10 Best Camping Mattresses of 2024

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The Exped MegaMat Duo camping mattress in the REI Half Dome 4 Plus tent
We love large camping mattresses like the Exped MegaMat for comfortable camping adventures. – Photo credit: Dave Collins (CleverHiker.com)

The right camping mattress can be a real game changer on a trip, and some options are so comfy that you might just forget you’re not on your mattress at home.

In the last eight years, our team has spent over 800 nights in desert and high country campgrounds, testing 30 mattresses for their comfort, ease of use, warmth, and packed size. We’ve tested models from brands like Exped, NEMO, REI, Therm-a-Rest, and more to find the very best. It was hard work, but somebody had to do it!

If you’re revamping your camping setup, consider checking out a dynamite sleeping bag to pair with your mattress, and a cozy blanket to wrap up in while reclining in a comfy camping chair. For folks who camp in especially chilly conditions, check out our list of the best base layers to stay extra toasty while you sleep.

Quick Picks for Camping Mattresses

Check out this quick list of our favorites if you’re in a hurry, or continue scrolling to see our full list with in-depth reviews.

Best Camping Mattress Overall: Exped MegaMat 10 LXW ($260)

Most Luxurious Camping Mattress for Two: NEMO Roamer Double ($400)

Best Value Camping Mattress: REI Camp Dreamer XL ($179)

Best All-Foam Camping Mattress: HEST Foamy – Wide ($349)

Most Affordable & Lightweight Crossover Mattress: Paria Recharge XL ($100)

Most Comfortable Camping Mattress: Therm-a-Rest MondoKing 3D XXL ($275)

Durable & Comfy Camping Mattress with Pillow Attachments: Sea to Summit Comfort Deluxe LW ($249)

Supportive, Soft & Low Profile Camping Mattress: Therm-a-Rest LuxuryMap XL ($180)

Lightweight & Thick Camping Mattress for Summer Nights: Therm-a-Rest NeoAir Topo Luxe XL ($230)

What’s new

We’ve revisited our long-standing favorites with fresh insight, and added some new, top-performing mattresses to the list:

  • The NEMO Roamer Double earns its spot as a durable, luxurious camping mattress for sharing with a partner or pup.

  • The cushy and luxurious all-foam HEST Foamy lands near the top of the list as a warm 4-season mattress that’s nearly as comfortable as your bed at home.

  • We added the Paria Recharge XL, a super affordable crossover mattress for camping and backpacking that’s impressively lightweight and warm.

  • One of our all-time favorite backpacking pads gets a height upgrade with the Therm-a-Rest NeoAir Topo Luxe XL, perfect for backcountry or frontcountry camping.

Exped MegaMat 10 LXW

Best Camping Mattress Overall

Price: $260

Dimensions (LxWxH): 77.6 x 30.3 x 4 in.

Weight: 5 lb. 11.7 oz.

Style: Self-Inflating

R-Value: 8.1

Pros

  • Cozy fabric on top
  • Spacious for all sleeping positions
  • Durable materials
  • Easy to inflate
  • Deflates quickly
  • Convenient stuff sack design
  • Stays inflated
  • Not bouncy
  • Mini pump is included & effective

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Bulky packed size

The Exped MegaMat 10 LXW is at the top of our list as a super cushy camping mattress that’s durable, spacious, warm, and impressively easy to use.

The MegaMat is as comfy as camping mattresses come. With four inches of foam and air, this mattress can stand up to rocky and uneven campsites – you won’t feel pressure points, lumps, or uneven ground and you won’t bottom out while sitting up. It also offers a striking R-value of 8.1, making it one of the warmest pads on this list. 

The two valves are easy to inflate and deflate: simply unroll the mattress, open the inflation valve, and wait about 10 minutes. When it’s nearly full, you can top it off with a couple of deep breaths to find your perfect firmness. In the morning, the one-way deflation valve makes for a fast and easy tear-down by dumping air quickly.

We’re especially big fans of the smart storage bag included with the MegaMat. Not all mattresses come with such a sturdy, durable, protective stuff sack, but this wide, spacious bag is easy to load and easy to carry thanks to a large handle. And, at 5 pounds, 11 ounces when packed, it’s as portable as large camping mattresses get.

The only downsides of the MegaMat are its packed size and price. This Exped model is large, so you’ll want to account for space in your vehicle or long-term storage – especially if you have more than one. It’s also on the pricier side, but we think you’ll find it pays itself off on the very first night of deep, restful, warm sleep at camp.

We recommend and use the Long X-Wide version for ultimate comfort since it allows you to fully sprawl out. That said, the regular wide version is an outstanding choice for those with limited space in the car or tent. On the flip side, the Duo is a stellar two-person option for families or couples that like to share.

If you’re ready to get some of the best outdoor sleep of your life and want to wake up feeling refreshed, you’ll love the Exped MegaMat.

