Camping is one of those great experiences that the whole family can share. Parents get to relax, children get to play, and everyone gets to spend some quality time together. However, for older family members, a camping trip can cause some serious back pain. Because sleeping bags and camping mattresses do not typically provide good back support, campers with back issues tend to head home from the trip with quite a bit of back pain. To prevent this, it’s a great idea to invest in a high-quality camping mattress that provides comfort and support.
The 5 Best Camping Mattresses For a Bad Back
Camping, hiking, and other outdoor adventures can be tiring, and everyone deserves to sleep comfortably. After a long day outdoors, these mattresses should help you get a good night’s rest, and also keep your back feeling great.
Legit Camping Sleeping Pad Mat
For someone with back pain, the Legit Camping Sleeping Pad Mat is one of the best camping mattresses on the market. With unique air support cells that offer excellent support and comfort, no matter what kind of terrain your campsite is on, this mattress will have you sleeping like a baby.
Features We Love
- It is small and lightweight. When deflated, it weighs only 18 ounces and measures 10 x 3.5 inches, which is perfect for easy transport and storage. It’s also ideal for backpacking. When fully inflated, the mattress expands to 75 x 22.5 inches, which is large enough to comfortably fit someone up to 6 feet and 3 inches tall.
- It is easy to inflate. One of our favorite features of this camping mattress is the ease of setup. This mattress is so easy to inflate, you don’t even need to use an air pump. An adult can inflate the mattress is about a minute, with just 10 to 15 breaths of air. When it’s time to pack up the mattress, deflating it is as simple as opening the air valve.
- It is strong and durable. It’s made from 20D rip-stop nylon with a TPU layer, making it very strong and durable and able to withstand all sorts of everyday stuff that would puncture most other camping mattresses.
What We Don’t Like
- Some owners say that the mattress does not hold air well and tends to deflate. However, these reviewers are in the minority. In my experience, the mattress has no trouble holding the air inside.
Wellax FlexFoam Sleeping Pad
The Wellax FlexFoam Sleeping Pad is a great option for anyone with back issues. Generally, the thicker a camping mattress is, the better it is going to be for your back. With a 3 inch thick mattress pad, this is one of the most padded camping mattresses available. Its dimensions measure 77 x 28 x 3 inches, so there is plenty of room to move around at night and get comfortable without rolling or sliding off of the mattress pad.
Features We Love
- It has thick padding. The FlexFoam’s 3 inch thick padding not only helps alleviate any back pain, but also enables you to sleep just about anywhere, regardless of any uneven ground.
- It is self-inflating and self-deflating. The FlexFoam utilizes an awesome self-inflating feature that we love. Seriously, it’s really cool. On the mattress, you will find an inflate valve as well as a deflate valve. Simply open the inflate valve and the mattress inflates itself. It’s actually some really cool technology.
- It provides great insulation. With a 9.5 R-Value, which measures the effectiveness of insulation, the FlexFoam does a great job insulating and retaining warmth through out the night.
What We Don’t Like
- It can get hot. With an R-value of 9.5, this mattress is great at insulation. However, if you are camping during the summer in areas that get hot, things can get a bit sweaty at night. But if the nights are cool, you (and your back) will love this camping mattress.
Willpo Certipur-US Camping Mattress
Another great option for anyone with back pain is the Willpo Certipur-US Camping Mattress. This is one of our favorite camping mattresses. It’s very comfortable and provides a ton of back support via two layers of high-quality memory foam. The twin size measures 75 x 30 x 2.75 inches. When packed, the mattress rolls up into a convenient travel bag, which reduces its size to about 30.5 x 15 inches and weighs 9.8 pounds.
Why We Love It
- It has two foam layers. Besides the memory foam, the Willpo Certipur Camping Mattress also has a 2nd, high-density base support foam layer which provides excellent support. This feels great on your back and should prevent any issues from flaring up while you are on your trip.
- It has a removable, waterproof cover. The removable cover of the mattress can be zipped off and quickly thrown in a home washing machine. This is a great feature for anyone who intends to sleep with a small child or pet. Additionally, the waterproofing prevents any liquids from reaching the foam layers and causing permanent damage to the mattress.
What We Don’t Like
- It is heavy and difficult to carry. Because it isn’t an inflatable mattress, the Willpo Certipur is bulky and heavy, even when packed up. In its carry bag, it measures 30 x 15.5 inches and weighs nearly 10 pounds (9.8 lbs). This means it isn’t idea for situations where you have to carry your gear far. However, if you are able to park your car near your campsite, this is a great option to consider.
Better Habitat Sleep Ready Camping Mattress
The Better Habitat Sleep Ready Camping Mattress is another great memory foam camping mattress. The mattress comes in three sizes: twin, single, and kids. When choosing a size, we recommend that adults select the twin, as the single is a bit too small. The twin mattress measures 75 x 36 x 3 inches and supports up to 230 pounds of weight.
Features We Love
- No inflating is required. It can be set-up and ready for a great night’s sleep in mere seconds because there’s no inflating necessary. Simply unclip the straps and roll it out, it’s as simple as that!
