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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BY Noelle Talmon / LAST UPDATED ON April 7, 2021
Sleeping in a car or truck is not comfortable unless you plan ahead. One of the best ways to make the space more conducive to sleeping is by using a car air bed. It's designed to be placed on top of a vehicle's back seat to provide a more comfortable sleeping spot. Some car air beds are cozier than others, and with so many options available it can be challenging to choose the right one. Our buying guide features some of the top car air beds available.
Versatile and affordable, this air bed features flocked oxford PVC fabric and comes in three different colors.
- Priced lower than most similar beds
- Has a sturdy construction and universal fit
- Can be used for camping and outdoor activities
- Mattress is prone to air leaks, which can be caused by frequent use or colder temperatures
Made of durable, lightweight materials, this air bed fits most cars and SUVs. Its low price and quality offer a solid value proposition.
- 3-inch thick mattress is sturdy
- Takes about one minute to inflate using the included 12-volt pump
- Bed is suitable for trips and camping alike
- Air in the mattress can deflate overnight and spring leaks
- Bed can be noisy if placed on leather seats without a sheet
Helps you have a good rest when you sleep in your car. Also great for vans and SUVs. Unique design that keeps it flat. Made of cushioned, thick materials. Use it for camping, festivals, and long trips.
- Mattress is designed to fill the space between the floorboards and seat
- Mattress itself is made from durable PVC, while the top is soft and breathable
- Ribbing provides superior support for legs, back, and neck
- Includes a portable air pump and two pillows
- Some reports of leaks
- May not fit as described
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Why Buy a Car Air Bed?
- It's convenient and cost-effective. If you want to save a few bucks while traveling, you can sleep in your vehicle instead of paying for a hotel room. Once you find a safe spot to park, you can take a nap or sleep overnight in the comfort of your own car or truck.
- It's great for camping. Many seasoned campers know the importance of using an air mattress. While an inflatable car bed is great for your vehicle, it also doubles as a camping air mattress. If you want to wake up feeling refreshed, it helps to have a proper mattress at your disposal.
- Children love them. If you travel regularly with children, you know how cranky they can get if they're uncomfortable. A car air bed or a minivan air mattress is a great option if you want your kids to sleep better when you're driving to see friends or family or getting out of town for a vacation.
- Pets love them. It's also a good idea to set up a comfortable space for your dog or other pet during a road trip. A car air bed provides ample cushioning so your canine companion can relax on the road.
- Transport fragile items. You can also use a car air bed to move precious cargo. If you put it underneath fragile objects that you want to move from point A to point B, it will provide a little bit of protection and cushioning.
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.
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, pet care, and household products. Olivia and Aiden’s Inflatable Car Air Mattress is a hot item.
Sierra Designs got its start in 1965 in California. The company produces all kinds of camping gear, from tents and sleeping bags to backpacks and clothing. We recommend the Sierra Designs 2 Person Queen Camping Air Bed.
KingCamp has been in business since 2004 and is a leader in the outdoor gear community. It sells its products in nearly 50 countries, including the United States, Canada, and France. It owns over 40 patents and has developed tons of products for campers, including the KingCamp Universal Car SUV Inflatable Back Seat Air Mattress.
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 up: 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.
Check the measurements before purchasing a car air bed. While many are universal and designed to fit "most" vehicles, some may not fit in your particular car or truck. For example, some are too narrow and leave a gap between your head and the door, which can be uncomfortable. If the mattress is too large, it won't fit properly in the backseat. Also, check to see how many people it’s designed to accommodate.
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.
- Ease of Use. The best car air beds are easy to inflate, deflate, and store when not in use. Plus, they should accommodate your backseat comfortably with minimal adjustments. Many air mattresses have extra bolsters or pillows, which make sleeping more comfortable. Also, check to see if it has a double valve, which helps prevent leaks.
Best Car Air Beds Reviews & Recommendations 2021
- 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?
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?
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.