Sleeping mats in the Review – The best models in 2020 in comparison

When looking for the best 2020 sleeping pad, you should compare the most important factors. It is often not easy to find the right model. Our buying advice will help you find the right sleeping pad. However, you should not only pay attention to the price, but also to the pack dimensions, the weight and the type of sleeping pad.

 As a recommendation, we can highly recommend our 1st place, the Z Lite Sol sleeping pad 040818066706 from Therm-A-Rest , because it is extremely comfortable to lie on, is very well insulated and almost indestructible. The Hikenture camping sleeping pad is almost as good , it is very space-saving and is ready to use almost immediately, and it also consists of environmentally friendly materials.

Buying advice for the sleeping pad

When choosing a sleeping pad there are some important criteria that you should consider. Because not every sleeping pad is equally suitable for everyone. A camper who mainly travels by car will pay more attention to comfort and insulation. This contrasts with the trekking enthusiasts, who are mostly on foot or by bike. In this case, not only the comfort and insulation play a major role, but above all the pack size and weight. After all, these people don’t have as much space as in the car and carry the weight all the way. 

Of course, the sleeping pad should also offer a high level of lying comfort, but especially if no car was chosen as the means of transportation, all four factors should be in harmony. As you can see from these explanations, a sleeping pad that is very good for one person cannot be so good for another. Therefore, you should decide for yourself how you want to be on the road and which criteria are important to you personally. Because only in this way is it possible to find a suitable and perhaps also quite cheap sleeping pad.

Clue of the R value

When it comes to how well mattresses can isolate, it is important to pay attention to the R value. This value specifies exactly what thermal resistance the material of the sleeping pad has and thus up to what temperatures the mat can insulate. The material of the complete mat is always taken into account when determining this value. Simply put, you can see how well the respective mat insulates. This value should be high, because the higher the R value, the better the insulation of the mat at low temperatures. However, everyone feels cold and warmth differently, so it can happen that a sleeping mat does not have the same level of insulation for everyone. The R-value is tested in a laboratory with a cold and hot plate and it is measured how much energy is required, to keep the temperature constant. The less energy is required, the better the insulation.

Furthermore, it is very important that you are clear about how you want to transport the sleeping pad. If there is only a limited volume in the backpack, you should not only look for a mat that is light in weight, but can also be packed to save space. If you have more space anyway, because you are going on a tour by car or have storage space on your bike, you can also pay more attention to comfort. 

Last but not least, sleeping comfort is also very important, which is felt rather subjectively. People who pay more attention to weight and pack size should also pay attention to lying comfort. Because if you only pay attention to weight and packaging, it can happen that the next morning you wake up and sleep well. It is therefore particularly important for those who find a healthy mediocrity. People who are traveling by car pay more attention to comfort. However, even a car does not have unlimited storage space, so that the pack size can also play a role here.

Warm in winter, cold in summer – how does it work?

There are adventurers who like to be outdoors in sub-zero temperatures to experience the honest and wild nature. Especially then, models that need to be inflated manually should not necessarily be used. This is due to the fact that condensed water can form, which gets inside the mattress pad. This condensed water can freeze in the mat and affect the insulation. Therefore, for such adventures, you should rather resort to models that are filled with down or synthetic fibers. 

However, if you cannot be dissuaded from the inflatable mats, it is best to use the models that already have a hand pump integrated or that can be supplied with air via a pump bag. Especially in winter, combinations of the self-inflating sleeping pad and the classic (non-inflatable) sleeping pad have already paid off. The positive properties of both mats are combined here. They combine a high level of sleeping comfort with a good insulation effect.

Even in summer, you should make sure that you don’t necessarily put your mouth directly to the valve. Because of the moisture that can get into the mat, algae can form over a longer period of time in summer. This can lead to the insulation capacity of the mattress decreasing over time. We therefore recommend that you use a sleeping mat for summer and winter that is either already filled or that can be inflated with a pump bag. 

Different sleeping pads and their areas of application 

There are different mattresses that differ not only in the material, but also in the way they are used. There is also a difference in whether the sleeping pad is filled or still needs to be inflated.  

Foam sleeping pad: It is considered a classic with which we all grew up. It often weighs no more than 400 g, but is also only 4 mm thick and the R value for most is around 1.5. They are considered robust and very insensitive. As a mountaineer you can stand on them with crampons without damaging the material. The very high-quality mats are made of closed-cell foam. This is considered to be long-lasting and cannot be laid flat so quickly. They will always return to their original form. This type of mat is often used in winter, when the load is high and the material is expected to be somewhat insensitive. 

