Best camping bed 2023: Quick links
00. Top 3↴
01. Best overall: Quechua Ultim Comfort
02. Best for couples: Vango Shangri-La II 10
03. Best for side sleepers: Quechua Camp Bed Base
04. Best for car camping: Kelty Waypoint Si
05. Best for tents: Robens Polarshield 120
06. Best for comfort: Coleman Extra Durable Airbed
07. Best for pregnant people: Outwell Posadas
08. Best raised: Coleman Inflatable Raised Camping Bed
09. Best for heavy people: Therm-A-Rest Ultralite Cot
The best camping bed will suddenly be the most important purchase you have ever made when planning an outdoor adventure in the cold. Inflatable camping beds can turn the remotest and coldest camp into a cosy sleeping spot, and you can always drag it out of your tent during the day to use it as a makeshift sun lounger.
The portable cots featured here are mostly aimed at car campers; backpackers who need something that fits in their hiking backpack should refer to our best camping mat guide. Still, you should know the packed size as you'll need room in your boot for your tent and the rest of your luggage. If you're looking for a breakdown of the different bed options while kipping under canvas, our airbeds vs. camp beds vs. sleep mats explainer should help.
Whatever your outdoor needs, we've got a supremely comfortable option for you on our list, ready to be paired with the best sleeping bag to deliver a fantastic snooze in any condition. See our best tent guide for the top shelter options for your new sleeping bed. Read on for the best camping beds on the market today.
Should you stop camping when the weather gets cold? Absolutely not. You just need some extra equipment to stop you from getting cold, like a 3 or 4-season sleeping bag with an insulated sleeping pad or an elevated camping bed. This would ensure you get a good night's sleep in your tent so you can enjoy nature off-season, which is the best season for those who prefer not to have too many people around them.
The Top 3
Best camping bed overall
The Quechua Ultim Comfort is a sterling choice that provides excellent comfort while being effortless to set up and fold down. 8 cm of depth may seem extreme, but if you're not too heavy, this competent air-and-foam mattress will provide a very comfortable night's rest under the stars without breaking the bank.
Best for couples
Best camping bed for couples
The Vango Shangri-La II 10 sits somewhere between a shallow inflatable camping mat and a chunky inflatable mattress and takes the best points from each, with a stable, flat sleep surface covered with soft-touch fabric. You don't need to pump it up – just switch the valve to the right side and leave it to self-inflate.
Best for side sleepers
Best camping bed for side sleepers
The Quechua Camping Bed Base is a full-size inflatable single bed base which can be paired with another for a full (140cm) wide double bed. It's a massive 25cm deep, lifting your snoozing form into the warmer air in the tent, as well as being so far from the cold floor that you may as well be in a hot air balloon.
The best camping bed to buy right now
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If you're in the market for a reliable and well-designed self-inflating camping mattress that requires no effort to set up, make a beeline for the Quechua Ultim Comfort. It's a sterling choice that provides excellent comfort while being effortless to set up and fold down. For the price, it performs superbly well in all temperatures, making it a shoo-in for car camping, caravanning, the beach and even the patio or garden on a warm summer's day. A depth of just 8cm may seem extreme, but if you're not too heavy, this exceedingly competent air-and-foam mattress will provide a very comfortable night's rest under the stars without breaking the bank.
Read our full Quechua Ultim Comfort Inflatable Camping Mattress review.
Best for couples
The Vango Shangri-La II 10 is just about the comfiest camping bed we've ever slept on. It sits somewhere between a shallow inflatable camping mat and a chunky inflatable mattress and takes the best points from each, with a stable, flat sleep surface covered with soft-touch fabric. In fact, it feels most like sleeping on a foam mattress rather than an air mattress.
We tested the 10cm deep option, but it's also available in 7cm and 15cm tall versions, as well as single and double in each. One big draw is that you don't need to pump it up – just switch the valve to the right side and leave it to self-inflate. The same clever valve can be flipped to the other side when it's time to pack up.
In this mode, it'll let air out but not in, which makes packing up much less painful. The main downside is that when packed, the Shangri-La II isn't small or light, but if you have the space, it's a major step up from a traditional air mattress.