- Three inch thick padding. The memory foam layer on this camping mattress is 3 inches thick. This provides a lot of back support and is great for treating back pain, as well as preventing any new back issues from developing.
- Set up only takes a few seconds.
What We Don’t Like
- It is large and heavy. Although the mattress does come with a convenient carrying bag, it is still pretty large and bulky. It’s definitely not ideal for hiking, backpacking, or any outdoor adventure where you have to lug your gear for a long distance.
LaidBackPad Memory Foam Camping Mattress – Best Overall
The LaidBackPad Memory Foam Camping Mattress is our top recommendation for a camping mattress for a bad back. Seriously, I love this mattress — it’s as close to a real bed as you can get while camping. This mattress measures 24 x 72 x 2 ⅜ inches when laid flat, which provides plenty of room to help you stay comfortable throughout the night. When rolled up, it the mattress pad measures 13 x 12 x 24, which is definitely manageable in terms of storage and transport.
Features We Love
- It has thick padding. With a memory foam pad that is 2-⅜ thick, this mattress is very comfortable, and provides great support for your entire back. Protecting that memory foam is a removable polyester cover that’s not only very durable but also water-resistant and machine washable.
- No inflating is required. Since the mattress is made of high-quality, low-voc memory foam, no inflation is necessary. You simply have to unroll the mattress and it is ready to go. Additionally, unlike inflated mattresses, it cannot leak, pop, or deflate.
- Multiple mattresses connect together. One of the most unique features of the LaidBackPad Memory Foam Camping Mattress is that one can easily be connected to another, expanding your camping mattress to double its size instantly. In fact, with the built-in connectors, several mattresses can be connected together to make a large sleeping area. If your bad back means you need a bigger mattress, then this is a great option to consider.
For the best possible sleeping combination, we recommend putting this mattress on top of a camping cot. You will like it so much, that you might end up replacing your bed at home.
What We Don’t Like
- It is heavy. The major drawback to this camping mattress is the weight. Weighing a hefty 8.5 pounds, this isn’t really an ideal option for those who have to lug their gear a significant distance. Hikers and backpackers should opt for something much lighter. However, if you are car camping or just don’t have to hike too far to get to your campsite, this is the perfect camping mattress to keep you well-rested with no back pain.
Buyer’s Guide: What to Look for in a Camping Mattresses
Height and Width
If you have a bad back you’ll want as much room as possible when you go to sleep, so you can stretch your legs and move around freely. Most manufacturers will give you the exact dimensions, including both length and width, so be sure to choose a size that provides you with a bit of extra sleeping room.
If you have back problems this is likely the most important factor when buying a camping mattress. A thicker mattress will be more comfortable during the night, supporting your back and neck fully, while also protecting you from anything underneath the mattress itself, like rocks, sticks, pine cones and so forth.
For additional padding and comfort, many campers also use a warm sleeping bag, placing it on top of the mattress.
Some camping mattresses use air as their main supportive material, while others use memory foam. Both can be comfortable but, if you have a bad back, memory foam is likely a better option.
If you experience back pain, the last thing you need is a camping mattress that takes too much time to inflate and deflate. Memory foam camping mattresses do not require either, making them a better choice if your back isn’t as healthy as it used to be.
One last factor to look for is the weight of the mattress. If you are hiking to your camping destination, or have to travel a long distance from the car to the campsite, this is an important factor to consider. Memory foam mattresses might be more comfortable, but since they cannot be deflated, they are a lot heavier and bulkier to carry than air mattresses are.
Camping Mattresses for a Bad Back FAQs
What is the best camping mattress for a bad back?
Frankly, this depends on where you are going and how you are getting there. If you’re traveling by car or truck to your campsite than a memory foam mattress is the better choice as the thickness, comfort and R-Value are all higher. If you’re hiking, however, the small size and weight of an inflatable camping mattress makes the most sense.
What size camping mattress is best for a bad back?
This depends on the individual. The bigger you are, the bigger your mattress should be so that you have ample room to move around at night without falling off your mattress and waking up unexpectedly.
If your back pain makes it difficult to lie down and get up from the floor, a camping cot is a great solution. You can just lay the camping mattress directly on the cot. Alternatively, depending on your specific back issues, you may also want to look into the benefits of sleeping on a hammock.
What R-Value is best for a camping mattress?
Staying warm and cozy at night is especially important if you have a bad back, so choosing a camping mattress with a higher R-Value is usually a good idea. However, if you are camping outdoors in a hot climate, you may want to opt for something that doesn’t insulate quite as well.
While camping in colder climates, we recommend using a wool blanket to keep warm and insulated during those chilly nights.
Take it from someone who loves camping but has had lower back ‘issues’ for several years, the LaidBackPad Memory Foam Camping Mattress is most likely your best overall choice, especially if you are driving and parking close to your campsite. This mattress is thick and comfortable, has an excellent R-Value, and provides a large sleeping area. In addition, it can easily be attached to another mattress.
Did we miss any camping mattresses that you think should be on the list? Let us know in the comments below, and have a fantastic time on your next camping trip!