If you like getting off-grid at a moments notice, then you should consider picking up a truck bed air mattress for impromptu adventures.
We like to cover every style of off-grid camping here at Van Clan; from truck life to the best RVs money can buy, there are so many ways that you can get out into nature and away from the drudgery of the 9-5 lifestyle.
These units turn everyday vehicles like your trusty truck into a campervan at a ridiculously cheap cost. You don’t need an extra vehicle, and you can store them easily when not in use.
But if you do plump for a truck tent, then what will you sleep on?
Sure, you might be protected from the elements above, but sleeping on a cold metal truck bed doesn’t exactly sound like anyone’s idea of luxury.
You could try and lift your mattress down from your bedroom, or you could pick up a truck bed air mattress and have a comfortable nights sleep without any hassle.
Picking The Best Truck Bed Air Mattress For Your Truck Or Off Grid Vehicle
Why Should I Pick Up A Truck Bed Air Mattress?
A truck bed air mattress is exactly what it says on the tin – a mattress that you can blow up and place on the base of your truck bed.
There’s no need for a flashy campervan or a camping module to be installed. Heck, you could even miss out the truck tent part on the top if you were camping somewhere remote and warm where bees and peeping-toms weren’t going to find you.
Now I know what many of you are probably thinking; ‘why couldn’t I just cut out a bit of foam or use a mattress instead?’.
Well, truck bed air mattress models are specifically designed to fit in your truck or SUV. They have wheel well cutouts and are designed to turn a cold metal truck bed into a comfortable bed with minimal fuss.
Air mattresses blow up super fast, and some of them even have a pre-installed pump. They pack down small and can be stored under your drivers seat so you’re never without a comfy place to grab some shut eye.
How Do I Use One?
Simply lay the mattress out on your truck bed and connect it up to a pump if there isn’t a blow-up function already built-in.
Plug your pump into your truck’s cigarette lighter or a 12V power pack like the Jackery Explorer 500, and get ready to roll!
These air mattresses blow up in no time at all. You can set it going and clean your teeth while you wait; multitasking goals.
Most products give around 10-12″ of padding, which means you’d be hard pushed to feel the cold, ridged base of your truck bed through it.
Double up with a weighty duvet/comforter and your favourite pillows, and you’ve got yourself a luxury sleep zone in seconds!
Who Would Need A Truck Bed Air Mattress?
Anyone who loves camping but doesn’t want to be bothered setting up a tent in the middle of the night or against a gale-force wind will love this truck life hack.
A truck bed air mattress is perfect for anyone from day campers to fisherman who want a nap in-between catches.
And it’s also preferable to using a roll mat where you end up feeling every lump, bump, and tree root in the surrounding area.
Using a truck bed air mattress is actually better for the environment that you are camping in too.
Whereas a tent has a large surface area that can usually end up killing off the grass underneath it, a truck only has four points of contact with the ground; i.e your wheels.
There’s less chance that creepy crawlies are going to sneak into your sleeping quarters at night too as you are raised up above the ground.
All in all, it’s looking like a pretty good idea so far!
What Should I Look For In A Truck Bed Air Mattress?
Of course, there are lots of things to think about when buying a truck bed air mattress. It’s certainly not a ‘one size fits all’ kind of product, and there are different quality items with varying price points out there on the market.
Deciding which mattress is right for you can be a simple process if you use the following four check points.
Thickness is a biggy, as you want to make sure that you have the most comfortable sleep possible. This is especially true if you’re planning a long drive the next day.
It could be safe to say that the kind of mattress you’re going to be putting in your truck or SUV isn’t going to be the same as the memory foam mattress from your local bed store, but that doesn’t mean that they aren’t going to be cosy.
As I’ve already mentioned, most truck mattresses are going to provide you with 10-12″ of thickness, with some of the cheaper models coming in at 8″.
Of course, there’s nothing to stop you from bringing a memory foam mattress topper with you to bulk them out a little bit or creating your own nest with blankets and throws too.
If you can afford it, then you should opt for a truck bed air mattress with the most air chambers inside of it.
More air chambers equal less rolling into your partner in the middle of the night, giving you a firmer base, better weight distribution, and a better nights sleep!
The only size constraints that you need to consider are the walls of your truck or SUV.
Even the thickest truck bed air mattress inside an SUV will still provide you with plenty of sleeping room, although you might not be able to sit up and have a chat!
Unless you’ve placed a subwoofer in the back of your truck or have decided to build a skate ramp in there, you should be able to find a mattress that fits pretty easily.
In the same way that you might measure your bedroom at home when deciding on a mattress, there are a couple of areas that you should take a tape measure to when planning your truck bed air mattress purchase.
- Get a measurement from the very back of the cab (or back seats if it’s a closed roof truck) so you know how long your mattress needs to be.
- You’ll also need to check the width between your sidewalls and your wheel wells. That last one will save you from having to take a carving knife to your new mattress and effectively rendering it useless!
You’ll generally find that truck bed air mattress models come in three sizes; Queen, Full, and Ful XL.
Queen sized mattress are more like the type of bed that you might have at home. They’re large and will only fit in larger trucks, perfect for any Unimog fans out there.
Full and Full XL are smaller than Queen and the sizes that you’re probably going to go for.
Full mattresses will fit in any truck or SUV without any difficulty. At 54″ x 74″ they are perfectly suited for any pickup, work truck, or jeep that you might have.
