Last Updated On August 12th, 2021
Camping mats are an essential piece of outdoor gear that protect you from the hard, cold ground while sleeping under the stars. If you dread the thought of waking up chilly with a bad back when you camp out, then you need to invest in the best camping mat to ensure optimum comfort. But which camping mat is right for your needs?
There are several different types of camping mat on the market, so picking the perfect model for your lifestyle can be a challenge. Making the wrong choice can be the difference between a fun weekend in nature or an uncomfortable and unenjoyable trip.
To find your ideal camping mat, take a look through our recommendations. Whether you are looking for a lightweight closed-cell foam model or a supportive self-inflating version, you’re sure to find the best sleeping pad for your needs right here.
Best Camping Mat Reviews – Top 10 Picks
Our overall favourite and editor’s choice is the highly comfortable Trekology UL camping mat. Easy to carry and inflate, its upgraded curved shape ensures a snug and relaxing night wherever you decide to camp out.
Longer than most standard camping mats, the Trekology UL is a whole 191cm long and almost 57cm wide, making it suitable for most body shapes. Unlike flat sleeping pads that you may find yourself rolling off in the middle of the night, this one has a unique curved design that keeps you snuggly in place on your mat for a comfortable night’s sleep.
Made from 40D nylon, this durable camping mat is coated with a premium water-resistant coating – essential for outdoor use, keeping the damp at bay. Thanks to its 10cm depth when inflated, you get good ergonomic body support and extra insulation from the cold ground. With an R-value between 1.6-2, this camping mat is ideal for three-season use.
Thanks to its large valve, this model is easy to inflate and deflate, giving you more time to discover and less time spent packing up your equipment. Compact and very easy to carry, the Trekology UL is one of the best sleeping mats for camping on the market. It packs down to just 18.5cm by 12cm in the included stuff sack and weighs just 560g, so it won’t weigh you down or take up too much space in your rucksack.
On the downside, bear in mind that this model does not come with a pump, although that would make it bulkier to carry and it is easy enough to inflate by mouth. Also, it can be a little noisy when moving around and it does not have any anchor points, so make sure you set it up on a horizontal area without any slopes.
If comfort is your number one priority when camping, the Klymit Insulated Static V Luxe, our luxury choice, certainly won’t disappoint. Warm, lofty and supportive, this luxuriously thick camping mat is super comfortable and also wider than standard models for a better night’s sleep under the stars.
Made from a robust 75D polyester, for better insulation, this Klymit air mat also benefits from Klymalite lofted synthetic insulation. Compressible and lightweight, the insulation gives this camping mat its high R-value of five, effectively slowing the transfer of air between the two halves of your pad for warmer nights all year round.
Measuring 193cm by 76cm, the Static V Luxe is wider than most other models on the market. This extra length combined with the integrated side rails ensures that you remain securely on your warm sleeping pad all night long, even if you tend to move around in your sleep. The mat’s deep welds in its V-shaped air chambers create expansion zones up to 8cm thick for extra comfort, cushioning and improved thermal performance.
Despite this mat’s extra width, it can easily be inflated with just 20-30 breaths. Deflation is also very quick and easy thanks to the dual valves. When you’re done, simply secure it in the included stuff sack and off you go. There is also a handy repair patch included for in the field repairs.
As you’d expect, the trade-off to the extra warmth and luxury from this incredibly comfortable air mattress is extra bulk and weight, although you can still easily fit it in your rucksack with your camping gear. What’s more, bear in mind that with its extra width this camping mat will completely fill a standard two-person tent, although this does give you more room to move around when lying down.
Our best value camping mat pick, the Yellowstone Insulated Foam Pad, is a great bargain buy. It also makes an excellent choice if you are looking for a lightweight sleeping pad or a camping mat for children.
This camping mat is made from EVA, known for its soft and flexible properties. As a closed-cell foam, EVA has very high insulative properties, so this model will help keep you warm even in cold temperatures. Unlike standard foam camping mats, this version benefits from a foil backing. Use it foil side up to benefit from having your body heat reflected back at you, rather than losing it all to the cold ground.
