Camp Like Royalty With a Camping Bed

Key Points

  • Consider the benefits and drawbacks of a camping bed before purchasing one.

  • Know what to look for in a camping bed frame before you start shopping for one.

  • Bring all the essential sleep items to make your great outdoor adventure the most enjoyable.

  • Check out some of the best camping beds currently on the market in 2023.

People get out and camp for a variety of reasons: Love of nature, peaceful solitude, and quality family time make a trek to the woods worthwhile. However, there are downsides to the experience. Nobody with their head screwed on tight hits the bush hoping to be stung by mosquitos. Nor do people love sleeping on the rough ground and waking up with searing back pain. That's why humanity invented bug spray and camping cots.

Camping is challenging, but it doesn't need to be painful. If you want to catch some quality Zzs while sleeping outdoors, look no further than the camping bed. Though bulkier and heavier than the sleeping bag and mat combo, a camping bed is the best way to ensure you're off the hard, uncomfortable ground and getting that often elusive REM sleep.  

Camping tent with sunset view

Many Names, One Purpose

A camping bed is often called a camp bed, camping cot, or portable bed. These terms all refer to a lightweight, collapsible bed for outdoor settings such as camping trips, overnight beach excursions, backyard slumber parties, and other outdoor activities.

If you're planning on camping in much cooler temps, be sure to narrow your search to an insulated camping bed.

While this piece of gear goes by many names, it serves the single purpose of giving you a comfortable place to sleep at night in the great outdoors. Before buying one, carefully consider the benefits and drawbacks.

Determining if a Camping Bed Is the Right Fit: The Pros

Whether or not a camping bed — also known as a cot — is worth it depends on your preferences and needs. If the good outweighs the bad, buy one. If not, stick with a sleeping pad or bag.

There are several benefits to sleeping in a camping bed; listed below are the show stoppers.


Cots provide a raised, stable surface for sleeping, which is much more comfortable than sleeping on the ground. More comfort equals better sleep. Better sleep means a much more enjoyable trip.

This isn’t rocket science. 


Sleeping on a cot insulates you from the cold ground, which is especially beneficial when temperatures dip. With a camping bed, you don't have to worry about spending the whole night laying wide awake.


Cots are easy to set up, pack away, and a convenient option for car camping or other types of camping where weight and size are not major concerns.

Determining if a Camping Bed Is the Right Fit: The Cons

There are drawbacks to the camping bed, though. Everything in this world casts a shadow – even camping beds. It's important to know if the camping bed just isn't the right fit for you.


Cots are often heavy and bulky, making them difficult to transport if you’re backpacking or have limited space in your vehicle. You have enough on your mind while camping to deal with the weight of a cot. 

Man hiking with large backpack


Camping beds are typically more expensive than other types of camping gear, such as sleeping pads or air mattresses. A cot simply may not be in your current budget.


Cots take up more space than other types of sleeping gear, which is an issue if you have limited space in your tent or campsite. You may not be willing to sacrifice space for more comfortable sleeping conditions. This is a tradeoff to consider. 

The Components of Camping Bed Frames

If you come out with a net positive view on camping beds, consider a few things before investing in one. Foremost is what kind of frame you want to get. A quality camping bed frame is the foundation of a good night's sleep in the woods.

Camping bed frames, or camp cots, are portable beds designed to provide a comfortable sleeping surface off the ground. They are typically made from lightweight materials and are easily folded and packed for transportation.

Your budget is probably the biggest factor when buying a cot, but several factors are equally important. 

Camping bed


Made from aluminum, steel, or plastic, camping bed frames are typically very sturdy. Aluminum is lightweight and durable, while steel is solid and sturdy. Plastic is light but not as durable as aluminum or steel.

Size and Weight Capacity

Camping bed frames come in different sizes and weight capacities to accommodate different body types and sleeping needs. Some frames support up to 600 pounds, while other cots cater to lighter weights.

Comfort Features

Many camping bed frames have additional features to enhance comfort, such as padded headrests or lumbar support. Some frames also have adjustable legs that are customizable for different sleeping positions.


Camping bed frames typically require some assembly, but the process is usually straightforward and doesn't require tools. Some frames take mere minutes to set up, while others may take a little longer.


Some camping bed frames come with additional accessories, such as storage pockets or cup holders, which are useful for keeping personal items within reach during the night.

Cots are just the start. At home, you don't sleep on just your bed frame — such behavior verges on insanity. You need the whole shebang to get a good night's sleep. 

Bedding for Your Camping Bed

When camping, getting a good night's sleep is vital for enjoying your outdoor adventure. That's where a camp bed comes in. A good camping bed provides a comfortable, elevated surface for sleeping that makes all the difference. Just like a house needs furniture to make it a home, a cot needs blankets to make it a bed!

A sleeping bag is a portable, insulated bedroll to keep you warm and comfortable in various temperatures. When using a sleeping bag on a camp bed, choose the right size for your bed and the expected temperatures of your trip. Either lay the sleeping bag on the bed or unzip it and use it as a blanket.

Camping bed frame in tent

A pillow provides extra comfort and support for your neck and head, helping you to get a better night's sleep. Bring a traditional pillow from home or opt for a travel pillow designed to be lightweight and easy to pack. 

If you prefer a softer sleeping surface, use a foam or inflatable mattress pad on the camp bed. These pads come in various thicknesses and are easily rolled up and transported. 

