Camping Mats & Airbeds Buying Guide

Immersing yourself in nature has been proven to reduce stress and anxiety, but a comfortable snooze under the stars isn’t guaranteed, especially if you haven’t got the right sleeping gear.

Getting a good night’s sleep is an essential part of any camping holiday. After all, you can’t enjoy an outdoor holiday to the fullest if you’re running on fumes. 

At Winfields Outdoors, we offer a wide range of high-quality sleeping gear, such as camping and air beds. We know that finding the right one can be quite confusing and time-consuming, especially if you’re new to camping and aren’t sure what you want. 

We’re here to help make it easier. Read on to find out more about each type of bedding, which is best for your holiday, and any other valuable considerations… 

What types of camping beds are there?

From the go-anywhere roll mat to a more luxurious airbed, there’s a wide range of camping beds on the market for every budget and activity. 

Whether you’re going off on an adventurous expedition or just need something to offer guests, these are the camping beds you can choose from.

Roll mats

Roll mats are a  camping staple and tend to be a popular choice for outdoor events, such as music festivals. They are made out of foam, and provide a camper with ample comfort, along with insulation from the ground.

Roll mats tend to be used with a sleeping bag, and can easily attach to a pack. They perhaps don’t offer the same level of comfort as a self-inflating sleeping mat, but they’re cheaper and can be simply unrolled at a moment’s notice.

Self-inflating mats

Like the roll mat, self-inflating camping mats are now universally popular, becoming a staple in the camper’s equipment checklist.

These camp beds are made from an airtight outer fabric with a foam filling making them ultra-lightweight and comfortable. By simply opening the mat’s valve, the air is drawn in, creating a mattress.

Self-inflating mats offer campers much-needed warmth, whilst also being compact. They are also highly insulated and are available in various thicknesses.

Foldaway camp beds

Camp beds are a popular choice for many campers, due to the extra elevation they provide, especially for people who have mobility issues.

Foldaway beds can also offer storage underneath, which is ideal if space is at a premium in your camping tent. Some of these camp beds fold away on their own while others require dismantling, but overall they are a handy all-rounder.

Available in double and single sizes, camp beds can be made even more luxurious with the addition of a self-inflating mat on top.


Similar to foldaway camp beds, an airbed mattress is just as popular when used as a bed at home as it is for camping.

In terms of size and depth, airbeds are as close as you can get to your mattress at home. They are easy to inflate and deflate with a pump and are also offered in a variety of thicknesses.

How should I choose a camping bed for my trip?

An important thing to remember when buying a camp bed is ‘what am I going to use it for?’ How often you’ll use a camp bed is also worth consideration.

If you’re going on a family camping holiday and driving there, you can afford to look at larger options. Hiking trips will call for a light and compact camping bed, like roll mats and self-inflating mats.

We’ve broken down each type of camp bed and its suitability to your requirements.

The Lightweight Original

If you’re a festival-goer, or going on a hiking trip – roll mats are a good choice. 

You can attach them to a pack easily and they provide some insulation, especially if they are foil-backed. There are more luxurious sleeping options available if comfort is important to you.

Though self-inflating camping mats are just as light and compact, a roll mat won’t be at risk of a puncture due to its durable foam construction. 

The All-Rounder

A popular choice across the board, you can purchase a single or double self-inflating mattress. An all-in-one solution, these are easy to pack and transport while maximising your tent space, compared to airbeds and foldaway beds.

They provide more comfort and warmth than a roll mat and don’t need a pump for inflation unlike an airbed – but they can be limited in-depth. 


The Home or Away Bed

Folding camp beds are better suited if you are driving to a campsite and space is not at a premium. 

These types of camp beds are also great for campers who have mobility issues, or just prefer to not be as close to the ground. 

Folding camp beds do not retain as much heat as some other options, due to their thinner construction. This is easily fixed by adding a self-inflating mat on top – then you’ll be in for an incredible night’s sleep.

The Structure of Support

Single or double air beds offer great value for money and are also available in various thicknesses. They also pack down much smaller than a self-inflating mat or a camp bed but offer great comfort when the correct sleeping bag is used.

Insulation is something to bear in mind when buying an airbed, due to the amount of air between yourself and the ground. You’ll also need a pump for inflation, although some do have built-in pumps.

What are the best camp beds?

Here is a selection of some great camp beds available at Winfields Outdoors…

Ultra-lightweight and durable, this is one of the most comfortable roll mats on the market. The Highlander Deluxe will help retain heat and keep you insulated thanks to its contoured construction and thick EVA foam.

Zempire Camplite 5cm Double Self-Inflating Mat

This double SIM is comfortable and easy to use, providing optimised insulation from the ground and a great night’s sleep. The memory foam provides comfort and the mattress is quick to inflate.

Vango Double Flocked Airbed

The soft flocked surface of this Vango airbed will provide a welcome and comfortable place to rest. The coil beam construction creates a strong and supportive structure, providing a great night’s sleep.


Leave a Reply