The self-inflating mat: It usually has an R value of up to 3.8. The weight is already significantly higher at 680g. These mats often consist of a foam core around which an airtight material is stretched. When the valve is opened, it sucks in the surrounding air, which almost doubles the thickness of the sleeping pad. However, you should not forget to close the valve again, otherwise the air will escape again. However, the word “self-inflating” should not be taken literally, because you often have to help a little so that you can really lie comfortably at night. Most of the work is done by the sleeping pad. 

Filled insulating mats: They are constructed similar to an air mattress. However, the individual air chambers are also filled with either synthetic fibers or down. This increases the heat output many times over. In most cases, the filling has only an insignificant effect on the weight of the mat, so you will often find a weight of around 850 g with these sleeping pads. So if you go on a tour and don’t want to leave comfort behind, this mat is for you. Often these mattresses have also got integrated pumps or a pump bag from the manufacturer, which makes inflation easier. 

7 best mattresses in the 2020 test

In our review of mattresses you will find the 7 best models that we think are currently on the market. However, you should not only pay attention to the price, but also to the functionality. Regardless of whether Globetrotter, Vaude, Kaikkialla or Thermarest, they all always have models on offer, where you can strike. We have briefly summarized the test winners among the best mattresses 2020 for you below.

1.Therm-a-Rest Z Lite Sol 040818066706 51 cm x 183 cm 410 g

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The Therm-a-Restl sleeping mat weighs 410 grams and has a size of 51 cm x 183 cm when unfolded. The mat can be folded to a small pack size of 51 cm x 13 cm x 14 cm. The thickness is 2 cm and has an R-value of 2.6. The material is made entirely of polyethylene and is cross-linked. In addition, an extra coating was applied to ensure very good insulation.

The surface is corrugated, which not only increases lying comfort, but also improves insulation. It is foam, which is closed-celled and therefore ultralight and almost indestructible. The Therm-a-Rest company has combined many positive properties in the Z Lite Sol. The mat can not only be used for camping, but also for yoga, sports and much more. It has two sides with different colors. The silver side is for insulation and the yellow side is for lying. In addition, it is not possible to slide around with the sleeping bag on this mat, since it offers a good hold.

The lying comfort is very high, which is not least due to the good insulation. The sleeping pad can be quickly spread out at any location and is ready for use immediately without inflating. Despite the relatively good insulation, use at sub-zero temperatures is not recommended, since the mat is not designed for use outdoors at very low temperatures.

Advantages:

Anti-slip effect: The sleeping bag does not slide around on the mat.

Reliability: Thanks to full foam, the mat is practically indestructible.

Ready for use: The sleeping pad is always ready for use.

Comfort: It is extremely comfortable and warms thanks to good insulation.

Disadvantage:

Freezing temperatures: According to the manufacturer, the mat is not suitable for freezing temperatures. 

Buy from Amazon.de (€ 50.7)

2. Hikenture Camping Mat 187 cm x 56 cm x 5.5 cm 550 – 480 g 

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The Hikenture camping sleeping mat has a size of 187 cm x 56 cm x 5.5 cm when spread out. Since it has a very small pack size, it shrinks to a size of 26 cm x 10 cm x 10 cm when not in use. An R value is not specified for this mat. Nylon 20D was used for the outer skin and is therefore water-repellent. This sleeping pad is available with or without a pillow. The weight differs between the two variants. A weight of 550 g is expected with pillows. On the other hand, the mat weighs only 480 g without a pillow. Due to the rather low weight, it is also very suitable for hiking. 

It takes no more than 15 breaths to turn the small, wrapped mat into a stable and cozy sleeping pad. It has a large valve, through which the air supply is very easy. Regardless of whether you are cycling or hiking on a mountain, this sleeping pad can make your life a lot easier. The test showed, among other things, a very good lying comfort and the wire of the manufacturer to nature. So TPU is used as the material for the seal.

This means that the cold cannot be released to the air chambers via the outer skin. The manufacturer himself is so convinced of his product that he gives a money back guarantee. If, for whatever reason, the product does not please, the money will be refunded. When sitting, however, the surface can be felt a bit more clearly, so it doesn’t dampen so well. It is therefore not so well suited for permanent lying.

Advantages:

Pack size: The pack size is very compact at 26 cm x 10 cm x 10 cm.

Inflation: You only need 10 – 15 breaths to inflate the mattress.

Environmental protection: The seal between the air chambers and the outer skin is guaranteed by the recyclable material TPU

Guarantee: The manufacturer has registered his trademark and gives a money-back guarantee if the product should not please.

Disadvantage:

Surface: When sitting and lying down for long periods, you can feel the surface when it is uneven.

Insulation: No information from the manufacturer regarding the R value.

Buy from Amazon.de (€ 38.99)

3. Bahidora 0060 mattress 188 cm x 55 cm x 5.5 cm 430g

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The Bahidora sleeping mat has a lying area of ​​188 cm x 55 cm x 5.5 cm and weighs 430g. When packed, the mat shrinks to a size of 20 cm x 9 cm. The R value is given as 1.3, which makes this mat suitable for temperatures of up to + 5 ° C. At temperatures below that, it could get a little too cool.

