Is a camp bed or air bed better?
Any self-respecting camping enthusiast knows to be well prepared.
The choice will depend on where you’re going and what you’re using it for.
It can be a stay in a tent or for outdoor activities.
You must know that if you are badly equipped, your nights will be very unpleasant.
There are a lot of solutions for a good sleep during your camping or hiking trip.
Some people choose to sleep directly on the floor, but it won’t be for long.
An uneven and hard surface is not conducive to a good night’s sleep.
It only gets worse after every night on the ground.
For maximum comfort, it is essential to insulate yourself from the ground.
Two types of bedding are available:
- the inflatable bed, and
- the camp bed (several models are available in our comparison page).
Read our other post How to sleep comfortably while camping for more sleeping comfort tips for campers.
Table of Contents
- 1 Is a camp bed or air bed better? Introduction
- 2 Comparison between air mattresses and camp beds
- 3 Camp bed: advantages and disadvantages
- 4 Self-inflating mattress: advantages and disadvantages
- 5 Is a camp bed or air bed better? Conclusion
Is a camp bed or air bed better? Introduction
To go on vacation, you’ve probably already prepared sunglasses, sunblock or even a stove.
However, if you go camping, a tent and a sleeping bag should also be included in the essentials.
So, unless you sleep directly on the ground, you have two options: a camp bed or an air mattress.
Each one has its pros and cons, so it may not be an easy choice.
This page has been created to make it easier for you.
We’ll shed some light on these two, so your nights are as good as your days, even outdoors.
After reading this article, you may also be interested in checking our other post Best camping beds for tents: Types and selection criteria
Comparison between air mattresses and camp beds
The inflatable mattress, or air mattress, is a usually used as an extra bed at home or camping.
It has almost the same characteristics as a traditional bed (shape and height).
The difference is that it is inflated by air.
Most models come with an electric pump, although also be inflated with manually.
An air mattress can be very durable
The models available on the market are made of quality materials.
This will not only prevent skin from sticking to it, but will also guarantee its durability.
The camp bed too is considered as an extra bed and is suitable for indoor and outdoor use.
It dates back to military camps and enjoys a somewhat basic design.
It is usually made of metal tubes that support fabric.
Today, like the air mattress, it’s a great favorite with hikers and motor home users.
Camp bed: advantages and disadvantages
Advantages of a camp bed
With this type of bed, you’re not resting on the floor.
Most of the models that are available on the market are more than 15 inches above the ground.
Thus, you will be comfortably protected not only from crawling insects, but also from soil moisture.
Not to mention the cold ground.
The camp bed has the advantage of being very practical. It folds, unfolds and can be easily used.
In most cases, such a model consists of a sturdy steel frame and a durable fabric or polyester cover.
It is a very practical device in many ways and has gradually evolved to more modern solutions.
Today, with the range of new products on the market, the use of the camp bed is much simplified.
To set up a camp bed, it is no longer a matter of putting it up, but rather, unfolding it.
Since it can be folded and unfolded, the old massive structures are giving way to a more lightweight construction.
In addition, the camp bed comes in several varieties. You can get a double or single bed.
Disadvantages of a camp bed
There are also disadvantages to using a camp bed when camping or hiking.
The standard models have a weight-bearing capacity of 240 pounds.
If you are overweight, you need a heavy-duty model.
When it comes to comfort, the camp bed does not excel either. It is quite hard and firm.
However, you can always get around this by adding a foam mat.
Plus, it’s not really a bed for people who are restless sleepers.
Some would even put a mattress topper on the camp bed to make it less firm.
However, it is important to understand the maximum weight supported by a camp bed
It is often very limited as it is usually about 220 – 240 pounds.
The maintenance of this type of bedding begins with the cleaning of its polyester fabric.
Even though the fabric is actually waterproof and fairly wear-resistant, it requires minimal maintenance.
Avoid using an abrasive sponge and/or a cleaning product with chemical compounds.
The frame or chassis of the camp bed also requires maintenance.
Without effective protection, the structure is indeed susceptible to the rust.
That said, there has been progress in this area.
Recent models are equipped with specially treated frames.
Self-inflating mattress: advantages and disadvantages
Advantages of an air mattress
This type of bed has the advantage of being able to accommodate two or more people, just like a classic bed.
Manufacturers offer models ranging from single to double.
So no need to worry if traveling in tandem. Even outside, you can sleep together like at home.
Apart from its thickness, the air mattress is quite practical to use.
Indeed, it is rather light and easy to transport, as it does not take up much space.
To carry it, just put it in your bag. This gives you plenty of room to store your other items.
Also, this bed is available in several varieties.
In addition, the air mattress is equipped with the technology called dropstitch.
You can be assured of optimal comfort, but also of the strength and solidity of the bed.
However, the ability to adjust the firmness of the mattress remains the major advantage of the air mattress.
Depending on your needs, you can adjust the firmness by inflating or deflating it.
Both lightweight and easy to transport, the self-inflating mattress is also easy to install.
You can adjust its firmness according to your needs.
It is available in different sizes.
Thus, the self-inflating mattress could perfectly suit campers as well as hikers and more.
However, to ensure that it does not break or deflate at nigh ensure that the floor is clean.
We recommend that you place a sheet between mattress and ground.
Disadvantages of a self-inflating mattress
Unfortunately, the air mattress is not always a model of reliability.
It can deflate or even crack in the middle of the night.
To avoid this type of situation, it is recommended that the sleeping site be cleared beforehand.
For even more security, you can lay a mat on the floor before laying down the air mattress.
The mattress may make noises at night when you move.
In this case, you must cover it with a sheet or a bedspread and could make it less slippery.
In terms of maintenance, the air mattress requires a lot of attention.
It will be necessary to take a lot of precautions during usage so as not to damage it.
Indeed, since it is in direct contact with the ground, it will often get dirty.
Dirt and moisture cause discomfort.
Under these conditions, dry cleaning will be required.
If you don’t have time to clean, you can use a spray or dry in in the sun.
Is a camp bed or air bed better? Conclusion
The choice can be made depending on your needs and how you plan to use the mattress or camp bed.
This will help you to improve the quality of your sleep as well as your nights in general.
You will be able to choose the right product according to the location you’re in.
To make the best choice, consider the weight of the material.
For example, for a hike, it is easier to carry a self-inflating mattress, which is lighter and more compact, than a camp bed.
You should also think about the length of time it’s going to be used for.
In terms of sleep quality, the camp bed offers more comfort and stability.
There is also no risk of deflating as is often the case with a self-inflating mattress.
If you want to buy a camp bed, please check our other page for the best camping bed for heavy person.