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The Best Car Camping Mattress: Our Top 7 Picks for Long Trips

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Choosing the right car camping mattress will have you sleeping as comfortably in the wild as if you were sleeping in a King-size bed in a 5-star hotel on the French Riviera.

Of course, car camping in the great outdoors comes with many challenges, and you will be required to forego some comforts, but a luxurious and peaceful night doesn’t have to be one of the things you forego.

Slightly different from the typical sleeping pads that have become synonymous with backpacking trips, car camping mattresses are slightly thicker, better insulated, and more comfortable. Some of the best car camping mattresses are inflatable sleeping pads, but unlike most other inflatable pads, they are slightly heavier and bulkier.

If you are an avid car camper or are keen on getting involved in car camping, here are some car camping mattress options for you to consider. 


Best Car Camping Mattresses

1. Best Overall: Luno Air Mattress 2.0

Luno Air Mat
  • Shape: Rectangle with wheel well cuts
  • Style: Air Pad
  • Material: 300D Oxford Fabric
  • Water Resistance: Waterproof

This Luno Air Mattress 2.0 takes the top spot for two main reasons:

  • Shape: The car mattress’s unique shape allows it to avoid wheel wells when laid out within the car’s surface
  • Compatibility: It was specifically designed to be compatible with over 1,800 different types of cars

The Luno Air Mattress 2.0 is the ideal car camping mattress for people who are keen on sleeping inside their car as opposed to inside a rooftop tent on their car. This car camping mattress is designed with a unique shape that is rectangular at the top with cuts on one end to avoid wheel wells.

That unique shape makes this car camping mattress a breeze to set up inside 1,800 different vehicles, creating a comfortable sleeping surface anywhere you go.

The Luno Air Mattress 2.0 is an air pad mattress with an electric pump, allowing you to conveniently blow it up in a matter of minutes. The mattress is large enough to sleep two people (up to 6 ft 2 in) and can be inflated on both sides or just one if you are camping alone.

Made out of 300-denier oxford fabric, this Luno Air Mattress 2.0 can withstand the normal wear and tear that comes with outdoor camping and overlanding, including scratches from pine needles and even pet claws.

Likes:

  • It’s designed to fit into over 1,800 vehicles, including Toyota Tacomas, Jeeps, Subaru Outbacks, and so many others
  • It can comfortably sleep two people over 6 feet tall
  • You can choose to inflate only one side when solo camping
  • Each side can be inflated according to the individual’s firmness preference
  • Made out of durable material
  • Waterproof
  • Easy to inflate and pack into a small unit
Dislikes:

  • It’s a bit heavy (weighs about 15 lbs.)

2. Best Inflatable Car Camping Mattress: Onirii Inflatable Car Air Mattress Bed

  • Shape: Rectangular with add-ons
  • Style: Air bed
  • Material: Polyvinyl Chloride
  • Water Resistance: Waterproof

This Onirii Inflatable Car Air Mattress Bed is one of the best car camping mattresses on the market today. One thing that makes it stand out from the rest of the competition is that it’s an actual bed instead of an air pad, like most other options.

The Onirii Inflatable Car Air Mattress Bed package includes:

  • The air bed itself
  • 2 air pillows
  • 1 soft travel neck pillow (inflatable)
  • 1 air foot piers
  • 1 air pump
  • 1 repair pad
  • 1 sleep mask
  • 2 sleep earplugs

All this fits in a neat package that weighs less than 6 pounds.

Not only is it a full package in its own right, but it’s also made out of high-quality PVC and Flocking, which are skin-friendly. Easy to inflate, this air bed comes with a fast-charging electric pump (car-powered), making it ideal to use.

It also features a vertical strip design, providing better comfort when sleeping in your car. The Onirii Inflatable Car Air Mattress Bed features an anti-drop design, which is yet another thoughtful feature designed to suit those who like to go car camping with their children. It keeps your child from rolling out of the air bed.

