8 Best Camping Mattresses:
Definitive Review (Buyers Guide) 2020

From Simple Camping Roll Mats to Self Inflatable Air Mattresses, We’ve Got You Covered...

Nemo Sleeping Pad
topnotchoutdoor award

Thermarest Mondoking 3D
topnotchoutdoor award

ALPS Mountaineering Sleeping Pad
29

Models Reviewed

230

Hours Of
Research

140

Field Test
Hours

84

Users
Surveyed

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This is the ultimate Best Camping Mattress Guide 2020. And let me be clear about something: This is NOT your average “Camping Mattress” review.

In fact:

We reviewed 43 of the best selling camping mattresses on the market today to bring you the final best 10 camping mattresses of 2020.

But you’re also going to get our Buyers Guide so you don’t overspend. Or worse still – buy the wrong mattress.

So if you’re looking for a great night’s sleep on your next camping trip and you don’t want to spend unnecessary bucks, you’ll love this new guide.

Let’s dive right in…

Best Foam Reinforced Mattress

1 – Nemo Sleeping Pad

Editors Choice Award Winner
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Comfort
9
Ease of use
8
Warmth
8
Versatility
8
Packed Size
7
Overall Score
80
  • Manufacturer: NEMO Equipment
  • Type: Self-Inflating Pad
  • Dimensions: 76 x 25 x 4 inches
  • Weight: 3 lbs 15 oz
  • R Value: 6

Bottom Line : Comfort and stability with great packability

Pros


  • Ease of use
  • Stability
  • Utterly packable

Cons


  • On the heavier
  • Bulkier side

When stability is a big deal, it’s hard to go wrong with foam. The Nemo Roamer gives you the unbeatable combination of a heavy-duty inflatable mattress and a foam sleeping pad.

How does it work?

Well, this self-inflating mat has foam pads on the top and bottom. This means you get the stability of foam, with the comfort of an inflatable.

And that’s pretty darn terrific.

But that’s not all.

You might think that foam reinforcement would mean sacrificing packability.

It doesn’t.

In fact, packing down to a neat 10.5 x 15 inches and weighing just 5.25lbs, the Nemo Roamer packs to half the size of similar mattresses. And though it’s far from a minimalist camping mattress, it’s easy enough to take along on most of your adventures.

And did we mention the lifetime warranty?

This is a pretty good-sized mattress though when it’s inflated: 80 inches by 30 inches by 4 inches.

Just make sure you check your tent’s dimensions before heading out.

One last thing…

Warmth.

This is the only mattress on our list which does not have an R-valve, but the manufacturer claims it can withstand temperatures as far down as minus 30.

We think this is a great option if you’re planning to camp in the extreme cold and we love the overall quality and versatility – hence we awarded the Nemo our TopNotch Editors Choice Award.

Read Full Review: Nemo Roamer Sleeping Pad Review

The Best King Size Air Mattress

2 – Thermarest Mondoking 3D

Top Pick Award Winner
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Comfort
9
Ease of use
7
Warmth
10
Versatility
7
Packed Size
6
Overall Score
78
  • Manufacturer: Therm-a-Rest
  • Type: Self-Inflating Pad
  • Dimensions: 77 x 25 x 4 inches
  • Weight: 5 lb 8oz
  • R Value: 11.4

Bottom Line : Exceptional comfort and warmth – an excellent all-around one-person camping mattress​

Pros


  • High warmth rating
  • Comfortable
  • Sized to fit a single-person tent

Cons


  • Somewhat difficult to inflate/deflate
  • On the heavier side

The size of the Therm-a-Rest MondoKing 3D alone may make it one of the most comfortable camping mattresses out there. It’s not as wide as the REI Co-Op Dreamer XL, but with two available sizes, it’s certainly wide enough – and long enough for your tallest friend.

The MondoKing 3D is also a foam core inflatable camping mattress.

What does that mean?

Well, in addition to air, you get four inches of soft memory foam. This makes it a great camping mattress for anyone with joint concerns.

It also has an R-value of 11.4, which means that it will insulate you very well from the cold ground. At the same time, it won’t prove too warm for hot-weather camping.

