The Best Sleeping Pads of 2021

by Christine Howland | Last Updated: April 2, 2021

Going out camping but afraid that discomfort while sleeping will leave you all groggy the next day? A sleeping pad might be a product your backpack is missing. These sleeping pads are mostly missing on the must-have list of campers. It will not only provide that extra comfort your sleeping bag is missing, but also help in containing the warmth. Your camping experience will change completely when you take a sleeping pad with you.

Top Sleeping Pads

Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XTherm Ultralight Backpacking Air Mattress

Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XTherm Ultralight Backpacking Air Mattress

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The Thermarest NeoAir Xtherm is a high-quality sleeping pad for backpackers. It brought a comfortable sleeping position. Moreover, it’s lightweight and compact, easy enough to stash in your backpack. I’d never want to overburden myself with a heavy backpack, so this ultralight sleeping pad is ideal.

It’s like sleeping on a stack of the softest wool, so warm and comfy. Furthermore, it provides an extra comfort layer when paired with the sleeping bag. Just make sure to pick the correct size of the sleeping pad and take a pump along with you on the trip.

Features

What’s the Product Best For?

I never considered buying a floatable sleeping pad earlier, because I was afraid that it will end up punctured somehow. I assure you that with the Thermarest NeoAir Xtherm, this is not the case. This sleeping pad is durable and reliable. The material used for manufacturing the sleeping pad is sturdy and durable, making it the best sleeping pad for backpacking.

You get great customer service with the Thermarest NeoAir Xtherm Sleeping Pad. In case you have a problem with the product, its lifetime warranty has you covered. I have used various other products from Thermarest and have experienced nothing but guaranteed customer satisfaction. I recently used the Thermarest NeoAir Xtherm sleeping pad on my trip down the countryside.

Therm-a-Rest NeoAir Xlite Ultralight Backpacking Air Mattress

Therm-a-Rest NeoAir Xlite Ultralight Backpacking Air Mattress

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The Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XLite Ultralight sleeping pad comes with a new Winglock valve feature. This sleeping pad surpasses our expectations at all levels. It is ultralight and easy to fold and put in your camping bag.

After learning about Therm-a-Rest NeoAir Xlite Ultralight Backpacking Air Mattress, I saw that it ticks off all the good things I was looking for in a sleeping pad. It offers warmth and comfort and is durable and made from good quality material. I find it of great value and well worth the investment.

Features

What’s the Product Best For?

Therm-a-Rest NeoAir Xlite Ultralight has a promising feature that I have never seen before. It provides you with ease of inflation with its new Winglock valve. I remember going on a camping trip once, and I found it very annoying when the sleeping pad wouldn’t inflate. This new valve traps the air inside the sleeping pad with its auto-sealing valves. I did not experience any backflow of air during inflation. This valve is substantial and durable and won’t break. Moreover, I figured that the volume of air that got in and out through the valve was greater, thus filling up the sleeping pad faster.

If you are looking for the best sleeping pad to take along on your next car camping trip, then look no further than Therm-a-Rest NeoAir Xlite Ultralight Backpacking Air Mattress. It is an ideal sleeping pad if you are seeking to shed some extra weight from your camping gear and worry about getting chilly during the night. I have realized that it is a must-have on your camping gear list.

Pros

  • Provides comfort while sleeping
  • Lightweight and compact
  • You get added warmth on cold nights
  • Durable

Cons

  • Expensive sleeping pad

Sleepingo Camping Sleeping Pad

Sleepingo Camping Sleeping Pad

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Sleeping on a hammock is another level of excitement on a camping trip or out on the beach. Having a comfortable method of lying down is a bonus. Having a soft barrier between your back and the rigid net of the hammock is a blessing. A co-worker recently recommended the Sleepingo Camping Sleeping Pad for this setting.

