Best camping beds 2019: camping equipment to help you sleep well outdoors

Camping is far more enjoyable when you sleep better at night, and these top camping beds will boost your snooze no end

The best camping beds: a man lies on an inflatable camping bed in a sleeping bag

A good night's sleep helps you feel far more refreshed and energised for the day ahead, and one way to ensure you get quality sleep outdoors is by teaming your sleeping bag with the best camping bed you can afford. That should be based on how often you will be using it and how important good sleep is to you. 

Not all great camping beds cost the earth either, as you'll soon discover from our list below. In fact, sometimes a high quality single airbed for camping will be your golden ticket to dreamland. 

A quality camping bed can make all the difference on a multi-day hiking or backpacking trip too, and when camping at a festival. You can buy them as basic, stripped back camp beds for casual use, or you can invest in a luxury inflatable camping bed for proper glamping and car camping.

For something far more streamlined again, you could turn to a roll-up camping mat. These can be strapped to your backpack for ease of carrying.

Best camping bed: our expert pick 

  • If you want to enjoy the best night’s sleep possible when sleeping under canvas, save some of your budget for a camping bed. A quality one won’t break the bank but it can make a big difference to your level of comfort. You can also pull it out of your tent in the day to act as a make-shift sun lounger when the weather's decent.
  • Our top pick for the best camping bed is the Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XTherm, which delivers 4-season comfort at a minimal weight and pack size. This makes it the ideal choice for festival camping, backpacking and multi-day adventures.

Best Camping Beds: Vango Thermocore lifestyle

Choosing the best camping bed for you

There’s a big range of camping beds available, so how do you know which type is right for you? This question will help: how far do you need to carry your camp bed? If you’re car camping, for example, an inflatable mattress is the epitome of luxury camping. Bonus: you can also use it as en emergency guest bed when you’re back home. 

However, if you’re hiking or exploring the wilds, you’ll want something lighter and packable, which is where the real fun starts. So when it comes to the best camping bed, there are two main areas to look at: inflatable airbeds and foam-based options. 

Foam-based camping beds have been around for donkeys years, in the shape of a simple foam rectangle. Although technology has moved on since then, there’s still plenty to be said for this simple camping mat

It might not offer plush comfort in the way an inflatable air bed would, but it won’t absorb water and can’t be punctured – something airmats are at risk of. 

That said, the camping airbed or airmat has bags of comfort on it’s side. The lightest modern versions need blowing up with a few breaths, but they do give you a mini-airbed experience for just a few hundred grams in weight. Their bigger siblings often require an air pump, but when car camping that’s less of an issue. 

Does insulation matter when it comes to camping beds?

Yes. In fact, the most vital thing is to ensure when choosing the best camping bed for you is that you pick the right level of insulation for your planned use and personal preferences. Insulation is measured in an ‘R’ rating, and this indicates the thermal resistance of the mat – a higher value keeps you warmer through the night. 

If you’re a cold sleeper, choosing a high ‘R’ value will be essential for a good night’s sleep. You’ll usually find these higher values among the premium quality camping beds. So don’t be tempted to scrimp on your mat – just like a normal mattress, the cheaper ones might look the part,but they won't last. 

Thermarest is arguably the best known brand, but there are plenty of comparable, quality options out there too. Let’s take a look at the best camping beds now and find the perfect one for you… 

The best camping bed

1. Aerobed Double Flocked Camp Bed

The best camping bed for couples

Specifications
Best for: Comfort
Type: Inflateable
Size: Double
Weight: 5.2kg
Max load: 204kg
Reasons to buy
+Built-in electric pump+Even, stable surface

If you want ultimate comfort in the quickest time then this inflatable camping bed is for you. It features a built-in electric pump that will have this bed ready to go in a matter of minutes, and the 28 different air coils are designed to provide a stable and even surface to sleep on that you don’t always get with other air beds. 

It sleeps two, and is said to only make a little noise when moving around, so you can expect to get a good night’s sleep on this one. It would work just as well as a guest bed as it would a camping bed, so you’ll definitely get your money's worth from this one. 

Best camping bed: Coleman Single Airbed

(Image credit: Coleman)

2. Coleman Comfort Single Air Camping Bed

A super-comfy inflatable camping bed for under £30

Specifications
Type: Self-inflating
Size: Single
Weight: 2.3kg
Reasons to buy
+Super-comfy+Raised off the floor

Coleman's comfortable airbed for one proves that you don't have to spend a fortune to get the best camping bed for better snoozing outdoors. It has a raised design to put ample space between you and the cold floor in your tent. 

The Comfort Single Airbed is made of tough, flocked PVC isn't too noisy when you sleep on it or wriggle about in your sleeping bag (though there are much quieter options featured below).

A storage bag and repair kit are included, and it can support a maximum weight of 270kg (42.5 stone). 

