Air Mattress Warmth.

Submitted: Monday, Apr 10, 2006 at 21:09
ThreadID: 32764 Views:9579 Replies:20 FollowUps:10
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Was wondering if anyone has a good method of keeping the cold air from rising up through the base of the mattress. We have tried tarps and ground sheets to no avail. It is frustrating being nice and warm on the top but the cold gets you on your back. Would buy swags but its not a great time at the moment so will have to stick with the air-bed.

Any thoughts appreciated.
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Reply By: Taize - Monday, Apr 10, 2006 at 21:15

Monday, Apr 10, 2006 at 21:15
Air matresses are designed to freeze your back. They trap air, which cools during the night. Since they are generally put on the ground the air also gets cooled by the ground.

The best way to stop getting cold from underneath is a) no use an air matress and b) use an insulating layer between you and the ground (or air matress if you must use one). The insulating layer can be as cheap as a closed call mat ($15-$20 from a camping store) or a more expensive therma-rest or equiv. mat.

kym
AnswerID: 166260

Reply By: PK Eildon (VIC) - Monday, Apr 10, 2006 at 21:15

Monday, Apr 10, 2006 at 21:15
You are trying to insulate yourself from the ground, but the cold is in the air mattress. Your body heat goes up, not down through the air in the mattress. You need to insulate yourself from the mattress itself. Possibly a wool blanket doubled over between you and mattress, or better still some high density foam available from hiking supplies.
AnswerID: 166261

Follow Up By: GaryInOz (Vic) - Monday, Apr 10, 2006 at 21:24

Monday, Apr 10, 2006 at 21:24
Your body heat is conducted through you sleepingbag into your airmattress and then to the ground. The earth is a better heatsink than you are a heat generator. You lose (freeze)....
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Follow Up By: Member - Julie P (VIC) - Tuesday, Apr 11, 2006 at 08:11

Tuesday, Apr 11, 2006 at 08:11
Met a couple who used a woolen sheepskin underblanket on their aribed - in cold Victoria - in the winter and swore by it.
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Reply By: maroni - Monday, Apr 10, 2006 at 21:19

Monday, Apr 10, 2006 at 21:19
don't know if it would work but think it might, what about one of those egg shell foam mattresses.works great on a bed no electric blanket anymore, they are so cosy..
AnswerID: 166266

Reply By: GaryInOz (Vic) - Monday, Apr 10, 2006 at 21:20

Monday, Apr 10, 2006 at 21:20
May sound dumb, but don't use and ordinary airmattress. If you need to, use a closed cell (self inflating) mattress on a stretcher. There is no way of stopping the normal air mattress from radiating your bodyheat into the ground (effectively absorbing the cold from the ground), what is needed is distance from the ground to insulate yourself.
AnswerID: 166267

Reply By: 100TD - Monday, Apr 10, 2006 at 21:20

Monday, Apr 10, 2006 at 21:20
I use a piece of carpet on the floor of the tent and a single sleeping bag that opens up on top of mattress under the sheet and no more cold back.cheers Paul
AnswerID: 166269

Reply By: roofscooter2 - Monday, Apr 10, 2006 at 21:26

Monday, Apr 10, 2006 at 21:26
Matt, you could try sleeping on top of youre wife/gf to keep cold off youre back.Lol.
AnswerID: 166271

Follow Up By: MATT.D(WA) - Monday, Apr 10, 2006 at 21:34

Monday, Apr 10, 2006 at 21:34
LOL, Would love to but she's one week away from having a baby that it would be like sleeping on a see-saw.
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Follow Up By: GaryInOz (Vic) - Monday, Apr 10, 2006 at 22:31

Monday, Apr 10, 2006 at 22:31
Let me guess, that has someting to do with the last time you slept on top of her..............................
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Follow Up By: roofscooter2 - Tuesday, Apr 11, 2006 at 20:04

Tuesday, Apr 11, 2006 at 20:04
You could go on a bender for a week .
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Reply By: Member-Neil & Margie-Cairns - Monday, Apr 10, 2006 at 21:36

Monday, Apr 10, 2006 at 21:36
Buy another doona , 1 between the mattress and you , the other 1 over you ,, worked for us before we got the camper !!

Neil ..

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AnswerID: 166274

Follow Up By: Muzzgit (WA) - Tuesday, Apr 11, 2006 at 00:09

Tuesday, Apr 11, 2006 at 00:09
YUP. That's about all we could do to keep warm, sleep on top of a doonah as well as underneath one. Friends of ours have those minus 10 sleeping bags and they recon they don't have a problem.