Due to the air chambers with which the sleeping pad is equipped, it adapts perfectly to the body. With just 15 breaths, it is possible to unfold them into a comfortable lying surface. However, it tends to lose some air overnight. Thanks to the good material, the mat is very robust. It consists partly of 20 D nylon, which has been coated with TPU. This ensures that it is water-repellent and very well insulated. 

It is also very suitable for children, since it is not too heavy and offers good comfort. But also hiking vacationers or simple backpackers will have a lot of fun with this mat. Our experience with the sleeping pad shows that it is very comfortable and back-friendly even with a body weight of over 90 kg.

Advantages:

Materials: The mat is made of 20 D nylon and TPU, so it is well insulated and water-repellent.

Ready for use: The sleeping pad is inflated with a maximum of 15 breaths and is therefore ready for use quickly. 

Light: The Bahidora sleeping mat weighs just 430 grams.

Comfort: The mat offers good overall lying comfort.

Disadvantage:

Air chambers: The air chambers have to be refilled from time to time as they lose some air overnight.

Insulating effect: At temperatures below 5 ° C the mat should no longer be used on the floor.

Buy from Amazon.de (€ 34.9)

4.Ouspt mattress 470 g 188 cm x 55 cm x 5.8 cm inflatable small pack size

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The Ouspt sleeping mat has a weight of 470 g and a lying area of ​​188 cm x 55 cm, with a thickness of 5.8 cm. It is inflatable and has a very small pack size. This mat can be easily inflated with a windsock. A little practice is needed to handle a windsock, but once you get the hang of it, it is ready for use very quickly, as it is filled with only 5-6 drafts. Due to the honeycomb structure, it adapts perfectly to the body and is cozy and pleasantly soft. 

It is stowed away just as quickly as the mat is used, because it can simply be rolled up and placed in the transport bag provided. So it can easily be stored either in or on the backpack. 

The sleeping mat is made of 40D nylon, which was combined with TPU, so it is very robust and durable, as well as water-repellent and insulates well. Unfortunately, turning in sleep is not entirely noiseless, which can be perceived as annoying.

Advantages:

Durability: The durability is ensured by nylon and the material TPU. It makes the sleeping pad durable and robust.

Inflate: It can be inflated in a short time.

Transport bag: The manufacturer supplies a transport bag, which fits comfortably in or on a backpack.

Comfort: Overall, the lying comfort is very neat.

Disadvantage:

Air: It takes some practice to bring the air into the mat with a windsock. 

Noises: Turning on the sleeping pad is not silent. 

To Amazon

5. Bundeswehr sleeping mat 184 cm x 55 cm x 0.4 cm 458 g

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The Bundeswehr sleeping mat is a very good copy of the original. The pad is 184 cm x 55 cm x 0.4 cm and weighs 458 g. It is foldable and can shrink to a size of 37 cm x 28 cm x 5 cm. It is made from 100 percent EVA foam, which is robust, water-repellent and easy to clean. It is manufactured in the same factory in which the original Bundeswehr sleeping pads are manufactured. Even the weight and dimensions are identical to the original BW sleeping pad. The original mats can be recognized by the supply number, which is missing from the copy.

The Bundeswehr mat is very reliable and ensures that the ground cold does not penetrate. Due to the low thickness of the mat, the surface is more noticeable and is therefore not quite as comfortable when sleeping. But it can be used in many situations. It can be used not only when unfolded, but also when folded. So the mat can also serve as a seat pad. But the Bundeswehr sleeping mat is not only perfect for camping, but also in the home or in the garden. 

Since the insulation is very good, it is suitable for all seasons. The body does not cool down even at very low temperatures. With its small pack size, the mat can be used as additional back padding for many backpacks. However, there are also many Bundeswehr backpacks where the mat does not fit in the compartment provided. 

Advantages:

Material: The material is water-repellent, very robust and easy to clean. 

Winter: This sleeping pad is suitable for winter and keeps cold and moisture out. 

Seat cushion: Also suitable as a seat cushion and is therefore versatile. 

Disadvantage:

Strength: It looks a bit thin, but does what it promises. 

Pack size: It does not always fit in the compartment of all Bundeswehr backpacks.

Noticeable surface: Due to the small thickness, the surface is quite noticeable when it is uneven.

Buy from Amazon.de (€ 20.9)

6. Sea to Summit Amulinslas 183 cm x 55 cm x 5 cm 480g

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The Sea to Summit mattress is 183 cm x 55 cm x 5 cm and weighs 480g. It has a thermo synthetic fiber filling that keeps cold and moisture out. The manufacturer ships the mat together with an Airstream pump bag so that you can fill the air chambers faster. This pump bag also serves as a pack bag.