This is a self-inflating mattress, which is always a bonus. Unfortunately, our testers did find inflating it tricky the first time around, though practice does make the process easier.

Question is:

Whether you’re hiking and for how long?

It packs down to 7 x 26 inches, and at five-and-a-half pounds, it may also prove a bit heavy to carry over long distances.

The Therm-a-Rest MondoKing 3D has an R-value of 11.4, the highest rating of all the mattresses we reviewed. This makes it the top choice for camping in extreme winter conditions, but it will equally keep you cool in summer too.

Read Full Review: Therm-a-Rest MondoKing 3D Camp Mattress Review

Best Bang for the Buck: The Best Low-Maintenance Camping Mattress

3 – ALPS Mountaineering Sleeping Mat

Best Value Award Winner
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Comfort
10
Ease of use
6
Warmth
10
Versatility
6
Packed Size
5
Overall Score
74
  • Manufacturer: ALPS Mountaineering
  • Type: Luxury Air Mat
  • Dimensions: 78 x 27 x 4 inches
  • Weight: 6 lbs 9 oz
  • R Value: 9

Bottom Line: Offers great comfort and warmth but bulker that your average mattresses​

Pros


  • Great value
  • Super comfortable
  • Good insulation

Cons


  • Large when rolled up
  • Difficult to Store

Want the biggest, best mattress you can afford but don’t want to spend that much to own it?

Hello ALPS Mountaineering Outback.

For this price, you get an uber comfortable, super warm, extra wide and long mattress that is guaranteed to give you a great night’s sleep. Hence we were delighted to award it our TopNotch Best Value Award!

It was one of the biggest mattresses that we tested and highly recommended for bigger people or anyone who needs that extra space.

But is it warm enough?

The mattress is divided into two layers. The top layer keeps your body’s heat close to you, while the bottom layer isolates cold and keeps it near the ground provides four-season insulation.

All this, and it’s made for two.

Is it the best bed for camping?

That depends.

It’s probably too big to be the best sleeping pad for car camping or hiking, for example.

BUT

If you’re on a tight budget and looking to get the biggest bang for your mattress buck, this is definitely one to consider.

Read Full Review: ALPS Mountaineering Air Pad Mattress Review

The Best Inflatable Camping Mattress

4 – REI Camp Dreamer

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Comfort
8
Ease of use
9
Warmth
9
Versatility
6
Packed Size
6
Overall Score
75
  • Manufacturer: REI Co-op
  • Type: Self-Inflating Pad
  • Dimensions: 78 x 32 x 4 inches
  • Weight: 6 lbs 6oz
  • R Value: 6.6

Bottom Line : Great value, comfort, and quality for one person​

Pros


  • Value for money
  • Easy setup
  • Ultra-comfortable

Cons


  • Too large for single-person
  • Too small for couples

When I was growing up, my parents used to drag us all over Arizona on camping trips. If you’ve ever done desert camping, you’ll know there’s no grass or soft carpets of pine needles. Hard ground and rocks are a big deal when you gotta sleep on them.

But blowing up an inflatable camping mattress is an even bigger deal. And to this day, I’d rather take my chances with caliche and cactus needles than blow up my own air mattress. So it’s good that with this one, you don’t have to.

The REI Co-op Dreamer XL comes with a pump, yes.

But it gets better:

The high-flow TPR valve allows you to fine-tune the firmness of your mattress to an insane degree, making it possibly one of the most comfortable camping mattresses out there.

On top of that, the pump itself doubles as a pillow.

What?

Yes!

The pump is also very simple to use, so no fumbling and cursing while the kids are watching.

The only downside is that this mattress is massive.

How massive?

Try 78 inches long by 32 inches wide by 4 inches high. It’s not a couples mattress by any means, but it’s more than ample for one person. It weighs 6.38 lbs and will pack down to 11 x 30 inches, but only if you’ve decompressed it really, really well. The compression straps might just come in handy, but as they come separately, take care not to lose them. You will need them, trust us.

Question is:

Do you have the space?

You might even have trouble fitting it into a single-person tent. Hmm.

It comes with a carry bag for easier transportation and extra decompression, but it still will take up a lot of space in your car. This might be fine if you’ve got a large tent, but if your tent is small and you need to share – space might be tight. This limits its versatility.

