11 Best Camping Beds for Bad Backs UK Ranked [2023]

11 Best Camping Beds for Bad Backs UK Ranked [2023]
Note – This post may contain affiliate links. If you buy via these, I may earn a small fee. This has absolutely no effect on the price you pay. As an eBay and Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

We all know that using the most comfortable camping bed you can find can make sleeping outdoors so much better. But what about when you’re what’s known among sufferers as a ‘spiney’ – a person who suffers from chronic pain?

Finding the best camping beds for bad backs really can make or break a trip in such cases. So how do you find the best camping mattress – among all the available camping gear – to help support your spine?

I’ve camped under canvas, in the VW campervan we used to own and even by a beach in Australia. More importantly, though, surgeons have also made two attempts to reduce my back pain. Without success. So I suffer from a back pain on a daily basis.

In fact it’s why I work from home. Luckily, with careful management and a lot of cycling, it is now much more manageable than in the past. So hopefully you’ll consider me qualified to take you through finding the best camping mattress for your bad back!

Click here to see my number one best camping bed for a bad back

I love the Sonik SK-TEK camping chairbed because it is dual purpose, with great spinal support. This product is built to last – and will never spring a leak.

So let’s talk camping beds for bad backs. Are we referring to an air mattress here, or the kind of camp bed you get on a Brownie pack holiday? (Or at least I did, in a draughty hall somewhere in the Northumbrian wilderness.)

Must you buy luxury camping beds with an expensive price tag, or will the best camping mattress in the UK do? Is there such a thing as a best camping pad for a bad back?

If you’re wondering about the answers to these questions, fear not. I’ll guide you through finding the best camping beds for couples and singles with dodgy spines. Like my misbehaving back.

What to look for in camping beds for adults with bad backs is covered, as are the top products on the UK market. Read on to find my reviews of all the recommended camp beds for bad backs. And to discover camping’s best-kept secret. Spoiler – it involves carp fishing…

Best camping beds for bad backs contents

Should you wish to move directly to a specific section or camping bed review, just click the link below to skip straight there.

Top ten+ bad back camp beds

  1. Trail Outdoor thick memory foam camp matBest lightweight camping mat
  2. Coleman Maxi Comfort king size airbedBest camping brand airbed
  3. Soges wider folding single camping bedBest for garden use
  4. NGT carp fishing chairbed for campingBest chairbed
  5. Vango Shangri-La II double air mat Best low profile airbed
  6. Active Era ergonomic single airbedBest airbed with built-in pump
  7. Vango Comfort double camping matBest dual purpose pillow
  8. Yawn air mattress with headboardBest airbed with headboard
  9. Sonik SK-TEK carp fishing chairbedBest option overall
  10. Trekology curvature camping matBest curved camping mat
  11. Honeyhome SUV air mattressBest for car camping

The best camping bed for bad backs comparison table

Trail Outdoor camp matCamping matSingleExtra thick memory foam, compact & lightweightClick here4.3
Coleman Maxi ComfortAirbedKingDouble height, 35 air coils, reliable camping brandClick here 4.6
Soges folding camp bedCamp bedSingleRustproof frame, Oxford cloth, pillow & side pocketClick here4.6
NGT fishing chairbedCamping chairbedSingleChairbed & pillow, supportive webbing, soft fabricClick here4.7
Vango Shangri-La II air matAirbedDoubleUltra low profile, very compact, smary carry bagClick here4.8
Active Era ergonomicAirbedSingleIntegral pump, raised pillow, ergonomic designClick here4.4
Vango Comfort camp matCamping matDoubleSelf-inflating, extra thick foam, carry bag/pillowClick here4.7
Yawn airbed with headboardAirbed Single, double or KingIntegral headboard, built-in pump, raised edgesClick here4.1
Sonik SK-TEK fishing chairbedCamping chairbedSingleLumbar support, padded pillow area, chairbedClick here4.9
Trekology curvature camp matCamping matSingleSupports body, very lightweight & compact, stuff bagClick here4.6
Honeyhome SUV mattressCar mattressDouble2 pillows, car socket inflation, good for side/back sleepersClick here4.1
best camping mattress

Choosing the most comfortable camping bed for a bad back – what to look for

Finding the best mattress for tent camping when you’re prone to back pain requires an adaptable approach. There is no one size fits all fix.

Different people experience their back pain in a variety of ways, and what triggers or relieves pain for one person may not do the same for another. So think about that first of all.

There are also other factors to consider, including the weight and size…

Type of camping bed

For example, do you need to spread out, if you find that sleeping in a constricted position causes or increases pain? If this is the case, a wider bed might work for you, such as your own single or even a double.

