Road trips to visit public and privately owned outdoor recreation areas are among the best ways to see what America offers. Our older readers may well remember the advertising jingle “See the USA in your Chevrolet.”
Regardless of the model of car you drive, you can follow that old ad’s advice with the addition of an inexpensive and space-saving air mattress. With the air mattress along for the ride, you will be able to drive to your destination and also sleep there in the comfort and security of your car.
Your first thought might be that sleeping in a car would be unsafe and uncomfortable. That isn’t the case at all. The level of comfort would depend on your vehicle and your air mattress.
Before parking the vehicle for your overnight stay, check local laws and recreation area rules to ensure there are no prohibitions. The practice is perfectly legal in most places, but there are exceptions. A common sense rule would be to avoid blocking traffic or parking in a designated no-parking area. Do your research on your destination to find the safest areas to stay.
This article will explore the facts concerning sleeping in your car, review the benefits to the traveler and review six of the best air mattress options that let you turn your car into a tent as you “see the USA” on the nation’s open roads.
Having an air mattress in your car isn’t just a great idea for road trips or camping. It is always best to be prepared for the unexpected. An air mattress in your trunk can be handy in a roadside emergency. If the car breaks down or has a flat tire, the air mattress can provide a place for you and a passenger to rest while the tire is changed or assistance arrives.
Plans can always change on the road, and you may benefit from making a pit stop to relax or take a short nap if you’re driving long distances. You may even arrive at your motel destination only to realize the pictures didn’t quite match the reality of the room! In this case, keeping an air mattress in your car gives you the option to spend the night within the comfort of your vehicle.
Camping in Your Car Instead of a Tent
There’s no better way to stay in your car comfortably than having a high-quality air mattress to sleep on. No sudden rainstorms will soak you in the middle of the night. No flying and crawling insects will keep you company in the tent. It will just be you in the comfort and security of your automobile.
Plan ahead and make sure you know where to park your car and set up camp. Also, ensure you have everything you need for your car camping trip, including maps, flashlights, first-aid kits, food and water, in addition to your air mattress. And be sure to remember your car cover! This can help keep out the sun, allowing you to have a more restful night’s sleep.
Camping in Your Car Is Secure
Camping in your car is a great way to feel secure. By parking in a well-lit area and always locking your doors, you can keep yourself and your belongings safe while you sleep. A security system for your car will add an extra layer of protection. Sleeping on an air mattress in your car allows you to feel secure without sacrificing comfort and convenience.
Remember to ensure the vehicle is well-ventilated. Don’t sleep in a car that is parked in direct sunlight because it can get very hot. Lock the doors while you are sleeping and keep all valuables out of sight.
If you enjoy frequent road trips, you understand how the cost of a hotel room or Airbnb rental takes away from being able to experience more from your vacations. Often, sleeping in your car with an air mattress is free!
Even if you have to pay for a parking space or campsite, it is still much cheaper than checking in at a hotel or motel down the road from your outdoor vacation. If you like to travel on a budget, a camping air mattress for your car is a wonderful way to help cut back on unnecessary costs.
Camping in your car and sleeping on an air mattress is a great way to save money, especially if you’re someone who is between homes and relies on your vehicle for shelter. While you move through this transition, sleeping in your car comfortably with an air mattress can make it easier to save money to invest in getting back on your feet again.
How to Find a Place to Stay
If you have never slept in your car while traveling, you may be unaware of the available options to accommodate your sleeping needs.
One possibility is to “camp out” in the parking lot of a business that is open 24/7. These places are relatively safe because there are usually people around at all hours of the night and workers nearby if needed.
You can also rent a parking spot on a parking ramp for the night. These rental fees are minimal, give you a quiet and secure place to sleep, and check-out is as easy as exiting the ramp in the morning.
If you’re looking for a more scenic stay, you can go to a campsite that rents parking spots. These are usually for RVs, but any vehicle can pay for a slot and park there.
