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Complete Bedding Guide For Sleeping in Your Car in 2024

Complete Bedding Guide For Sleeping in Your Car in 2024!

Whether you are car camping, travelling or just need a place to sleep for a night, sleeping in your car is a great alternative to costly hotels or relying on staying with friends or family. In this guide we will explore some of the different bedding options available to help you choose the best bedding options for sleeping in your car.

Complete Bedding Guide For Sleeping in Your Car

Bedding considerations for car camping?

Ultimately, when it comes to car camping, the best type of bedding will depend on your personal preferences and specific needs. Some of the most important factors to consider when choosing the right bedding for car camping include but are not limited to:


Make sure to choose appropriate bedding for your destination. For example if you are camping in a cooler climate, you may want to opt for a thicker, more insulated sleeping bags or additional quilts. On the other hand, if you’re going to be camping warmer climates, thin, lightweight sleeping bags or sheets are more comfortable.


One of the biggest limiting factors when it comes to car camping bedding is size. Consider the size of your car and the space you have available. A larger, more spacious car may allow you to bring a full-size air mattress, while a smaller car may require more compact bedding options such as a sleeping bags or inflatable sleeping pads.

Complete Bedding Guide For Sleeping in Your Car in 2024


Car camping bedding should be durable enough to withstand the rigors of the road and the great outdoors. Look for materials that are water-resistant, tear-resistant, and able to withstand wear and tear. If you are looking to live in your car full time or are planning on long road trips, durable bedding is an absolute must.


Ultimately, the most important factor when it comes to bedding for car camping is comfort. Choose bedding that is soft, cozy, and feels good against your skin. A good night’s sleep is crucial for a successful car camping trip, so don’t skimp on quality bedding.

Types of Bedding for your car

Air Mattresses

Air mattresses are a popular choice for car campers as they are relatively cheap and lightweight, easy to use, and provides a reasonably comfortable, raised sleeping surface. Some air mattresses are designed specifically for use in a car, which are more compact and easier to store than a traditional ones.

Complete Bedding Guide For Sleeping in Your Car in 2024

Custom Fitted Beds

Custom fitted bedding is designed to fit the exact dimensions of your car’s backseat or trunk area, providing a snug and secure fit. This can be a good option for those who want to maximize the available space in their car, or who want to create a more streamlined, cohesive look in their car camping setup.

These are typically made as air mattresses and are available online for hundreds of specific car make & models. You can see if there is a custom car mattress to suit your car by looking at car beds on Amazon & fill in your vehicles details.

Laid Down Seats

Laying down the seats in your car and using blankets or a sleeping bag to create a makeshift bed is a budget-friendly option that allows you to use the space you already have available in your car. This is not as comfortable as other bedding options and recommended only if you have no other choice.

In a pinch this can get you through a night or two but is not a long term solution, so as soon as you can use another bedding option do so!

If you have a coupe or little to no space on your back seats this is an easy no cost bedding option, however for more comfort in smaller cars we suggest alternatives such as roof top tents.

Roof Top Tents

A roof top tents are mounted on the roof of your car, providing a raised sleeping platform and a more spacious, comfortable camping experience. These tents are typically more expensive than other car camping bedding options, but they can be a good choice for those who want more room to move around and don’t mind the additional weight on their car’s roof.


A traditional mattress can be used for car camping, however due to their size and weight can be extremely difficult to transport and store. With the size limitations in most cars, these are unsuitable unless you have a larger car such as a minivan, truck or van (particularly double beds and bigger).

Mattress Pads

A mattress pad (also known as mattress topper or sleeping pads) are thin, cushioned layers that are fitted on top of a mattress to add extra comfort & support. Mattress pads can be a great choice for car camping if you want to add a little extra padding to a hard, flat surface, such as the backseat or trunk of your car.

We find these work great with air mattresses to provide that much needed extra comfort. Mattress pads are often custom sizes so make sure to choose one that’s the same as your bed.

Foam Mattress

Foam mattresses are made from layers of foam & are typically firmer and more supportive than a traditional mattresses. They are lightweight & easy to store, with many able to be rolled up when not in use. They tend to be less comfortable than softer, more cushioned mattresses.

Memory Foam Mattress

Similar to normal foam mattresses, memory foam mattresses are designed to conform to the shape of your body and provide that extra support to all the right places. Memory foam mattresses are known for their comfort and pressure relief, but they come with a bigger price tag and can prove difficult to transport.

Complete Bedding Guide For Sleeping in Your Car in 2024

Additional Sleeping Equipment For Your Car

Bed liners

Bed liners/ mattress toppers can be saving grace when it comes to car bedding. With the little padding and support that most car camping bedding options offer, having an extra layer of comfort is crucial. We highly recommend using a bed liner if you are looking to do any form of long trip or stints of living in your car.


Camping pillows are another must have for a good nights sleep, however they are interchangeable with regular pillows as they only offer a few slight benefits. With man options available from inflatable to extremely compact compressible camping pillows there is one to suit every need and budget.

For all you need to know about choosing a portable camping pillow for your next car camping trip, make sure to read our guide on the best camping pillows.


Depending on the weather conditions on where you are planning on staying, packing a quilt can be the difference of a good nights sleep in comparison to a long night spent shivering. Make sure to plan ahead and do your research on the expected weather conditions and pack your bedding accordingly.

We strongly suggest always taking a quilt as a backup regardless of conditions for peace of mind. If you frequent car camping in colder climates or you are looking to travel during winter months make sure to also checkout our guide to winter car camping essentials.

For more information and tips for having the best night sleep possible in your vehicle check out our 7 Tips To Safely & Comfortably Sleep in Your Car.


How to Turn your Car into bed?

To turn a car into a bed, you’ll need to choose the appropriate bedding and setup within a comfortable and convenient location within your vehicle. Make sure to choose bedding that’s right for the size of your car, outside temperature and comfortable enough for a good night’s sleep.

Remember pillows, blankets, and any other comfort items that will help you get a good night’s sleep. With the right bedding gear and consideration for setup, you can turn your car into a cozy and comfortable place to sleep while living on the road.

Can an Air mattress fit in a car?

Yes, in most cases air mattresses can fit into a car. Depending on the size of the air mattress and the size of your car you may find smaller cars have a harder time fitting larger, full size air mattresses.

Some air mattresses are designed specifically for use in a car, with inflatable ‘legs’ to provide extra support when placed in the back seat, and can be custom fit to suit a variety of vehicle makes/ models. If you are planning to use an air mattress in your car, make sure to measure the available space in your car to ensure it will fit comfortably and leave enough room for your other belongings.


  • Zaara

    Zaara, a kindred spirit of the open road, has nurtured a deep-seated love for RV travel since her childhood. Journeying with her parents, she learned early on to cherish the little things that make life rich and fulfilling. This emotional depth and appreciation for simplicity have become the cornerstone of her life philosophy. A firm believer in the idea that true happiness is found in nature's embrace, Zaara continues this legacy of exploration alongside her husband, Augustus. Her passion extends beyond landscapes to the joy of connecting with life's purest forms - the unconditional love of dogs and the innocence of babies. These connections reflect her nurturing soul and emotional acuity. Zaara is also a culinary enthusiast, delighting in creating meals that blend flavors from their travels, infusing each dish with memories and love. Her expertise lies in living fully, finding joy in every moment, and inspiring others to seek happiness in life's simple, natural wonders.

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