You want to trek through the wilds of Canada and you also want some creature comforts to enjoy during the trip. Hiking might be something you enjoy, but if you want to tour the entire country, you’ll need a car.
Camping doesn’t sound too appealing, either. There’s the whole rigmarole of setting up a tent, as well as finding campsites and dealing with the biting bugs that come with sleeping in the great outdoors. Your solution – car beds.
It’s legal to sleep in your car anywhere in Canada (it’s a good idea to avoid crowded areas when you do) and you won’t have to worry about putting the car away again when you wake up. But car seats aren’t comfortable, with the inevitable neck and back pain of forcing yourself to sleep in a seat being the last thing you want. That’s where these car beds come into play. The 10 that we’ve highlighted in this article each offer something different, though they also provide a comfortable night’s sleep if you’re hitting the hay in your car.
- Best Car Bed for Adults – HEYTRIP Inflatable SUV Car Bed
- Best Car Bed for Kids – AKUDY Car Bed
- Best Budget Car Bed – Onirii Inflatable Car Bed
- Best Sleeping Pad – Gear Doctors Self-Inflating Sleeping Pad
- Best Memory Foam Car Bed – Camplife CertiPUR Mattress
- Best Folding Mattress – Milliard Tri-Folding Mattress (Queen Size)
- Best Car Bed for SUVs – Sokeface Air Bed
- Best Self-Inflating Car Bed – LostHorizon Airsoft
- Best Car Bed with Accessories – Zone Tech Inflatable Car Bed
- Best Car Bed for Trucks – Pittman Outdoors PPI-402
- Get a Good Night’s Rest With the Right Car Beds
- FAQs about the best car beds
Best Car Bed for Adults – HEYTRIP Inflatable SUV Car Bed
At 4 inches thick, and with an adjustable sleeping pad over the top, the HEYTRIP Inflatable SUV Car Bed is a great choice for sheet comfort. It’s also specifically designed for two people, with a peak under the car bed’s cover revealing two air mattresses (separated by a small divider) so each sleeper has their own. That’s great for couples who’ve found that sleeping on a single air mattress leads to uneven weight distribution and one of them being less comfortable than the other.
HEYTRIP goes down the more natural route when it comes to materials, substituting the PVC many car beds use for a 600-Denier Oxford cotton fabric. That means you don’t get that irritating “chemical” smell coming from the mattress. Plus, the cotton also being strong and breathable enough to handle exposure to the great outdoors.
The 12-volt air pump lets you inflate it in a couple of minutes, though deflating can take a little longer thanks to the double-mattress construction. A 72-hour testing period also ensures that each HEYTRIP mattress released to the public is free of leaks. However, driving up to higher altitudes can cause problems when you inflate the mattress, with seams occasionally popping due to the change in air pressure.
Price – $148.20
Amazon Rating – 4.3
Best Car Bed for Kids – AKUDY Car Bed
Though many of the car beds on this list are inflatable, the AKUDY Car Bed stands out because of its clever inclusion of a raised pillow “panel” at one end. That panel means you don’t have to worry about lugging your own pillows around during your road trip, and the fact that it’s connected to the mattress makes storage simple.
Speaking of storage, the AKUDY shrinks down easily to fit in your boot and comes with a handy carry bag. When inflated, it blows up to an impressive size of 76 x 50 x 6 inches, providing plenty of room for your little one (and even being large enough for many adults). Moisture proofing (and some minor traction) come from a layer of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) at the car bed’s base, which also serves as an insulator to prevent heat from escaping through the bottom of the mattress.
AKUDY claims it puts every mattress it sells through 72 hours of air leak tests before shipping it off to retail. Those tests examine the bed’s seams and the two-layer air valves built into its connectors. We’re also fans of the pump that comes with the mattress because it makes blowing up the car bed a three-minute job.
