What Can I Use Instead of Air Mattress for Camping?

Most campers find air mattresses comfortable, but they are bulky, cold to sleep on, deflate quickly, bounce you around, and are often punctured. In case you puncture your air mattress or forget to pack it, you'll have to find another option.

The good news is that there are numerous air mattress alternatives, from gym pads to yoga mats, blankets, and so on. This guide touches on the best alternatives for air mattresses, among other things related to the subject of discussion. Read along!

Best Air Mattress Alternatives for Camping

Given below are the best air mattress alternatives for camping. All the items highlighted below are worth considering, so it's upon you to find one that aligns with your comfort needs.

  • Floor Futon Mattress

Nothing beats a mattress when it comes to comfortable sleep. However, only a few campers will find it interesting to pack a full-size mattress to take on their overnight event, such as camping. Mattresses are bulky and enough of a pain to handle when you're camping.

Fortunately, there are compact alternatives for heavy mattresses, which are handy for camping trips. One such example is a floor futon mattress. Futons come in various colors, sizes, and designs, but we recommend the MAXYOYO futon mattress for your camping trip. The mattress blends premium features tailored to your needs, and the fact that it can tolerate all weather means you'll have the most rewarding camping experience be it summer or winter.

Unlike an air mattress that has a lot to do with setup, this one requires no effort. Simply place it in your sleeping area, and you're good to go.

  • Camping Cot 

Camping cots are among the most comfortable bedding alternatives for camping. They are almost like beds and are made from a durable metal frame and sturdy canvas sheet that elevates you off the ground overnight. Unlike an air mattress, camping cots don't deflate. While bringing two cots together for closer sleeping with your partner is feasible, most camping cots are designed for a single sleeper.

You can opt for the larger cots though they're heavier and difficult to move around. Whichever model you choose, camping cots will offer you the comfort you need for a restful night. With the correct additions, you won't have to worry about the uncomfortable ground, as would have been the case with an air mattress.

  • Gym Pad

Gym pads are known for their lightweight and foldable design. Unlike air mattresses, gym pads offer plenty of cushioning and insulation from the cold ground overnight. They are also affordable and durable enough for long camping trips. You'll find gym pads in various colors, so you can select one that matters the most to you.

  • Yoga Mat 

Yoga mats are similar to foam camping pads. Although they are not as thick and comfortable to sleep on, they will protect and insulate you from the cold ground throughout the night. Much like gym pads, yoga mats are designed for a single sleeper, but you can bring two yoga mats together to sleep with your partner. Yoga mats are also durable, so you can use them on any surface without worrying about things poking holes in them. They are also easy to set up as you don't need to blow up. Just unpack it and place it in your sleeping area.

  • Hammock

A good night's sleep is difficult to get while camping. But have you tried hammocks? If not, you are missing out. Hammocks are super comfortable and keep you off the ground overnight, which is why most people swear by them. To be precise, hammocks offer you a comfortable bed away from home.

However, setting up a hammock can prove difficult and time-consuming. It involves tying knots tightly and getting the tension right. It might take several attempts to get it right, but that's normal, as you can't enjoy that comfort without sacrifice.

  • Blanket

Blankets are excellent air mattress alternatives. They are inexpensive and can keep you warm while sleeping outdoors. Their only downside is they can lose their insulating properties when damp. Otherwise, blankets can retain heat and give you the functions of a mattress without an enormous price.

Choose waterproof options to avoid soaking up your sleeping area. You can even put creativity at its best by zipping a couple of waterproof sleeping bags together and stuffing blankets inside for a comfy bed.

Disadvantages of an Air Mattress

Despite being commonplace for most campers due to their comfortability, air mattresses have downsides too. Below, you'll discover why most campers abandon air mattresses in favor of other sleeping alternatives, such as futon mattresses.

  • They Puncture and Leak

Air mattresses are susceptible to punctures, and mostly you end up with a hole in it. It takes only a small stick, thorn, or rock to rupture a new air mattress. While repairing it can solve the issue, it adds to the cost, prompting you to consider other alternatives sooner or later.

With or without a punctured hole, a fully inflated mattress tends to lose air through the seams overnight.

  • Noisy and Uncomfortable

A fully inflated mattress makes unnecessary noise beneath your body, and you'd be waking up yourself and your partner. Air mattresses also don't provide the unwavering support under your body that you are always accustomed to when sleeping in your typical bed. As such, getting comfortable with it takes an extended period.

  • No Airflow

Your typical home beddings have moisture-wicking fabric that can soak up body moisture throughout the night and keep you dry. But that's not the case with air mattresses, as they are made of non-breathable material. For this reason, they don't absorb your body's sweat, so you'll end up feeling wet and uncomfortable, particularly during summer.

  • Not Ideal for Winter Camping

For winter campers, it's better to avoid an air mattress at all costs. You do this because the trapped air in your inflated mattress gets cold quickly at night and begins absorbing your body heat due to the temperature difference. Therefore, you wake up cold. You can fix that by adequately insulating your air mattress, but still, it's not suitable for winter camping.

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