I love camping, but you already know that. However, even when I am not camping, I spend a lot of time on the road. Sedentary life is just not my cup of tea, so I travel a lot, for fun and my job. On the other hand, as I usually camp in large groups, when I go on a trip alone, it seems somewhat lonely to set-up a tent and do the whole dance on my own. Don’t get me wrong, lone camping does have its perks, but it is not my favorite thing in the world.
That is why I like to skip tents from time to time and sleep in my car. Like I said, spending a lot of time on the road, means constantly sore back if you plan to put down the back seat and sleep like that. Believe me; I’ve been there, I’ve done that.
For all of those reasons, I am confident when I say that purchasing the truck bed mattress was one of the smartest investments I made. If you have similar problems, and you are interested in buying a bed air mattress, I will give you information and my personal opinions on the five best models on the market. Enjoy!
What To Consider When Buying Truck Bed Mattress?
When you are buying an actual mattress, for your home, the one you’ll spend years and years sleeping on, you are well aware that you need to make a smart and careful decision. If you spend a lot of time traveling and sleeping in your car, choosing the right truck bed mattress should require just as much attention. Let’s take a look at the list of things you need to check off to be sure you are buying a high-quality product:
1. Picking the right size
The bed needs to fit your height and your weight. When you are considering this feature, there are few question you should ask yourself: what is my height, what is my weight and do I plan to sleep here alone?
If your truck bed is shorter than your body, you won’t be conformable sleeping on it. Your legs will be sore; you’ll need to move a lot and adjust your body position. This can lead to fatigue and energy loss, which poses a great risk once you get back on the road.
When it comes to the importance of your weight, it is the matter of simple physics. Your body weight affects the natural bed level. Bigger pressure will cause you to sink deeper into the truck bed, and if the bed is not compatible, you will have trouble sleeping due to the improper position.
The rule of the thumb is following: If you have more weight, or you plan to use this mattress for two people, be sure to choose the one that is harder, firmer and less prone to deformity. Lighter weight means you can select softer mattresses.
2. Mind the pump
Blowing up an air bed mattress is not an easy job. You will save a significant amount of money if you buy an air mattress that is supposed to be inflated using lung power or a hand pump. On the other hand, is it worth it? It is difficult and time-consuming. More expensive models come with a built-in pump you can plug into your car and “voila”, the job is done within minutes.
3. Cleaning and maintenance
If you have a chance, always go with the smoother mattress type. This type of fabric won’t get so dusty, and it’ll be easier to clean at the same time. Also, make sure that the material doesn’t have fast absorbing power. You might end up spilling something on it, and it would be better if you could clean it right away, instead of waiting for it to dry off for several hours.
Always go with the mattresses that come with a small repair kit. No matter how durable it is, at some point, your mattress will get a scratch or puncture. Sending it to a specialist to be fixed is time-consuming and expensive, so it is better that you have a tool for a quick fix on your hands.
4. Choose the firmness and thickness as you like
Once you choose the general stiffness based on your weight, you can always select softer or harder mattresses from that class. If you want a smoother model, buy the one that has softer outer layer but firm insides.
Thickness also depends on your weight. Bigger weight equals thicker mattress. It should offer better stability while you sleep.
Top 5 Truck Bed Mattresses on the Market – My 2017 Reviews
#1 AirBedz Lite 6'-8' Truck Bed Air Mattress – Comfortable but flimsy
If you are looking for a comfortable bed air mattress, that will fit various trucks without any problem, AirBedz might have a solution for you. Their Lite mattress might be a bit more expensive than other models from the same category, but it comes with high-grade PVC construction, great portable DC air pump with 16' cord and comfort coil system that evenly distributes the weight and increases comfort.
What I liked about this bed is how quickly you can inflate and deflate it, using the pump that comes with it. Once inflated, mattress’ dimensions are 76"x63"x12". It is solid and comfortable, and the cord reaches into the can with no problem. Also, the fabric on the top is designed to keep you from sliding all over the place.
However, you will spend a few bucks more if you decide to go with this one. Also, the pressure will hold for 3-4 days, and then it will start dropping, which means you’ll have to inflate it again. The side panels that are supposed to go over the wheel wells, slide a lot which can be inconvenient. At last, you have to be really careful with this mattress because it gets holes and scratches easier than you think.
