Best camping beds

AN OUTDOOR DREAM – A good camping bed can be a difference between a whole day filled with adventure or you nursing your sore back. This is especially true if you are an experienced adventurer, and if you don’t have a good quality camping bed, you may not recover from a night of restless sleep in time for more hiking. Our list of best camping sleeping gear for families will guarantee a good nights’ sleep for all.

Thankfully, there is a large variety of superb camping beds available that can not only fit into your budget but also your tent thanks to their various price ranges and features. However, with more options comes the headache of choosing what’s going to work best for you. Some people like camping beds that are raised above the ground, while others prefer to have an air mattress.

We will cover a lot of different yet great camping beds on this list, and also provide you with a handy best camping bed guide as well, so you can make a fruitful and well-informed decision.


Find the best sleeping solutions for your camping family

There are quite a few things you need to consider before purchasing a camping bed, we will be discussing a few key features right now, so you can make the best decisions going forward.

Types of camping beds

Self-inflating mats

As the name suggests, the self-inflating mats inflate themselves, just like me on cheat day. However, they’re not technically going to inflate themselves fully. Inside the mats, there is an open-cell foam that absorbs air and inflates when you open the valve. These have been around since the 70s and are quite popular simply because they are easy to carry and easy to inflate as well. We recommend that you unroll them as soon as you set up your tent, so they get a few minutes to inflate.

Foam pads

The foam pads are like self-inflating mats, but they don’t even require any inflation. They are made with closed-cell foam and all you need to do is unroll them and that’s it. There’s no risk of getting a puncture, and they are easy to transport as well thanks to their light weight. They are not going to be comfortable because these are usually thinner than other camping beds, but they can make a great first layer to place your sleeping bag on.

Air mattresses

The air mattress is filled with, you guessed it, air! You need to inflate these by using a pump or your own lungs (which we don’t recommend for larger mattresses). The biggest advantage of having an air mattress is not only comfort but also the reduction of weight. They are almost half as wide as other self-inflating mats, so you can either carry them around while trekking or hiking. Some people prefer to sleep on an air mattress, but generally speaking, they fall a tad bit when it comes to comfort.

Air beds

If your camping tent is of a luxurious size, an air bed might be the best choice for you. The biggest quality of having an air bed is that it lifts you up from the ground. It is also great if you are planning to have more than one person on a single bed. Here’s a tip, when cousin Tim visits you for the 5th time in a week you can have an air bed plopped down in a few minutes.

Camping cots

Just like air beds, camping cots also lift you up above the ground, so you don’t have to feel that one pebble at an awkward angle all night. It also helps you keep warm because your bed is not touching the ground. Camping cots can also be used as a couch, so you can simply lie around outside during the day as well. One point you need to note here is that most camping cots only fold in half, so transportation might be an issue if you’re planning to walk on foot a lot.

Have you considered these camping bed features?


One of the biggest features you need to note while purchasing a camping bed is the size. We understand, it may seem obvious right now, but we have made the same mistake countless times before. Make sure you know what size you need and whether it will fit inside your camping tent and your vehicle or not. Usually, camping beds and mattresses are around 72 to 77 inches, but some can even extend to 85 inches. The longer the camping bed, the happier tall persons will be. You also need to keep in mind the width of the camping beds, but everyone appreciates a wider one.

Comfort level

This is entirely subjective, some people love the feel of air mattresses, while some cannot live without mats. However, the thickness of the mattress can actually be scientifically better, the thicker the mattress, the more comfortable it will be. Of course, you cannot have an infinitely thick mattress either because that would be a hassle carrying around. However, in our experience, the self-inflating pads are soft enough to be comfortable but also light enough to be carried around with ease. Again, this is a personal preference, yours may vary, and it will be just as valid.

Mattress insulation

Mattress insulation is an important aspect to consider, especially when you go out camping in all seasons. While a mattress with no insulation can be great during the summer, taking the same mattress on snow covered ground isn’t going to be enjoyable. The mattress insulation rating is measured in R-value, the higher the R-value, the more insulation the mattress will provide. Many manufacturers are not keen on disclosing this rating, but it is a welcome thing when you can spot it. We recommend getting a mattress that’s about 3 R-value for general uses, and about 5 for winter.

Weight and portability

A camping bed should be lightweight and easy to carry, but we don’t live in a perfect world and not all camping beds will be super easy to carry around with you. Generally speaking, going with a camping bed that is comfortable and durable is the best way to go, rather than choosing the one that’s the lightest. Here’s the thing, you want to rest on a comfortable bed after a long walk, it will get you refreshed and up in no time even though it might weigh a little more. But if you have an uncomfortable bed, you won’t be getting refreshed and ready to go in the morning, and the lightweight feature would mean nothing if you are fatigued.


The usage of a camping bed can vary from person to person. If you’re getting a camping bed for a baby, a portable cot might be the best option. What about a toddler, a smaller-sized mattress would do just fine for them. How about sharing your bed with a friend or partner? Then you’ll need a bigger one, especially in width. Taking the right camping bed for your tent and personal usage is essential in making or breaking your camping trip.

