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Our mission is to take the guesswork out of finding the perfect sleep products.
We've dedicated hundreds of hours to testing mattresses and sleep accessories, and rely on a team of testers of differing weights, temperature preferences, and sleeping positions to evaluate each product.
Tested products are granted the Sleep Hero tested stamp of approval, a mark of our review's reliability.
If we haven't personally tested a product, please be assured that we invest significant time and energy into scouring the UK market and researching the best recommendations, and we work with a team of sleep experts who review our articles, ensuring that the insights we provide are not only relatable but also reliable.
What is a camp bed?
Anyone who loves camping knows how uncomfortable spending the night outside can be.
The ground is often uneven and can get pretty cold (especially around the UK). ⛄
While Brits often prefer caravan holidays, we still spend around 12.5 million nights camping in tents in a year.
Luckily, there are plenty of camping bed options to keep you comfy and cosy, whether you love caravans or are all about tent camping.
Single camp beds are among the most common, but you can also find double camp beds and bunk beds for camping with kids.
Let's take a look at some of the most popular types of camping beds in the UK. 🛌
Folding beds are the camping bed most people grew up within the UK.
As the name implies, folding camp beds can be collapsed and put away.
These types of camping beds usually have a metal frame with a material like polyester on which campers can rest.
While most folding camp beds have a thinner material layer, some (like the Jay-Be Folding Bed) come with extra cushioning for premium adventure comfort. 😇
Good support is vital; did you know that over 10 million people in the UK suffer from arthritis or other similar conditions?
Generally, camping folding beds are higher and much easier to get in and out of, which is an ideal choice for people who struggle with joint pain. 💢
One of the other great things about fold-up camp beds is that they sit off the ground.
Camping beds off the floor can help keep you warm and dry. 😊
They are also a great space saver as they provide space under the bed where you can store your things while camping.
The Outwell Posadas Foldaway Bed (available in single and double sizes) leaves plenty of space for storage. 👏
Camping mats tend to be smaller and more basic.
A camping mat is probably not the right choice if you want luxury comfort or height. 🙅
However, a camping mat might be the perfect fit if you are looking for something light and compact.
Traditionally, camping mats were either a thin layer of foam or a slim inflatable.
These camp beds roll up and take up very little space in your pack and tent or caravan. 👍
It is also not uncommon for people to use camping mats together with another type of camping bed.
For example, a camping mat can be placed on a foldaway bed to add padding and provide a softer sleeping surface.
Or, you could place a camping mat under an air mattress to add insulation and prevent the cold from travelling from the ground and through the air mattress. 🔥
Camping mats are one of the most versatile types of camp beds.
You can use a camping mat wherever you sleep (whether in a tent, a caravan, or even under the stars).
Just make sure the mat is waterproof before you go. ☔
The Deeplee Camping Mat is waterproof, lightweight, and inflatable.
Air beds, or camping air mattresses, are becoming increasingly popular.
They are an excellent option for camping and can even be used around the home as a guest bed. 👏
Although, a trundle bed may be a better option if you are looking for a more long-term space-saving option for your home.
Similarly to mats, air beds for camping aren't suitable for everyone. 😞
Older individuals and those with back or joint pain may find a camp mattress unmanageable since it sits so close to the floor.
Additionally, air beds can be more easily damaged than other camp beds.
This is particularly true of self-inflating air beds, which sound awesome but can be extra prone to problems.
Holes or leaking air can make an air bed pretty much useless, so there is always a risk that campers with an air mattress may face uncomfy nights despite coming prepared.
Luckily, some come with lightweight repair packs so you can quickly fix any issues and get back to enjoying your air bed. ✅
You can also buy a repair pack separately if your air mattress doesn't have one.
On the bright side, camp mattresses come in all different shapes and sizes and are a popular choice for couples camping. 💑
There are also many automatic and manual pumps that allow you to quickly inflate and deflate your air bed without using your mouth.
