How Can I Make My Camping Cot More Comfortable?

The answer to the question in the title depends on two factors formulated in the following questions: Do you already have a cot? Do you plan to buy a cot? Both situations are answered here.

If you already have a cot and want to improve comfort, you can do the following:

  1. Buy a foam pad.
  2. Use an extra blanket underneath you.
  3. Take a pillow with you.
  4. Use a blanket instead of a sleeping bag.

If you plan to buy a cot and you are concerned about its comfort, you can do the following:

  1. Buy a cot that comes with a sleeping pad included.
  2. Buy a padded cot.
  3. Buy a cot that has an integrated headrest.
  4. Buy an adjustable cot.
  5. Buy a cot of an appropriate size.

How Can I Make My Camping Cot More Comfortable - top picture showing a cot in a tent.

If you already have a cot

Buy a foam pad

Actually, any pad will make sleeping on a cot more comfortable. This is because the fabric of a cot is usually tensioned and it may feel too hard for some people.

Why foam pad? This is because in my view such pads are always the most comfortable. See some great options my list of best foam pads for cots. But if you do not have one, use a self-inflating pad instead. In any case, you may manage with a relatively thin pad, no need to go for very thick ones.

Use an extra blanket underneath you

Perhaps there is no need to spend money. Try with a blanket that you already have. You can fold it width-wise and this will create a thick two-layer cushion underneath you. But if this does not work, try some other option.

Take a pillow with you

This may be the most important thing to do, no matter what type of sleeper you are. Most people do use pillows in the camp, or they make one from the clothing. You can read about this in my text about pillows use for long distance hiking.

So there is reason for this, if you use a pillow at home, you will want to use one in the camp as well.

Use a blanket instead of a sleeping bag

I sleep in a sleeping bag only if I have too. So I use a blanket whenever possible. This is because I feel constricted in a bag, and I turn a lot.

You do not really need a sleeping bag unless it is very cold. So use a blanket instead.

One reason may be against this – cots are usually narrow, so your blanket will tend to slide on one or another side, and this may be annoying.

But with very low cots this may not be a big issue. There are cots that are below 20 cm of height, some are 14 cm or so. This is enough to keep you off the ground. Your blanket will be touching the ground on both sides, but this is not a problem in any case. The top picture above shows one example, the TIMBER RIDGE Folding Camping Cot that is only 15 cm tall.

If you plan to buy a cot

Buy a cot that comes with a sleeping pad/mattress included

There are many cots on the market that come with a foam mattress included. You can see some my list of camping cots with matresses.

But this does not have to be a foam mattress, you can find some that come with an air pad instead. Some cots have a sleeve where you put its included but removable air pad.

However, there are cots where an air pad is integrated into its bed. The Helinox Cot One Insulated shown in the picture below is the best possible example of this type.

Helinox Cot One Insulated.
Helinox Cot One Insulated.

Buy a padded cot

There are many padded cots on the market, and some of the best of them you can see in my list of padded camping cots. They can be purely folding, and this means without assembly, and also collapsible type that need some simple assembly.

The padding offers a bit of insulation as well, so with such a cot you can manage in most situations outdoor without additional pad or mattress. The Timber Ridge Juniper Quickset Adjustable Cot shown below is one excellent example.

Timber Ridge Juniper Quickset Adjustable Cot.
Timber Ridge Juniper Quickset Adjustable Cot.

Buy a cot that has an integrated headrest

This may be useful for side sleepers. With such an integrated incline you can manage without a pillow, or you can use a thin one. The picture below shows one example, the KingCamp Folding Camping Cot.

KingCamp Folding Camping Cot.
KingCamp Folding Camping Cot.

Buy an adjustable cot

This may be a better option than when you have a fixed head incline. This means you can make the cot flat when you need this, and you can also transform it into a lounge seat. The Timber Ridge cot shown previously is one of this type.

Buy a cot of an appropriate size

Nothing will help if you are a tall person and you have a short cot. This will cause some pressure spots and you will not sleep well in general. So make sure you buy a large enough cot. You have the largest of them presented in my separate list of cots for tall people.

The ALPS Mountaineering Escalade Cot shown in the picture is currently the longest on the market, no less than 229 cm. It is in my separate text among the largest cots on the market.

ALPS Mountaineering Escalade Cot.
ALPS Mountaineering Escalade Cot.

But the length may not be the only parameter. Think also about the width, so here are the widest cots that on the market now.

Summary

In conclusion, enhancing the comfort of your camping cot involves simple yet effective strategies based on whether you already own a cot or plan to purchase one.

For existing cots, incorporating a foam pad, utilizing an extra blanket for added cushioning, bringing along a pillow, and opting for a blanket instead of a sleeping bag can significantly improve your sleeping experience.

If you’re in the market for a new cot, consider models that come with a sleeping pad or mattress. Think also about padded cots for built-in insulation, cots with integrated headrests for added support, adjustable cots for customizable comfort, and choosing a cot of appropriate size, especially if you’re tall.

By tailoring these tips to your specific situation, you can transform your camping cot into a more comfortable and inviting sleep haven for your outdoor adventures.

You might want to read also my text about sleeping pads vs camping cots. This site is all about outdoors questions and answers and I add texts here on a regular basis, so bookmark it and keep as a reference.

Please use the comment box below in the case of questions or comments. Thank you for reading and have a nice day.

 
Me on Jalovec.Hi, I am Jovo, the founder of this OutdoorsFAQs site and several other outdoor sites. I have been mountaineering for almost 40 years already, and I have created this site to use as a reference for various questions that I receive in my sites. Being a theoretical physicist by profession, I tend to base my answers on facts and on my own personal experience.

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