How to Protect Tent Floor From Cot Legs (10 Effective Ways)

Camping cots are a great way to elevate yourself off the cold hard ground and make sleeping more comfortable.

But, one of the major drawbacks of cots is that their legs can damage your tent floor.

And it’s a very common problem! So common that we set out to find the best ways to stop this from happening!

So, let’s learn how to protect your tent floor from cot legs poking through so you can get a good night’s rest without damaging your tent.

Cot Booties

Cot booties are like they sound, little protective covers (or booties) that you put over the feet of your cot. This helps provide padding between the cot feet and your tent floor, eliminating, or at least lessening, the chances of the feet tearing a hole or damaging the floor.

Cot booties are also useful for keeping your cot feet clean, so you could transport your cot indoors and outdoors without tracking dirt and mud with it.

You can buy pre-made cot booties specifically designed for protecting your tent floor, like these from Slumberjack.

Slumberjack Floor Saver Cot Booties

Slumberjack Floor Saver Cot Booties

Price:
Buy Now on Amazon

Clicking this link to make a purchase may earn us a commission at no additional cost to you.

You can also make DIY cot booties in several different ways:

  • Using tennis balls (cut a slit and slip them over the feet)
  • Cut a pool noodle in half lengthwise, then cut each half down into a little square to place under the cot feet.
  • Place small drawstring bags over the cot feet. You could even fill the bags with cotton or other filler to add protection.

Look around your house and use your imagination for different DIY cot booty ideas.

Caster Cups

Caster cups are a popular floor-saving product typically used to protect house floors from furniture. And when used as cot foot pads, they are perfect for protecting your tent floor!

Caster cups are easy to use, inexpensive, and come in many different sizes, making them a great choice for protecting your tent floor.

You might even have some lying around your house already!

CasterMaster 3X3 Square Rubber Caster Cups

CasterMaster 3X3 Square Rubber Caster Cups

Price:
Buy Now on Amazon

Clicking this link to make a purchase may earn us a commission at no additional cost to you.

Puzzle Mats

Soft foam puzzle mats are an excellent way to protect your tent floors, make the living space more comfortable, and add insulation between you and the cold, hard ground.

And with puzzle mats, you don’t have to haul around a giant mat. Just take the number of squares you need, whether to protect the entire tent floor or just under your cot, and you can quickly build your mat in your tent in minutes.

I like to use smaller puzzle mats designed for kids. The larger mats can be harder to transport and don’t fit in a tent as well.

Foam Puzzle mats

Foam Puzzle mats

Price:
Buy Now on Amazon

Clicking this link to make a purchase may earn us a commission at no additional cost to you.

Floorless Tent

Arguably the most effective way to keep a cot’s legs from damaging the floor of your tent is to use a tent without a floor!

Floorless tents are becoming more and more popular with campers. Mainly for the following reasons:

  • Great space to weight ratio, meaning they are spacious and comfortable yet still light and easily portable for hiking and backpacking.
  • Easily add a wood stove to a camping tent.
  • Easier to vent.
  • Safer to cook inside than conventional tents.
  • You can add your own liners or floors if desired.

Of course, they aren’t for everybody, but if you’re in the market for a new camping tent and want to try this type of tent camping out, give it a shot.

Footless Cot

Not all cots are created the same. Some have hard rubber or plastic feet (the kind that can tear a hole in your tent floor), while others have bars that the cot rests on, like the Coleman ComfortSmart Cot.

Coleman ComfortSmart Cot

Coleman ComfortSmart Cot

Price:
Buy Now on Amazon

Clicking this link to make a purchase may earn us a commission at no additional cost to you.

With the Coleman ComfortSmart cot, you don’t have to worry about the feet damaging the tent floor since the weight is distributed evenly across each long bar that supports it.

This is a great option if you are in the market or have the budget for a new folding cot.

Tarp

We love camping tarps! They make a great addition under your tent as a tent footprint (see Do I Need a Tarp Under My Tent? Pros and Cons), and they make a great addition over the top of your tent, as well (see How to Put a Tarp Over a Tent).

With that said, they also can be used in your tent! Lining the inside tent floor with a tarp will effectively help protect it from your cot’s legs and just about anything else that goes in the tent.

Plus, tarps are relatively cheap (cheaper than a brand new tent), so they make a good investment that will extend the life of your tent, no matter how you use them – over, under, or inside your tent!

Ultralight Tyvek Tent Footprint

Ultralight Tyvek Tent Footprint

Price:
Buy Now on Amazon

Clicking this link to make a purchase may earn us a commission at no additional cost to you.

Extra Blankets

A simple option is to pack a few extra blankets with you and place them under your cot bed on the tent floor.

Compared to a tarp, blankets typically have better-insulating properties, so they will help control the temperature in the tent (especially useful for keeping warm when camping in colder climates). But, they are heavier and bulkier than a tarp, which may not be ideal if hiking or backpacking, where you need to be mindful of the weight of your camping gear.

Outdoor Carpet

Outdoor carpet is thinner, lighter, and easier to clean than regular house carpet and makes a suitable barrier between the cot’s legs and your tent’s floor.

You can cut enough outdoor carpet to line the entire inside of your tent if portability is of no concern, or you can cut little squares to place under the cot feet to protect the tent floor.

Artificial grass turf is another similar option.

Artificial Grass Turf Lawn

Artificial Grass Turf Lawn

Price:
Buy Now on Amazon

Clicking this link to make a purchase may earn us a commission at no additional cost to you.

Wood Planks

Cutting down wood planks and placing them under your cot feet is another effective way to protect your tent floor. Simply cut them down to an easily transportable size.

Just don’t go too small, and be sure to round the corners, so they don’t poke through the tent’s floor, defeating the entire purpose of using them.

Another advantage of using wood planks is by bringing extras along with you and using them as a cot leveler. If you find yourself sleeping on a cot on uneven ground, you can easily level your cot by placing additional wood planks under the cot leg or legs where the ground is lower.

Cot Alternatives

Lastly, you could never have to worry about cot legs ruining your tent floor when you camp by opting for another sleeping solution, for example, an air mattress or sleeping pad.

Ultralight 4-Season Camping Sleeping Pad

Ultralight 4-Season Camping Sleeping Pad

Price:
Buy Now on Amazon

Clicking this link to make a purchase may earn us a commission at no additional cost to you.

Of course, there are pros and cons to using inflatable air mattresses and sleeping pads, so you have to find which option is better for you. Check out our guide, Camping Cot vs. Air Mattress, to see how they stack up against each other.

TentHacker.com is reader-supported. Buying through links on our site may earn us an affiliate commission. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Get Our Free Weekly Newsletter!

By subscribing you agree to receive emails from us. We will always respect your privacy and you can unsubscribe at any time.