What Are The Best Alternatives To Air Mattress?

Air mattress is commonly used in camping. It can offer you a comfortable space to sleep on your adventure.       

A quality air mattress can provide you with similar comfort and support to a traditional mattress, whilst still being very convenient to store.

However, they can be noisy and deflat overtime, so we’re going to take a look at the best alteratives below.

What Are the Best Alternatives to Air Mattress? 

You can consider the following as great alternatives to an air mattress. 

1. Futon 

The futon is widely used as beds and couches by many families so it can be an excellent alternative to an air mattress. It doesn’t need inflation. 

It is easy to use and can roll out quickly. Futons can offer support for your back when sleeping, so you can wake up in the morning feeling energized. 

It is the best option if you wish to have a camping bed that feels like your bedroom mattress. You can choose a thick futon mattress that offers a high comfort level. 

2. Self-Inflating Sleep Pad

Another best alternative to an air mattress is the self-inflating sleep pad. It is made with open-cell foam. If you open the valve, the cells will suck in the air automatically and inflates the pad. 

The best about the self-inflating pad is that you can adjust it as firm as you want by removing or adding air. Meanwhile, these mattresses are also vulnerable to punctures. 

You should also need to place it on an even and flat surface. The self-inflating sleep pad can offer you the comfort you need. 

It is portable, lightweight, and doesn’t require a pump. It has a blend of foam and air that makes you warm due to its insulation. 

You can choose a mattress that is resistant to tearing and can be folded into a compact size. 

3. Foam Sleep Pad

The foam sleep pad is one of the traditional camping beds before the air mattress gets popular. It is lighter and puncture-proof, making it an ideal alternative to an air mattress. 

You can easily roll it and attach it to your backpack. It doesn’t need a pump. 

The foam sleep pad is available in various thicknesses and is made with dense foam with closed, small air cells. With that, it comes with excellent insulating properties. 

However, you should remember that it is thinner than the air mattress. So, it can be uncomfortable for some campers. 

4. Hammock 

Even though it is portable, a hammock is not suitable for everyone. Using the hammock as an air mattress alternative means that you need to sleep in the open than in a tent. 

However, it can also be more exciting and allows you to be closer to nature. You should dress appropriately because it can feel colder sleeping in a hammock. 

You can get a hammock with an integrated cover or use a tarp over your area to protect yourself from light rain. It is lightweight and designed with solid materials which are used for parachutes. 

Modern hammocks have a loop system, so you can easily attach them to trees. 

5. Bean Bag Chair

There are available designs of bean bag chairs that can provide you with enough sleeping surfaces. So, it can be an ideal alternative to an air mattress when camping. 

It is comfortable, supportive, and soft. It is also easy to maintain since it comes with a machine-washable and removable cover. 

It is heavy and bulky but an ideal camping mattress to make the best of your adventure.

6. Wool Blanket

Using blankets is a traditional way to make yourself insulated and comfortable while camping. You can fold your blanket under your sleeping bag to get enough padding. 

Fold it more to make it a thicker pad so that you can sleep comfortably. Wool blankets come with higher insulation. It is versatile and can keep you warm. 

7. Sheepskin Rug

Animal furs and skins can keep you warm. It is lightweight and can be rolled up quickly, so you can attach it to your backpack. Some roll it inside the weather barrier to keep it dry. 

8. Sofa Cushions/ Duvet Cover

If you run short of options for your camping, you can use sofa cushions or a duvet cover. These are well-insulated and comfortable. But they are bulky, which may not be the best for camping. 

9. Camping Cots

You can also use camping cots as an air mattress alternative. It is a mattress made from a rigid structure with a canvas-like board that can hold you above the ground. 

It is available in various types so that you can choose the best one for your needs. It is durable and last longer than air mattresses since it’s made from more tough materials. 

The camping cots are also stable, offering you a good night’s sleep. 

There you go, so that is the list of the best alternatives to an air mattress. You can use them in your camping adventure. 

Choose the best alternative which you think can offer enough support and comfort as you sleep on it. They are also more durable and more affordable options. 

Why Do You Need to Consider an Alternative to an Air Mattress?

Air mattresses can bring hassle and inconvenience during camping, so you are better prepared. You can invest in some alternatives to an air mattress. 

In addition, the air mattress may also break in the field, which makes you sleep on the ground. It is also bulky and heavy, which some campers may not consider a good mattress for camping. 

What Are the Benefits of Air Mattress Alternatives?

The following are some of the benefits of air mattress alternatives. 

  • Lighter for your backpacking adventure
  • Faster and easier to set up
  • Space-saving
  • They are comfortable and can offer back support
  • More durable without danger of punctures
  • More affordable


There are many great alternatives to air mattresses like what we mentioned above. You can choose the best one that will offer optimal comfort and support as you sleep.

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