Depending on the temperature, a blanket provides extra warmth and comfort. Choose a traditional wool or fleece blanket or a lightweight and packable down blanket. 

A fitted or flat sheet adds an extra level of comfort and hygiene. It's easy to wash after the camping trip and keeps your sleeping surface clean. 

If you're camping in an area with mosquitoes or other insects, a mosquito net placed over the bed keeps them away. Mosquito nets come in various sizes and you can easily hang them above the bed using ropes or hooks. 

The items you choose to bring with your camping bed depend on your personal preferences and the conditions of your camping trip. Considering factors such as temperature, insect activity, and hygiene puts you in a much better position to create a comfortable and enjoyable camping experience.

The Best Camping Beds in the Universe

Time for the nitty gritty: determining the best camping beds on the market.

Some of these camping beds fold, and others are queen-sized mattresses requiring a forklift to move around. Whether you're looking to camp in luxury or are hunting for a cheap, quality product, these camping beds are some of the best in the world — nay, the universe.

These adult-sized camping beds accommodate humans across the spectrum, from large and in-charge individuals to more petite folks needing less space.

Quechua Inflatable Camping Bed Base

This full-size inflatable bed is perfect for those who want to enjoy the great outdoors without sacrificing a good night's sleep. Pair it with a second bed to create a larger bed, making it ideal for couples or families camping with children

The bed is almost 10” deep, providing a comfortable, elevated sleeping surface that keeps you away from the cold ground. This makes it virtually impervious to sharp rocks or other hazards that might puncture other camping mattresses. The elevated design keeps you warm, lifting you into the warmer air in the tent. 

The downside to this bed is its bulkiness, which makes it difficult to carry over long distances. However, it has a handy stuff sack for easier storage and transportation.

This bed is a top pick if you're searching for an at-home-like sleeping experience. Add the inflatable mattress of your choice and settle in for a deep, restful sleep under the stars.

Camping sleep set up

Helinox Max Cot Camping Bed

For those who refuse to compromise on a good night's sleep while camping, the Helinox Max Cot camping bed is the ultimate solution. This sturdy bed offers unparalleled support and space – even for the largest or most restless sleepers. Four simple tension locks hold the aluminum structure together by creating a taut and springy platform. This platform elevates you above the cold ground and ensures a comfortable sleeping experience. 

Ideal for car camping or use as a basecamp bed, the Helinox Max Cot is a premium option that's built to last. Unlike inflatable mattresses that puncture or leak, this cot is virtually indestructible, making it perfect for families or anyone who needs a durable and reliable sleeping option. 

If you're looking for even more comfort, an extension kit is available to raise the height of the bed to that of a standard home bed.  

The only downside to this bed is its big boy weight, coming in at over six pounds. It's not exactly portable for long-distance hiking or backpacking. However, for those who prioritize comfort and multi-night camping trips, the Helinox Max Cot is an excellent investment that promises years of snoozing in the fresh air.

UltraLite Cot | Large

by Therm-a-Rest 

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12/05/2023 10:45 pm GMT

Therm-A-Rest Ultralite Cot

This incredibly lightweight cot makes it easy to transport and set up at your campsite. Its sturdy construction and multiple feet ensure a stable sleeping experience, so you rest easy without the fear of rolling off.

The Therm-A-Rest Ultralite Cot is all about comfort. It features a ThermaCapture foam lining that helps to keep you warm throughout the night, even in cooler temperatures. When it's time to pack up and head home, this cot conveniently folds down and fits into a compact carry-pack, making it a hassle-free addition to your camping gear. 

This cot is an excellent option for backpackers or anyone who values simplicity and ease of use. Its lightweight design and compact size make it easy to carry on long hikes or pack in the trunk of your car for a weekend camping trip. With its sturdy construction and comfortable design, a good night's sleep — no matter where your camping adventures take you — is much more likely.

Luxury Air Mattress Queen

by King Koil 

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12/05/2023 11:11 pm GMT

King Koil Queen Air Mattress With Built-in Pump

The King Koil Queen Air Mattress is luxury. 

Experience a new level of comfort and convenience with this mattress. With its advanced air-filled coil technology and internal layering, this mattress provides exceptional support for your body while keeping your spine perfectly aligned as you sleep. The state-of-the-art coils maintain the bed's shape and firmness over time, ensuring a consistently comfortable sleeping experience. 

The Koil mattress is a versatile addition to your camping collection. It's perfect for overnight guests or camping trips where comfort is a priority. The mattress holds air exceptionally well, and it's easy to inflate with just a few seconds of pumping. 

With its innovative design and superior comfort, the Koil Luxury Camping Mattress is a must-have for anyone who values a good night's sleep, whether at home or in the great outdoors.

Camping with air mattress bed

The Case for Camping Beds

The case for camping beds is not a hard one to make. Camping beds provide great comfort and restful nights. Pair your bed with a camping pillow, and you certainly won't spend the night counting sheep.

A British socialite may seem like an unlikely source to capture the euphoria of camping, but books often contain depths the cover fails to capture. This is the case with Pippa Middleton, younger sister of Catherine, Princess of Wales. 

Middleton said, "Whatever form it takes, camping is earthy, soul-enriching, and character-building. There can be few such satisfying moments as having your tent pitched and the smoke rising from your campfire as the golden sun sets on the horizon."

Add another satisfying moment to Middelton's list: cozying up on a camping bed after a long day frolicking in the woods, moving, breathing, and living as one with nature.

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