Are Air Mattresses Good To Sleep On? Camping Tips

There is no doubt camping is a great way to get away from everything, chillout and relax in the great outdoors. However, there are also inconveniences that can affect camping experiences such as back pain, uncomfortable sleeping position, and temperature regulation. Gladly, sleep mattresses are a lifesaver, especially for side sleeper campers.

The appeal of air mattresses for camping is that they can be set up anywhere. But, they can be somewhat cumbersome. In case you have to hike to reach your desired campsite, you might wonder whether you should bring it. In this article, we will tackle why are air mattresses good to sleep on for campers.

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What Is An Air Mattress?

Air mattress is an inflatable mattress that you can bring on camping which you can easily lay on the tent floor. Compared to sleeping pads or sleeping bags, inflatable mattresses are better since they can give you better sleep at a good price point.

a mid size air mattress bes in the corner of the room

What Are The Benefits Of An Air Mattress

Choosing the right bed to lay your head and rest in while camping can help you feel refreshed and ready for a new day of activities. Many campers agree that your sleeping arrangements can “make or break” your camping trip.

Sleeping bags, hammocks, camping cots, sleeping mats, and folding camp beds are among the various types of bedding now available. Each has its own set of benefits and drawbacks, so the best camping gear will ultimately come down to you and your requirements. Here is a list of some of the benefits of an air bed over other types of sleeping equipment.

Save Money

The price of each air mattress is very affordable. Multiple purchases of these air mattresses can prove their material, durability, dimensions, and brands. Though there is a kit of different models of air mattresses on Amazon, whichever you choose from the wide variety of the menu is still worth it.

Save Space

A lot of people also use these inflatable mattresses at their apartment, which is not bad after all. If you have a small space, and you don’t have a place for a bed frame, then this all-in-one product will be very helpful for you. You can pump your air mattress at night, and deflate it when not in use.

Maintaining Mattresses

With many mattresses, maintenance is very low-key. To ensure equal wear and tear, you can flip your standard coil option every now and then. The inflatable models cannot be flipped.

You will need to ensure that it has enough air in it and that any holes are patched up as soon as possible. They do flatten naturally over time, even if there are no holes, and need to be refilled. Therefore, they are more difficult to maintain.

a couple is reading a book on a camping air mattress

Can You Get a Good Night’s Sleep on an Air Mattress?

An air mattress is a very good investment for campers because they are inflatable, provide foam pad or memory foam (depending on the variant that you want to buy), and are also budget-friendly. Here are some practical reasons why a night of good sleep is vouched when you use air beds:


The fact that an inflatable mattress can be adjusted to a firmness that is suitable for people with back problems and other types of body pain is a huge benefit for those who suffer from such issues. Occasionally, the bed will be too soft, and with a push of a button, you will be able to quickly add some air to make the surface firmer, which will result in better body contouring and pain relief.

On other nights, the mattress may be too firm, in which case you can simply deflate it with one touch and soften the surface.

Cotton Sheets

Air beds typically come in a bundle with a pillow and sheets. This bundle is very useful since, during camping, there are mosquitoes and other insects around you. With having cotton comforters, you can ensure the extra cover that you need.

Improved Blood Circulation

Having good blood circulation while you sleep helps you avoid cramps and midnight attacks which eventually lead to a better sleep experience and give you more energy you need in the morning.


A PVC mattress does not off-gas like your typical memory foam mattress, because PVC material is used in its manufacture.

Temperature Regulation

Air beds pose the challenge of regulating your body temperature, which can be difficult. Synthetic materials like vinyl are often used in these mattresses, which won’t breathe well.

Consequently, your body generates heat throughout the night which cannot be dispersed. The air trapped within absorbs the temperature outside. When temperatures are higher, that could make for an uncomfortable and sweaty night’s sleep.

a girl who was sleeping in the air mattress now woke up

Air Mattresses Are A Great Way To Get A Good Night’s Sleep When Camping?

The most significant benefit of using an air mattress is its comfort. We prefer beds that give just a little bit at our highest pressure points, especially as we get older. There is no such love from mother earth when sleeping on the ground.

An air mattress, on the other hand, can be inflated and deflated to your preferred firmness! This is why so many campers prefer to sleep on an air mattress.

A backpacker would never use a typical air mattress because they are quite heavy and require an electric pump to (practically) inflate, but a car camper has access to the electricity of their campsite (sometimes), and if not, their car.

a baby girl sleeps in an air mattress camping bed

Can I Put an Air Mattress on a Camping Cot?