Weighing just 160g, this sleeping pad is very light, making it an ideal choice for anyone looking to travel light, for children, or if you’re backpacking and already have a substantial load. There is no inflation required, simply unroll and it’s ready for use.
Thanks to the included clips, this mat is easily secured after use. It is very quick and simple to get it rolled back up and you can attach it to the outside of your rucksack for your backpacking trips. Given its low weight, and ease of use, this sleeping pad makes a good, albeit basic choice, that will definitely give you a much more comfortable night than using your sleeping bag alone.
At 180cm by 50cm, this model is quite a bit smaller than many others on the market, so it’s less suitable for larger adults. At 6mm, it is not very thick, so you may find it less comfortable than an inflatable pad and the foam and foil are easily damaged.
Make your next camping trip extra easy with our best self-inflating camping mat pick, the Kamui Self Inflating Sleeping Mat. Simply unfold and open the air valve and your camping mat will self-inflate, so you can get on with setting up camp.
Made from heavy-duty 190T polyester, this mat also contains 5cm of insulative high rebound polypropylene glycol foam to keep you warm; providing comfort, support and water resistance. You can also personalise the level of support by blowing extra air into the valve for a firmer mat, or by squashing down your mat before replacing the air valve for less support. Thanks to its high estimated R-value of five, you can use this sleeping pad throughout the year.
One of the main advantages of this camping mat, aside from its self-inflation, is its horizontal and vertical connectivity. If you are sleeping as a couple, simply purchase two and clip them together. For family camping trips, you can clip together three or four for a large sleeping area. Need extra comfort and support? Clip two together vertically for double the thickness.
This highly versatile foam and air sleeping pad measure 192cm x 65cm in size, so it’s plenty large enough for most average body shapes. For easy transport, simply deflate by opening the valve and pressing out the air. The included storage sack and compression bands make it easy to transport and keep it safely stowed when not in use.
While this air mattress makes a great choice for car and family camping, it is less suitable for backpacking given its weight of 1.6kg and its bulky form when folded. You may also find it to be a little slippery, depending on your sleeping bag material.
The best sleeping mat with an in-built pump is the Deeplee Camping Mat. Compact and lightweight when folded, this mat is a great space saver for your next camping trips. Take it with you car camping, or stick it in your rucksack, you will no longer need to waste precious space on pumps or pillows.
At 190cm by 59cm wide, with a depth of 6cm, this camping mat is a good size. Thanks to its highly durable nylon construction, its comfortable polygon design structure is also abrasion and water-resistant making it an excellent choice for outdoor use. It is flexible and easily supports the contours of your body for a good night s sleep.
Not only does the main body inflate to 6cm, but this model also benefits from a 15cm thick integrated pillow section for comfort and warmth. This insulated design will make your nights in the great outdoors much more comfortable, without the hassle of packing and unpacking extra pillows. What’s more, this air mattress is one of the best camping mats for lightweight travel or backpacking sleeping. It weighs just 630g and it folds away into the included storage sack. The packed size measures just 22cm by 18cm.
The integrated pump makes blowing up your camping bed very easy. Simply fold out your sleeping pad, blow into the first valve, then press down on the pump. You can use your hand or foot and full inflation is reached in one to two minutes. Thanks to the dual valve technology, inflation-deflation is also very fast and easy.
Unfortunately, unlike most inflatable mats, the pump is located on the pillow area, although this shouldn’t really get in the way too much once your pad is fully inflated. Also, this camping mat is fairly easy to slip off and you may find that you need more insulation for cold weather use.
If you are looking for sleeping pads for fair weather trips that fold up small and won’t weigh you down, then take a look at this sleeping mat by Hikenture.
Measuring 185cm by 56cm, it is large enough for most adults to get a comfortable night’s sleep beneath the stars. It is both ripstop and waterproof, thanks to its 20D nylon construction. Beneath the surface, there’s a thick layer of TPU that helps to further improve durability and prevents air leaks.
Thanks to its air cell design, movement of insulated air throughout the pad are limited, thus helping to reduce heat loss and giving this air mat its 1.3 R-value. Furthermore, the cell design also helps to improve stability and adds extra support for greater comfort.
