Camping under the stars is an event for the memory books. Whether you have a large family or like to make solo camping trips, it can be a great experience. On the other hand, many people hate to camp because of uncomfortable sleeping arrangements.
Fortunately, camping has come a long way in the last several years. You no longer have to wake up with sore muscles or a stiff neck from less-than-great sleeping surfaces. One reason why is the humble cot mattress.
What Is a Cot Mattress?
A cot is an elevated platform off the ground. A cot mattress is a comfortable pad you can put on top of the platform. This is very similar to your regular bed setup.
Many people say cots feel like real beds. However, a cot mattress can usually be folded up and made compact to fit in small spaces. Cot mattresses also come in heavy-duty options for those who are a bit bigger. A cot mattress is also sometimes called a camping mattress, camping cot, sleeping pad, camping bed, or camp bed.
Why Do I Need a Cot Mattress for Camping?
There are some excellent cot mattresses available to you. Those who like to rough it and have never used one may ask, “Why do I need a cot mattress?”
Allow us to provide a few reasons for your consideration.
There’s nothing like a long day of hiking, fishing, and exploring the great outdoors. The physical activity of a big adventure day is enough to make you exhausted. Once you get your tent set up, do you really want to have to struggle to find the most comfortable spot to lay in?
A sleeping bag can be warm and cozy, but it won’t do much for your comfort level if a rock, stick, or dirt clod is under your back. A cot provides an elevated area away from any rocks to help you relax and recuperate.
A cot mattress can provide superior comfort when you are at the mercy of the outside elements.
A cot can also be important for your safety. You never know what could be lurking just outside your campsite or tent. Struggling to get off the ground or a partially deflated air mattress can put you in harm’s way. A cot will provide an elevated sleep surface to keep you ready to go at a moment’s notice.
Camp cots will also keep you off of the ground and further away from any creepy crawlers. Of course, bugs can still make their way onto a cot, but the sleeping camper is less likely to experience a bug crawling up their leg if they are resting off the ground.
Ease of Use
A cot mattress is as easy to use as it gets. There’s no huge air mattress to blow up or difficult parts to put together. A proper cot mattress is easily foldable, durable, and can be very comfortable. Most cots can be set up in as little as two minutes.
If you don’t want to spend all of your precious outdoor time setting things up, a cot is the best decision.
Long camping days mean you are going to need quality sleep come nighttime. Quality sleep helps boost your mood, brain performance, and health. Sleeping outside can provide even more benefits.
Studies show that fresh air and natural light can give you a full reboot. Outside Online says, “The sun provides the short-wave blue light that rouses us in the morning and the long-wave reddish or orange light that signals the approach of bedtime.”
A natural boost can be just what you need for your health and wellness.
While a sleeping bag has some inherent problems in providing the comfort and support you need for quality sleep, a cot mattress is as close to sleeping in your own bed as you can get — unless you stay home.
What To Look For in a Cot?
If you are ready to start looking for a cot mattress, there are a few things to consider. Here are some important features to look for when making a purchase.
You should first identify whether or not you want a cot frame. Some may choose to sleep on just a cot mattress, while others prefer a frame. If you opt for a frame, you will want something compact, easily portable, and able to support your weight.
The frame you choose should be made of corrosion-resistant material such as aluminum or steel. Most camping cots are foldable, durable, and very supportive.
When it comes to deciding whether or not you want a frame, you should also consider the weather.
The pros at Bass Pro Sports state, “An advantage of cots is they raise you off the ground. Elevation helps with air circulation to keep you cool in hot conditions; it also separates you from its chill in cool weather, which helps combats heat loss.”
Choosing a quality cot definitely makes a difference when it comes to your comfort and safety outdoors.
Choosing the right size for your cot mattress is also very important. If you have chosen to sleep on a cot frame, you will obviously want your mattress to fit. You also need to consider the size of your camping tent.
