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What Is the Best Thing to Sleep on While Camping?

What Is the Best Thing to Sleep on While Camping?

When you are out camping, where you sleep and what you sleep on can make the difference between a great night and a miserable one. Fortunately, there’s a solution to your sleeping challenges while camping.

The best thing to sleep on while camping is an air mattress like the REI Insulated Air Mattress or a cot like Coleman’s Camping Cot. The inflatable air mattress is firm, comfy, easy to set up, and retains air pressure well. The cot is sturdy, durable, and offers superior support for your back.

Keep it here to find out why you should consider these two products when looking for the best thing to make your camp nights more comfortable.

Inflatable Air Mattress by REI

REI Co-op Kingdom Insulated Air Bed promises you much more than a good night’s sleep. Its soft to the touch sleeping surface is not only quiet and comfortable but also feels gentle on your skin. 

In general, sleeping pads bear R-values ranging from 1.0 to 5.5+. Pads with lower R-values are best for warm weather, while those with higher R-values are suitable for chilly weather conditions. A higher value thus translates to more insulation. 

With an R-value of 2.6, REI’s Inflatable Air Mattress is ideal for use in chilly weather as it provides modest insulation from ground conditions. The air mattress’s internal insulation will keep you comfortable even when temperatures dip down to about 40°F (4.4℃).


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This rectangular-shaped queen-size air bed boasts welded seams, which help improve its longevity and prevent air from leaking. Its 6-inch (15-cm) thickness provides a firm, comfortable, and welcoming resting place for your body after a full day’s activity. 

This product comes with a manual air pump in tow. The pump sports a simple, 1-way inflation valve that prevents air from leaking when setting up the air bed. A separate deflation valve allows you to dump air fast when it’s time to deflate the air mattress. The package also includes a bag for easy packing, transportation, and storage. 

A well-made, high-quality product, this air mattress offers firm support for your back. It’s made from tough material thus can withstand a bit of rough handling—like your toddlers jumping on it. Furthermore, thanks to its synthetic insulation, it doesn’t get cold, unlike other inflatable air mattresses. You might even feel like you’re sleeping in your bed.

This is easy to set up; you will have your sleeping pad ready for use in no time. Be warned, though. The manual pumping might wear you out a bit as you work to fill up the air mattress. Nonetheless, this product is great value for your money and will provide you with a superior sleep experience.

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  • Easy to set up (inflate) or deflate
  • It comfortably fits two adults plus a toddler
  • Provides excellent cushioning for your back
  • Does not sag or develop dips like a regular mattress
  • Super comfortable, light in weight, and comes in an easy to carry bag
  • The hand pump is efficient, and no air escapes once you stop pumping
  • It comes with a manual pump so you can use it where there is no power


  • The deflated air has a stinky chemical smell
  • The hand pump is quite heavy and bulky
  • The deflate valve doesn’t work quite well, so it doesn’t let off air freely
  • It takes a considerable amount of hand pumping to fill it up


  • How do you deflate the air mattress? You use the deflate valve. You can also unscrew the cap to let off the air.
  • How often do you need to refill air? The air mattress retains air pressure very well. You can use it over an entire weekend with little need for a refill. 
  • My hand pump got spoiled. Can I get a replacement? Yes, it’s possible to get a replacement pump for your air mattress.

Coleman Camping Cot 

Are you tired of sleeping on the floor or using a mattress and would like to try something more comfortable to sleep on when camping? Then the Coleman ComfortSmart Cot is your best bet.

The Coleman Camping Cot is a portable folding cot that provides you with bed-like comfort. The cot also comes equipped with the most comfortable top pad, ensuring that you get a restful night’s sleep. Furthermore, the cot’s canvas portion has a lot to give; thus, it makes you feel almost like you are sleeping in your bed.

The camping cot offers superior support to your back, fitted with a coil suspension system and a thick foam mattress. The thick mattress also ensures that your back is comfortable since you do not feel the underneath support poles. Unlike most cots, the springs don’t make any noise even when the canvas material rubs against the frame. 


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The cot’s durable steel frame can withstand up to 275 pounds (125 kg) and accommodates a height of up to 5 feet 7 inches (170.2 cm). The sturdy springs plus the trampoline style support add to the overall cot stability so you can sleep without worrying about either sagging or the springs breaking.

Coleman camping cot measures 69 x 25 x 15 inches (175 x 64 x 38 cm) when unfolded, but due to its unique design, it can fold up to fit into your car trunk. What’s more, its rounded edges make it safer for use since you won’t find yourself bumping into any sharp corners.

However, one major drawback with the cot is when it comes to folding it up for storage. You need to remove the mattress pad, flip the cot upside down, place the pad at the bottom of the cot, and then fold it up—it’s a little awkward. Also, the bigger sizes are a bit heavy and bulky. 

Still, this product is great value for money and excellent for tent camping. Besides, sleeping on this cot makes you feel way more comfortable than sleeping on the ground or an air mattress. Lastly, it also provides you with ample storage space underneath for your camping supplies.

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  • Easy to set up and use
  • Good value for money
  • Light in weight and easy to carry around
  • High-quality, stable, sturdy, and durable
  • Good cot height—easy to get in and out
  • It’s covered in a comfortable foam mattress pad
  • Generally accommodates most regular-sized people


  • Not easy to fold up
  • Cot storage bag not provided
  • Cot only folds in half, thus takes up a lot of storage space
  • The mattress needs a folding seam to fit easily into the cot, transport, or store


  • Is it possible to remove the pad? Yes, the pad is removable.
  • My mattress keeps slipping off. How do I fix this? An easy DIY trick is to sew tapes on each corner of the mattress, then tie the tape to the frame. No more slipping!
  • Does it come with a bag for easy storage or carrying around? Unfortunately, it does not, but you can fit it easily into a 30×40 size nylon laundry bag. Get one with a carry strap to make it easier to carry.

Closing Thoughts

If you are looking for a high-quality air mattress that performs better than an ordinary inflatable mattress, the Inflatable Air Mattress By REI has you covered. Similarly, the Coleman Camping Cot provides excellent back support, is easy to carry around, and accommodates most people’s height and weight. 

You now have no excuse for not taking your camping nights to a higher level of comfort.


Up Next In Camping Gear:

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21 Ways to Make Your Camping Tent The Most Comfortable Place On Earth

10 BEST Extra Large Family Camping Tents

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