How to Stay Warm on an Air Mattress While Camping

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What’s the secret to staying warm when camping in the cold? Is it your air mattress or just your ignorance of how to deal with cold weather while sleeping in your tent?

We are not a big fan of overwhelming our readers with 10 tips or ideas articles that end up confusing you.

Camping is all about enjoying and it can be a fun experience if you are prepared.

Camping in cold climates requires few smart decisions. All you need is the best camping air mattress and the right way to insulate yourself from cold temperatures at night.

The temperature in the forest drops drastically compared to the urban environment. You don’t have to overload your luggage with a variety of blankets, thermals, fleeces and warmers while camping in the car or at a regular campsite.

There are no complicated methods or secrets to camping on an air mattress in cold weather. You can easily stay warm and comfortable on your air mattress. It is about insulating the air mattress against the cold.

The obvious question now is how to insulate an air mattress that is not cumbersome but effective. To achieve this, let’s divide our objective into two phases.


Weather: The weather plays a big part when you decide to go hiking or camping in the woods. It becomes relatively more important when it is cold.

  • We recommend using technology rather than making assumptions based on past experience or suggestions from your friends.
  • There are several apps and websites that help you with the temperatures and weather of the past week and the forecast for the coming days. Prepare to camp based on weather forecasts.

Packing: There are quite a few things you can pack or fix to keep warm on an air mattress while camping in the cold air.

  • If you go camping by car, you can use heaters.
  • Make sure to cover your hands, feet and head with gloves, socks, etc.
  • Choose a bed that uses insulation material. Use lightweight bedding with good insulating properties. We strongly recommend using aluminum thermal blankets that are small enough to fit in the palm of your hand when folded.

  • Don’t forget to bring a sleeping bag to help you sleep warm, cozy and comfortable in your tent. Do not buy a memory foam sleeping bag with an open cell structure. It will dissipate body heat and help you cool down easily.
  • Dinner should contain a lot of fat and a high-calorie diet. It keeps your body’s metabolism going for longer, producing heat in the body.
  • A keen camper should have the right utensils, especially an insulated bottle for hot water and other beverages.

Insulation of Air Mattress

When the word insulation is attached to the air mattress, it has to do with an r-value of the mattress.

What is an R-value?

It is simply the thermal resistance per unit area. The higher the R-value, the better will be insulation ( or bad thermal conductors). Some mattresses share an “estimated” R-value which is an estimation and not based on tests. Always consider the absolute R-value to judge the insulation it can provide.

Check: Therma-a-Rest MondoKing camping air mattress/sleeping pad with an R-value of 11.4

Insulating an air mattress is easy if you know you are familiar with the art of layering. In winter, we prefer to wear layered clothing. The thin air gap between each layer acts as an insulator.

The same principle applies to insulating your air mattress.

  • Wondering what to put under your air mattress while camping? Add a layer of thermal blanket between the cold floor and the mattress. As mentioned in the previous section, this thin thermal blanket is excellent for blocking any thermal conduction.
  • The tops of the air mattresses have an advanced internal closed cell design to retain your body heat. Be sure to buy one with such a design, especially for winter camping.
  • Add a layer of synthetic filling or down filling for even more insulation.

A disclaimer and note worth noting, be careful not to get this synthetic filling/filler wet as it will lose its insulating power once it gets damp or wet.

Also, these synthetic fillers are not completely hypoallergenic. Therefore, you should especially test them on children before using them.

This combination of layers under and over the mattress is quite effective at keeping you warm while camping on a cold night.

Snow camping:  The most effective tip to insulate while camping in the snow is to redouble your attention. It can be a bit pricey but a super cozy and warm experience. You can preferably place a sleeping mat with an R-value greater than 3 on your mattress. This protruding layer becomes a thermal barrier against the transfer of cold from the ground.

Sleeping Bags – The last part is getting into a good quality sleeping bag. It will protect you even more from the cold below and the air around you. Put on warm wool socks and gloves.

All these settings will help you get a warm and restful sleep in the tent.

Do you have any tips for our readers to stay warm on an air mattress while camping? Do share it in the comments.
We will include them in the article with credits to your name.

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