The Alpha Camp Oversized Camping Cot is one of the best camping cots

Best Camping Cot for Side Sleepers In 2022

Best Cot With Mattress
Best Overall for Side Sleepers
Best Lightweight Cot for Side Sleeping
Coleman Camping Cot w/ Air Mattress Teton Sports Outfitter XXL Helinox Cot One
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Coleman Camping Cot w/ Air Mattress Teton Sports Outfitter XXL Helinox Cot One
When sleeping on your side, what's better than having an air mattress built-in? While this cot isn't the most durable, it works well for side sleeping. You won't sink too much into this cot, and you'll have plenty of room to move from one side to the other. This cot is also easy to set up for its type. As a backpacking cot, this is one of the lightest options for side sleepers. Although it's close to the ground, the patented frame design helps keep you elevated.

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Last Updated: September 23, 2022

If you’re a side sleeper, you know the pain of camping on the ground all too well. Even if you bring a sleeping pad and some pillows, you’ll likely be tossing and turning all night long. Even worse, you’ll wake up sore and feeling worse than ever before, making it hard to enjoy the great outdoors.

Fortunately, having the right cot can make all the difference. Now, instead of sleeping on harsh terrain, you can elevate your body so you can sleep comfortably. We’ve look at dozens of camping cots to find the best camping cot for side sleepers, so you can start planning your next adventure!

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Best Cot With Mattress

Coleman Queen Size Camping Cot and Air Mattress Combo

Best Lightweight Cot for Side Sleeping

Helinox Cot One Lightweight Camping Cot

Disc-O-Bed Large Cam-O-Bunk Camping Cot

ALPHA CAMP Oversized Camping Cot

Coleman Trailhead II Cot

MARCHWAY Ultralight Folding Camping Cot

Coleman Pack-Away Camping Cot

ALPS Mountaineering Ready Lite Cot

Coleman Camping Cot w/ Air Mattress

Helinox Cot One

Disc-O-Bed Large Cam-O-Bunk

ALPHA CAMP Oversized Camping Cot

Coleman Trailhead II Cot

Marchway Ultralight Folding Camping Cot

Coleman Pack-Away Camping Cot

ALPS Mountaineering Ready Lite Cot

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Rating /5

4.7

4.7

4.6

4.6

4.0

4.0

3.5

3.0

Comfort4.74.84.74.04.34.64.44.4
Ease of Setup4.04.74.24.64.44.54.54.6
Portability3.84.83.24.54.44.94.34.8
Durability4.04.44.74.84.24.73.84.6
Value for Money4.74.03.84.63.84.74.04.0
Side Sleepers Rating4.84.74.64.64.44.03.53.0
Review

When sleeping on your side, what's better than having an air mattress built-in? While this cot isn't the most durable, it works well for side sleeping.

As a backpacking cot, this is one of the lightest options for side sleepers. Although it's close to the ground, the patented frame design helps keep you elevated.

As a bunk bed, you can sink into the top bunk without feeling too trapped. The bottom bunk is also elevated enough so you stay comfortable all night.

With such a wide bed and the durability to support 600 pounds, this cot is one of the most comfortable and durable. However, for side sleepers, you can't lower the headrest.

This cot can feel pretty comfortable, and it's tall enough off the ground so you can sink in a bit. However, the materials are not as durable as others.

As a lightweight backpacking cot, you'll sink down when sleeping on your side. However, the materials are durable and the cot is very easy to set up.

This cot is affordable and comes with a side cup holder so you can keep your drink handy while you sleep. But, this cot is also pretty weak.

This cot sleeps pretty close to the ground and it's more expensive than most others on this list. So, it's not really ideal for side sleeping.

Best Cots for Side Sleepers Comparison Guide

Just because you’re camping doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice comfort. If sleeping on your side is the best way to get the rest you need, rest assured that these cots can help you feel refreshed. Let’s break down each cot one by one to see what makes them so unique.

Pros

  • Durable steel construction
  • S-Frame legs won’t bend and buckle
  • Relatively easy to set up
  • Holds up to 600 pounds
  • Durable enough so you don’t sink very much
  • Extra-wide bed so you can roll over easily

Cons

  • Heavier than other cots
  • In rare cases, the frame can come undone

As a rule, those who sleep on their sides don’t choose one or the other for the entire night. Instead, you’re likely to move around and switch sides multiple times before waking up in the morning. So, you need a durable and wide cot to accommodate this movement without toppling over or sagging too much.

