Best Alternatives To Air Mattress For Camping

Last Updated on June 14, 2022 by DAVID

Have you considered planning your next camping trip to ensure a good night’s sleep? I have used air mattresses on my camping trips many times. However, in some cases, I felt the lack of back support or faced the problem of unwanted puncture, so I had to find the better alternatives to an air mattress. Also, when I went on short trips, I wasted a lot of time enjoying the mattress inflation.

So, I want you guys not to worry about the best alternative of air mattresses before or after going on a camping trip like me. So, let’s learn what alternative methods you can follow for your comfortable sleep.

Air mattress alternatives for camping:

Foam Sleep Pad:

You need to use an air mattress with extreme caution due to mechanical or fragile material presence like air valves but this is not the case with Foam Sleep Pad. No unwanted noise originates from its use. In addition, if you use a pad of dense Closed-cell Foam, you will have a very comfortable experience. It is very flexible as you can easily pack it outside the backpack. You will get rid of carrying extra weight or tools if you use Foam Sleep Pad.

Futon Mattress:

If you go car camping, Futon Mattress of Multipurpose design known as your guest bed can be an alternative to an air mattress. You can fold it instantly so you don’t have to spend a lot of time setting it up as a camping bed. The best part is that it provides you with enough warmth and support for your back. So, if you are planning camping in winter, Futon Mattress will be very useful.


It is very suitable for backpacking as it is very lightweight. Hammocks are more commonly used in park or forest camping because they can be tied up in trees. For those of you who want to enjoy nature to the fullest, Hammock may be the best alternative to air mattresses. Instead of sleeping in a tent during hot days, sleeping in a hammock is a great way to enjoy the natural breeze. It will protect you from uneven ground or wet surfaces. It also helps keep safe from poisonous insects.

On the other hand, if you want to sleep in it during winter camping, you just need to use an under quilt to get protection from cold temperatures. Also during the rainy season, you need to put a tarp on your hammock. On one of my summer camping trips, I had to be restless of bugs for not taking the net. So, do not forget to keep a net with your hammock. It balances body weight and helps your neck and back support better. It is strong enough to be made with breathable parachute nylon material. You have to be more careful when setting it up because if you don’t tie it up properly, there is a risk of injury.

Camping Cot:

Camping cot is one of the best alternatives to air mattress. Camping Cot is a good sleeping item for a person to sleep on a car camping trip. In the case of small tents, you can place your other belongings under the Camping Cot to take advantage of the space.

Padded sleeping bags:

You can use a sleeping bag to keep yourself warm even in extreme weather conditions. It is very popular with backpackers as it is light in weight. However, make sure that your padded sleeping bag has a waterproof, weather-resistant design.

Should you use an air mattress when camping?

Lack of airflow & sweaty:

There is a correlation between temperatures with good sleep but air mattresses cannot play a role in controlling this temperature. Our regular bedding is usually made of moisture-wicking fabric so it can dry out the sweat quickly. On the other hand, PVC or plastic materials used in the manufacture of air mattresses cannot absorb body sweat in hot weather. Therefore, an air mattress is not suitable for summer camping.

Possibility of mechanical failure of the pump:

Since it depends on the mechanical pump, mechanical faults can occur at any time. Therefore, if there is a problem with the emergency pump, you may have to inflate the mattress manually during camping. Also, if your pump’s warranty has expired, you will need to replace it at your own expense.

Lack of support:

The air mattress has a huge lack of firm support at the bottom of the body. So, if you use it irregularly, it will take time to adjust to it. Sleep disturbances can be caused by an unwanted bounce effect when you change body posture during sleep.

Why are air mattresses so noisy?

As it is made of synthetic fibers, when it gets a little old and carries more weight than usual, it makes noise due to friction. Also, air bubbles in air mattresses can cause noise due to friction with the floor. So, if you always put something of the carpet type under the air mattress and use the topper in the mattress, it is possible to get some relief from this noise.

Are air mattress good for winter camping?

You can use your air mattress during winter camping but for comfortable sleep, you need to ensure proper insulation for staying warm. You can use closed-cell foam mat for insulating the bottom of the mattress.

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