The last thing you want after a long day backpacking is to have to spend ages blowing up your sleeping mat. Thankfully, while this model isn’t self-inflating, the Hikenture Sleeping Mat offers easy inflation and blows up in just 10-15 breaths. Its patented check valve prevents air from escaping as you blow it up, for faster inflation and less effort.
Folding down to a compact 26cm by 10cm, this model has a small pack size and comes with a handy carry bag for protection and neat storage. Weighing just 480g. While this may not be the very best lightweight sleeping mat on the market, it certainly is very compact and has a good warmth to weight ratio.
When you’re up and ready to start a new day, this mat deflates in just seconds, simply pull out the silicone tab for an extra rapid deflation. All in all, a highly popular, top-rated choice if you need a compact and lightweight sleeping pad for your next camping trip.
On the downside, there is no grip to this model’s fabric outer so you may find it slides about in your tent, as well as under your sleeping bag. It can be a little noisy and isn’t really insulated enough for winter use.
The Highlander Comfort is a lightweight model that makes an excellent choice if you need a thin sleeping mat for summertime camping. It is also versatile enough for other uses, such as picnics, yoga or days out.
Made from a soft closed-cell foam, this pad is soft to the touch and highly flexible. Much lighter than most self-inflating models, it also has the benefit of not puncturing, making it a better choice for exploring the rugged side of the great outdoors, or for camping with your pets if yours have a tendency to pop your sleeping mat.
Its contour design not only looks good, but it also helps to trap warm air, providing extra insulation and preventing too much sliding on your groundsheet. At 180cm long, this camping mat gives you the length you need without adding on extra weight.
In fact, this camping mat’s low weight and small packed size is its main advantage over most other styles of the mat. Weighing just 350g, it won’t weigh you down. Plus if you are really counting every extra gram, you could even cut it down to a smaller packed size.
The Highlander Comfort Camping Mat is easy to roll up for transportation and storage. It comes complete with elasticated straps that keep it securely in place and enable you to attach it to the outside of your rucksack.
Available in four colours, this summer camping mat is a good choice for family trips out, as well as for general outdoor use. It is very lightweight and easy to use, as well as providing you with a soft, flexible sleeping surface when camping.
While you won’t have to worry about punctures, unfortunately, this mat is quite fragile and prone to tearing with heavy use. At 1.5cm, it is very thin, and some users may find its 50cm width to be a little restrictive, although these measurements are key to its extra low weight.
Whether you’re planning a backpacking trip or need a compact camping mat for travel abroad, the Jökel Ultralight Inflatable Camping Mattress is a highly popular choice. Lightweight and highly portable, this mat is surprisingly comfortable and rapid to inflate.
Measuring 186cm by 54cm, this sleeping pad inflates to a maximum of 6cm, making it much more generously sized than most roll-up camping mats. Impressively, it folds away to just 28cm by 8cm, so you will easily be able to fit it in your rucksack for your backpacking trips.
Weighing just 480g, this is also a very lightweight model, especially given the level of comfort that it provides. If you struggle to fit in a traditional camping mat with all your camping gear, then give this one a try, it really is an excellent space saver.
Not only is this mat highly portable, but it is also very quick and easy to inflate. Just 10-15 breaths suffice to inflate this model fully for a comfortable night’s sleep. The air cell design helps to provide extra support while trapping air next to your body for a warmer night outdoors.
Made from a waterproof 20D ripstop nylon, complete with a TPU coating, this camping mat is highly weatherproof and has been manufactured to stand up to three-season use with its 1.3 R-value estimation. It comes complete with a stuff sack, repair kit and a sleeping mask.
Unfortunately, this mat can slip about a little under your sleeping bag and as there are no raised sides, you may find yourself slipping off it if you move about in your sleep. As the mat doesn’t inflate right up to the edges, your sleeping area is in fact a little narrower than the actual dimensions.
Looking for more comfort in the great outdoors? Take a look at our top camping mat with pillow pick, the Geediar Inflatable Mattress. Lightweight and comfortable, complete with an integrated pillow, this model makes a great choice for when you need to pack light.