When you compare it to a conventional sleeping mat made from foam, this sleeping pad gives you a compact solution. The support and comfort you get from this are significantly greater and stand unmatched. The Sleepingo Camping Sleeping Pad is best for use in three seasons. It provides insulation even in chilly temperatures.

Features

What’s the Product Best For?

I love that the Sleepingo Camping Sleeping Pad is the best for outdoor camping trips and use in a hammock. It has a narrow width of only 33 inches, so it does not take so much space that cramps the hammock. It has various versatile uses as well. You can use it in a hammock, ground, inside a pool, or simply in your sleeping bag. This is an upside of this product and I love it for this.

Although it may not be as plushy as your bed back home, the Sleepingo Camping Sleeping Pad has enough cushioning that your time on the hammock will be a pleasant one. You can easily deflate it once you are done and roll it back into its pouch. Hence, it’s the best sleeping pad for a hammock.

Pros

  • Water-proof and easy to clean
  • Lightweight sleeping pad
  • Does not take long to inflate
  • Rip-resistant design

Cons

  • The air valve is not durable

Therm-a-Rest Prolite Ultralight Self-Inflating Backpacking Pad

Therm-a-Rest Prolite Ultralight Self-Inflating Backpacking Pad

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Last summer, I went on a camping trip to the west side of the country and got tired of all the hiking and trekking. The last thing I wanted was to inflate a sleeping pad after setting up my tent before turning in for the night. I really wished I had a better option for that matter. Now I have discovered this amazing sleeping pad, the Therm-a-Rest Prolite Ultralight Self-Inflating Backpacking sleeping pad.

This is the best sleeping pad that comes with a self-inflating feature. The sleeping pad will save you from the bounciness that is experienced in regular air mattresses. You will feel the sleeping pad firm and stable apart from it being comfy. It is best to include it in your summer camping list.

Features

What’s the Product Best For?

The self-inflating feature is the best thing I find in this sleeping pad. You will never have to worry about wearing yourself out while inflating this product or needing to carry a pump for getting it in order. Another thing that is convincing about this sleeping pad is that it comes in a variety of lengths and sizes; you can pick any one depending on your suitability.

What is more, the Therm-a-Rest Prolite Ultralight Self-Inflating Backpacking sleeping pad is exceedingly cheap. You can get one at a price of under $100, making it the best sleeping pad under $100. With all the amazing features that you get at an unbeatable price, this sleeping pad is a great bargain.

Pros

  • Self-inflating sleeping pad
  • Durable
  • Smooth and stable to sleep on
  • Compact and easy to pack

Cons

  • Not warm enough to use in winters

Lightspeed Outdoors 2 Person PVC-Free Air Bed

Lightspeed Outdoors 2 Person PVC-Free Air Bed

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The Lightspeed Outdoors PVC-Free Air Bed has a patented stabilizer system that distributes your and your partner’s body weight evenly, thus enabling you to sleep in a more comfortable position. The battery-operated pump that comes with this sleeping pad makes inflation a trivial task. You can store it away in its case after use.

For your environment-friendly side, rest assured that this sleeping pad is PVC-free. It is lightweight and comes highly recommended for couples that love to go on camping trips.

Features

What’s the Product Best For?

I have always wondered how comfortable it would be if the sleeping pad lets me adjust the firmness level according to my liking. Lightspeed Outdoors sleeping pad is wide enough to support a comfortable sleeping position for two people, and apart from that, you can adjust its firmness. A two-way Boston valve feature and a patented stabilizer system are there for this purpose. You can now sleep better with your partner on this Lightspeed Outdoor 2 Person sleeping pad and have a good night’s sleep.

Camping is hands down the best voyage for adventurous couples. Exploring the wild, untamed side of the countryside with your partner is the best feeling. The Lightspeed Outdoors PVC-Free Air Bed is the best sleeping pad for couples. It is made from 150D polyester Oxford-TPU fabric that is durable and will last long. Just spread a regular queen-sized sheet on this air-mattress and you are ready to go.

