Last year alone, over 42 million overnight stays were registered on German campsites, according to current statistics. It’s not just since Corona that many holidaymakers have discovered camping, although the term camping is broad: it includes sleeping in a caravan or motorhome as well as spending the night in a mobile home – or, more classically, in a tent. When it comes to comfort, the latter offers the least: on the one hand, the air-permeable plastic huts have little space for luggage, and on the other hand, you sleep on the hard floor. To increase comfort, durable air mattresses are a must-have when camping. Self-inflating models in particular are currently very popular.

A basic distinction is made between two different types of self-inflating air mattresses: either they contain a special valve through which the air is sucked in automatically – or they have an integrated pump that is operated electrically and may rely on a power source. For this reason, the first option is better for camping. Below we will introduce you to five different models.

1. Black Crevice (200 x 60 cm)

This Black Crevice self-inflating air mattress is available in six different colors. Depending on how comfortable you want to lie, you can choose between different thicknesses: the thinnest model is just three centimeters thick, the thickest is at least ten centimeters. According to the manufacturer, the waterproof polyester mattress requires ten to a maximum of 20 minutes to completely fill with air via an integrated valve.

2. Quechua (190 × 65 cm)

The special thing about this model from Quechua is that it could be coupled with another (same) self-inflating air mattress – thus increasing the lying surface. According to the manufacturer, it is suitable for all four seasons. The R-value* is according to ASTM F3340-18: 5.2. The mattress should soon be able to inflate itself via the integrated double valve. It should also be possible to deflate the sleeping pad quickly and easily.

3. Housn (203 x 152 cm)

In this model from Housn, the air is sucked in via an electric pump that is firmly integrated into the mattress – it should be fully inflated after just a few minutes. According to the manufacturer, the waterproof material can withstand a load of up to 230 kilograms, meaning two people can easily sleep on it. In contrast to the first two mattresses, this one is significantly higher: the model measures 51 centimeters.

4. Intex (203 x 152 cm)

The air bed “DURA-BEAM® UltraPlush Airbed” from Intex also offers more sleeping comfort than a flat air mattress: the lying height here also measures 46 centimeters. According to the manufacturer, the model can hold up to 272 kilograms, so that two people can lie side by side on it. The integrated electric pump should be able to inflate the mattress within two to four minutes, depending on the desired level of hardness.

5. Quechua (200 × 136 cm)

This self-inflating air mattress from Quechua is almost as wide as the last two models, but significantly narrower. It offers enough space for two people and is probably more suitable for a tent holiday due to its shallow depth. According to the manufacturer, this mattress is also suitable for all four seasons; the R-value* is 8.6 according to the ASTM F3340-18 standard. Quick inflation and deflation should also be possible.

*R-value: This value represents the thermal resistance of an air mattress. In other words, the higher the R-value, the higher the insulation performance of the material.

Anyone who has ever slept on an air mattress knows the feeling when the mattress loses air overnight. There can actually be two reasons for this: Either the material has a hole through which air escapes (which is unlikely with a new model) – or the mattress still needs to expand properly after purchase. This means: Before using it for the first time, you should inflate the mattress several times before sleeping on it. This allows the material to expand completely and fill the entire interior with air. However, if the air mattress actually has a hole at some point, you can easily patch the material with this.

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