Yes, in theory. There is nothing wrong with this, just be sensible. As long as campers don’t try to add an eight-inch-thick, twin air mattress to a 26″-wide and 16″-high cot, adding an air mattress shouldn’t be difficult. The result will be a cot that is about as tall as it is wide.

It is also possible for the mattress to hang over the side rails of a narrow cot when using a twin air mattress. As a result, a camper may shift their weight beyond the side rail in the middle of the night and find themselves falling off the cot unceremoniously.

There are no straps on standard camping air mattresses to secure them to cot frames, either.

In the same manner, as the self-inflating pads described above, kitchen cupboard liners or long straps can help keep an air mattress in place on a cot.

There is also an air bed and cot combo, which offers a ready-made solution for campers looking for an air mattress frame. Fabric sleeves keep the custom air mattress in place.

a big air mattress bed in a camping cot

What are Some of the Drawbacks to an Air Mattress?

You probably have wondered about the benefits and drawbacks of owning an air mattress (also referred to as an air bed or inflatable mattress) if you’ve ever considered purchasing one.

Although they aren’t as big or (mostly only available in Queen size) expensive as a larger conventional bed such as latex or spring, they still tend to have high owner satisfaction, and unlike the former two, an air bed can be used in a variety of situations. It could be used as a permanent bed, a temporary guest bed, or taken camping and backpacking.

Long Assembly

It may take two people between 30 and 60 minutes to assemble a large permanent/fixed-use inflatable mattress. When it’s assembled, the only thing you’ll need to worry about is whether to increase or decrease the airflow.

Pump with a Noisy Noise

It is not unusual for owners to complain about noisy pumps, but these are usually limited to budget brands. Pumps are only used for inflating and deflating, so you won’t likely be using one often.

Pump Replacement

The mechanical nature and reliance on the built-in pump mean that if it becomes defective, you will have to have it repaired, either at your own expense or under warranty. Simply buy a new pump from Amazon, which shouldn’t cost more than $15, if your inflatable mattress requires one instead.

a girl sits on an air mattress bed with her dog

How Can You Make Air Mattress More Comfortable

Unhealthy sleeping patterns are, without a doubt, one of the most common problems that can lead to a variety of problems. And, when it comes to it, one of the main causes is the mattress.

As a result, we’ve decided to provide you with a few things to think about if you want to make your air bed a lot more comfortable. While we recognize that this will most likely be a temporary solution, it is still critical to ensure that it is supportive and reliable enough to avoid any problems.

Here are a few things to consider if you want to improve the quality of your air bed sleeping experience.

Put A Sheet On The Air Mattress

Among the most affordable ways to improve the overall quality of a bed is to replace the sheet. The air bed’s characteristic rubbery surface will be avoided if you do this.

A sheet topper can easily eliminate the discomfort associated with this surface in cheaper alternatives. As much as possible, we are going to maximize the comfort of the sheet. The topper can also be used on regular beds.

Add An Extra Pillow For Head Support

With the use of a proper pillow, there are numerous and undeniable benefits. I cannot emphasize them enough. Because of this, you should make sure that the pillow you use for your bed is one you love.

Regular mattresses are also affected by this. Even if you have the most expensive mattress, if you have an uncomfortable and inappropriate pillow, this can cause a lot of problems.

Use A Foam Pad Or Camping Mat

Insulation and comfort are the two main functions of sleeping mats. In addition to comfort, sleeping mats provide a more mattress-like feel by cushioning uneven ground and providing cushioning over uneven terrain.

Use Blankets For Maximum Comfort

Because your body heat is evaporating faster in cold environments, you need more insulation to keep it from leaving. Therefore, your blanket’s job is to reduce heat transfer, preventing your body heat from escaping. As a result, you stay warm. By pressing on the blankets firmly, serotonin is released, a chemical that helps us feel calm. In addition, melatonin is released, which is a hormone that prepares us for sleep.

a couple lying down in the queen size air mattress bed

Final Thoughts

What is the best option for improving your camping experience? Is it an inflatable mattress? Yes, but that depends upon the type of mattress you choose. Not all brands and sizes may be the best option, but it can still be a viable option if you find one that provides excellent support.

Support is the first and foremost thing that you need to consider here. It is a good idea to have options that allow you to choose the firmness to suit your needs.

Having the most expensive option is not absolutely necessary. There are many things you can do to make your air bed more comfortable and supportive – such as choosing the right base, adding a topper, and using the right bedding.

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