Likes:

  • It’s a full package that comes with pillows, ear plugs, and even a sleep mask
  • It’s easy to inflate
  • It features an anti-drop design, which is a thoughtful child safety feature
  • It’s lightweight
Dislikes:

  • It’s rather wide and might not fit well in smaller cars

3. Best Self-Inflating Car Mattress: Therm-a-Rest MondoKing 3D Self-Inflating Car Mattress

Therm-a-Rest MondoKing 3D Self-Inflating Camping Sleeping Pad
  • Shape: Rectangular
  • Style: Air Pad
  • Material: Polyester
  • Water Resistance: Waterproof

The Therm-a-Rest MondoKing 3D Self-Inflating Car Mattress is unique because it has an R-Value of 8.0, making it ideal for winter car camping. You can easily put your sleeping bag on this Therm-a-Rest MondoKing 3D Self-Inflating Car Mattress during cold nights, and you will be not only warm but also comfortable.

Another reason why it’s so unique is that it has a two-valve design. It has an IN valve, which is quite easy to twist even when you are wearing gloves, and an OUT valve, both of which are situated conveniently out of the way on the side of the sleeping pad.

Unlike most other self-inflating air beds with a weight limit, this Therm-a-Rest MondoKing 3D Self-Inflating Car Mattress doesn’t feature such restrictions, making it ideal for campers of any size and weight. When deflated, it collapses into a small package that fits easily into a camping bag or rucksack.

Likes:

  • Self-inflating, which makes it a breeze to use
  • It has no weight restriction
  • Has an R-value of 8.0, making it ideal for winter camping as well
  • Pairs well with your sleeping bag
Dislikes:

  • You can easily force the air in one direction, tearing the car camping mattress

4. Best Luxury Foam Sleeping Pad: Sea to Summit Comfort Deluxe

Sea to Summit Comfort Deluxe Self-Inflating Foam Double Sleeping Pad, Byron...
  • Shape: Rectangular
  • Style: Air Pad
  • Material: 75D polyester base and 30D polyester knitted upper
  • Water Resistance: Waterproof

The Sea to Summit Comfort Deluxe is a luxurious foam sleeping pad that keeps you comfortable through all four seasons. This Sea to Summit Comfort Deluxe is 4 inches thick and has vertical walls, which make it extremely comfortable on any surface, including truck beds.

It has an R-Value of 6.5, making it reasonably warm and capable of getting you through those cold winter nights in the woods. Equipped with a multi-function reversible valve, this Sea to Summit Comfort Deluxe offers fast and easy inflation coupled with one-way deflation, which allows for fast and easy pack up when you are ready to go.  

That deflation valve also allows you to fine-tune the pressure in the mattress, meaning that you can find the perfect degree of firmness.

This is a rather durable camping air pad. Made out of 75D polyester, laminated TPU at the bottom, and 30D stretch knit at the top, it’s built not only for the rough and wild outdoors but also for soft and comfortable nights.

Likes:

  • It’s easy to inflate and deflate
  • It features two different materials, making it both durable and comfortable
  • It packs down into a small and tidy package
  • It features luxurious foam, which allows for extra comfort
Dislikes:

  • It doesn’t come with a pillow

5. Best One-Person Sleeping Pad: Heytrip 4-Inch Thick Self-Inflating Sleeping Pad

HEYTRIP 4 Inch Thick Self Inflating Sleeping Pad for Camping with 9.5...
  • Shape: Rectangular
  • Style: Self-inflating Air Pad
  • Material: Polyester, Foam
  • Water Resistance: Waterproof

This Heytrip 4-Inch Thick Self-Inflating Sleeping Pad is ideal for solo campers who are not only looking for something affordable but also quite comfortable as well.

Featuring a self-inflating design, this Heytrip 4 Inch Thick Self Inflating Sleeping Pad can quickly go from a small package to a fully inflated mattress in seconds. This is a low-profile car mattress with 4 inches of thickness, offering adequate cushioning for a comfortable night.

Ideal for camping in any weather, this Heytrip 4 Inch Thick Self Inflating Sleeping Pad has an R-Value of 9.5, which makes it good enough even for winter camping.

This mattress is soft on the skin, featuring soft polyester fabric that stretches on top. It also has 75D polyester on the bottom, giving it remarkable resilience against the wear and tear that outdoor life brings.

