Is an Air Mattress a Good Sleeping Option for Camping?

Air Mattress

Camping is an outdoor activity involving an overnight stay away from home. Apart from that, camping is one of the best ways for you to unwind and take a break from the city life. It gets more fun at night, when hearing the crickets or gazing at the stars as you sleep at the campsite.

For that reason, wouldn’t it be nice to settle without feeling the cold ground and rock in your back? For that, it could be a plus to use an air mattress as your sleeping mat while talking about random stuff with some hot chocolate in your hands.

Having an air mattress in your tent will protect your back from feeling the cold ground and rocks. Because of its thickness, it will give you comfort, as if you were sleeping at home. Plus, it’s easy to set up, lightweight, and it allows you to adjust its firmness. In our opinion it is a good sleeping option while on a camping trip.

This article will talk about the advantages of using an air mattress when camping. You’ll have an idea of what you want to do in order to sleep better while camping.


After a long day of camping, you’ll want to relax and unwind comfortably. One way of increasing the comfort level of your tent and campsite is investing in a good camping mattress. There are tons of options out there to choose from, but if you want to get a quality mattress that will suit your needs, pick one from our top recommendations of the best camping beds and pads.


Advantages of sleeping on an air mattress while camping

When using an air bed for camping, there are many positive things to consider. One of the edges of inflated beds is that you can adjust their firmness depending on what works for you. But there are more factors why most campers use air mattresses as their sleeping mat when camping. Let’s go into further details.

  • Comforting

    You’re far from the ground, and you’ll not feel the hard surface in your back when you sleep. It’s bouncy, comforting, flexible, and feels like home. It can be inflated to reach the firmness that works for you.

  • Bigger sleeping space

    Other sleeping mats are made specifically for single sleepers, like sleeping bags. But the best option if you’re planning to camp with your family or friends is an air mattress. You can choose from single, twin, queen, or full size air mattresses, depending on the capacity of your tent and your needs.

  • Simple to use

    An air mattress is easy to use and pack. You don’t need to assemble anything, nor read a manual to set up an air bed. Just unroll the bed in your intended space, and press the self-inflate button or inflate it with a pump, and there you have it!

  • Flexible

    Air mattress allows you to customize their firmness. If you want yours firm, you can add more air and, if you want it softer, you can remove some air. Remember that if you make it too firm, it will result in uneven weight distribution on your body.

  • Protection from tiny and sharp objects on the ground

    Staying on the bumpy ground for too long will cause back pain. While with an air mattress, you’ll be able to lay down for a longer time, because there will be a huge air gap between you and the ground.

  • Air mattress portability

    You can take your mattress with you wherever you go. One good side of an air bed is that you can lay it on a floor or any flat surface. It’s small in size, and easy to carry. Just inflate it with a pump, or press the button if it’s a self-inflated mattress, when you want to use it.

  • Suitable for sharing

    A full size or bigger air mattress has two separate chambers inside, meaning the two sides of the bed don’t have to be the same firmness. You can just set your own side to the level that you want.

  • Odorless

    There are no nasty off-gassing odors, like you may typically find when a foam mattress is new, for example. This is because of the PVC material used to manufacture them.


One common misconception about camping is that you won’t be able to sleep properly and comfortably. This is not always the case. We’ve been on numerous camping trips and we have mastered the art of sleeping and waking up comfortably while camping. Read our article to learn our tricks. 


Disadvantages of sleeping on an air mattress while camping

An inflated mattress is quite comfy and easy to use. However, with all the positive sides of an air mattress, every sleeping mat has downsides for camping.

Here are some factors to consider.

  • It’s heavy

    An air mattress may look small and easy-to-carry, but it’s heavy. It weighs about 8 to 10 lbs. when deflated.

  • Needs to be inflated

    Air beds need to be inflated. You can’t settle down right away. You need to pump it up before you can use it. Most air beds have a built-in pump and motor, and some require a separate pump.