Eventually, you come to realise that not everyone was made to sleep on the ground, and camper trailers may extend your enjoyment of the great outdoors.

Personally, If I still had to sleep on an air mattress in a tent, I wouldn't bother packing the car.
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Reply By: cokeaddict - Monday, Apr 10, 2006 at 21:46

Monday, Apr 10, 2006 at 21:46
Ok this is what i do....simple and warm....

I use an air mattress......I mainly camp in winter so it can get to zero at places i go to. What i do is this...

We have 6 hospital blankets ( the white ones they use) ....
I put 1 on ground under mattress...
3 ontop of mattress (under sleeping bags)
and 2 ontop of sleeping bags.

I have never been cold doing it this way. Works fine for me.

Ange
AnswerID: 166282

Reply By: Member - uncle - Monday, Apr 10, 2006 at 21:49

Monday, Apr 10, 2006 at 21:49
We threw our air beds out 8 yrs ago and went for the self inflaters,Great outdoors and places like BBQ's galore have them at realistic prices and they are sooo much more comfy.
AnswerID: 166287

Reply By: Muddy doe (SA) - Monday, Apr 10, 2006 at 21:50

Monday, Apr 10, 2006 at 21:50
Hiya,

I gave up the air mattresses long ago.

1. Bloody things keep going down!
2. The cold issue that you seem to also have the problem with.

As others have pointed out the air mattress is acting like a huge heatsink in that it draws body heat away and is itself cooled by the ground. You can't get enough heat to the ground to warm the ground up as the heat is disspiated by the entire area of the air mattress rather than just the bit you sleep on.

If you sleep directly on the ground you will actually be warmer as you will actaully warm up a small patch of the ground with your body heat rather than have the heat dissapated over the wider area under the mattress. Naturally you won't be as comfy though if you sleep direct on the ground!

I have just seen this effect with my bed at home. After years sleeping on an inner spring mattress we have purchased a new mattress that is full latex foam. Rather than being an empty void with springs and stuff with a covering over it, this mattress is just solid latex foam. (it is sooooooooo comfy!)

This means that any body heat is trapped more effectively within the tiny foam cells in mattress as you sleep, rather than disperses through the empty spaces between the coils. The latex mattress is noticealy warmer to sleep on (great now the weather is getting cooler but not sure how this is going to go in summer! Ask me in 6 months...). The Thermorest self inflating camp mattresses work the same way. The foam expends to suck air in when you inflate it (saves a lot of work!) and them the foam traps the heat when you are sleeping on it.

My solution would be to try at least 1 inch of foam over the mattress. The eggshell stuff is good or just a sheet of the medium density stuff from Clark Rubber. Should spend no more than $20-30.

You HAVE to get away from having that big void space directly under you that you just cannot warm up.

Hope it works out for you. A good nights sleep makes ALL the difference.

Cheers
Muddy
AnswerID: 166289

Reply By: Old Johno [NSW] - Monday, Apr 10, 2006 at 22:06

Monday, Apr 10, 2006 at 22:06
Matt.
We currently use an air matress and have found by using the 1/2inch foam roll (Some time called a ground roll) you can buy from most camping stores will do the job. Wife & I have used them with a blanket on the air matress and have been quite OK in minus 7 deg (Doona & one Blanket on top).
I have to use the air bed as I am 6' 6" and the foam matresses are either to short ot take up to much room in the vehicle. Have been doing this for about 5 years and only had to replace one matress
Good Luck
AnswerID: 166300

Reply By: Muddies Doe(Trippn) - Monday, Apr 10, 2006 at 22:12

Monday, Apr 10, 2006 at 22:12
Hi Matt

I used to have a box air-bed and we put a wollen blanket under it, that helped greatly and you can feel the warmth on the floor of the tent the next morning when you packed up so you know it worked.
Same deal with the thermo self inflating matress when it was used in a tent.
(black foam bought from Clark Rubber goes on top of the carry me camper where we sleep to keep the cold from the back while sleeping on the thermo matress )

As for Muddy he is yet to find out I take a hot water bottle with me to bed during cold nights while camping..... :)

Cya
:)
AnswerID: 166302

Follow Up By: Member - John (Vic) - Monday, Apr 10, 2006 at 22:44

Monday, Apr 10, 2006 at 22:44
So what your really saying is that Muddy is a real cold bugga???
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Follow Up By: Muddies Doe(Trippn) - Tuesday, Apr 11, 2006 at 09:25

Tuesday, Apr 11, 2006 at 09:25
Hi John

LOL.......well we'll see.
I have not had the pleasure of sleeping with him while camping during Winter, as yet.

