Sleeping Pad Vs Air Mattress

Sleeping pad vs air mattress

Sleeping is extremely essential if you want a fun, relaxing day. In order to sleep well and be comfortable, you need to choose the proper sleeping surface.

If you want to know the differences between a sleeping pad and an air mattress and if you wonder which one is the best? You should read ahead.

We will explain everything about the differences between a sleeping pad and an air mattress, for you to make a choice. At the end of the article, you will be able to choose the perfect sleeping surface for your needs.

Here is a quick comparison of a sleeping pad vs an air mattress.

Sleeping pads are smaller compared to air mattresses when they are packed. However, it also depends on the brand and the type of sleeping pad you buy. An air mattress is bigger when it is compressed in comparison to sleeping pads.

If for example, you are going on a road trip or backpacking we suggest you consider a sleeping pad as it will be more comfortable compared to an air mattress and also easier to carry too.

Air mattresses are heavier than sleeping pads. Generally, the weight of an air mattress is between 5 lbs to 20 lbs but the weight of a sleeping pad is between 1 lb to 5 lbs.

If you are planning on going on a camping trip then the weight should not be your first priority but comfort, and warmth should be instead.

Air mattresses are thicker than sleeping pads which also allows you extra comfort too. Air mattresses are snugger than sleeping pads as they are much thicker.

While an individual sleeping on an air mattress is off the ground, an individual sleeping on a sleeping pad may feel the ground especially when they are moving around a lot. Also, air mattresses are much better for your back compared to sleeping pads.

Pros and Cons of a Sleeping Pad


  • Great for ultralight campers and backpackers.
  • Lightweight because they are not wide.
  • Foam and self-inflating pads cannot be punctured.
  • Highly compressed and can pack down really small to leave space for other items.
  • Affordable – you can find foam sleeping pads for cheap prices.
  • Versatile – they can be used for sleepovers, or just a camp out in the garden with the children.


  • Manual inflatable pads can be pierced and can ruin your trip without a repair kit.
  • Pure foam mattresses are not compact and will need to be carried on the outside of your bag.

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