Likes:

  • It comes with a stuff sack
  • It has an R-value of 9.5
  • It’s self-inflating
  • All the seams are welded, which keeps this air pad from leaking
  • Self-inflates rapidly (3 times faster than most other pads)
Dislikes:

  • Doesn’t come with a pillow

6. Best Insulated Sleeping Pad: Exped Megamat 10 Insulated Self-Inflating Sleeping Pad

Exped MegaMat Duo 10 Self-Inflating Sleeping Pad, Green, Medium
  • Shape: Rectangular
  • Style: Self-inflating Air Pad
  • Material: Polyester, Thermoplastic Polyurethane
  • Water Resistance: Waterproof

Offering 3.9 inches of loft, this Exped Megamat 10 Insulated Self-Inflating Sleeping Pad is designed to provide superior comfort for you and your partner whenever you are camping.

What makes this self-inflating sleeping pad exceptional is the fact that it has excellent insulation and is designed for 4 seasons. Featuring Bluesign-certified insulation, this Exped Megamat 10 Insulated Self-Inflating Sleeping Pad provides toasty comfort throughout the night, even when you are camping in -54-degree weather.

Even though this is a self-inflating mattress that works in a matter of seconds, it comes with a mini pump that allows for easy firmness adjustment, allowing you to find the perfect balance for ultra-comfort.

Weighing only 7.5 pounds, this self-inflating sleeping pad comes with a roll-top bag that is height adjustable. As such, it’s easy to pack up and deploy as needed.

Likes:

  • It is insulated, which makes it ideal for extremely cold weather
  • Comfortable
  • It comes with a carry-sack
  • It comes with a mini pump that allows you to easily adjust the firmness
  • High-quality build
Dislikes:

  • Doesn’t come with a pillow

7. Best Memory Foam Car Mattress: Willpo CertiPUR US Memory Foam Sleeping Pad Camping Mattress

Willpo CertiPUR-US Memory Foam Camping Mattress [Single:75'x30'x2.76' Twin...
  • Shape: Rectangular
  • Style: Memory Foam
  • Material: Super-comfy Velboa Fabric
  • Water Resistance: Waterproof

This Willpo CertiPUR US Memory Foam Sleeping Pad Camping Mattress is one of the best options for outdoor car camping on this list. As one of the few memory foam mattresses on this list, the Willpo CertiPUR US Memory Foam Sleeping Pad Camping Mattress is not only super comfortable but also designed for the great outdoors in almost any kind of weather.

With an R-Value of 9.8, this memory foam mattress is impressive during winter and has a bottom layer. All you have to do is put your sleeping bag on top of it, and you will be adequately protected from cold seeping through from the ground up.

Another factor that makes it unique, at least on this list, is that you don’t need to inflate this Willpo CertiPUR US Memory Foam Sleeping Pad Camping Mattress, making it one of the most convenient to use. The trade-off is that it takes up a bit more space in your car, but it can be packed down to a small enough package and kept out of the way when not in use.

Furthermore, it comes with a soft waterproof cover, which can be easily removed and machine washed. This means you don’t need to worry about getting your mattress dirty if you want to put it on the ground during the day.

Likes:

  • Very comfortable
  • It has an R-value of 9.8, making it ideal for winter camping
  • Doesn’t need inflation
  • Comes with a soft, waterproof, removable cover
Dislikes:

  • It isn’t suitable for plus-sized people 

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Car Camping Mattress

Since they seemingly flood the market, it might seem like choosing the best car camping mattress is an easy task.

The goal is to have a criterion by which you can make an informed decision. The best sleeping pad for your car camping adventures should be specifically tailored to your needs. That being said, some features make for better car camping mattresses.

Here are some factors and features you should consider when choosing the right car camping mattress for your needs.

The R-Value of the Mattress

The R-Value of a mattress measures how resistant its insulation is to heat flow. The higher the mattress’ R-Value, the more resistant it is to heat flow and the better insulation it can offer.

Before you choose a car camping mattress based on its R-Value, you have to ask yourself a couple of questions:

  • In what kind of weather will you be camping?
  • Do you, at any given time, intend to use your mattress outside of the vehicle?

