heavy

Some people prefer to have a little distance between them and the ground, and that’s where Coleman’s camping cot comes in. This cot sits almost 24 inches off the ground and comes with an air mattress, cot, carrying case (with wheels, which is necessary), and a pump. It's important to note that the pump requires D batteries; make sure you have them before you leave on your camping trip.

Setting up the cot took less than 5 minutes, and it was relatively sturdy with two people on it, perfect for couples. There is no locking mechanism on the cot, though; when you set it up, you pull it out as far as it can go, and that's it. It comes with two pull-out side tables with cup holders, which was popular among testers. Coleman's Cot faired well overnight; however, there was a noticeable dip when tested the following day.

This combo is hefty—you won't be able to get far from the car with this set. Cleaning up the kit took nearly 7 minutes and is definitely more physically demanding than cleaning up your average air mattress. Clean up would be much more efficient with two people working together, as it can be difficult to close up the cot.

We spoke to a representative at Coleman who made it clear that Coleman prioritized "comfort in a camp setting...without sacrificing quality" when coming up with this product.

Dimensions: 77 x 57 x 23.5 (from the floor) inches | Weight: 41.9 pounds (queen) | Capacity: Two people | Inflation: Battery-poewred pump

Coleman Camping Cot, Air Mattress, and Pump Combo
TripSavvy / Conor Ralph.

Best for Tents: Sierra Designs 2-Person Airbed

4.6
Sierra Designs 2-Person Airbed
TripSavvy / Conor Ralph.
What We Like
  • Light

  • Raised head area

  • Portability-friendly

What We Don't Like
  • Low-powered pump

  • Lost significant amount of air overnight

The Sierra Designs 2-Person Queen Airbed is light, flexible, and comfortable. It's smaller than your average queen mattress at 77 x 54.5 inches; however, it is a nice size to slide perfectly into a larger two-person tent.

The airbed comes with a drawstring bag, and it's effortless to carry around at 5.7 pounds. It comes with a D-battery-powered pump, but it still took around 6 minutes to inflate fully.

The mattress has a raised ridge for people's heads and was overall comfortable. Because of its size, it can be a tight squeeze for two people, so be aware of that when purchasing. We noticed that it lost air in our sustained inflation test, so much so that when pressed on, our hands sunk right in. It was, however, straightforward to pack up and put away. For the price, we think it's a good value.

Dimensions: 77 x 54.5 x 7 inches | Weight: 5.7 pounds | Capacity: Two people | Inflation: Battery-powered pump

Sierra Designs 2-Person Airbed
TripSavvy / Conor Ralph.

Best for Car Camping: Etekcity Camping Air Mattress Queen 9

4.5
Etekcity Camping Air Mattress Queen 9
Etekcity Camping Air Mattress Queen 9.
What We Like
  • Easy inflation/deflation

  • Comfortable

  • Excellent price

What We Don't Like
  • Heavy

  • Only came with USB; not wall plug

  • Slight plastic smell

The Etekcity Camping Air Mattress Queen 9 has everything you could want in an air mattress—it's comfortable, easy to set up, and at a great price. Our only (mild) complaint is its weight. At just over 10 pounds, the weight is enough to make this firmly a car camping mattress.

This mattress only took 2 minutes at 41 seconds to blow up; however, ours only came with a USB wire. (Its listing claims to include both a car and wall charger.) The mattress was very comfortable and stable, even with two people. Its polyvinyl material did seem durable, and the mattress also comes with a patch kit for leaks. It almost perfectly passed our sustained inflation test; there was a slight air leakage overnight, but the mattress remained super comfortable. Deflation and pack-up took even less time than setting up at only 2 minutes and 34 seconds.

Dimensions: 57 x 76 x 8 inches | Weight: 10.6 pounds | Capacity: Two people | Inflation: Electric pump

Etekcity Camping Air Mattress Queen 9
TripSavvy / Conor Ralph.

Other Air Mattresses Tested

SoundAsleep Camping Series Air Mattress (view at Amazon): While this mattress performed well in our set-up, durability, and comfort tests, it fell flat in our sustained inflation test. It almost completely deflated after spending the night with about 100 lbs of weight on it. Earlier in the testing of this product, we noted that the valve inside the pump area was giving us issues, but we cannot be sure that that was the reason for deflation. Based on this round of testing, we could not include it in our list.

SoundAsleep Camping Series Air Mattress
TripSavvy / Conor Ralph.

Lightspeed Warmth 3.0 (view at Amazon): Exper reviewer Justin Park field-tested the Lightspeed Warmth 3.0. (Read his full review here.)

From Justin: "The Lightspeed Warmth 3.0 is a self-inflating pad which means you twist the two knobs at the foot of the pad to open them, and the pad starts taking on air. However, the first time you do this, the directions recommend leaving the pad’s valves open for several hours, ideally overnight, for your first inflation. The first time I inflated the pad, it didn’t appear full after a few minutes, but it looked much better after leaving it open overnight. Subsequent uses were straightforward, and the pad came to total inflation after a minute at most. 

I generally keep a sleeping pad and sleeping bag in my truck in case of emergency, and this pad is an excellent fit for that role since it doesn’t take up a lot of space but provides plenty of warmth and comfort for the size. Because this pad is too heavy for backpacking, it has a somewhat narrow application for car camping, overnight raft trips, or other scenarios where you don’t have to carry it on your back and don’t want the bulk of a full air mattress. The other reason to look at the Lightspeed is the lower cost compared to most other options."

Exped MegaMat Air Mattress testing
TripSavvy / Conor Ralph.