With the right preparations and making sure you’re close to certain amenities, sleeping in your car can be as comfortable as staying in a hotel.
On her Renee Roaming website, car travel expert Renee Hahnel provides a few tips on how to find a safe place to stay throughout your travels.
“If you arrive somewhere that seems a little weird, trust your gut and move on to another spot,” Renee advises. “Lock your doors, sleep with your keys close by, never leave your engine running, and always leave your driver’s seat empty and accessible for an instance where you may need to leave in a hurry. I have friends that carry bear spray as a weapon, in case they ever needed to use it (they haven’t).”
Renee also recommends that the traveler “tell friends and family where you are going and stay within areas with phone service if you are worried. Never tell a stranger you are alone. If anyone asks, let them know your friend is meeting you shortly. Keep valuables like camera gear, laptops, and electronic cords out of sight when leaving your car (best yet, take them with you in a backpack). And it goes without saying, but always research and follow the rules.”
How to Fit an Air Mattress in Your Car
Air mattresses are convenient, but only when you have properly prepared beforehand. Finding the right size mattress for your car can be tricky. The first step is to find an air mattress that’s designed for your car. Most options will express whether they are meant for sedans, SUVs, or both. Once you know that, picking the perfect air mattress from models of that size will be easier.
Some air mattresses are adjustable, allowing them to be used in only back seats of a car or the entire trunk of an SUV. Instead of filling the entire mattress with air, there are some products that come sectioned off, allowing you to only fill the amount of mattress that will fit into your back seat.
The main disadvantage of bringing your bed with you on vacation is that it has to be stored somewhere when it is not in use. This will take up space meant for suitcases, camping gear, souvenirs for the trip home, etc. Be sure to account for that when planning your trip.
Remember, after your first night in your “car tent,” the mattress will probably not fit neatly back into its original box. It’s almost impossible to remove all the air inside the bed without using a machine. So, even after deflating it, there may still be too much air inside to be rolled up properly so it fits in the box.
If you are flying to a destination point with the intention of renting a vacation vehicle when you arrive, most air mattresses can be brought on a plane as a carry-on.
The Best Air Mattresses for Your Car
While air mattresses are an excellent addition to your on-the-road travels, it’s essential to find one that’s made with high-quality materials, has positive reviews, and has all of the features needed to keep your car sleeping arrangements comfortable and easy. Let’s look at some of the top available options so you can decide which is the best air mattress for your car.
1. Onirii Inflatable Mattress
Onirii’s inflatable mattress comes in a plush, black, sleek design that will look great in just about any car. This mattress only weighs 5.5 lbs, so it’s easy to haul around with you on your road trip adventures.
The package includes a durable air bed, two air pillows, a portable air pump, air foot piers, a neck pillow, sleeping mask, earplugs, and patch repair pad. This gives you everything you need for a restful night’s sleep wherever you may roam. The air mattress consists of thickened, high-quality PVC and environmental protection material.
Family members in the back seat can safely take a nap thanks to this mattress’s anti-drop design, which helps keep you, and especially children, safe while the car is moving. The mattress is easy to inflate, requiring only that you connect it to Onirii’s fast-charging electric air mattress pump. The pump can connect to the car’s power socket to operate and recharge.
This air mattress works best in SUVs and can fit a couple or small children. If you’re looking for a high-quality air mattress to make sleeping in your car more enjoyable and comfortable, this is the air mattress for you.
2. WEY&FLY SUV Air Mattress
The WEY&FLY SUV Air Mattress consists of thickened and double-sided flocking for extra comfort and support. The high standard material is cold resistant and made of breathable fabric. The material is also non-toxic and odorless. This mattress is great for other uses, such as in the home, backyard, or bedroom.
The mattress’s four divided sections are inflated separately. This means if there is only one camper, you would only need to extend two portions of the mattress. It would also allow someone with a smaller vehicle to use this high-quality air bed by only inflating part it so it will fit in the car.