If you are the kind of camper who prefers to camp only in the summer, you might not need a car camping mattress with a high R-value. Something in the range of 0.1–2.0 will do just fine. That’s because you won’t need a mattress with that much insulation.

If, however, you are the kind of camper who would like to go camping at any given time, regardless of the weather, you might want to get a mattress with a higher R-Value. Something about 4.5 will work fine for you. These mattresses have better insulation and can keep you warm through those cold winter nights.

Additionally, if you intend to do much more than go camping and would like to sleep on the ground under the stars from time to time, then the best camping mattress for you is something with a high R-value. The insulation in the mattress will help keep the cold from the ground from soaking through the mattress and into your body.

The Type of Padding and Material

From the list of the best car camping mattresses above, you can see that many different paddings and materials are used to manufacture car camping mattresses on the market. The material used determines a number of things: your comfort level and mattress durability.

You will find that some types of mattresses are more popular than others, such as closed-cell foam pads, air pads, or open-cell foam mattresses. Each one has its merits and demerits.

Air Mattress

Air car mattresses tend to be more popular in the industry for two main reasons:

  • They are lightweight
  • They can fit in almost any kind of space

When you are going car camping, you want to have a mattress that can fit in your specific car. Air car mattresses have this kind of versatility. Since you can inflate them to your desired level of firmness, you can have an air mattress on the floor or trunk of almost any car. That’s highlighted by the Luno Air Mattress 2.0 being compatible with over 1,800 cars.

Another advantage is how lightweight air mattresses can be when inflated and deflated. Depending on your vehicle type, space and weight are almost always an issue. The best air mattresses are light and can be packed into compact packages that take up minimal space in the car. This makes them easy to bring along on almost every camping trip.

The problem with air mattresses is that they need to be inflated and deflated every time and are vulnerable to punctures. Despite having a repair kit handy, these inconveniences can put a damper on your adventure.

Memory Foam Mattress

Memory foam mattresses also have their advantages and disadvantages. One of the biggest advantages is that these are some of the most comfortable camping pads on the market. Memory foam mattresses are designed to provide a luxurious sleeping experience, regardless of where you are in the wild.

You can easily use a memory foam mattress in your car, outside, and on the ground. A good example is the Willpo CertiPUR US Memory Foam Sleeping Pad Camping Mattress. It comes with a soft, removable, and machine-washable cover.

However, these mattresses are bulky and, therefore, more cumbersome to carry. They take up too much space in the car and are often difficult to roll up and store away, making them slightly inconvenient, especially for campers who prefer to travel light and stay nimble.

Water Resistance

When camping in the great outdoors, regardless of how good the weather forecast looks, you should always be on the lookout for some kind of precipitation. Having a waterproof camping air mattress is an added advantage for two reasons:

  • You don’t have to worry about it getting wet when it rains; you can wipe it dry
  • It won’t get soaked with morning dew if you sleep under the stars

Not only does getting the best car camping mattress give you the peace of mind that you will sleep comfortably despite the rough and rugged outdoors, but it also makes your camping trip more worthwhile. These kinds of creature comforts make it, so you don’t miss home so much or get so nostalgic that you decide to cut your trip short.

If you can get a good night’s sleep, you can wake up rejuvenated and eager to take on the day. It will give you more energy and excitement to explore even more of the great outdoors. The options listed above are all excellent; it’s only a matter of finding the best car camping mattress that works for you.


What Is the Most Comfortable Thing to Sleep on When Car Camping?

Both air mattresses and memory foam camping mattresses work just fine for adults. This, however, will depend on their size. Plus-sized adults find memory foam mattresses a bit more comfortable. If one doesn’t do the trick, putting one on top of another could work. Children, on the other hand, often find camping pads quite comfortable and exciting.


Is a Car Bed a Good Purchase?

Absolutely. A car bed is a great purchase for people who intend to do a lot of car camping or go on the road with friends and family. Car beds are particularly good if you own a big car or intend to use an RV.

Not only are they comfortable and easy to set up, but most of them come with additional features such as camp pillows and sleep masks. Make sure you pick up the essential camping car accessories to make your trip that much more comfortable!

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