According to a study at the University of Michigan, a few minutes of walk in nature can significantly reduce depression symptoms. In camping, we leave crowded cities to spend some time in nature and carry out outdoor activities. But these activities require exertion, and people with dull pains may not find camping intriguing.
Backache is one of those pains that keep ones away from healthy activities like camping. Considering the problem, we have listed the best camping bed for bad backs, so people with back pain enjoy camping activities without worrying about the pain.
Best Air Mattress for Bad Backs
King Koil Queen Mattress
Best Camping Air Mat with Frame
Coleman Camping Cot Cum Air Mattress
Best Camping Pad for Bad Back
Ecotek Camping Sleeping Pad
Low-quality beds can strain muscles, worsen posture and spinal alignment, which cause back pain. A mattress too firm or soft can cause back pain. Now the question is, what is the right bed? There is not a single answer, but a bed that provides support to your natural curves and alignment of the spine, and bed that is according to your personal preferences is the right bed for you.
10 Best Camping Beds for Bad Backs
King Koil Queen Air Mattress Features
- Perfect Size for Couple Camping
- Self Inflating, Fits in to small bag
- Best Camping Mattress for Bad backs
King Koil a luxurious air mattress flocked in velvety soft material and is self-inflatable. The adjustable air level allows you to lock the cushion at your desired comfort level. The ideal firmness level for bad backs is from 4-8, and for some people, the firmness level can be different since the air level in King Koil can be adjusted; therefore, it is the best air mattress for bad backs.
Given its size, it can easily be fitted inside a 6-person tent, and it has a weight limit of 600 pounds, which means a small family will not need a second mattress while camping. Though it is self-inflatable and fills up only in 2 minutes, it deflates frequently, so you have to fill it twice or thrice a week. Also, if you puncture the mattress while filling it, you can patch it with the kits that come with the mattress.
For your peace of mind, the manufacturer offers a one-year warranty and excellent customer service; when you find any flaw with your mattress, call them up, and they will send you a new one in no time.
It is made of high-quality PVC, which is water-resistant. The flocking material makes it non-slippery and slow down wear and tear. A single valve for both inflation and deflation can be confusing at times; therefore, the manufacturer of King Koil has equipped it with two valves; one for inflation and the other for deflation.
★ Self-inflator & Extra Thick
★ The fabric and poles are of high-quality.
★ Adjustable air level
★ Excellent Customer Service
✖ Requires inflation frequently
Coleman Camping Cot cum Air Mattress Features
- Built-in battery operated pump
- Folds small and comes at a low price
- Most Comfortable camping bed
Coleman Camping Cot is an air mattress with a frame specially designed for camping. The frame is sturdy enough for two adults, but it isn’t quiet. Given the price and features, it is the best value for the money. The cot size shrinks considerably when packed, and the package includes a storage bag with wheels for easy carriage, so it is a cot that feels like an air mattress and packs like an air mattress. As the cot is designed for camping, it has built-in tables, which helps keep your tent organized.
It has a built-in battery-operated pump, inflating the air mattress under three minutes and deflating it at the end of the trip. The only downside of the air mattress is it loses air with use like most air mattresses. Note that you can replace the battery-operated pump with an electric pump, but the battery-operated pump is better for camping trips.
Also, fill it according to the instructions; one important step in the instruction is: after filling the bed, let the mattress stretch for a while, and then top it up with air again.
The frame may seem fragile at first, but it is not. It is made of steel and has a maximum capacity of 600lbs. As we have said earlier, the frame is noisy, so if your partner is not a light sleeper, you might hear annoying noises.
The air mattress is detachable; you won’t have any problem of space with this witty cot.
★ Battery-operated pump
★ Detachable Air mattress
★ Highly Portable
✖ Noisy frame
Ecotek Outdoors Sleeping Pad Features
- Easy to use rapid Inflation and deflation
- Lightweight, Compact and Durable Sleeping pad
- Best Camping pad for back pain
ECOTEK sleeping pad is insulated with expandable layers, flocked in weatherproof polyester and rated as a 4-season pad, so it is the kind of sleeping pad that you take for summiting Mount Godwin Austin. Moreover, it is designed compactly to fit in hammocks, sleeping bags and cots. It has an R-value of 4.5.