Fortunately, the Outfitter XXL works well for both of these issues, which is why we ranked it so high on this list. While the XXL isn’t necessarily the best cot for all sleepers, it holds up really well for those on their side.

Part of the secret of the Outfitter’s success is the S-shaped legs. The design is both easy to set up and remarkably resilient. Whether you’re 100 pounds or 300 pounds, you should be able to move without worrying about bending or buckling. Also, the shape spreads your weight more evenly, which is why this cot can easily support up to 600 pounds.


Pros

  • Air mattress provided
  • Relatively affordable price point
  • Holds up to 600 pounds
  • Wide enough for two people
  • Doesn’t sink much when sleeping on your side

Cons

  • Air mattress can burst with regular use
  • Not as durable as other camping cots

No matter what, if you want to be extra comfortable when sleeping on your side, you should have a camping mattress underneath your body. This way, you have something to cushion your pressure points, so you don’t wake up feeling sore. Although the Coleman Camping Cot itself is not as rugged as other models we’ve seen, we like that it comes with its own air mattress. This way, you can get additional support without buying anything else.

Overall, this cot ranks so highly because it’s both wide (queen-sized) and has extra cushioning. So, you shouldn’t have to worry about tipping over or hurting yourself by accident. Also, since it has such a big air mattress, you may not even need a sleeping bag. Instead, you can use regular pillows and blankets for a cozier night’s sleep.


Pros

  • Durable frame won’t bend too much
  • Fast and easy setup
  • Lightweight design is easy to transport
  • Holds up to 320 pounds
  • Manufacturer five-year limited warranty provided

Cons

  • More expensive than other cots
  • Not ideal for heavier and taller campers

As a rule, backpacking cots are not ideal for side sleepers because they’re too close to the ground. Even with solid frames, you’re likely to sink too much and touch the ground, rendering the cot almost useless.

Fortunately, that’s not really a problem with the Helinox Cot One. If you’re on the heavier side of the spectrum (i.e., around 300 pounds), you may still sag a bit, but the patented leg design helps spread your weight more evenly. Also, this cot sits over six inches off the ground, so you shouldn’t sink much.

As a backpacking cot, this model is fast to set up and extra lightweight. The primary downside is that this cot is pretty expensive, but if you go out camping a lot, it’s worth the higher price tag. Also, because the cot is relatively slim, it works for car camping since you shouldn’t reach the ceiling.


Pros

  • Durable steel frame
  • Won’t sink in too much on your side
  • Top bunk allows for more flexibility
  • Can convert into individual bunks or a sofa
  • Relatively easy to set up

Cons

  • Heavier than other models
  • Harder to roll from one side to another

Bunk bed cots work well for camping partners, but most of them are not well-suited for side sleepers. However, the Cam-O-Bunk from Disc-O-Bed is better than you might imagine. The rugged steel frame and extra-thick canvas material mean you don’t sink much while sleeping. Also, these beds are relatively wide, so you won’t feel like you’re trapped on all sides.

One element we really like about this cot is that it can be split into two models and converted into a sofa. This way, if you’re not sure about sleeping above your partner, you can separate the cots and sleep individually. The primary downside of this cot is the weight and the fact that it’s not made for single sleepers unless you like carrying an extra cot around, just in case.


Pros

  • Extra-wide design for easier rolling
  • Holds up to 600 pounds
  • Durable materials and legs
  • Relatively lightweight at 14 pounds
  • Side pockets for convenience

Cons

  • Unmovable headrest requires you to have a pillow for side sleeping
  • Kind of tricky to set up and tear down

This cot would sit higher on this list except for one glaring product flaw – the raised headrest. The headrest can be an advantage for back and stomach sleepers, helping you sleep better without adding extra pillows or blankets for comfort. However, for side sleepers, it can put your neck up too high, making it harder to stay comfortable all night long.

We didn’t rank this cot lower because you can correct this issue with the proper pillows. However, since you have to buy those yourself, we didn’t think it prudent to put this at the top.

Overall, we like the wide frame and extra-sturdy legs of this cot. You can move around and switch sides to your heart’s content. Also, if you’re sleeping with a partner, you should still have enough room for both of you to change positions throughout the night. You also won’t feel like you’re sinking, which is a huge plus.