Pros

  • Adjustable firmness
  • Easy to inflate and deflate
  • Lightweight and best for backpacking
  • Wide-sized is suitable for couples

Cons

  • Some customers complain that it does not hold shape after some use

Exped MegaMat 10 Sleeping Pad

Exped MegaMat 10 Sleeping Pad

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The Exped MegaMat 10’s deluxe and plush design offers you and your family great comfort after a hectic and tiring day of trekking. The sleeping pad is self-inflating so that ticks off one more worry as well. The four inches of foam insulating from the ground prevents cold from reaching you and keeps you warm to a cozy level. The sleeping pad supports the pressure points of anyone sleeping on it, all the while lessening the effect one has while sleeping on an air mattress.

It is large so covers many individuals at the same time. This sleeping pad is trying hard to compete with the top brands with its large size, comfort, and warmth you need. The Exped MegaMat 10 is comparatively pricy, but you are buying just one to fit at least two members of your family, or maybe three if the kids are small.

Features

What’s the Product Best For?

Sleep is crucial after a long day out in the field, and its importance increases exponentially if you are going on a camping trip with the whole family. No one wants cranky and whiny kids the next morning complaining that they did not sleep well the night before. The Exped MegaMat 10 is the ultimate sleeping solution to your comfort-related sleep problems.

The Exped MegaMat 10 sleeping pad provides you over-the-top comfort. The whole family can have a great outdoor sleeping experience with this product. It is hands down the best sleeping pad for family camping that I have come across. You will not regret investing in this sleeping pad.

Pros

  • Versatile in use
  • Easy to inflate and store away later
  • Easy to use
  • Provides comfort and warmth

Cons

  • Large packed size

Klymit Static V Sleeping Pad

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Once, I was looking for a cheap replacement for my worn-out sleeping pad, and I got the Klymit Static V Sleeping Pad. It is a high-quality sleeping pad that provides you comfort during camping. The double layer of 75D polyester fabric is synthetic fiber. Its R-value is 4.4 so you can use it in cold winter weather.

The sleeping pad is lightweight and compact in packing. Weighing only 19.6 ounces, you can easily carry it in your backpack. Klymit Static V Sleeping Pad is cheaply priced and performs pretty well in all the categories, but it is not very durable unless you take care of it properly.

Features

What’s the Product Best For?

Klymit Static V Sleeping Pad has deep baffles textures on its surface. These provide a good sleeping experience. It feels stable and firm when you lie down on it. Your back gets a lot of support. I recommend it for camping out in cold weather if you want something that does not break the bank. If you are going camping in winter, then this sleeping pad is best for you. It’s the best sleeping pad for under $50.

I couldn’t find a better quality sleeping pad at this price. It is comfy and warm and checks all boxes for high-quality sleeping bags. Klymit Static V Sleeping Pad costs only half the cost of some of the best options in sleeping bags.

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Packable
  • Durable fabric
  • Cheap but functional

Cons

  • Fussy valve
  • Not suitable for cold weather

Nemo Switchback Foam Sleeping Pad

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When you are on a tight budget but want a comfortable sleeping pad to add to your camping gear, the Nemo Switchback Foam Sleeping Pad will be a perfect choice for you. It costs under $50. The sleeping pad is comfortable and versatile in use. Its lightweight and foldable design make it more practical to use. The sleeping pad is made from recyclable material, so your eco-friendly inner self will not feel guilty using this product.

This sleeping pad has an additional heat-reflecting film. It helps to keep out the chill. This heat-reflective film traps the heat into your body and keeps you warm. The sleeping pad has a space-saving design. You can have 20% more thickness when it is folded. It has a hexagonal nesting pattern. This allows extra plushness without increasing the packed size of the sleeping pad.

Features

What’s the Product Best For?