Many also find air mattresses relatively affordable and comfortable to sleep on. 💖
One soft and durable inflatable option is the Intex Classic Downy Airbed.
Do you need a camping bed?
Anyone looking to make their camping trip comfier should consider taking a camp bed.
Though, a sun lounger is a great alternative if you're simply looking to chill in the garden or for a fishing camp bed.
Finding something that matches your needs is a breeze with tons of budget to premium camping beds available.
Some of the UK's most popular camp bed brands include Helinox, Outwell Posadas, Deeplee, Vango, Regatta, Hi-Gear, and Outdoor Revolution. 🙌
Camp beds come in all shapes, sizes, and materials, so there will be one that suits your trip needs.
Most online stores sell a variety of camp bed doubles and singles, as well as an increasing number of kid-friendly options like camping bunk beds and children's air beds.
The best camping bed can make everything more fun, whether this is your first trip or you're a seasoned pro. 🎉
There is no need to wake up achy and sore from an uncomfortable night in a tent, car, or caravan if you have the perfect camping bed. 😭
Camp beds are a fantastic camping addition for everyone, from kids to teens, adults, and the elderly.
Camping beds are especially convenient for people who struggle to sleep or suffer from aches and pains. 🏆
Questions to ask before you buy your camp bed
We spend nearly a third of our lives sleeping, so finding the right bed is essential. 💤
While you might not spend much time on a camp bed, your comfort is still important.
Sleep has been linked to emotional health and general well-being by numerous studies. 📗
So getting a great night's sleep is vital to making the most of your camping trip.
But with so many camping beds to choose from, how do you decide?
We've put together some key questions you should ask yourself to help you make the right purchasing decision for your adventure. 🔍
Are you a back, side, or stomach sleeper?
Most of us have certain sleeping positions we prefer. 🧡
Back sleeping is generally considered the healthiest, while side sleeping is the most popular.
As a back sleeper, you can get away with a wider variety of camping beds. 👌
But stomach sleepers should look for a firmer camp bed that keeps their spine from caving.
Side sleepers tend to need something with a little more give so their shoulders and hips can sink and their spine stays aligned. 🐑
Air mattresses like the Intex Classic Downy Airbed tend to feel more comfortable for side sleepers.
How long will you be camping?
If you're camping for just a night or two, you may want to choose a camp bed that's cheap or small.
But if you plan to camp for longer, it's worth investing in a higher-quality camp bed built to last and keep you comfortable. 💪
The Helinox Lite Camp Bed is on the more expensive end but will last for years (decades even).
Where are you camping?
Will you be sleeping in your car, a tent, or perhaps a caravan? 🚗
Folding camp beds are some of the best camping beds for tents or caravans, but they don't always work well space-wise in cars.
Caravans and cars retain heat better than tents, so you can get away with camping with an air bed without worrying about insulation.
However, if you're looking for the best camping beds for tents, you'll need something that prevents heat loss through the ground, like an insulated mat or an elevated camp bed.
Do you have any joint or back pain?
A folding camp bed is your best bet if you suffer from joint or back pain.
The height of camping bed cots makes them much more accessible, especially for people with mobility difficulties. 👴
Camping cots also provide superior support compared to air beds or thinner camping mats.
The best option for someone suffering from back or joint pain would be something like the Jay-Be folding bed. 👍
While not as good as a quality memory foam mattress, the Jay-Be folding bed has an attached mattress.
A camp bed with a mattress generally offers better support and comfort than most camp beds.
Will you be trekking with camp gear?
A camping trip that involves lots of walking with your camp gear means you'll need to be extra careful about what you pack.
Luckily, many camping beds come with a carry bag for effortless transport and storage. 👜
The Deeplee Camping mat is inflatable and comes in a transport bag, so it's extra convenient.
How much space do you have?
Mats and air beds (depending on the pump) usually pack down smaller than folding camp beds.
