Cot VS Air Mattress

When it comes time to choose the best sleeping system for your leisure outdoor camping, there are a lot of choices to make. Do you go with a camping cot or an air mattress?

campig cot vs air matress

Both have their pros and cons, but which one is right for you? Which one is worth the extra weight?

Here’s a look at the differences between a camping cot and an air mattress to help you decide.

Which is better a cot or an air mattress?

When deciding which of these two sleeping systems is better for your outdoor trip, you will have to consider several factors to decide what is best for you.

It’s important to think about:

  • where will you go,
  • how will you get there and
  • in what season will you go to the great outdoors

And these are the product factors that you should also think about:

  • packability
  • portability
  • durability
  • convenience

Portability & packability

We will look at how packable camping cots and air mattresses for camping are.

Camping cots

Camping cots are great for car camping or short camping trips where you do not have to carry your bedding very far.

However, if going backpacking or camping in wild, a camping cot is not a good solution due to its weight and bulkiness.

Cots do not pack as small because they have a metal or wood frame that needs to be disassembled. Cots are also heavier than air mattresses, so they are not as easy to carry.

Air mattresses

When it comes to portability, air mattresses have a clear advantage over camping cots. Cots can be quite bulky and difficult to carry, especially if you are going on a long camping trip or hike.

Air mattresses are much more portable and can be used for backpacking or long camping trips where weight is a concern.

Air mattresses
Air mattresses

Air mattresses pack small because they can be deflated and stored in a small bag for easy storage. They are lightweight so they are easier to carry than camping cots.


Regarding durability, it’s a different story.

Camping cots

Camping cots are more durable than mattresses because they’re made of sturdier materials. They’re also designed to be used outdoors, so they can withstand more wear and tear.

Air mattresses

Most air mattresses, on the other hand, are made of thinner materials and can be punctured easily. This means they’re not as durable as modern camping cots and may need to be replaced more often.


The main difference between a camping cot and a blow-up camping bed is convenience.

Camping cots

A camping cot is much more convenient to use because it is easier to set up and take down. You just unfold its legs and place the bed on the proper spot for resting. This can be done in seconds.

However, a cot can tear the tent floor over time due to the legs but you can place something under the legs (a tarp or a footprint) to protect it.

using tarp as a footprint

Air mattresses

An air bed is less convenient because it takes longer to set up and take down.

It is inflated by an air pump that you get with the product, or use a portable air compressor or an internal electric pump for a faster installation. It takes some time to inflate it.

On the other hand, a cot is ready to use. You don’t need to do anything to set it up.

Self-inflating air mattresses

Still, the market offers self-inflating air mattresses that are ready in minutes because they inflate by themselves, you just need to open the valves to self-inflate.

The self-inflating mattress is great for tent camping in style.

Check the self-inflating sleeping pad from Clostnature that won’t leave you breathless like other sleeping pads or mattresses that need you to inflate by mouth or an air pump.

About air mattresses

An inflatable bed is a piece of camping equipment that is used for sleeping. It is usually made of PVC or other waterproof material and is inflated using a hand air pump or an electric pump.

An inflatable mattress can be used indoors or outdoors and is often used in situations where a regular bed is not available, such as camping trips or overnight guests.

Do people use air mattresses for camping?

Campers use air mattresses for camping because they are comfortable and easy to set up. They are also a good option for camping in areas where there are no camping cots available.

People who want to camp in comfort often use them. They are easy to set up and take down and they offer a comfortable sleeping surface.

Couples like to use them because they can lay together on one bed.

Should you use an air mattress when camping?

Using air bedding on a camping trip can offer a number of advantages over using a traditional camping cot.

Air mattresses are typically lighter and more compact than cots, making them easier to transport. They can also be more comfortable, providing a softer sleeping surface.

However, they do have some drawbacks. They can be punctured or torn, which can ruin your trip unless you have a repair kit with you.

They also require a pump to inflate, which can be an extra piece of equipment to carry. If you’re planning on camping in a remote location, an air bed might not be the best option.