Would you have problems getting on or off a mattress at floor level? A yes to that perhaps points to a double height mattress. Does a firm or softer surface usually work best for you?

If you prefer a firmer sleeping surface, then maybe you could look at the best camping mats for bad backs. Thick foam can also be helpful, and a camp bed is another comfortable option.

Size and weight

If you tend to go on hiking or backpacking trips, then the best best camping beds for tents in your case will be ones that you can transport without straining your back. Therefore it’s worth looking for the lightest option you can find – espcailly when it’s also compact to carry.


Does your chosen product require inflation? All airbeds will do, as well as some camping mats. This saves on weight – but does take more time to set up.

It can also, over time, lead to leaks if a split occurs. Self-inflating air mattresses are easier to operate, but will also cost more.

Other useful features

Some of the best camping beds for two or a single person have raised edges – this can add support and prevent rolling off during the night. There are padded pillow areas on certain products too.

Additional spinal support is also a feature of several options. A storage pocket can also come in very handy.

The top 11 best camping beds for bad backs – recommendations

Trail Outdoor extra thick camping mat review

Best lightweight camping mat

  • Single size
  • Camping mat

This thick memory foam camping mat is lightweight, self-inflating & comes with a carry bag.

This memory foam camping mat is extra thick, so it’s the best camping mat for a bad back from the Trail Outdoor range. These are sold in 3, 5 or 10cm thicknesses, and my chosen product is the latter. When you buy this, you’re also supporting a small business, so its an ethical pick too.

Sleeping on this one feels far more like your own bed than an average camping mattress. The self-inflation valve also makes it super easy to set up when you hit the campground. A cellular layer provides firmness, yet it also yields as you move around.

Other great features on this lightweight camping mat include a water-resistant outer that’s easy to wipe clean and its own included drawstring carry bag. At just 2.2kg, carrying it from the car shouldn’t strain your back either.

High points:

  • Extra thick memory foam
  • Expanding cellular layer is supportive yet yielding
  • Compact and lightweight

Low points:

  • Involves sleeping at ground level

Click here to view on Amazon

Click here to shop on eBay

Coleman Maxi Comfort airbed for camping review

Best camping brand airbed

  • King size
  • Air mattress

From major camping brand Coleman comes this great value double height King size airbed.

Coleman are one of the Kings of the camping world, and this is a King size air mattress for two. That’s not to say that two must use it – even if you go camping alone you can have this spacious airbed to yourself. Even couples don’t have to share, if the tent is big enough.

My own experience of back pain tells me I must spread out when sleeping, so I’d need at least this size if sharing with Mister. What I love about these double height airbeds is just that – as they’re raised, it’s just so much easier to get on and off.

Whether used as a spare bed at home, for a festival or when on a family camping trip, this Coleman airbed is a solid, reliable and comfortable choice.

High points:

  • Double height king size mattress
  • 35 air coils for added comfort
  • Inflates and deflates easily

Low Points:

  • Takes up a lot of tent space

Click here to see this Coleman king size air mattress for camping

Soges folding wider camp bed review

Best for garden use

  • Single size
  • Camp bed

Extra wide, stable campbed made from tough Oxford cloth with handy side pocket & pillow.

It’s the width that sets this camp bed apart – and more room to move often means more comfort for back pain sufferers. This camping bed is also firm, stable and lightweight. As well as being easy to set up, at home or when away.

The Soges camp bed can support up to 100kg in weight, and is made from quality materials like rust-proof steel and 600 denier Oxford cloth. There are several clever features too – including a side pocket for a phone or keys and an integral padded pillow.

This is a very versatile, easy to set up product that one happy owner even uses as a sunbed for the back garden. Whether for use as a guest bed or when camping, this should keep campers comfortable all night long.

High points:

  • No inflation or deflation required
  • Rustproof frame and Oxford cloth construction
  • Integral pillow and side pocket

Low points:

  • More bulky to transport

Click here to view on Amazon

Click here to shop on eBay

NGT carp fishing camping bed review

Best chairbed

  • Single size
  • Camping chairbed

Carp fishing chairbed with cosy fleece finish, an integral pillow and an ultra supportive base.

Did you know about carp fishing beds? Many people don’t – but I’m here to reveal all. These fishing camp beds are made to be used as a chair or bed – hence they are often known as chairbeds. They can also provide anyone with a great night’s rest. Even when you’ve never so much as seen a fishing rod in real life.

This one from NGT really is built for the outdoor life. It has four ‘mud feet’ that are fully adjustable, as well as a built-in pillow. The fleecy microfibre finish is ultra cosy, and there’s more good news for back pain sufferers in the form of extra supportive webbing underneath.

