Lumpy grass, twigs, stones. There’s a lot you could end up sleeping on top of without the right type of sleeping pad. Luckily, we’ve put together a comprehensive guide of the best sleeping pads available on the market. Whether you sleep on your side or on your back, there are plenty of comfortable options out there. If you’re preparing for a camping trip or any other sort of sleeping scenario outside of your own home, the air mattresses and pads below may be for you.
The Top 15 Best Sleeping Pads
From self-inflating pads to the best backpacking sleeping pads, you’ll find a range of awesome products below in our guide. Having a reliable sleeping system is crucial for just about any camping trip inclusive of car camping too. No matter the trip you have ahead, these alternatives to the classic sleeping bag are sure to be comfier and last longer too. Read on for our reviews on the top 15 sleeping pads for all of your camping needs!
1. Big Agnes Insulated Q-Core Deluxe
Length: 5.5 x 5.5 x 10 inches | Weight: 964 Grams
First up in our list of quality sleeping bags guaranteed to keep you warm and comfortable is this insulated Q-Core Deluxe from Big Agnes. Utilizing beam construction, this sleeping reduces pack weight and will provide users with consistent stability no matter the environment they use it in. The two-way stretch top cushion is ideal for any type of sleeping postition; whether you’re a side sleeper or rest on your tummy, this sleeping pad is sure to bring about a good night’s sleep.
With an R-value of 4.3, you’ll be sufficiently warm even in the coldest outdoor conditions making this product an ideal choice for winter camping. The PrimaLoft Silver insulate system uses a heat reflective barrier in order to contain body heat and reflect it. This means that little to no body heat can escape at all. The sleeping pad has been made super easy to inflate with minimal fuss required to bring about a comfortable bed system.
This is one of the best products in this category and comes at a super affordable price too. You will love all that this mattress has to offer and appreciate its portable size which makes for a lightweight piece of equipment.
2. Klymit Static V2 Ultralight Sleeping Pad
Product Dimension: 72 x 23 x 2 inches | Length: 72 inches | Width: 23 inches
If you’re seeking a feather-light sleeping pad that is going to provide you a restful night’s sleep, this could be the perfect option for you. The Kylmit Static V2 sleeping pad is 12% lighter than previous models and comes is made to be as light as possible to carry. Heavy sleeping pads are a problem of the past with this option which is the perfect size for any type of camping excursion.
The V chamber design of this sleeping pad helps to limit air movement and will keep the user warm even for winter camping. Unlike most other pads, this product is actually very comfortable due to its numerous air pads which are designed with practicality in mind. No matter how you rest. the V chamber will support you so that you don’t wake with aches and pains the next day. The deep welds in the air pad also bring about expansion zones for improved thermal comfort.
All in all, this is an excellent product choice for anybody looking for a lightweight yet comfortable sleeping pad. Highly portable, you won’t have any issues at all carrying the pad wherever you need to go.
3. Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XTherm Air Mattress
Product Dimension: 10 x 5 x 5 inches | Length: 10 | Width: 5 inches
Next on our list, we have this awesome pad design by Therm-A-Rest. The NeoAir XTherm air mattress is possibly one of the most innovative sleeping pads available on the market due to its warmth per ounce design. With a 7.2 R-value, you won’t need to be concerned about any sort of cold affecting you when using the Therm-A-Rest NeoAir pad. The rugged windlock valve allows you to inflate the mattress with absolute confidence and it also deflates just as fast for total convenience.
With a triangular core matrix, this Therm-A-Rest product guarantees total warmth throughout the night for a comfortable rest. The layers of foam used in this sleeping pad’s construction are alternated with ridges of air too for a bed mattress feeling even when out camping. You can choose between two different models of this air pad depending on your needs: with or without a windlock valve.
This is one of our favorite sleeping pad options for those that are seeking a high R-value and a cushioned pad to rest on. The foam and air sleeping pad is easy to inflate and deflate and will last well into the future too.
