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
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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.
- Best OverallHAITRAL Car Inflatable BedSummarySummaryVersatile and affordable, this air bed features flocked oxford PVC fabric and comes in three different colors.ProsProsPriced lower than most similar beds, this bed has a sturdy construction/universal fit and can be used for camping and outdoor activities.ConsConsThis mattress is prone to air leaks, which can be caused by frequent use or colder temperatures.
- Best ValueFBSPORT BSport Car Travel Inflatable Air MattressSummarySummaryMade of durable, lightweight materials, this air bed fits most cars and SUVs. Its low price and quality offer a solid value proposition.ProsProsThe 3-inch thick mattress is sturdy, and it takes about one minute to inflate using the included 12-volt pump. The bed is suitable for trips and camping alike.ConsConsThe air in the mattress can deflate overnight and spring leaks. The bed can be noisy if placed on leather seats without a sheet.
- Honorable MentionANCHEER Multifunctional Inflatable Car MattressSummarySummaryThis mattress is basically a portable, twin-size bed, but costs much less. It features high-quality, feather-like PVC construction.ProsProsThe black and blue colors are attractive. This air bed’s 330-pound capacity means it can accommodate several people or dogs.ConsConsThe air pump cord is short, which means climbing into the back seat is necessary. The bed is also prone to leaks and deflation, which can be attributed to factory defects.
Why Trust Us
All of our reviews are based on market research, expert input, and practical experience with each product 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
Ancheer has crafted high-quality outdoor, health, and fitness products for over a decade. Headquartered in Los Angeles, the company manufactures in Taiwan and China. Ancheer prides itself on “long-lasting professional relationships” that allow it to offer competitive prices. Among the bestsellers is the ANCHEER Multifunctional Inflatable Car Mattress.
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.
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 2019
Best Overall: HAITRAL Car Inflatable Bed
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.
Honorable Mention: ANCHEER Multifunctional Inflatable Car Mattress
This back seat bed is about as close as you’ll get to have a twin-size bed while paying a fraction of the price of a real one. Made with soft, flocked PVC, which feels like a feather to the touch, this Ancheer bed is high in quality and provides durability and reliability over its life span.
With a black mattress and dark blue pillars, this blow-up bed is practical and very affordable. With dimensions of 54.6 inches long, 35.1 inches wide, and 17.5 inches high, it’s designed to fit most vehicles. The mattress has a weight capacity of up to 330 pounds so it can accommodate two adults. The bed features two inflatable parts and can be inflated to a specific firmness.
Besides the perpetual deflation that afflicts all inflatable mattresses, this Ancheer bed is slightly smaller than some other air car beds. This model is also prone to defective seams, which may be due to a quality control issue. Yet another issue is the short inflation cord, so inflating the mattress in the back seat can be challenging.
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.