Sadly, this pump isn’t USB-based, meaning you have to plug it directly into your car to get it to work. French-speaking Canadians may be upset to see that the instruction manual that comes with the bed is in English only. It would also be helpful to have a bag for the various pump components because they don’t fit into the car bed’s carry bag when it already contains the mattress.
Price – $99.99
Amazon Rating – 4.6
Best Budget Car Bed – Onirii Inflatable Car Bed
If road trips are a rarity for you and your family, you may not want to spend hundreds of dollars on car beds. Onirii’s Inflatable Car Bed solves that problem by offering a low-cost (though comfortable) solution for less than $50.
Given that you pay so little, this bed comes with a bunch of useful accessories. In addition to the bed itself, you get a pair of air pillows, a useful pump, a sleep mask, and a wrap-around inflatable pillow for your neck. The latter pillow offers some great additional support, which you may find useful given the small size of the air pillows that come with the bed.
Onirii uses a combination of PVC and flocking for the bed, with the latter being a synthetic material designed to feel similar to velvet. That combination of materials helps to keep the car bed’s price low without sacrificing too much in terms of comfort.
Unfortunately, you may see some negative effects based on the low cost. The materials aren’t as strong as those used in premium car beds, making tearing a possibility if there are any sharp edges in your car. It’s also not great for people who are six feet tall or above, as the bed is a little on the short side. Still, it’s a great choice for kids, especially if you need a low-cost option and don’t mind the possibility of damage occurring.
Price – $47.41
Amazon Rating – 4.0
Best Sleeping Pad – Gear Doctors Self-Inflating Sleeping Pad
When space in your car is at a premium, having a bulky foam mattress or air bed may be a bad choice. You won’t be able to fit the thing in the back of your car (and certainly can’t sleep on it), making a pad a better choice.
Getting the obvious out of the way first – the Gear Doctors Sleeping Pad isn’t quite as comfortable as the thicker car beds in this article. But what it lacks in comfort (and it’s certainly not uncomfortable) it more than makes up for with a combination of clever design choices and a slim profile.
At 1.5 inches thick, it offers enough padding when combined with your car seat to be relatively comfortable. Add a sleeping bag into the mix, which the clever modules built into the pad help to keep in place, and you may not miss your mattress at all.
The slim profile also makes inflating and deflating the pad easy, and it folds down to store easily in a provided carry case that weighs just over 35 ounces with the pad inserted. It also features high-quality 75 Denier polyester materials, which resist moisture and offer some ultraviolet (UV) blocking. Better yet, Gear Doctors go the extra mile by offering a lifetime replacement policy on pads that get damaged through no fault of the user.
Price – $59.99 (Usually $64.99)
Amazon Rating – 4.6
Best Memory Foam Car Bed – Camplife CertiPUR Mattress
Memory foam car beds are great because they roll up easily (making storage simple) and still offer the comfort you’d get from an air mattress. The Camplife CentiPUR Mattress goes a step further than most by offering CentiPUR certification (as its name implies) and a pair of machine washable covers. Those covers also serve as waterproofing for the mattress so damp air and moisture can’t get inside.
The mattress itself combines 1.5 inches of memory foam with 1.5 inches of high-density foam, creating a 3-inch-thick mattress that’s portable and comfortable. When not in use, the mattress rolls up easily, with a pair of buckles keeping it rolled up tight and making it easy to slide the mattress into the provided carry bag.
It’s a single mattress (measuring 75 x 30 x 3 inches), which makes it unsuitable for couples. You can solve that problem by purchasing a pair of mattresses and connecting them using the Velcro connectors on the sides, though that may not be the best option for your bank account.
Speaking of which, there’s no getting away from the fact that it costs more than car beds that don’t contain memory foam. The near-$400 price tag is eyewatering for anybody who doesn’t intend to use the mattress regularly. Those on the heavier side may also find that the thinness that makes the mattress so portable also fails to provide the level of comfort they need.
