LAST UPDATED: March 24, 2019
Best Car Air Beds: Our Top Picks for Back Seat Comfort
A comfortable car air bed offers great rest on road trips or for camping
The Review Team
How We Decided
The Drive and its partners may earn a commission if you purchase a product through one of our links. Read more.
PUBLISHED ON March 24, 2019
Whether you’re heading out on a road trip or just need somewhere to crash for a night, your car’s back seat can be turned into a cozy, comfortable space. Since we know it takes more than a blanket, we’ve researched some of the best car air beds. In our comprehensive product guide below, you’ll find information and choices that’ll give you options to consider for your next car bed.
Why Trust Us
All of our reviews are based on market research, expert input, or practical experience with most products we include. This way, we offer genuine, accurate guides to help you find the best picks.
Why Buy a Car Air Bed?
- Convenience and savings. Instead of splurging on a hotel room on your road trip, pull over and sleep at a rest stop. You can save money and get sufficient rest before getting back on the road. An air bed is also great for lunch break naps.
- Go camping. If you enjoy watching the sunset or just want to spend some romantic time with a significant other, you can spend time outdoors in comfort. With an inflatable car bed, you can take a nap after a hike or stargazing.
- Entertain the kids. Instead of getting cranky from the endless driving, your kids can fall sound asleep in the back seat. While at a rest stop, a minivan air mattress will allow them to stretch their arms and legs out.
- Make your pet comfortable. If you’re bringing your dogs along on a long road trip, an air mattress is a great idea to give them ample comfort to sleep.
- Move fragile furniture. The best car bed is multi-functional because you can sleep on it or lay it down in a pickup truck or SUV. This way, it becomes a cushion for fragile furniture or objects that you’d like to transport safely.
Types of Car Air Beds
Back Seat Air Beds
Air beds are designed to universally accommodate the back seats of most cars, including compact cars, sedans, and SUVs. A back seat bed includes two separately inflated “feet” that support the mattress, fit into the spaces in front of the seats, and contour around the console. Made out of lightweight, synthetic PVC, the beds weigh around 6 to 7 pounds and are folded into a carrying bag.
Camping Air Beds
The main differences between a back seat air mattress for cars and an SUV camping mattress are the size and intended use. The SUV bed is designed to lay flat and cover the folded rows of seats. These are made out of a combination of PVC, rubber, and nylon. Some are made out of synthetic TPU, which is more environmentally friendly since it doesn’t have synthetic chemicals.
Top Brands of Car Air Beds
Manufacturing in Hong Kong, FBSport is becoming a household name in outdoor products. The company ships online orders directly to consumers, claiming it can offer “worldwide free shipping” thanks to lower operating costs. One of the company’s most popular items is the FBSPORT BSport Car Travel Inflatable Mattress Air Bed.
Based in Shenzhen, China, Wolfwill manufactures and distributes a variety of outdoor, home improvement, and pet supplies. Among the company’s top offerings is the WOLFWILL SUV Dedicated Mobile Cushion Extended Travel Mattress Air Bed.
Olivia & Aiden
This is a family-operated business that began in 2016. The focus of this small company is to bring quality items that people use in the home right to their doorstep. The company specializes in toys, petcare, and household products. Olivia and Aiden’s Inflatable Car Air Mattress is a hot item.
Car Air Bed Pricing
- Under $30: There is a variety of durable, versatile air beds for cars at this minimal price range. The beds are made out of eco-friendly PVC material and are designed for use in most cars and SUVs. These waterproof air beds often come with pillows/a pump and can be used for camping, in the pool, or on the beach.
- $30-$60: This price range is the sweet spot if you’re looking for a practical car inflatable mattress. Most beds for compact cars and sedans are made of high-quality materials and are designed to last. Most air beds are shipped with a 12-volt pump, so you don’t have to purchase it separately.
- $60 and above: The air beds available at this price range are either larger or offer more features such as better folding combinations. Expect to spend more on a durable SUV air mattress, with a greater choice of colors and designs.
Most inflatable mattresses are made of synthetic plastic, which is slippery and may have an odor. Manufacturers use flocked materials to shield the user from the discomfort this may cause. You can opt for a mattress with a flocked top or even memory foam top if you’re sensitive to the feel and smell of plastic or just want additional comfort.
