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How to Make a Cot Comfortable (Lightweight and Comfy)

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Camping should be fun. But you can’t go home with a 100-percent fun experience if you sleep on an uncomfortable bed.

This is why you need to make your bed as comfortable as possible. Something common among many campers is that they use cots as their camping bed.

How can you make your cot more comfortable? Continue reading to find out the tips we have assembled to give you a better night’s sleep in the great outdoors.

How to Make a Cot Comfortable

There are so many ways to make your cot comfortable while camping. Here are some of the most common methods:

1. Get the Right Size

Woman laying on cot in tent relaxing on fall camping trip

The first and most important step in making your cots comfortable is to select the right-sized cot for you.

The size of the cot you choose matters because if the cot is too small, you’ll sleep on the frame, which is very uncomfortable. But if the cot is too big, it can take up a lot of space in the tent.

You want to go for a cot that matches your size as well as the available space in your tent.

After determining the right size, consider the material and frame used. You should test different types and go for the most comfortable cot. Finally, choose your favorite colors and designs.

2. Use Sleeping Pads

Child with sleeping pad helps to set camping tent

Sleeping pads can help increase the comfort of your cot as they serve as a cushion.

If you are not comfortable in the cot and still want to continue using it, you only need to bring some sleeping pads not to feel pain while you sleep on the cot.

3. Use Comfortable Sleeping Bags

A young woman in a comfortable sleeping bag in a tent, top view.

Just like sleeping pads, you can use sleeping bags on top of your cot to serve as a cushion.

If you are tired of sleeping on the cot, you only need to go to the ground and make use of your sleeping bag.

An extra pro of using sleeping bags with your cot is that you get to be super warm while you are elevated from the ground.

4. Set the Cot at the Right Place

Camping two person tent with cots

Your sleeping spot also matters.

If you set the cot too close to the wall of your tent, outside noise and activities might prevent you from falling asleep.

Also, if you do not set the cot on level ground, the incline will make it hard to fall asleep, it might make annoying sounds as you move, and you might even fall off it after you fall asleep.

One advantage of using cots is that they are elevated, so you can store some items below them. Instead of pushing the cot to the wall to make way for other items, what if you store the items underneath and bring them out only when you need them?

5. Don’t Forget Pillows and a Duvet

pillow and duvet on white background

Do you want your camping cot to be super comfortable? Pick extra pillows and a duvet if possible.

While the head of the cot might be elevated so that it forms a pillow, you can’t help but admit that it is not comfortable at all. So to enjoy your night, you need an extra pillow.

A cot does not come with a covering just like sleeping bags do, so a duvet is also super helpful if the night will be cold.

If you like, you can keep one half of the duvet on the cot and wrap yourself with the other half so that you get padding and covering all in one go.

6. Keep the Cot Clean

One thing most people do not talk about regarding the comfort of a cot is the presence of dust or sand. You cannot be fully comfortable on a cot if it has dust or debris on it.

Even if you feel comfortable, you can wake up with rashes on your back or body.

Before sleeping, use a cloth and wipe the cot to ensure it is clean.

Also, wash your cot when it becomes dirty or smelly because the smell can prevent you from having a comfortable night. But do not sleep on a wet cot.

Camp cot placed in a forest campsite

7. Check for and Fix Causes of Any Sounds

A cot that makes any sound is either an uncomfortable one or one that will soon develop faults.

Most cots make sounds, especially when you place them on uneven ground, so you want to ensure that the ground is level. Also, examine the entire body of the cot to search for missing or broken parts.

Before embarking on your camping trip, bring your cot out and make sure that it is OK and feels comfortable.

Use a screwdriver to tighten the screws on the cot if it is metal. For cots with wooden frames, you want to make sure to fix any broken parts.

Now you can have a super comfy night because you can now make your cot as comfortable as possible.

Why Should You Use Camping Cots While Camping?

Here are some reasons why you should use camping cots:

1. Use Camping Cots as Seating

Camping cots are versatile pieces of furniture, so most campers use them for several things.

A camping cot is great for just sitting or resting while viewing the beauty of nature.