Read our full Vango Shangri-La II review.
Best for side sleepers
If you're after extreme comfort when camping and maybe even a spare bed for home visitors, this really is the ultimate camping bed for you. A full-size inflatable single bed base which can be paired with another for a full (140cm) wide double bed, this really is luxury. It's a massive 25cm deep, too, lifting your snoozing form up into the warmer air in the tent, as well as being so far from the cold floor that you may as well be in a hot air balloon. Another important benefit here is that the chances of puncturing your mattress with a sharp stone are near zero, as it's safely elevated.
The downside is that this is a bulky item even when packed and not light enough for long-distance carry, in spite of the handy stuff sack. However, when in search of a literal home-from-home sleeping experience, this is at the top of the list – just add the inflatable mattress of your choice and sink deep into dreamland.
Read our full Decathlon Quechua Inflatable Camp Bed Base review.
Best for car camping
Currently only available in the USA, the Kelty Waypoint Si sleep pad is an exceptional camping mat. It's a self-inflating mat that, once fully inflated, provides you with 3 inches (8cm) of air and foam padding, with a soft stretch fabric topper that won't get sweaty and slippery in the night, and gives you as close to the feel of a traditional mattress as you're likely to get when out camping.
It's a breeze to inflate – it'll do much of the work itself, but to get things nice and firm, you can use its stuff sack as an additional inflation tool – and a clever three-way valve makes the entire business of inflating, deflating and packing it away when you're done fabulously straightforward. It's a little on the heavy side and doesn't pack down particularly well, so it's not an option for backpacking; however, as a robust and high-quality mattress for car camping, it's an outstanding choice.
Read our full Kelty Waypoint Si Sleeping pad review.
Best for tents
If you want a thoroughly comfortable mat for car camping, the Robens Polarshield 120 camping mat has a lot to recommend it. It's really well-made and comfy to sleep on, and absolutely enormous; similar in size to a proper single mattress, it's one of the closest things you can get to sleep on your own bed when you're off on your travels.
Bear in mind, however, that it takes quite a while to properly inflate, and packing it away again the next morning can be a bit of a struggle; it's really not keen to go back into its bag, and you're going to need a lot of determination (as well as making the most of its compression straps). If you can live with these quirks, however, it's a fine choice that should last you for years.
Read our full Robens Polarshield 120 camping mat review.
Best for comfort
The Coleman Extra Durable Airbed is the best camping bed if you're looking for a simple but comfy option that will last. Strong PVC makes it resistant to punctures – one of the biggest drawbacks of air mattresses – while a double-lock valve system ensures no leakages.
It folds and rolls into a cover with a handle for easy transportation, and this is attached to the mattress, so you don't have to keep an eye on where that extra bag has gone. Flocked PVC isn't too noisy when you sleep on it or wriggle about in your sleeping bag. You can opt for regular height or a deeper version for a little more luxury.
Read our full Coleman's Extra Durable airbed review.
Best for pregnant people
For the quickest set up possible, try the Outwell Posadas 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.
The next entry in our best camping bed list another excellent air bed from Coleman. 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. While this isn't 'extra durable', the reliable brand name means we're confident you won't be plagued with punctures, either.
Best for heavy people
Another option for those who just don’t like sleeping on the ground, the Therm-A-Rest Ultralite Cot is quick and easy to use. It’s very lightweight (even more so than an air bed), making it easy to carry and set up on site, and it's lined with ThermaCapture foam to help keep you warm at night. 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.
How we test the best camping beds
At T3 we place a high value on the authenticity of the product advice we offer, and each of the camping beds featured here has been extensively tested by our outdoor-expert reviewers. The beds have been taken out and tested on various car camping and backpacking adventures, in a range of conditions, to assess how light they are to carry and small they can be packed, as well as the warmth and comfort they offer when in use. Each has also been tested against a set of criteria, including design, functionality, features, material quality and robustness.
What are the different camping bed types?
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 an 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 a 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 its 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, so if you pair one with a lightweight sleeping bag you still won't be weighed down. Their bigger siblings often require an air pump, but when car camping that’s less of an issue.