It is curled along the edges for a cozy feeling, but the valve is directly under the pillow area, sometimes the valve pokes; therefore, use a pillow for avoiding leakage. Note that it is not a self-inflating sleeping pad; you have to fill it manually or use an air pump. Manually it fills in 12 breathes, which is quite laborious, so take an air pump instead.
The sleeping pad shrinks to a size 10’’x3″ when folded properly and comes with a stuff bag. It easily goes inside the bag, unlike most sleeping pads that go inside the small bag after considerable effort. Plus, it has 1.5 pounds weight, which makes it a perfect choice for backpacking and winter camping, and given the quality and design, it is the best camping pad for back pain.
★ Fits in sleeping bags, hammocks and cots
★ Designed for extreme weather conditions.
✖ The inflating valve is placed below the pillow area.
Lazery Sleep Inflatable Mattress Features
- Firmness level can be changed via remote control
- Big enough for 2 to 3 persons
- Folds in a breeze and pack down small
Lazery Mattress has a remote control to change the firmness level; it is named as Lazery for a reason. It packs small and is lightweight compared to its competitors, but its maximum capacity is lesser. It is extremely easy to inflate and deflate the mattress; one has only to push a button. Other than that, it folds in a breeze and packs into a small storage bag.
The material used to flock the PVC is waterproof and feels cozy, and the bottom is non-slippery. Inside, it has superior air coils that support the spinal alignment but doesn’t react to the body heat. Most of the low-quality PVC air mattresses have a bad plastic odor, but in Lazery, you will not smell any annoying odor.
When inflated to its max, it elevates 9 inches from the ground, almost as high as a bed. Also, it uses cutting edge technology, which distributes weight evenly and helps in air retention. The mattress is stable, unlike most air mattresses, which give bouncy feelings and which isn’t good for bad backs.
★ Best Value for Money
★ Remote Control
★ Elevated from the ground
✖ It has a maximum weight capacity of only 500 lbs
EnerPlex Queen Air Mattress Features
- Lightweight Air Mattress
- Wireless pump can blow the mattress 5 times with single charge
- Comfortable and safe
EnerPlex Camping Air Mattress is designed to support spinal alignment, and if you find it, the firm just deflates the air for a few seconds to reach the desired comfort level. Moreover, it has an effortless battery-operated pump, which charges with a 12V charger; it means you can charge it from your car auxiliary power outlet. Once fully charged, it can inflate and deflate the mattress five times; you can spend almost a week with a single charge.
One drawback of the tent is its loose valve; it loses air with frequent use, so one has to fill it to the desired level every day. But that is not a headache since filling the mattress takes less than a minute, still if you are uncomfortable with the loose valve, you can cover it manually.
The weight is light for an air mattress of that size; you can move it around easily. The size is suitable for tents bigger than 1-person tents.
The mattress is low profile, it feels comfy and safe, and the bottom is made of non-slippery material. Though it is made of puncture-resistant PVC, it cannot withstand your constant cat slaps.
It comes with a 30 days money-back guarantee and 2-years warranty. For that reason and the reasons mentioned above, you won’t regret spending money on this best inflatable mattress for bad backs.
★ Easy to charge
✖ Loose valve
Teton Sports Camping Cot Features
- Strong and Sturdy
- It can stand upto 600 lbs weight
- Packs down small
Teton Camping cot is larger than a double bed; still it is light enough to carry to distant camping grounds. When folded, it fits into a small bag; its packed size is 42″ x12’’x7″. The cot is comfortable, but for a better experience, use it in conjunction with a sleeping pad or mattress.
Note that it is a large cot, so do not forget to check its compatibility with your tent before buying it. Given the size, it is perfect for tents larger than 3-person tents.
It is elevated up from the ground by a height of 20 inches; you can keep your luggage under this. The frame is made of steel and sturdy. The S-shaped legs add enough strength to bear a maximum weight of 600 pounds, but the end bars don’t lock in place; it feels clumsy while positioning the cot.
It is a firm cot that supports your spinal alignment, and when used with sleeping pads, it gets more comfortable, and the large size makes it the best camping cot for side sleepers.
You will have to put considerable effort into setting it up, but the size and support overshadow that flaw.
★ Large and high off the ground
★ Firm frame
✖ One has to put considerable effort to set it up
Wellax Ultrathick Sleep Pad Features
- Ultraflex Memory Foam Mattress technology
- Silent, Waterproof, Tear resistant and reflect back radiant heat to sleeper
- A perfect all season pad for camping
You can use the Wellax sleeping pad anywhere and anytime, but it is not suitable for backpacking as it is heavy and feels bulky when stored. However, given its rugged design and waterproof and tearproof fabric—Ripstop Nylon and TPU layer- can be used even outside the tent; one can place it on pointy shrubs and enjoy the surrounding comfortably.
