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Published Jun 4, 2022 9:00 AM

At a certain point, every outdoorsy couple looks at their matching twin sleeping pads and wonders why their tenting setup resembles a 1950s sitcom bedroom: time to upgrade to a couples camping mattress. But getting your first double-wide sleeping pad is typically a significant investment—and one that can mean the difference between a cozy, restful night of sleep and dark looks on the car ride home. To help you make the right choice for you and your significant other, we checked out seven popular models to find the best camping mattresses for couples available today: 

Things to Consider Before Buying a Couples Camping Mattress

Shell Material

The exterior of inflatable camping mattresses for couples are typically constructed from either polyester or nylon at varying thicknesses, which is measured in denier (D). Most camping mattresses for couples are around 75D in thickness, with a thicker shell providing additional durability. Nylon is generally a stronger material than polyester, but laminates (which can make a pad more airtight) apply better to polyester than to nylon.

Foam

Some camping mattresses for couples use all foam, some use all air, and some use a combination of both. There are advantages and disadvantages to these different makeups. Camping mattresses that include foam tend to be bulkier, while all-air mattresses tend to suffer more long-term durability issues and have more motion transference that can be a problem for light sleepers. While those that use both foam and air typically feel more like the mattress you use at home (and also are typically middle of the road for durability and packed size), they are almost always the most difficult to set up and pack away. 

Stored Size

There are two stored sizes to keep an eye on when choosing a camping mattress for couples—the stored size in your car, and the stored size in your home. While air mattresses and closed-cell foam mattresses will be the same size in both situations (small and huge, respectively), self-inflating mattresses, which should be left inflated when stored in your home, can be rolled up to a manageable size in transit. 

R Rating

As anyone who has been camping during a shoulder season knows, the cold from the ground will suck out your body heat faster than cold air, leaving you shivering underneath even the best sleeping bags and best camping blankets. The R value measures how well the pad insulates (or “resists,” hence the R, the cold,) with 1 being the lowest rating (suitable for lowland camping at the height of summer) all the way up to 10 (typically only needed in extreme conditions). Where sleeping pad manufacturers once conducted their own testing (or in some cases simply guessed) as of 2020, R ratings are standardized by the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM). Camping mattresses that only use air provide essentially no insulation from the cold of the ground, and typically do not have R ratings. 

Best Overall: Sea to Summit Comfort Deluxe Self-Inflating Sleeping Mat

Sea to Summit

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Key Features 

  • R rating: 6.5
  • Height: 4 inches
  • Weight: 9 pounds, 13 ounces
  • Size: 51 inches x 79 inches
  • Shell fabric: 30D polyester upper, 75D polyester base
  • Packed size: 27 inches x 9 inches
  • Warranty: lifetime

Why It Made the Cut

The Sea to Summit Comfort Deluxe was so cushy that I actually forgot I was sleeping on a camping mattress. 

Pros

  • Extremely comfortable 
  • Warm
  • Durable

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Bulky
  • Confusing valve design

Product Description

Of everything, the Sea to Summit Comfort Deluxe came closest to the feel of my mattress at home—easily the most comfortable double camp bed in my test. Its four inches of foam not only made this pad super cushy but also provided substantial warmth. The 6.5 R rating here was more than enough to protect me from the cold of the ground while sleeping outside in temps that fell to the 40s. I also appreciated that I was able to inflate this camping mattress to my preferred level of firmness after the self-inflation period was complete. 

Sea to Summit Mattress
The Sea to Summit Comfort Deluxe delivered on both warmth and comfort Laura Lancaster

Like all self-inflating mattresses, it’s best to keep your expectations low the first time you try to inflate. During testing, the Sea to Summit Comfort Deluxe did not inflate at all when left open for an hour—typical for self-inflating mattresses during the first use and after lengthy storage periods. (Subsequent attempts to allow the air mattress to self-inflate went much better, but still expect to do some significant top-off). The valve for the Comfort Deluxe is also somewhat confusing if you are used to the valves seen on their air sleeping pads: the valve that I thought I was supposed to use to dump out all the air from the mattress was in fact the valve to self inflate. To deflate the mattress, I had to open the self-inflate valve, flip the toggle around (not twist, which is what the arrow on the toggle initially seems to imply) to the side that said “deflate,” and then reattach it to the valve. But once you get the hang of the setup, this one comes together surprisingly fast for a self-inflating sleeping pad. 

