How To Lift An Air Bed For Camping — A Complete Guide
Air beds are a popular choice for camping trips because of their comfort, size, and portability. A high-quality air bed is also quite durable and resistant to dirt, dust, and surface knocks. However, they do have a few drawbacks, such as poor insulation and their risk of getting easily punctured or cut by sharp objects or bumpy ground. These downsides can be easily mitigated by learning how to lift an air bed for camping.
To lift an air bed for camping, buy a mattress frame, use a box spring, lay a thick carpet under the air mattress, or buy a camping cot.
Are you wondering if raising your air mattress off the ground is worth the time and money? In this article, we’ll cover reasons why lifting an air bed for camping is beneficial for your health and comfort as well as for the longevity of the mattress, and we will also suggest different methods to raise your air bed. Read our article on how to fix an air bed that is cold for more tips and tricks to increase your comfort when camping.
Air Mattress Risers For Camping
Raising your air mattress is the ideal way to protect your air mattress while camping. There are numerous approaches that you can take to lift your air bed off the ground, depending on your means and the tools you have available. While you can consider using DIY projects to raise your mattress, it is usually advisable to get store bought frames to keep your mattress off the ground.
Use a camping cot as an air mattress riser. They are portable, lightweight, and durable. Other alternatives include folding metal frames and foldable box springs. Thick carpet is another option for raising an air mattress off the ground without adding height to the mattress.
The use of frames is one of the most straightforward methods of lifting an air mattress. Metal and wood are the most-used materials in the manufacturing of frames, with metal frames being the most portable choice for camping. Remember to make sure that the frame’s dimensions will fit your air mattress and that it doesn’t have any sharp objects that can pierce your air mattress.
A few other air mattress risers that work great for camping include thick carpets, camping cots, and foldable box springs.
Metal frames are available in various options with sizes in twin, full, queen, and king. They can be bought from a variety of online and in-store retailers, and their purpose is to raise your mattress off the floor. Foldable metal frames are a great choice for camping because they are portable and easy to assemble. Some frames, like this one, even come with an air mattress attached! Check out this video to see how easy it is to assemble the bed.
Prices can vary according to the features of each frame, so be sure to do your research. One key feature to consider is the weight capacity of the frame. Read our article about air beds that can support over 400 pounds to learn more about the weight capacities of air beds.
A camping cot is a folding aluminum or steel frame with fabric stretched over the frame. Twin and queen size folding camping cots provide an affordable solution for raising air beds off the ground. The fabric used on a camping cot is comfortable, sturdy, and designed to be slept on. However, you can add an air mattress on top of the cot for extra comfort as long as the air mattress fits properly. Don’t use an air mattress that hangs over the sides of the camping cot. This can cause stress on the air mattress and ultimately damage it. Read our article comparing camping cots to air beds to learn which combination will suit your camping needs.
Many cots come with convenient carry bags for storing and carrying them. Also, note that cot leg designs influence the sturdiness and amount of weight the cot can support. Expect to pay more for a cot designed to support more weight. This camping cot can hold up to 450 lbs.
Camping cots are also included in our complete list to air bed alternatives. You might want to take a look at that article as well before making any additional decisions.
If you use a small 1- or 2-person tent for camping, a thick carpet is a great way to get the air mattress off the ground without adding too much height. In a small and short tent, many mattress riser options will raise the mattress too much! But a thick carpet is an ideal way to protect your mattress while staying low to the ground.
A thick carpet protects the air mattress from sharp objects and dust accumulation. All you have to do is buy a thick carpet that fits the air bed dimensions. Next, lay the carpet on the ground where you plan to place your mattress and inflate your air mattress on top of the carpet.
Foldable Box Spring
For an air mattress camping experience that is reminiscent of a traditional bed, you can consider lifting your air bed off the ground with the support of a box spring. The box spring raises your mattress by 4-5 inches, making it easier to slide out of bed without overexertion. It also absorbs body weight and extends the life of the air mattress. However, traditional box springs are quite expensive and can be difficult to transport.
For an option that is easier to transport but still provides impressive support, consider a foldable box spring like this one from Amazon. While traditional box springs are placed on a bed frame, this foldable box spring can be set directly on the ground while camping. Even without the bed frame underneath, it will provide an exceptional level of support and comfort.
Since air mattresses are more delicate than foam mattresses, consider using a mattress underlay between the box spring and air mattress. This adds an extra layer of protection for your air mattress and protects it from the sharp springs of the box spring.
Summary Of Air Mattress Risers For Camping
|Type of Air Mattress Riser||Example of Product||Portability||Price|
|Folding Metal Frame||Folding Metal Frame with Air Bed||High||~$270|
|Camping Cot||Camping Cot||High||~$150|
|Thick Carpet||Shaggy Area Rug||High||~$50|
|Foldable Box Spring||Foldable Box Spring||Medium, you will likely need a truck to transport.||~$270|
Now that you have all of this information, you might start wondering what other options there are. If this is you, make sure to check out how to choose between an air bed vs. memory foam mattress for camping. Similarly, you might question if you can use an air bed on an adjustable bed. So be sure to check that one out too.
