Best Camping Mattress [2019]

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Englander employs innovative microfiber construction to provide the Englander First-Ever Microfiber Queen Air Mattress with superior stability. It’s also rated to be 20% more puncture and abrasion-resistant, while also having 30% more tensile strength. This helps reduce seam leakage issues while also providing superior comfort. The microfiber flocking also has thermo-regulating properties to keep you from feeling overly warm or cold while you sleep.

The double high air mattress also has a built-in air pump which runs on 110 Volt standard AC electricity. It was designed to inflate and deflate rapidly. The queen size air bed is rated to inflate in 2-minutes.

Englander also has a strong reputation for quality and superior customer service. They even support this air mattress with a superior five-year warranty.

The Etekcity Camping Air Mattress with Rechargeable Air Pump was designed to be lightweight and portable without unnecessarily having to sacrifice quality. The coil beam construction helps with stability and durability. The thick PVC construction also helps with abrasion and puncture resistance. The top is flocked and the bottom has a non-skid texture.

The air pump doesn’t use traditional C or D cell batteries. Instead, it’s rechargeable and lightweight. You can charge it up at home before you leave on your camping trip, or conveniently hook it up to an included car charger.

The lightweight charger and the fact that the mattress itself only weighs around 10 pounds, makes the Etekcity a great choice for someone who wants to camp off the grid or take it on a hiking trip.

The King Koil is a traditional mattress manufacturer who also offers a line of high-quality air mattresses. Their California King Luxury Raised Air Mattress has a flocked top and measures to true dimensions to fit and hold traditional sheets.

It uses an interior coil-beam structure for added comfort and support. It also reduces motion transfer for times when you need to sleep with another person.

The built-in air pump can rapidly inflate or deflate the mattress in around 3-minutes. There’s also an easy one-touch switch that makes it easy to add more air in the middle of the night.

King Koil also proudly notes that they have been endorsed by the International Chiropractors Association, and back this air bed with a one-year warranty.

How We Picked

To the uninitiated, a camping mattress might seem like little more than a tightly sealed bag of air that you can also keep in the house for times when a company spends the night. If you’ve ever spent the night on one of these low-quality mattresses, you likely also have a low opinion of them.

Chances are it lost air to pinhole leaks in the seams, only to leave you waking up to the sides folding in on you. If you shared a night with someone you likely had dreams of sleeping on a trampoline. Many of these older air mattresses also made people feel cold and left them with a sore back in the morning.

Fortunately, modern-day air mattress manufacturers have taken these old complaints to heart and have made major strides in providing campers, and people who need sleeping space for guests, with quality air mattress options.

When reviewing the following mattresses, we kept an eye out for a couple of key features.

Interior Structure

Traditional, uncomfortable mattresses were little more than single air bladder with little to no internal structure. A high-quality modern-day air mattress tends to have things like chambers, coils, and beams to help make the mattress stable and comfortable.

Chambers help to distribute weight throughout the air mattress, which can also help with back support. They also reduce motion transfer for the times when you need to share the air mattress with someone else.

Interior coils further add to the overall stability of the air mattress. They also reduce interior air circulation, to help keep you warm throughout the night.

All this superior stability pays off in more than just comfort. The reduced stretching and flexing also helps to reduce the risk of air leaks. Most minor or “Slow” leaks are caused by excess pulling and stretching, which causes a minor failure in a seam. These problem areas tend to be hard to find and even the best patching repairs tend to be temporary.

Materials

What a mattress is made out of can also be a factor in overall quality and durability. Most air mattresses are created from vinyl or a similar PVC material. The seams are then electrically welded to bond all the internal and external components together.

Multi-layers of vinyl or thick PVC tend to provide superior puncture and abrasion resistance. However, there are some camping air mattresses that are encased in other materials or are interspersed with nylon layers for superior rigidity.

A new material innovation showing up with many high-quality air mattresses is the use of microfibers. Most of these materials are “Proprietary” yet they are touted for superior stability, leak reductions, and abrasion resistance. They also have a growing reputation for superior comfort.

Air Pump

Blowing it up was one of the other annoying aspects of old-fashioned air mattresses. Some of them had little more than a rubber gasket that was filled exclusively by lung power. In time this gave way to foot bellows pumps and even heavy handheld, battery-powered pumps that you had to lug with you.

Of course, the seam that married the mattress to the gasket was also a prime place for air leaks to develop. For some old-fashioned manufacturers, this problem was addressed by adding extra layers or bonding with smelly adhesive compounds. While it might have helped reduced minor leaks in this area when the seam did eventually fail it tended to do so catastrophically.

Today quality air mattresses are designed with much better seals, for reduced air leaks. There are even some high-quality double high air mattresses that have a built-in pump for rapid inflation and deflation. However, most of these units need to be connected to 110 Volt AC electricity.

There are a few manufacturers who offer air mattresses with a so-called “Smart Pump.” This built-in secondary pump essentially monitors the air pressure inside the mattress. If something like a pinhole leak or a minor seam failure causes the mattress to lose air, it activates to keep it at the desired level.

This can be both a good and a bad thing. On the one hand, it spares you from having to wake up in the middle of the night to fumble around with buttons and nozzles. On the other hand, if your mattress has more than just one small pinhole, the pump might need to turn on multiple times in the middle of the night.

With some of these units, the spontaneous noise while you are sound asleep is just as disturbing as a Monday morning alarm clock. However, there are some manufacturers who address this issue and offer a nearly silent built-in secondary pump. Just bear in mind for it to operate correctly, you need to be connected to a reliable source of AC electricity.

The easiest way to work around this problem is to bring a DC to AC power inverter. You can hook it up to your vehicle’s power port and it will safely deliver the current you need to run the air pump.

A quality unit like the Ampeak 400W Power Inverter can even provide you with the basic wattage to run some other convenient camp appliances.

Any built-in air pump also needs to have a deflate feature. If it just has a release valve you will need to force all the air out yourself. Not only is this awkward, the stretching and forcing increases the chances of a minor seam failure, leading to a slow leak the next time you use it.

Of course, a built-in air pump isn’t always ideal. If you want to camp deep in the bush or your campsite doesn’t have electrical service available, you might want to prioritize a battery-powered pump. A unit that comes with one, is certainly a feather in the manufacturer’s cap. Yet even if you fall in love with one that doesn’t have one, an accessory air pump is usually pretty affordable.

Let’s look at our top 7 choices, picked by the criteria mentioned above.

SoundAsleep Dream Series Air Mattress with ComfortCoil Technology

Specs:

  • Internal Air Coil Structure
  • Double High Dual Chamber
  • Internal Air Pump
  • Sure-Grip Textured Bottom
  • 1-Year Warranty

The SoundAsleep Dream Series Air Mattress has two air chambers which helps keep you warm while making the mattress stable. The double-height also helps you get in and out of the bed easily.

SoundAsleep Dream Series Air Mattress

The internal structure uses its proprietary “ComfortCoil Technology.” This further improves the overall stability and comfort of the air mattress, which is especially nice if you will be sleeping with another person.

SoundAsleep Dream Series Air Mattress folded

It has a built-in air pump that was designed to inflate the bed in a little over four minutes. There’s also a convenient deflate feature, which spares you the awkwardness of trying to get all the air out of the chambers and air coils.

SoundAsleep Dream Series Air Mattress in bag

The bottom has its “Sure-Grip Texture” to help hold it in place. The flocked top is warm and comfortable while also being waterproof.