Full XL, as you might have guessed, is a little bit bigger. They have an extra 6″ of length, providing a total size of 54″ x “80. These are great if you have a tailgate that you can whip down for extra room and perfect for taller campers.
There’s nothing worse than trying to sleep on something scratchy and uncomfortable. It can make you feel pretty grumpy when you wake up in a morning, and being sleep deprived isn’t a great way to kick off a drive.
Truck bed air mattress models are mostly made of PVC, They’ll have the usual ‘pocket sprung’ design of a normal mattress, but they will feel plasticky and a little like cuddling up to a balloon.
Cover it with a sheet – problem solved!
If you don’t want to start messing around with sheets or endure them slipping off in the middle of the night, then you could always go for a brushed cotton option.
My mum has brushed cotton sheets on her guest bed and they’re epic!
These options might cost a little more, but they’re great for the more spontaneous travellers amongst us that might want to keep a bed in their truck at all times in case the feeling of adventure takes them!
No, I’m not talking about a price increase; I’m talking about blowing up your bed!
Thankfully, the days of blowing up a mattress with a squeaky foot pump are gone. No longer do you have to annoy fellow campers who are trying to enjoy the scenery with a sound that resembles you beating up a clown.
Air beds can be pumped up using a 12V pump. These little units get power from the 12V cigarette lighter in your truck, giving you power anywhere at a moments notice.
You can also buy battery powered pumps too and stick some rechargeable batteries inside!
If your pump has a long cord, then you can blow up your truck bed air mattress in its final position rather than having to throw it into the back of your vehicle once inflated.
Top 5 Best Truck Bed Air Mattress
We’ve curated the following list of truck bed air mattresses. All five of these will work out great for your next adventure. Here’s what you should know.
The first truck bed air mattress on our list is a cheap and cheerful product that will fit pretty much any vehicle.
But that doesn’t man that it isn’t a contender for the best truck bed air mattress!
The Rightline Gear Truck Bed Air Mattress fits neatly in-between your wheel wheels, which has an added bonus of creating a nice storage area for you to put things like bags, suitcases, shoes etc.
Now you don’t have to worry about leaving your personal belongings in the front of your truck or on the floor while you sleep.
The mattress itself has a flocked top surface for extra comfort while sleeping and comes with an easy inflate valve get the air both in and out a lot faster.
And the whole thing comes in a neat stuff sack. Sorted!
Next up on out list is a pro piece of kit that can be used both in and out of your truck.
The Pittman Outdoors Airbedz Pro is a full-sized truck bed air mattress that utilises every inch of available space.
If you’re the kind of traveller who likes to starfish or is sharing space with a partner or friend, then you’ll love the extra width that this bed provides.
It’s thick too!
The famous Pittman air-coiled system provides 12-inches of heavenly comfort, leaving you to while the night away in the land of nod.
And there’s a smooth brushed cotton finish to this mattress too. I’m feeling sleepy just looking at it.
There’s an integrated pump built into the bed, so all you need to do is hook the cable up to your 12V port and stand back while it blows up.
Special cutouts allow the mattress to sit over your wheel wells, but you can use this product as an extra bed inside the home for guests once a set of wheel well inserts have been affixed.
Next up on our list of the best truck bed air mattress models is this Berocia Thick SUV mattress. With a simple set up time and an inflated size of 180cm x 128cm x 12cm, this mattress is great value for money.
It can be used in temperatures of -25°C up to to 55°C (- 13°F up to to 122°F), and while you’re probably going to want to double up with some warm blankets, it provides a great base layer for any truck, SUV, or popup camper.
One of the best bits about this SUV mattress is that it packs down so small.
So, if you do want to head off on a hike into the forest and plan on sleeping under the stars, you can take your bed with you without feeling like a packhorse!
The mattress can be blown up and ready for snoozing in just 2 minutes, and when folded down it measures just 25cm x 22cm x 10cm.
That’s about the size of a lunchbox!
Next up is this Wey and Fey SUV Air Mattress.
In all honesty, it’s very similar to the Berocia model and has a very similar price. It’s double-sided with a flocked, breathable material and ridged to provide support while sleeping.
And it comes in nicer colours, so if you’re not a fan of dark blue, then at least you can have a little variation!
There are separate blow-up segments in this product in a bid to increase its structure. It can bear up to 260KG of weight, so it’s perfect for a couple or small family to kip down on comfortably.
Unlike the AirBedz Pro3, this mattress doesn’t have an in-built pump. It can be blown up by a 12V pump, however, and is ready for sleep in minutes.
Like the Berocia, it has a temperature rating of -25°C up to to 55°C (- 13°F up to to 122°F).
The last product on our best truck bed air mattress list is also the one that I would go for if I owned a truck.
The AirBedz Lite has all of the same comfort levels and thickness as the AirBedz Pro3 model but comes in at around $60 cheaper.
That’s down to the fact that there isn’t a pump function built-in, but I don’t care about having to hold a 12V pump for a while if it means saving a big heap of money!
The AirBedz Lite has an integrated air-coil system just like it’s bigger brother. It’s also puncture resistant thanks to the high-quality PVC used to make the lining.
That’s a great feature if you use your truck for work through the week and aren’t too careful when cleaning it out before a camping trip.
Like the Pro3, the AirBedz lite has wheel well cutouts to make the most of the available space, so there’s no excuse not to spread out once night falls!