What To Put Under An Air Mattress When Camping

What To Put Under An Air Mattress When Camping?

(Last Updated On: July 6, 2023)


An air mattress is a great choice for camping, as it can provide a comfortable surface to sleep on and makes packing up each morning much easier than with a traditional sleeping bag.

But while the mattress itself is important, there are some other factors that need to be considered in order to ensure your camping trip is as comfortable and enjoyable as possible.

The first thing you should consider when planning an air mattress camping trip is what type of material you will use underneath the mattress for padding.

Most people opt for foam or inflatable pads, which provide cushioning against the ground surface and keep you warm during colder nights.

However, if you want more protection from rocky or uneven terrain then an insulated blanket may be a better option.

You could also choose to bring along a thin sheet or tarpaulin if you expect wet weather during your stay.

When camping, nothing is more important than a good night’s sleep. It’s essential for a successful outdoor adventure.

To ensure you get the best possible sleep outside, there are some key things to consider when it comes to what to put under an air mattress.

This article will provide a comprehensive guide of the best and most effective items to put underneath an air mattress for padding and make it safe and cozy.

Importance Of Choosing The Right Material To Put Under An Air Mattress When Camping: A Brief Overview

When camping, it is important to choose the right material to put under an air mattress.

The type of material selected should be based on the environment and conditions of the campsite.

A flat, hard surface is ideal for a comfortable sleeping experience; this can be achieved by using foam pads, foam tiles or ground cloths.

For additional cushioning, blankets or inflatable pads can add extra comfort and insulation from the cold ground.

In areas where moisture may be present such as near rivers or lakes, plastic tarps are recommended to keep moisture away from your air mattress and prevent water damage.

Furthermore, if camping in a tent then it is a good idea to have a piece of rug between you and the floor to reduce noise levels when moving about during the night.

Choosing the right material for underneath your air mattress will not only provide comfort but also contribute to overall safety while camping by ensuring adequate protection against dampness, rocky surfaces and other environmental hazards that could affect your sleep quality.

Ultimately, selecting different materials depending on personal preference and location will create an enjoyable outdoor experience with a more restful sleep that allows for greater focus throughout the day whilst exploring nature.

What To Put Under An Air Mattress When Camping?

When camping, it’s important to have something to put under your air mattress for comfort and insulation, as well as safety.

Following is a list of things which I have compiled based on user experiences and some of these I have personally used as well.

Foam Pads

Foam pads are the perfect solution when looking for something to put under an air mattress while camping.

They provide cushioning and insulation from the cold ground, allowing for a much more comfortable night’s sleep.

Additionally, they are lightweight and easy to pack up, making them ideal for storing in a backpack or tent.

The most common type of foam pad is closed cell foam, which is made with tiny cells that trap air within them providing insulation and cushioning.

Other types of foam pads include open cell foam which has larger cells that allow body heat to be trapped within them creating extra warmth; self-inflating foam pads are another option as they inflate themselves using air valves; and finally egg crate-style foam pads which have a raised surface pattern offering greater comfort while sleeping on the ground.

Sleeping Pads or Sleeping Bags

Sleeping pads are often used as a cushion between the air mattress and the ground when camping.

They provide an extra layer of insulation, comfort, and shock absorption to make sleeping outdoors more enjoyable.

Sleeping pads usually come in either self-inflating or foam styles.

Self-inflating pads use specialized foam that expands when exposed to air, while foam pads are simply rolled out on the floor.

Both types provide comfortable protection from cold temperatures, rocks and other debris that can be found on the ground.

Sleeping bags are essential for camping trips in order to keep warm and dry during sleep.

But they can also be placed underneath the air mattress.

Sleeping bags come in several different materials such as down or synthetic fibres which offer varying levels of insulation depending on the season and temperature drops overnight.

Foam Tiles

Foam tiles are an ideal material to use as a cushioning and support barrier between the ground and your air mattress when camping.

It also helps protect against sharp objects that may puncture the air mattress.

Foam also has a higher R-Value than most other materials, meaning it will keep you warm and provide additional comfort.