4. Nemo Switchback Foam Sleeping Pad
Product Dimension: 7 x 3.5 x 3.5 inches | Length: 7 | Width: 3.5 inches
Next up on our list of top sleeping pads, we have a design that is a little less luxurious but nonetheless still a quality Nemo Switchback foam pad for sleeping. At a super affordable price, this is a great choice for anybody that is looking to spend a lower amount on their sleeping system for camping. Both warm and comfy for a night’s rest, this is one of the most portable sleeping pads in our list thanks to its easy-to-roll up design. It can be carried with absolute ease and will conform to the body’s shape when in use.
The dual-density foam is an excellent heat-retaining material, so you’ll stay suprisingly warm when using this closed-cell foam pad. Axiotomic foam is used to create Hypnoelastic zones that provide the user with an ideal balance of support and comfort, always. The additional switchback also helps to reflect back body heat from the pad for extra warmth in colder conditions.
Overall, this is an ideal sleeping pad if you are looking to spend less but don’t want to go for one of the low-quality foam pads. Unlike similar products, this sleeping pad can be reused over and over.
5. Sea to Summit Ultralight Sleeping Pad
Product Dimension: 1 x 20 x 72 inches | Length: | Width: inches
For any UltraLight enthusiast, you’ll love the Sea to Summit sleeping pad which is self-inflating. Providing ultimate practicality and convenience for the user, this pad is highly portable and won’t add any bulk to your equipment. Ideal for a hiker or climber, this is one of the best options for on the move needs. Using delta-core V technology, small fragments of the foam construction are removed without compromising comfort or heat retention.
The lightweight mat also comes with a silicone grip which offers the user stability, no matter where they choose to use this piece of equipment. With this said, there are many great features that come with the Sea to Summit sleeping pad, but the highlight is the multi-function valve. You’ll never have to worry about the mat self-inflating when you’re packing it up and moving onto your next destination. Thanks to the valve design, you will benefit from super-fast inflation and deflation when you need to use the sleeping pad.
This is one of the best options when it comes to lightweight sleeping pads that are still going to provide great heat retention. You’ll barely even notice you have this pad packed when on the move!
6. Therm-a-Rest NeoAir Xlite Air Mattress
Product Dimension: 9 x 4 x 4 inches | Length: 9 | Width: 4 inches
Another fantastic product from Therm-A-Rest, the Xlite air mattress is one of the top selling sleeping pads and it’s not difficult to see why. Ideal for anybody who wants to carry less weight and bulk on the move, this option is affordable, lightweight, and will keep you warm. Delivering a plush mattress-like surface, this product coupled with a quality sleeping bag is going to provide you with a sound bed system.
The addition of a dependable Windlock valve allows the user to quickly inflate and deflate the sleeping pad when needed. In fact, this pad inflates 3 times quicker than comparable products which can take far longer. With a R-value of 4.2, this sleeping pad is ideal for all types of outdoor conditions and the triangular core matrix guarantees warmth for the entire night. The Therm-A-Rest brand is renowned for its quality outdoor products, and this sleeping pad doesn’t fall short of the brand’s expectations.
You will love how light this sleeping pad is to carry and how easy it is to inflate after a long day of walking. An additional Windlock valve means you’ll never wake up on a deflated mattress.
7. NEMO Tensor Insulated Sleeping Pad
Product Dimension: 10 x 9 x 4 inches | Item Weight: 0.82 lbs
Dubbed the backpacker’s best friend, the Tensor insulated sleeping pad by NEMO offers 3-inches of comfort alongside packable practicality too. As the most technical sleeping pad from the brand, this air pad offers a super comfortable surface to rest on no matter the conditions or environment you find yourself in. Ideal for campers and hikers alike, this pad utilizes premium fabrics to bring about a luxury feel even when far from home.
Offering its user both stability and practicality, the sleeping pad uses 2 layers of thermal mirror film to bring about complete warmth when in use. It also comes with a handy Vortex pump sack to bring about fast inflation while the likliness of moisture entering the pad is kept to a minimum. This fantastic sleeping pad also comes in a range of colors too so that you can fully customize your sleeping pad set-up.
