My husband and I used to camp several times a year when we were first married. We lived in a duplex and it was nice to get away from the neighborhood on weekends. Camping also fit our budget because it was so much cheaper than staying at a hotel. The worse part about camping for me was sleeping on the ground. We tried using the floating air mattresses that we used in the lake, as our camping mattress in the tent. The sleeping bags kept slipping off and the mattress made noises each time you shifted even slightly. We decided that if we were going to continue to camp we should invest in a camping mattress. At that time the best camping mattress was out of our price range. We ended up buying thick foam from a fabric store and used this as our camping mattress. It was more comfortable than sleeping on the ground, but it was bulky to take along and to store when we were not using it.
We stopped camping for several years, but have recently started to take an interest in it again. I told my husband that the first thing we needed to purchase is a camping mattress. We started looking at what is available now and found that there are many choices for a camping mattress. There is the inflatable camping mattress that seems to be a small step above the floating air mattress that we had tried in the past. There is a camping mattress that is self inflating. It inflates as it is rolled out. Once it has inflated itself you close the valve. To deflate you open the valve and press down on the camping mattress. This seemed simply to set up and easy to store, however it was not very thick, so we questioned the comfort level. Another camping mattress we considered was inflatable with a separate pump. This particular camping mattress came in several sizes. The inflation time was about five minutes. The pump had rechargeable batteries, so you could bring it to the camp site charged and then plug it in when you got home. This seemed like a nice reasonably priced option for a camping mattress, however it did not come with any way to store it.
The camping mattress that we purchased was a queen size mattress that has a built in pump. The camping mattress inflates in less than a minute and deflates flat in even less time. The mattress and pump fit into a duffle case that is the size of a sleeping bag. This camping mattress cost more, but we can also use it as an extra bed on the occasions when we have more guests than bed space. With our new camping mattress we will be camping and sleeping in comfort.