Whether you’re hiking, camping, or glamping, you’ll need the perfect camping gear to sleep on. After all, nobody wants to sleep on bare earth. However, if you are glamping, you would need more than just an inflatable air mattress. You would prefer something that is as fashionable as it is comfortable.
Why do People Glamp?
Before determining the best air bed in the market, you’d need to understand why those who glamp prefer air mattresses to the traditional sleeping bags. Glamping is a relatively new word, which describes the luxurious and fashionable type of camping. You can view it as camping in a five-star accommodation with all the fancy trimmings.
There are a few reasons some Aussies prefer glamping to traditional camping. For one, glamping can give you the best of both worlds—action and adventure without compelling you to rough it up. Glamping facilities usually offer modern amenities like a hot shower or a place to set up your inflatable spa. One of the most important aspects of glamping is giving you a nice place to sleep in. Whilst setting up your own tent and sleeping bag on cold, hard ground might seem exciting for some, it can be a daunting and uncomfortable experience for beginner campers. Using sleeping bags can cause back pains to those who are not used to snoozing in one. The lack of sleep can lead to feelings of irritability and stress, which might ruin the camping trip for everyone involved.
Air mattresses have the advantage of giving the same firmness and comfortability as your own bed at home. Thus, sleeping on one whilst camping can effectively reduce your stress level, give you a proper beauty sleep, and keep you excited for the next day’s great outdoor adventure.
Camping air bed vs. home air mattress
The first thing you need to know is that an inflatable bed for glamping is different from one that is designed for home use. The distinction lies in the weight and height of the air mattress. For obvious reasons, air mattresses meant for glamping are lighter and thinner compared to those for home use. You need an inflatable mattress that is easier to carry and inflate inside your glamping tent. Another difference is that a home air mattress utilises a plugged-in pump that inflates the bed automatically using your home’s electricity. In comparison, camping air beds use either a self-inflating pump, manual pump (e.g. bicycle pump), battery-powered pump, or one that can be powered through your vehicle’s accessory outlet.
Do’s and don’ts when buying an inflatable mattress
With so many air bed brands in the market, it is easy for novice campers to get confused on which one to pick. As not all air mattresses can address every specific need, you should check on the following when purchasing one for your planned glamping trip.
1. Check the price
The price of camping mattresses ranges from $30 to $300, depending on the brand, size, and material used. Added features like a pump and storage bag can also increase the base cost. Of course, the more expensive air bed features extra trimmings that may or may not add to your sleeping comfort. Just because an air mattress looks fancy doesn’t mean that it’s the best for you. A mid-price item can also be ideal for glamping. The smart choice is to purchase a good quality air bed that is within your budget.
2. Find out the ideal size and weight of air mattress for glamping
You need to find the right balance between size and weight when choosing a camping mattress. Ideally, you would want to buy a mattress that is lightweight and easy to carry. At the same time, you don’t want to compromise its size because this may affect how comfortable your sleep will be whilst glamping. You don’t want your feet to stick out of the mattress during a cold night. Air mattresses usually come in twin (190cm x 99in), full (190cm x 137cm), queen (203cm x 152cm), and king (203cm x 193cm) sizes. Of course, the weight of the mattress is directly proportional to its size. If you are not planning to share your camp mattress with anyone, you might want to stick to the standard twin size for convenience.
3. Consider the air mattress’ height or thickness
The height or thickness of your air mattress also depends on several factors, particularly the amount of air used to inflate your bed. A single-height mattress is perfect on most occasions. However, if you are like the rest of the world who had gone wary of Australia’s wide plethora of creepy crawlies, you might want to stick to double-height air beds.
3. Determine the speed of inflation or deflation
How many minutes would it take you to inflate your camping mattress to your desired firmness? The speed of inflation largely depends on what type of pump you use. If your mattress has a built-in internal pump, it will probably fully inflate in less than five minutes. However, if you choose the type that needs an external pump, the rate of inflation would depend on your manual effort. Inflated beds tend to lose some of their air through the night due to the variations in temperature. This can lead to loss of firmness and the eventual sagging of your mattress during your sleep. Whilst a camping bed equipped with automatic internal pumps are pricier, it is still the better choice between the two pumps. You’d also want to consider the speed of deflation which could create an unnecessary delay in your itinerary, that is, if it takes too long to deflate and pack your air mattress.
4. Look into materials used
A quality air bed must not have any lumpy spots. You need to choose an air mattress that has a core made of internal air coils. These coils do not only keep the shape of your mattress, but also provide your preferred firmness. Aside from the internal air chambers, your mattress should be made of some waterproof material such as PVC or rubber. In addition to their “weatherability”, these materials are also known for durability. This means that your air mattress won’t be punctured easily by foreign elements that might be present on the ground where you set up the bed. Another plus in buying a PVC-made air mattress is that it rarely smells as strongly as other materials, which often give off a rubbery scent.
