Firm Portable Travel Mattress

As the title suggests, I’m posting to get information on a firm, portable travel mattress. I require a very firm mattress or I begin to rapidly experience back pain.
In the past, I’ve traveled with an inflatable air mattress along with the pump. However, this is cumbersome, and some of the parts for the air mattress system I use are no longer replaceable.

I’ve investigated various tri-fold floor mattresses online. However, the reviews for most of them aren’t encouraging with regard to the firmness level offered. Moreover, I had a serious allergic reaction to a product from D&D Futon that I believe was made of latex.

It would be helpful to get recommendations for a firm tri-fold mattress that is hopefully hypoallergenic. However, alternative suggestions for purchasing or creating a portable mattress would be encouraged. There may be some build-it–yourself mattress materials that could work once combined with a cover and carrying case.

Thanks in advance for any help the board can provide.

Hi voyager39.

This sounds like a very unique situation! I’m imagining you need something that is firm, but that is also easy to store. When you say a travel mattress, are you talking in terms of car/RV travel? Or something you can take with you to a friend’s house or on a plane?

The first thing that comes to mind is a Japanese tatami mat. Second to that is a shikibuton, also on the floor. Are these options you have considered?


Thank you for your reply. I was referring to air travel, though any solution that works would of course be helpful for travel by car, bus, or train etc.

Thanks for the tip regarding Tatami and shikibutons. I’ll check them out. Whatever the mat type is, the key question for me is not whether it’s a Tatami or a shikibuton, but instead whether the firmness, portability, and allergenic aspects are a fit for me. It may well be that the only way to proceed is to read some reviews and try one or more of them out at home.

I guess I was hoping that someone out there had the same issues and had picked out a favorite. One problem with reviews of qualities like firmness is that everyone has a different reference point for soft and firm. When searching for hotels online, I look for reviews that criticize hotel beds for being too firm. That builds confidence that the reviewer really meant what he/she is saying. Then, there are people who write things like “firm yet airy and comfortable.” That’s when I give up and take a break for a while.

Hi voyager39.

Understandable! I hope others in the forum will take note of your post here and chime in with relevant experience.

Definitely look into a travel tatami and do keep us posted on anything you try/find!