When you are laying down to sleep in your back seat car bed, small pillows go a long way for added comfort. These are commonly included in air bed sets and are made of the same materials as the mattress. You’ll want to cover the pillows with a sheet or cloth since they can be uncomfortable otherwise.
12-Volt Air Pump
The pump is a critical piece of hardware to set up your air bed. The good news is that it’s typically included in the all-in-one set. After you plug it into the vehicle’s 12-volt outlet, it should take about two or three minutes to fully inflate the mattress. You always have the option of supplying your own pump if you find that it inflates the bed faster than the one supplied.
- Construction Materials: More often than not, your travel air bed will be made out of PVC material. Some manufacturers, however, use TPU. TPU is heavier but is also very elastic and durable. Manufacturers wrap flocking material and cloth around the mattress itself for more comfort.
Best Car Air Beds Reviews & Recommendations 2020
Choosing the back seat bed that will work for you inevitably comes down to form, function and price. This Haitral brand bed meets and exceeds most expectations. It’s made of soft and high-quality PVC material and, in addition to being used in the car, can also be used during camping as a sleeping mattress or outside, like a small sofa.
The Haitral air bed comes in black, beige, and gray colors, allowing you to match your vehicle’s interior. It weighs just under 6 pounds. Sturdy and durable, the PVC is covered with oxford fabric for a flocked, plush feel.
The mattress may deflate when used for prolonged periods of time or may otherwise develop leaks that may require frequent inflation. Deflation can occur due to extreme temperatures overnight. The bed is also too small for some vehicles with tight interiors like pickups and SUVs.
If you consider price and quality to be equally important, this lightweight FBSport inflatable mattress is worthy of your time and investment. The appeal is its universal fit, and it comes with two inflatable pillows, inflator/deflator pump, a quick repair kit, and a storage bag. Great for camping or road trips, this car air bed offers an overall value that’s hard to find elsewhere.
With a shipping weight of just 5 ½ pounds, the FBSport air mattress is nimble and easy to set up or put away. The mattress is about 3 inches thick (57 by 35 inches long/wide) supported by 17-inch pillar air chambers. This size makes sure it fits snugly into your car or sedan.
Air leaks are a common problem plaguing air beds, and this one is no exception. The bed deflates more quickly when it cools overnight. Placed on leather seats, this bed can also be quite noisy and may require a sheet between the mattress and the seats. The air mattress can also emanate a rubber odor, so it’s a good idea to wash or ventilate it ahead of time.
This car air mattress creates a cushion that is soft and comfortable. It forms a bed using the back seat and the space between the back seat and the front seat. Having a twin sized bed in the back can go a long way to making your car trips, camping outings, and overall travel more comfortable.
The mattress is designed to stay flat while you sleep and when you’re driving. It has cushions that face downward to fill the gap between the front and rear seats and that also fill the gap between the two rear seats. The bed is made of long-lasting PVC. The top is soft and breathable. The ribs on the mattress provide support for your back, legs, and neck.
You don’t need a tent with this mattress so you can be more comfortable when you go camping, when you go to festivals, or when you are on a long road trip. It saves money, too, because when you sleep in your car, there’s no need to rent a hotel room. Your purchase includes two pillows and a portable air pump.
Be aware that some purchasers report that the mattress might leak. Also, make sure you measure the back seat space in your vehicle against the mattress measurements so you can be certain of a correct fit.
Pittman's air mattress is designed for truck beds that are 6 to 6.5 feet wide. The mattress is 12 inches thick and comes with a portable DC air pump with a 16-foot cord. The mattress includes cutouts that allow it to fit around and over your truck's wheel wells. When fully inflated, it is 72 by 55 by 12 inches.
The mattress' heavy-duty, high-gauge PVC construction makes it puncture-resistant. It also has an integrated air-coil system to evenly distribute weight, and a soft-feeling top that keeps you from sliding around. It inflates quickly and comfortably sleeps two adults. It has a small footprint when stored and provides good air flow when it's hot outside.
However, you may have to keep the tailgate down in order to use this mattress. There have also been some complaints that the air pump fails after a short period of use. Also, it doesn't span the width of some truck beds.