  • Lengthy to set up

    Inflatable mattresses can take between 30 – 60 minutes to set up, and may require the involvement of two people. However, once it’s assembled, the only thing you’ll need to worry about is whether to add or release some air, based on your choice.

  • It leaks and punctures

    Air mattresses are subject to punctures and leaks. A leak may be hard to find and fix.

    Mattresses that are-used at higher altitudes lose air faster, and colder temperatures flatten the mats. Cold temperatures also cause the air inside the mattress to liquefy.

  • You might get cold

    You might still get cold even when you use an air mattress unless the temperature is very warm. If the ground is cold, the air in the inflatable mattress will get cold too.

  • May deflate overnight

    Your air bed may deflate overnight. Even if it’s airtight, gas molecules can still creep out through the wall material itself. Plus, the changes in temperatures have a major effect on air pressure and density, meaning it will be less firm at nighttime.

  • It’s big

    If you carry a full-size air mattress, you can’t easily pick it up alone and move it to your intended location. You’ll also need the same size tent to accommodate it.

    For that reason, always check everything you need to consider for your camping when you use an air mattress as your sleeping mat.


Over time and because of wear and tear, your mattress may leak air. This will not be a big deal as long as you know how to repair a leaky air mattress. We have a few tips and tricks that you might find useful if you ever find yourself in this situation.


Frequently Asked Questions:

After learning about the pros and cons, what would be the follow-up queries about this matter? Let’s start discussing the most FAQs (frequently asked questions) about using an air mattress for camping.

As we did a survey to better answer you, here are the major reasons for each question.

Can you fill an air mattress with water?

No. Air beds aren’t meant to be filled with water since they’re only holding air. The water will break the air mattress, and will produce mold if you don’t completely drain it. Since water is way heavier than air, it will break your air bed.

Additionally, the air compressors aren’t meant to hold up the water. Not only that, but the mattress will be too cold to sleep on unless you warm the water up to 80°F or beyond.

Can you over inflate an air mattress?

Each time you overfill the mattress, the mattress becomes more likely to rupture. The air mattress experiences excess stress on the seams if you overinflate it.

I recommend inflating your mattress to about 90% of its capacity only.

Why is my air mattress losing air but there’s no hole?

Most air beds are subject to leaks and punctures. But some of the factors that deflate the air bed without a hole include:

  • Temperatures
  • Wrong usage
  • Pinholes
  • Pressure/weight put on a mattress
  • Hidden pumps/leaks

Make sure you spot all factors that may affect why air mattresses deflate without holes before carrying them for camping.

Why do air mattresses get so cold?

The air bed lay on the ground. The ground is cold. The air mattress will lose a lot of heat through the ground, making the air inside the bed cold. During the day, the temperature rises, and hot air causes it to expand. This physical change causes the mattress to shrink and appear deflated.

Tips to keep your air mattress inflated longer

  • Check the location temperature

    It’s important to monitor the temperatures of the location at all times. In cooler weather, the air in the mattress tends to condense, and the bed deflates.

  • Don’t lay it on a non-flat surface

    This is an effective way to maintain your air bed or air mattress. Lay it flat, so that your body weight is equally distributed, and your mattress feels less pressure and leaks less air.

  • Fold and store it with car

    Always fold it with care before you store it. Overstretching it will increase the development of tears. If minor holes are starting to appear, improper folding will worsen them and increase leakage with each use.

Overall, there’s nothing that you can do to stop your mattress from leaking air permanently. But, these tips will somehow slow down the process and help you avoid damaging the mattress.



Now that you know all the things you need to think about before carrying an air mattress on your next camping trip, we suggest that you choose one that works and is suitable for you. After all, all sleeping mats have ups and downs, and an air mattress could be your best option. You can go camping with it, and inflate it when needed. It’ll be hassle-free if you carry it with a hand pump to fill it up quickly.

Remember to deflate and store the air mattress when you don’t use it, and keep it inflated when in use. Finally, avoid sharp objects that could create a tear. As long as you properly take care of your air mattress, you will be able to use it for many years and camping trips to come.

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