Updated May 2017
In the Spring of 2017, we added two new mattresses to our review. The MondoKing 3D came just shy of dethroning the Editors' Choice. The Exped mats we reviewed also just received updates, which we highlight in detail in the individual reviews. We added in a new super budget option, too, by Intex. It's not great, but it works for the occasional outdoor excursion and costs $15.
Exped MegaMat 10
Exped gave the MegaMat lineup a few updates in the Spring of 2017. This new version comes with a side-opening stuff sack and larger deflate valve for easier and faster packing. Check out the details on the update in the individual review!
The Exped Megamat 10
continues to dominate the comfort tests. The new Therm-a-rest MondoKing 3d
put up a good challenge in our side-by-side sleep tests, but ultimately came up short. The Exped remains the warmth and comfort king. Yeah, it's expensive. Really expensive. But, if you use it more than a few weeks a year and put a high value on the quality of your sleep, it's worth it. Check out the Duo version below for 2 people.
Read full review: Exped Megamat 10
Best Overall Value
REI Camp Bed 3.5
Want the best mattress you can afford but don't want to spend $219 to own it? Look no further than the REI Camp Bed 3.5
. For $90 less than our Editors' Choice Award-winner, you can have an exceedingly comfortable, super-wide and long pad underneath you that is guaranteed to induce sweet dreams. While 3.5 inches of padding may not sound like a lot compared to the six to eight inches of support offered by the numerous air beds, there is no way your body will be resting on the ground through this amazing mattress. While it is sort of a pain to roll up, and doesn't pack down small, these are minor complaints compared to the incredible value that you get when purchasing this mattress for only $129.
Read full review: REI Camp Bed 3.5
Best on a Lean Budget
Intex Classic Downy
Need something to camp on just once, or for your unexpected guest to crash on for the weekend? Then the Intex Classic is for you. While it's not going to give you nearly the comfort and style of most of the other mattresses in this review, it'll get the job done on a budget. You can purchase this Queen-sized mattress with two inflatable pillows and a small hand pump for less than $30! With prices so low, it's hard to think of a reason why NOT to have one of these laying around, just in case.
Read full review: Intex Classic Downy
Top Pick for Couples
Exped MegaMat Duo 10
The Duo received the same updates as our Editors' Choice Award winner from Exped. We highlight the differences between the 2016 and 2017 models in the individual review of this mat.
Want the very best mattress for car camping that money can buy, but don't want to separate at night from your honey (aka your cold weather bed heater)? Luckily for you, Exped makes their Editors' Choice Award- winning MegaMat in Duo size, the Exped MegaMat Duo 10
. This mattress has the same excellent features and construction of our favorite mat, the Exped MegaMat 10
, but is a full 52 inches wide rather than the standard 30 inches of most single person XL sized mattresses we tested. This queen size mattress uncannily fits perfectly
in the back of pickup truck or minivan, making it the unparalleled choice for your road-tripping rig. Move over cheap memory foam, there is a much better option for live-in-a-vehicle comfort.
Read full review: Exped MegaMat Duo 10
Top Pick For Convenience
Therm-a-rest NeoAir Dream
Want a mattress that is quick and easy to use and packs down smaller than the others, all while barely compromising on comfort? Check out the Therm-a-rest NeoAir Dream
, the most convenient mattress for car camping that you can buy. While there is one other mattress that we rated higher (see our Editors' Choice Award winner above), there is no doubt that it is very large, heavy, and feels like wrestling a bear to get deflated. In comparison, this mattress works like a Dream. Its zip open construction reveals that it is made of a combination of an inflatable Therm-a-rest pad with soft foam on top, all covered by a plush velvety top. The versatility of this mattress is a strength, as its small size makes it easy to pack around, and it easily joins with others of its kind to create a double wide. For the most convenient choice among these contenders, we recommend the NeoAir Dream.
Read full review: Therm-a-rest NeoAir Dream
Best Comfort and Size Combo
Therm-a-Rest MondoKing 3D
Love the Exped MegaMat
, but just can't fit it into your tent? Us either - try the Therm-a-Rest MondoKing 3D
instead. Nearly the MegaMat's equal in comfort and cost, the MondoKing is a full 5 inches narrower, meaning it's so much easier to fit into that 2-person tent you already have. With the insane comfort and convenient width of the MondoKing, you AND your partner can lounge on a princess-worthy mattresses when the two of you go camping together. No need to revert back to your old uncomfortable sleeping pad just because you've got a tent buddy!
Read full review
: Therm-a-Rest MondoKing 3D