LAST UPDATED: February 10, 2021
The Best Camping Mats (Review & Buying Guide) in 2021
Increase your comfort while sleeping in the great outdoors with these camping mats.
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PUBLISHED ON February 10, 2021
If you’ve ever spent a night under the stars in a tent, you know just how incredible the experience can be — well, as long as you don’t wake up with aches and pains, that is. Camping is usually a fun experience, but camping in a tent can sometimes cause serious headaches (as well as other pains) when you set up your sleeping bag to lay down on the ground. Problems like rocky ground, uneven surfaces, or even just the plain lack of cushioning and support can leave you longing for your bed. However, you can boost your comfort and get a better night’s sleep outdoors by using a camping mat. Available in different thickness levels and made from many different lightweight materials, a camping mat can be your most helpful camping accessory. Here we list the best camping mats you can find.
A thick, supportive mat that’s tough enough for every outdoor environment.
- 2 inches of sturdy material
- Made with tear-resistant fabric
- Backed by a lifetime replacement policy
- The bottom of the pad is a bit slippery
An affordable, lightweight option with solid cushioning and decent support.
- Non-slip material keeps the mat in place
- Insulates while you sleep
- Rolls up for easy carrying
- Tears and rips pretty easily
A comfortable, warm, and extra-thick camping mat made with top-tier materials.
- Made with strong, tear-resistant material
- Quickly inflates and deflates
- Cushions against bumpy surfaces and rocks
- Can be difficult to deflate
Benefits of Camping Mat
- Good night’s sleep. Instead of tossing and turning all night due to the uncomfortable hard, bumpy ground beneath your sleeping bag, a camping mat allows you to get a good night’s sleep. It offers a layer of comfy cushioning between you and the ground (and your tent floor).
- Critical insulation. Insulation is pretty important when you’re sleeping, and the insulation provided by a camping mat can keep you warm when the ground is very cold. This is especially important so you don’t lose body heat while you sleep, ensuring you stay warm and safe.
- Smooth over rocks and bumps. Forget about rocks, lumps, and other bumps that can appear once you’ve pitched your tent and laid down for the night. A camping mat will eliminate these uncomfortable elements, softening their impact, and helping you feel more comfortable whether you’re sitting or sleeping.
- Light and easy to carry. Whether you’re packing a ton of gear or carrying everything in a single backpack, you can always fit a camping mat. Lightweight and designed to flatten or roll up compactly, these mats won’t weigh you down and can fit just about anywhere.
- Can make an air mattress more comfortable. An air mattress lifts you off the ground so you can sleep on a more bed-like surface, but even these handy additions can be uncomfortable. To achieve better insulation and increased comfort, you can use a camping mat under your air mattress for extra cushioning.
Types of Camping Mats
Air mats are pads that are filled with air. Typically constructed out of tough material that includes insulation and reflective fabrics, an air camping mat can offer insulation in addition to comfort — and many don’t require you to blow them up to use them. Available in many different styles, air mats are very comfortable and very lightweight. They become even more compact when packed, and many allow you to adjust the air inside to achieve a customized level of firmness. However, these mats can be a bit loud if you’re rolling around in your sleep.
Foam mats are the simplest camping mat option, but they’re very comfortable and offer thick cushioning. They’re lengths of dense foam, and quite lightweight. Foam camping mats will never puncture or spring a leak, and they can be used alone or in combination with other types of mats or pads. These mats can be rolled up for carrying along with the rest of your gear. Some people may find foam mats to be stiffer and firmer, and they can be bulky when trying to pack light.
Self-inflating camping mats are kind of a mix of both air mats and foam mats. They’re made with both open-cell foam insulation and air, and they use a valve that draws in air to expand the foam inside. These mats can either be folded or rolled up for compact carrying, and you can find options with varying warmth, sizes, and thicknesses. Self-inflating mats tend to offer great insulation, and they’re quite durable. However, they are heavier than other mats — and they can be more expensive.
Since 1993, Alps Mountaineering has crafted products that can take you to mountain summits and beyond. All of the products from Alps Mountaineering are designed for outdoorsmen and women, with options like the Alps Mountaineering Foam Camping Mat that offer a combination of solid value and comfort for the great outdoors.
Wakeman is a lifestyle brand dedicated to outdoor products — specifically, products that can make your camping trips easier, more comfortable, and a lot of fun. With a wide selection of items, you’ll find camping mats that are specifically designed for getting comfortable at any campsite, including the Wakeman Lightweight Non-Slip Foam Mat.
Camping Mat Pricing
- Under $50: Many camping mats are budget-friendly, and you’ll find mats of all different thicknesses and types priced for less than $50.
- $50 to $100: If you want a heavy-duty or highly cushioned camping mat, you’ll find these options priced at over $50. Some of the top-tier mats, like those made for “glamping”, can reach up to $100.
Weight is an important feature since you’ll need to carry your camping mat with all of the rest of your camping gear. Whether you’re backpacking or packing your items in your car, a lightweight camping mat is always a great choice. Lighter mats won’t weigh you down, and they ensure you aren’t dealing with gear that’s too heavy. Check how much a camping mat weighs (both inflated and compressed) to find the right fit for you.