Stock image of NEMO Roamer Double

NEMO Roamer Double

Most Luxurious Camping Mattress for Two

Price: $400

Dimensions (LxWxH): 78 x 52 x 4 in.

Weight: 8 lb. 4 oz.

Style: Self-inflating

R-Value: 6

Pros

  • Comfortable material on top
  • Durable construction
  • Spacious
  • Packs small for a double mattress
  • Lightweight
  • Quick inflation & deflation
  • Toggles to connect mattresses
  • Pump sack included

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Heavy

You’ll notice many mattresses on this list come in a double version – but few are as comfortable, durable or easy-to-use as the NEMO Roamer Double. If you’re looking for a bed-away-from-bed to share with your partner or dog bff, look no further.

When it comes to comfort, the Roamer is top-tier. NEMO integrates a cushy foam layer on top of the air chamber for a luxurious night of rest, and the soft polyester surface is as cozy as they come. This combination of foam and air creates very little bounce, so if your partner is tossing and turning in the night or gets up for a bathroom break, you’ll barely notice them moving around.

Still, the Roamer packs down relatively small for a 2-person mattress. It measures 26 inches by 11 inches once rolled up, so you’ll need to reserve storage in your car or at home when it’s not in use. But, the Roamer rolls up much smaller than other double (and many single) mattresses, thanks to two compression straps and a durable stuff sack.

This option is also a durable workhorse. We’ve found it stays reliably inflated even when temperatures swing from below-freezing to 70°F. And, even after days of abrasive, sharp dog nails, rugged shoes, and wily kids, the MegaMat showed no signs of damage or wear and tear.

The main con of the NEMO Roamer is the premium price tag. But, for $400, you’ll be making a long-term investment in your comfort with one of the premier mattresses on the market, and it will last for many years with minimal care. For couples and families that want a stellar night of rest, the Roamer is one of the most versatile two-person sleeping pads available.

If you’re also looking for a sleeping bag for two, we highly recommend NEMO’s Jazz Double, which attaches to the NEMO Roamer in a pad sleeve on its underside. We also love the economical and ultra-comfy Kelty Tru.Comfort Double. Both bags rank highly on our guide to the Best Sleeping Bags for Camping.

REI Camp Dreamer XL

Best Value Camping Mattress

Price: $179

Dimensions (LxWxH): 78 x 30 x 4 in.

Weight: 6 lb. 6 oz.

Style: Self-inflating

R-Value: 6.6

Pros

  • Excellent value
  • Comfortable
  • Spacious
  • Deflates quickly
  • Pump doubles as a pillow
  • Easy to pack
  • Pump Included
  • Storage sack is large

Cons

  • Not as durable as top 2 choices
  • Bulky packed size
  • A bit challenging to roll up
  • Pump is not as easy to use as others

The REI Camp Dreamer XL is a comfy and user-friendly camping mattress that won’t break the bank. If you’re looking for the best quality for the price, the Camp Dreamer is an outstanding value.

At less than half the price of competitors, the Camp Dreamer is budget-friendly but doesn’t skimp on comfort. This pad is four inches thick, which makes for a lavish experience, and the velvety surface material is easy to sleep on. The 6.6 R-value means you’ll stay toasty even when temperatures dip below freezing, making this REI model perfect for spring, summer, and fall camping.

The Camp Dreamer is also one of the most efficient self-inflating pads we tested, filling up in half the time of other models: in our testing, it took around five minutes to inflate, whereas other mattresses on this list can take more than 10. As with most self-inflating options, open the valve, wait for the mattress to fill on its own, top it off with a couple of breaths, and you’re ready for a siesta.

We also found the Camp Dreamer is relatively lightweight and portable at only six pounds, six ounces. We love when large mattresses are easy to carry, and two wide buckles, a massive closure flap, and an oversized storage duffel make packing up easy. 

Compared to the MegaMat and Roamer, the Camp Dreamer falls a bit short when it comes to durability. We’ve found that after a couple of seasons of use, it isn’t uncommon for the Camp Dreamer to develop weld splits near the inflation valves. However, we find this award winner is still an outstanding value – our team enjoyed many dozens of trips before we ran into any durability issues.

We also didn’t find the pump sack as easy to use as others on this list. The larger bag was a bit cumbersome to set up, and the nozzle didn’t always stay attached. But with practice and a bit of focus, using the pump sack gets easier.

And if you’re looking for an excellent two-person version, we also highly recommend the Camp Dreamer Double. For a luxurious and convenient camping pad that costs less, the REI Camp Dreamer XL is one of the best on the market.

Stock image of HEST Foamy - Wide

HEST Foamy – Wide

Best All-Foam Camping Mattress

Price: $349

Dimensions (LxWxH): 78 x 30 x 4 in.

Weight: 13 lb.

