Best air mattress for travel

Which air mattress is best for travel?

There are many types of air mattress, since if you’re buying one for the periodic houseguest you won’t have the same needs as if you want one for travel.

When it comes to travel, it’s important to consider size and weight, especially if you’ll be carrying the air mattress for long periods. Durability and comfort also need to be factored in. The last thing you want is an air mattress you have trouble sleeping on, or which pops in the middle of the night.

What to look for when buying an air mattress for travel

Comfort

A good night’s rest is as important when traveling as it is at home. This means comfort should be top priority when choosing an air mattress. Consider the amount of support it offers, the material the sleeping surface is made from, and its height.

Portability

How much portability matters on how you’ll be traveling and where you’ll be staying. If hiking long distances to a campsite, you’ll want an air mattress that’s lightweight and compact when deflated, but if driving right up to a campsite, you have more leeway (though you still need to be aware of how much room you have in your tent). If staying at a friend’s house, you can opt for the largest, plushest double-height air mattress, since neither weight nor size will be of much concern.

Inflation method

Many air mattresses have a built-in pump that makes inflating them easy. Some also feature a pressure-monitoring system so they can automatically add a little extra air throughout the night when needed. Bargain-priced models often require an external electric air pump, which they may — or may not — come with.

Both of these require a power source. If you are taking the air mattress camping and don’t want to lug along a generator or batteries, choose a low-volume model you can inflate by mouth or with a manual air pump.

Pillow rest

One of the most common complaints about sleeping on an air mattress is slipping off during the night. Flocked tops help to some degree, but don’t eliminate the problem. To further solve it, some air mattresses have a small raised section near the head that helps keep pillows in place.

Common air mattress questions

How do I clean an air mattress?

handheld vacuum

A. Start by using a handheld vacuum to get rid of crumbs, dust and other debris that may have collected on its flocked surface. Next, wipe down the smooth plastic material with a cloth dampened with a bit of rubbing alcohol.

Why does my air mattress deflate at night?

A. Many people assume their air mattress is leaking when it deflates a bit during the night. While this might be true, more often it’s due to the air cooling at night, which reduces the amount of pressure inside. Air mattresses are also designed not to be 100% airtight to prevent them from bursting due to an increase of pressure inside if the temperature gets notably warmer.

The best air mattresses for travel

Best overall air mattress for travel

Zoobelieves Airlive2000

Zoobelieves Airlive2000

Thicker and more comfortable than most inflatable sleeping pads, yet less large and heavy than the average air mattress, this is a great choice for just about any type of travel. It’s equipped with a manual air pump and has buttons on the side to connect a second mattress for couples who want to sleep together.

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Best air mattress for vehicle travel

Hiraliy Car Air Mattress

Hiraliy Car Air Mattress

Designed to work in the back seat of sedans, multipurpose vehicles and SUVs, this air mattress makes sleeping in cars considerably more comfortable. It’s quite versatile, too, and can also be used as a normal air mattress or a lounger with backrests for two people when placed on a flat surface. It comes with two inflatable pillows, a storage bag and an electric air pump.

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Best plush air mattress for travel

Intex 64447ED Dura Beam Fiber Tech Air Mattress

Intex 64447ED Dura Beam Fiber Tech Air Mattress

This double-height mattress has a headboard to eliminate the issue of pillows sliding off, and to serve as a backrest when watching TV or reading a book. The heavy-duty, puncture-resistant material can stand up to a lot of wear and tear on the road, but the mattress’ overall size and weight makes it best suited to those traveling by car and sleeping in a large space.

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Best air mattress for backpacking

Outdoorsman Lab Sleeping Pad

Outdoorsman Lab Sleeping Pad

If you are going on a trip where every ounce and inch of space in your backpack counts, this tiny, lightweight sleeping pad is the way to go. It weighs less than a pound, packs down small and can be inflated by mouth in just 10 or 15 breaths.

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Best full thickness air mattress for camping

Jeaouia Twin Size Air Mattress

Jeaouia Twin Size Air Mattress

At just 4 pounds, this twin-sized air mattress is one of the best options for campers who want something more comfortable than a thin inflatable sleeping pad. It packs down small and comes at a budget-friendly price.

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Best camping cot for travel

Coleman Camping Cot

Coleman Camping Cot

Sometimes you want the feeling of a real bed even if you are sleeping in the great outdoors. That’s what this raised cot provides. It sits on a folding frame that features a side table and cup holder, and it inflates with the included battery-operated electric pump.

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Best kids air mattress for travel

Sleepah Inflatable Toddler Travel Bed

Sleepah Inflatable Toddler Travel Bed

Children are notorious for tossing and turning at night, which can lead to them rolling out of a bed. With this toddler bed, that won’t be a concern, because it has guard rails that run down both sides. It even comes with a small matching inflatable pillow and a plush toy.

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Brett Dvoretz writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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