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 with in 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?
Because folding leg camping beds are higher and much easier to get in and out of, they are an ideal choice for people who struggle with joint pain. 💢
One of the other great things about folding 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.
They don't take up a lot of space, either in packing or in your 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 come with 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.
What are the best camping bed materials?
For camping beds, we want materials that are durable and comfortable.
The perfect material choice depends on the type of camp bed.
What works for a camping air bed isn't necessarily the same for a camping mat or folding camp bed. 🤔
But generally, the best camp beds should be made of waterproof or resistant material.
For example, the Helinox Lite Camp Bed is made from waterproof and durable polyester.
There's nothing worse than waking up cold and damp. 😰
Camping can also get messy, so look for durable and tearproof materials that won't easily snag and leave you sleeping back on the floor after one night.
Some great options to watch out for include nylon, polyester, and polycotton.
- Nylon: A robust base material that is often coated and protects against dirt and moisture.
- Polyester: A durable and easy-care synthetic fibre that repels water and dirt, making it ideal for outdoor clothing and accessories.
- Aluminium: A strong yet ultra-light metal ideal for camping bed frames.
- PVC: A lightweight and durable plastic, often used for air mattresses.
While these are some of the most popular options, there are plenty more great materials you will come across.
Steel is often used as a cheaper alternative to aluminium in folding camp beds.
A steel-framed folding bed is ideal if you're looking for the best camp bed and budget is a big concern. 💸
The Helinox Lite Camp Bed achieves its low weight with aluminium, while the Outwell Posadas Foldaway bed uses steel to provide a cheaper price tag.
What to look for in a camping bed?
What is the point of buying a camp bed that leaves you tossing and turning all night long?
Like learning how to choose a mattress, finding the perfect camping bed involves knowing what's comfy and built to last.
You want a camping bed that adds to your comfort and leaves you feeling energised for your adventures the next day. 🤩
The best camp bed should be high enough, have sturdy vents that don't leak, and feature a comfortable top material.
Your sleep is a top priority, so here's what to look out for when buying a camping bed. 👀
Is the camp bed durable?
Whether in the great outdoors or the car, a camping bed should be able to withstand quite a bit.
Air beds for camping tend to be made of sturdier materials than classic indoor ones. 💪
Folding camp beds and foam camping mats are the most durable, as they can never run out of air.
Self-inflating mats and mattresses are more prone to problems. 😫
We recommend investing in a high-quality and perhaps higher-priced model if you go camping regularly.
The Helinox Lite Camp Bed is more expensive than the average foldaway bed but is also super lightweight and long-lasting.
It is also worth paying attention to the manufacturer's warranty.
Does the camping bed come with a warranty?
Not all camping beds come with a warranty. ⛔
No warranty isn't a significant problem, particularly for cheaper camp beds.
However, if you are paying more for a higher-quality camp bed, you want to know that it will last for a while.
You can enjoy worry-free camping if your camping bed comes with a warranty. 😄
We'll talk more about this further down.
Is the camp bed insulated?
Even in summer, UK temperatures can get pretty chilly.
You might not need expedition-worthy camping gear, but a decent level of insulation will help you sleep well even when the English weather drops. ☔
It's common to see insulation (or R-value) in camping mats.
For the summer months, a camping mat with an R-value of 1 to 1.5 will do the trick. ✌
The Deeplee Camping Mat has an R-value of 1.5.
Generally, a higher R-value means less heat can transfer through the mat (either up from the cold ground or away from the warm body). 🔥
Folding camp beds aren't always insulated but are still a great choice since they keep your body away from the cold and damp ground.
What size and weight is the camp bed?
The size and weight of a camping bed are generally less of a worry for those driving straight to their campsite. 🚙
But if you think you might be walking to your camping spot, the lighter your bed, the better for you.
It is also worth considering the size of a camp bed since you'll likely have limited space for sleeping and storage.
A folding camp bed, particularly like the steel frame Jay-Be Folding Bed that comes with a mattress attached, may be too bulky to pack in your car or store at home.
You know your plans and space best, so just remember to choose accordingly. 💭
Does the camp bed come with a pump or repair kit?
As mentioned, some camping beds (like air mattresses and iso mats) are more prone to problems than others.
The last thing you want is to sink to the ground while trying to sleep. 😫
If you decide to use an air mattress or mat for camping, consider choosing one that comes with a repair kit or purchase one to bring on your adventure.
Of course, you can avoid air mattresses in favour of foam mats or folding camp beds since these are less likely to break.
But sometimes, an air mattress or mat is the most practical option. 🤷
The fold up small, and you can choose the firmness level you desire.
We love the Deeplee Camping Mat for its durability and minimal size.
Camping bed guarantee
Some camp beds come with a guarantee.
Most of the cheaper brands do not provide a guarantee and only allow customers to return items within the usual 30 days. 😕
But other camping beds offer a guarantee so that customers can return items if they run into any issues after these 30 days.
For instance, customers can get a 5-year guarantee with the Jay-Be Folding bed. 🎉
Sleeping isn't always easy, even at home. 😰
So it's worth ensuring you have everything you need to make yourself as comfy as possible so you can enjoy every moment of your camping trip.
You should also consider bringing a pillow for the best night's sleep. 😴
Some camp beds, especially air mattresses and mats, have built-in pillows.
For instance, the Deeplee Camping Mat has a lifted pillow section built into the design.
The Deeplee pillow isn't super tall, so those who sleep on their side might not love it.
But, the all-in-one design of the Deeplee camp mat is perfect for those trying to pack light.
You should bring an actual pillow if you want an even more comfortable night or need extra support for neck pain.
The best pillows ensure a good night's sleep and a happy body when you wake.
A supportive pillow with a removable cover is ideal for camping and at home. 👍