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The Best Camping Mats for Tents in 2023

Three colorful camping mats lined up next to tent

Selecting the best camping mats for tents is vital for a good night’s sleep in the great outdoors. Camping mats not only provide soft cushioning from the hard ground, they also provide insulation from the cold and help to enhance the overall camping experience. 

Consumers have started to spend significantly more time outdoors and camping is becoming increasingly popular as a way to escape their busy day to day lives. 

Read on to learn more about the best camping mats for tents that provide the ultimate good night’s sleep.

Table of Contents
Global market value of camping mats
What is the R-Value?
Types of camping mats for tents

Global market value of camping mats

Stack of multi-colored camping mats folded next to tent

Camping has rapidly grown in popularity in the past few years and this popularity is reflected in the market value of camping equipment. More and more consumers are actively looking to escape their busy lifestyles and camping offers both a sense of adventure and a bit of relaxation while enjoying the outdoors. Camping is also a great way to get more fresh air which will help to improve a person’s overall health. 

Small child holding a red camping mat in the forest

By 2023 the global market value of camping equipment reached USD 83.58 billion and that number is expected to increase to approximately USD 133.05 billion by 2030 with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6.9%. In terms of camping mats the CAGR up until 2028 is projected to be 5.5% as well. Camping mats are now being made in different styles and with different materials which has helped make them more attractive among consumers who may not have used them in the past.

What is the R-Value?

Woman pulling orange camping mat out of tent

The R-Value is an important feature of camping mats that consumers will take into consideration before purchasing one. Essentially the R-Value measures how a camping mat’s resistance is to heat flowing through it. The lower the number the less insulation a camping mat will have and a higher number means that it’s very well insulated and is suitable for colder camping conditions. 

Types of camping mats for tents

Woman sitting on camping mat with snow around her

Camping mats were once very basic and not entirely suitable for all types of camping conditions. With more consumers enjoying the great outdoors though, companies have started to manufacture camping mats for tents that are specifically designed for certain conditions and that are more easily adaptable to the individual. Not all mats are comfortable for everyone so using different materials and methods of inflation helps them to appeal to a wider group of people.

According to Google Ads, “camping mats” has an average monthly search volume of 27100 searches. The search volume in March compared to September is 27100 and 49500 respectively, which is an increase of 45% over a 6 month period.

The breakdown of the different types of camping mats for tents shows that “self inflating mattress” is searched for 22200 times per month followed by “foam sleeping pad” and “double camping mattress” at 4400 searches, “memory foam camping mattress” at 3600 searches, and “ultra light sleeping pad” at 1900 searches. This shows that consumers are looking for comfortable, easy to use, and transport-friendly camping mats for tents. Keep reading to learn more about each type of camping mat.

Self inflating mattress

Couple relaxing on individual self inflating mattresses on grass

Self inflating mattresses for camping provide both comfort and convenience for campers and are a very popular camping accessory to own. The self inflating design saves a lot of time compared to manually inflating a mattress and is typically done by opening a valve that consists of an open cell foam core that is very user friendly. By adjusting the air pressure using the valve consumers are able to adapt the firmness level to suit their individual needs.

The self inflating mattress is built with durability in mind with a puncture resistant material but it’s worth noting that even this material can puncture at times so having a repair kit included with the mattress is vital. These mattresses can easily be rolled or folded away when not in use and may have compression straps to make it easier for the consumer to carry. 

Between March and September 2023 there is an increase in average monthly searches for “self inflating mattress” of 55%, with 14800 and 33100 searches respectively. 

Foam sleeping pad

Man shopping for foam sleeping pad in sport shop

The foam sleeping pad is one of the most versatile camping mats available on the market. It’s been a popular piece of camping equipment for decades and is still highly sought after among consumers of all ages. Foam sleeping pads are very lightweight which makes them the perfect choice for backpackers or consumers who like to travel light. Despite they’re almost weightlessness, foam sleeping pads are still incredibly durable and can resist a lot of wear and tear so they will last for a long time to come, which really appeals to consumers. 