At 200cm long with a width of 58cm, this camping mat is one of the longest we’ve reviewed, making it a good choice if you are tall, or just like the luxury of being able to stretch out under the stars. Thanks to its generous depth of six centimetres, you’ll get a comfortable night’s sleep wherever you decide to set up camp.
With its special honeycomb design, your body is well supported and protected from the ground below. This camping mat can support weights up to 100kg, making it suitable for most adults, while the built-in pillow cradles your neck and head for better relaxation.
Double-sided, the green side is a waterproof polyester construction, while the upper is made of TPU nylon, specially coated with an elasticated fabric. This soft knitted upper means that you won’t have any noisy rustling when you move in the night. It also makes it breathable, so you won’t have to worry about an uncomfortable perspiration build-up in summer.
This lightweight camping pad is also easy to inflate, taking just one to two minutes. Its specially designed non-return valve stops the air you blow in from escaping, so you can easily get it blown up in just 10-15 breaths. Weighing just 640g with a folded size of 22.5cm by 9cm, this camping pad can be packed in your rucksack with ease.
On the downside, care is needed as these pads puncture quite easily and over time they hold air less well. Moving the pillow valve to the upper end would make deflation faster and easier.
If you are going car camping and are looking for a highly durable, more natural camping mat, then be sure to take a look at these beautiful Roll-Up Thai Mattresses by Leewadee. By far the best colourful camping mats around, they also make a good eco-friendly choice, made from natural fibres.
Handmade, these camping mats are responsibly and sustainably made in accordance with the Thai OTOP Project, supporting unique locally made products from village communities. If you are looking for a more ethical and ecological sleeping pad, then this is definitely the best one to go for.
The exterior is 100% cotton, making it highly durable and breathable – great for summer use outdoors. For comfort and support, the interior is stuffed with 100% kapok – a natural plant fibre that is traditionally extracted from the fruits of a tropical tree. Double-stitched for extra durability, this sleeping pad is a good solution if you are looking for alternatives to the modern use-and-throw-away culture.
Measuring 200cm by 50cm, with a depth of 5cm, this sleeping mat is a good size and thanks to its ridged sections, it provides plenty of support. When you are ready to pack up and head off home, simply roll it up for easy storage.
Available in a large array of colours, either plain or with sumptuous traditional Thai prints, this has to be one of the most eye-catching camping mats around. Ideal for anyone looking for a firm yet supportive sleeping pad.
Weighing 3kg and rolling up to a packed size of 33cm by 50cm, this camping mat is only really suitable if you are driving to your camping destination. Make sure you don’t get yours wet as they are not waterproof and take quite a while to thoroughly dry out.
How to Choose the Best Camping Mat
Want to find the best camping mat for your next trip? Read through the following features to find out just what you need to look out for.
While most camping mats are sized around 190cm by 50cm, it helps to pay attention to the details so you don’t end up with any surprises. This is especially pertinent if you are fairly tall or like a lot of space to move around. Bear in mind that manufacturers often slightly overstate their measurements and if you opt for an air pad, you may lose a few extra centimetres when it’s fully inflated.
Depth is also important. Some of the more luxurious models are around 6-10cm deep, whereas your traditional foam mat will average around one centimetre. If you’re quite heavy or a side sleeper, you will want to look for a deep pad with a supportive cell feature to ensure that you won’t feel the ground through your mat.
Sleeping pads generally come in three different types, closed-cell foam pads, air pads and self-inflating ones. Consider each type before making up your mind which type of camping mat is best for your needs.
Closed-Cell Foam Pads
Lightweight and fairly basic, closed-cell foam pads can’t be punctured, making them a better choice if you camp with your dog. They are made from foam that consists of millions of tiny closed air cells that help to conserve warmth by preventing heat loss while you sleep.
Foam sleeping pads roll up for transportation, although as they are fairly bulky, you’ll need to attach yours to the outside of your rucksack. While they are not the most comfortable, they are highly versatile and you can use them around camp to sit on, as well as a stand-in yoga or exercise mat at home.