Mattress Valve
This valve looks like the valves Sea to Summit uses on their air sleeping pads, but its operation is pretty different. Laura Lancaster

The dimensions of the Sea to Summit Comfort Deluxe when rolled up are significant—this pad was as big as the 8-person tents that I tested on the same trip. It is also recommended that you store this pad inflated at home to maximize its lifespan, which can be difficult for anyone with limited storage space. 

Best for Cold Nights: EXPED DeepSleep Mat Duo 7.5 LW+

EXPED

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Key Features 

  • R rating: 9.0 
  • Height: 3 inches
  • Weight: 9 pounds, 13 ounces
  • Size: 52 inches x 77.6 inches
  • Shell fabric: 75D polyester 
  • Packed size: 27.6 inches x 11.8 inches
  • Warranty: five years

Why It Made the Cut

The EXPED Deep Sleep Duo was so warm that our 20-degree quilt ended up being too warm on a night when temps dropped into the forties. 

Pros

  • Extremely warm
  • Comfortable
  • Durable
  • Multiple size options available

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Bulky

Product Description

The EXPED Deep Sleep was a close second to the Sea to Summit Comfort Deluxe during testing, just losing out on sheer comfort. But if I was headed out on a car camping trip during the shoulder season months, there is no question that this is the camping mattress I would bring along. The 9.0 R rating on this pad was very noticeable, even when temps dropped into the forties on my testing trip. In fact, I got so warm while sleeping on this pad that I had to kick off part of the sleeping quilt I was using. My husband ended up switching to a lightweight camping blanket. 

EXPED Mattress
The 75D polyester used for the EXPED is exceptionally durable—something I appreciated when I found a dangerously placed rock under it after the first night of use. Laura Lancaster

While the so-called self-inflatable aspect of the EXPED Deep Sleep behaves similarly to the Sea to Summit Comfort Deluxe—expect to top off both using either a pump (not provided) or use your breath—the valves were much more straight-forward. With the EXPED, there is also the option to purchase a widget that, in addition to serving as an air pump for your camping mattress, can also be used as a light and a battery pack for your phone.  

If you’re looking for the extreme warmth of the EXPED Deep Sleep coupled with the comfort of the Sea to Summit Comfort Deluxe, the popular EXPED MegaMat (which was not in stock at the time of my test) may be exactly what you are looking for. 

Best Closed-Cell Foam: HEST Dually Long

HEST

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Key Features 

  • R rating: pending
  • Height: 3.9 inches
  • Weight: 27 pounds
  • Size: 50 inches x 78 inches
  • Shell fabric: nylon twill
  • Packed size: 72 inches x 30 inches
  • Warranty: one year 

Why It Made the Cut

This closed-cell foam mattress was comfortable and easy to use, even if it did take up an inordinate amount of space. 

Pros

  • Comfortable
  • Easy to use
  • Great for light sleepers
  • Wide size also available

Cons

  • Very expensive
  • Very bulky

Product Description

Self-inflating camping mattresses for couples do an exceptional job of balancing car space with personal comfort. But if storage space is not an issue in your camping setup, then the pure simplicity of a closed-cell foam mattress may be an even better choice. The HEST is one of the best camping mattresses for couples, with two layers of memory foam that provide ample support and protection from any bumps on the ground without the need for additional air. Since the memory foam is divided in the middle (so that the camping mattress can be folded up for travel) it also means there will be no movement transference between two people while sleeping on the HEST Dually Long. 

HEST Dually Long
The HEST Dually Long was comfortable for adults and kids alike. Laura Lancaster

This camping mattress doesn’t really pack down at all, only folding in the center with a handle. It is also awkward to move and surprisingly heavy. If you plan to leave your camping mattress out for significant periods of time (such as in a truck bed), this could be a good choice, but if you are traveling in anything smaller than a Chevy Suburban you may find that the HEST Dually Long takes up more space than you like. 