How a camping mat inflates is also very important. Most mats do require some kind of inflation, and most require you to inflate with your breath. Look at how much air a camping mat needs and if it’s possible to inflate quickly. Some options, like foam mats, don’t need any inflation at all — you can simply unroll them and you’re done with the setup. Others self-inflate, which is also incredibly easy and convenient.
Camping mat material affects both insulation and your comfort. Thicker materials, or materials that can prevent heat loss, will offer better insulation when you’re on cold ground. You’ll also want to consider materials that are grippy or non-slip to prevent movement while you sleep. And since some materials can be crinkly or loud when you move or roll around, you’ll want to choose a mat that isn’t made with noisy material.
- Don’t Forget About Width and Length. You want to make sure you’ll fit on your camping mat, so make sure to look at both the width and length before buying. You can use your sleeping bag or your measurements as a guide — just make sure to give yourself a little room to roll around.
- Think About Where You’ll Use Your Mat Most. Do you frequently drive to campsites? Do you prefer backpacking? Are you a cold-weather camper or do you only break out your tent when it’s warm? Think about how you plan to use your camping mat to narrow down your options and find one that will meet your biggest needs.
- Insulation and R-Value Matter. Insulation and R-value are two pretty important factors to consider if you camp in cold weather. A camping mat’s insulation determines how much heat loss — or how little — you’ll experience. The R-value refers to how resistant the mat is to the cold. Assess these details if you’re picking out a mat that you’ll use in cold environments.
Best Camping Mats Reviews & Recommendations 2021
The Sleepingo Camping Sleeping Pad Mat is a fantastic all-around product, and it’ll deliver the comfort and durability you need no matter where you’re headed. Camping in bad weather? This mat has you covered. Need more comfort on rough ground? You’ll be well-cushioned. Made to survive it all, this camping mat offers two inches of thick support underneath your sleeping bag. It’s made with 20D ripstop tear-resistant nylon material, and it’s fully waterproof. Super sturdy thanks to its tough material, the mat can survive even severe outdoor conditions. And it’s lightweight too, weighing just 14.5 ounces, and can fold down to the size of a small water bottle. Even better, this mat is backed by a hassle-free lifetime replacement, so you can always trust in the reliability of this camping pad.
If you’re hoping to get solid comfort at an affordable price, the Alps Mountaineering Foam Camping Mat is an excellent choice. This lightweight camping mat offers the right balance of thick padding and firm density for sleeping support thanks to its dense, closed-cell textured foam material. That foam also works to insulate you against the ground, keeping you warmer in cold temperatures and preventing heat loss. It’s even grippy, and this mat can help your sleeping bag (and you) stay in place all night long. The mat measures 20 x 72 x 0.38 inches in size and can roll down into a compact size of 6 x 20 inches for travel. It comes with straps so you can attach and carry it with ease — and with a weight of just 9 ounces, you’ll barely notice it.
For extra comfort and a luxurious sleeping experience, you’ll want to take a closer look at the Wellax UltraThick FlexFoam Sleeping Pad. This premium product does feature a higher price, but it offers benefits that the pickiest campers can’t find fault with. It’s a self-inflating camping mat that stands 3 inches thick, offering cushioning with a combination of ripstop nylon fabric, memory foam, and thermoplastic material. It measures 77 x 28 inches in size and features an R-value of 9.5 — ideal for all-season camping. You’ll enjoy a cushy, comfortable sleeping surface that supports your weight and eliminates bumps and rocks underneath. It’s also highly durable thanks to tear-resistant materials like laminated 20D TPU and nylon, and it’s even waterproof so you’re protected in rainy conditions. You’ll feel like you’re sleeping in your bed with this convenient, wonderfully supportive mat.
The Powerlix Ultralight Inflatable Sleeping Mat is so feature-filled that it seems like it should weigh more. However, this impressively light camping mat offers you comfort, convenience, and long-term durability in outdoor environments, all in one very sleek package. The mat is constructed with a set of unique hexagon air cells, which ergonomically support your pressure points so you’re comfortable no matter what position you sleep in. It uses a single dual-action non-leaking air valve for inflation and deflation, and when empty the mat can be folded so small that it’ll fit inside your backpack. The camping mat is also built tough, with outdoor-grade 75D nylon and thermal insulation that’ll prevent heat loss. This mat is even 100 percent waterproof. And it comes with both a carrying bag and two repair kits, just in case you pop a leak or run into problems
The AirExpect Inflatable Camping Mat is a great option if you frequently wake up in pain during nights in your tent. This camping mat is designed to offer thick, cushioned, and comfortable support while you sleep on it, supporting all of your most critical points and joints. The mat stands 2.5 inches thick once it’s inflated, and it can hold up to 660 pounds of weight. It’s constructed with an inner hexagon air cell design, which more evenly distributes weight and pressure. And it’ll help soothe problems like back pain and discomfort from uneven ground. Made with heavy-duty ripstop nylon and a waterproof, leak-proof TPU layer, the mat can resist tears, punctures, and more. Best of all, it’s very easy to inflate. It’s a self-inflating mat, so you never need to worry about blowing it up yourself.
