This is our official list in search of the best single inflatable air mattresses on the market today.
Highest Reviewed Single Inflatable Camping Mattresses
Anyone who has ever spent a night tossing and turning on bumpy, hard ground while camping will tell you how central comfort is to a good night’s sleep. Trying to sleep with a root running beneath your hip, or having the ground leach heat from you in cool weather will have you starting the next day stiff, under-rested, and unhappy. Camping should be fun!
There are many options for for comfortable sleep while camping, and The Camping Family gives a good overview of the options. How you sleep matters, too. Someone who sleeps on their side will want a thicker cushion than someone who sleeps on back or belly will need.
For packing into a compact package, high R-values to keep you warm, and comfort, it’s difficult to get a better option than a single inflatable camping mattress. The downsides can be a problem, though. Leaks and crinkly or squeaky noises are the most common complaints, so it’s important to find an inflatable pad that suits your needs. There’s a phenomenal range of features and options available. If you want to avoid the problems that moisture inside can cause, you’ll want to consider a pump, because lung power comes with high humidity.
This is a twin-sized mattress, only suitable for car camping. The double height gets you far off of the ground, and you can even sit on the edge without bottoming out. The built-in electric pump inflates it in about 3 minutes.
For camping, you’ll need an inverter, a 110V AC outlet nearby, or to bring along a different air pump. The remarkable height may be awkward in smaller tents. The material will stretch at first, so it loses firmness the first 3 or 4 nights without losing any air. The pillow is not raised much, you may want a separate pillow as well.
- Remarkably comfortable.
- Built-in air pump if you’ve got 110V available.
- Durable 20ga PVC construction.
- You need a very large tent for this model.
This self-inflating mattress is 77.2” x 24.8” x 2”, and uses brass valves for durability. It has snaps on the sides, for attaching 2 of them side-to-side to use under doubled sleeping bags. The mattress section has a tufted pattern. Available in dark green, navy blue, or wine red, it comes with compression straps, a stuff bag, and a repair kit.
The stuff bag has a convenient shoulder strap. The pillow is not self-inflating, but it is easy to inflate to the preferred firmness. The mattress can be inflated to speed up the self-inflation time or to make it a bit firmer. The waterproof coating is great if water gets into your tent, or if small children have an overnight accident. The mattress has been reported to sometimes leak slowly under heavier people.
- Convenient compression straps
- Soft-touch fabric for very little if any noise.
- Waterproof exterior
- May not be reliable
This inflatable mattress has a built-in foot pump for quick inflation. The air chamber is narrow ridges in a diamond pattern for effective cushioning while taking minimal effort to inflate. The built-in pillow is 4 parallel cylinder shapes to also conserve effort inflating it.
Inflated size is 76″ x 21″ x 3″, longer and loftier than many others. At ~23 ounces, it’s light enough for backpacking. Packs to 10″ x 4.5″ x4.5″. Comes with stuff sack and patch kit.
- 3″ of loft is thicker than most
- Built-in foot pump
- One of the lightest in this list
- There are reports of the foot pump being slower than other foot pumps.
Internal open-cell foam will inflate this mattress automatically. Close the valve for use or while it’s rolled, open the valve to inflate or deflate it. It will inflate slowly the first few times when it’s new, but you can blow into it to speed it up or get a firmer cushion.
It has a built-in conventionally inflatable pillow, so it’s as firm as you want it to be. The pillow is about 12″ of its 72″ length. Comes with stuff sack and patch kit.
- Self-inflating means no need for a pump or blowing it up
- Built-in pillow is convenient.
- Folds before rolling up for smaller bundle in your pack.
- Can be inflated to firmer than self-inflation if desired.
- Side sleepers will bottom out at the hip.
With a nylon/polyester laminate shell, this mattress enjoys a reputation for durability. It has a built-in foot pump, and comes with an electric pump that runs on either AA batteries or from a 12V connection to a car.
Some people report that the foot pump can be tricky to use, and others say that it fills the mattress in about a minute. Side sleepers report that their hip doesn’t bottom out, and it is reported to be exceptionally quiet.
- Durable shell means fewer leaks
- Enough cushion for side-sleepers
- Includes a spare pump
- 3 pounds is heavier than some backpackers will like
Single Inflatable Camping Beds
Every single inflatable camping mattress should be stored flat, uncompressed, inflated, but the valves left open so that they can air out and dry completely. Moisture trapped inside can become a host to some pretty nasty bacteria.
Even the most durable mattress can spring a leak, so always bring a patch kit. If you don’t want to carry a mechanical pump because of size or weight considerations, there are bag-style air pumps that work quickly, yet fold down to a very compact and lightweight package. A cotton pillowcase makes inflatable pillows much more comfortable, and for built-in pillows, a towel is almost as good.