The mattress comes with a 12-volt air pump that plugs into your car’s outlet, allowing you to quickly and effortlessly inflate your air mattress. The mattress can hold up to 573 pounds(260 kilograms), making it a good choice for couples or camping buddies to share.
3. FBSPORT Bed Car Mattress
“Inexpensive comfort” could best describe this high-quality air mattress. A popular feature of FBSPORT Bed Car Mattress is that it can fit in just about any sized vehicle. That means you don’t have to use a gas-guzzling SUV to bring your camp bed with you.
The material is soft and well made. It comes in grey, blue, black, and tan. The mattress is stylish with a high-end aesthetic.
The extra protective air cushion is supportive and comfortable for an overnight trip. The air mattress comes with two air pillows. It is large enough for two people.
For those who don’t expect to take frequent road trips, the air mattress is also a good choice for around the home to provide an inexpensive but comfortable place to lay down to read a book or just relax.
4. HAITRAL Car Bed
HAITRAL’s Car Bed air mattress fits perfectly in the backseat of your car or SUV. The thick, soft PVC fabric is breathable and comfortable. This air mattress is lightweight, so it is easy to carry with you on your journey. When not in use, it folds easily and is equipped with a bleeder valve to deflate the mattress quickly.
The electric pump plugs into the car’s outlet, connects to the mattress and inflates the mattress quickly and with very little effort on your part.
The air mattress comes with an inflator, handbag, nozzle, and two inflatable pillows. It is equipped with padding that inserts itself between your back seats and front seats to keep the area comfortable and allow the mattress to lay flat and balanced.
5. QDH SVU Air Mattress
QDH’s inflatable mattress consists of skin-friendly and environmental protection materials. The bed is made of thick flocking and high-quality PVC material, making it a comfortable choice for your camping trip or road trip. The mattress is tough enough that you don’t have to worry about kids or pets damaging the bed.
The head of the bed is designed to create a buffer between you and any potential collision, so you can rest easy knowing your head will be protected. The mattress also has an anti-drop feature to keep napping children from falling.
QDH designs this mattress with a bearing capacity of up to 573 pounds (260 kilograms), which is hardy enough for multiple people — and pets!
This mattress comes with three independent inflatable compartments, which allows you to inflate only as much of the bed as is needed.
The mattress’s super-fast air pump will first need to be charged using the car outlet, but it only takes about three minutes. The pump quickly inflates the mattress, which also deflates quickly and easily. The purchase also includes a handy storage bag to enable you to save space.
6. HIRALIY Inflatable Car Mattress
The HIRALIY Inflatable Car Mattress is made of three layers of sturdy, wear-resistant material, making this a good choice for anyone with kids or pets. This inflatable bed comes with an electric air pump to inflate and deflate your bed quickly. The air pump inflates the mattress in two minutes. You’ll also receive a carrying bag that lets you travel with this mattress and store it away.
This mattress is not just for the car. It can also be used at home, such as in a game room, spare bedroom or for lounging in the backyard. This package includes one air mattress, a child safety baffle, an electric pump, a repair patch, and a storage bag.
HIRALIY’s mattress can hold up to 440 pounds (199.5 kilograms) and weighs approximately 2 pounds (980 grams).
Consider An Air Mattress For Your Car
As you have learned in this article, there are many advantages to using a car air mattress while traveling. An air mattress for your car is a great way to travel, providing an easy and comfortable place to sleep. It’s also handy in case of unexpected roadside emergencies.
If you are a regular camper, road trip lover, or someone who wants to make a quick trip on a whim, having an air mattress for your car allows you to hit the road without worrying about your travel arrangements.
It’s okay to stray from the traditional method of traveling and find a method that works for you, such as sleeping in your car. Car air mattresses make camping more accessible for everyone, providing a place to sleep if you or someone with you doesn’t have a tent.
These mattresses are an excellent addition for anyone who is frequently on the road and wants to maintain a sense of freedom and comfort throughout their travels.