Skip to main content

Best camping mattresses 2022: sleep soundly when you’re car camping or glamping

Man and woman sitting on camping mattresses
(Image credit: Getty)

The best camping mattress you can lay your hands on (or, indeed, all of your body) will make sleeping outdoors just as comfortable as in your own bedroom. Provided you've got the space in your car, taking one along is one of the best decisions you can make.

Camping mattresses – as opposed to their skinnier cousins, sleeping pads made for backpacking adventures – can be very generously proportioned, offering much more height and sumptuous levels of slumber comfort in your tent (see also sleeping pad vs air mattress). All of which makes a camping mattress a glamping essential.

Many of these larger camping mattresses and airbeds are capable of sleeping two people. Some will need to be blown up with a pump plugged into the mains or the 12-volt power outlet in your vehicle, while others are impressively self-inflating.

If you're thinking of investing in a camping mattress, keep an eye on our roundup of this year's best Amazon Prime Day camping deals to snag a great mattress for less.

Best camping mattress overall

Best camping mattress: Coleman Extra High Queen Airbed

A sumptuous sleeping pad, easy to inflate and fit for a royal night’s sleep (Image credit: Coleman)

Coleman Extra High Queen Airbed

A sumptuous sleeping pad, easy to inflate and fit for a royal night’s sleep

Specifications

RRP: $75 (US)
Style: Pump inflatable
Weight: 4kg / 9lb 2oz
Size: 198cm x 147cm / 78in x 58in
Thickness: 24cm / 9.5in
Pack size: 25.5cm x 51cm / 10in x 20in

Reasons to buy

+
Heavy duty construction
+
Pump included
+
Plush sleep surface

Reasons to avoid

-
Heavy
-
Takes up a lot of space

Waking up to a partially sagging bed is super frustrating. Coleman’s Double Lock Valve first seals in air during the inflation process, then locks the air tight for a good night’s sleep uninterrupted by a deflating mattress. Featuring 48 inner coils constructed of durable PVC, and topped with a velvety soft cover, the 9.5in / 24cm thick mattress feels as comfortable as your bed at home. 

A battery powered pump inflates the mattress quickly and the bed’s AirTight system is checked at the factory for leak proof performance. The Double Lock valve lets you set the level of firmness to match your personal sleep style. Well-suited for car camping adventures, just bring queen-sized sheets if you want a reminder of home.

Best camping mattresses for couples

Big Agnes SLX camping mattress

Sweet dreams for two happy campers (Image credit: Big Agnes)
Sweet dreams for two happy campers

Specifications

RRP: $300 (US) / £265 (UK)
Style: Double air mat
Weight: 1,220g / 43oz
Size: 127cm-101cm x 198cm / 50in-40in x 78in
Thickness: 9cm / 3.5in
Pack size: 15cm x 28cm / 6in x 11in
R-value: 3.2

Reasons to buy

+
Accommodates two sleepers
+
Customize firmness
+
Pump sack, stuff sack and repair kit included
+
Tapered design

Reasons to avoid

-
Expensive compared to some models

At the end of a hard day on the trail, sleeping on hard, uneven ground with an unnoticed rock pestering your back, is far from a dream-like experience, and rolling off a skinny mat is a common complaint from disgruntled campers. The generously thick SLX tent floor pad cradles both you and your partner in cushioned comfort. Even if you sleep spread out like a starfish, there’s still room for two, so you don’t have to be on particularly intimate terms with your camping buddy. Though you may have to snuggle up if you take it out in winter, as it’s three-season rated.

The tapered design (wider at the shoulder and narrower at the feet), fits a standard two-person tent, and the weight is comparable to the combined weight of two high-end single backpacking sleeping mats. The quilted top offers a comfortable surface for sleeping if you decide to leave your favorite pillow at home. An upcycled stuff/pump sack, and a repair kit are both included, which makes inflation easy and gives you peace of mind in regards to punctures. The valve arrangement allows you to customize firmness with a few micro adjustments for personal preference. An antimicrobial treatment on the pad’s internal surfaces prevents growth of nasty microorganisms. Overall, this is one of the most thoughtfully designed and best camping mattresses out there.