This inflatable mattress is designed to fit in the back seat of most cars, SUVs, and other vehicles. It has a weight capacity of 440 pounds, comes with two pillows, and is made of wear-resistant material to prevent leaking. It's easy to clean using a damp cloth and it has a portable air pump for inflation/deflation.
You can adjust the firmness of the mattress based on how much air you put into it. It comes with a storage bag and can be used on the floor of your house as well as in an automobile. It's very comfortable, holds air well, and deflates quickly. It's also very durable, and some users have had success using it with their dogs (which have long nails).
Unfortunately, it is not as long as a regular mattress and is a little too tight for more than one person. It's also not as comfortable for taller individuals. In addition, if you sweat while using it, the mattress may stain.
This air mattress is perfect for an SUV. It features a polymer corduroy surface and double-sided flocking, and it feels soft. It works well in temperatures as low as minus 13 degrees Fahrenheit. It features four separate inflation areas, so you can partially inflate it or fully inflate it depending on whether it's for one or more people.
It comes with a DC 12V air pump, which plugs into your vehicle's 12V socket. The mattress can support up to 570 pounds, so more than one person can sleep on it at a time. It's easy to inflate and deflate, is comfortable, and fits perfectly in a variety of SUVs, such as the Nissan Rogue, Toyota Highlander, and Chevy Tahoe.
One issue is that it may deflate in colder temperatures or when more than one person uses it at a time. Also, if you inflate it too much it can feel a little bouncy. Another drawback is that it emits a slight odor.
This camping mattress is great for SUVs, RVs, and minivans but can also be used for outdoor adventures. It is cold-resistant, soft, and made of ultra-durable materials. It comes with an electric pump, repair patches, and a storage bag. It also has foldable wings and a pillow. It measures 74 by 57 by 8.7 inches.
The mattress can accommodate two adults, and it's waterproof. It's very easy to inflate and fits perfectly in a variety of vehicles, including a Ford Excursion, Jeep Wrangler JKU, and Toyota 4Runner. The four independent air chambers provide several configurations for an optimum fit. Overall, it's well-made and surprisingly thick and comfortable.
One problem with this mattress is all four air entry ports are on the bottom, so it can be difficult to add more air once it's down. There have also been some complaints that while it works well initially, it starts leaking over a short period of time.
Designed for SUVs, trucks, and minivans, this mattress comes with two pillows, a pump, a sleep mask, earplugs, and a repair pad. It is 53 by 35 by 13 inches and features an anti-collision design for head protection and a backrest for added comfort. It's also quick and easy to inflate and deflate.
One neat thing about this mattress is that it comes with a couple of inflatable blocks that you put under the mattress between the front and back seats to prevent sleepers from falling into the crevice. It holds air well, is very affordable, and it's sturdy enough to support two people.
However, the air compressor has a very short cord, so inflating the mattress can be a little challenging. It may also emit a strong odor, and you may have to add air frequently as it can leak overnight.
Tips & Advice for Car Air Beds
- For SUVs, minivans, and pickups, it’s more practical to sleep with your head towards the front of the car. Doing this will give you more elbow space. Position yourself so your head is above your feet. If possible, make sure you park on flat pavement.
- Adding a foam mattress pad on top of the car air bed can give it a more comfortable feel. For long trips, this can provide the peaceful rest you’ll need to get back behind the wheel or to take over driving duties from someone else.
- Inflate the bed a few days before your planned trip or excursion, then re-inflate it again right before you use it. This will allow the material to stretch and reveal any potential leaks.
Q: Is TPU better than PVC?
A: TPU is more environmentally friendly because it doesn’t contain the industrial chemicals that are found in PVC. However, PVC is more commonly used and more lightweight.
Q: What is the typical weight capacity of an air bed? Can two people fit?
A: The weight capacity for most car air beds is upwards of 800 pounds, so two average-sized people can fit. The mattress is about the size of a twin-sized bed. If you’re over 6 feet tall, however, you may find the room lacking.
Our top pick for the best car air bed is the HAITRAL Car Inflatable Bed. It’s durable, designed to fit most cars, SUVs, and minivans, and can inflate in a few minutes.
If you’re looking for a bargain-priced back seat bed from a reputable manufacturer, you’d be remiss not to consider the FBSPORT BSport Car Travel Inflatable Air Mattress.