Style: Foam (no inflation)

R-Value: 8.8

Pros

  • Fast, one-step setup
  • Spacious
  • Very warm
  • Very comfortable
  • Excellent value
  • Fitted sheet included
  • Premium build quality
  • Durable shoe “mat” & side phone pocket
  • Clips can attach 2 mattresses

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Can’t adjust firmness
  • Huge packed size
  • Heavy
  • Cumbersome to pack up

If you’re looking for a luxury camping mattress, then the Hest Foamy is the sleep system of your dreams. This memory foam, ultra-premium option earns a top spot as one of the most heavy-duty and ultra-cushy mattresses we’ve ever tested for camping.

As the name implies, the Foamy uses two high-quality layers of supportive memory foam to align and support your curves and relieve all pressure points. With an impressive R-value of 8.8, the Foamy is the warmest mattress on this list, ensuring a cozy night’s sleep even in the coldest conditions. And, Hest includes a fitted sheet to turn this mattress into a bed – you’ll barely notice the difference.

The Foamy is easy to set up and use. Since there’s no air needed and no chamber to fill up, it deploys in one step – simply unroll the mattress, and you can lay down. Hest adds small but impressive extra details like a phone pocket on the side of the mattress and clips to connect two mattresses. The partial carrying case doubles as a mat for shoes or wet gear, and at 30 inches wide, you’ll have plenty of room to sleep like a starfish. 

On the downside, you can’t alter the firmness of the Foamy, unlike the precise adjustments that self-inflating options allow. We also find the memory foam is somewhat heavy: at 13 pounds, it takes a bit more energy and time to roll up and transport, and it is bulky to store.

Though the Foamy is expensive, we think this price represents an exceptional value for a burly top-of-the-line mattress that’s built to last. Where inexpensive mattresses will fail every couple of years and need to be regularly replaced, the Foamy does not: it should last for many seasons with minimal care, and could easily become your go-to basecamp mattress.

For folks whose top priorities are comfort and convenience when it comes to a camping mattress, this is the one.

Stock image of Paria Outdoor Products Recharge XL

Paria Outdoor Products Recharge XL

Most Affordable & Lightweight Crossover Mattress

Price: $100

Dimensions (LxWxH): 76 x 23 x 4 in.

Weight: 1 lb. 10 oz.

Style: Manual

R-Value: 4.7

Pros

  • Very lightweight
  • Excellent for car camping or backpacking
  • Comfortable lengthwise baffles
  • Small packed size
  • Thick & well-structured
  • Very affordable
  • Lifetime warranty

Cons

  • Not as warm feeling as R-value suggests
  • Valve location at corner is awkward
  • Can take a while to manually fill up
  • No pump

 

The Paria Outdoor Products Recharge XL is one of the lightest and most affordable options on our list. If you’re looking for a comfy, versatile, and durable single-person sleeping pad for long summer backpacking trips or relaxing weekend camping, the Recharge is a great choice.

This pad is perfect for multi-day trips since it weighs only 1 pound, 10 ounces, and packs down to an efficient and compact eight by five inches. But, it’s still a posh frontcountry bed for car camping at four inches thick, so side and stomach sleepers will have an easy time catching Zs. 

For such a lightweight mattress, the Recharge punches above its weight in terms of comfort. A thin layer of foam insulation gives the mattress a cushy and soft feel, but it airs up as firmly as you need. We’re big fans of the lengthwise baffles, which give superior back and side support. And, we appreciate the stuff sack is slightly oversized, so we’re not wrestling with fabric when packing the pad away.

In our experience, the actual warmth of the Recharge XL does not match its listed R-value, so we recommend this mattress primarily for warm weather trips. In theory, pads that are third-party tested with an R-value like this Paria model (at 4.7) should keep you warm to 10-20°F. However, we found it was too cold to use below 30°F, so you’ll want to add more substantial insulation or swap for a better-insulated pad when the mercury really drops.

That said, for only $100, the Recharge is an unrivaled budget option. We highly recommend it for overnights in temperate weather. For beginner backpackers who want a dynamic sleeping pad, seasoned campers who need a backup option, or folks with an eye for a great deal on quality, lightweight gear, the Paria Recharge is worth a closer look.

Therm-a-Rest MondoKing 3D XXL

Very Comfortable Camping Mattress

Price: $275

Dimensions (LxWxH): 80 x 30 x 4.25 in.

Weight: 5 lb. 8 oz.

Style: Self-inflating

R-Value: 7

Pros

  • Very thick mattress
  • Comfortable & quiet material
  • Spacious
  • Easy & fast to inflate
  • Pump sack included
  • High-quality construction
  • Durable
  • Pairs with other MondoKing mattresses

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Bulky packed size
  • Can be challenging to roll up
  • Pump sack challenging to connect to valve

The Therm-a-Rest MondoKing 3D is one of the thickest, cushiest mattresses on the market. Most of the mattresses on this list are four inches deep, but the MondoKing is 4.25 inches. That extra ¼ inch of foam might not seem like much of a difference, but we think you’ll notice: the extra padding makes for one of the most inviting and comfortable siestas of any mattress we tested. It swallows roots, rocks, and other obstructions on the ground, so you can sleep like a princess – but without the pea.