The best camping sleeping gear options

We chose a lot of different camping beds that come at various price points and offer something unique to the campers. We highly recommend that you go through all the products on the list, so you can make a wise decision and get the best possible camping bed for your personal use.

Camping Bed Options

Coleman camping cot air mattress and pump combo

The Coleman Camping Cot is the camping bed you get when you want everything. It is a camping cot that comes with an air mattress. That’s not all, both of these can be separated and used individually but when you combine them, that’s when the real magic happens. It comes in 2 sizes, and we tested out the queen-sized camping bed, and turns out it is really comfortable.

One of the biggest reasons why we wouldn’t hesitate to recommend the Coleman Camping Cot is its versatility. The fact that the steel frame can be folded up and stored easily, and the fact that the mattress comes with a battery-operated pump, makes it one of the most convenient camping beds around. There are even 2 side tables along with cup holders, so you can easily place a drink or your smartphone on them.

Coleman camping cot air mattress and pump combo

Is it large enough to have 2 people on it? Yes, it can easily be done so. However, it is pure luxury if you use it alone. If you’re worried about leaks, there is a leak-proof system in place. The cot also comes with a Double Lock Valve, which further increases the sturdiness of the air mattress. It might be a small thing, but we really liked the sewn-in cover that keeps the air mattress firmly in place, little touches like these go a long way when you’re going to be using the camping bed for more than a week. Speaking of small touches, the Coleman Camping Cot comes with a carrying bag as well.

We say…

Side tables! What a great feature!

  • Sturdy frame supports up to 600 lbs.
  • Folding steel frame
  • Comes with a 4D pump
  • 2 side tables
  • Might be too big for some camping tents
  • You will need to buy batteries for the pump

MEETPEAK extra thick camping sleeping pad

You don’t always need a full-on camping bed for trips, sometimes you just need a lightweight and reliable sleeping pad instead. So if you’re looking to pack light and only need to sleep one or two nights, the Meetpeak Camping Sleeping Pad would be a great choice for that. You wouldn’t need to invest a lot of funds into getting a good quality sleeping pad, and it wouldn’t make sense to plop a lot of cash on something that you occasionally use.

The Meetpeak Camping Sleeping Pad is an inflatable sleeping pad that is made of nylon, which makes it superbly waterproof. The camping bed comes with a foot press inflation system, so you just need to step on it to inflate. This means you won’t run out of breath on the top of the mountain and feel dizzy while trying to inflate a bed. It took us around 30 to 40 seconds of stomping to get the bed fully inflated.

MEETPEAK extra thick camping sleeping pad

As it is made of nylon, it is quite a bit sturdy and waterproof as well. The nylon is extra thick and non-toxic, and the pad comes with thermoform ceiling as well as a TPU coating. This makes the Meetpeak Camping Sleeping Pad a great companion in severe conditions. One of the biggest reasons why we would recommend the Meetpeak Camping Sleeping Pad is its lightweight nature, it weighs only 1.76 pounds and comes with a carrying case that makes it easy to travel with.

We say…

Super light and very compact – perfect for hikers and walkers.

  • Extremely lightweight yet sturdy
  • The V-shaped pattern is comfortable to lay on
  • Comes with a built-in pump
  • Compact and easy to carry
  • The pillow and the pad can’t be separated
  • No way to adjust the thickness of the pillow

KingCamp self-inflating 3 inch camping sleeping mattress

The KingCamp Self Inflating Camping Mattress is a large-sized mattress that’s made out of a hundred percent polyester. The polyester is stretchable and is coated with TPU, so it is remarkably sturdy as well. If you’re planning to camp with one another person and don’t want to carry 2 different camping beds, then the KingCamp Self Inflating Camping Mattress is going to get you some comfortable sleep without compromising on space.

The KingCamp Self Inflating Camping Mattress is also available in single size, but we tried out the double version, and it works remarkably. It only takes a few minutes to fully inflate, and you don’t even need a pump for it. There are valves on the mattress that let the air in and also take it out once you’re done using the mattress.

KingCamp self-inflating 3 inch camping sleeping mattress

The best thing about the KingCamp Self Inflating Camping Mattress is that it grows up to 3 inches in thickness when fully inflated. It also has an R-value of 6.1, so you’ll be kept warm and cozy on top of it even during the snow season.

We say…

We love this self-inflating mattress – less work!

  • Very easy to inflate and deflate
  • Is made out of environmental friendly materials
  • Only weighs around 10 pounds
  • As a high insulation R-value of 6.1
  • It will take some time to fully inflate
  • Deflating and storing is a bit cumbersome

Inflatable toddler travel bed with electric pump

Camping with the little ones? You don’t have to carry a full-sized camping bed for those tiny adventurers. You can simply get the Asani Inflatable Toddler Travel Bed, which will provide a good night of sleep without the extra weight and size to manage. It is ideal for kids up to 4 feet and has reinforced protective bumpers that will keep your child securely on the bed.