With an R-value of 6.6, this is a well-insulated mattress. This will see you through winter, but it will do equally well in any season, keeping you cool in summer too.

Read Full Review: REI Co-op Camp Dreamer XL Review

The Best Heavy Duty Camping Mattress for Couples:

5 – Exped Megamat Duo 10

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Comfort
10
Ease of use
5
Warmth
10
Versatility
5
Packed Size
3
Overall Score
66
  • Manufacturer: Exped
  • Type: Self-Inflating Pad
  • Dimensions: Long Wide Double: 77.6 x 52 x 3.9 inches Medium Double: 72 x 41 x 3.9 inches
  • Weight: Long Wide Double: 9 lbs 14.7 oz Medium Double: 7 lbs 8 oz
  • R Value: 8.1

Bottom Line : Possibly the best camping mattress for couples

Pros


  • Warm and comfortable for two
  • Self Inflating
  • 9.5 R-Value

Cons


  • Costly
  • Inconvenient pack size

As the saying goes, “Couples that camp together, stay together.”

It may or may not be true, but having the best camping bed for couples is sure to help. The Exped MegaMat Duo 10 fits this bill for comfort and warmth.

I can tell you from experience…

If you’re sharing a mattress, stability is vital. If your companion is a thrasher, it’s in their best interest that the mattress minimizes, rather than magnifies their movement. And if you’re the thrasher, well, then we know you’ll want to be considerate.

Right?

Setup is another common point of contention, so the simpler the better. The Megamat 10 Duo is a self-inflating model, which means you can both do something other than taking turns blowing up the mattress.

And if the self-inflate function fails? You can also use the included foot pump. It’s not ideal, but at least you’ll get in some of your steps for the day.

Predictably, a double camping mattress is larger and heavier than a single. And that’s this model’s major drawback.

How large and heavy are we talking about?

10 inches by 28 inches packed, and ten pounds. Oof.

Like the Exped Megamat 10, the Duo also has an R-value of 9.5. This camping mattress will keep you well insulated and protected from the cold.

Here are our final words on the Exped Megamat 10 Duo…

It’s a hella comfortable mattress that gives support in all the right places. It’s easy to fine-tune using the inflation valve, and the fabric feels luxurious to the touch.

Read Full Review: Exped MegaMat Duo 10 Review

Best Multi-Purpose Camping Mattress

6 – Thermarest Dreamtime

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Comfort
9
Ease of use
7
Warmth
10
Versatility
9
Packed Size
4
Overall Score
78
  • Manufacturer: Therm-a-Rest
  • Type: Self-Inflating Pad
  • Dimensions: 77 x 25 x 3.5 inche
  • Weight: 6 lb 11oz
  • R Value: 10.0

Bottom Line : A comfortable, no-fuss mattress, if a bit bulky

Pros


  • Ease of use
  • Comfort
  • Convenient removable cover

Cons


  • Cumbersome
  • Heavy

Sometimes you don’t want to mess around with fancy construction or bells and whistles. Sometimes you just want a mattress to be warm, uncomplicated, and easy to both set up and maintain.

That’s the Therm-a-Rest Dreamtime to a ‘T’.

This sturdy camping mattress self-inflates easily and without a fuss. Simply unsnap two buckles, allow the mattress to unroll itself, then twist the valve and watch while it fills with air.

A foam pillow top and 2.5-inch foam core provide added support at the end of your long, adventurous day. Dreamtime has an R-value of 10, so when it comes to heat transfer, it has your back… literally.

A removable cover means both easy cleaning and an added measure of puncture protection.

And when it’s time to go home…

Just roll it up, fasten the buckles, and be on your way.

No mattress is perfect, of course. With a packed size of 31 inches by 10 inches and a weight of 6.68 pounds, some users may find Dreamtime a bit of a handful. But if you’re looking for uncomplicated comfort, this could be your new favorite mattress.