Cya
:)
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Reply By: geocacher (djcache) - Monday, Apr 10, 2006 at 23:44

Monday, Apr 10, 2006 at 23:44
Thermarest actually provide an insulation rating for all their mattresses - www.thermarest.com/ . They are fantastic. I have two - one for each swag - and will be buying a couple more next time Rays have a big sale.

Dave
AnswerID: 166321

Reply By: Member - Bware (Tweed Valley) - Tuesday, Apr 11, 2006 at 00:31

Tuesday, Apr 11, 2006 at 00:31
Newspaper is great insulation. Before we upgraded to a self-inflating we used to put a double layer of newspaper down first then as others say a blanket under matress then one on top of matress under you.
AnswerID: 166330

Reply By: Kiwi Kia - Tuesday, Apr 11, 2006 at 07:16

Tuesday, Apr 11, 2006 at 07:16
Do you know any carpet layers ? Get an off cut of foam underlay - cheap as.

AnswerID: 166349

Reply By: Turbo Diesel - Tuesday, Apr 11, 2006 at 09:28

Tuesday, Apr 11, 2006 at 09:28
Clark Rubber, 10-15mm compressed foam mattres (eg blue rubber) i think you can buy it pre cut woorks great dosn't take up much room.
AnswerID: 166382

Reply By: Member - Omaroo (NSW) - Tuesday, Apr 11, 2006 at 09:34

Tuesday, Apr 11, 2006 at 09:34
We use ThermaRest, but that's not my fix here.

If you use a traditional air-filled mattress you could do worse by buying an aluminised mylar emergency space blanket and putting that on the bed shiny side up. This will reflect your body heat back UP to where you want it - in your body. Then go putting your normal sleeping gear on top of that.

Works a treat. We use this system in our -10 to -15 winters on Omaroo and haven't been cold yet.
AnswerID: 166385

Follow Up By: phil - Tuesday, Apr 11, 2006 at 14:22

Tuesday, Apr 11, 2006 at 14:22
I have found that putting a reflective foil space blanket under the air bed works really well. We have camped in the interior in frosty conditions for weeks and never had a problem with cold when using this method. We just used old down sleeping bags with no additional blankets.

Phil I
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Follow Up By: kesh - Tuesday, Apr 11, 2006 at 17:38

Tuesday, Apr 11, 2006 at 17:38
I go with Omaroo and phil.
But as Omeroo says, the blanket goes on top and the shiny side must be up.
Torrington frosts are as good as they come and this is the best system we know of. ( there was another mentioned, but I kept rolling off every time I fell asleep!)
Super down bags, the ones that completely open are good also.
But I prefer the good old "terra firma" to nearly any sort of inflatable mattress.
kesh
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Reply By: Pajman Pete (SA) - Tuesday, Apr 11, 2006 at 14:26

Tuesday, Apr 11, 2006 at 14:26
We use a couple of old army "horse" blankets under the mattress and have had no problems.

Cheers

Pete
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AnswerID: 166441

Reply By: Markymark - Tuesday, Apr 11, 2006 at 23:11

Tuesday, Apr 11, 2006 at 23:11
Having slept in a tent while cross-country skiing, I found 2 of the foam camping mats together were enough ($5-10 each). Got a self-inflating Thermarest from Santa and that is the ducks guts! If these 2 options work laying on the snow (with a thin layer of tent plastic underneath), I'm sure they'll work on an air mattress - you just have to insulate yourself from whatever your lying on so you keep your own heat.

Mark.
AnswerID: 166563

Reply By: Member - Ian W (NSW) - Wednesday, Apr 12, 2006 at 09:10

Wednesday, Apr 12, 2006 at 09:10
Love my airbed, after major spinal surgery it's the only thing I can get a nights sleep on.

I got hold of a piece of that thick felt stuff the furniture removalists use, don't know the name of it.

Folded to make a double thickness and slap it on top of the airbed - warm as toast in the Vic Hi Country winter camping trips.

Ian
AnswerID: 166613

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