Whether camping, on mountain tours or as a guest bed: air mattresses replace the bedroom at home. It is particularly practical that many models no longer have to be inflated by mouth or with a pump – they can do this tedious job themselves.

Last year alone, more than 30 million overnight stays were registered at German campsites, according to current statistics. Many holidaymakers have not only discovered camping for themselves since Corona, although the term camping is broad: it includes sleeping in a caravan or mobile home as well as spending the night in a mobile home – or in a classic way in a tent. As far as comfort is concerned, the latter offers the least: on the one hand, the air-permeable plastic huts have little space for luggage, on the other hand, you sleep on the hard floor. To increase comfort, air mattresses are a must-have when camping. Self-inflating models in particular are currently very popular.

Comparison of self-inflating air mattresses

There are basically two different types of self-inflating air mattresses: either they contain a special valve through which the air is automatically sucked in – or they have an integrated pump that is electrically operated and may be dependent on a power source. For this reason, the first variant is better suited for camping. Below we present five different models.

1. Black Crevice (200 x 60 cm)

This Black Crevice self-inflating air mattress is available in six different colours. Depending on how comfortable you want to lie, you can choose between different thicknesses: The thinnest model is just three centimeters thick, the thickest measures at least ten centimeters. According to the manufacturer, the waterproof polyester mattress needs ten to a maximum of 20 minutes to fill up completely with air via an integrated valve.

2. Quechua (190 × 65 cm)

The special thing about this Quechua model is that it could be coupled with another (same) self-inflating air mattress – and thus the lying surface could be increased. According to the manufacturer, it is suitable for all four seasons. The R value* according to the ASTM F3340-18 standard is: 5.2. The mattress should soon be able to inflate itself via the integrated double valve. And deflating should also be as quick and easy as possible.

3. Touchxel (203 x 157 cm)

With this model from Touchxel, the air is sucked in via an electric pump that is firmly integrated in the mattress – it should be fully inflated after just a few minutes. According to the manufacturer, the waterproof material can withstand a load of up to 230 kilograms, so that two people can easily sleep on it. In contrast to the first two mattresses, this one is significantly higher: the model measures 47 centimeters.

4. Intex (203 x 152 cm)

The air bed “DURA-BEAM® UltraPlush Airbed” from Intex also offers more sleeping comfort than a flat air mattress: the lying height here is also 46 centimetres. According to the manufacturer, the model can be loaded up to 272 kilograms, so that two people can lie next to each other. Thanks to the integrated electric pump, the mattress should be able to inflate within two to four minutes, depending on the desired degree of firmness.

5. Quechua (200 × 136 cm)

This self-inflating air mattress from Quechua is almost as wide as the last two models, but significantly narrower. It offers enough space for two people and is probably more suitable for a tent holiday due to the shallow depth. According to the manufacturer, this mattress is also suitable for all four seasons, the R value* is 8.6 according to the ASTM F3340-18 standard. Rapid inflation and deflation should also be possible.

*R value: This value stands for the thermal resistance of an air mattress. In other words, the higher the R value, the higher the insulation performance of the material.

Note: If the air mattress loses air

Anyone who has ever slept on an air mattress knows the feeling when the mattress loses air overnight. There can actually be two reasons for this: either the material has a hole through which air escapes (which is unlikely with a new model) – or the mattress still has to expand properly after purchase. This means: Before using the mattress for the first time, you should inflate it several times before sleeping on it. This allows the material to expand completely and fill the entire interior with air. However, should the air mattress actually have a hole at some point, you can use this to easily mend the material.

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