Lifestyle

7 Camping Cots That Will Help You Sleep Better Outdoors — Starting At Under $35

If you’re spending the night outdoors but still want to enjoy some of the comforts of home, the best camping cots offer a welcome alternative to sleeping on the ground. The best cots can hold your weight (check the weight limit provided by the manufacturer before you choose one) and will be the right size for you, too. Most options are approximately the size of a twin bed, but the length and width can vary.

Beyond weight capacity and size, take note of the material of the sleeping surface and frame. A cotton sleeping surface can be tougher to clean, so instead, opt for materials like polyester, vinyl, or a treated fabric, which are durable and easy to wipe down. Most cot frames are made from metal: Aluminum frames are more lightweight, while steel frames are stronger and more durable. When it comes to setting up the cot, you’ll find that most options have pieces that need to be attached to one another or popped into place to form the frame. However, some cots actually feature a foldable frame that you basically just stretch out for super quick setup.

If you plan on transporting your cot in a backpack, you'll want to look for one that’s lightweight (a standard packable cot weighs about 3 pounds) and portable. Compact cots tend to have smaller sleeping areas and shorter legs, though this isn't always the case.

For an even comfier sleeping surface, look for a cot with a pad or bundled air mattress. While less common, some cots can hold two people (just make sure the larger cot fits in your tent). Some cots even have extras like a side table, storage pocket, or a pillow.

Ready to go camping? These cots will ensure a comfortable night's sleep, no matter how far off the grid you go.

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01
A Highly-Rated Camping Cot For Less Than $35

While this camping cot from Coleman is quite budget-friendly, it doesn't make sacrifices when it comes to quality. But don’t just take my word for it; Amazon reviewers are wild about this cot, giving it a solid 4.4-star rating overall, among 11,000 and growing reviews. Reviewers report that it's well-sized and comfortable. The sleeping area of the cot is made from a thick polyester, while the frame features alloy steel for strength. To assemble this pick, you’ll just need to unfold the main body, and then lock all of the legs and support bars into place — a process that should take just a few minutes to complete. The cot sits about 17 inches off of the ground, which should hopefully help prevent unwanted critters from entering your sleeping area (no promises about mosquitoes, though).

Enthusiastic Amazon review: "We bought two of these cots for camping because we were tired of worrying about our air mattress leaking while camping. Believe me, it happens. I was very pleased at how well made they are. The canvas is heavy duty and felt quite durable. I didn't feel like it was going to rip or let go. The set up process is pretty easy but you may need an extra set of hands when attaching the second end of the canvas. Ours were very tight on our first set up but after the first use it was a little easier. My husband and I both found these cots to be very comfortable to sleep on and had no problem turning over from side to side."

  • Dimensions: 73 x 35 x 17 inches (length x width x height)
  • Weight: About 20 pounds
  • Weight capacity: 300 pounds
02
A Lightweight Cot That’s Super Portable

Lugging around a cumbersome cot can get old quickly — particularly if you’re on a backpacking trip — but luckily, you can totally avoid that by purchasing this portable camping cot from DESERT WALKER. The cot breaks down to fit in a compact carrying bag measuring about 4.5 by 19 inches in size, and the whole thing only weighs 2.8 pounds…. seriously, that’s not a typo! The cot features a sleeping area made from a canvas material (which is waterproof and tear-resistant) and a lightweight aluminum frame that’s fairly easy to assemble: You’ll just need to pop all of the legs and frame support pieces into place to form the cot.

The only downsides to this pick is that it's a bit on the narrower side and it’s only about 6 inches off the ground. This pick comes in five color options.

Enthusiastic Amazon review: "Extremely lightweight and packs tightly for backpacking. The included bag is generously sized to hold everything, which isn't very common in this category! After several nights of using this, I find it to be very comfortable, compared to sleeping pads, and I tend to be a side sleeper."

  • Dimensions: 72.8 x 23.6 x 5.9 inches (length x width x height)
  • Weight: 2.8 pounds
  • Weight capacity: 440 pounds
03
A Camping Cot With An Ultra-Comfortable Pad

If comfort is key for your camping cot, then this pick from Coleman is calling your name. This cot is especially cozy because it has a thick foam pad that feels shockingly similar to sleeping on a normal mattress. The pad is covered in a vinyl-like material that’s easy to wipe down. The cot itself has a sturdy steel frame and sits about 15 inches off of the ground to keep you away from the cold and critters.

Amazon reviewers indicate that this cot is quite easy to assemble — you'll just need to unfold the frame and place the mattress pad on top — which is one of the many reasons they rate this pick so highly. The cot has a whopping 4.7-star rating overall, among 8,800 and growing reviews.

This pick comes in black or gray. You can also grab it in a version that skips the extra padding for a little less.

Enthusiastic Amazon review: "Never sleeping on an air mattress again! I love camping but my scoliosis and bad hips don’t. This cot changed that. Felt great after a three night camping trip. [...] No more having to inflate an air mattress half way through the night, no waiting for an air mattress to inflate, and these will last several years instead of buying a new air mattress every year! The best thing is you can take it anywhere. Want to sleep under a tree? Go for it! Take a nap in your driveway while testing it out, do it! Need more beds for guests, you’ll like this cot so much you’ll give them your bed and sleep on the cot!"