Read Full Review: Thermarest Dreamtime Sleeping Pad Review

Best Lightweight Camping Mattress

7 – Sea to Summit Comfort Plus (Sleeping Pad)

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Comfort
10
Ease of use
7
Warmth
7
Versatility
6
Packed Size
7
Overall Score
74
  • Manufacturer: Sea to Summit
  • Type: Air Pad
  • Dimensions: 72 x 25 x 4 inches
  • Weight: 3 lb 8 oz
  • R Value: 6.5

Bottom Line : A great all-arounder

Pros


  • Comfort and ease of use
  • Weighs 5.12 lbs
  • Great All-Rounder

Cons


  • A bit pricey
  • the large double will not fit in smaller tents

If you’re looking for a great all-arounder, the Sea to Summit Comfort Deluxe should be on your radar.

As the name suggests, this camping mattress, with its lower R-value, is great for a variety of climates and situations. It’s not just good for sea and summit, but also for the living room, in case you need an extra guest bed.

This is a self-inflating mattress with a four-inch foam core. That means easy setup and a sound night’s sleep.

The downside…

Slightly more complicated breakdown than that of some other models. The Sea to Summit Comfort Deluxe comes in three sizes which certainly gives you options, but we reckon you might also have a hard time fitting the larger sizes into a smaller tent.

This mattress packs down to just 7.5 x 25 inches, and weighs 5.12 lbs. Not too bad if you have to carry it far.

Now let’s get to the warmth factor:

The Sea to Summit Comfort Deluxe has an R-value of 5.5. This is perfectly adequate for most camping trips, but if you’re planning to do a lot of sub-freezing camping, you might want to invest in a warmer camping mattress.

Read Full Review: Sea to Summit Comfort Plus Sleeping Pad Review

The Best Camping Mattress for Kids:

8 – Exped Megamat Duo Sleeping Pad

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Comfort
10
Ease of use
8
Warmth
10
Versatility
5
Packed Size
5
Overall Score
76
  • Manufacturer: Exped
  • Type: Self-Inflating Pad
  • Dimensions: 72.1 x 25.6 x 3.9 inches
  • Weight: 3 lbs 12oz
  • R Value: 8.1

Bottom Line : A warm and sturdy mattress with room to grow

Pros


  • Comfort
  • Stability
  • Warmth

Cons


  • Costly
  • Inconvenient pack size

If you have kids in your life, you know they don’t stay the same size for long. That means that if you buy a toddler-sized camping mattress, chances are, most kids will outgrow it before it’s even broken in.

So, what do you do?

Here’s what:

You buy a mattress they can grow into. The Exped Megamat 10 is a darn good one.

What makes this a great kids’ mattress? Here’s what:

  • Its small-but-not-too-small size leaves plenty of room for growth, as well as tossin’ and turnin’
  • Vertical sidewalls mean less chance of sliding off
  • Foam filling also adds stability

The Megamat 10 is quick to set up, and it deflates just as easily. It packs down to a neat 9.8 x 31.1 inches and weighs 6.37lbs, which is pretty reasonable in our opinion – though you probably don’t want to carry it far.

But here’s the kicker:

Although it might look pricey at first, it’s still cheaper than buying a series of different-sized camping mattresses your kids will outgrow.

And if that’s not enough, it has an R-value of 9.5, meaning it’s insulated to keep little ones toasty up to -54 degrees Fahrenheit (-48 degrees Celsius).

Read Full Review: Exped Megamat Duo Review

Why Trust Us?

At TopNotch, we’ve specifically chosen outdoor enthusiasts with decades of experience to put all our products through their paces. Our findings are thoroughly checked, and we sift through hundreds of critiques and customer reviews to bring you the best product recommendations.

This review is written by Alex .

As an experienced camper and hiker herself, Alex spends a lot of time in the great outdoors, which is why she’s well qualified to tell you all about camping mattresses. She’s pitched up everywhere from Arizona to Australia so she knows a thing or two about how to make the most of a night under canvas.

Tube-tent

In her spare time (!), she’s studying for a degree in Material Science and as a long-distance backpacker, she knows that when it comes to sleep time, your mattress can make or break the whole trip.

That’s why we rate the products against a wide range of metrics (all carefully chosen) in our reviews. We know what makes a great mattress, and we want you to be confident when you make your choice.