Don’t be put off by the name – these fishing products are one serious contender as the best beds for bad backs. As the back can be raised, one can even double up as the best camping chair for a bad back too.

High points:

  • Bed can also be used as a chair
  • Built-in pillow and microfibre fabric
  • Supportive webbing for added support

Low points:

  • Utilitarian looks

Click here to see this NGT fishing chairbed

Click here to view on eBay

Vango Shangri La II 10 double sleeping mat review

Best low profile airbed

  • Double size
  • Low profile air mattress

An ultra low profile Vango air mattress that’s stable, portable, compact & ultra lightweight.

Along with Coleman, Vango are one of the leading camping brands out there. So this double, ultra low profile air mattress from them is bound to be a winner. The Shangri La indeed. This double mat sleeps two in supreme camping comfort. Especially considering its depth.

The flat shape increases stability and thus lowers the likelihood of rolling off. Ouch. Its finish is designed to be groundsheet friendly, so it will cause no damage or marking. This Vango airbed is ultra compact to store and lightweight to carry too, and the supplied bag looks smart.

This will take up far less space in your tent than a double height air mattress, making it a better option for a single person who wants to sleep on a double – as well as couples, of course.

High points:

  • Ultra low profile
  • Sleek carry bag
  • Takes up minimal space

Low points:

  • Higher price than more basic models

Click here to view this double Vango air mat for camping

Active Era single air mattress review

Best airbed with built-in pump

  • Single size
  • Air mattress

Structured, supportive, water & puncture proof airbed with integral pump & added height.

If you do want a single airbed – or a pair of them, which is the set up I actually prefer – then this Active Era airbed is a great option. Its best features include a built-in electric pump, structured support and a raised pillow area. This one is also taller than your average airbed, making it a more back-friendly choice.

As well as the added height, this airbed is ergonomically designed to support the entire body effectively, which can lead to a reduction in joint, spine and muscle strain. The integral pump inflates it in a couple of minutes, and can also deflate it rapidly for storage. A carry bag also comes with it.

This is one of the best camping beds for kids, as they can use it right into adulthood. It’s also among the best firm beds for bad backs when you need a temporary solution for guests or holidays. This product is also water and puncture resistant.

High points:

  • Integral pump for rapid inflation and deflation
  • Ergonomically designed for full body support
  • Raised pillow area

Low points:

  • Not as familiar a brand

Click here to see this single airbed for camping with integral pump

Click here to view on eBay

Vango Comfort double sleeping mat review

Best dual-purpose pillow

  • Double size
  • Camping mat

Clever, cushioned, slimline & anti-slip sleeping mat with carry bag that doubles up as a pillow.

Whether you travel as a couple, have kids who can share or want a double all to yourself (yep, me too), this Vango double camping mat is a reliable and comfortable option. This product is much thicker than most, with 10cm of deep cushioning to aid restful sleep.

Cleverly, Vango have designed the carry bag so it can double up as a cosy pillow. Both that and the camp mat have a soft, brushed fabric surface. The underside has tough anti-slip polyester, so it doesn’t slide around on the floor of the tent.

This self-inflating mat is quick and easy to set up at camp, and is also one of the lightest and most compact options for sleeping two people. Certainly among the best beds for backs when two of you are trying to travel light.

High points:

  • Self-inflating camping mat
  • Carry bag doubles as pillow
  • Extra thick cushioning

Low points:

  • Not the cheapest camp mat

Click here to view this Vango camping mat for two

Click here to view on eBay

Yawn self-inflating airbed with headboard review

Best airbed with headboard

  • Single, double or King
  • Airbed with headboard

The deluxe self-inflating airbed with carry bag feels like sleeping on your own bed at home.

What I love about this airbed is the integral headboard. For me, resting my back involves lying on the bed, knees bent and head propped up against a pillow, that in turn is held up by the headboard. Then I rest a cushion against my knees as – ahhh! My back finally relaxes. After spinal surgery, I was told that proper rest lying down was really important for recovery as it’s the only time your back muscles are fully relaxed. It’s still the only solution when severe pain strikes.

So a headboard can be a huge plus. It also stops the pillows falling off during the night, and makes it feel far more like you’re sleeping in a proper, permanent bed. Ideal for overnight guests, who may barely notice that it’s an airbed once you’ve dressed it with sheets, pillows and a duvet.

This premium airbed also has a raised edge, and takes just five minutes to inflate or deflate by means of the integral pump. A flocked surface makes it comfortable while stopping sheets from slipping around, and it comes with a smart carry bag too. It’s that headboard, though, that really places this one among the top camping mattresses for bad backs.

