In Alice in Wonderland, Alice asks the Cheshire Cat which road to take. The cat said it depends on where she is going. That pretty much answers a question that one could ask about what portable bed to buy. It depends on where you are going, what you are doing, or what you are. Are you going camping, to college, or vacationing? Are you a backpacker, a student, a mother, someone who travels a lot?

For Campers, Hikers and Backpackers. If you are frequently going on trips to the mountains, up steep trails and camping grounds, you have the choice of sleeping pad, inflatable mattress or sleeping cot. Each has its own advantage and disadvantage. A sleeping pad is easy to use, but it is generally less comfortable as it would put you more directly over rocks and tree rots than an inflatable mattress or cot would. An inflatable mattress, being cushioned, is more comfortable than a sleeping pad while being comparable in size, ease of use and weight. But it is prone to puncture and is more complex to use as it would need inflation and deflation. A sleeping cot has the advantage of height over a mattress and a sleeping pad. But it is more complicated to set up than a sleeping pad and could take up tent space. With these considerations, it’s for you, the buyer, to balance these factors when choosing a bed.

For Mothers. Running a home would most likely mean having to accommodate relatives, the kids’ friends or other visitors in the house. Portable beds will be a good thing to have when there’s no more room space in the house. An air bed or inflatable mattress would always come in handy when unexpected guests arrive or when going over with the kids to the house of relatives or on hotels during vacation. Inflatable beds offer the advantage of being light to carry and easy to keep without the need for large spaces. They can also be rolled and folded to variable dimensions.

For Babies. Portable air beds for infants and toddlers could help a lot in making the child comfortable whether at home or somewhere else. With the baby comfy, Mommy could enjoy and relax herself. Kids’ travel beds usually have raised edges to keep the child from rolling off and falling. They’re great to carry when visiting grandma and grandpa, when traveling or napping at a visit to the park.

For Students. Going off to your first year in college and living on your own in your first apartment? Just like Mom in your home, an inflatable mattress, air bed or sleeping pad would come in handy around your dorm. You can bring it when sleeping over to friends’ place, or going on camping trips. You can also have use for portable beds if you have guests coming over and they need a place to sleep. Or perhaps an opportunity will come to you when you need to travel to another city or state to do summer jobs, volunteer works, trainings and the accommodation is such that you need to bring your own bed.

Rachel Nunez