Mosquitos may be small, but they are one of the deadliest insects to humans. Picking the best insect repellent when traveling to places where mosquito-borne diseases are highly endemic is extremely important for your travel health and safety. Wearing an insect repellent is important, but using mosquito nets when sleeping can significantly reduce your risk of contracting diseases including yellow fever, west nile virus, dengue fever, malaria, zika virus, and chikungunya. Using insecticide-treated nets has been shown to reduce 44% of malaria infections compared to using no mosquito nets at all. According to the World Health Organization (WHO) Malaria World Report of 2022, mosquito screens and bed tents have been shown to reduce mosquito-borne diseases significantly.

Criteria For the Best Mosquito Net

  1. Mesh Size – Look for a mosquito net with a tight mesh size that will keep out even the tiniest mosquitoes. According to WHO, the recommended mesh size to effectively be protected against mosquitoes is 1.98mm or less. Keep in mind the more tiny holes with ultra-fine mesh can keep out smaller insects but can affect breathability. The recommended mesh size without compromising comfort is somewhere between 1.2-1.5mm.
  2.  Breathability – Choose a mosquito net that is breathable to ensure you have a good night’s sleep without overheating. Most mosquito nets on the market are made up of synthetic polyester or nylon fibers because they are lightweight and cheaper to use. Generally, products made up of cotton fibers are more breathable but more expensive. Polyester or nylon mesh nets can retain heat and humidity more and prevent airflow in more temperate or tropical regions compared to cotton mesh nets. The number of holes also determines how breathable a product is. Products with ~285 holes per square inch are ideal because it allows for adequate airflow but can also prevent small mosquitos from entering.
  3. Durability – Make sure the net you buy is made from durable materials so it can withstand regular use and exposure to the elements. Polyester mosquito netting will be most commonly found in products along with nylon synthetic products because they are more durable and last longer than cotton-based nets.
  4. Portability – When looking for a mosquito net for travel, choose a model that is lightweight and easy to pack away. Compact-size products are easier to travel with. Depending on if you have a pop-up mosquito net or a suspended mosquito net, the weight of each will vary. You will need to consider how you want to pack your portable mosquito net (backpack vs. carry-on luggage vs. checked bag) as you are deciding which would be best for your travels. 
  5. Ease of Setup – Choose a mosquito net that is easy to set up and take down, so you can quickly and easily protect yourself from biting insects. Your trip may require you to move from accommodation to accommodation, so a pop-up tent may be your perfect choice instead of a suspended one.
  6.  Design – Consider the overall design of the net, including the different sizes and shapes. Generally, a box-shaped with multiple hanging points is harder to set up but may be preferred in sleeping on a larger mattress. Alternatively, you could look into dome-shaped nets with single-point suspension. If you are considering a pyramid mosquito net, you want to make sure it is large enough that your lower extremities do not touch the net itself. If the net is not big enough, you run the risk of the net resting on an exposed body part where mosquitos can feed. Larger nets will allow you more space to move around in your sleeping area.
  7. Consider location and types of accommodation – Make sure the mosquito net is compatible with the type of travel you’ll be doing. You should consider what you are sleeping on (cot versus bed) and where you are sleeping (local home versus tent camping). Not every space will be ideal for suspended mosquito bed nets, so you may want to consider self-supporting nets because these would be easier to set up. The best options would include free-standing mosquito tents or single-hanging point nets. Consider the season of your destination as this could affect if you want a more breathable option.
  8. Insecticidal activity – Some mosquito nets are pre-treated with insecticides to make them even more effective at keeping out mosquitos. These save you the hassle of treating nets yourself while you are traveling. Using insecticide-treated nets reduces morbidity and mortality of mosquito-borne illnesses significantly compared to using no nets at all.
  9. Color – Black or darker-colored nets will make it difficult to see insects or mosquitos. Lighter-colored netting allows good visibility of insects against the net. Mosquitos are also naturally drawn to darker-colored materials than lighter-colored materials.
  10. Price – Finally, consider the price of the mosquito net and make sure it fits within your budget without sacrificing quality.

The 12 Best Travel Mosquito Nets in 2023

Before purchasing a mosquito net for your next trip, there are several important factors to consider. We selected 12 of our favorites based on design, portability, ease of setup, and weight. We believe a pop-up net and single-point suspension allow for easy setup for our travelers.  All items listed are a great option but you should decide based on your destination, location, and type of accommodation you will have access to. Remember to consider the breathability, color, cost, and material of your net. Remember that items that are impregnated with mosquito repellent or an insecticide provide better protection. You can find one pre-treated or spray permethrin on your bed net yourself.  You can click here to see which permethrin products we recommend. The best net for you would be one that will provide the best protection against mosquito-borne disease while also being travel friendly. The products are listed from the lightest mosquito nets to account for travel-friendly choices to heavier options. 

Single Point Suspension Bed nets

Self Standing Tents

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