Things to Consider When Choosing a Camping Mattress

Camping without the right mattress, you won’t explore  your camping adventure at all. This is because if you are not getting a good night’s rest, you won’t enjoy the adventure to its fullest. Besides, a bad night’s sleep may lead to irritability, fatigue, lethargy, and inevitably.

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In that case, using the right camping mattress will help you get comfortable and insulation. Camping mattresses also help protect you from cold, rigid, or wet surfaces, enabling you to rest without worries. As markets are full of a vast number of camping mattresses, choosing the right one will be challenging for you.

In that case, you have to keep in mind various factors when choosing a camping mattress. For your help, in this context, we have covered some significant factors that will help you to choose the right camping mattress.

What Is a Camping Mattress?

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A camping mattress is made up of numerous layers to comfort your back and head when sleeping on uneven or rough surfaces. It is a durable and insulating portable mattress that can easily fit outdoors. Typically, camping mattresses are combined with foam and air to ensure maximum comfort. Unlike sleeping pads, camping mattresses are more comfortable and better insulating.

This mattress comes in different styles, and all features are durable. Typically, there are three primary types of camping mattresses: air, self-inflating, and closed-cell foam. Using narrow air mattresses for camping trips, you can sleep comfortably just about everywhere. This mattress will take up very little space and can be used as a guest bed at home.

Different Types of Camping Mattress

As we have said earlier, there are three types of camping mattresses you will find on the marketplace. Each mattress has its own features and environment to use, so it is crucial to know their specification separately. For that, below, we have a short description of these mattresses.

Closed-Foam Camping Mattress

Closed-foam camping mattresses are light blue foam pads that can be easily folded for travel. These are the most primary backpacking mattresses and are affordable as well as very lightweight. In general, this mattress is made of thick foam containing small closed air cells. As the off-foam mattresses are not thick enough, they do not offer maximum comfort while sleeping. This mattress is perfect for camping on rough terrain.

Air Camping Mattress

These mattresses are usually a little costlier than other mattresses as they are made with foam and advanced technology. Air camping mattresses are very lightweight and can be easily packed down to a small size. Not only that, this mattress is convenient in size and fits anyone’s backpack easily. Typically, air mattresses are designed with insulation or a reflective layer that helps to increase body warmth. If you like to have a sound night’s sleep during camping, an air mattress is a good choice.

Self-Inflating Camping Mattress

Self-inflating mattress made with strong fabrics that are slightly more durable. These mattresses are less costly than air mattresses and more than closed-foam mattresses. Usually, self-inflating mattresses are designed with a merger of open-cell foam and air. For that, they are suitable for any type of camping, especially for car camping. Besides, these mattresses come in different sizes with different widths and thicknesses so that you get the best night’s sleep.

What Is the Intention of Using a Camping Mattress?

Camping is the primary purpose of using a camping mattress. However, the type of mattress you plan to do will play an essential role in determining what type of mattress you need. Each mattress has a suitable environment and has been used to ensure that you get the best night’s sleep while camping.

Car Camping

Car camping requires zero weight and a small size mattress so that you can perfectly fit the mattress in your car. In that case, choosing a self-inflating mattress or thick air mattress will be a good option. These mattresses help you to ensure the most cushioned night of sleep.

Backpacking & Travel by Bike, Kayak, or Canoe

A compact and lightweight mattress is suitable for any type of backpacking or travel. Such travels usually carry gear in the back. For that, an air mattress is an ideal option as well as a lightweight self-inflating mattress. Despite being lightweight and compact, these mattresses will provide comfort and convenience.

Winter Camping

A well-insulated mattress is crucial if you want to enjoy a night under the stars, even knowing the snowy forecast. You can use a self-inflating or air mattress, but you have to ensure the mattress is well insulated and suitable for the temperature you wish to camp in.


Like any kind of outdoor gear, a camping mattress is now a minimalist option. If you wish to go on a backpacking trip, you obviously need a compact mattress. In that case, choosing a lightweight air mattress will be suitable for you as this mattress comes in a reasonable size.

Why Do You Need a Mattress for Camping?

If you wish to sleep on the surface during camping, you likely require a mattress. A mattress will make a world of difference sleeping on anything else. Typically, there are two main reasons why you require a mattress in camping. These causes are:

  • Maximum comfort from the ground (rocks and roots)
  • Prevent heat loss through conduction

Now let’s explore why camping mattresses are helpful:

Prevent Soreness

Sleeping on hard ground will lead to severe injury and discomfort. This is because, when you are camping, the land will be rough and sometimes loaded with roots and rocks. In that situation, sleeping on such ground will cause pain in the body.


Even if you are able to sleep comfortably on the surface, you probably feel cold even in summer. The reason is that the ground will absorb your body’s warmth via conduction. In that case, sleeping on a mattress will help you insulate from the ground. As a result, you will feel much warmer on the mattress.

Getting Enough Sleep

It is crucial to have a sound sleep at night during camping to get sufficient energy for the next day. Besides, if you have to do a multiday hike, you have to stay energized and alert. Typically, you’re more likely to get injured when you’re tired. So, you have to get enough sleep to prevent possible injuries.

Things to Consider When Choosing a Camping Mattress

You will find several types of camping mattresses on the market, and each is better for certain circumstances. To choose the right mattress suitable for your camping, you have to consider several things while buying one. For your help, below, we have outlined some significant factors that will help you explore the best camping mattress.


You will find several types of camping mattresses, but the most common mattresses are air, self-inflating, and foam mattresses. You may get the proper idea about these types of mattresses by reading the above section. So, before buying a camping mattress, consider all the factors to ensure maximum comfort during camping.


Camping mattresses are usually made of a range of materials focusing on the outer shell. The outer shell is the crucial part of a mattress which is the first place to make an issue like a leak. That’s why it has been made from ripstop nylon and PVC to polyester. These materials are durable and water-resistant that manage wear and tear.

Size and Shape

Camping mattresses are designed in various sizes and shapes. You have to pick one that matches your size as well as the size of your tent. Avoid purchasing a mattress that is too large to hold in your tent or too little for you. It is good to first measure your height and your tent before purchasing a camping mattress.

Weight and Packed Size

A mattress that is packed down small and lightweight should be chosen if you intend to hike to your camping location. This is because if your mattress packs down big and has too much weight, you will not be able to carry it with you while hiking. For that, you have to choose the right mattress that is packed small and lightweight. On the other hand, you can purchase big, over-size and weight for car camping.


R refers to resistance which means the ability of a mattress against the cold air and ground. During camping, you may have to spend your night in the cold weather along with on the cold ground. In that case, to protect your body from contracting cold ground, you will need a mattress with high resistance. A higher R-value mattress will help to keep your body warm.


The camping experience can be incredible, but a bad camping mattress can ruin your trip. Sleeping on a bad camping mattress will compromise your health, and that is even worse than sleeping on the ground. For that, sleeping on the right camping mattress is crucial to ensure sound sleep as well as prevent injury.

But choosing the right mattress will be challenging as markets are loaded with numerous mattresses. That’s why we have revealed a complete guideline on choosing the right camping mattress in this context. Considering the things mentioned above, you can easily explore your suitable camping mattress.

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