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How To Keep An Air Mattress Warm (Tips You Should Know)

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There are many methods campers can use to make an air mattress warmer.

Insulating an air mattress against the cold is easier than you think, all you need to do is:

  • Insulate below the mattress 
  • Insulate the top of the mattress 
  • Insulate yourself 
  • Add external sources of heat

How To Keep An Air Mattress Warm

It is no secret that air mattresses do not make the most comfortable of beds.

Poor quality air mattresses can be uncomfortable, unsupportive and some of the worst ones will deflate overnight for apparently no reason.

Another complaint campers often have is that their air mattress is cold. 

There are many ways you can make an air bed more comfortable and with lots of high-quality air mattresses on the market, you can actually have a good night’s sleep on an inflatable air mattress. 

You may be wondering if there is a solution to the temperature issues and we have some good news for you.

There are many methods you can use to try and keep an air mattress warm.

Here we share our top tips everyone should know on how to keep an air mattress warm.

Follow our step-by-step guide on how to stay warm on an air mattress when camping and you will never have to spend another night on an air mattress shivering and with chattering teeth from the cold. 

Cold Weather Air Mattress Buying Guide

Before we delve into the ways to make an air mattress warmer, let’s look at all the factors you need to consider when buying an air mattress to use in winter and during cold temperatures. 

If you plan on camping during the winter months or are traveling somewhere cold, you don’t want to spend every night feeling frozen to the bone.

There is not one particular air bed that is known for being the best camping mattress for cold weather, but certain air mattresses do fare better than others at frosty temperatures. 

Here are some important factors to take into account when sleeping on air mattress in cold weather:


You are going to need more than a sleeping bag if you want to stay warm in the coldest hours of the night.

When buying an air mattress, don’t forget to put as much thought into what bedding you are going to use.

The best quality air mattress in the world won’t keep you warm if you are just sleeping with a blanket and nothing else. 


If it’s cold outside, you are not going to want to spend ages inflating your bed with a manual foot pump.

Air mattresses with a built-in pump and self-inflating function will mean you can get toasty and warm in bed much quicker (you won’t need to remember to pack a pump either!). 

Type of camping bed

Whatever air mattress you use, cold air will be circulating around inside of it.

However, camping cots and box springs can be useful in the cold months.

If your air mattress is off the ground, you are going to be warmer. 

Preparation is key

There will be no jumping into bed without a single thought when you are camping in cold temperatures.

You will need to bring more supplies along on your camping trip to help you with insulating an air mattress against the cold we have all the essential tips here for you. 

Why Are Air Mattresses Cold To Sleep On?

You now know that a few key factors need to be taken into consideration before sleeping on an air mattress in the cold.

But why are air mattresses so cold to sleep on to begin with.

Whether you are using a manual pump or a built-in pump, air mattresses are inflated with air that isn’t always necessarily cold.

However, over time the pumped air will cool down and it will remain at a cold temperature. 

The plastic materials often used to make air mattresses do not offer any insulation and your body temperature is nowhere near high enough to heat all of the cold air inside of the air mattress.

In fact, the heat from your body will transfer into the air mattress and get lost, mixing with the cold air inside. 

Staying warm when sleeping on an air mattress is so difficult because you are essentially just lying on PVC full of cold air.

Even air mattresses made with the softest and thickest flocking will feel cold when camping during the winter.

The temperature problem is exacerbated when you place your air mattress directly onto the cold ground inside your tent.

Anyone who has ever been camping will be able to tell you just how cold sleeping on an air mattress can really be.

Unlike a standard bed mattress, air mattresses are not full of insulating materials.

All you have between your body and the ground is air that is just going to get colder as the night goes on. 

Essentials You Need To Keep An Air Mattress Warm

If you want a warm air bed for your next camping trip, you will need a few essential items.

You can keep your inflatable air mattress warm by using some items you already have at home.

However, if you want a really toasty mattress you may need to buy a few items to help you with insulating the air mattress against the cold. 

Here is a list of essentials you will need to help you make an air mattress warmer: 

  • Memory foam mattress topper 
  • Blankets 
  • Sleeping bag 
  • Fitted sheet 
  • Thick clothes/nightwear 
  • Camping cot/box spring 
  • Electric blanket/electric mattress pad 

How To Keep An Air Mattress Warm –  Top Tips 

If you have a camping trip planned during the colder months you may be wondering, ‘what can I put on an air mattress to make it warmer?’

It is completely possible to have a cozy and warm night’s sleep on an air mattress, just follow these tips on how to make an air mattress warmer: 

1. Get the air mattress off the ground

Air mattresses absorb the cold from the environment around them.

If your air mattress is placed directly onto the cold ground, the freezing floor will make the temperature of the air inside the mattress drop. 