Air Camping Mats
Air pads are available in many different styles. Some more luxurious models are very thick, while minimalist backpacking ones tend to be thinner. If you are looking for warmth and a comfortable night in the great outdoors, then an air pad will definitely help. They are also the most compact type of sleeping pad around and you can easily adjust how firm yours is by removing or adding air.
On the downside, you’ll need to be careful where you place an air sleeping pad as there is always a risk of getting a puncture. Also, some models can make a fair bit of noise when you move around.
Self-Inflating Sleeping Pads
With self-inflating mats, you get the best of both worlds as they feature a combination of closed-cell foam and air for a supportive and comfortable night’s sleep. Self-inflating mats provide better insulation than air pads alone and more comfort than a foam pad. While they tend to be heavier and bulkier than air pads, you can still find versions that are light enough for backpacking.
If you are driving to your campsite, then portability will be less important to you than if you frequently go backpacking. However, it’s always nice to have the option of using your camping gear without your car and with so many great camping destinations easily accessible by public transport you may want to rethink that heavyweight, bulky camping mat.
Weight and packed size are essential for backpacking, however, be careful that you don’t lose out on durability, especially with air pads. If you are looking for the right camping mat for backpacking, then you’ll need to carefully balance your comfort requirements with weight and packed size.
The R-value is a measurement of how well your sleeping pad can resist heat passing through it. Higher R-values mean that you’ll have a warmer night’s sleep. Lower R-values allow your body heat to escape more easily for a colder night outdoors.
If you want to use a sleeping pad with a low R-value for cold weather camping, you can stack it on top of another one. Your new R-value will simply be the sum of both sleeping pads. A camping mat with an R value of two, for example, will be twice as warm as one with a value of one.
Here are some of the more useful features that may sway your purchase decision.
- Surface design – textured surfaces, or deep ridges can help to keep you on your pad and provide extra support. A must for restless sleepers, if you tend to move around a lot at night, look out for models with built-up edges to help keep you on your pad and off the floor.
- Valve – when you’re choosing an air pad, always take a close look at what type of valve is used. Large check valves will make blowing up your sleeping pad much easier as they prevent air from flowing back out while you take your next breath.
- Built-in pump – if you don’t fancy breathing into your sleeping pad, and don’t have any space for a pump sack in your backpack, then you need a sleeping pad with a built-in pump.
- Stuff sack – a stuff sack might not seem that important, but it’s a great way to keep your camping mat neatly stored, both when it’s sat at home and when you’re transporting it. If you’re going for a foam mat, look out for elastic or webbing straps to keep your mat rolled up.
How Do Self Inflating Mats Work?
If you’ve been reading self-inflating camping mat reviews, you’re likely wondering how a self-inflating mat actually works?
Basically, your self-inflating camping mat consists of three layers. The upper and lower layers are made from a highly durable, air-tight material such as nylon with a TPU backing. The middle layer, completely sealed from the exterior and only accessible via the valve is made up entirely of highly compressible open cell foam.
When you open the valve on your self-inflating mat, the foam expands inflating the mattress to its full thickness. To speed things up, the foam core will have small sections removed to allow more air to reach the tiny air bubbles that the foam is made up of more rapidly.
As the foam is highly compressible, inflation-deflation is easy. The air can be simply squashed back out of it. Once you’ve reopened the valve and start rolling up your mat. The air will compress out of the foam centre and your pad will return to its compact original form.
Whichever camping mat you decide to go for, one thing’s for sure, you’re definitely in for a much more comfortable night than you would have without one. If, on the other hand, you’ve not quite made up your mind yet after reading our camping pad reviews, we recommend going with our overall favourite best camping mat and editor’s choice – the Trekology UL sleeping pad.
Compact and lightweight, it’s easy to carry and the small packed size means you’ll have no problem getting it into your rucksack. Made with a durable 40D water-resistant nylon outer, this top-selling camping mat has a luxurious 10cm thickness for insulation, comfort and warmth – perfect for a restful night’s sleep in the great outdoors.
What’s more, its ergonomically curved shape helps to keep sleeping bags securely on your sleeping pad, so even if you move around in your sleep, you’ll settle back into the centre rather than waking up on the cold hard floor.