#2 AirBedz Pro3 6'-6.5' Truck Bed Air Mattress – Compact and durable
Here comes another model from AirBedz, yet, in my opinion, much more durable. You will spend more money on it, but the quality will be better too. It comes with a multipurpose integrated pump and a long cord you can plug into your 12V cigarette lighter and inflates and deflates the mattress in less than a few minutes. Comfort fabric on top ensures a soft feel and keeps linens from sliding at the same time.
Quick inflation and deflation, using built-in pump and car’s cigarette lighter applies to this model too and comes in really handy. Also, the mattress is comfortable, yet compact when it’s not inflated and fitting it in its carry bag is a breeze. However, you’ll have to read the instructions on how to pack it correctly, but this won’t be a problem as they are clear and straight-forward. At last, this model seems much sturdier than the previous one.
On the other hand, it is pricey, and it doesn’t come with the inserts for the wheel wells. The zipper on the carry bag is flimsy, and it fell off the first time I used it, which is a bummer. Also, the built-in pump is not very reliable, so you should have a spare one on your hands.
#3 FBSport Car Travel Inflatable Air Bed Mattress – Affordable and lightweight
If you are looking for something cheaper and a bit different than the previous two products, FBSport offers an inflatable air bed mattress. It is ideal if you plan to use it from time to time, for festivals, surf trips, and similar occasions. It comes with a carry bag and extra protecting air cushion.
The most significant advantage of this mattress is its price. It is super affordable, and it pays off, even if you plan to use it only a few times in your lifetime. It is easy to install and inflate, and once you pack it back in its carry bag, you can store it wherever you like, because it doesn’t take up too much space. FBSport’s mattress is lightweight, comfortable and stable so that you won’t be sliding around.
However, it won’t fit all car/truck models perfectly, and it might be too short for you if you are 6 feet or taller. Also, it is too small for two people to sleep on it. If you plan on using it for a few days in a row, you should be aware that it will start losing pressure after the first day. At last, it is not as firm as it seems in the beginning.
#4 Wolfwill SUV Extended Travel Air Bed Mattress – Soft but thin
Another model comes from Wolfwill. Their car inflation bed is divided into three parts; this means you can inflate them separately, and adjust the shape of your mattress according to your needs. This inexpensive product made of eco-friendly, non-toxic, breathable PVC material, comes with a carry bag, portable pump, and the LK-Tech 2-year warranty.
There are two significant advantages of Wolfwill’s air bed mattress – folding features and 2-year warranty. This means you can fit the bedding around the obstacles, no matter where you use it, and you don’t have to worry about potential holes or scratches. Also, it can be inflated in less than a few minutes, and it won’t leak air. At last, once you use it for the first time, you will be surprised how soft and comfortable it is.
However, I wasn’t satisfied with the quality of the air pump. It seems flimsy, and its power cord is too short. Even though warranty covers potential breaks, this mattress doesn’t seem very durable, which still can be a problem. It is thinner than I expected and after two days it starts to lose pressure, which means you have to pump it up again.
#5 Drive Travel Heavy Duty Car Travel Inflatable Mattress – Practical but small
Drive Travel advertises their inflatable mattress as heavy duty. They believe in the sturdiness and durability of their product and PVC material it is made of. However, if you decide to purchase this model, you will get a comfortable inflatable mattress with an electric air pump, glue kit and a repair pad.
You should always check the dimensions of the mattress before you purchase it, but Drive Travel’s model really does fit the majority of cars and trucks on the market. It comes with a little inflatable pillow, which increases comfort. The material it is made of seems to be durable and thick, and even if you let your pets on it, they won’t puncture it. The bed stays fully inflated for a few days or even a week.
However, I wouldn’t say it is heavy duty as advertised. It does wear off after some time, and if you don’t protect it, it might get holes in it, especially from the seat belt. The seams seem to be the most vulnerable spot. Also, the pump cord is a bit short which means you will have a struggle filling the mattress. At last, if you are tall, it might be too short for you to sleep comfortably on it.
After careful consideration of all models, their advantages and disadvantages, I decided to go with AirBedz Pro3 6'-6.5' Truck Bed Air Mattress. There are two main reasons for such decision – durability and the length of the pump cord. When I invest money in camping equipment, I like it to last and be practical, so this was the logical choice. This mattress stays fully inflated longer than others, it doesn’t get damaged easily, and there is no fuss using the pump. It might be the most expensive model in this batch, but I don’t regret spending a few more bucks if I know I am getting a high-quality product.
Whichever you choose, make sure it suits your needs, many adventures are ahead of you, and good night’s sleep is the key to every successful and fun camping trip.
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