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Cots vs. Air Mattress – Which is better for a good night’s sleep?

Are you are planning to go for a camping with family or friends but is still not sure on what essentials to bring for that overnight trip? For beginners, it might be a bit daunting it can be easily resolved by making a list of the important points to remember. Camping is an exciting activity, however, before you take on to your trip, you must consider a lot of things – one of it is the comfort you get in a night’s sleep.

When you go camping, basically, you stay outdoors to admire the beauty of nature, just go on for an adventure, or simply spend quality time with your loved ones. Camping is associated with relaxing, and relaxing means a sound sleep.

In camping, especially overnight, you must evaluate on the best possible way to sleep comfortably. There are a lot of sleeping apparatus that are made available to cater this concern. Some of these are the sleeping bags, hammocks, cots, and air mattresses. However, the top sleeping systems are the cots and the air mattress because of their versatility, but each of them has both advantages and disadvantages. You will later on know why and how.

Whether you decide on using either of the two, you need to take note of the factors to aid you in making the right option.

What is a Cot?

A cot is also known as a camp bed. It is a small bed that can be easily folded when not in use. It is lightweight and has a compact design, thus, making it more portable than other beds. This makes it perfect for camping. Usually, it is made from metal which is foldable or wood covered with linen, nylon, polyester or sometimes a canvas.

Cots are perfect for camping because it is designed to be durable and foldable. Very convenient to campers who wants less hassle.

Advantages Compared to Air Mattresses

  • It provides you with more space for storing your things under the bed.
  • It provides you with a place where you can sit and change clothes.
  • It is suitable for almost all weather situations.
  • It elevates you from sleeping off the ground.
  • It does not need to be inflated or deflated.

Disadvantages Compared to Air Mattresses

  • It could be heavier and more bulky for storing and moving from one place to another.
  • It is more expensive than the air mattresses.

What is an Air Mattress?

An air mattress is commonly known as an airbed. It is a type of sleeping apparatus which is mostly made from rubber or plastic that can be inflated or deflated. When not in use, it can be deflated and folded or can also be rolled for safe-keeping. It is a great option for those camping or can also be used as beddings for home use. Air mattresses can be easily inflated manually or through a pump.

Advantages Compared to Cots

  • It is more portable and is much easier for you to store when not in use.
  • It is just similar to lying in a bed at home.
  • The firmness of the mattress is easily adjusted.
  • It is more affordable compared to cots.
  • You can choose from variety of sizes.

Disadvantages Compared to Cots

  • It needs to be inflated first before you can use it.
  • It is susceptible from being damaged due to being torn or punctured.
  • It consumes bigger space than cots.

Comparison Between Cots and Air Mattresses

Deciding on what to choose between cots or air mattresses is very critical if you are aiming for a good night’s sleep. The pros and cons were already briefly discussed above. Choosing between the two is a matter of personal opinion and preference. A number of factors to be reviewed before choosing what would be the best between the two are as follows.

  • Outdoor Camping Purposes

Camping has become one of the most favourite outdoor activities for some families or group of friends. If you are particular with the quality of sleep and relaxation from your overnight camping, choosing the right bed is crucial.

There are available cots that are made to be heavy duty to ensure that it will last long for a period of time. It elevates you from the ground, thus, giving you more comfort while sleeping for both winter and summer seasons. During winter, you are kept away from the cold grounds to keep you warm. During summer, being elevated from the ground allows air for you to keep cool. Cots also save a lot of space for you to have extra room to store your other belongings.

Cots might be heavy because mostly are made from metals and woods. This may cause inconvenience if you want to travel light. There are cots that are not easy to assemble or dismantle.

It provides more comfort when you sleep on it because it has an adjustable foundation by simply adding or reducing the air. Because it is lightweight, you can just roll it up or fold it after use, which can save space in your trunk. It can also accommodate more than 1 person.

You might experience air leak because air mattresses are prone from risk of being punctured or torn by sharp objects. They also tend to consume bigger part of the tent when camping. It needs to be pumped to inflate it before you can actually use it.

  • Size

The dimension of the sleeping apparatus may be an issue for some, especially those who camps in groups, may it be family, colleagues or circle of friends.

Camping cots has a compact design that could accommodate only one person. There are cots designed for taller persons and there are also those with wider dimension for large and heavy people. Basically, cots are good for single individual.

Air mattresses are different from cots, because unlike cots, air mattresses come in different sizes – double, king, and queen – that can accommodate multiple in just a single bed. This is suitable for those travelling in groups.

  • Storing

You don’t only consider the usage of these sleeping apparatus, but also you should take into consideration the ease of storing it when not in use.

It may be a bit hassle to use cots in smaller tents in camping because of their frames which consumes more space, regardless if it is folded or not. It would be more difficult to put it in your closets when you want to store them. However, if you have larger camping tents, you can maximize the space underneath the cot to store other things.

Air mattresses can be easily stored because when deflated, you can fold or roll it up to manipulate its size, thus, it can easily fit even on smaller spaces.

  • Durability

It is a great factor for others to know whether they get the quality of bed they are paying for, before considering buying a sleeping apparatus. One way of checking this is to make sure that it can last for longer periods.

Since cots are specifically designed to have a sturdy build, it is more durable and stronger compared to air mattresses. Cots have steel and aluminium mainframe to ensure the quality of the product.

Air mattresses are also designed to be durable, however, they are prone to higher risk of being punctured by sharp and edgy objects which may cause it to less durable than the cots.

  • Cost-Efficiency

Cots are more expensive because of the materials used for the product compared to the air mattresses.

Having an air mattress is a great option to save a lot, not only because it has cheaper materials used compared to cots, but because you get to share it with your co-campers.

  • Installation and Setup

Cots are easy to setup because it can be folded and unfolded whenever you need it. You won’t need any accessory to set it up. It is ready for use which makes it more convenient.

On the other hand, air mattresses need more effort in setting up. It needs to be unfolded first and then inflated before you can finally use it. You need to keep in mind to bring pump and make sure that there are no faulty valves on the mattress.

Final Judgement

Choosing the best between cots and air mattresses depends on the preference of the users. Each user has its own unique consideration when it comes to sleeping comfort. Some may want to opt for a larger bed while the others want the smaller ones. The best option is for the user to decide.

Some factors have been mentioned already, but these are just guidelines and parameters to help you assess on what will work for you best. By considering these factors, you’ll not only be able to choose the most comfortable, but also the most convenient.

Generally, cots are more preferred by solo campers or those who want to have less hassle in setting up the bed, while the air mattresses is a great option especially for those who comes in big groups. Regardless of what you choose, both of these sleeping apparatus works.

If still undecided, you can choose both because why not? You get to experience both. Choosing the right bed is based on opinions only and not facts.