The MondoKing is hands down one of the most comfy, reliable, and easy-to-use mattresses Therm-A-Rest makes for camping. The surface has a chamois feel that’s plush and soft on the skin. Most of the mattresses on this list are well insulated, but with an R-value of 7, the MondoKing is one of the warmest. We also like the high-flow valves, which are really important for mattresses with such impressive volume.

The pump sack and mattress valves could be more effective. The plastic of the pump sack nozzle is stiff and can be challenging to attach to the mattress intake valve. We also found the pump sack nozzle tends to slip out of the intake nozzle easily because there isn’t any texture or threading to keep it inside.

That said, if you’re looking for a really spacious and super cushy mattress to take your camping slumber to the next level, the MondoKing will make you feel like royalty.

Stock image of Sea to Summit Comfort Deluxe LW

Sea to Summit Comfort Deluxe

Durable & Comfy Camping Mattress with Pillow Attachments

Price: $249

Dimensions (LxWxH): 79 x 29 x 4 in.

Weight: 5 lb. 13.3 oz.

Style: Self-inflating

R-Value: 6.5

Pros

  • Comfortable material on top
  • Spacious
  • Best-in-class construction
  • Fast inflation & deflation
  • Special fabric on pad keeps Sea-To-Summit pillows in place
  • Durable
  • Warm in freezing temperatures

Cons

  • Expensive
  • All-in-one valve can be finicky
  • Pump not included
  • Bulky packed size

Just like its name suggests, the Sea to Summit Comfort Deluxe is a cushy, luxe camping mattress with an expansive surface area. If you’re seeking a spacious and durable mattress for getting shut-eye in your car, on a cot, or from dusk ‘til dawn in your tent, the Comfort Deluxe will stand the test of time.

This mattress is seriously durable – year after year, we’ve put this Sea to Summit model through the wringer. Our team has relied on the Comfort Deluxe for camping, festivals, sleeping in the car on road trips, and even as a guest bed when friends and family come to visit. We’ve found the thick foam is nearly impenetrable. It easily withstood cat and dog nails, bouncy kids, and hundreds of times being rolled and unrolled, but keeps on re-inflating and performing with no issue.

What sets the Comfort Deluxe apart is its ultra-soft sleep surface that’s designed to keep Sea to Summit pillows from slipping and sliding out from under your head. We’ve found this is a small design feature that works at keeping the pillow in place, instead of needing to readjust your pillow every time you roll over.

The biggest con of the Comfort Deluxe is its single valve can be touchy. The all-in-one valve means you’ll inflate, fine-tune the firmness, and dump all the air out from the same valve, which also means two caps share the singular opening. That places a lot of pressure and activity on it, so you’ll want to be a bit more careful with this valve than other mattresses.

Due to the valve position at the corner, the caps tend to flop downwards onto the ground which makes it more susceptible to taking in dirt, which then makes it more challenging to open and slower to self-inflate. So, you’ll want to make sure you’re regularly keeping the caps clean and out of the dirt.

Having said that, its 6.5 R-value will keep you warm year-round. We prefer the Large Wide version of this pad, but regular and double (2-person) sizes are also available. If you’re looking for comfort, long-term durability, and warmth, you can’t go wrong with the Comfort Deluxe.

Stock image of Therm-a-Rest LuxuryMap

Therm-a-Rest LuxuryMap XL

Supportive, Soft & Low Profile Camping Mattress

Price: $180

Dimensions (LxWxH): 77 x 30 x 3 in.

Weight: 5 lb. 2 oz.

Style: Self-inflating

R-Value: 6

Pros

  • Excellent value
  • Affordable
  • Comfortable foam mapping
  • Lower profile
  • Spacious
  • Warm
  • Supportive & firm
  • Easy to inflate & deflates quickly
  • Easy to pack

Cons

  • Valves stick out
  • Noisy fabric
  • Tapered at edges – elbows & knees can bottom out
  • Pump not included

If you’re looking for a supportive and low-profile mattress for sleeping in your car or a night under the stars, the Therm-a-Rest LuxuryMap XL combines comfort, warmth, and convenience in one package.

At three inches thick, the LuxuryMap is the slimmest option on this list – all of our other top choices are four inches or more. This makes it a good choice for when headspace is limited when sleeping in the back of a vehicle or on a cot. But, this model still boasts a warm R-value of 6, so you’ll stay warm in freezing temperatures without the bulk of many of the other options. 

The LuxuryMap is named after its unique foam mapping design, which offers slightly softer foam at the shoulders, torso, and hips for extra relief, comfort, and support. The effect is a spacious, balanced, and soft layer that makes for a relaxing and robust night of sleep.