5. Make sure it is covered by warranty
Most air bed brands offer at least one-year warranty. This usually covers both the bed and the pump, except when the pump was purchased separately. In the event of your mattress being damaged or punctured, it is recommended that you buy a new air bed instead of fixing the old one. After all, most serious repairs cost almost the same as the brand-new items.
6. Evaluate the other features
Some camp beds come with their own frames that could serve as a foundation if you need protection from bugs and insects. If you are amenable to spending a bit more for your camping mattress, you might want to purchase one that has a second set of pumps that would help you adjust the bed’s internal pressure. This helps adjust the bed’s firmness to reduce any possibility of stiff neck and back pains when sleeping.
7. Read air bed reviews before purchasing one
Quality camping mattresses are not cheap, which is why you need to double check your chosen product. Determine if it fully meets your expectations. Because you cannot inflate your chosen air mattress inside the store just to see how it feels like, the next best thing is to read several product reviews.
8. Make sure you can sleep on it
Even when the amenities in a glamping site are almost similar to those you can find at home, you can’t blame some glampers for feeling a bit uncomfortable whilst sleeping away from their bedrooms. If you are a light sleeper or someone who is easily stressed by small things when glamping, here are some of the things you can do to guarantee your complete beauty sleep.
Bring your own bedding. Sleeping on an uncovered air mattress can cause discomfort because of its rubbery texture. Fortunately, you can easily remedy this by bringing your own bed sheets, pillows, blanket, and other familiar sleeping gear to help you relax right before sleep.
Use a foam air mattress topper. Whilst this equipment is optional, you should try using one when glamping, as it can add extra warmth and cushion, making the bed more comfortable. However, you should be aware that a foam air mattress topper is not the easiest thing to carry around when camping. Bring one only if you have minimal distance to cover.
Don’t spend too much time on electronics. One of the many advantages of glamping is that you never have to disconnect yourself from modern technology. After all, you’d want to be able to upload all the pictures you’ve taken whilst glamping. However, electronic devices tend to distract people who are seriously trying to sleep. Keeping away from any electronic device before sleeping increases your chance of getting a good rest.
Don’t disrupt your sleeping schedule when glamping. As much as possible, you’d want to stick to your regular schedule. This will help you to prime your body for sleeping. Sleeping irregularly can make your body clock go haywire or have a negative impact on your overall performance whilst glamping.
Keep memory foam at home. Nowadays, a new kind of glamping mattress is gaining traction in the market: the memory foam mattress. If you are wondering whether it’s worthy to switch your camping mattress from adjustable air bed to memory foam, here are a few reasons you shouldn’t. Memory foam mattresses are a great alternative for air beds if it’s meant for home use; otherwise, it is not so practical to glamp with memory foams. Their bulky size means they do not pack as easily as an inflatable bed.
As memory foams don’t need any assembly time, you might think that they are more convenient to use for glamping. However, you need to realise that they can’t be folded and stored as easily as inflatable beds. It can be a problem as memory foam beds occupy more storage space in your closet whilst you are waiting for your next glamping trip. Even with assembly time, adjustable air beds take less than 5 minutes to inflate and deflate so there’s not much of an advantage for memory foam beds there. In addition, memory foams don’t have much of an advantage when it comes to giving warmth and comfort to sleepers. For one, those who are used to sleeping on their stomach would find memory foam mattresses uncomfortable. For another, memory foams tend to sag over time; thus, losing its pressure point alignment.
On the other hand, the air inside inflatable beds can be adjusted easily through a pump so that sagging is not much of a worry. Memory foam beds tend to be thin; thus, they are set up too close to the ground. It won’t be much of a problem if you’re not afraid of bugs and insects that might crawl their way to your sleeping area. However, there is nothing glamorous about sleeping with the creepy crawlies present in the forest. In contrast, you can buy air adjustable beds with double heights to guarantee protection against those pesky Australian bugs crawling on the ground. Air beds are still a better investment than camping memory foams. Whilst they might be less durable than memory foams, air beds are more lightweight, easier to carry, and give the same comfort and warmth to glampers.
Need an air mattress for your next glamping trip?
Visit Outbax. We have a selection of camping beds and sleeping bags to suit your glamping and camping requirements. Aside from sleeping gear, we also offer a wide variety of quality camping gear to help you easily transition from simple camping to fashionable glamping without breaking the bank. Browse through our products today!