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Sleep pad for firm mattress?

My husband and I are very spoiled by our very comfy memory foam mattress. So spoiled that we don’t sleep well in hotels with firm mattresses, even in the US. We joke that we need to start sleeping on our floor in preparation for our 3 week trip next year. I’m thinking about trying a sleeping pad, like this one:
Double Sleeping Pad Ultralight - Made in USA + Multi-use Pump Sack, Survival Paracord, Carabiner, Carry Bag - Quick Inflatable Wide 2 Person Mat for Camping, Backpacking Hiking Mattress

Has anybody traveled with one of these? I’m thinking it might add some level of comfort to those firm mattresses.

Posted by
2769 posts

I think amann has the right idea. You might want to look for different hotels. I’ve stayed at some marriotts because my traveling companions were using credit card points. Very, very comfortable beds. This makes a lot more sense to me than lugging around some mattress pad.

Posted by
1259 posts

This is an air mattress? To get a better idea of what this product niche is like, visit REI to see the major brands of self-inflators and pump mattresses and their extensive ranges or sizes, thicknesses, weights, and materials. The products at REI are designed for backpacking and car camping but they'll give you a good comparison of the marketplace.

There is one basic reason worthy inflatables cost two to four times as much as the unit you referenced: reliability.

Posted by
16659 posts

At only 46” wide, one or both of you will be rolling off it in the middle of the night. Also, note that the airtight surface of the mattress is not comfortable to sleep on directly, and probably also not with a thin sheet between you and the plastic.

If you want some padding and are willing to carry it, I would look at an inexpensive double sleeping bag with cotton lining. Turn it inside out to sleep on it comfortably. There is one on the page with your air mattress that is 60” wide, but they do not say what the lining material is. Further down the page you will see this one, which is 57” wide but 85” long, with cotton flannel lining and cotton fill.

They show it stuffed into a compression sack into a package measuring 11 x@4 inches, but don’t mention the weight.

My husband and I put a flannel sleeping bag like that on top of our car-camping air mattress, and it is definitely comfortable.

As for beds that are less firm, you might try large chain hotels, such as Marriott, Hilton, etc. They are more likely to have American-style beds. Or read reviews on—-sometimes they mention bed quality and comfort.

Posted by
6606 posts

For awhile we traveled with a foam pad because of my wife's bad back. We kept it in its own duffle, which was extremely light. One time the check-in agent, surprised how easy it was to lift, waived the checked-bag fee (Lufthansa I think). Then we got fussier about hotel beds and she got some exercises that helped her back. You might try the foam-pad route. I wouldn't recommend an air mattress, even a bigger one, for the reasons others gave.

Posted by
1982 posts

If you want a good mattress, I've found the best beds to be the big American chains. While Rick's picks may have charm, sometimes the beds are less than ideal. I love Europe but always have trouble with bed firmness. And don't get me started on pillows.

Posted by
2354 posts

I like the idea of bringing a foam pad with us. We’ll have a car, so bringing an extra duffle bag won’t be an issue.

On our last trip I brought my pillow, vacuum sealed in a checked bag. Now I’ll just add a mattress topper.

Thanks for the replies!

Posted by
4171 posts

Before you get that topper be sure to contact your lodgings to find out the exact dimensions of their beds. This link will provide some hints along with the possibilities as well as the measurements of similar beds in centimeters and inches for the EU, UK and US.


You might also want to consider how you will use a topper. Will it have its own cover or will you need to bring a sheet for it? Will you put it on top of the bed's bottom sheet or remake the bed with it under the bed's bottom sheet?

I can't imagine being able to pack and check a topper, but maybe I'm thinking of a different kind of topper than you are.

Posted by
212 posts

I travel with a single size backpacking air mattress that weighs less than a pound, for the last 5 years. Hard beds are impossible for me. No matter what the cost of the hotel or airbnb ( well I guess I haven't paid more than 550/night) the bed can be great or terrible, reviews definitely are now always true. I have paid less than 100/night and the bed was fabulous and the most expensive are usually rock hard . I would never take a double size air mattress, (well my husband doesn't need it) but getting it under the sheet sounds like a pain. It also does take time to get air out in the morning when we are trying to catch early flight so I plan accordingly. I just slip it up under the fitted sheet. The air mattress saved a two week stay in Hawaii. When searching for where to stay location is #1, #2 is bed.