Hands up if, after a spell away from home, you’ve been guilty of uttering the words “I’ll be glad to be back in my own bed”? Well, you’re not alone. But even homebodies need a little adventure every now and then — and that’s where we come in. We’re firm believers that sleeping away from home needn’t be a nightmare with the right tools in your arsenal: namely, a camping air bed that ticks all the boxes.
Whether you’re after king size comfort on a pint-sized budget, compact beds that’ll squeeze into your car boot or travelling backpack, or low-maintenance battery-powered pumps (for when you could use a little recharging yourself), you’ll find it in our round-up of the best camping air beds. For that last-minute guest or impromptu sleepover, look no further than fold-away models that can transform into a spare bed in a flash, without hanging around like a spare part. For maximum creature comforts on your next staycation — and to make travel-weary children feel right at home — make a deluxe two-in-one mattress and sleeping bag your go-to combo. Or, for superior support (we’re looking at you, memory foam devotees) look for camp bed models with the latest in high-tech materials and construction.
It goes without saying that we take our sleep very seriously, so trust us when we say there’s a lot to consider when it comes to the world of blow up beds. Our advice? If you’re heading off hiking, make sure you measure up your blow-up mattress before attempting to squeeze into compact tent compartments (it’ll save tears later on), and if you or your partner are prone to moving a lot in your sleep, consider either anti-roll technology, or plumping for two single air beds (ditto). Sweet dreams!
This pricier blow-up might blow out your budget, but it goes big where it counts. Its slip-resistant finish feels secure, and means a solid night’s sleep even on slightly less solid terrain, making it a great air bed for camping trips and other wild weekends. Meanwhile, this bed’s durable TPU construction, luxuriously soft-on-skin surface and ultra-comfortable shaping ensure sweet dreams all round.
Coming in at under £30, the Vango Flocked Air Bed is as easy on the wallet as it is on the weary traveller. Its coil beam construction feels sturdy and gives just the right amount of support, and it’s slightly raised, making it easier to get out of. Vango also offer a version with a built-in headboard, perfect for those who like to get into a good book before bed. A great-value budget air bed, with a clever option for book lovers.
This multi-tasking mattress with inbuilt pump sees to its own inflation (in under two minutes, no less), and its fold-away stand and convenient storage case make it a fantastic choice for those looking to convert their front room into a spare room quickly. Once packed down, it fits easily into the wardrobe for year-round storage. In short: this self-inflating air bed is low-commitment overnight hosting at its finest, and our best bed for guests.
This sturdy double air bed guards against sagging and rolling — vital for staying on speaking terms with your tent-mates — and as such is a great option for happy campers in search of a good night’s sleep. Its deceptively small size when uninflated (it fits easily into the included Wrap N Roll carry bag) is the secret to its success, and it turns into a comfortable double mattress with the application of a little elbow grease.
The Aerobed Comfort might just be the closest thing to a real bed on our list, so for those unused to sleeping away, this is the one. Its super size means that fidgety sleepers have room to roam, and its solid-feeling sleeping surface with equal air distribution throughout means that no matter what position you sleep in, you’ll feel secure. The stylish mini headboard is an added bonus.
Acting as an air bed and snuggly sleeping bag in one, and coming with its own handy pump and carry case, the ReadyBed Deluxe brings a whole new meaning to the phrase ‘all-inclusive’, and is the best air bed for families on our list. It comes in two child-sized options as well as a sizeable double, and its integral cotton covers are machine-washable, so it’s the perfect solution for sleepovers where sticky fingers are inevitable.