Pros

  • Easy to set up
  • High off the ground
  • Works well for most campers
  • Affordable option
  • Holds up to 300 pounds

Cons

  • Feet may not stay in place if you move too much
  • Canvas can stretch out and wear down over time

Coleman may be synonymous with camping, but the company hasn’t been producing as high-quality products as it used to. Case in point is the Trailhead II Cot, which is somewhat flimsy and top-heavy. However, the price is affordable and can work okay for side sleepers. The main challenge is that the canvas can sink and wear out faster than other models, so you’ll need to replace this cot sooner.

Elements we like about the Trailhead II are its relatively high clearance and its ability to support up to 300 pounds. However, as a general rule, you should give yourself a buffer just to be safe. For example, if you’re exactly 300 pounds, this cot may buckle under your weight. But, if you’re 280 or below, it should hold up pretty well.


Pros

  • Lightweight design for easier transporting
  • Easy setup and tear down
  • Holds up to 275 pounds
  • Ideal for backpacking
  • Anti-skid feet to help prevent wobbling

Cons

  • Very close to the ground, so you may hit the bottom if you’re heavier
  • Not as strong as other backpacking-style cots

As an ultralight backpacking cot, this model is a bit too flimsy to work well for side sleepers. However, the frame is more rugged than some of the taller cots we’ve seen, so it can work if you’re planning on cramped conditions. For example, if you’re car camping on your next trip, you may need something with a much slimmer profile.

That said, sleeping on your side can be uncomfortable if you sink and touch the ground. Overall, this cot can work well for all conditions if you’re on the lighter end of the weight spectrum. However, once you reach a certain threshold, it stops being suitable for side sleepers. Also, keep in mind that this cot can only support 275 pounds, which is much less than other models we’ve seen.


Pros

  • Built-in side cup holder
  • Easy to set up
  • Elevated from the ground so you can sink a little more
  • More affordable than other tall cots
  • Holds up to 300 pounds
  • Long enough for tall users

Cons

  • Can wobble if you shift from one side to the other
  • Feet aren’t as stable as other cots
  • Materials can wear down faster than other models

One nice thing about this cot is that it comes with a built-in cup holder on the side. So, as a side sleeper, you can keep water or other beverages close at hand without needing a separate end table or cooler to set it on. That said, beyond this nifty feature, this cot is not really that great. It is elevated, but the materials are not as durable as others, and the feet tend to slide or bend outward. Also, as you switch from one side to the other, you may notice a bit of a wobble. In extreme cases, the cot may even tip over, making this less than ideal for side sleepers.


Pros

  • Fast and easy setup
  • Lightweight design is easier to carry
  • Holds up to 300 pounds

Cons

  • May hit the ground because you’re so close to it
  • More expensive than other backpacking cots
  • Not ideal for taller users

This backpacking cot is very similar to the MARCHWAY model, but we ranked it lower because of the price point. If you’re sleeping on your side, you want to invest in something that will keep you elevated and comfortable. Unfortunately, the ALPS Ready Lite Cot isn’t built to accommodate these kinds of sleepers. While it works well as a backpacking cot, it’s too close to the ground and too lightweight to be very effective for this situation.

How We Chose Our Side Sleepers Criteria

Being a side sleeper means you have to plan ahead before going to sleep anywhere. Because you need extra accommodations, you can’t just pick a cot and expect it to work well. When we developed our side sleeper rating, we considered the following elements:

  • Sinking and Sagging – No matter how durable a cot is, it will sink and sag a little bit when sleeping on your side. Even the best cots will bend somewhat, so you need something solid and resilient. We ranked extra-tough cots higher because they won’t sag as much as cheaper varieties.
  • Width and Height – It’s unlikely you’ll stay on one side all night long. Since you’ll be turning at least a couple of times, you need a cot wide enough to accommodate so much movement. Also, you want to ensure that the cot won’t tip over or slide out of place as you’re getting comfortable. We value cots with wider beds so you can move without feeling restricted or trapped. Also, if you’re a taller person, we chose cots with extra-long frames, so you’re not practically hanging off the edge.
  • Stable Legs – If you’re sleeping on your back all night, you shouldn’t be tossing and turning. However, as a side sleeper, you need to move around a bit to get comfortable. We value cots with stable legs that won’t bend, buckle, or shift as you move from one side to the other.
Author at Wilderness Redefined camping website

James has been escaping to the outdoors for as long as he can remember. This first started in family camping trips but soon turned into adventure camps and hiking through the Scottish Hebrides. Now he has turned towards trying to make camping more comfortable and accessible.