One thing really appreciate about the Asani Inflatable Toddler Travel Bed is how high it is from the ground, the higher the bed, the lesser cold it will carry to the child. It is also made with a super soft premium material, which further adds to the overall sleeping experience.

Inflatable toddler travel bed with electric pump

We say…

No chance of roll out for the little ones with these soft sides!

  • The seams of the bed are reinforced
  • It inflates in just under a minute
  • Comes in a carrying case
  • There is also a pump and a pillow
  • The pump is a bit loud
  • The fabric color was more red than pink

Lotus baby-safe travel crib

While we are still on the topic of kids and camping beds, it’s a good time to talk about the Lotus Travel Crib. It is a highly portable and lightweight traveling crib for your babies because babies also like adventure and the outdoors.

One of the biggest reasons why we are recommending the Lotus Travel Crib is that it’s made with safe and non-toxic materials. It also comes with a full-height mesh that guarantees good airflow even when it’s closed up fully. There is a comfortable mattress inside the crib as well so the baby can sleep peacefully. The softphone is approved for infants and newborns for a full overnight sleep session.

Lotus baby-safe travel crib

The Lotus Travel Crib is also designed to be easy to carry around even when you’re traveling to another country. It already comes with a light backpack carrying case, which makes it a lot easier to pack and fling over your shoulder. It might not be an important thing, but the Lotus Travel Crib also comes with a silent side zipper door, this means your baby won’t wake up right after you put them down for a nap.

We say…

No escape with this travel cot. Plus it’s light and easy to assemble.

  • Made out of non-toxic materials
  • The softphone is great for toddlers
  • The side zipper door is silent
  • Comes with a carrying case
  • The sheet is not included in the package
  • The mattress is a bit tiresome to install

Intex Dura-Beam delux plush airbed

The Intex Dura-Beam Comfort Bed is thick, and if you’re looking for a mattress that is bulky, you’ve come to the right place. To be scientific, it is 16.5 inches thick, which is amazing for something that you can take camping with you. It comes in two different sizes – single and queen.

The camping bed only takes around 4 minutes to fully inflate which is surprising for a mattress this size. On the top, the mattress is covered with soft flocking which makes it a lot easier to sleep on, we do recommend that you use a sheet on the top. The manufacturer has made indented sides that will keep your fitted sheets from sliding around.

Intex Dura-Beam delux plush airbed

We say…

The ultimate air bed – quick to inflate and comfortable to sleep on.

  • It is one of the thickest mattresses
  • Made with good quality materials
  • Comes in a carrying bag
  • Inflates in 4 minutes
  • Takes a bit of getting used to so you don’t roll off
  • Might not work for you if you share with a restless sleeper

WELLAX self-inflating UltraThick FlexFoam sleeping pad

Well, the name says it all in this case, the Wellax UltraThick FlexFoam Sleeping Pad is made out of FlexFoam and is indeed UltraThick as the kids say. It is not as thick as some other options on the best camping beds list, but it is certainly thick enough to provide a good night’s sleep. It is also a self-inflating mat, so it is recommended that you put it down quite a few minutes before you want to lay on it.

The biggest selling point of the Wellax UltraThick FlexFoam Sleeping Pad is its installation of 9.5 R-value. This is an ideal companion if you are going to take a trip to the mountains, and especially so if it’s snowing outside. The higher the R-value, the less heat will be lost when you sleep on it. Overall, the Wellax UltraThick FlexFoam Sleeping Pad is made with sturdy materials and is going to last you a long time thanks to its robust nylon and TPU layer construction.

WELLAX self-inflating UltraThick FlexFoam sleeping pad

We say…

Built to last with good quality materials and construction.

  • Inflates automatically itself
  • It is waterproof and abrasion resistant
  • Has an R-value of 9.5
  • Made with sturdy materials
  • It is a bit on the bulkier side compared to some self-inflating mats

Marchway ultralight folding tent camping cot bed

If you want to raise yourself from the camp floor while sleeping, the Marchway Ultralight Folding Camping Bed is one of the most affordable options available. It is a foldable camping bed that is easy to carry and compact enough to take with you during your hiking expeditions.

It is made with nylon and aluminum, so it is quite sturdy and can withstand weight up to 275 pounds. The shock cord pole structure makes it a lot easy to assemble and disassemble within minutes. It’s a simple process once you get the hang of it. Despite being made out of nylon and aluminum, it only weighs 4.8 pounds.

Marchway ultralight folding tent camping cot bed

We say…

Great for those who like to be off the ground, with sturdy construction.

  • Made with aluminum and nylon
  • Comes with a carrying case
  • The foldable design is highly convenient
  • Can only be used on a relatively flat surface
  • The “legs” are not adjustable

Wrap up

Camping is a lot of fun, but so is sleep, and what better way to enjoy your outdoor days than to camp and sleep in luxury. Thankfully, getting good quality sleep during camping is very easy due to the best camping beds.

Hopefully, we were able to help you find the best match for your sleep and your back. Just like always, if you have any questions or suggestions, feel free to contact us.