We think that this is a great option if you’re looking to spend less cash on sleeping pads but still want to benefit from comfort and the pad insulates at the same time.
8. Therm-a-Rest Prolite Plus Backpacking Sleeping Pad
Product Dimension: 15.39 x 4.53 x 1.26 inches | Product Weight: 1.12 lbs
Next, we have another high-quality sleeping pad from Therm-A-Rest, the Prolite Plus. As you’ve probably guessed, this sleeping pad provides a lightweight solution for any sort of backpacker or hiker alike. The Prolite Plus can be used year-round in all types of conditions and environments thanks to its versatile air pad design. Constructed to be ultra compact, you won’t have any issues carrying around this pad wherever you go. Featuring foam cut diagonally, the closed-cell foam pad offers more warmth than comparable pads.
Providing a R-value of 3.4, this is one of the best insulating foam pads available on the market at such a low price. This foam sleeping pad also self-inflates for added convenience so that you won’t have to carry extra bits of equipment with you such as a pump. Suitable for side sleepers, back sleepers, and those that rest on their stomach, this is a super lightweight option that is going to satisfy any user.
You will love the premium features of this foam pad that come alongside a low-end price point. Both comfortable and durable, this a top Therm-A-Rest product that deserves its high rankings.
9. Big Agnes Insulated SLX Tent Floor Sleeping Pad
Product Dimension: 6 x 6 x 11.5 inches | Length: 6 | Width: 6 inches
Next in our list of the best sleep pads, we have another product from the Big Agnes brand. This insulated SLX tent floor pad is ideal for any sort of camping activity and will bring about a comfortable rest without the need for a bulky air mattress. The automatically inflatable pad is designed to fit perfectly into a standard two-man tent without any issues, and the offset I-Beam construction helps bring about total stability when in use by one or two people. With an R-value of 3.2, you’ll be guaranteed warmth when using the pad and coupled with a thick sleeping bag, you’ll have a insulating system.
This pad is lightweight making it suitable for those on the move such as hikers too. The addition of a quilted top brings about a familiar real mattress feel and the nylon fabric further adds to this. You’ll appreciate the cushioned support underneath your back and won’t wake with any sort of aches thanks to the air compressed inside. If you’re concerned about inflation, the great news is that this pad is one of the easiest to inflate due to its high volume valves.
Overall, this is an excellent choice if you’re looking at pads that can accommodate up to 2 people and you’ll benefit from a warm night’s sleep too!
10. Therm-a-Rest Neoair Uberlite Pad
We’ve already featured the Therm-A-Rest brand in this list of top sleeping pads a few times already, but there’s good reason to do so again. The Neoair Uberlite sleep pad from Therm-A-Rest weighs just over a pound but it offers users a suprisingly cushioned and comfortable rest. As the smallest resting pad in the line of products, there is plenty to admire about this product, especially if you’re a backpacker on the move! Like that of the other pads, the Therm-A-Rest Neoair Xlite utilizes the brand’s innovative Triangular Core Matrix to help maximise body warmth and bring about practicality when you are resting outdoors.
You won’t need to worry about inflating and deflating this pad either thanks to its self-inflating system. The dependable valve used in its design helps to maximize air flow and offers quick inflation and deflation. It also comes with a pump sack, compact stuff sack, and field repair kit should you encounter any sort of punctures when using the pad. While this is a featherweight design, the pad boasts the best warmth-to-weight ratio in this category making it a solid choice.
The Neoair Uberlite is extremely light and portable making it suitable for any sort of camping or excursion needs. While you’ll pay a little more than for other products, the investment is totally worth it.
11. Therm-a-Rest Z Lite Foam Camping Pad
Product Dimension: 51 x 20 x 0.75 inches | Item Weight: 400 grams
Among the best sleeping mats, you’ve probably noticed a lot of Therm-A-Rest products and for good reason too. As one of the top manufacturers of comfortable pad products, we have yet another one to present to you. The Rest Z Lite closed-cell foam pad is designed to be both light and compact making it ideal for any type of hiker. At an affordable price, you won’t have to break the bank to ensure a decent night’s sleep with the Therm-A-Rest Z Lite. Trusted by both hikers and mountaineers alike, this is one of the best pad options if you are looking for an insulating option that will keep you warm during cooler nights.
