Air Mattress Camping Tips


By ANNIE RITCHIE / November 4, 2022

Do You Need A Sleeping Bag With An Air Mattress?

An air mattress is good for keeping you cooler if you are planning to camp in very hot weather. If that is the case, you probably won’t want to sleep cocooned in a heavy duty sleeping bag anyway. So a warm weather sleeping bag, a sheet or cool blanket may be adequate.

However, if the nights are cooler you will need something to keep you warm. A sleeping bag is great for cold weather camping especially if your air mattress is low on the floor. If you have a larger air bed you might want the luxury of a made up bed with a down comforter or duvet instead of a sleeping bag. Personally, I like to bring along a sleeping bag that can be unzipped to form a blanket, so I give myself options if the temperatures are changeable.

Do You Put Sheets On An Air Mattress?

If you plan on using a sleeping bag, you may get away with not having to put sheets on your air mattress. Most good quality air mattresses have a soft velour surface which is lovely to sleep on. However, please be aware that if you are camping for any length of time, particularly in warmer weather, you will need to clean your mattress on your return home. We learnt this lesson the hard way after two weeks of camping in the heat of summer. Sheets can also stop you sticking to the mattress in the heat. If you do have space for sheets it may be worth bringing them along.

How Do You Keep Your Air Mattress Warm In A Tent?

1: Use a Reflective Surface

One way to keep an air mattress warm when camping is to use a reflective surface. The idea is that the reflective surface will help to trap heat and prevent it from escaping. This could be something as simple as a space blanket, a thermal blanket or even aluminum foil. Thermal blankets are designed to reflect body heat, which will help keep you warm throughout the night. Simply place the thermal blanket underneath your air mattress before inflating it. This will create an extra layer of insulation between you and the cold ground. Or if you are a deep sleeper you could even place the reflective blanket under your sleeping bag. But be warned the crinkling noises can disturb light sleepers!

2: Bring a Sleeping Pad or Foam Topper

Sleeping pads are inflatable mats that provide insulation between you and the ground. This extra layer of protection will help keep the cold from seeping in and prevent your body heat from escaping.

3: Use a Camping Pillow

Pillows are not only comfortable, but they also help to keep your head and neck warm. When choosing a pillow for camping, make sure to select one that is specifically designed for outdoor use. These pillows are usually made from synthetic materials that dry quickly if they get wet and won’t absorb moisture from the ground.

4: Use Hot Water Bottles

Hot water bottles are great for providing extra warmth at night. All you have to do is fill them up with hot water before going to bed and tuck them in at your feet or sides. Just be careful not to puncture the bottle!

5: Invest in Quality

Air mattresses are great in warm weather as the air circulates under you which helps cool you down, but its not as clear-cut if you are going cold weather camping. The best thing you can do is invest in a high quality air mattress where insulation has been included by the manufacturer. Layers of memory foam help in this regard as well as integrated reflective surfaces.

We uncovered some cracking air mattresses when we were planning a trip to France. If you want to see what we recommend, you can read more by clicking the button below.