Being able to camp at a moment’s notice is the goal of many #vanlifers. But what if you don’t have a van or an RV? If you own a truck, you are in luck. Putting a truck bed mattress in the back of your vehicle can turn it into an instant camper. Today’s foam and air mattresses for truck bed camping are more comfortable than crawling into a sleeping bag on the hard, cold metal floor. Let’s look at several options!
What Is a Truck Bed Mattress?
A truck bed mattress can make it easy to create a resting place out of an empty truck bed. A mattress made expressly for truck bed camping will provide a soft, comfortable bed no matter where you park. Most truck bed mattresses fit over the wheel wells, utilizing the entire width and length of the bed. Although many are inflatable, they also have an air coil system for support and up to a 12” loft to provide a soft yet sturdy night’s rest.
A good truck air mattress will come with an air pump (either DC or battery-operated), so adjusting the bed’s firmness is easy to do even away from home. It should be a tough PVC material that is puncture-resistant. The mattress should also be thick enough to move you away from the floor of the truck and ensure a comfortable rest.
Some truck campers prefer to use a foldable foam mattress for their bedding. These mattresses range from 3” to 6” thick, and unlike air mattresses, you don’t need to inflate them. Just unfold the multi-section memory foam cushions and viola; a bed appears! The one drawback is that foam mattresses lose their loft if used consistently. A 4” foam mattress could soon compress to only 2” thick, and it may not protect you from the metal truck bed for long.
What Are the Benefits of a Truck Bed Mattress?
The primary benefit of having a truck bed mattress is being able to stop anywhere and get a good night’s rest. Many users also love using the entire truck bed, so the wheel wells do not confine them.
Cost is another consideration. Truck bed mattresses range from $70 to $300. The cost depends upon coverage over or between the wheel wells, the thickness of the mattress, and whether or not it is a memory foam mattress. Either way, truck bed camping is more enjoyable on a specifically designed mattress.
What Size Mattress Will Fit in a Truck Bed?
You can most likely find a mattress to fit your particular vehicle’s bed. Truck camping mattresses that fit over the wheel wells can measure from 75” to 95” long and are usually 65” wide. Air mattresses that slide between the wheel wells are generally 75” long by 52” wide. Memory foam mattresses are also usually 75” long, and can vary in widths of 38”, 48”, 52”, and 68” wide.
Pro Tip: Take truck camping to a whole new level with these tips on how to Turn Your Pickup Into a Camper With a Truck Bed Tent.
How Can I Make My Truck Bed More Comfortable for Camping?
When putting together the most comfortable bed in your vehicle, layering under the truck bed mattress can insulate you from the metal floor. A rug or blanket might be a good starting point. This will also keep the mattress from moving around.
If you are looking for an air mattress, a thicker air chamber will mean more distance between your body and the floor, as well as softer bed support. Check the length of the power cord to make sure you can reach your cigarette lighter to inflate the mattress.
If you choose a memory foam mattress, purchase the thickest one you can find. This will prolong its life, as the foam will not break down entirely on a thick cushion. With a foam mattress, you will need to cover the sectionals to keep them clean. A fitted sheet will do the job.
If you desire even more comfort, place a mattress topper on the air mattress. There are toppers with egg-crate foam, gel memory foam, down feathers, or wool. They provide support to an existing bed and can come in different densities, as well.
Top your truck bed mattress with warm blankets, an unzipped sleeping bag, or a comforter, along with pillows to complete the picture. You can set up your bed immediately when you select a camping spot, whether at an official campsite or on the side of the road.
The Best Mattresses for Truck Bed Camping
Any mattress is better than sleeping directly on the floor of a truck bed, but the ones on our list are the cream of the crop for truck bed camping. Please look at various styles to find which one would work best for you.
1. Pittman Outdoors AirBedz Lite Air Mattress for Full Size Standard Bed Trucks
About: One of the most popular air mattresses for a truck bed is the Outdoors AirBedz Lite. It measures a hefty 75” by 65” and has baffles covering the wheel wells, and is $170. The AirBedz Lite has a DC air pump with a 16’ power cord. The cord makes it easy to fill when away from a 120-volt power source.