With a R-value of 1.7, the foam pad can be confidently used in milder outdoor conditions so long as it’s paired with a suitable sleeping bag. Designed to be cushioned for maximum comfort, this resting pad also ticks the box when it comes to practicality. Adding no extra bulk whatsoever to your equipment backpack, the Therm-A-Rest Z lite foam mat is a sure winner all round.
As one of the best pads for anyone who is seeking an insulating and lightweight sleeping mat, the Therm-A-Rest Z lite foam mat is suitable for all types of sleepers.
12. Nemo Flyer Regular Wide Pad
Weight: 1 lb 7 oz
Next up on our list we have another sleeping pad from the brand NEMO. Made slightly wider than the usual sleeping pad width, the Flyer Wide pad product is ideal for almost anybody who needs a bed system for the outdoors. With a hybrid design, this pad boasts the thickness of an air bed coupled with the comfort of foam padding. You’ll love the 3D sculpting technology used to contour to the shape of the body for ultimate plushness, preventing you from having to decide between comfort and weight.
60% of the foam has been removed from this NEMO pad while the thickness has been increased by 290%. This brings about a pad whereby you can distribute your weight comfortably with no concern of deflating the mat. The Flyer sleeping mat has been made incredibly lightweight making it ideal for any type of outdoors sleeping setup, in fact, you’ll probably not even notice you are carrying it at all! In addition to its high OZ R-value, this is one of the only air pads that comes with a lifetime warranty too, bringing about total peace of mind for the buyer.
We love how wide this NEMO bed is and just how lightweight it is to carry around. You’ll be able to pack it without any issues at all while benefiting from a generously sized bed to rest on after a long day.
13. Exped SynMat HL Comfort Pad
Product Dimension: 10 x 5 x 5 inches | Weight: 1.05 lbs
The SynMat HL pad by Exped is designed to be as compact as a sleep pad can be and its packed size sure does live up to expectations. As one of the lightest mats on the market, this comfortable pad is ideal for any sort of hiker or camping fanatic who is looking for a sleep system that won’t weigh them down when out walking. Thanks to a tapered profile, this mat will fit into smaller tents making it ideal for those that are moving about solo too. At 7cm in thickness, you’re guranteed a warm night’s rest alongside comfort too.
If you’re concerned about insulation levels, you’ll be reassured to know that this pad uses 3-season microfiber materials to help retain body heat when the pad is in use. For those that need super light packing, this mat offers the perfect size and weight for exactly that. Next-to-skin material will provide the user with a sense of being in their own bed even when far from home in the great outdoors. The pad also comes with anti-slip grip for ultimate stability too so that you can rest confidently even if on a slope!
This is potentially the best sleeping pad for anybody who is looking for a foam pad alternative. With rapid inflation as and when needed, you’ll never be left without a place to rest your head comfortably.
14. Klymit Static V2 Lightweight Pad
Product Dimension: 72 x 23 x 2 inches | Weight: 16. 33 oz
As one of the best-rated air pads, the Klymit Static V2 sleep pad offers its users a lightweight solution for their bed needs when camping. Boasting the classic V design from Klymit, this pad can be packed easily into any sort of backpack for on the move. The V chamber design limits air movement inside, making it one of the few pad products that can be easily transported and that inflates on its ow Providing both comfort and support to whoever uses it, this packed size mat is highly versatile and sure to impress any user.
If you’re concerned about the size of the sleeping pad that you choose, you’ll be delighted to know that this product can be stuffed into, a small sack when not in use. Using body mapping technology, the mat will provide support for any a restful night. The integrated side rails help to prevent air from escaping the mat when moving about in the night, meaning you can rest in absolute confidence.
This is a fantastic sleeping pad that packs to the size of a soda can when not in use. You will love the compact size of this product coupled with its heat retaining properties too.