The valves on the LuxuryMap are not the sleekest – they protrude from the mattress – but they’re among the easiest to use and fastest for inflating and deflating. One allows for intake, and fills quickly; the other is to dump air as you roll up the pad. In the end, we don’t mind the bulky valves since they are so efficient and easy to access.

While we think the LuxuryMap offers excellent comfort and warmth, we found a few elements a bit less luxurious. All corners of this Therm-A-Rest model are tapered, so our knees and elbows would occasionally bottom out as we neared the edges. We also found if the mattress is under inflated, you’ll feel the rigid baffling of the interior structure – which isn’t the most comfortable. But, this is easily solved by adding a bit more air to the mattress and firming it up.

That said, the LuxuryMap is a compelling choice for campers seeking comfort, warmth, and affordability. With its simple setup and cozy sleeping surface, you’ll sleep easy no matter where you choose to lay your head.

Stock image of Therm-a-Rest NeoAir Topo Luxe

Therm-a-Rest NeoAir Topo Luxe XL

Lightweight & Thick Camping Mattress for Summer Nights

Price: $230

Dimensions (LxWxH): 77 x 30 x 4 in.

Weight: 2 lb. 2 oz.

Style: Manual

R-Value: 3.7

Pros

  • Effective & fast pump sack included
  • Thick & well-structured
  • Lightweight
  • Comfortable horizontal baffles
  • Good for both car camping & backpacking
  • Durable for the weight
  • Highly packable

Cons

  • Best for summer due to lower R-value
  • Rounded edges reduce usable space
  • Bulky valves
  • Expensive

One of our all-time favorite backpacking sleeping pads gets a luxury car camping makeover with the Therm-a-Rest NeoAir Luxe XL. If you’re looking for a thick but lightweight pad that packs small for warm-weather backpacking or camping, the NeoAir Luxe is a great choice.

At four inches thick, this mattress is the plushest version of the NeoAir line. It feels airy and comfortable but is easy to inflate and deflate after a long day of backpacking, fishing, or playing with the kids. While the two pounds and two ounces of the XL size is a bit heavy for backpacking, the regular is just over one and a half pounds and works well in a pinch.

We also love the attention to detail. Narrow horizontal baffles feel supportive and extra cushy, so you don’t get the bouncy or airy feeling of traditional backpacking pads. We like the double valves for inflating and deflating the pad, and we’re big fans of the oversized, efficient pump sack that makes blowing up your mattress as fast as possible. 

Our biggest knock on this mattress is its low R-value: at 3.7, this pad is best used for fair-weather adventures that don’t dip below 30°F. Luckily, there is a NeoAir for most niches, so if you want a warmer, better-insulated version with a lower profile, the Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XTherm NXT is an excellent option. If you’re looking for a lighter pad, consider the Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XLite NXT.

This model is also a bit spendy, so for a lower price, but with similar features, consider the Paria Recharge XL (above). However, this pad offers an excellent value considering its durability, ease of use, and featherlight portability.

Two kids relaxing on the NEMO Roamer XL Wide & Therm-a-Rest MondoKing 3D XX Large camping mattresses inside of a camping tent
The NEMO Roamer and Therm-a-Rest MondoKing 3D XXL are warm and comfortable mattresses. – Photo credit: Heather Eldridge (CleverHiker.com)

Product Comparison Table

Product Price Dimensions (LxWxH) Weight Style R-Value Comfort Ease of Use Warmth Packed Size
Exped MegaMat 10 LXW
View at REI View at Amazon
Editor's Pick
$260 77.6 x 30.3 x 4 in. 5 lb. 11.7 oz. Self-Inflating 8.1 9.5 9 9.5 7.5
NEMO Roamer Double
View at REI View at Amazon
Editor's Pick
$400 78 x 52 x 4 in. 8 lb. 4 oz. Self-inflating 6 9.5 9 8 7
REI Camp Dreamer XL
View at REI
Budget Buy
$179 78 x 30 x 4 in. 6 lb. 6 oz. Self-inflating 6.6 9 8.5 8.5 8
HEST Foamy – Wide
View at REI View at Hest
Editor's Pick
$349 78 x 30 x 4 in. 13 lb. Foam (no inflation) 8.8 9.5 9.5 9.5 6
Paria Outdoor Products Recharge XL
View at Paria Outdoor
Budget Buy
$100 76 x 23 x 4 in. 1 lb. 10 oz. Manual 4.7 7 7 7 10
Therm-a-Rest MondoKing 3D XXL
View at Amazon View at Backcountry
$275 80 x 30 x 4.25 in. 5 lb. 8 oz. Self-inflating 7 8.5 8 9 8
Sea to Summit Comfort Deluxe
View at REI View at Amazon
$249 79 x 29 x 4 in. 5 lb. 13.3 oz. Self-inflating 6.5 8.5 8 8.5 8.5
Therm-a-Rest LuxuryMap XL
View at Backcountry View at Therm-A-Rest
$180 77 x 30 x 3 in. 5 lb. 2 oz. Self-inflating 6 7.5 7.5 8 9
Therm-a-Rest NeoAir Topo Luxe XL
View at REI View at Amazon
$230 77 x 30 x 4 in. 2 lb. 2 oz. Manual 3.7 8 7.5 6 10

