Our editors independently research, test, and recommend the best products and services; you can learn more about our review process here. We may receive commissions on purchases made from our chosen links.
Best Overall: Sea to Summit Comfort Plus Sleeping Mat at Amazon
"Only takes a few breaths to inflate and provides enough warmth to use it in any season."
Best Budget: Nemo Switchback Sleeping Pad at Amazon
"Boasts a slim design and a heat-reflecting film at an affordable price point."
Best Inflatable: KAMUI Self-Inflating Sleeping Pad at Amazon
"This self-inflating pad has an R-value of 5, so you’ll stay warm even when temperatures drop below freezing."
Best for Backpacking: Klymit Static V at Amazon
"It’s light as a feather, with a packed weight of 18.7 ounces and a packed size of 3 x 8 inches."
Best for the Car: NEMO Roamer Self-Inflating Mattress at Amazon
"This 4-inch thick pad provides a comfortable sleeping surface in even the hardest of terrains."
Best for Cold Sleepers: Exped DownMat XP 9 Sleeping Pad at Backcountry
"The interior is filled with 700-fill goose down to prevent cold spots and provide stability."
Best for Warm Sleepers: Therm-a-Rest RidgeRest Classic Foam Sleeping Pad at Amazon
"Featuring an R-value of 2.0, this pad is a favorite among warm weather campers."
Best Queen: Exped Megamat 10 at Amazon
"Big enough for two people, this 3.9-inch thick sleeping pad is firm without being stiff."
Our Top Picks
Best Overall: Sea to Summit Comfort Plus Sleeping Mat
The sad truth is that there are some seriously subpar sleeping pads out there. And then there's the Sea to Summit Comfort Plus Sleeping Mat, which blows all other pads out of the water. In terms of weight, comfort, and warmth (the three big criteria) this 2.5-inch thick pad is the clear winner. It features two separate air chambers, which can be inflated independently so that the top layer gets as stiff as you want and the bottom layer can accommodate any type of terrain. This mat only takes a few breaths to inflate using an integrated Airstream Pump and provides enough warmth to use in any season. It comes in three different sizes, all of which are featherlight and pack compactly into a stuff sack, and therefore are perfect for both backcountry and car-camping adventures.
Best Budget: Nemo Switchback Sleeping Pad
Campers on a budget will be very happy with the Nemo Switchback Sleeping Pad. It boasts a slim design and a heat-reflecting film to help stave off the cold, all at an affordable price point. This 0.9-inch thick pad offers plenty of cushioning, thanks to the premium-grade Axiomatic foam, which provides the perfect balance of comfort and support. You can use it as a standalone pad or even pair it with an inflatable pad for added cushioning and insulation in extreme cold. Made from closed-cell foam, the Nemo Switchback comes in two different sizes. The regular size clocks in at 14.5 ounces and measures 72 x 20 inches, while the short size is 10.5 ounces and measures 51 x 20 inches.
Best Inflatable: KAMUI Self-Inflating Sleeping Pad
The KAMUI Self-Inflating Sleeping Pad is a standout self-inflating choice. The 2-inch thick high rebound foam acts as insulation to keep you comfortable away from the cold ground, and also provides excellent back support (which is crucial when you’re sleeping outside). It's made out of durable 190T polyester fabric, so it’s bound to withstand years and years of camping trips. And, with an R-value of 5, you can rest assured that you’ll stay warm even when temperatures drop below freezing.
The manufacturer recommends over-inflating the pad before using it for the first time to help the pad inflate fully. This may require blowing into the valve manually and letting the pad sit overnight. After the initial inflation, the pad will self-inflate by itself as soon as the valve opens. The KAMUI Self-Inflating Sleeping Pad weighs 3.64 pounds, measures 75.6 x 25.6 x 2 inches, and comes in three colors—blue, green, and red. It also conveniently comes with its own storage sack and three compression bands.
Best for Backpacking: Klymit Static V
If you want to get a good night’s sleep in the backcountry, the Klymit Static V Sleeping Pad is an especially trustworthy pick. Crucially, it’s light as a feather, with a packed weight of 18.7 ounces and a packed size of 3 x 8 inches. And it’s crafted from durable 75D polyester fabric, which means it was made to hold up under rugged conditions. The Kylmit Static V will help you sleep soundly throughout the night because it features a specialized V-chamber design that prevents sleeping bags from sliding around. It includes integrated side rails to limit heat loss and air movement, so you'll stay cozy too. With an R-value of 1.3, this pad is best for warmer temperatures. It also comes with a lifetime warranty.
Best for the Car: NEMO Roamer Self-Inflating Mattress
The Roamer Self-Inflating Mattress should be your go-to car camping pad because it provides a luxuriously comfortable sleeping surface in even the hardest of terrains, with an R-value of 6 and a thickness of 4 inches. It also features a durable 75D polyester layer on the bottom so you won't feel your car's uncomfortable floor beneath you. There are two zero-profile valves; one is a micro-adjust valve for custom inflation, while the other is a one-way dump valve for quick deflation. Plus, you can easily pack and store this pad in your vehicle whenever you're not using it since it packs down to half the size of other pads. The Roamer is available in extra-long wide and long wide sizes and comes with a repair kit in case it gets damaged.
Best for Cold Sleepers: Exped DownMat XP 9 Sleeping Pad
For campers who have to wear three sweatshirts and a thick pair of pants to bed at night to stay warm, the Exped DownMat XP 9 Sleeping Pad is a must-have. That’s because this 3.5-inch thick pad has the most warmth per ounce for a lightweight sleeping pad. The interior is filled with 700-fill goose down, which not only offers a superior warmth-to-weight ratio, but also prevents cold spots and provides stable cushioning. Considering that it has an R-value of 7.8, you should feel free to take this pad along with you when you’re sleeping in arctic conditions.
The DownMat XP 9 is available in regular and long wide sizes; the regular weighs just under 2 pounds and measures 72 x 20.5 inches, while the long wide weighs 2.6 pounds and measures 77.6 x 25.6 inches. It also features a pumpbag that inflates the pad in under two minutes and comes with a field repair kit.
Best for Warm Sleepers: Therm-a-Rest RidgeRest Classic Foam Sleeping Pad
If you constantly find yourself kicking off your covers and sweating through your pajamas at night, you’re probably a warm sleeper. In which case, the Therm-a-Rest RidgeRest Classic Foam Sleeping Pad is bound to become your new go-to sleeping pad on overnight outdoor adventures. This highly-reviewed pad has been a favorite among campers due to its basic construction and affordable price tag. Its made of lightweight cross-link polyethylene materials and has heat traping ridges to lock in insulation. It also features an R-value of 2.0, so it’s built for warmer temperatures. The RidgeRest comes in regular and large sizes. The regular size is 72 x 20 inches while the large size is 77 x 25 inches.
Best Queen: Exped Megamat 10
For those who prefer their camping pads to be on the luxurious side, look no further than the Exped Megamat 10. Big enough for two people, this 3.9-inch thick sleeping pad is firm without being stiff and features Bluesign-certified insulation that keeps you warm in temperatures as low as -40 degrees. It self-inflates in minutes, and the roll-top SideWinder stuff sack makes packing up a cinch. The Megamat 10 weighs 5.94 pounds, is available in green and ruby red, and comes ins medium wide and long wide sizes.