Editor's Note: Products featured on Wide Open Spaces are independently selected by our editors. However, when you buy something through our links, we may earn a commission.
There are many different approaches you can take at the campground.
While some campers prefer a rugged, minimal experience to get in touch with nature, others are more comfortable with the idea of glamping. There's no right or wrong way to do it, and camping is all about getting outside in a way that you can enjoy. For those who are new to spending the night in a tent, one of the biggest adjustments to overcome is actually getting comfortable enough to fall asleep on the ground. Fortunately, there are a ton of air mattresses designed for the campsite, which should help you get nice and cozy.
Plus, while an air mattress might seem like a luxury add-on, they're actually super important when it comes to outdoor safety. A mattress or pad acts as a barrier between your body temperature and the cold ground, so investing in a good one will keep you both snug and safe. So, whether you prefer to keep things light and practical or you just want an upgraded sleeping experience, we tracked down some of the best inflatable pads and mattresses to bring along with you. You can find them all online, and there are plenty of choices for any budget.
1. Best Overall
This extra-wide and extra-thick option from Meetpeak is the perfect combination of function and comfort. The ergonomic design helps support all of your pressure points while you sleep, and its nylon fabric is lightweight yet extremely durable. It's also super quick to set up and take down, with an inflation system that'll have it ready in 30 seconds. It comes in seven different colors, and even has a built-in pillow.
2. Most Durable
If you tend to rough it out there, you might be interested in this pad, which is made with the same durable fabric used in military parachutes. It's also lightweight and portable, and comes with a built-in pump for an easy set-up that doesn't require your lungs. You can also count on a great night's sleep, according to one Amazon reviewer: "I really did not expect this to be very comfortable but I am VERY (sic) pleasantly surprised."
3. Best Luxury Option
If you need a little extra comfort to get to sleep under the stars, you won't do much better than this queen-sized mattress from REI. It's definitely on the more expensive end, but it'll provide plenty of space for multiple campers, and it's about as close as you'll get to sleeping in your own bed. The included pump is easy to use, and the mattress is safe in temperatures as low as 40.
4. Best Value
Another option for those looking for a roomier air mattress, this Etekcity queen pad comes with a rechargeable pump that'll inflate your camping bed in 90 seconds. The mattress is both comfortable and durable, and it made to hold up to 650 pounds. You can think of this as a more affordable version of the previous choice, and, as one 5-star reviewer claims, it's the "perfect mattress for overnight tent camping."
5. Best for Backpacking
If you're looking to keep your pack as light as you can, this ultra-light pad from Sleepingo is a perfect fit. It weighs less than a pound, and you can compress it down to the size of a water bottle when it's time to move camp. Plus, despite its lightweight build, the pad is made of extra-durable nylon fabric and inflates to 74" x 22" for plenty of sleeping space.
Enjoy the outdoors?
Don't miss a story! Sign up for daily stories delivered to your inbox.