Your tent may be labeled to fit three sleepers, but this may be three sleepers in a small sleeping bag. Be sure to look at the layout of your tent and be sure whatever cot you choose will fit. You will also want to consider the potential sleeping arrangements.
If you are going with your significant other, you may want a queen-size cot or a double camping cot. If you are going with a child, two smaller cots may work better for you. Also, be sure your cot is the right size for the campers’ body sizes. Some frames may only support 200-300 lbs, while others can support up to 600 lbs.
Selecting the right size cot is an important piece of the puzzle when it comes to quality sleep while camping.
It’s also important to consider the cot mattress material. While some may want a soft and cozy surface, this isn’t always best for the outdoors.
Camping blog Where the Road Forks explains, “Ideally, the sleep surface of a cot should be comfortable, washable, and durable. Polyester and cotton are comfortable and easy to wash. Canvas is durable but a bit harder to wash.”
You will want a surface that’s easy to clean throughout the trip for spills or other accidents. The cot mattress material is an important consideration when making your decision.
The Best Cot Mattresses for Your Next Camping Trip
Are you ready for comfortable and quality sleep on your next camping trip? Being away from home and in the great outdoors doesn’t have to mean going without.
Following are reviews of some of the best cot mattresses to consider for your next camping trip.
Coleman Camping Cot, Air Mattress, and Pump Combo
The Coleman Camping Cot, Air Mattress, and Pump Combo is a superior camping pick. The Coleman company thought of everything with this design. It pairs the best camping air mattress with a heavy-duty solid frame. The inflatable mattress provides a solid sleep experience and is highly supported by the steel frame.
This cot mattress can hold up to 600 lbs and is available in both twin and queen sizes. It weighs only 22 lbs and can be folded compactly.
This Coleman camping cot includes the cot, mattress, air pump, and side tables. The side tables are a genius addition as you can keep your water, flashlight, camping gear, and other personal items close.
This pick is also the top choice of camping cots from the Gear Junkie. They call the Coleman Camping Cot a “new level of luxury” because of its high level of support and leak-proof air mattress.
The only downside to this great camping option is that it can be a bit bulky. This is a good pick for those who won’t need to pack in and out of their campsite every day.
It’s rated 4.4 out of 5-stars on Amazon and is listed at $199. It’s currently on sale for 31% off at $137. This cot mattress will provide a luxury sleep experience on your next camping trip.
Milliard Folding Mattress with Washable Cover
The Milliard Folding Mattress with Washable Cover is an excellent option for your next camping trip. The cot mattress is foldable while still providing a plush, soft, and breathable sleeping surface. It’s also easily portable and compact, making it the perfect option to take camping.
The cot mattress is 4 inches thick and made of luxurious foam. It also has a removable bamboo cover for easy cleaning. There’s no need to worry about dirt, insects, or bed bugs with this cot mattress option.
The open mattress is 75”x31”x4” and measures only 31”x25”x12” when folded, so it’s easily packable. The small design will fit into a cot frame or is great on its own.
The Milliard Folding Cot Mattress is rated 4.6 out of 5-stars by over 11,000 customers. The cot mattress is $130. Milliard also offers twin, full, queen, and single mattress sizes.
The Milliard Folding Mattress is a fantastic option for your next camping experience.
Coleman Camping Cot with Sleeping Pad
Coleman also offers a Camping Cot with Sleeping Pad. This all-in-one option is great for any adventure.
This Coleman cot has an attached sleeping pad and a foldable design. It also features ComfortSmart coil suspension that compares to a traditional bed.
This option is a great pick for the big and tall camper. The steel frame supports campers up to 300 lbs and up to 6’6”. Despite being built to please an NFL linebacker, it is still compact enough to fit in most car trunks and weighs less than 20 lbs.
It has a 1-year limited warranty to give the owner excellent peace of mind.
The Coleman Camping Cot with Sleeping Pad is rated 4.7 out of 5-stars. It is listed at $109 and is currently on sale for $69. This cot mattress combo is a good option for your camping adventure.