Why We Love It: This PVC, puncture-resistant mattress has 12” of air and a slip-free cover. It uses every square inch of your truck bed, providing both form and function.
2. Pittman Outdoors AirBedz RealTree Camo Air Mattress for Full Size Long Bed Trucks
About: With an enormous size of 95” by 65”, the AirBedz Camo air mattress can easily fit in a long bed. It makes the most of its landing space, fitting over the wheel wells and running rail to rail. The non-skid material is licensed RealTree camouflage, and the mattress has a handy built-in 12-volt rechargeable battery air pump that can inflate or deflate the bed quickly. The long-bed version is $300, but AirBedz also offers the truck bed mattress in several sizes to fit your needs.
Why We Love It: For people who enjoy the outdoors, the AirBedz Camo air mattress is a must. Who doesn’t love sleeping on a bed that ‘blends into its surroundings?’ It is also the largest truck bed mattress we could find, providing plenty of space for lounging around.
- Designed to fit around and over the wheel wells of your pick-up...
- Built-in rechargeable battery air pump to quickly inflate and...
- An integrated air coil system evenly distributes weight across...
3. Rightline Gear Truck Bed Air Mattresses for Full and Mid Size Trucks
About: The Rightline Gear air mattress is for short, mid, and long truck bed sizes. Measuring in at 80” by 51”, this mattress has a 7” loft with a flocked exterior to curtail movement on the metal truck bed. It fits between the wheel wells and costs between $80 and $90, depending on size.
Why We Love It: The Rightline comes with an air pump, and because it does not fit over the wheel wells, there should be more space for storage, clothes, and equipment inside the truck bed.
- TOUGH ENOUGH FOR YOUR TRUCK: Fits all mid size trucks – short...
- 1 YEAR MANUFACTURER'S WARRANTY: Shop confidently; our service...
- BETWEEN THE WHEEL WELLS DESIGN: 80" L x 51" w x 7" H with side...
4. WEY&FLY SUV Air Mattress for Mid Size Standard Bed Truck
About: Built-in pillows and adaptive baffles are innovative designs in the Wey & Fly air mattress. The mattress can fit various vehicles, from trucks to sports utility vehicles. It is a sturdy mattress that measures 76” by 51” when opened completely, and it has a loft of almost 5” in thickness. It costs $73.
Why We Love It: The best feature of this truck camping mattress is its flexibility, as it fits mid-size trucks as well as SUVs and minivans. We also love the air pump, as you can power it with the cigarette lighter.
- High Standard Material and Exquisite Design - WEY&FLY...
- 4 Separate Air Chambers for inflation - The mat is designed with...
- Adapted to Different Weather Conditions and Easy to Install - The...
5. Milliard Tri Folding Twin Mattress with Washable Cover for Standard Truck Bed
About: The Milliard Tri-Fold Mattress is a foam mattress rather than an air mattress. Offered in various sizes, the twin measures 75” long by 38” wide, as well as 4” thick. The mattress cover is a machine-washable bamboo material, and the mattress can be folded and stored away in its accompanying bag. The prices vary from $139 to $184.
Why We Love It: No air pump or power is needed to climb into this comfortable bed, and foam does not conduct the cold from metal as air does, so no rug or blank is necessary under this mattress. Also, reconfiguring the Milliard into a chaise lounge or foam chair is quick and easy!
- Comfortable - This folding mattress is plush, soft, breathable,...
- Portable- This mattress folds easily for travel or storage and is...
- Convenient- The removable bamboo cover is machine washable for...
Pro Tip: Make your mattress comfier with an RV Mattress Topper: Your Easy Solution for a Comfier RV Bed.
Is a Truck Bed Mattress Worth It?
One of the crucial benefits of camping is getting away from the daily stresses of life and relaxing in the outdoors. Getting a good night’s sleep is essential for a great camp trip. If you don’t have an RV but own a truck, you can get the best of both worlds by investing in a high-quality truck bed mattress. Partner it with a truck tent, and you will find yourself indulging in the camping scene at every opportunity!
Have you ever camped in a truck bed? Drop a comment below!
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