Scores for each characteristic (i.e. comfort, ease of use, warmth, packed size) are rated 1-10 as follows:
> 9 = Exceptional; 8-8.5 = Very good; 7-7.5 = Good; 6-6.5 = Average; 5-5.5 = Slightly below average; < 5 = Below average

How We Test & Methodology

To determine the best mattresses for camping, our comprehensive testing covers four dimensions: comfort, ease of use, warmth, and packed size.

COMFORT

We rigorously test camping mattresses for comfort by evaluating material quality and body support. Thicker mattresses generally feel more comfortable and minimize the chance of bottoming out. We check surface texture and fabric for softness against the skin. We also consider how noisy a mattress is for a quiet night’s sleep by gathering user feedback from people with different body types and sleep styles.

EASE OF USE

The inflation and deflation process is key to a camping mattress’s ease of use. Mattresses that are quick and straightforward to fill win in this category. We measure the setup and pack-down times to determine how efficient and convenient a mattress is in real-world conditions. We scrutinize the valve design for functionality and reliability to prevent air leaks. We consider how durable and easy to repair each model is by testing for puncture resistance and whether an included repair kit is effective – or not. We also review the instructions and included accessories to make sure they are clear and improve the user experience.

WARMTH

For warmth, we test the mattress in a wide variety of weather conditions, including extreme cold and soaking wet weather, to gauge real-world performance. We carefully check the mattresses for edge support and overall construction quality for consistent insulation across the entire surface. We look at the R-value of the mattress, which indicates its insulation capability and helps us understand how well mattresses protect against cold ground temperatures. We assess the thickness and type of insulation material, like foam or synthetic fibers, for their thermal efficiency. We evaluate the mattress covers’ material for its ability to retain heat while maintaining breathability and we also consider the compatibility with sleeping bags and pillows to maximize warmth.

PACKED SIZE

We measure the dimensions when the mattress is fully packed and compressed to gauge how compact it is for easy transport and storage. We also consider weight in relation to packed size, since a lightweight mattress often correlates with a smaller packed footprint. We assess the compressibility of the material and the effectiveness of included compression straps and/or stuff sacks to reduce overall volume and look at how well a mattress balances packed size, comfort, and insulation.

If you’re short on space choose a pad tha’s comfy yet compact. – Photo Credit: Heather Eldridge (Cleverhiker.com)

Why Trust CleverHiker

At CleverHiker, we’ve logged thousands of nights under the stars, scrutinizing camping mattresses in conditions from sweaty summer heat to frigid winter nights. Ian Krammer, Gear Analyst and lead camping mattress tester, has camped in the Colorado Rockies for over ten years testing camping mattresses to find the top options available. His passion for quality gear, coupled with years of sales and analysis expertise, ensures this guide includes the best camping mattresses on the market.

We own and use all of the camping mattresses we recommend.
We own and use all of the camping mattresses we recommend. – Photo Credit: Heather Eldridge (CleverHiker.com)

Analysis & Results

Below, we share the results of our testing and discuss the top performers in terms of value, warmth, comfort, packed size, and standout features.

VALUE

Our priority is to find products that deliver outstanding performance and maximize the value of your investment regardless of the price. We love the budget options on this list with above-average performance, and we also recognize that higher-priced mattresses often have superior durability and craftsmanship that make them worthwhile long-term investments.

The Paria Outdoor Recharge XL is the most affordable option on our list. With polyester fabric and TPU lamination, this model is reliable in even the worst outdoor conditions. The generous dimensions and bit of foam padding offer more cushioning and support than an average sleeping pad for a comfy night’s sleep. And, because it’s so lightweight and compact, this model serves double duty for car camping or for short backpacking trips.

One of the best values on our list is the REI Camp Dreamer XL thanks to its comfort, durability, and excellent construction. It features a soft, brushed surface that’s comfy and a high-density foam core for superior cushioning and support. The mattress’s XL size provides a ton of room for restless sleepers, while its self-inflating design makes setup a breeze. Despite its luxurious feel, this model is still incredibly affordable, and its durable materials all but guarantee long-lasting performance.

The Exped MegaMat 10 LXW sets a refreshed standard for camping comfort and value with its luxurious features and durable construction. With large dimensions and plush thickness, the self-inflating design and smart inflation valve make setup quick and hassle-free, perfect for campers setting up for a single night or an extended stay. This one is premium quality, but its competitive price makes it one of the mattresses we recommend the most.When it comes to value, the HEST Foamy Wide mattress makes the cut. Although this is one of the most expensive mattresses on our list, the Foamy is a long-term investment for campers seeking the best of the best when it comes to simplicity, versatility, warmth, and durability. Crafted from closed-cell foam, this model offers reliable cushioning and insulation without needing to inflate or deflate – simply unroll it and lay down. With a wide design that accommodates a range of sleeping positions, this camping mattress will rival your bed at home.