Skip Buyer’s Guide – Go to Analysis, Comparisons & Ratings

Buyers Guide:

How to Choose a Camping Mattress ​

Best Camping Mattress

A camping mattress can help you catch those all-important zzzs. But there are a lot of products out there. How do you choose the right one for your trip?

You don’t want to overspend or worst still waste your hard earned money on the wrong product, do you?

When it comes to your camp bed, you have rather a lot of choices, from foam camping mats to camping mattresses to an inflatable camping bed.

What are the differences?

And what difference can your sleeping options make to your trip?

We’re glad you asked.

When it comes to your sleep setup, there are three questions to consider:

First, how much do you want to carry?

Second, how far do you plan to carry it?

And finally – which is more important to you: comfort or portability?

Because you can have both, but the truth of it is, you may have to compromise a little on one of them.

Car Camping Options​

Car campers have the luxury of staying close to the mothership. If you’re not walking very far, weight and bulk aren’t much of an issue. Happy days.

You can opt for a car sleeping pad if you want to save space or stretch out on a car camping mattress. The best air mattress for car camping will, of course, combine comfort with space savings. But the point is, if you’re camping in your car, you have a lot of wiggle room. Lucky you.

Alternatively, what if you’re leaving your vehicle behind?

Sleeping Mats

When traveling light, it’s back to basics: a foam core or memory foam sleeping mat are your best options for a good night on the tiles. Light, packable, comfy – the humble roll-up mat gets the job done.

For backpacking or a long trudge between car and campsite, pack-’em-in pack-’em-out camping mats are the way to go.

Still, if you’re not long-haul backpacking, then you don’t have to settle for the minimalist option.

So why not opt for something comfier?

The Camp Mattress

One step up from a sleeping mat, the camp mattress is a little bulkier. If it’s comfort you’re after, a mattress for camping might be worth carrying the extra weight.

An inflatable camping mattress is a classic choice. You might also choose a memory foam camping mattress. Both hit the sweet spot – offering comfort and portability.

And there’s great news:

Today’s inflatable camping mattresses have come a long way from the leaky, rubbery inflatables your parents made you blow up yourself (or maybe that was just me). Most of today’s camping mattresses are self-inflating. The ones that don’t often come with their own pump.

And the materials are a lot more comfortable. Gone is the slippery, smelly rubber. Many of today’s inflatables boast soft, plush fabric co{“type”:”block”,”srcIndex”:0,”srcClientId”:”2385ef65-fd9f-4125-9007-d185bbc5081e”,”srcRootClientId”:”d781850e-0445-45a2-ab27-b1a987728c1d”}vers for a cozy night under the stars. Romantic eh?

Camping Bed

If comfort is paramount for you, then even the best camping mattress might fall a bit short. Luxury camping calls for a luxury camping bed. And there are plenty of those on the market. Hoorah.

But foldable frames and packable linens are another story for another time.

We’re here to talk about mattresses.

The Best Camping Mattress for Every Occasion​

Every trip is unique, from the type and number of campers to where in the world your camping trip takes you.

It stands to reason that no one single camping mattress will suit everyone.

Instead, we’ve chosen a selection of high-quality options for a variety of situations, from serious hiking and camping to lighthearted family fun.

How to Choose a Camping Mattress

You probably noticed that there are a lot of ways to build a camping mattress. From self-inflating mattresses to ones that you pump up; from foam-filled to foam-topped to no-foam construction – if you’re feeling confused, read on.

Let’s lay it out for you…

Types of Camping Mattress

Pumps vs. Inflation

Although my kids have never had to blow up their own camp mattresses using lung power alone, they’ve heard me describe it enough that they know what a drag it can be. The advent of the portable mattress pump made things slightly better.

But the self-inflating mattress? Now, that’s a revelation.

At the same time, it’s not the best solution for every situation. The truth is, pumps, self-inflating mattresses, and lung-power all have their place.

What’s so great about lung power?

Nobody wants to blow up an entire mattress with their mouth. Nobody.

But if you’re one of those people who has to have the firmness just right, then this is the best way to make those fine adjustments.

So no matter how you plan to inflate your mattress, if customizability is important, you might want to make sure you can do the fine-tuning by hand.

And pumps?