Redcamp Cot Pads for Camping
The Redcamp Cot Pads for Camping is another solid pick. This cot mattress is the perfect choice for those with a cot frame who want to upgrade their camping mattress.
It’s made of soft corduroy or velvet and filled with a hollow cotton blend. These fabrics are easily cleaned with a damp cloth making them a great choice for outdoors.
The 3 lb mattress is lightweight and compact. It can be easily stored in your camping backpack for outdoor travel. It’s a great option for camping, hiking, hunting, or backpacking.
This cot mattress is wider and thicker than the other options, but it still fits most camping cots. It also features an elastic strap on the back to ensure it doesn’t slide around or fall while you sleep. This is perfect for cots that offer an elevated head.
The Redcamp cot mattress is rated 4.1 out of 5-stars. It’s offered in black, blue, brown, or grey. It ranges in price from $39 to $57 based on color selection. This cot mattress is an excellent option for your cot frame. It’s a great pick for a solid night of sleep.
Fortnight Bedding 6-inch Foam Mattress with Durable Fabric Cover
The Fortnight Bedding 6-inch Foam Mattress with Durable Fabric Cover is a fantastic choice for camping. It offers a supportive, firm, and comfortable surface for quality sleep. The 6-inch mattress is 30 inches wide and 74 inches long and covered with a durable stitch bond fabric.
This cot mattress can be easily folded for convenient storage in your truck, RV, or closet at home. It’s also Certi-PUR-US certified and free of PBDEs, TDCPP, flame retardants, mercury, and formaldehyde.
The Fortnight cot mattress comes in a compressed and sealed box. You will need to remove all plastic wrap and allow it to breathe for 48 hours before using. This will help your new camping mattress rise fully to its proper shape.
It’s rated 4.3 out of 5-stars and available for purchase for $159. Fortnight also offers camping mattresses in 3, 4, and 5-inch thicknesses if you are looking for something a bit thinner.
Fortnight products are made in the United States and are a good pick for your next camping mattress.
Lilypelle Folding Camping Cot
The Lilypelle Folding Camping Cot is another excellent option. This cot mattress has a foldable steel frame that’s perfect for camping.
It has a 1-inch square tube bracket that can hold up to 880 lbs. The premium cot is made of double Oxford material for extreme durability and easy cleaning.
The Lilypelle cot mattress also features a tilted angle design at the head to ensure you don’t experience head, back, neck, or shoulder pain. The cot mattress is said to be extremely comfortable as well. It’s 3-inches tall and made of very soft material.
This cot mattress is available in 14 different colors. Choose an option to match your tent or camping equipment or one that will look the least dirty.
The camping mattress is compact, easy to set up, and comfortable. It’s rated 4.3 out of 5-stars and is offered for $119. Buy the Lilypelle cot mattress for a relaxing, no-fuss camping excursion.
Cot Mattress Summary
There are some excellent cot mattress options available on the market today. Choosing one should be easy once you decide the size you want and whether you want a frame to go with your cot mattress. Any of these top-rated options are sure to help you achieve the unforgettable camping experience you are dreaming of.
The best part about a camp cot is that you get to decide the level of comfort you want. If you value a plush and thick sleep surface, you can use the Milliard Folding Mattress with a cot frame and a sleeping bag. If you prefer a quick setup, the Lilypelle Folding Camp Cot or the Coleman Camping Cot is the way to go. If you want a luxury camping experience, you can get the Coleman Camping Cot, Air Mattress, and Pump Combo.
No matter what type of camping experience you are after, there’s a great option out there for you.
The hardest part of camping can now just be deciding where and when you want to go. Forget all the drama of a difficult setup or a hole in your camping air mattress. Even the pickiest non-camper will enjoy using any of these camping mattresses.
With this list of the best cot mattresses for camping, you are sure to have a fun time while awake and a comfortable rest when you are asleep.