The valves are tight and only let air out of the mat when requested. It is available in orange and red. The R value is 3.3. If you want your mat to be longer, you have to choose the one size, so that you get 198 cm. The individual air chambers are constructed like honeycombs, so they are not only soft, but above all very back-friendly.

However, the Sea to Summit sleeping pad is not suitable for everyone because it feels like you are lying on plastic. The noise that comes from turning and turning on this mat is not exactly quiet, so it can be annoying, but the mat is very robust and suitable for heavier people. 

Advantages: 

Valves: The valves only let a lot of air out when requested, namely when the mat is rolled up. 

Pack size: The pack size is very suitable for hiking or cycling. 

Lifespan: The sleeping mat has a long lifespan, is robust and also suitable for heavy people.

Comfort: The lying comfort is very high overall.

Disadvantage:

Noise: Movements produce relatively loud noises.

Surface: The surface feels like plastic, which is not necessarily pleasant.

Buy from Amazon.de (€ 122.88)

7. Vaude Dream Comfort 12812 200 cm x 69 cm x 10 cm. 191g

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The Dream Comfort sleeping pad by Vaude is a mattress pad measuring 200 cm x 69 cm x 10 cm. With a width of 69 cm, there is a comfortable lying surface. When processing, pay particular attention to the seams, because a major shortcoming with this mat is that the mat loses air through the seams. When camping, it also gets a little dirty. Therefore, one of the main advantages is that the cover is removable and washable.

However, there is a thin plastic cover behind it, which you should handle very carefully. The pack size is 35 cm x 25 cm. Both the front and back are made of polyester and they have a polyurethane filling. The mat construction is called 3D because it is similar in structure to a mattress. In addition, the mat can be combined with other mats without leaving a gap between them.

The core of the sleeping pad is easy to repair and can even be recycled if necessary. The air chambers are arranged lengthways so that heavier people can lie comfortably on the mat. The design, or the color, is called Cherrywood. If the sleeping pad gets wet, it can sometimes take a little longer to dry again.

Advantages:

Cover: The fabric cover can be removed and washed. 

Air chambers: The air chambers are arranged lengthways so that optimal lying comfort can be achieved even with a higher weight. 

Combination: Can be easily combined with other mats of this model.

Comfort: The lying comfort is high.

Disadvantage: 

Processing: Due to the rather simple seams, it loses air relatively quickly.

Drying time: It takes some time to dry again if it gets wet.

Material: The inner shell is very thin and can break quickly.

Buy from Amazon.de (€ 118.88)

Frequently asked Questions:

Question 1: What is a sleeping pad?

A sleeping pad – short form for insulating mat or pad – is a pad for sleeping, which is used when camping or trekking. This mat is primarily used for thermal insulation from below. But it also protects very well to protect the sleeping bag from sticks and pointed stones that could damage the sleeping bag. In addition, a sleeping mat also increases the sleeping comfort of the  camper. Sleeping mats come in a wide variety of designs, so when choosing a mat, you should pay particular attention to the possible uses, because there are also special models that are intended as a base for sporting or other activities, but where the insulating effect is then in the background stands.

Question 2: How does a self-inflating sleeping pad work?

The system is actually very simple. A self-inflating sleeping pad mostly consists of foam. Each of these mats has a valve from which the air escapes from every pore of the foam when it is rolled up. Then it is closed until the sleeping pad is needed. When it is opened again, the ambient air is sucked in and the pores are filled with air again. So you can lie comfortably on the self-inflating sleeping mat without noticing stones or small bumps in the back. 

Question 3: How does a sleeping mat inflate?

There are various possibilities. It can be inflated like an air mattress with the mouth on the valve (but you need much less air with a sleeping pad than with an air mattress, because sleeping pads are often inflated with a maximum of 15 breaths) or an air bag can also be used. This variant is also carried out relatively quickly. Finally, there is also the possibility to use a simple and normal air pump or to use self-inflating mattresses, in which the pores of the foam fill with air when the valve is opened and the mat unfolds.

Question 4: How do you store a sleeping pad?

In order for the sleeping pad to keep its shape, you should always store it lying or standing. It should only remain rolled up for a few days. This is the only way to ensure that you can enjoy your model for a long time. In addition, the mat should not only be stored dry, but also dry in itself. Otherwise, you have to fear that mold or algae can develop.

Question 5: How wide should a sleeping mat be?

That depends on your requirements. You should not fall off the sleeping pad every time you turn it. Our experience with sleeping pads has shown that around 60 cm is sufficient for one person. 140 x 200 cm are usually a good choice for 2 people. Of course, it also always depends on body weight, height and your personal preferences.

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