Camping mattresses can come with different kinds of pumps:

  • Foot pumps, as the name suggests, use the power of your foot to pump air
  • Hand pumps are similar, but you use your hands
  • Electric pumps run on electricity or batteries
  • Rechargeable pumps have rechargeable batteries

A pump might come attached or separately. It may or may not be included in the price of your mattress.

What’s the difference?

Well, for one thing, a detachable pump has the advantage of being replaceable.

On the other hand, it is an extra item to carry. And if you’re using an electric pump, you’ll need to either carry batteries, make sure your rechargeable batteries are charged, or stay near an electrical source.

What about self-inflating mattresses?

The self-inflating mattress has several advantages:

  • It’s smaller
  • It’s lighter
  • The pump often operates with the flip of a switch
  • The mattress fills fast
  • There’s nothing extra to carry

On the other hand, if the pump breaks down, you may have to replace the entire mattress, not just the pump.

So consider your needs carefully.

Foam or Memory Foam?

Another advantage of today’s inflatables over the ones my family used back in the Jurassic is the addition of foam or memory foam.

Foam not only insulates but also increases stability. The downside is, of course, that it also adds bulk.

Today’s camping mattresses may incorporate foam in a number of different ways:

  • A solid foam core surrounded by air pockets or layers
  • A honeycomb formation that includes inflatable air pockets
  • An air mattress with a top or bottom foam layer
  • Other proprietary designs

Memory foam is a soft, squishy layer that many people find comfortable. In fact, some people prefer a simple memory foam camping pad to any sort of mattress. Some camping mattresses incorporate a memory foam layer or mattress topper to increase comfort.

Do you want a foam-fortified camping mattress? That depends on which you value more: comfort or packability. There are some mattresses that hit the sweet spot in-between, but it may take some research to find exactly the right one for you.

IMPORTANT:

Other Things to Look For

How big does your camping mattress need to be? More specifically, how big can it be to still fit into your tent?

What’s the maximum weight and bulk you’re willing to deal with? How far are you going, and how light do you travel?

What about inflation? Do you want the convenience of a built-in pump or the reliability of a separate pump?

Finally, how warm do you need to be? Will a summer-weight mattress do, or are you after maximum insulation?

Your trip is only as good as your equipment….

So choose the best.

Jargon Buster

Insulation (R-value)

R-value is a construction term, but you’ll hear it a lot with regard to camping mattresses.

What does it mean?

The ‘R’ stands for “resistance,” and the R-value measures how well a layer of material resists the transfer of heat. The higher the number, the better the product insulates.

A camping mattress with an R-value of 4, for example, has less insulating power than a mattress with an R-value of 11. In short, a higher R-value generally makes a more comfortable camping bed.

How much do you really need, though?

Well:

  • For general, three-season camping, an R-value of 2 is often sufficient
  • Winter campers will want a mattress with an R-value of 4 or higher
  • Some women find a higher R-value makes for the most comfortable camping bed

Seasonality ratings

What does this mean?

Well:

  • A three-season mattress works well for general camping in spring, summer, and fall
  • A four-season mattress insulates against winter ground conditions as well

You might, for example, encounter:

  • PU (polyurethane), which is often applied as a coating to add strength and water-resistance
  • Vinyl, a rugged synthetic material often marketed as a leather replacement
  • PVC (polyvinyl chloride), which provides good water-resistance
  • TPU (thermoplastic polyurethane), which is sometimes marketed as an eco-friendlier material

So how do these fabrics stack up against one another?

PU coating

  • The least expensive option
  • Moderately water-resistant

PVC

  • Moderately abrasion-resistant
  • Fire-retardant
  • Excellent water-resistance
  • Moderately expensive

TPU

  • Highly abrasion-resistant
  • Excellent water-resistance
  • Flexible
  • Less prone to cracks than PU coating
  • The most expensive option

Vinyl

  • Abrasion-resistant
  • Puncture-resistant
  • Not water-resistant
  • Not fire-resistant

So there you have it

You can rest easy knowing you have all the knowledge and information you need to buy your camping mattress with confidence.

We want you to know that you’re buying the right camping mattress for your needs. We’ve reviewed 10 products in detail, and narrowed it down to our favorite top three – you can find the links at the end of this review.