If you need a camping mat that can withstand some seriously dirty, rough, and extreme outdoor conditions, the Trazon Sleeping Mat is a great choice. This mat is built to be tough and highly durable. It’s made with extra-durable ripstop 40D nylon and features three layers plus two independent air chambers. It offers extra insulation, making it suitable for rain, snow, and cold temperatures. The mat is also able to keep you supported even if one air chamber becomes punctured. It can handle uneven ground, lumps, and bumps, and is waterproof and tear-resistant. Once inflated, this mat stands an impressive 4 inches thick, giving you comfort as well as a highly cushioned sleeping surface. When you’re ready to pack up your gear, you’ll love that this tough camping mat weighs just 22 ounces and can fold down to just 11 x 14 inches in size.
The Fretree Camping Mat is a great option if you want comfort while you sleep. It offers several helpful qualities, but its size and thickness are two standouts. This camping mat inflates to 2.7 inches thick — and getting it set up is a breeze. It includes an easy-to-use built-in foot pump so you can press on the pump and have the mat fully inflated in just 25 seconds. The full mat measures 77.55 x 26.7 inches in size, and it includes a mat “pillow” so you never have to worry about where you’re laying your head. If you’re camping in cold temperatures, this camping mat can also help you stay warm. It’s made with heavy-duty 40D nylon material that’s waterproof and won’t become damp, and it can insulate your body against the cold ground temperature.
One of the biggest drawbacks of camping mats is their slim, small size — but if you choose the Ysxhw Self Inflating Camping Pad, you’ll have more room to move around. Forget about feeling trapped in tight quarters. This roomier mat offers you the space to roll and turn over, and it offers one of the best thicknesses you’ll find. It stands 75 x 27 in overall size and reaches an impressive 4.7 inches thick once fully inflated; it can even hold up to 400 pounds of weight. You’ll get superior comfort thanks to the extra thickness, and you won’t notice any bumps, unevenness, or other uncomfortable factors on the ground. Despite its large size, this camping mat is easy to inflate with the included built-in foot pump and easy to carry thanks to its weight of just 2.7 pounds.
The Wakeman Lightweight Non-Slip Foam Mat is a good product to pick if you want a camping mat that’s well-rounded. This mat is luxuriously comfortable and nicely cushioned, and it’s also very lightweight and perfectly portable. It’ll cover all of your camping bases. It measures 72 x 24 inches and stands 0.5 inches thick. Made out of premium, high-density EVA foam, you’ll be nicely cushioned and supported across your entire body. When you’re ready to hit the trail or head home, this 1-pound camping mat rolls up so you can easily carry it on your backpack. With a non-slip surface on either side, this mat also ensures you won’t move around at nice on either side. It’ll also offer good insulation in cold weather, helping to place distance between your body and the cold temperature of the ground.
When it comes to sleeping comfortably, memory foam is one of the best materials — and with the Clostnature Self Inflating Sleeping Pad, you can bring a memory foam mat along with you on every camping trip. It offers wonderful comfort, cushioning, and supporting you on the ground with a thickness of 1.5 inches. Made with a combination of thick memory foam padding and 210T polyester taffeta, this camping mat features an R-value of 4 for great insulation in cold weather. The mat is also waterproof and highly resilient so you can trust that it won’t break down or puncture when you’re in pretty rugged outdoor conditions. You’ll also love the lifetime warranty behind this camping mat, which ensures you can always get a problematic product replaced.
- The more features a camping mat has, the more expensive it typically is. Simple mats can do the trick — so decide which features are the most important to you to avoid overspending.
- If you’re a backpacker, look for a camping mat that can collapse or fold down to a small, thin package. You’ll want something that can easily slip into your pack without taking up much room.
- Need an extra-tough mat? Look for camping mats made with material that prevents rips, tears, and punctures. The tougher the exterior material, the better it’ll handle rough environments.
- For more cushioning and insulation, it is possible to stack multiple mats. This works best if you’re using foam camping mats, and it’s an easy way to customize non-inflating mats to your preferences.
Q: What is the most comfortable sleeping pad for camping?
We like the Sleepingo Camping Sleeping Pad Mat, which is the mat we consider the best of the bunch.
Q: What is the best sleeping pad for side sleepers?
Side sleepers will want a camping mat that’s thicker for better support. An option like the Wellax UltraThick FlexFoam Sleeping Pad, which is extra cushioned and offers greater thickness under your sleeping bag, is a good choice.
Q: Can you use a yoga mat as a sleeping pad?
Yoga mats are very thin and aren’t supportive, so they don’t make for good sleeping pads. Instead, you’ll want to choose a mat that’s specifically made for camping. These mats are made to handle the challenges of campsites and the outdoors, from the bumpy ground to cold temperatures.
The Sleepingo Camping Sleeping Pad Mat is our pick for the best overall camping mat, with excellent comfort and coverage on any kind of ground. The Alps Mountaineering Foam Camping Mat is another great option, and it offers an affordable price that’s hard to beat. Which mat are you planning to try out on your next camping adventure?