Can you put an air mattress on a camping cot?

Putting an air mattress on a camping cot is an option if you don’t have another sleeping surface available, but it’s not the most comfortable option.

The sleeping cot will likely be too narrow for the mattress and you’ll feel every bar of the cot through the mattress.

If you do use an inflatable bed on a camping cot, make sure to put something like a blanket between the mattress and the cot.

Is it healthy to sleep on an air mattress?

Resting on a blow-up mattress while camping is generally considered comfortable and healthy.


The main health concern when using an air mattress is preventing skin breakdown due to extended contact with the mattress surface.

However, using a thin cotton sheet or another fabric barrier between you and the mattress can help reduce this risk.


There are also some potential benefits to sleeping on an air mattress. For example, people with back pain may find that the firmness of an air mattress helps to relieve their symptoms.

best air matress for bad back

Additionally, the elevation provided by an air mattress can help to reduce swelling in the feet and ankles.

Can a heavy person sleep on an air mattress?

Air mattresses are often seen as being flimsy and not capable of supporting much weight. However, this is not always the case.

There are many air mattresses on the market that are designed to support a great deal of weight.

What mattress should you look for?

If you are a heavy person, then you should look for a camping bed that is specifically designed to support your weight.

These mattresses typically have a higher weight limit and will be much more durable than a standard air mattress.

Consider its weight capacity & size

When choosing an air mattress, it is important to consider the size and weight capacity. You will want to make sure that the mattress is large enough to comfortably accommodate your body size.

Additionally, you will want to make sure that the mattress has a high weight capacity so that it can support your weight without issue.

How much weight can an air mattress hold?

Air mattresses for camping are designed to hold a lot of weight. The average camping air mattress can hold up to 600 pounds. Some air mattresses are even stronger and can hold up to 1,000 pounds.

About the mattress weight limit

When you’re considering how much weight an air mattress can hold, it’s important to keep in mind that the weight limit is for the entire mattress.

This means that if you’re planning on using a blow-up mattress for two people, the weight limit will be divided between the two of you.

For example, if you have a 600-pound weight limit, each person would be able to use up to 300 pounds of that weight limit.

It’s also important to consider the weight limit when you’re choosing an air mattress for camping.

If you know you’ll be carrying a lot of camping gear with you, look for an air mattress that has a higher weight limit.

This will ensure that your mattress can hold all of your gear, as well as you and your camping partner.

About camping cots

Camping cots are a great way to get a good night’s sleep when you’re away from home. They offer many of the same benefits as an air mattress, but they’re also much more sturdy and durable.

camping cots

What are camping cots made of?

Camping cots are typically made from aluminum frames or steel, which makes them very strong and able to support a lot of weight.

When do campers use it?

Campers use camping cots when they want a more comfortable option than sleeping on the ground.

They’re also a good choice for camping enthusiasts who have back pain or other conditions that make sleeping on the ground uncomfortable.

Is it better to sleep on a cot or on the ground?

The answer to this question is quite obvious when you think about it. If you have the choice between sleeping on a cot or sleeping on the ground, the cot is always going to be the better option.

Camping cots are more comfortable, and durable, and offer many other benefits over sleeping on the ground.

How comfortable is sleeping on a cot?

A camping cot is a piece of sleeping equipment that provides comfortable sleeping arrangements for campers and backpackers in rough outdoor conditions.

A cot is usually elevated off the ground, which makes it more comfortable than sleeping on the ground. It also provides a bit of insulation from the cold ground.

What should you pay attention to when buying one?

Sleeping on a cot is generally quite comfortable, but it’s important to choose the right cot for your needs.

If you’re tall, look for a cot that’s extra long. If you have back pain, look for a cot with a thicker mattress. And if you’ll be using your cot in cold weather, look for one that’s insulated.

What are the most comfortable cots to sleep on?

The most comfortable camping cots are those that have cushions or padding on the top.