Now that you know what to look for, it’s time to find your best bed for camping.

Whether that means the best camping mattress for two, the best foam camping bed, or the best sleeping pad for car camping, knowing what you’re looking for is half the battle.

But before we get there – let’s check out how our products compare!

But first here are a few FAQ…

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: What does self-inflating actually mean?

A: It sounds like you just press a button and the mattress magically inflates to exactly the right firmness. And with some models, it’s almost that easy. Almost.
But the reality is that many self-inflating mattresses “inflate” when the foam core draws in air upon unrolling. This will inflate the mattress most of the way, but sometimes you may find yourself using a pump, or even your own lung power, to top it up.

Q: How long does it take to inflate a camping mattress?

A: That depends on the mattress and the mechanism. Some mattresses boast a short setup – from 60 seconds to five minutes. Others may take longer.

Q: What’s the best outer material for a camping mattress?

A: Camping mattresses have come a long way from the smelly, slippery inner-tube material I remember. Today, there are a wide variety of materials to choose from.

Our Analysis, Comparisons & Test Results

We rated all our products on a variety of metrics, to help you choose the best camping mattress for your needs.

These are the metrics we used to rate our best camping mattresses.

Comfort

Good sleep isn’t just about getting your beauty sleep. Sleep is a massive factor in good health, so having a comfortable camping mattress is vital. Ultimately what’s comfortable for you comes down to personal preference.

Let’s see:

How our camping mattresses rated for comfort, from most comfortable to least.

camp-mattress

Comfort Rating

REI Co-op Dreamer XL
10
Sea to Summit Comfort Deluxe
10
Exped Megamat 10
10
Exped Megamat 10 Duo
10
Nemo Roamer Camping Pad
9
Therm-a-Rest MondoKing 3D
9
Therm-a-Rest Dreamtime
9
ALPS Mountaineering Outback
10

There were five clear winners in the comfort category, all scoring top marks:
  • REI Co-op Dreamer XL 10/10
  • Exped Megamat 10 Duo 10/10
  • Sea to Summit Comfort Deluxe 10/10
  • Exped Megamat 10 10/10
  • ALPS Mountaineering Outback 10/10

We really were impressed with the REI Co-op Dreamer XL. Handy features and adjustability made this the clear winner. The Exped Megamat 10 Duo also did well, and we liked the foam feel and super soft outer layer. The ALPS Mountaineering Outback for its price was great, and we like the extra size

Overall all the mattresses and sleep pads performed well for Comfort, you’ll be happy whatever your choice.

Ease of Use

Having an easy to inflate camping mattress is ideal after a long day of hiking. We considered built-in pumps, powered pumps, and removable ones.

So let’s see how the camping mattresses ranked for ease of use.

rei co-op camp dreamer xl review
rei co-op camp dreamer xl Review

Ease of Use Rating

REI Co-op Dreamer XL
9
Nemo Roamer Camping Pad
8
Exped Megamat 10
8
Therm-a-Rest MondoKing 3D
7
Sea to Summit Comfort Deluxe
7
Therm-a-Rest Dreamtime
7
ALPS Mountaineering Outback
6
Exped Megamat 10 Duo
5

It doesn’t get much easier than the REI Co-op Dreamer XL.

Easy set up and handy features again made this the clear winner.

Runners up were the Exped Megamat 10 and the Nemo Roamer Camping Pad. These self-inflating mattresses were easy to inflate.

If you’re looking for a speedy set up, you’d do well to avoid the Exped Megamat 10 Duo, the ALPS Mountaineering Outback was also a bit of a handful.

Warmth

Being warm enough but not too hot is definitely going to be important when you’re camping! We looked at R-ratings to see which of the camping mattresses rated the best for warmth.

Best camping mattresses

Warmth Rating

Therm-a-Rest MondoKing 3D
10
Therm-a-Rest Dreamtime
10
Exped Megamat 10
10
Exped Megamat 10 Duo
10
ALPS Mountaineering Outback
10
REI Co-op Dreamer XL
9
Nemo Roamer Camping Pad
9
Sea to Summit Comfort Deluxe
7

A clear winner, the Therm-a-Rest MondoKing 3D has an outstanding R-value of 11.4, putting it at the top of our list.