If you are taking a small tent or know you don't have much storage space, you'll need to factor this into your decision. 💁
Camping mats generally take up the least amount of room, so they are ideal if you are particularly strapped for space.
Traditional folding camp beds are typically higher and could leave you squashed against the roof of a car. 😖
But campers can store things under a folding bed, so they can be a wonderful way to make the most of your space.
Whatever you choose, check the measurements of the camping bed you want against your tent, car, or caravan to avoid misorders. 📏
Camping bed sizes
Unlike most beds and mattresses, camp beds and mattresses don't always come in standard sizes. 📏
This lack of standard sizing means you must be extra careful choosing a camping bed if you want to ensure it's the right size.
Luckily, the variety of camp bed sizes means there is something for everyone. 😁
Most are camp beds singles, designed for one person, usually with a width of around 70 cm (28 inches).
However, you can also find camping beds for two or small ones for children. 💑
Camping beds for children
Did you know that you can get camp beds for children? 🧒
There are lots of funky designs out there that are guaranteed to get your little ones excited for the upcoming camping trip.
You'll be sure to find some stylish children's air beds at Argos.
Alternatively, outlets like Amazon have all sorts of options if you're shopping for a child's camp bed, including a range of children's air beds, camping bunk beds, or small camping mats.
Camping beds for couples
Technically, couples can always use two single camping beds.
However, many couples prefer to use a camping bed double rather than having to deal with two single camp beds (which might migrate during the night).
The best camping bed for couples must be strong, sturdy, and meet your personal preferences. 💪
Luckily, you can find both air beds and folding camp beds for couples.
A high-quality double camp bed will allow you and your partner to cosy up and get a great night's sleep. 😍
The best camping beds for couples:
Camp beds are essential for a comfortable camping trip, but they're not the only thing you'll need.
Let's take a look at some more essential camping equipment. 👇
You will likely need a tent and a bed if you plan to go camping.
Camping tents should protect you from wind, sun, rain and any other weather. ⛺
Interestingly, you can buy a tent with a bed attached, though we think it's actually easier to buy the two separately.
A tent should be robust and lightweight, with sturdy pegs. 💪
Like camp beds, the possibilities of tents are almost endless - from handy 1-person ones to family tents for up to 8 people.
If you’re looking for tent add-ons, groundsheets are handy for keeping things clean, and windbreaks are great for eating and relaxing outside in peace. ✌
For long-time campers and comfort lovers, camping gear starts with camping furniture.
Popular furniture includes camping chairs, loungers, tables, and hammocks.
You can easily stay comfy day and night with the right camping furniture. ⛅🌒
Even if you are camping in summer, you will probably need a sleeping bag for your trip.
The most common type is a mummy sleeping bag, though you can also find bags that unzip all the way if you sleep warm.
Cotton and linen sleeping bag liners are most popular in summer, while fleece-lined options are best for colder winter camping trips. 🌞
You might also want to bring a heater if you are camping in colder weather or are particularly prone to getting cold.
What comes after hiking and setting up the tent?
It's time to eat and relax, of course. 😋
Simple or elaborate, the right camping kitchen will help you cook a delicious meal.
There’s camp kitchen gear for every trip, from portable hobs to miniature BBQs. 🍳
Let's face it, camping is more fun when you have the right camping equipment. 💃
There's nothing worse than arriving at your campsite only to realise your tent is ripped or the air bed is deflating.
You're in for a rough night if you don't have anything to use to repair your camping equipment.
Luckily, items like repair tape can help you get things back on track. ❤️🩹
The Gear Aid Tenacious Tape can be used to repair all sorts of fabrics, including tents and air mattresses or mats.
Our favourite camping accessories:
Should you buy a camp bed?
A camp bed is a must if you are going camping.
Finding your perfect match should be a breeze. 🍃
There are camping beds in every size, in all shapes, and for every budget.
The best camp beds will help you get a good night's sleep so you wake up energised and ready to enjoy every aspect of your camping adventure.