While in camp, you will likely bring the cot out for other uses and take it back inside when it is time to sleep.

2. Use Camping Cots for Sunbathing

girl on the cot makes a selfie

If you happen to choose a campsite near a river or a place with an open field, you might want to bring your camping cot outside for sunbathing.

Do not forget your sunscreen, just in case.

3. Camping Cots Help Elevate You From the Ground

With the likes of hammocks, camping cots make the best bed because they elevate you from the ground. You may like to sleep on the ground, but you do not know what you will face at the campsite.

For example, rain can make the ground wet, and you will not be able to sleep on the ground anymore.

Camping cots are best for wet and rocky surfaces, as you will remain comfortable. The elevation also protects you from the risk of getting attacked by crawling insects and other animals on the ground.

Woman sitting on cot inside tipi at campground.

4. Camping Cots Are Easy to Carry and Move

You only need to fold your camping cots, and they should take up very little space. Also, camping cots are lightweight, so you can carry them to the campsite without using a lot of energy.

If you are considering the weight of your cot, you should go for the ones with wooden frames as they are lighter.

5. Camping Cots Are Very Easy to Install

You only need to fold and unfold your camping cots, and that’s it.

When you set your tent, you just need to take the folded cot inside and unfold it there. You can also unfold it outside before taking it in if the tent is small.

6. You Can Always Make Your Cot More Comfortable

Couple with guitar sitting on a cot camping with their friends

One extra advantage of a camping cot is that you can use almost every other type of camping bed combined with it. It does not matter if you want to use an air mattress or a sleeping bag; you can surely place it on the cot.

If you want to make the cot more comfortable, you only need to search for lightweight cushions for it.

7. Camping Cots Are Great for Every Type of Camper

It does not matter if you are a regular camper or you are camping for the first time; camping cots are right for you. Regular campers need lightweight beds as they are mostly on the move, while people camping for the first time need a comfortable bed.

As you can see, camping cots are right for you.

But what if you do not want to use a camping cot? Continue reading for alternatives.

Alternatives to Camping Cots

If you want to use something else and not camping cots, here are some alternatives:

1. Air Mattresses

Pump for inflating a mattress in a tent outdoors

Air mattresses are truly the definition of comfort while camping because they are full of air. They are a viable alternative.

While air mattresses are comfortable on their own, you can make them even more comfortable if you wish, so you have nothing to worry about with them.

Consider the size of your tent while searching for the right air mattress because it can take up a lot of space.

Air mattresses are a top choice for campers because you can move them deflated and only inflate them when you want to use them. As you can see, air beds will not stress at all if you need to move camp.

2. Camping Mats

Back view of young backpackers with mat looking for camping place while walking in the forest

Perhaps the most common bed option for campers is the camping mat. These mats are very easy to move and install (even easier than camping cots).

Camping mats are also cheap and available in every store that sells camping essentials.

If you are new to camping, you may want to choose camping mats so that you can have more time to think of other important things you need while camping.

When searching for the best camping mat, do not limit yourself to simple designs, as almost every design is lightweight and can be comfortable. Go for your favorite material, color, and design.

3. Sleeping Bags

If you are comfortable on the ground, you can surely use sleeping bags as they are comfortable. You should feel warm and comfy in sleeping bags because they act as both a bed and a duvet for you.

However, if you fear enclosed spaces (i.e., claustrophobia), you may want to reconsider sleeping with sleeping bags.

Another reason you may want to reconsider using these bags is the type of ground and how exposed your tent is. For example, you may not feel very comfortable if your campsite is located on rocky land.

Also, if your tent is exposed, pests such as snakes and others that crawl in may disturb you. This is why you need an elevated bed, such as a camping cot.

Now you know different options to choose from if you do not want to use cots.

traveler in sleeping bag near the tent in the mountain

Final Thoughts

You do not need to buy the most expensive bed just because you are going camping. Sometimes, all you need is a camping cot. If the cot is not comfortable, make use of all the tips in this article so that you can sleep on the most comfortable cot ever.


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