  • Dimensions: 80 x 30 x 15 inches (length x width x height)
  • Weight: About 20 pounds
  • Weight capacity: 300 pounds
04
A Spacious Cot With A 600-Pound Capacity

Since it's longer and wider than your average camping cot, this pick from TETON has plenty of space for you to lie comfortably in your ideal sleeping position at night. Featuring an aluminum frame with stable S-shape steel legs, the cot is designed to hold up to 600 pounds. The Oxford canvas sleeping surface is durable but still comfortable.

The cot is fairly easy to assemble; you’ll just have to pop the legs out, then attach the two end bars to complete the frame. A special built-in lever makes the whole process even easier (though you can also buy this pick without the lever). The cot sits about 19 inches off the ground. However, when broken down, this pick is about 42 by 12 by 7 inches in size (length by width by height), so it’s too large to stash in a backpack.

This pick comes with a lifetime warranty, if that helps you sleep easier.

Enthusiastic Amazon review: "Bought this cot based on its weight limit and width. Im a bigger guy. And sleeping on a normal cot or sleeping pad [doesn't] allow any room for movement. This cot is more like a twin xl. Plenty [of] room to sleep comfortable. [...] I almost prefer this cot over my bed. I think as a guest bed, and the few camping trips a year, i found my new favorite sleeping spot."

  • Dimensions: 85.75 x 41 x 19.25 inches (length x width x height)
  • Weight: 26 pounds
  • Weight capacity: 600 pounds
05
A Camping Cot That Takes Just Seconds To Set Up

Ready to get started right away on the camping fun? This cot from Alpcour will help to ensure that happens, since it can literally be set up in a matter of seconds. To assemble, stretch out the steel frame, and you’re basically good to go — no messing with individual pieces or bars required. The cot’s sleeping area is made of water-resistant and moisture-wicking polyester. And since the cot is about 15 inches off the ground, you shouldn't have too many pesky critters interrupting your slumber. Other features of this pick? A gentle incline near the head plus a built-in pillow add to the comfort level, and side pockets allow you to stash a couple of small essentials within reach.

When you’re done using the cot, it easily folds back down and can be placed in a compact bag about 40 inches long and 7 inches wide for carrying. Choose from three different color options — green, gray, and blue.

Enthusiastic Amazon review: "Best thing I’ve ever bought on Amazon. I actually slept in while camping. And that never happens, but I was incredibly comfortable. And I’m a side sleeper! I’ve recommended it already to friends. It’s easy to set up, sturdy, and Easy to transport."

  • Dimensions: 75 x 26 x 15 inches (length x width x height)
  • Weight: 13 pounds
  • Weight capacity: 300 pounds
06
A Portable Cot With Plenty Of Sleeping Space

Cots that are easy to transport can sometimes get a bad rap for being too small to comfortably sleep on, but this one from FUNDANGO is wider and longer than most super-portable cots. However, the cot still weighs only 5 pounds, and it breaks down to fit in a carrying bag that’s just 18.9 by 6.7 by 6.7 inches in size (length by width by height).

The cot features an aluminum alloy frame and a sleeping area that’s covered in a breathable polyester ripstop fabric. A built-in pillow adds to the comfort level of this pick, and a side pocket allows you to store a few of your essentials off the ground.

To set up the cot, assemble the legs, insert the side poles in the fabric, and then install the legs (it sits about 7 inches off of the ground). Choose from three color options: gray, black, and beige.

Enthusiastic Amazon review: "I bought this for my son to replace his other cot that's getting too short for him. It's easy to put together, short enough to put in his tent with a low ceiling, and comfortable for him. It packs nice and small and can go in his duffel so it's easy to pack in the car. The fabric is nice and thick and the pocket on the side is so convenient as well."

  • Dimensions: 78.7 x 27.1 x 6.7 inches (length x width x height)
  • Weight: 5 pounds
  • Weight capacity: 265 pounds
07
A Cot & Air Mattress Combo For Up To 2 Sleepers

With more than 9,500 reviews on Amazon and solid 4.4-star rating overall, reviewers on the site clearly love this pick from Coleman — which makes sense, because it’s suitable for two sleepers and amazingly comfortable. The queen-sized cot can hold up to 600 pounds of weight thanks to its sturdy steel frame. It's also quite easy to assemble, since all you have to do is unfold it and open it up. The canvas sleeping area is durable, and the cot comes with an air mattress (which takes just 5 minutes to inflate using the included battery-operated pump) to set on top for extra comfort. The cot sits about 22 inches off the ground, and it even has two little built-in side tables.

For single sleepers, this cot is also available in a smaller twin size option.

The only downsides to this pick? It’s quite heavy at 40 pounds, so just be sure you’re able to carry it from your vehicle to your camping site. The batteries (to power the pump) are not included so you'll also want to pick those up.

Enthusiastic Amazon review: "My husband and I camp at least three times a year and we have struggled with air mattresses. We have bought several and we always end up uncomfortable and somehow on the ground by the morning. This was my last attempt at buying an airbed before giving cots a try. We absolutely loved it!! We didn't have any issues with leaking air, we just came back from a 4 day camping trip. We didn't have any issues with the air. It was also really nice to not be on the ground too. It almost felt like a real bed."

  • Dimensions: 78 x 59 x 22 inches (length x width x height)
  • Weight: 40 pounds
  • Weight capacity: 600 pounds