By using a camping cot or box spring and placing your air mattress securely on top, you will be keeping your bed away from the cold floor. 

2. Insulate below the mattress

If you don’t have the space to take a box spring or your cot bed on your camping trip.

Place a foam pad underneath your air mattress, it will work as a barrier to the cold and will stop your air mattress from absorbing the low ground temperature. 

If you don’t have foam pads, you can add thick blankets or even a large square of cardboard. 

3. Insulate the mattress

If you are cold, you will make the air mattress cold.

If the air mattress is cold, you are going to be cold – it’s a vicious cycle! To prevent the air mattress from absorbing your body temperature and vice versa, you will need to create layers of insulation between your body and the top of the air mattress.

Add a fitted sheet to insulate the top and sides of your air mattress, you can also drape as many blankets as you want over the mattress.

Building a barrier of insulation between yourself and the cold air mattress will help you to stay warm during the night. 

4. Warm bedding

A good quality sleeping bag will be a total life-saver when camping in the winter.

Purchase a sleeping bag rated for colder temperatures, you won’t regret splashing out on something that is going to save you from a sleepless night because of the cold. 

If you think a sleeping bag won’t be enough, bring along extra blankets to drape over yourself too. 

5. Layer up your clothes

Wearing thick clothes won’t make your air mattress any warmer but it will increase your body temperature.

When camping in the cold you should wear thermal underwear, thick woolen socks, sweatpants, and a warm sweatshirt.

It is also a good idea to wear a soft and comfortable hat to stop heat from escaping from your head.

By wrapping up warm in several layers and huddling down into your sleeping bag, you should be able to maintain a comfortable temperature overnight. 

6. Try an electric blanket or heated mattress pad

Sometimes you need a little extra assistance when trying to make an air mattress warmer.

It is safe to use a heated mattress pad or an electric blanket when sleeping on an air mattress.

However, there are some safety precautions you will need to follow.

Whilst battery-powered versions are available on the market, if you are using an electric blanket that needs to be plugged into a socket, you will need to make sure the cords and outlets are kept inside the tent away from the wet outside.

It is always recommended that you do not leave a heated mattress pad or electric blanket on all night.

It is also advisable to add a layer between the electric blanket or heated pad and the top of the air mattress as the heat could damage your air bed.

To be certain, refer to your air mattress user manual, it should state whether heat can be in direct contact with the air mattress or not. 

7. Add a memory foam mattress topper

Placing a memory foam mattress topper on top of your air mattress will help you to stay warm and toasty.

Memory foam is a warm and insulating material, so much so that many memory foam products are infused with a gel that helps to keep you cool. 

However, memory foam’s warming qualities are exactly what campers are hoping for during those freezing cold nights in the tent.

You can not get a specific thermal air mattress topper, but there are many thermal mattress toppers that will work just as well on your air bed. 

Still not sure if it’s really possible to stay warm on an air mattress while camping? We have a few bonus tips for you: 

8. Use an electric heater

To make your tent nice and warm before jumping into bed, you can heat it up using a plug-in electric heater.

Keep your heater away from your air mattress to prevent any damage and make sure you do not keep it turned on all night. 

9. Use hot water bottles/Handwarmers

Adding extra sources of heat to your body and inside your sleeping bag will help to keep the chills away.

Activate your handwarmers a little while before you plan to head to bed and place them in your sleeping bag.

You can also use your Handwarmers to stay toasty overnight by putting them into your pockets or tucking them into your clothes.

It isn’t advisable to place a hot water bottle directly onto your air mattress, but placing one (or two!) inside your bedding will mean you won’t be getting into a freezing bed when it’s time to grab some shut-eye. 


A good night’s sleep is essential, and that doesn’t change just because you are camping.

Air mattresses are known to not be the coziest of beds and many campers struggle sleeping on an air mattress in the cold.

We have shared our top tips on how to make an air mattress warmer while camping, we hope you find our advice useful for your next camping trip. 


How do I keep my air mattress from deflating in cold weather?

The air inside an air mattress will condense during the night when the temperature drops.

When this happens, your air mattress can feel like it has deflated but really the colder air is just taking up less space, it hasn’t necessarily ‘escaped’.

You can prevent this by insulating your air mattress by following the tips in this article.

Is heat bad for an air mattress?

Direct heat can damage your air mattress.

It is important that you keep your air mattress a safe distance away from heaters and fires. 

Can I put an electric blanket on an air mattress?

You can put an electric blanket on an air mattress.

However, it is recommended the electric blanket is not placed in direct contact with the top of the air mattress, placing it on top of a sheet is much safer.

You should also not leave the blanket on for long stretches of time and the electric blanket must be switched off before you go to sleep. 

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