High points:

  • Includes headboard for added comfort
  • Raised edging
  • Built-in pump for easy inflation

Low points:

  • Unfamiliar brand

Click here to see the Yawn air mattress with headboard in various sizes

Click here to view on eBay

Sonik SK-TEK fishing bedchair review

Best option overall

  • Single size
  • Camping chairbed

This supportive fishing chairbed has great shoulder & lumbar support plus 2 mesh side pockets.

This Sonik SK-TEK Levelbed chairbed range should ensure continued comfort throughout even longer camping trips. Again this camp bed is designed with carp fishing in mind, but it’s also one of the best outdoor or guest beds around. As well as one of my most recommended beds for bad backs.

Both the shoulder and mid sections feature additional elasticated lumbar support, this idea being to ensure comfort for back, front and side sleepers alike. Two folding hinges create a completely flat profile, with enough space for a sleeping bag.

A cosy fleece finish and extra wide, cushioned pillow area provide extra comfort. There are also two handy fold-out mesh pockets, and all six adjustable end in swivelling mud feet. If you like the rugged outdoor look, this is the business. It’s a great bed for occasional use, either when camping, fishing or within the home.

High points:

  • Can also be used as a camping chair
  • Broad, cushioned pillow area
  • Elasticated lumbar support

Low points:

  • One of the heavier options

Click here to view this Sonik camping bedchair

Click here to view on eBay

Trekology curvature camping mat review

Best curved camping mat

  • Single size
  • Camping mat

With a unique curving shape, this ultra compact & lightweight mat is surprisingly supportive.

Designed in Portland, Oregon, the Trekology camp mat is far more comfortable than most for those with unreliable backs. The unique ‘curvature’ shaping means it embraces and supports the body, resulting in a better night’s rest. A larger valve makes for rapid inflation or deflation.

This camping mat is also 10cm thick for added comfort, and incredibly this extra thick camping mat weighs only 750g. Making it the ideal choice for anyone seeking a camping mat for hiking or backpacking. The included stuff bag also ensures it’s as small as possible.

A water resistant coating can cope with spills – or less than clement weather – while tough 40D polyester means it’s built to last. A great option for serious outdoor types who seek a great night’s sleep, wherever they may roam. As well as being one of the best camping beds in the UK overall.

High points:

  • ‘Curvature’ shaping for added support
  • Incredibly lightweight and compact
  • Packs down into own stuff bag

Low points:

  • Not self-inflating

Click here to see this Trekology camping mat

Click here to view on eBay

Honeyhome SUV air mattress

Best for car camping

Airbed designed for use in a car, van or SUV, with supportive base for back or side sleepers.

This is one of the highest rated camping mattresses for a car around. It fits snugly into the back f your vehicle so you can feel at home anywhere along the way. You can pick between grey, beige and black.

Two inflatable pillows are included and this one blows up enough to give you a nice, thick, supportive sleeping base. You can even inflate it via your car’s output socket! It can take over 45 stones in weight too.

I love the way it’s built like two singles joined together – that makes it far more comfortable than a regular double airbed. It’s also designed for side and back sleepers, which is great when you have an unsettled spine.

High points:

  • 2 pillows included
  • Inflates via car socket
  • Supportive for side or back sleepers

Low points:

  • Not designed for tents

Click here to see this Honeyhome car airbed

Best camp beds for back pain – FAQs

What do you sleep on when camping with a bad back?

A supportive camp bed, air mattress or even a thick camping mat are all good choices. It’s also worth checking out carp fishing chairbeds. Look for features like extra height, superior support and a lightweight model that won’t cause pain when lifting it. Any product for back pain really comes down to what suits each individual case.

Is an air mattress good for a bad back?

The fact that you can inflate an air mattress to just the right level to suit you can be a bonus when you suffer from back pain. Buying a separate airbed to suit each persion with a bad back is best so they can tweak it to offer the right levels of support and softness. Double height air mattresses can help you get into and out of bed.

What is the most comfortable thing to sleep on when camping?

Folding camping beds, air mattresses and even camping mats can offer a good level of comfort for kids and adults. Look for a design that offers support if you want to avoid waking in the night – especially if you’ve suffered from back pain in the past.

Which is the best camp bed for your bad back?

I hope you’ve found this guide helpful in your quest to find the best mattresses for bad backs when you go camping. While these can be useful for minimising back pain, they’re not special beds for bad backs as such. Those who suffer more than a short spell of spinal pain should always consult their GP.

Polly x

If you found this guide useful, why not check out these posts?

Note – This post may contain affiliate links. If you buy via these, I may earn a small fee. This has absolutely no effect on the price you pay. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. 

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