The Exped Megamat 10, Exped Megamat 10 Duo, ALPS Mountaineering Outback and the Therm-a-Rest Dreamtime also achieved top marks for warmth and would be great options if you’re camping in the cold and need insulation.

The Good News:

All of our mattresses on our list had an R-value above 5, making them all season mattresses.

Versatility

Of course, camping mats aren’t just for the wilderness! The more applications your mattress can have, the more you’re likely to use it and the better value for money you’re getting.

So let’s see how our mattresses rate on versatility.

ALPS-Sleeping-Pad-Review
ALPS-Sleeping-Pad-Review

Versatility Rating

Therm-a-Rest Dreamtime
9
Therm-a-Rest MondoKing 3D
7
Nemo Roamer Camping Pad
7
ALPS Mountaineering Outback
6
Sea to Summit Comfort Deluxe
6
REI Co-op Dreamer XL
6
Exped Megamat 10
5
Exped Megamat 10 Duo
5

With a removable cover and a removable foam topper, the Therm-a-Rest Dreamtime steals the show when it comes to versatility.

We also liked the Nemo Roamer Camping Pad based on the fact that you can attach two together to make a larger sleeping area.

If you’re looking for lightweight and portable, you might want to avoid the Exped Megamat 10 and ALPS Mountaineering Outback. They’re just too darn bulky to be versatile.

Packed Size

Pack it in, pack it out. However you slice it unless you’re car camping, you’re going to have to carry your mattress. So the lighter and smaller, the better.

Here’s how our mattresses rated on packed size.

Nemo-Sleeping-Pad

Packed Size Rating

Sea to Summit Comfort Deluxe
7
Nemo Roamer Camping Pad
7
REI Co-op Dreamer XL
6
Therm-a-Rest MondoKing 3D
6
Exped Megamat 10
5
ALPS Mountaineering Outback
5
Therm-a-Rest Dreamtime
4
Exped Megamat 10 Duo
3

If you’re just looking for a single mattress, the Sea to Summit Comfort Deluxe and Nemo Roamer Camping pad make good choices.

If lightweight and compact camping mattresses are what you’re looking for, stay away from the bulky Exped Megamat 10 Duo. With a packed size of 10 x 28 inches, and weighing 9.92 lbs, this is the largest camping mattress in our review.

Our Final Verdict: Best Camping Mattress

Nice and easy – here you have a complete TopNotch run down of the final scores of the best of the best Camping Mattresses.

Take a look at the ratings out of 100 (they’re in order for you) – this is our Final Verdict.

REI Co-op Dreamer XL
80%
Nemo Roamer Camping Pad
80%
Therm-a-Rest MondoKing 3D
78%
Therm-a-Rest Dreamtime
78%
ALPS Mountaineering Outback
74%
Sea to Summit Comfort Deluxe
74%
Exped Megamat 10
76%
Exped Megamat 10 Duo
66%

Conclusion: Best Camping Mattress

With so many different camping mattress options choosing the right one can be a challenge.

Luckily TopNotch Outdoor has your back with our suggestions.

Once you know whether you need a double or single camping mattress, the difficult challenge becomes how much you want (or are willing) to spend so you sleep tight at night and dream only of rainbows and unicorns, not rocks and tree roots.

A good night’s sleep can be pricey as you’ve seen in our review.

BUT:

Remember, if you want to play hard during your trip, you’ll need a good night’s sleep.

Don’t you think it’s a small price to pay?

Still not sure?

Here are our top 3 All-Time best camping mattresses.

Thanks for reading…

We hope you enjoyed our review, I’m sure you’ll agree Hannah worked hard on it.

All that’s left is for the team here at TopNotch Outdoor to wish you many hours of happy camping and many nights dreaming of rainbows and unicorns on your new camping mattress in the Great Outdoors.

We’re all agreed, that’s where it’s at.

topnotchoutdoor award

Nemo Sleeping Pad
topnotchoutdoor award

Thermarest Mondoking 3D
topnotchoutdoor award

ALPS Mountaineering Sleeping Pad