Best camping beds: Thermarest NeoAir XTherm Inflatable Camp Bed

(Image credit: Press)

3. Thermarest NeoAir XTherm Inflatable Camp Bed

The ideal lightweight camping bed for multi-day hiking trips

Reasons to buy
+Super-lightweight+Provides good heat insulation

It's pricey compared to a lot of camping beds in this round-up, but the NeoAir XTherm is solid gold for adventurers who want maximum comfort without adding noticeable pack weight. 

The R-rating on this lightweight inflatable camping bed is 5.7, which is impressive considering it only weighs 430g. What does that mean? Great insulation, so you won't be affected by the chilled ground when camping out in cold weather.

Aside from the price, the only other sticking point with this camping bed is that it can be a little noisy to sleep on if you wriggle or toss and turn a lot in your sleep. Otherwise, it's a superb piece of lightweight adventure gear that won't let you down.

Outwell Posadas Single Foldaway Bed

4. Outwell Posadas Foldaway Camping Bed

A sturdy yet affordable foldaway camping bed

Specifications
Best for: Sturdy frame
Type: Foldaway
Size: Single
Weight: 7.9kg
Max load: 125kg
Reasons to buy
+No assembly required+Packs down small 

For the quickest set up possible, try this Outwell foldaway camping bed. With no assembly required, this bed simply folds out in seconds for a ready-made bed. It’s not the lightest on the list by any stretch, so it's better suited to car camping and longer camping holidays where comfort during sleep is exceptionally important.

So it depends what you feel is more effort – carrying it or setting it up. There's a built-in padded head cushion for extra comfort, further boosting your chances of sleeping well (and feeling rested) when camping.

Best camping bed: Therm-a-Rest Z-Lite SOL Mattress

5. Therm-a-Rest Z-Lite SOL

The best camping bed for mountain adventures

Reasons to buy
+Small pack size+Indestructible+Surprisingly comfortable

A stone-cold classic, the Therm-a-Rest Z-Lite premise is a simple one: take all the benefits of a foam mat, then make it far more packable. As a result, this super-thin camping bed has become a byword in outdoor circles for expedition and bivvying activities due to its impressive lightweight coupled with robustness. 

Because it’s just dimpled foam, the Z-Lite will shrug off sharp items, cramponed boots and flinty surfaces alike. Indeed, short of setting it alight, this best camping bed contender will shrug off pretty much anything. Newer versions incorporate a reflective aluminized surface that minimises heat loss, increasing overall warmth by 20 per cent.

While it weighs in at a lightweight 410 grams, it doesn’t pack down particularly small. Regardless, you’ll see these ‘foam bricks’ strapped to rucksacks from the Lakes to Laksa. 

Coleman Raised Double Airbed

6. Coleman Inflatable Double Camping Bed

A luxury option for those who need creature comforts outdoors

Specifications
Best for: Glamping
Type: Inflatable
Size: Double
Weight: 2.9kg
Max load: No limit
Reasons to buy
+Doesn’t deflate+Packs away easily 

This is the best camping bed for a home-away-from-home feel. It is of standard height which means it’s just like a regular bed, and you’ll be able to sit on it with your feet on the ground, plus the 32 air-springs are designed to create a soft but firm surface that reduces the bowing in the middle when two people are sleeping on it. 

Despite its size, it is said to be quick to inflate, and more importantly, easy to roll up and pack away. For anyone who’s not a fan of the great outdoors, this camping bed should make you feel more at home. 

ReadyBed Deluxe Junior Airbed

7. ReadyBed Deluxe Junior Camping Bed

A two-in-one kids camp bed that’s snugly and easy to set up

Specifications
Best for: Kids
Type: Inflatable
Size: Single
Weight: 3kg
Max load: 50kg
Reasons to buy
+Machine washable cover+Great for sleepovers

This inflatable kids’ bed might be a welcome break when on a family holiday. Rather than have to spend time setting up lots of beds, this one simply inflates within minutes and has an integrated cover so that it is ready to sleep in. 

It’s lightweight and also has a machine washable cover so that it is easy to clean after a weekend away with the kids or a sleepover with friends. 

Therm-A-Rest Ultralite Cot

8. Therm-A-Rest Ultralite Cot

Get off the ground pronto with this lightweight camping bed

Specifications
Best for: Off-the ground sleeping
Type: Foldaway
Size: Single
Weight: 1.2kg
Max load: 147.5kg
Reasons to buy
+Super lightweight+Keeps you warm at night

For those who just don’t like sleeping on the ground, this pop up camping bad is quick and easy to use. It’s so lightweight, even more so than an air bed, making it easy to carry and set up on site. 

It is lined with ThermaCapture foam which helps keep you warm at night and the multiple feet keep the bed sturdy so you can expect a sound night’s sleep without risking waking up on the floor. It comes in a handy carry-pack to make your camping trip a hassle-free experience.