We don’t mind paying a bit more for a high-quality camping mattress that’s reliable and comfortable, since we’ll use it a lot on year-round adventures. That said, you don’t have to break the bank to elevate your sleep game – there are outstanding sleeping mattresses and outstanding pads at different price points.

COMFORT

Our top picks are a three-way tie starting with the Exped MegaMat 10 LXW. At four inches thick with generous dimensions, the MegaMat offers a soft brushed polyester surface and a cushy foam core for a luxurious sleeping experience like your bed at home. The vertical sidewalls offer excellent stability to prevent rolling off during the night. It’s also fairly lightweight and the carrying case is easy to transport, so it leads the pack for comfort while sleeping or setting up camp.

Also consider the HEST Foamy Wide. This mattress is pure foam – like the name implies – offering some of the most accommodating cushioning on the market without the fuss of inflation. With its spacious design and outstanding support, it caters to belly, side, and back sleepers, and its lightweight yet burly construction promises enduring performance for years in rugged conditions.

We highly recommend the NEMO Roamer Double as one of the biggest and most stable mattresses we’ve used while camping since it’s designed to hold two people. Similar to the MegaMat, this one offers a soft brushed surface and foam core that’s as plush as camping mattresses come. Plus, this mattress is made to work with the NEMO Jazz Double, one of our top picks in our guide to the Best Camping Sleeping Bags.

Another of our favorites when it comes to comfort is the REI Camp Dreamer. It ranks a bit behind the MegaMat, Foamy, and Roamer Double because we occasionally feel the internal baffles if the mattress is underinflated. That said, it still delivers a lavish slumber and cradles you with the indulgence of a high-end mattress and the soft surface and luxurious features offer amazing comfort.

The REI Camp Dreamer XL & Exped Megamat are some of the comfiest car camping mattresses on the market. – Photo Credit: Heather Eldridge (CleverHiker.com)

EASE OF USE

Our top choices for easy-to-use mattresses are the HEST Foamy Wide, the Exped MegaMat 10 LXW, and the NEMO Roamer Double. The HEST Foamy is as easy as it gets since there’s no inflation required – the only one on our list with this distinction. Its all-foam construction means you can unroll it and it’s ready to use. 

The MegaMat and Roamer are very similar, since they’re a combination of foam and air, although they’re both very fast to inflate and deflate. With the included pumps, you can quickly get your mattress to your desired firmness level without breaking a sweat.

Pads like the Exped Megamat 10 LXW self-inflate partially, so all you have to do is top them off. – Photo Credit: Heather Eldridge (CleverHiker.com)

WARMTH

We can attest to the warmest mattresses on our list from many nights camping in frigid temperatures. Unsurprisingly, this also correlates strongly with higher R-values. The HEST Foamy Wide is unrivaled for camping in the coldest weather and sub-zero temperatures due to its all-foam construction, which will completely absorb and block out frozen ground as you sleep. It also boasts the highest R-Value of any model we looked at: 8.8. The Exped MegaMat 10 LXW offers great insulation and warmth. This one uses open-cell foam, which traps air to provide a barrier against the ground and is a close second with an R-value of 8.1. Last is the Therm-A-Rest MondoKing 3D XXL is highly effective for three-season camping and mild winter conditions with an R-value of 7. Its substantial thickness and plush surface make it feel warm and it effectively retains heat from sunset until sunset.

PACKED SIZE

If you’re looking for camping mattresses that pack small, then the Therm-A-Rest NeoAir Topo Luxe XL, Paria Outdoor Products Recharge XL, and the Therm-a-Rest LuxuryMap XL are for you. All three options offer a blend of comfort and portability, packing down smaller than any other mattresses on this list: both the NeoAir Topo Luxe and the Recharge XL deflate and roll up into a compact package about the size of a Nalgene water bottle. The Luxury Map packs a bit bigger than the Topo Luxe and the Recharge, but not by much, so it’s a huge advantage for car campers with limited trunk space or if you need to carry your mattress over short distances.

The REI Camp Dreamer XL, HEST Sleep System, and Exped MegaMat 10 LXW in the REI Grand Hut 4 Tent
Make sure to consider the floor dimensions of your tent – you may need to size up to accommodate wide, cushy pads. – Photo Credit: Heather Eldridge (CleverHiker.com)

How to Choose a Camping Mattress

SIZE

The more space you have to spread out while sleeping, the more comfortable you’ll be! That’s why we recommended the thickest, widest, and longest version of every mattress on this list. That said, for many adventures where your sleeping system size matters, be sure to find the right fit. Although shorter folks will be fine on most regular-sized pads, tall people and tosser-turners may want to size up to a long, wide, or XL version to give themselves plenty of room.