How To Lift An Air Bed For Camping By Using An Air Mattress Riser
As we have discussed, there are several mattress risers and frames that you can purchase to lift an air bed for camping. An elevated air mattress is more comfortable to sleep on and ensures that you will be well-rested while you’re camping.
To lift an air bed for camping, first choose a camping cot for one or two occupants. Then practice assembling the cot at home. At the campsite, set up the cot on flat terrain and place the air bed on top. Then blow up the air bed and add bed linens for comfort.
Step 1. Choose A Camping Cot That Is Right For You.
The first step in using a camping cot is choosing the right one. While shopping for a camping cot, consider whether it will be used by one person or a couple. Also, take into account the height of the person(s) who will be sleeping on it. This includes noting the size of your air bed and making sure that the camping cot will fully support the bed. Cots come in a variety of widths and lengths, and it’s important to make sure that the cot will be the right size for your intended use.
Weight limits differ from product to product, so this is another important factor to consider when choosing a camping cot. Also, keep in mind that the materials used in constructing the cot affect its durability and lifespan, so look for heavy-duty materials such as canvas and metal.
Step 2. Practice Assembling The Cot And Air Bed At Home
Before heading out on your grand camping adventure, take a few minutes to familiarize yourself with the camping cot and the assembly procedure. Most cots are easy to set up in just a few minutes, but trying it out for the first time at home can make things go much smoother once you’re at the campsite. This is also a good time to ensure that your air bed fits correctly on the cot. While you’re at it, inspect your air bed for holes and make sure your air pump is ready to go.
Step 3. Find a Flat Place To Set Up The Cot
You don’t want to wake up in the middle of the night with all your blood rushing to your head because you accidentally set up your cot on a downhill slant! Once you’re at your campsite, search for a flat, even area to set up your camping cot and get a restful nights’ sleep.
Step 4. Set Up Your Camping Cot (And Maybe Your Tent, Too)
If you are using a tent, now is the time to set it up. If you’re planning to sleep beneath the stars, you can get right to assembling your cot. This should be relatively straightforward since you practiced at home!
Step 5. Blow Up Your Mattress And Place It On The Cot
Once your cot is fully set up you can place your air mattress on top and begin blowing it up. After it’s fully inflated, add your sleeping bag or whatever bed linens you will be using.
Reasons To Lift An Air Bed
An air bed that sits directly on the ground while camping is at risk of getting pierced by sharp objects, which could puncture and deflate the mattress. If you want to find out how to fix a leak in an air bed, read our article that offers methods to detect and patch a leak. The air bed will also need more frequent washing if it sets on the ground due to the accumulation of dirt or sand. Furthermore, some air beds tend to sag more quickly when placed directly on the floor, resulting in back pain and bad posture. Raising your air bed off the ground is the ideal way to protect your mattress — and your back!
Lifting an air bed protects the air mattress from damage, slows down the deflation process of the mattress, makes the air mattress more comfortable, and provides storage space right under the mattress.
Lifting An Air Bed Protects An Air Mattress From Damage
One benefit of raising your air mattress is to prolong its life expectancy. The floor harbors many things that can puncture your mattress such as pine needles, sharp sticks, and jagged rocks. An air bed sitting directly on the floor has a higher risk of getting punctured. It also attracts and accumulates dirt at a much faster pace than off-ground mattresses. Using a camping pad like this one beneath your air bed will help protect the air bed.
Lifting An Air Bed Slows Down The Deflation Process Of The Mattress
Air beds tend to gradually lose firmness during the night. An air mattress that is in direct contact with the floor tends to deflate at a higher pace than one that is elevated off the floor. Increased deflation is due to the clash of contrasting temperatures of the ground and the mattress’ internal air temperature. Read our article on why air beds deflate during the night to learn how to prevent this. Raising your air bed will maintain a more consistent level of air inside the mattress, which will slow down the deflation process and hence prolong the longevity of the mattress.
Lifting An Air Bed Makes The Mattress More Comfortable
Sleeping on a raised mattress allows you to keep dust, insects, and allergens far from you when you sleep. It will also give you a real bed-like feel and added comfort, making it easier to get in and out of bed. This is especially convenient for people with mobility issues, back problems, or knee pain who may have trouble getting in and out of a low bed. Having an even surface to place your mattress on means your posture will be better. This article from The Journal of Physical Therapy Science explains how having good posture when you sleep benefits your neck muscles and can reduce neck and shoulder pain.
This can also be helpful for a sleeping pad. Be sure to also check out our related article comparing air bed vs sleeping pad and how to choose the right one for your needs.
Lifting An Air Bed Provides Storage Space Underneath The Mattress
When you inflate an air mattress inside a small tent, it will stretch the walls of the tent and there will be no room to put anything else. In that case, you can use an open foundation frame to raise your air mattress off the floor and add storage space right under the mattress. This will help keep your bags, camping items, and clothes organized and within easy reach inside the tent. This paper by James Holwerda from Kansas State University offers some handy tips on stress-free camping—with specific air mattress tips on page 30.
Before you start using any type of air mattress, make sure to read up on these common air bed dangers and how to fix them. You certainly want to stay safe out there!