The main purpose of the foam sleeping pad is to provide comfort and insulation from the hard and cold ground while the consumer is sleeping. These pads help consumers retain their body heat on cold nights and can vary in thickness depending on individual needs. Most foam sleeping pads are either rollable or foldable meaning they are easy to store and there is no inflation required so there’s no risk of them popping in the night. The foam sleeping pad is one of the top camping mats for tents and is cost effective too.

There are two types of foam materials for consumers to choose from: closed cell foam mats and open cell foam mats. Closed cell foam mats are composed of cells that are fully closed which makes the mats more dense and waterproof. They offer better insulation but are often bulkier to carry. Open cell foam mats have more than half of their cells open and have a more comfortable feel to them. The material forms around the body more than closed cell foam mats, making it a more flexible and breathable mat to use. 

Between March and September 2023 there is an increase in average monthly searches for “foam sleeping pad” of 46%, with 4400 and 8100 searches respectively. 

Double camping mattress

Double foam camping mat inside tent with pillows

For consumers who are sharing a tent one of the best camping mat options is the double camping mattress. This mattress eliminates the need to have two separate single camping mats since it can comfortably fit two people on it. These mattresses can come in the form of a foam mattress or they can be inflatable but all of them will provide comfort with a cushioned material that mimics a regular mattress and insulation to block the cold from the ground.

Although the double camping mattress is designed to be larger than a single mattress it’s still very portable and can be used by backpackers without the worry of needing to transport it. Other notable designs of the double camping mattress include puncture resistant materials, an easy to use valve design for inflatable mattresses, and attachment options that will allow it to be tied down to the tent to prevent it from sliding. Not all consumers enjoy the same thickness of a camping mat and may prefer to use individual ones but the double camping mattress is growing in popularity with couples and large families.

Between March and September 2023 there is an increase in average monthly searches for “double camping mattress” of 46%, with 2900 and 5400 searches respectively. 

Memory foam camping mattress

Memory foam camping mat rolled with straps holding it

Getting a restful night’s sleep outdoors can sometimes be difficult for consumers who suffer with back or neck pain. Some types of camping mats for tents don’t offer enough padding or the inflated mats don’t hold the air well which is why the memory foam camping mattress has become a popular alternative. These mattresses offer the in-home comfort that consumers are used to but while they’re in the great outdoors. The memory foam sits on the top layer of the mattress and contours to the shape of the consumer’s body to help reduce pressure points and provide ultimate comfort. 

The memory foam mattress is usually thicker than a traditional camping mat and since it’s hypoallergenic it’s ideal for consumers who suffer from allergies or other sensitivities. Consumers may also just want to purchase a memory foam topper for their regular camping mat. The memory foam camping mattress is equally as portable and durable as other mattresses but with the added comfort to help enhance the camping experience.

Between March and September 2023 there is an increase in average monthly searches for “memory foam camping mattress” of 45%, with 2400 and 4400 searches respectively. 

Ultra light sleeping pad

Small tent with ultra light sleeping pad laid out inside

For campers who like to pack as lightweight as possible or for backpackers who don’t want to carry heavy or bulky gear with them, the ultra light sleeping pad is a must-have. These pads are made with lightweight materials without compromising insulation or comfort and they take up minimal space so they are easier to transport than most camping mats for tents. Many of these pads require manual inflation using a valve but they are easy to set up – even for beginners.

The downside of the ultra light sleeping pad is that it’s incredibly thin (to help keep it lightweight) so it may not be suitable for everyone since it provides less cushioning. It does often come with a contoured design though to help make up for the thinness. 

Between March and September 2023 there is an increase in average monthly searches for “ultra light sleeping pad” of 33%, with 320 and 480 searches respectively. 


Woman sitting inside tent with view of lake in daytime

Choosing the best camping mats for tents will vary depending on the needs of consumers but there are a few designs that come out on top in terms of popularity. What’s important to note is that all of the camping mats mentioned above are easy to transport and offer some degree of comfort and insulation from the cold and hard ground. Consumers are increasingly spending more time outdoors and with that comes a higher demand for camping equipment, and camping mats are one of the most important accessories to ensure an enjoyable outdoor experience. 

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