What I liked best about this product, apart from it being dirt cheap, is the sleeping pad is made from recyclable materials. Nowadays, everyone is trying their best to reduce their carbon footprint off the face of the earth; Nemo Switchback Foam Sleeping Pad helps you to make a conscious effort in this regard. It can be recycled after you are done with this sleeping bag. It’s the best budget sleeping pad.

The sleeping pas has a layer of Axiotomic™ foam. It is a premium dual-density and abrasion-resistant form, offering comfort support to its users. You can use it as a standalone pad for warmth and comfort, or you can pair it with another pad to provide added insulation.

Pros

  • Thicker material that will not rip
  • Provides reasonable warmth
  • Ultralight sleeping pad
  • Space-efficient design

Cons

  • Not very comfortable

Therm-a-Rest Z Lite Sol Foam Sleeping Pad

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Many campers like me want a foam sleeping pad occasionally, it is hard to find the best foam sleeping pad in the market that is comfortable and easy to carry at the same time. The Therm-a-Rest Z Lite Sol Foam Sleeping Pad is a perfect choice in such a scenario. It has a heat reflective feature to add warmth to your sleeping bag during cold climates.

It is easy to attach it to any of the sleeping bags you plan on taking with you on your camping trips. The Therm-a-Rest Z Lite Sol Foam Sleeping Pad is widely trusted by campers and backpackers going on hiking and camping trips. It has ThermaCapture coating on the foam that reflects heat to the body, increasing the comfort level of its users. The R-value of this foam sleeping pad is 2.0.

Features

What’s the Product Best For?

There are times when I do not trust an inflatable sleeping pad. In such situations, a foam sleeping pad is my best pick. The Therm-a-Rest Z Lite Sol sleeping pad is made from heat reflective material and is a decent foam sleeping pad to add comfort and warmth to your sleeping arrangement while being lightweight and cheap. The accordion-style folding feature enables you to easily fold it and store it away. It is also reasonably priced and most campers can afford it.

I found it softer on the outside and heavier towards the bottom for added insulation. The heavy bottom also adds to the durability of the sleeping pad while protecting you from the roughness of the ground underneath. Thus, this is the best foam sleeping pad.

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Affordable
  • Adds warmth
  • Suitable for all seasons

Cons

  • Breaks down over time

Therm-a-Rest LuxuryMap Sleeping Pad

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Everyone has their preferences and personal favorites when it comes to gathering camping gear for themselves. My partner is a side sleeper and finds it difficult to fall asleep unless he is not on his side. Do you also prefer a sleeping position like this, being a side sleeper?

The Therm-a-Rest LuxuryMap Sleeping Pad is great for such individuals. You get the luxury of a self-inflating sleeping pad that inflates and deflates at a faster rate because of two valves in the sleeping pad. The air keeps trapped inside with a twin lock valve.

Features

What’s the Product Best For?

Therm-a-Rest LuxuryMap Sleeping Pad makes use of advanced technology. The variable-density maps pressure of the person lying down on this sleeping pad and adjusts according to their body weight. It provides comfort and support to your body it needs while lying on your side. Hence, it’s the best camping sleeping pad for side sleepers.

This amazing sleeping pad is comfortable to sleep on with pressure mapping technology. Your muscles do not tire any further, and you do not lose your body heat sleeping on this sleeping pad. If you are a side sleeper, this sleeping pad is designed just for you.

Pros

  • Super-fast in inflating and deflating
  • Extra comfortable and fits your sleeping posture
  • Self-inflating sleeping pad
  • Suitable for car camping as well

Cons

  • Heavier than other sleeping pads

Looking for more Sleeping bags? Check out these articles

Frequently Asked Questions

Can You Do Without a Sleeping Pad?

A sleeping bag is a bare essential for your camping gear, but a sleeping pad is also a must-have to provide comfort and insulating body heat after a tiring day out in the camp or hiking. During warmer months, you can survive without a sleeping pad, although the ground beneath you would punish you with its hardness. During colder weather, a sleeping pad is a necessity you do not want to miss out on.