Read our full Big Agnes SLX review

Best self-inflating camping mattresses

Robens Polarshield 120 camping mattress

A big, thick, warm, supportive self-inflating mattress for year-round camping comfort (Image credit: Robens)
A big, thick, warm, supportive self-inflating mattress for year-round camping comfort

Specifications

RRP: £190 (UK) / €233.95 (EU)
Style: Thick, self-inflating air mat
Weight: 2.43kg / 5lb 35oz
Usable Dimensions: 200cm x 77cm / 79in x 30in
Thickness: 12cm / 4.7in
Pack size: 39cm x 28cm / 15in x 11in
R-value: 5.0 (-19°C / -2.2°F)
Variants: Also available in 80mm thickness
Compatibility: Four-season car camping, festivals, garden and inside use

Reasons to buy

+
Luxuriously comfortable
+
Self inflating
+
Quick to pack
+
PFC free

Reasons to avoid

-
Bulky to set up
-
Expensive

Featuring Robens’ innovative and easy-to-use Peak Valve, the Polarshield 120 camping mattress self inflates surprisingly quickly for such a sumptuously thick mat. This valve appears almost suspiciously simple, but on test it worked perfectly and repeatedly. To operate it, pop open the cover and push the mini diaphragm in to start the self-inflation process (which takes a few minutes, during which time you can be doing various other tasks around the camp site) and when that’s done, simply pull the valve forward to seal it, after which you can still blow air in to adjust the firmness of the mat. To quickly deflate, push the valve back to the open setting and roll the whole thing up, squeezing the air out. 

We feared the pop-open cover would fail, but there was no sign of that happening, and the mat stayed inflated all night. The design features vertical cut outs, which both reduce the carry weight and create a row of rounded air pocket on the sides, which contribute an extra 2cm to the thickness of the mat, making it extra comfortable. The durability of the TPU materials seems good (time will tell, and we will report back) and the camping mattress is pleasingly PFC free. It comes with a carry bag, and although the Polarshield 120 is too heavy and bulky for backpacking, it’s certainly much more compact and easy to transport and use than any other car camping mattress we have tested.

Read our full Robens Polarshield 120 review

Vango Comfort 7.5 Grande camping mattress

A grand all-season crash pad for a variety of camping, outdoor and indoor overnight scenarios  (Image credit: Vango)
A grand all-season crash pad for a variety of camping, outdoor and indoor overnight scenarios

Specifications

RRP: £90 (UK)
Style: Self-inflating air mat with insulated foam
Weight: 3.2kg / 7lb
Size: 200cm x 76cm / 79in x 30in
Thickness: 7.5cm / 3in
Pack size: 77cm x 20cm / 30in x 8in

Reasons to buy

+
Deep, thick and supportive
+
Generously wide and long
+
Good next-to-skin comfort
+
Self inflates

Reasons to avoid

-
Relatively ulky
-
Heavy to transport

The Comfort Grande from Vango is a big thick, versatile sleeping solution and a comfortable crash pad for all sorts of scenarios (except hiking – because it is a sizeable beast of a bed, and you don’t want to be hulking it over the hills). For car camping trips, festivals, overnight garden adventures and sleepovers, though, it is one of the best camping mattresses out there. 

Features include Polyester Peach Top Fabric, which is both warm to the touch and comfortable to sleep on, and 75D non-slip polyester base fabric, which means the pad will stay in place on a tent (or other) floor during the night. It self inflates reasonably quickly and the 7.5cm thickness of the pad provides plenty of padding for even the most sensitive pea-hating princes and princesses out there. In the morning, the cyclone valve means you can squeeze the air back out of it quite quickly, although it I a bit a wrestle to get it all rolled away neatly, because of its size. It comes with a repair kit and, at a stretch, the carry bag can be stuffed and used as a pillow.

Read our full Vango Comfort 7.5 Grande review

Best lightweight camping mattresses

Trekology UL80 camping mattress

A super-comfortable camping mattress with generous dimensions but svelte pack size and weight (Image credit: Trekology)
A super-comfortable air mat with generous dimensions but svelte pack size and weight

Specifications

RRP: $100 (US) / £50 (UK)
Style: Non-insulated air mat
Weight: 560g / 1lb 3.75oz
Size: 191cm x 57cm / 75in x 22.5in
Thickness: 10cm / 4in
Pack size: 18.5cm x 12cm / 7.3in x 4.7in

Reasons to buy

+
Generous dimensions
+
Lightweight and packable
+
Good value

Reasons to avoid

-
Not very warm
-
No pump sack
-
Concerns over durability

The UL80 has a curved construction, designed to cradle your body and prevent you from rolling off the mat overnight. Although it is only available in one size, the dimensions are very generous, with a longer length than most mats. Its light weight and pack size are both similarly impressive, particularly in its price bracket. 

It’s easy to set up and pack, thanks to a handy dual one- or two-way valve that makes inflation and deflation easy, though it takes a while. The mat itself is made from 40-denier ripstop nylon fabric, which should be very durable. It’s comfortable, with plenty of lofty thickness to take care of lumps and bumps, though a little bouncy. And unlike many mats with a transverse baffle design, the UL80 is fairly stable and doesn’t collapse at the edges unless you really put a lot of weight there. 

It’s not insulated, so is only really suitable for camping in the warmer months. For summer use, however, or on warmer spring and fall nights, it offers comparative luxury and cracking value.