Final Verdict

The ALPS Mountaineering Vertex Air Bed (view at Amazon) performed pretty much flawlessly in all of our testing categories. For the price, you get the comfort of a regular mattress, the ease of portability, and enough room for you and whoever you decide to take with you on your adventure. If the price isn't quite right for your budget, we would reach for the EnerPlex Queen Air Mattress next (view at Amazon), a slightly less expensive option, although you might have to pay some additional cash for a pump adapter. If you're looking for an absolute bargain and don't mind manual labor, the Intex Classic Downey Airbed Set (view at Amazon) is the way to go. It checks all of the same boxes the other two do; it just takes a bit more work to get there.

Camping Air Mattress Testing
TripSavvy / Conor Ralph.

Product Selection

Products were selected by our editorial staff based on previous knowledge of the brands and products in this roundup and internet research. We prioritized finding a range of prices, styles, and uses of camping air mattresses.

How We Tested

All air mattresses were tested in Dotdash Meredith's testing lab in Brooklyn. We tested for six attributes: portability, set-up, durability, comfort, sustained inflation, and overall value. Mattresses were unboxed, rolled out, and inflated to observe how long and difficult it was to set them up and the mattresses' exact measurements. Next, testers spent time on the mattresses to gauge comfort and shifted and moved on to test durability. After, they were deflated and packed away, and we walked around with them to test portability and weighed them. After that, they were inflated again, and we placed about 100 pounds of weights (in the shape of a human body, with heavier weights at typical human body pressure points) on them and left them overnight. They were checked over for sustained inflation and durability the following day and then packed away. After that, we compared our experiences with the mattresses to their price to gauge the value of each product.

Camping Air Mattress Testing
TripSavvy / Conor Ralph.

What to Look for When Buying an Air Mattress for Camping

Size

Are you camping solo or with a partner? What is the size of your tent? What about the size of your sleeping bag? These should all be considerations taken when purchasing an air mattress. You'll want to buy the one that best fits your needs—a twin-sized air mattress should fit snuggly in a single-person tent. If you have a partner, you might want to opt for a queen-sized mattress and share so there'll be less to carry.

Pump Type

Camping often means you're in an area with no electricity. So what would you be able to do with an electric air pump? It's essential to make sure your air mattress fits the needs of whatever type of trip you're planning. If it has an electric pump, make sure you're going somewhere with accessible outlets or where you can be close to your car for a car-charged pump. If you're camping in the middle of nowhere, it might be better to grab an air mattress with a manual air pump—it's more work, but you'll know you can blow up your mattress. Or, consider a battery-operated pump for either occasion; make sure you have extra batteries on hand just in case.

Durability

When purchasing an air mattress, especially one of the more expensive on the market, you want to get one that'll last a long time. The most durable air mattresses will be the ones that are made with excellent, high-quality material. Most air mattresses are made from polyvinyl chloride (PVC) or textile-reinforced urethane plastic or rubber. You'll want to make sure that whatever material your mattress is made of can survive against different temperatures and rough terrain.

Price

How often you get out into the woods—or have someone crashing on your living room floor—can (and should!) impact the price you're willing to spend on an air mattress. If you’re going camping most weekends in the summer, it might be good to invest in an air mattress that ensures a good night’s sleep. If you only go a couple of times a year, it’s worth looking into a less expensive air mattress that will keep you off the ground but allow your budget to remain intact. 

Thickness

Mattress thickness translates directly to how much distance you have between yourself and the ground beneath you. If you’re heading out in the winter or a cold climate, or you’re the person who can feel every divot in the ground below them, a thinner mattress might encourage the cold to sink into your bones a little deeper. Some air mattresses are up to almost a foot and a half off the ground—if you’re easily chilled or can feel even a pea under thinner mattresses, you might want to invest in one that’s quite thick. 

Portability

Note: None of the mattresses on this list would be considered backpacking mattresses. While some are more portable than others, we don't recommend using them on backpacking trips or extended hikes. That said, some of these mattresses are more portable than others. Check the weights we've listed in the key specs and see what sort of carrying bag is included. It's essential to pick your gear around the type of experience you want.

Frequently Asked Questions
  • What size air mattress should you get?

    The best way to guarantee your mattress will fit in the tent is to measure twice and buy once. Be sure to measure your tent’s interior dimensions so you don’t get one that will be too long for the tent—or, in the case of single tents, too broad.  

  • How do you clean an air mattress?

    Most air mattresses are meant to be rugged and easy to clean since most are designed for outdoor purposes. Most of the time, the vinyl or plastic-feeling portions of the mattress can simply be wiped clean, while you might want to check the manufacturer’s instructions for cleaning velvet tops off. That being said, if there’s a s’mores spill and there are some crumbs or sticky bits, those should be easy enough to vacuum or wipe clean when you’re back home.

  • What kind of pump should you look for?

    If you have electricity handy, go for an electrical pump to make your job way more manageable. But if you’re heading out into the woods, you might need to look for one with a manual pump and put a bit of old-fashioned sweat into inflating your bed for the night.

  • How do you patch an air mattress?

    Most air mattresses come with a patch kit already included. Once you locate the leak, you'll want to make sure the location is clean. We recommend inflating the mattress and then running water over the mattress, and looking for bubbles to locate the leak. Then, follow the directions provided with your air mattress to seal the hole or tear correctly.

  • What size air mattress will fit in my truck bed?

    Most truck beds will support twin or full-sized air mattresses.

Why Trust TripSavvy


Jalyn Robinson
is an editorial assistant at TripSavvy, and while she doesn't have much camping experience, she has encountered her fair share of air mattresses—the good and the bad. She participated in air mattress testing in the lab.

Laura Ratliff is the senior editorial director at TripSavvy. She knows a thing or two about air mattresses—her parents now live exclusively in an RV, and she and her husband take a fair amount of hiking trips together. She participated in air mattress testing in the lab.

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