All the options to turn your SUV into a free place to sleep, pick what's best for you!
Ummm, can I go out and say, best camping ever?! Free-99!
---> including downloadable spreadsheet for us nerds.
Why would you ever need to know about the best mattress for sleeping in SUV?
So you’ve planned an amazing hut to hut hike in the Dolomites or the White Mountains of New Hampshire. Maybe you’ve got a full day SUP trip in Morro Bay or a bird watching event on the Cape.
All that stuff begins annoying early in the morning in order to make it to delicious dinner or experiences worth travelling for.
You don’t want to get up at zero-dark-thirty to get there in time.
Nor do you want to drive all sleepy on the way home (being sleep deprived is often more dangerous than being drunk while driving according to many studies).
Another excellent reason to turn your mom-mobile into a sleeping cave is that there’s finally a return of music festivals at the Gorge or some field in Tennessee and you really want to go and not pay a fortune for a hotel room or even worse, pay a fortune for a camping spot.
If you’ve got an SUV and you’re on a 1 or 2 person outdoor journey, why waste money on a hotel or overpriced camp spot when you have a perfectly good place to sleep in the back of your SUV?
It’s not being cheap, it’s being smart! Check out our personally curated reviews of the best mattress for sleeping in SUV and pick the one best for your needs.
The aim of this article is to talk you through all the features and considerations that go into choosing the best mattress to sleep in your SUV. I’ve only included the products that I love and that have a proven reputation of being a sound investment for car camping.
I’ve included an easy-to-use comparison chart of all the best mattresses, as well as in depth reviews of each product that make finding the best mattress for sleeping in an SUV, much easier.
This post links to products and services we love, which we may make a small commission from, at no extra cost to you. Thank you for supporting our blog!! – Morgan
Table of Contents Best Mattress for Sleeping in SUV
Our Pick Best Mattress for Sleeping in SUV
The Self Inflating Foam and Air Hybrid Pad is my top choice of all the mattresses we’ve reviewed below! It has great potential for SUV camping and backpacking. I much prefer multi-functional mattresses to other types of mattresses. It self inflates so you don't need to carry a pump nor have electricity.
It has a great insulation R value to stay warm and offers enough thickness for side sleepers. It’s by a well-known and trusted brand so you know you’re getting quality and it has a great price point so buying it doesn’t break the bank.
Comparison Chart Best Mattress for Sleeping in SUV
Here’s a quick comparison of all the top mattresses I’ve reviewed in this article.
Protip: Fold down your seats and take accurate measurements of the space you have in mid row and back row with special attention to wheel wells.
Do not forget to measure between wheel wells like I did and end up having to return a mattress that was slightly too wide.
SUV Mattress Reviews
Choosing the best mattress for sleeping in SUV can feel a bit overwhelming. Read these detailed mattress reviews to help you find the best way to sleep in your SUV for your next trip.
Can be used in SUV, tent or backpacking as it has fabric wrapped around 3 inches of premium foam with localized support and self inflating air to make it extra insulated and comfortable. R value of 4.4. Great for use in backpacking also.
Measures 77x25x3 inches inflated, packs to 13x9.3 inches, and weighs 39 ounces; stuff sack included; made in the USA
Pros: Backpacking function, lightweight
Cons: Small width
The foam camping mattress is equipped with ultra-soft bamboo cover. Simply unfold it to sleep on it and you can also use it in the home for an extra bed or TV cuddling mat.
Tri-fold mattress in flat position measures 73in x 52in x 6in, when folded it measures 52in x 25in x 18in.
Pros: durable, fast setup, multifunctional
Cons: takes up space when not in use, heavy
This electric pump mattress can be used as a middle row only or used for the entire back if all seats are stowed. Plug into cigarette lighter.
The size of QDH SUV Air Mattress is 72.8 x 51.2x 4.7 Inches, Plugs into cigarette lighter with 3 min pumping time.
Pros: electric pump, small storage when not in use
Cons: air leakage, no pillows
Best for Middle Row
For use in the middle row sideways of a car or SUV only. Good for solo travellers. Electric pump mattress.
Mattress inflated: 69 inches x 32 inches x 6 inches
Pros: Do not have to rearrange entire car for sleeping
Cons: comfort, solo only
Self Inflating, No Power Needed
No power or pump needed. Can be used in the back of an SUV with seats folded down and is very lightweight and thin.
Use in tent camping also.
Measures 74 inch x 52.8 inch x 1.4 inch
Pros: No power, lightweight
Cons: Small thickness, not great for side sleepers
Great for SUVs that have a narrower trunk and wider space where the middle row is folded down.
Multiple compartments of air so you can adjust as needed.
Measures: 76 inches x 47 inches wide near trunk, upper half 51 inches wide x 5 inches
Pros: thickness, adjustable
Cons: air leakage
Worried about power? No problem this one comes with a manual pump and is fitted perfectly to the middle row so could even fit an SUV or car.
Measures 40 inch x 35 inches x 8 inches
Pros: No power needed, Super thick, perfectly fitted for middle row and can be used in tent
Cons: short length
Super thick air mattress with electric pump and comes with pillows and 6 adjustable air chambers so it can fit almost any SUV.
Great for comfort with the middle row or middle + 3rd rows folded down.
Measures 71 inch x 51 inch x 12 inch.
Pros: Versatile, comes with pillows
Cons: Air leakage
Types of SUV Car Mattresses
First of all, you’ve got to decide which kind of mattress you’re looking for or if you need a few different kinds. Do you want something just for the middle row or do you want to fold down the middle and 3rd rows and take up the entire back of your SUV?
Or perhaps the thickest cushion? Each kind of mattress will have different benefits but the one you choose should be based on your needs.
Camping Pad – A camping pad typically used for backpacking or tent camping that is very thin and rolls up to be carried in a backpack for hiking. Not as comfortable for side sleepers and doesn't offer as much insulation warmth. Great if you want double duty for SUV sleeping and backpacking. More expensive than typical air mattresses.
Inflatable Air Mattress Manual Pump – This kind of mattress is cheaper and you get a little bit of a workout. You’ll definitely need to take up space for the pump itself but the mattress should fold down quite small when not in use.
Inflatable Air Mattress Electric Pump – Like the manual one but with a much smaller pump that plugs into your car and is inflated by your car battery.
Memory Foam – A tri folding memory foam mattress will offer no air leakage throughout the night and plenty of insulation. It can be flexible to take into your house to use as a spare portable guest mattress but also take up quite a lot of space in your SUV when not used for sleeping. Washable and fire retardant covers.
Custom Made Mattress – The most comfortable and custom fit to your vehicle. This is typical for long haul truck drivers or transporters of RVs from the manufacturing facility to the dealerships. This is the most expensive option. Contact standard mattress makers directly in your home town.