I’ve done enough camping to know that a devil-may-care attitude to your sleeping environment will never work out, no matter how optimistic your outlook.
You use burn energy when you’re exposed to the elements all day (rain or shine) so getting as much sleep as you can manage is critical - not just for you, but also for your fellow campers too. After all, no one wants to go to the festival's main stage or head off on an hours-long hike with a sleep-deprived grump. Take it from someone who knows.
Foam roll mats are as effective in cushioning you against the cold, hard ground as a sheet of kitchen roll is in soaking up the Serpentine. Inflatable mattresses are a popular choice, but you really do get what you pay for – a poorly made one will leak air over the course of your trip, leaving you wobbling on top of it like blancmange in the early hours of the morning.
For a solid night’s sleep, you’ll need a solid bed – and that’s where camp beds come in.
Lightweight, easy to transport and simple to set up, they prop you up off the floor and come in different lengths to accommodate campers of all shapes and sizes.
You don’t have to live like a wild animal just because you’re in the great outdoors. A few creature comforts will make tent life far more comfortable.
From compact beds for single sleepers to designs big enough to share with someone special, here are our favourite camp beds.
See our favourites below
LET'S CAMP Outdoor Folding Camping Cots for Adults
Useful for more than just camping, this fold up bed can be set up to accommodate unexpected overnight guests as well as taking to the beach as a sun lounger or somewhere to kick back when fishing.
Weighing 14lbs and accommodating 600lbs, its folds down in ten seconds and closes up just as quickly. The angled headrest means you can rest comfortably even without a pillow and a generous side pocket keeps all your essentials safe. It comes in a matching grey carry back for easy portability and there’s a one year warranty included too.
Buy now £69.99, Amazon
NGT Specimen Fishing Camping Anglers Reclining Lightweight Bedchair with Pillow
Technically a fishing bed, this roomy design guarantees a good night’s rest thanks to the padded base, ample lumbar support, built-in padded pillow and robust super grip mud feet. Lightweight at 8.3kg, it’s a great purchase for outdoorsy types with dodgy backs.
Dimensions: 80 x 200 x 37cm.
Buy now £114.95, Amazon
HI-GEAR Double Folding Campbed
Camping can be a romantic and relatively cheap weekend away, especially if you plan and pack the right equipment.
Couples heading for the great outdoors should consider this double-sized camp bed which folds out just as easily as a standard design. A central bar runs through the centre of the structure, isolating movement to each half of the bed - meaning you won’t wake up when they go for a midnight loo run.
Naturally, a bed of this size (L193.5 x W130 x H4cm when opened) does weigh more than the average camp bed at 13.6g but it’s not an issue if you’re driving to your campsite. Don’t forget to pack pillows!
Comes with a carry bag.
Buy now £59.00, Go Outdoors
Hi-Gear Slumber Campbed
Save yourself the backache that’s usually associated with outdoors sleeping with this basic but sturdy bed from camping specialists Go Outdoors.
Easily to set up and comfortable to sleep on, it can hold 110kg in weight and comes with rounded feet to try and spare damage to your tent’s groundsheet. When packed down it weighs 5.2kg, so one to save for camping trips with friends and family rather than big festivals. All in all, not bad for the price at all.
Measurements: 190 x 63 x 43cm.
Buy now £25.00, Go Outdoors
Vango Laze XL Reclining Campbed
Seasoned campers know it’s better to invest in quality kit rather than buying cheap year after year - and anything with a dual function is a plus. Therefore we’ve included this camp bed, which is not only generously sized and can bear more than 18st, but it has the ability to recline at five different angles too - making it perfect for sunbathing on summer camping trips when you’re not snoozing under the stars.
Buy now £69.99, Leisure Outlet
Eurohike Utah 4 Leg Campbed
If you’re looking for something to keep you off the cold, hard ground but not a frequent enough camper to justify the cost of something pricey, this basic bed performs admirably. Delivered in a carry bag, set up is simple: roll out the water-repellent fabric base and start building the frame around it. The side poles are easy enough to attach, but you’ll need some elbow grease to jimmy the legs in properly.
The juice is most definitely worth the squeeze though: a sturdy bed to see you through a full weekend of use - or longer.
Buy now £20.00, Millet
KingCamp XXL Folding Camping Bed Cot
Just like in the Scouts, it pays to be prepared when you’re camping out. This 9.7kg portable bed will make sure you’re ready for all the day’s adventures by offering a comfortable and stable place to rest at night.
Sturdy yet lightweight and comfortable, set-up is faster than blowing up an air mattress. It can sleep people weighing up to 120kg.
Buy now £69.99, Amazon
COVACURE Camping Hammock with Mosquito Net - 2 Person
This highly-rated hammock offers a different proposition to sleeping in the great outdoors. Made with high grade parachute nylon, it features a built-in mosquito net as well as various entry points using zips, so there’s no need to worry about tumbling out when you need a late night loo visit. There are also a pair of aluminium stakes included to increase the stability of the design for extra peace of mind.
It sets up in three minutes and the stitched carry sack can be used as a handy storage pocket once you’ve got the hammock set up.
This won’t work at campsites - unless there are trees in the vicinity - but if you’re heading on a hike or climbing expedition, it ticks all the boxes.
Buy now £20.69, Amazon
If you can spare the cash, the NGT Bedchair is the comfiest option for a camping trip offering a good night’s sleep to all. However it’s not the easiest thing to lug on short trips like festivals when your hands will be full with other things.
LET'S CAMP’s Folding Camping Cot is a fantastic all-rounder, light enough to take for festival camping yet durable enough for year-after-year use, making it the Best in our book.