15. Exped DownMat XP 9 Insulted Sleeping Pad
Product Dimension: 13 x 7 x 6 inches | Weight: 1.2 kgs
Finally, we present the Exped DownMat XP 9, as one of the best insulated sleeping pads, backpackers will love all that this product has to offer. Highly comfortable for any type of sleeper and with a compact packed size, this pad is suitable for even the coldest of weather conditions. You won’t feel a thing underneath the mat due to its 9cm thick construction and its filled with goose down for extra insulation too. The schnozzel pumpbag allows for easy inflation in just 2 minutes, so you’ll never be left waiting around when you want to rest after a long day. Designed specifically for extreme temperatures, this is the best sleeping pad if you plan to rest overnight in cold environments.
This fantastic pad is suitable for side sleepers and those that lie on their back alike and it’s going to keep you toasty when its frosty in your surroundings. Ideal for portability, you will enjoy how compact this pad is as it can be added comfortably to any sort of equipment and be carried around with total ease. The addition of a schnozzle means you won’t have to buy this separately for your Exped Synmat and it has some of the best customer reviews in terms of its warmth effectiveness.
Overall, this product is the perfect pad for you if you are choosing to stay overnight in a cold or freezing climate. It’s one of the best pads available for extreme weather conditions and will keep you dry, comfortable, and supported.
Buyer’s Guide to Sleeping Pads
First time buying pads for sleeping? Perhaps you are seeking expert information on the difference between the types. From closed-cell foam pads to self-inflating air beds, there is lots to consider when it comes to choosing sleeping pads for your own needs. Luckily, we’ve put together a handy guide for you below detailing exactly what you should be considering before buying one of these products for your own use.
First and foremost, it’s crucial to consider exactly what type of scenario you need the pad for. Whether you’re looking for something for casual camping or to suit extreme cold conditions on top of a mountain, this will determine which product properties you should look for. Take the time to consider the conditions in which you’ll use your new sleep mat, as depending on your needs you will likely need a certain R-value and the pad’s overall weight.
Once you have compiled a list of the features you need, you will be able to refine the best sleep pads in order to find a suitable product for your excursion. Customer reviews can help with this greatly, as more often than not you’ll be able to read details on the types of experiences others have had and what situation they have used the pad in.
Types of Sleeping Pad
There are many different types of sleep pads as you’ve probably seen from the list above. While we’ve been sure to include a variation above in our guide, it’s always a good idea to know what type of pad you’d ideally want. Each comes with different R-values and they are composed of certain materials too. Some materials can be suitable for certain conditions, while others are probably not going to keep you very warm.
You should also think about inflating as you may benefit from a self-inflating model if you don’t have much room to carry a pump for example. Foam pads can be more suitable for those that want to pack light, though they are certainly not suitable for extremely cold weather. Air pads on the other hand, can retain heat better but they are likely to weigh more overall when compared to foam pads.
Insulation is a big consideration when choosing your sleeping pad too. Many different models use varying insulation designs with some being more effective than others. It is always important to check out the details surrounding insulation when choosing resting pads, and in particular the R-value. Be sure not to underestimate the R-value of pads as this could potentially lead you to being freezing when out in the cold.
It is important to assess the R-value accordingly, if you’re choosing to camp during the summer months, sleeping pads with an R-value of 3 or less should do the job. Otherwise, if you’re sleeping outdoors in the winter months you’ll need an R-value of 5 or more.
Weight definitely comes into play, especially if you are a hiker with a lot of equipment to carry already. You should look at how compact you can make your bed system without compromising on comfort. Of course, many air pads offer more cushioning but they can’t be folded as compactly as foam pads can. The best pads usually come with self-inflating devices meaning you won’t have to carry around a pump, though some of the models that we have included above do require manual inflation.
With foam pads, you won’t need to worry about carrying a pump around at all which makes these highly suitable and the best backpacking sleeping pads. So long as you don’t require a high R-value, you’ll probably find a foam pad that can be rolled such to be ideal unless you go for a featherweight air pad such as the Therm-A-Rest Neoair Xlite model which weighs just over a pound.