This helps to provide a soft surface to sleep on and can also help to absorb some of the impacts if you move around during the night.

Coleman Comfort Smart Cot

Coleman ComfortSmart cot is one of the best-selling and most comfortable camping cots on the market because the product also includes an inflatable mattress that provides more body support due to the coils in the mattress.

Coleman deluxe camping cot

Coleman Queen Airbed Cot

If you will be camping with your better half then you should look at larger air beds like the Coleman Queen airbed cot that has a weight capacity of 600 pounds.

This camp bed is made of steel to hold the bodyweight while the mattress provides comfort.

The bed can be inflated fast, in a couple of minutes and your bedding will be ready to spend the whole night sleeping.

About double cots

Double cots are often used in camping and can provide a more comfortable option than an air mattress.

Advantages of double cots
  • Provides a more firm sleeping surface than an air mattress
  • More comfortable than an air mattress
  • Keeps you warmer than an air mattress
  • Can be used indoors or outdoors
  • Can be used as a guest bed
Disadvantages of double cots
  • Takes up more space than an air mattress
  • Heavier and harder to transport than an air mattress
  • It may be more expensive than an air mattress

Is a cot better than an air mattress?

It depends on what you are looking for. For camping or a temporary sleeping arrangement, an air mattress will do the trick.

However, if you are looking for something more sturdy and permanent, a cot is the way to go. Today’s camping cots are generally more comfortable than air mattresses.

How do you make your cot more comfortable?

A camping cot is comfortable as it is but if you want to make it more comfortable, you can use an air mattress or a sleeping mat.

An air mattress will make your cot bouncier and more like your bed at home. You can also put a blanket or sleeping bag under the air mattress to make it softer.

Is a cot more comfortable than an air mattress?

A cot is more comfortable than an air mattress but the question is why is it so. A camping cot has a lot of features that make it more comfortable than an air mattress.

First, a cot is raised off the ground so you don’t have to worry about the cold ground affecting your sleep.

Second, a cot has a padded surface which makes it more comfortable to sleep on.

Third, a cot is typically larger than an air mattress which gives you more room to move around and get cozy.

Is a cot more comfortable than a sleeping pad?

If you compare the comfort level of both camping cots and sleeping pads, a cot would be more comfortable.

A camping cot is made of fabric and a steel frame, which provides more support to your body than just a sleeping mat.

Also, camping cots are usually higher off the ground than air mattresses, so it is easier to get in and out of bed. This is especially important for those of you who have back or knee pain or are older campers.

If you are looking for a more comfortable option, a cot is the way to go.

Are cots cold?

Cots don’t have any inherent temperature, so they can be just as cold or warm as the surrounding environment.

However, some camping cots are made with insulating materials that can help keep you warmer in cooler temperatures.

camping cot in nature

Most cots are good to use in hot weather as they provide more air circulation to your body and do not increase the body heat even more.

But in general, they are not as good as an air mattress (especially a self-insulated air mattress), when it comes to cold weather camping because they don’t prevent heat loss as mattresses do.

If you will use a camping cot in cold weather then you can use wool blankets to cover yourself and prevent the cold air from reaching you.

Why are cots more expensive than air mattresses?

Camping cots are generally more expensive than air mattresses because they are sturdier, longer-lasting, and offer more support.

In short, if you pick a cot over an air mattress, you will pay a little more at the start but you will use it for many years ahead while this can’t be said for an air mattress.

What is the most comfortable thing to sleep on when camping?

So, which is the better option when it comes to a cot vs an air mattress debate? Ultimately, this decision depends on your personal preferences and what you’re looking for in a camping sleeping experience.

If you want something that’s going to be extra-comfortable and provide insulation from the ground, an air mattress is probably the way to go.

However, if you don’t mind sacrificing a bit of comfort for a lighter load and easier setup, then a cot could be perfect for you.

Whichever type of sleeping equipment you choose, make sure you test it out before your trip so that you know exactly how it works and can adjust your packing list accordingly.