It is self-inflating with two valves for inflating and deflating. When inflated to its maximum capacity, it gets 3 inches thick, an ideal elevation for a sleeping pad. Its size can be used in conjunction with sleeping cots, even if used separately; the pad is well insulated to protect from the cold ground and is water-resistant. Note that it is not as soft as air mattresses, so your spinal aligns with soft mattresses, then it is not the right choice for you.
You can use it in cars, tree tents, etc. because of its flexible design. The downside of this pad is it’s not for backpacking, and at the start, it doesn’t self-inflate quickly. Overall, it is the best camping pad for bad backs.
★ Rugged and Durable
★ Two valves
★ Flexible design
✖ Not suitable for backpacking
Iforrest Sleeping Pad Features
- Built-in Adjustable ergonomic pillow and armrest
- Self inflating sleep pad with double sided support
- Made of waterproof 80D polyester
It has all the good qualities of high-end sleeping pads, and IFORREST added an ergonomic pillow—which is adjustable– and built-in armrest to get an edge over others, and they were right about it; the armrest is a great relief and comes handy all the time.
It is not self-inflating, but it only takes a few breaths to fill it up and the pillow manually. The center part is self-inflating, so you don’t have to put much effort. Moreover, the valve and pillow are perfectly placed, which helps keep it inflated for a long time. If you are big, then you might wish that the pillow was slightly wide.
It goes perfectly with hammocks and camping cots, and I would say it is the best camping cot pad because of its flexible design and size. It should be used in conjunction with sleeping bags or cots in winters as it is only 2.1 inches thick.
The material used—80D polyester—is waterproof and durable, still for your peace of mind, the manufacturer offers it offers money-back guarantee.
★ Armrest and ergonomic pillow
★ Goes with hammocks, cots and sleeping bags
✖ The valves are delicate
LaidBack Sleeping Pad Features
- Cool Flow Technology helps balance your body temperature
- Made of high-quality, low-voc memory foam; Can’t pop or leak
- Perfect for tents, campers and day backpacking
Unlike conventional foam mattresses, Laidback pad Memory foam rolls up for easy carriage and has connectors to connect two or more mattresses. But it is not a luxurious mattress; it is only two and a half inches thick.
The mattress’s rolled-up size is 13″ x 12″ x 24,” and because of the straps, it is easy to carry it on a bike or short hiking trip. Remember that it is only for a single person; your partner shall buy similar foam, so you can attach them and get cozy. If you are a side sleeper, it might be a bit uncomfortable, but you won’t even remember that you had back pains if you sleep on your back.
It is short for people taller than 6 feet, and it is suitable for people under 200 pounds.
One of the main reasons to buy it is its machine washable cover; not all budget mattresses have washable covers. The material is water-resistant and provides decent insulation in winters; this is the best camping mattress for tents.
★ Can be rolled up
★ It has connectors for similar mattresses
★ Budget Tent mattress for Camping
✖ Short for people taller than 6 feet
✖ Only two and a half inches thick
Coleman Comfort Smart Cot Features
- Easy to unfold, easily fits in card trunk
- Built to last: Durable Steel Frame
- Sleeping pad: Thick foam offers superior support
Comfort Smart is a steel cot with removable foam and can support a maximum weight of 300lbs. It is foldable, but even after folding, it occupies sufficient space. You will like it for its stability and price, and if you want to make it more comfortable, use it with a sleeping pad since the foam that comes with the cot is only 1.8 inches thick. Plus, check the dimensions as it is not designed for the tallest humans.
It is easy to unfold and move the cot and will fit in every car trunk. Coleman manufactures durable camping equipment, still offers a 1-year limited warranty on its product, so if you aren’t satisfied with the purchase, you can replace it within a year.
★ Easy to fold and unfold
★ Comes with removable foam
★ Strong and Stable
✖ Doesn’t fold minimalist
Willpo Memory Foam Mattress Features
- Gives constant support, comfort and relaxation to the body
- Removable waterproof sheet is machine-washable
- Lightweight, Perfect for any outdoor activity like traveling or car camping
Compared to other mattresses that come in the same price range, Willpo Camping Mattress is wider and thicker. It rolls up easily and comes with a decent travel bag. Given the weight and packed size, it is not designed for backpacking, but you can use it in car camping and vehicle-accessible campgrounds.
