5 Best Air Beds 2022 | Cheap + Luxury Camping Beds

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Air beds are rarely beautiful things, even with attractive models sprawled out on top of them. 

​However, having a blow up mattress for camping or an emergency visitor is cheaper and more convenient than other guest bed options. 

There are three types of air bed on the market in the UK:

  1. air beds which you pump up yourself with a foot pump or similar – £10 – £30ish (e.g. the Eurohike air bed at #2)
  2. air beds which can only be inflated with a built-in pump (which requires electricity) – £50 – £100ish (e.g. the Bestway air bed at #5)
  3. those air beds which have the option of either using a built-in pump or your own foot pump – £50 – £100ish (e.g. this Coleman air bed at #1)

If there’s any possibility that you might use an air bed when you go camping, I would avoid the electric-only air beds. You’ll be reliant on getting an electric hook-up at a campsite. If you’re just using it at home then an airbed which requires electricity is fine as long as the pump doesn’t fail.

‘Manual’ air beds (i.e. ones without a built in pump) are cheapest but they’re a bit of an effort if you’re using it regularly.

We’ve picked out five of the best air beds on the market in the UK by looking at specification, customer reviews and value for money. We’ve included some cheap air beds as well as more luxurious options.

1. Coleman Double or King Size Air Bed – £60

The Coleman air bed ticks a lot of boxes for me and it’ll do the job for camping or for a guest bed.

Most importantly, it has the option of either using a built-in pump via mains electricity or pumping it manually. Several that we’ve looked at – such as the Bestway air bed below at #5 -are great if you’ve got mains electricity but not so good if the pump breaks or if you’re at a campsite without an electric hook up.

You can also choose from two sizes including double and king size. Some just come in one size which may be too big for your spare room or your one man tent. 

It’s also deeper than many other inflatable beds that we’ve looked at around 50cm. Admittedly it’s only about 5cm deeper than the Bestway air bed (#5), but it might make it feel a bit more like a ‘proper’ bed rather than one which has been put on the floor.

Finally, it’s got good reviews and it’s made by a brand you’ve heard of. Hundreds of customers were giving it an average of 4.5/5 at the time of writing.

It can cope with up to 295kg, which is two people weighing 23 stone each. Not sure I’d test it out to the absolute max though… 

Pros: multi pumping options, high weight limit, established camping brand, good height

Cons: no single version, colour may not be to everyone’s taste

Our value rating: ***** (out of five, see notes at foot of page)

Coleman air bed
The Coleman air bed comes in double or king size
coleman logo
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Different pumping options + high weight limit + good brand
Different pumping options + high weight limit + good brand Show Less

2. BestWay Fortech King Size Airbed – £59 

This Bestway air bed at Dreams gets very strong reviews with an average of 4.7/5 from more than 100 customers at the time of writing. 

It’s massively deep at 46cm so you won’t feel like you’re sleeping on the floor and it comes with a built in electric pump. It says the airbed is suitable for camping, but you would obviously need a 3-pin electric hook-up. According to the Q&A on the Dreams website, there isn’t a manual pumping alternative.

It only comes in one size – which is king size – and it inflates in five minutes according to the blurb (some reviews say it is less than five minutes).

The colour is a bit beige for my liking but once you’ve got bedding on it, it will look more like a divan bed for short people.

Pros: electric pump, long-established bed seller, great customer reviews

Cons: no manual pump alternative, colour choice is poor, only one size choice

Our value rating: ***

Bestway air bed
This Bestway air bed has a built in pump
dreams logo
Search latest price on Bestway Fortech Air Bed
Electric pump + big name retailer + very positive reviewsShow More
Electric pump + big name retailer + very positive reviews Show Less

3. Eurohike Flocked Airbed In Single or Double – £25/£30

This Eurohike air bed is what you’d call a cheap and cheerful option for the air bed shopper.

Does it come with a top of the range electric pump to make it inflate in seconds? Er, no, you have to pump it up yourself using your own pump.

Is it twice the depth of a normal mattress so you don’t feel like you’re sleeping on the floor? Er, no it’s not actually. It’s about 22cm deep which is similar to a mid-priced mattress.

Will it make camping slightly more tolerable for a few quid? Yes, almost certainly.

It also gets positive customer reviews with an average score of 4.5/5 at the time of typing. It’s also made by a well-known camping brand. That provides some reassurance that you won’t wake up lying on a deflated piece of plastic.

Pros: very cheap, good reviews, well-known camping brand

Cons: manual pumping, pump not provided, no king-size version

Our value rating: ****

Eurohike air bed

The Eurohike air bed has no frills but it gets good reviews
Eurohike logo
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Low price + big name camping brand + positive reviews
Low price + big name camping brand + positive reviews Show Less

4. Active Era Single or King Size Air Bed – £85/£99

The Active Era air bed from Amazon has got a vast number of positive reviews at the time of writing. In all, there are more than 10,000 reviews with an average score of 4.4/5 between the single and king size options. 

It’s another air bed which cleverly offers the option of either pumping it up by plugging it in or using a manual pump. That means it is good for camping or at home.

It’s also one of the few single sized air beds we’ve found which comes in a double depth. Most of the deeper air beds tend to be doubles and king sizes. 

The single version is apparently ready to go in a lightning-fast 90 seconds, although I’m not quite sure that having to wait another couple of minutes for a bed to inflate would be a deal-breaker for me.

Pros: quick electric inflating, multi pumping options, lots of positive reviews, single size available in double depth

Cons: less well known camping brand than Eurohike, Trespass or Colemans

​Our value rating: ****

Active era king size air bed
The Active Era air bed has had thousands of positive reviews
amazon logo
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Multiple pumping options + positive reviews
Multiple pumping options + positive reviews Show Less

5. Pro Action Flocked Air Bed In Single, Double or King Size – £15 – £32

If you’re looking for a cheap air bed then a Pro Action blow up mattress is worth considering.

You can choose from three different sizes and designs including single, double and king size airbeds. The three main models don’t come with pumps so you’ll either need to requisition one from the garage or pump it by blowing into it. You will certainly want a lie down after you’ve done that.

The Pro Action air bed range is notably thinner than some of the pricier ones on this list. They’re more suited for a couple of nights camping rather than as a mattress for Aunt Maude’s annual visit (unless you don’t want her to stay too long).

If you go for the cheapest option it’s about 22cm deep which is about the same as a mid-priced mattress.

There have been hundreds of reviews for the Pro Action air bed range and they score about 4/5 or 4.5/5.

Pros: excellent range of sizes, very cheap for basic models, strong reviews

Cons: pumps not included, not a particularly well known brand

Our value rating: ****

Pro action double airbed
The Pro Action range of airbeds includes this cheap single mattress…
Pro action airbed closeup
…but it doesn’t come with a pump
argos logo
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Good range of sizes + low price + very good reviews
Good range of sizes + low price + very good reviews Show Less

About ‘Our value rating’ – we give each air bed a score out of five based on how good value we think it is. We consider factors such as features, brand reputation, warranty length and reviews. A five star product is exceptionally good value. Four star products are very good value. Three star products are good value. Two star and one star products rarely make our recommended guides, but they are products which are reasonable value (**) and poor value (*).