Always consider the weight of pads before going ahead and choosing the perfect option for your own needs. If you have a vehicle that you’re camping in, you won’t need to worry about the pad being packed size or light in weight at all. However, if you’re making the journey by foot and you will be carrying your sleep system, it’s best to go for lightweight sleeping pads.
Durability is another big consideration to factor in when choosing between different pad products. If you are happy to go ahead and choose a cheaper option such as a foam pad and don’t mind only getting a few uses out of the product, then you won’t need to give durability too much thought. However, if you’re an avid hiker for example who is looking for pads that will offer longevity and won’t puncture at the earliest stage, think about durability.
Some air pads come with puncture repair kits which can be reassuring particularly if you are camping on bumpy grounds. In addition to this, some of the products that we have included also come with lifetime warranties to bring about further peace of mind.
How much do you want to spend when looking for portable pads for resting? The best pads are undoubtedly going to cost you more, however, this doesn’t mean you can’t find an excellent product with a high OZ R-value for a reasonable price. We’ve tried to include options above for every type of budget, though some of the pads are over $100. Depending on how much you want to spend, different pads will be available to you.
Therm-A-Rest offers an extensive range of backpacking sleeping pads all of which are guaranteed to last. Some of the brand’s models are specifically designed as backpacking pads such as the Therm-A-Rest Neoair Xlite. On the other hand, there are many versatile pads that suit campers and hikers alike. Be sure to set a clear budget to help you refine the best products available to you within the price point.
Do you still have some questions surrounding the best pads for sleeping outdoors? Below, we have answered some of the most commonly asked questions to help you get to the bottom of choosing a solid pad for your outdoor needs.
What is the best sleeping pad for side sleepers?
There is no right or wrong answer to which are the best pads for side sleepers, however, Therm-A-Rest offer an excellent range of pads for all types of resting positions. If you are looking for support when sleeping we recommend choosing self pumping pads such as the Therm-A-Rest Xtherm sleeping mattress which is a top seller among those that are prone to sleeping on their side.
You will need something that offers good cushioning and prevents strain to the side of the body. For this reason, we advise choosing air pads over foam pads where your budget will allow you to do so.
What is the most comfortable sleeping pad for camping?
There are so many comfortable sleep pads out there, it can be difficult to pinpoint which is the most comfy. When it comes to camping, unless your inside of a car, you’ll need something that will act as a barrier between yourself and the bumpy ground. Many air pads are suitable for this such as the Therm-A-Rest Neoair which also offers a high R value of 4.2 making it ideal for colder conditions too. You should go for a thicker pad which is going to provide you with adequate cushioning and prevent you from feeling the nature underneath you.
The bottom line is to choose a pad that has good reviews for its comfort, ultimately this will give you a clear indication of whther it is suitable for camping or not. Another fantastic option for camping needs is the Big Agnes insulated tent floor pad which can sleep 1-2 campers. It fits well into any standard 2-person tent and comes has an R-value of 3.2 making it suitable for milder climates. You will love how easy it is to inflate and deflate while the construction itself is lightweight and highly portable.
Do you really need a sleeping pad?
If you were to sleep on the ground beneath you when camping, this would end badly – that’s a guarantee! For anybody who is planning to camp outdoors, you will need a sleeping pad or air bed. Without having one you risk discomfort, freezing, and a night of restlessness. As mentioned, many hikers choose to carry lightweight foam pads which are a great alternative in many cases to the standard pads. However, if you are going to be sleeping in cold or freezing environments, you will absolutely need a good quality sleep pad.
If it’s your first time buying such a product, you may not be settled on which you should go for. That’s why we’ve compiled the guide above containing some of the top-rated sleep pads such as the Therm-A-rest Neoair Xlite, and the Therm-A-Rest Z products. In addition to this brand, we’ve also been sure to showcase a range of other pads inclusive of the Sea to Summit model and the Exped Synmat too. You’re guaranteed to find the ideal pad for your needs in the list above!