Considering camping challenges, the manufacturer has made the waterproof and dampproof also the bottom is non-slippery. It is a dense mattress; it provides support and doesn’t engulf your body; whether your side sleeper or sleep on your back, this comfy camping mattress treats everyone the same. Moreover, it can bear a weight of 220lbs without unevenly distributing the weight.
It doesn’t have any chemical smell, and the soft velvety cover is almost odorless and feels pleasant. The only downside is it cannot be used for backpacking other than that it doesn’t have any minor or major flaw.
★ Waterproof and non-slippery
★ Firm and soft at the same time
✖ Not designed for backpacking
Ivation Ez Bed Features
- Built-In Pump Automatically Inflates and Deflates in less than 4 minutes
- EZBed Unfolds And Inflates To a Standard Bed Height
- Provides A Soft And Comfortable Sleep Surface That Also Keeps Your Sheets In Place
Ivation EZ bed is a double camping bed that inflates and deflates through an electric cord and is super easy to fold and unfold. It is the widest air mattress on our list. The coils and flocking materials comfortable and supportive, but it deflates frequently and has a maximum weight capacity of 450 pounds; that is why it did not make to our top products’ list.
It packs in a 26 x 16 x 21 inches storage bag with wheels and a handle for easy carriage, but it takes time to fit it into the bag as the bag is designed slightly small. It has a height of 24,” and the mattress is insulated with high-quality PVC and polyester sheet, you won’t feel cold in it, and the PVC is puncture resistant.
Given the size and self-inflating capability, it is the most comfortable camping bed for couples, but it is not as durable as other air mattresses on our list. For tension free purchase, the manufacturer offers a one-year guarantee.
★ Large air mattress
★ Self-insulating and unfolding capability
✖ Difficult to put in the bag
✖ Deflates frequently
Types of Camping Mattress for Bad Backs
There are different types of beds, which have different pros and cons, so first, you should know about all the types before making a final decision. We have given a brief detail about the camping bed types below.
Cot- Because of their high structure, these beds are best for cold or wet weather. Putting a mattress or sleeping bag on it will save you from the cold ground and provide extra comfort. But cots are not for minimalist camping, as they are bulky.
Inflatable beds- The air inside the bed act as a cushion; usually, these are inflated through an air pump. There are self-inflating beds in the market which are pricey but easy to use. It is okay to use Inflatable beds once in a while, but long-term use can lead to back pain.
Foam Mattress- These are widely used liners in camping, usually because of the added comfort and portability. Plus, people prefer foam mattresses for camping trips over other types because these are widely used domestically. These come in varying thicknesses and are easy to carry compared to most types of bed.
Sleeping pads- Pads are perfect for camping as they are lightweight and come in different temperature ratings. But comfort is often compromised in pads for portability.
How to Choose the Best Camping Bed for Bad Backs
The common method to sleep in tents is a sleeping bag, but that is not comfortable at all, even if you put a tarp under your tent and rug on the floor. Therefore, using a bed becomes necessary if you are not used to the traditional ways of camping.
Water-resistant and tear-resistant
Most of the time, our shelter in the wilderness fail to protect us from rainstorms; therefore, it is better to take water-resistant stuff for camping, especially your bed. Also, the wilderness is full of pointy objects, so for extra protection, take tear-resistant equipment.
A lightweight should be your priority when camping in a distant campground. There are ultralight beds in the market, but most of them are ultralight at the expense of comfort. An average cot weighs around 10 kgs, and a large steel-made cot weighs more than 15 kgs. The lightest beds are sleeping cots and mattresses, so if your campground is not vehicle-accessible or your camping activities include hiking, then take one of these instead of using them in conjunction with large steel cots.
Airbed and Breakable bed
Campers always face space issues both inside a tent or trunk. Outdoor companies introduced breakable or foldable beds a long time ago and are constantly bringing innovations in their products to make camping easier and more comfortable. The breakable beds save you space in the trunk and are extremely portable. Plus, Airbeds can be deflated for portability.