It’s also crucial to take gear dimensions into consideration when choosing a camping mattress. Account for the floor dimensions of your tent (or vehicle) to determine which ones will fit best. Check out our Tent Size Guide for more information.

THICKNESS

Thicker mattresses will feel cushier, comfortable, and warm since there are usually three or four luxurious inches of material and air insulating you from the ground. They cradle your shoulders and hips when you lay on your side, and you won’t bottom out when you sit up. It used to be the norm to use thin pads for camping, but these days we save the lightest and thinnest gear for backpacking trips. That said, there are some excellent low-profile options on our list if you prefer a more minimalist approach, want a pad that you can take camping and backpacking, or if space-savings is a concern.

Thick mattresses are cushier and comfier, but thinner pads are lighter and more compact for transport
Thick mattresses are generally comfier, but thinner pads are less cumbersome to store & transport. – Photo Credit: Heather Eldridge (CleverHiker.com)

INFLATION STYLE

Self-Inflating

Some pads and mattresses are self-inflating, which means they automatically take in air when you open the valve. Simply leave them alone for a while, then all you have to do is top them off with a few lungfuls of air to firm them up. Self-inflating pads are easy and convenient, although they aren’t totally work-free.

Pump

Larger mattresses typically include a hand pump, or you can use an electric pump, to quickly fill a high-volume pad. They allow you to adjust your mattress as firm as you like. With pumps, there’s no lung power required, so you aren’t blowing moisture inside the pad – which can lead to a cold sleep and mildewy or moldy interior. The downside? You’ll have to remember to bring the pump, working batteries or a power source, and the correct nozzle.

Different styles of pumps that come with camping mattresses
Many of the pads on our list are self-inflating, but a few require a manual or electric pump. – Photo Credit: Heather Eldridge (CleverHiker.Com)

MICRO-ADJUSTMENTS

Micro-adjustments are the very small amounts of air that you can release to dial in the precise level of firmness you want. Usually, this is done by pressing a small release button in the valve. This feature allows you to adjust your mattress at any time – even in the middle of the night – without worrying all the air will dump out when you pull the plug.

the REI Camp Dreamer XL self-inflates quickly and the valve allows for quick and complete deflation
the REI Camp Dreamer XL self-inflates quickly & the valve allows for quick deflation. – Photo Credit: Heather Eldridge (CleverHiker.com)

COTS

If you’d like to get a little higher off the ground, you may want to consider using a cot in addition to your camping mattress. Cots are nice during long trips and extended basecamps, and the extra height can be helpful for folks with mobility issues and chronic pain. A few of our favorites are the TETON Sport Camp Cot, REI Kingdom Cot 3, and the Coleman Trailhead II Cot.

Adding a cot, like the TETON Sport Camp Cot, provides extra comfort and it can double as a seat.
Adding a cot, like the TETON Sport Camp Cot, provides extra comfort & it can double as a seat. PHOTO CREDIT: HEATHER ELDRIDGE (CLEVERHIKER.COM)

R-VALUE

R-value is a measure of warmth. The higher the number, the better insulated the mattress will be – reducing the rate at which the ground draws away your body heat – and the warmer it will feel. Even if you’re in the warmest sleeping bag in the world, lying on a cold surface will make for a chilly night. 

When you’re choosing a camping mattress, consider the R-value that works best for your camping conditions. Higher R-values above six are best for cold nights around 40°F and below, but these mattresses are usually thicker, bulkier, and heavier. We recommend lower R-values like five and below for warm summer nights in the 40s (or warmer), as well as for backpacking trips, since they tend to be a bit thinner, compact, and lightweight.

Thick Mattresses Like THE HEST SLEEP SYSTEM HAve A High R-Value, Which Means they are Warmer. – PHOTO CREDIT: HEATHER ELDRIDGE (CLEVERHIKER.COM)

Honorable Mentions

REI Campwell XL – The REI Campwell XL is one of the most affordable, warm, and high-performing camping mattresses around. It offers an excellent balance of comfort and packability, which is ideal for those with limited space to store gear. Featuring a comfy foam top and a soft fabric surface that wicks moisture and keeps you in place, the Campwell is also impressively warm well below freezing, with a stout R-value of seven.

At 2.5 inches, the Campwell isn’t as thick as some of the other mattresses on our list, but it’s still very relaxing and provides a great night’s sleep at a very budget-friendly price. The Campwell is offered in regular, but we prefer the XL size since the extra width is comfier for our arms and legs to spread out.

Conclusion

Finding the perfect camping mattress based on, comfort, ease of use, warmth, and packed size at the right price point can be a real hassle with so many options out there. No matter what your priorities are though, we hope this guide will help you find the comfort and convenience you need for a good night’s sleep in the wild so you can wake up refreshed and ready for the day ahead.