Pads and mattresses which do you choose? Depends if you are base camping or on a hiking adventure and have to carry everything on your back. Mattresses are more comfortable, but can be cold, lose air, may need a pump to inflate, and can slide around. Nothing is worse than waking up and your mattress has deflated. Then you end up waking everyone else up to fire up the pump to re-inflate your mattress. Not a pleasant thing at all. An air pad is lightweight, but thickness matters, and you want one that is wide enough so your elbows don't fall to the ground. There are several air pads that are self-inflating available at several price ranges. Then with a few puffs of your own air you can finish off to your own desired pressure and comfort. No need to carry extra gear like a pump for inflation. So an air pad is lightweight, packs easy, and self-inflating. But then again they combined the best of both worlds and called it Therm-a-Rest. They do provide luxury and comfort sleeping at a steeper price.
All prices are in USD.