Still, the Camplife CentiPUR is well-designed, with laminated 20-Denier nylon ensuring durability. Combine that with a generous “no questions ask” returns policy and it’s worth taking a chance on this car bed.
Price – $363.95
Amazon Rating – 4.6
Best Folding Mattress – Milliard Tri-Folding Mattress (Queen Size)
There’s a lot to love about Milliard’s tri-folding mattress, with its ability to fold into a third of its size being the standout feature. That folding makes portability simple, as you can tuck the mattress into your boot or store it easily on the back seat.
Granted, it’s not the thickest of car beds, coming in at 6 inches that combine a 1.5-inch layer of memory foam with a 4.5-inch foam base that offers solid support. However, the memory foam used for the mattress is CertiPUR-US certified to be of premium quality, meaning the lack of thickness won’t be a problem when you snuggle up to sleep.
Milliard’s smart ventilation system allows air to flow through the mattress. For that reason, you don’t have to worry about the moisture and mold that can affect less air-friendly car beds. Plus, there’s a clever anti-slip bottom (along with a jacquard cover) that makes this perfect for restless sleepers who move around a lot at night. Your mattress slipping out from under you won’t be a problem.
What may be a problem is the sheer size of the mattress. On one hand, queen-sized car beds are great for people with trucks, as you can fill the truck bed with the mattress and enjoy a great night’s sleep. But if you have a small car, this mattress won’t fit in it even after you’ve lowered the back seats. Milliard makes up for this with smaller versions of their car beds.
Price – $370.99
Amazon Rating – 4.7
Best Car Bed for SUVs – Sokeface Air Bed
The extra space in the back is one of the biggest advantages of having an SUV, and it’s a feature that Sokeface’s Air Bed uses to the maximum benefit. Measuring 76.77 x 55.12 x 4.05 inches, it offers plenty of space for couples to share a car bed without feeling uncomfortable. It also has a simple though clever design, with the raised built-in pillows at the end giving you a comfortable place to rest your head.
Like many air car beds, Sokeface’s mattress comes with an electric pump. The company claims that the bed stays inflated for 15 days after using the pump. This seems unlikely, especially if it sees regular use over that fortnight or so. Still, it’s good to know that the bed can likely stay inflated for a couple of days before you need to break the pump put again, which is helpful for extended stays in a single location.
It’s made using a combination of PVC and flocking, both of which are synthetic materials that resist UV rays and moisture. It’s not perfect, however, as the mattress is designed for use with Jeeps, meaning it may not provide a great fit for other SUVs. Couple that with the lack of a carry case (a must if you’re spending over $150 on car beds) and some may feel they’re not quite getting their money’s worth.
Price – $167.76
Amazon Rating – 4.6
Best Self-Inflating Car Bed – LostHorizon Airsoft
A self-inflating mattress is an ideal solution if you don’t want to deal with the hassle of pumping up car beds late at night. The LostHorizon Airsoft is the best of the bunch, with the mattress usually inflating within five minutes at the first time of asking. Later inflations tending to be quicker once the first inflation works out some compression issues.
Beyond the convenience on offer, this is a thick mattress (coming in at 4.5 inches) that has a strong-gripping top layer to keep you from sliding around as you sleep. Its firmness adjusts automatically to your body shape and weight, ensuring you feel supported no matter how you sleep or how big you are. Plus, the damp proofing is always a bonus, especially if you’re going to keep the car open and leave the mattress exposed to the outdoors as you sleep.
The one major downside is that getting the thing packed away is often difficult. Though the mattress has deflation valves built into it, which should allow you to let air out quickly, it often takes longer to deflate the bed than it takes to inflate it. Even with constant pressing on the mattress, deflation could take around 10 minutes. This seems like a strange trade-off for a bed that inflates itself so quickly.