How To Choose the Best Sleeping Pad?

Sleeping pads provide comfort by cushioning the ground you sleep on and provide you with warmth to help you feel cozy when it is chilly. There are various types of sleeping pads you can choose from, depending on your preference. If you are backpacking, car camping, hiking, or going camping in cold weather, there is a sleeping pad that is best suitable for you.

Air Pads

Air pads are just as the name suggests; you inflate the sleeping pad with air and adjust it inside a sleeping bag. They have different styles; lightweight or extra-thick. Nowadays, air pads have insulation and reflective materials. They help retain body heat.

Self-Inflating Pads

Air pads come with a self-inflating feature. I went on a camping trip taking an air pad with me that did not have a self-inflating feature. I regret that decision to date and have vowed never to repeat the same mistake. These types of sleeping pads are easy to inflate and deflate with their opening valves.

Closed-Cell Foam Pads

The closed-cell foam sleeping pads are just made of dense foam material. It is filled with small closed cells that trap air. These sleeping pads are mostly folded in an accordion design.

Do Sleeping Pads Differ With the Season You Choose for Camping?

Sleeping pads come with different R-values. It is a factor that determines which sleeping pad will keep you warm to what extent. The greater the R-value, the more comfortable it will be if you use it in cold weather. I always recommend using a sleeping pad with an R-value greater than 4 if the temperature is towards the lower side.

It will maximize your comfort level by keeping you warm. Some sleeping pads have heat-retaining features to trap your body heat and prevent it from escaping to the surroundings. However, while camping during warm months, sometimes I enjoy not having a sleeping pad at all. Even though it provides comfort from below, I do appreciate the cool air around me.

Things To Look for in a Sleeping Pad

When you are purchasing a sleeping pad, look for the features I am listing here to make a wise decision. These add to the productivity of the sleeping pad and make it well worth your investment.

Comfort

The sleeping pad must be comfortable enough to sleep on, providing a plushy cushion to your tired body, and shielding you from the hard ground underneath.

Insulation

The insulation feature is also very important to consider, as crucial as a good night’s sleep. Having a comfy and warm sleeping arrangement is one thing, and losing all that cozy warmth to your surroundings is another. Sleeping pads have an additional feature that adds insulation to their lower part. This technique contributes to the prevention of heat loss.

Dimensions

Make sure that you choose a sleeping pad with the correct dimensions. If it is smaller than the required size, you will spend all night trying to fit yourself on it. And if the sleeping pad is too small, then too you will struggle to fit it inside your sleeping bag.

R-Value

The R-value needs to be higher for sleeping pads if you use them in cold weather, and vice versa. I would never want to wake up during the night feeling cold and uncomfortable because I chose a sleeping pad with a low R-value.

Inflation Mode

Some sleeping pads have a self-inflating feature. I personally love such sleeping pads. You do not have to manually do it or worry about carrying a pump to perform such a basic task. If your sleeping pad has a self-inflation mode, you will spend less time worrying about setting up your sleeping arrangement.

Caring for a Sleeping Pad

There are very simple ways to take care of your sleeping pad. This not only gets rid of any dirt and grime but also adds to the longevity of the product.

Conclusion

I have given you a comprehensive guide to help you choose a suitable sleeping pad to take with you on your next camping trip. I find the Thermarest NeoAir Xtherm to be my personal favorite. Its high-quality material is great for folding and suits backpackers. It is comfortable to use in any sleeping position. The lightweight and compact design are equally great for car-camping and backpacking.

You can store it in your backpack when you are hiking up the mountains to reach your desired camping area as it is ultralight. I felt like sleeping on a plushy cloud; you won’t feel a thing after lying down on this sleeping pad. It is easy to adjust it in your sleeping bag. With the right price tag, it will prove to be a good addition to your camping gear.