Beds with convoluted joints are frustrating, and some often require tools to assemble them. It is not a good idea to take such beds to camping trips because they will not only waste your time but may act up in the process, so for a peaceful camping trip, prefer simple beds. Note that Airbeds aren’t complicated; most of them come with a pump, and you can even find self-inflatable airbeds.
The insulation ability of a pad or mattress is measured in R-value; the higher the R-value, the warmer the pad or mattress will be. It is measured on a scale from 0-6, so if you are winter camping, then a mattress with an R-value of 6 will be perfect.
Sleeping Cot Vs. Sleeping Pad
Multiple good options lead to indecisiveness because we don’t consider all the factors. Both sleeping cot and pad are good options for camping; still you can easily decide between them if you consider the weather conditions, space and camping nature.
When is a sleeping cot better than a sleeping pad?
Sleeping cots are better than sleeping pads when the weather is wet, and you don’t have a trust on your shelter. Plus, cots are more comfortable, but only if used with a pad or mattress. Sleeping pads are thin, and if not used in conjunction with a sleeping or cot they will feel uncomfortable. Though Sleeping pads provide insulation, but they are prone to pop or leak, unlike cots.
When is a sleeping pad better than a sleeping cot?
Sleeping pads are compact and lightweight compared to sleeping cots. Carrying cot to a remote campground is laborious and sometimes almost impossible.
In contrast, pads are easy to carry. Though pads are closer to the ground contrast to cots, which are elevated from the ground, pads’ fabric protects from the cold ground and provides better insulation than an alone cot. Cots are a good option for cold weather only if used together with a mattress or pad. Apart from that, pads can be used with tree tents and in car camping.
Difference between the sleeping pad and sleeping bag
A Sleeping bag is an insulated tube-like quilt covering a person, that can be closed with a zipper or buttons. Sleeping bags are made of ripstop nylon or polyester and treated with water repellent chemicals. While sleeping pads are usually used in conjunction with sleeping bags to provide thermal insulation. Pads look like a mattress and don’t cover a person like sleeping bags.
Both sleeping and sleeping bags are lightweight and compact when packed; therefore, they are common among hikers and backpackers.
What is an air mattress, and how to use them?
An Air mattress is an inflatable mattress or pad. The air, filled with an air pump, acts as a cushion. Because of the buoyancy, these feel good and comfortable compared to conventional mattresses. Most air mattresses are made of PVC, but some manufacturers have introduced rubber and urethane air mattresses. Air mattresses come in different sizes and are extremely portable; therefore, they are ideal for camping trips.
The usage is not different from conventional mattresses; the only difference is the cushion. Pumping air into the mattress is simple; put the air compressor hose in the hole of the mattress and pump till it fills up. Some air mattresses have built-in pumps, which don’t require manual pumping.
Best Camping Mattress for Bad Backs FAQs
Beds that provide support to your natural curves and alignment of the spine and bed according to your personal preferences is the right bed for you. Firm beds are ideal for people who sleep on their back; therefore, beds with adjustable firm levels are the best beds for a bad back. King Koil Queen Air Mattress and Lazery Sleep Inflatable Mattress have an adjustable firm-level and are designed for back pain.
Yes, firm beds are better than soft ones, but it also depends on your preferences; if you sleep comfortably in soft mattresses, you don’t need a firm bed. Remember that firm beds are evenly and are more supportive than soft ones.
If weight and space aren’t an issue, then air mattresses are the best thing to sleep on. For minimal camping, sleeping pads are perfect as they can be used in conjunction with your sleeping bag and provide insulation.
Yes, they are not only comfortable but easy to use too. The thicker the mattress, the more comfortable it is. But if they are of low quality, then they are prone to pop and leak; therefore, buy high-quality self-inflating mattresses like EnerPlex Queen Air Mattress.
No, almost every air mattress takes 24 hours to expand after filling it for the first time. You should check the manufacturer’s instructions because some air mattresses require more than 24 hours waiting period.
Yes, the thick air cushion provides more comfort than most types of beds. But they aren’t insulated for winter camping so that you will be uncomfortable on it in extreme weather conditions.
It is not easy to find camping beds that are convenient and support your spinal alignment at the same time. However, if you know what type of bed is right for your back and have access to the best camping beds for bad backs, it becomes easy to find a perfect bed. We have provided guidance in our descriptions and different type of best camping beds for bad backs, so you could buy the best one with no regrets.
Winnie is a co-editor of the tent house. He is an adventurist, hiker and trail runner. Always eager to learn about adventure camps.