Read our full Trekology UL80 Inflatable Sleeping Pad review

Vaude Hike 9 camping mattress

A cleverly designed, insulated air mat that offers excellent comfort levels (Image credit: Vaude)
A cleverly designed, insulated air mat that offers excellent comfort levels

Specifications

RRP: £100 (UK)
Style: Insulated air mat
Weight (medium): 850g / 1lb 14oz
Size: 183cm x 55cm / 72in x 21.6in
Thickness: 9cm / 3.5in
Pack size: 15cm x 24cm / 6in x 9.4in

Reasons to buy

+
Extremely comfortable
+
Versatile
+
Warm enough for three-season use
+
Five-year guarantee

Reasons to avoid

-
Not quite as stable as some mats
-
Pump sack sold separately

The Vaude Hike 9 sleeping pad is a thick, plush mat that promises maximum comfort whilst also balancing other factors like warmth, weight, pack size and price. It is filled with a synthetic insulation that gives the mat an R-value of 2.5, which makes it suitable for two to three-season use, down to temperatures approaching freezing.

The mat employs a rectangular 3D construction, with pronounced sidewalls. This gives a noticeably larger sleeping surface, so while its overall dimensions are similar to many of the other mats we tested, the Hike 9 feels a lot roomier. It’s almost like sleeping on a conventional mattress. It also means that a pair of these mats butt up neatly together, eliminating annoying gaps – great if you want to create a “double” bed.

The impressive 9cm thickness made it one of the best camping mattresses to keep you comfortable all night long, though the longitudinal baffles don’t feel quite as stable as some other mats. It’s easy to blow up and deflate but it does take a fair bit of puff. Although it is compatible with a pump sack, you need to buy that separately.

Read our full Vaude Hike 9 review

Best camping mattress comparison chart
Camping mattressRRPWeightStyle
Coleman Extra High Queen Airbed$75 (US)4kg / 9lb 2ozPump inflatable airbed for 4-season use
Big Agnes SLX$300 (US) / £265 (UK)2.22kg / 43ozDouble air mat for 3-season use
Robens Polarshield£190 (UK) / €233.952.43kg / 5lb 35ozSelf-inflating mattress for year-round camping comfort
Vango Comfort 7.5 Grande£90 (UK)3.2kg / 7lbSelf-inflating air mat with insulated foam for 4-season use
Trekology UL80$100 (US) / £50 (UK)560g / 1lb 3.75ozNon-insulated air mat
Vaude Hike 9£100 (UK)850g /1lb 14ozInsulated air mat

How we test camping mattresses

Our reviewers test camping mattresses overnight in a range of outdoor conditions and temperatures. Specific features (pack weight, dimensions, comfort, warmth, size, packability) are tested against claims made by the brand. Factors such as ease of inflation/deflation, durability and value for money are also assessed.

For more details, see how Advnture tests products

How to choose the best camping mattress for you

Comfort tends is the obvious factor to think about when choosing a camping mattress, but there are other important considerations to take into account too, before you make a decision.

Quality and durability

Many people will have experienced that familiar sinking feeling of a camping mattress deflating during the night, sending occupants rolling into one another or spilling them out onto the ground. Buying cheap camping mattresses is often a false economy, if they puncture easily or the valve lets them down. Better to invest in a more robust product that you can get many more nights out of than to skimp and send multiple cheap plastic mattresses into landfill when they fail.

Best camping mattress

Make sure your mattress is robust enough that a few stones won’t puncture it (Image credit: PeopleImages / Getty Images)

Comfort

Getting a comfy night’s rest isn’t just down to finding a mattress that offers plenty of depth and stays inflated. It’s worth looking at the pressure the bed can be inflated to (which will govern the firmness) and the materials used on the sleeping surface – a brushed fabric will be a whole lot more comfortable (and less sticky and squeaky) than shiny plastic.

Weight and inflation

If you only ever intend using your camping mattress for garden sleepouts, putting friends up for the night or car camping adventures where the vehicle is close enough to plug a pump into its 12v outlet, then a classic plug-in airbed like the Coleman Extra High Queen is a good choice. If, however, you intend to use the mattress in more remote situations such as canoe camping, then a self-inflating model like the Robens Polarshield 120 or Vango Comfort 7.5 Grande would be ideal. Hikers and bikers who want comfort in a lightweight package will need to look at products like the Trekology UL80 or Vaude Hike 9.

Writer, editor and enthusiast of anything involving boots, bikes, boats, beers and bruises, Pat has spent 20 years pursuing adventure stories. En route he’s canoed Canada’s Yukon River, climbed Mont Blanc and Kilimanjaro, skied and mountain biked through the Norwegian Alps, run an ultra across the roof of Mauritius, and set short-lived records for trail-running Australia’s highest peaks and New Zealand’s Great Walks. He’s authored walking guides to Devon (opens in new tab) and Dorset (opens in new tab), and once wrote a whole book about Toilets (opens in new tab) for Lonely Planet. Follow Pat’s escapades here (opens in new tab).