Best Height: Coleman SupportRest Plus PillowStop Double High Airbed

Coleman

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Key Features 

  • R rating: 
  • Weight: 20 pounds, 8 ounces
  • Height: 18 inches
  • Size: 78 inches x 60 inches
  • Shell fabric:
  • Packed size: 17 inches x 7 inches
  • Warranty: one year

Why It Made the Cut

The tallest camping mattress in my test was easy to set up and proved surprisingly durable.

Pros

  • Great height
  • Compact storage size
  • Durable enough to use in a tent

Cons

  • Provided air pump requires an AC outlet to operate
  • Not suitable for shoulder season use
  • Most motion transference in my test

Product Description

The first thing that you notice about this camping mattress is just how tall it is. I’ve had regular Queen-size mattresses that aren’t this tall. If bending over to lie on a low air mattress has you reconsidering camping, then this might be the solution for you.

Coleman mattress with toddler
The Coleman SupportRest Plus survived an encounter with my smallest tester without losing air. Laura Lancaster

I was impressed by the durability of the SupportRest Plus. After several days, it was still almost fully inflated—more than comfortable enough to sleep on. Unfortunately, the included air pump for this air mattress (a requirement to inflate something of this size) requires an AC outlet, so check to see whether your camping battery pack has one before committing. 

Because the interior of this camping mattress is nothing but air, it’s easy for the cold of the ground to seep in. Consider choosing a pick with a higher R rating if you plan to camp during the shoulder seasons or at higher elevations. I also noticed that the motion transference on the Coleman SupportRest Plus is pretty significant. Light sleepers may not only find it too distracting to share with another person but even to sleep solo. 

Best Multipurpose: Klymit Klymaloft Sleeping Pad Double 

Klymit

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Key Features 

  • R rating: 2.1
  • Weight: 6 pounds 
  • Height: 5 inches
  • Size: 78 inches x 53 inches
  • Shell fabric: 75D polyester
  • Packed size: 26.75 inches x 9 inches
  • Warranty: lifetime

Why It Made the Cut

This foam-and-air double-wide sleeping pad is both comfortable enough for car camping and has a low enough profile to take backpacking.  

Pros

  • Low packed size
  • Comfortable

Cons

  • Not self-inflating 

Product Description 

If you want one pad for car camping and low-key backpacking trips, look no further. At six pounds, the Klymaloft more than justifies its weight for low-key backpacking trips or base camps. And its foam topper above the inflatable air chambers resulted in a level of comfort during testing that was only a notch below the self-inflating pads and closed-cell foam pads. 

Unlike the other camping mattresses for couples in this test that used both air and foam—the Sea to Summit Comfort Deluxe and EXPED Deep Sleep—this sleeping pad is not self-inflating. Plan to spend a little extra time inflating this one on backpacking trips, and consider purchasing the Klymit air pump for car camping trips. 

One thing I noticed during testing was that the construction of the valve looks as if it needs a pump to inflate—but it works the same as an air valve on the best backpacking sleeping pads once you get the hang of it. Two tie-down straps make this one more of a chore to pack down than other backpacking pads but still significantly easier than a typical self-inflating pad. Once I had the Klymit Klymaloft cinched in, its packed volume was smaller than everything but the ALPS Mountaineering Vertex Air Bed. 

Best Air Mattress: ALPS Mountaineering Vertex Air Bed 

ALPS Mountaineering

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Key Features 

  • R Rating: none
  • Weight: 4.75 pounds
  • Height: 6 inches
  • Size: 56 inches x 80 inches
  • Shell fabric: 150D polyester oxford
  • Packed size: 18.5 inches x 8.5 inches
  • Warranty: lifetime

Why It Made the Cut

This all-air mattress took up very little space in my car and was a breeze to set up at camp. 

Pros

  • Small packed size
  • Durable
  • Easy to set up
  • Provided air pump can be charged prior to camping

Cons

  • Not as warm or comfortable as mattresses that used foam

Product Description

For a 6-inch-high air mattress, the ALPS Mountaineering Vertex delivers a surprising amount of durability and comfort. I was able to charge the provided air pump at home before heading out for a long weekend of camping, which made blowing up the mattress a cinch. The air pump was so useful that I ended up using it to inflate the EXPED Deep Sleep and Sea to Summit Comfort Deluxe as well.