Additionally, foam tiles are lightweight and easy to carry, making it perfect for campers who don’t want to add too much weight to their packs.

Lastly, foam tiles are durable enough to withstand the outdoor elements while still providing ample cushioning and support.

By choosing foam tiles as a barrier between the air mattress and the ground while camping, you’ll get all of these benefits without sacrificing comfort or convenience.

Blankets and Quilts

Blankets are an ideal choice when camping and looking for something to cushion and support an air mattress.

Not only will they provide a degree of comfort, but they can also act as a makeshift barrier between the ground and the air mattress.

Generally speaking, blankets that are thicker or made from heavier materials, such as wool or fleece, will be better options than lightweight ones.

When selecting blankets for this purpose, it is best to choose ones that are waterproof; this will help prevent moisture from seeping into the air mattress and making it less comfortable to sleep on.

Lastly, make sure to select a blanket large enough so that it covers not only the air mattress but also extends beyond its edges for added protection against any moisture or cold temperatures coming off the ground.

Sheets and Pillow Covers 

Sheets and pillow covers are ideal for providing cushioning and support when camping with an air mattress.

Sheets made of cotton, linen, flannel or jersey are all soft underfoot and promote better insulation from the cold ground below.

Pillow covers also provide extra plushness and a barrier between the ground and the air mattress.

Plastic Tarps 

Using a plastic tarp under your air mattress when camping is an excellent choice.

It’s lightweight, foldable and easy to store in your vehicle or backpack.

Plastic tarps are also waterproof, making them ideal for keeping the dampness of the ground from seeping into your air mattress.

They create a barrier between the air mattress and the ground.

Additionally, plastic tarps are affordable and can be used over and over again for multiple camping trips.

Make sure you get one that’s large enough to fit under your air mattress so it doesn’t bunch up beneath the air mattress while sleeping.

Once placed under your mattress, secure it with tent stakes or rocks if necessary so it won’t shift around as you move during sleep.

Camping Mats

Camping mats are a great option to put under an air mattress when camping.

They provide a comfortable surface to sleep on and help protect your air mattress from sharp stones and twigs that may be on the ground.

Camping mats come in different sizes, thicknesses, and materials so you can find one that suits your needs.

Some camping mats are lightweight and easy to carry, making them ideal for backpacking trips where weight is an important factor.

Others have thicker padding for extra comfort while sleeping in a tent or campsite.

Some even come with built-in insulation to keep you warm when temperatures drop at night.

Whichever camping mat you choose, it will add a layer of comfort between you and the ground beneath your air mattress while camping out in the wild!

Ground Cloths

Ground cloths are an essential item to put under an air mattress when camping.

They can be made from a variety of materials, such as plastic tarp, canvas, or Tyvek sheets.

Ground cloths provide insulation and protection against ground moisture and help keep the air mattress clean.

They also protect the air mattress from sharp objects that may be on the ground such as rocks or sticks.

When choosing a ground cloth for camping, look for one that is waterproof and durable enough to withstand wear and tear during your trip.

It should be large enough to cover your entire air mattress so it doesn’t slip around while you sleep.

If possible, choose one with corner grommets so you can secure it in place with stakes or tie-downs if necessary.

Make sure to check your ground cloth regularly throughout your camping trip for any signs of tears or wear that may need repair before packing up.

Tent Footprints 

Tent footprints are a great option for campers looking to maximize their comfort and protect the bottom of their tent from the elements.

A tent footprint is a thin sheet of material, usually nylon or polyester, that is designed to fit underneath your tent.

However, in this case, you can also put them under your air mattress.

The footprint also helps insulate you from the cold ground when camping in colder climates.


To wrap it up, there are many materials and items you can use to provide cushioning and support under an air mattress when camping.

Some of the options include foam pads, sleeping pads, foam tiles, plastic tarps, camping mats, ground cloths, tent footprints, blankets and quilts.

Remember to pick something that is both comfortable and durable for the best experience in your campsite.

With so many choices available, there should be no problem finding something perfect for your needs.