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If you’ve ever had to sleep in your car, even just for one night, you know how terribly hard and unforgiving its surfaces can be—and how not-so rested you feel in the morning. Whether your car camping adventures are unexpected or pre-planned, you need a comfortable place to spread out and sleep when night falls. While laying across your back seat is an (uncomfortable) option, carrying a lightweight, easy-to-inflate car air bed is a much better alternative. These convenient mats and pads inflate like air mattresses, and they’re sized to fit into your cargo area, back seat, or the bed of your truck so you can relax and get some solid shut-eye. Discover how to turn your car into a cozy sleep spot that won’t cause tossing and turning with one of these convenient travel beds.
Luno 2.0 Air Mattress
- Fits more than 1,800 makes and models
- Suitable for sleepers up to 6-feet-2
- Holds up to 300 pounds per side
- Might not fit every vehicle
Klymit Static V Sleeping Pad
- Conforms to your shape
- Body-mapping supportive air chambers
- Easy to inflate, with no electric pump required
- Somewhat thin
Therm-a-Rest MondoKing 3D Self-Inflating Camping Sleeping Pad
- Fits sleepers more than 6 feet tall
- Includes air and foam core for added support
- Extra thick at 4.5 inches
- Inflation can be a hassle
- Best Overall: Luno 2.0 Air Mattress
- Best Value: Klymit Static V Sleeping Pad
- Honorable Mention: Therm-a-Rest MondoKing 3D Self-Inflating Camping Sleeping Pad
- Best Self-Inflating: Teton Sports ComfortLite Sleeping Pad
- Best for Trucks: Rightline Gear Truck Bed Air Mattress
- Most Versatile: Nemo Roamer Sleeping Pad
To choose the best car air beds, I used my own car camping experience with different air mattresses and sleep pads to identify top brands and reputable products within the space. From there, I considered beds that would work for a variety of vehicle makes and models as well as options that could work in different configurations, or even do double duty for tent camping. My top picks were those car air beds that were easy to inflate without any special accessories beyond your standard 12-volt pump as well as those that are durable and resistant to punctures or leaks and light enough to carry when you’re short on space.
Best Car Air Beds: Reviews & Recommendations
Honorable MentionSEE IT
Our Verdict on the Best Car Air Beds
When it comes to a flawless in-vehicle fit, it’s hard to beat the customized shape and sizing of the Luno 2.0 Air Mattress. Made specifically for car campers, it’s a pick that’s as durable as it is comfortable, and it’s equally supportive for two. If value is your top priority, the Klymit Static V Sleeping Pad is another supportive and durable option, though it’s smaller overall. You can take this air bed car camping and backpacking or use it anywhere you need solid extra cushioning.
Things to Consider Before Buying a Car Air Bed
Before you squish any camping-ready air mattress into your car, think about a few key details. Sleeping in your car means you need a comfort-enhancing air bed that’ll fit in your available space. To find the best fit for your particular make and model, make sure to keep these factors and features in mind.
Key Features of Car Air Beds
Easy to Inflate
If you can’t get your car air bed inflated when you’re ready to hit the hay, you’re not only going to be frustrated but also potentially sleeping on an uncomfortable surface. Since your only power source is (typically) the available outlets in your vehicle, opt for a car air bed that utilizes a compatible electric inflator or opt for a self-inflating model. For the highest level of convenience and worry-free setup, self-inflating beds can be the best pick when you’re camped out in your car.
Durable, Puncture-Resistant Material
It’s no secret that air mattresses can spring leaks. They might be quick to set up and comfortable for camping, but even the best air mattresses are prone to slow leaks, punctures, or an inability to hold the right firmness once inflated. Pay close attention to the material. Choosing a pad or mattress that’s constructed with durable, puncture-resistant, and rugged material can stave off leaks and inflation problems.
Sized for Car Use
Your basic air mattress is sized for tent camping, not sleeping in your car. And as you’re likely aware, not all cars, crossovers, or even SUVs have perfectly rectangular cargo space, making a simple air mattress a poor fit. Instead, make sure you’re choosing a pad or air bed that’s designed for car sleeping. These products tend to be narrower and sized lengthwise to fit particular makes, models, or cargo spaces so you don’t have to struggle with a comfortable fit.
You can find car air beds for $60 to $400. It all depends on the quality level you’re looking for, and how high-tech and potentially comfortable you’d like your sleeping space to be. If you’re looking for budget-friendly options that don’t require inflation tools and don’t mind a thinner pad, you can find products around $60 to $125. Car air beds that offer more cushioning and more high-tech details, like foam, self-inflation, and durable material can run between $175 and $250. The most premium product picks cost from $250 to $400, depending on size.
You’ve got questions. The Drive has answers.
Q: What size air mattress fits in a car?
A: This really depends on the make and model you’re driving and how much available interior space you’re working with. While SUVs and trucks might have enough room to fit a traditional twin or queen air mattress, most vehicles will require something slimmer and smaller. It’s best to look for air beds specifically designed for car use rather than a standard air mattress.
Q: Can you use a car air bed while driving?
A: If you’re behind the wheel, you definitely shouldn’t be trying to lounge on an air bed. Your passengers shouldn’t either. Your air bed should be rolled up and put away while you’re in motion, and everyone should be wearing a seatbelt.
Q: Do I need to open a window when sleeping in my car?
A: You shouldn’t need to open a window if you’re worried about breathing easily. If it’s warm out or you want a little ventilation while you sleep, you can crack a window or two.
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