Price – $269.99
Amazon Rating – 4.6
Best Car Bed with Accessories – Zone Tech Inflatable Car Bed
The Zone Tech Inflatable Car Bed comes with accessories galore, making it one of the best car beds for those who want the little extras that enhance their sleeping experience. Besides the bed, which includes a little pad that covers the gap between your front car seats, you get a pair of quality pillows and two backseat fillers that also serve as storage compartments.
The wavy pattern that adorns the PVC flocking material is also a highlight. It looks snazzy and offers some grip to stop you from slipping around when you sleep. There’s also an inflatable “headrest” that keeps you comfortable if you want to sit up, such as when you’re reading.
It measures 31.5 x 53 inches, which is large enough for one adult but perhaps a touch too small for two. You may also find that it starts deflating faster than some other car beds, though top-ups every few hours should solve that problem. That may not be much solace if the bed deflates underneath you after eight hours of sleep, but you’ll rarely encounter issues with all of the air leaving the mattress.
Price – $55.99
Amazon Rating – 3.6
Best Car Bed for Trucks – Pittman Outdoors PPI-402
If you have a truck with a decent-sized bed, the Pittman Outdoors PPI-402 is both a huge and cleverly designed mattress that takes up the entire bed. The sides are the standout feature, as they come up to offer a gap that allows the mattress to slide over your truck’s wheel arches so the mattress stays flat when in place.
It also automatically inflates and deflates with the help of an in-built battery-powered air pump, with the A/C charger needed to keep the pump running included. At 76 x 63 x 5 inches, it’s easily large enough for couples. Plus, the thickness of the mattress is complemented by an air coil system that adjusts the bed as you sleep so it distributes your weight well.
Of course, there are some downsides. The obvious one being that truck car beds take up all the space in your truck’s bed. Anything else you take for the trip must be moved into the cab (or left on the floor) so you’re repeatedly shifting things around to use the bed. This is also a premium product with a price tag to match, as you’ll spend a little over $400 to take this mattress on the road.
Price – $412.18
Amazon Rating – 4.8
Get a Good Night’s Rest With the Right Car Beds
Price is far from the only factor to consider when choosing the right car bed. There’s the comfort factor, as some beds are better for couples while others work best for kids or singletons. The materials also play a role, especially given potential exposure to the elements. High-quality car beds offer a combination of breathability, moisture resistance, and protection against UV rays.
Finally, there’s the little issue of the car itself. As attractive as huge car beds made for trucks may be, they’re not much use to people with smaller cars. It’s a good idea to measure the space you have available before you start looking at car beds, allowing you to cut any from your shortlist that are too big for your car.
There are car beds out there for everyone, though, and this list arms you with 10 great choices to suit all preferences and styles. Hopefully, you’ll find the right car bed for you on this list, or at least get some guidance on what to look for when looking through your sleeping options.
FAQs about the best car beds
Car insurance should cover you when you’re sleeping in your car, though some insurance companies see it as an added risk. That’s especially the case if you keep the doors open while sleeping, which could be an invitation for thieves or even a route in for the elements to damage your vehicle. Contact your insurer to ask about their specific policies before choosing one of the car beds in this article.
The specific method for making a bed in your car depends on the type of car beds you prefer. In many cases, you’ll need to lower your back seats, turning both the car’s boot and the back of the lowered seats into a base for the bed. Other car beds are designed to lay across the back seats, with support in the footwells, so you don’t have to mess around with the seats themselves.
Bed bugs aren’t likely to get into your car due to exposure to the great outdoors. However, they can get in if you carry them in on your clothes, luggage, or car beds. Running a quick scan of everything you intend to bring with you should help you spot the bugs before they can cause problems.
Steam cleaning (either hot or cold) is your best option. These cleaners kill most bed bugs on contact, with the extra benefit of being able to blow into the tiny nooks and crannies that bed bugs hide in. That way, you don’t need to worry about the infestation returning. Failing that, heat of over 45 degrees Celsius kills bed bugs, though that’s rarely a feasible temperature to reach in your car. Fumigation is also an option, but it’s best to talk to a professional about this service.