While there is some motion transference when two people are using this air mattress, it was less than other air mattresses I’ve used in the past, including those in my test. If you are an exceptionally light sleeper, it might be better to opt for the HEST Dually Long, but for most people this shouldn’t be an issue. 

Mattress Comparison.
There was a significant height difference between the ALPS Mountaineering Vertex and the Coleman Support Rest Plus, but during testing both were equally comfortable. Laura Lancaster

The 150D fabric of the ALPS Mountaineering Vertex was the thickest of any in my test, and the durability showed. After three days of testing, the air mattress was still fully inflated. The thickness of the fabric also didn’t compromise the small packed size of this mattress, which, at about the size of a basketball, was the smallest in my test

FAQs

Q: How much does a camping mattress for couples cost?

Camping mattresses for couples range in price from $100 to over $500. Typically, the least expensive options are air mattresses, while those incorporating high-quality memory foam will be more expensive. 

Q: How thick should a camping mattress be?

The absolute thickness of a camping mattress is less important than the thickness of the foam inside of it. The more foam there is inside of a camping mattress the more like an actual bed it will feel and the more insulation you will have from the ground temps. On the flip side, air mattresses allow couples to choose their desired level of firmness. 

Q: Are inflatable sleeping pads or camping cots better for inside a tent?

While camping cots have a number of advantages over inflatable sleeping pads—they’ll never spring a leak on you—they are typically not as comfortable as inflatable sleeping pads, as there is no way to regulate the level of firmness or support the cot provides. For that reason, some people prefer to stack an inflatable sleeping pad on top of a camping cot so they can enjoy the height of the cot with the comfort of the inflatable sleeping pad. 

Q: How do I choose a camping mattress for couples? 

To choose the right camping mattress for you and your sleeping partner, start by considering your priorities, including firmness, comfort, ease of use, durability, and packed size. Typically, the most comfortable camping mattresses for couples will have a large packed size, while those that are easiest to use will either be less firm or less durable. 

Methodology 

I tested camping mattresses for couples over a series of weekend trips and evaluated them on a range of criteria: 

  • Ease of use: Initial set-up time in my test ranged from multiple hours to no time at all, using either an included air pump or blowing it up the old-fashioned way. I have noted where compatible air pumps are available for an extra charge for those camping mattresses that did not include them in the initial purchase. 
  • Comfort: While sleeping on the camping mattresses for couples with another person, I considered how the cushion level of each pad compared to the mattress I typically use at home. I also paid attention to motion transference, as a major issue for many couples is that the feeling of one person turning over or getting up to use the restroom in the middle of the night can cause the other person to wake up as well. 
  • Packed size: For most car campers, space is at a premium. In addition to noting the packed size in the key features section, which will help you to determine whether you can even fit the camping mattress in your trunk, I also noted how much space you can expect long-storage to take up. 
  • Warmth: In addition to the noted R rating, I used these camping mattresses in shoulder season temperatures to get a sense of whether they provided sufficient warmth for a range of outdoor environments.  
  • Durability: All camping mattresses for couples were in use for at least 48 hours, to see how much, if at all, they deflated during that time. One self-inflating camping mattress, the Stoic Double Cloud Camp Bed, deflated on the second day of use after developing a hole. At that point, it was removed from consideration in my test. 

Final Thoughts

The two self-inflating mattresses in my test—the Sea to Summit Comfort Deluxe and EXPED Deep Sleep—while expensive and comparatively difficult to use, delivered such exceptional comfort and warmth that they earned the top spots in this review. If you have plenty of extra space in your outdoor rig (or plan to keep one of the best camping mattresses for couples in the same spot all season), the HEST Dually Long is an exceptionally comfortable closed-cell-foam mattress. If space is at a premium, either the easy-to-use ALPS Mountaineering Vertex or foam-and-air Klymit Klymaloft provide plenty of comfort.