The Best Air Mattresses Reviews & Buying Guide
At The Best Air Mattresses, we believe that getting enough sleep is essential for a healthy mind, body and soul. Babies need it to grow and develop properly and adults’ bodies are able to regenerate and recharge. After a few nights of broken sleep, or none at all, you quickly realise why sleep deprivation was a popular form of torture.
One of the best ways to guarantee a restful night’s sleep is by using a good mattress and today there are so many types: hybrids, waterbeds, gel mattresses, pillow top mattresses, memory foam as well as air mattresses.
An air mattress, otherwise known as an air bed or sleeping pad, is a PVC blow up mattress that is filled with air instead of foam, springs or gel.
They come in a variety of sizes including small ones for kiddies, twin sized, queen and king and you can choose between a low profile mattress, a raised one or one that fits on a stand or stretcher. The best thing about them, other than how unbelievably comfortable they are, is their portability.
Unlike heavy spring or memory foam mattresses you can take it pretty much anywhere you go, store it easily for house guests and because they’re affordable you can have a few for home, camping trips, or anywhere else you might need a quick nap.
Common Uses for a Comfortable Inflatable Bed
Air mattresses can be used for various purposes, even for everyday use, here are the most common:
A Permanent Bed
In the past air mattresses were used as temporary solutions to catch a few zzz’s but nowadays a lot of people are using them as their primary or permanent bed.
It is perfect if you stay in a bachelor or studio apartment and need to be able to make some space when visitors come over, or they can stay inflated all the time. They’re also perfect for a guest room and some are so comfortable people choose to use them as their main bed.
Permanent air mattresses are slightly more expensive than the smaller low-profile sleep pads and they are available in twin, queen and king size. Depending on your needs and preferences you can buy it with its own base or you can purchase a stand separately making it a great air mattress for your home.
If you need a temporary sleeping arrangement for a night or two then a twin or queen sized air mattress is perfect. They’re ideal for impromptu sleepovers or if you have guests at your home. They’re generally easy to use, are compact and can be stored away easily.
Price-wise they’re affordable and they’re the perfect way to end to uncomfortable nights on the floor or sofa.
For the Car
A good inflatable air mattress for the car is a major #lifehack, especially if you’ve spent a night or two sleeping in one. Made to fit comfortably in a family vehicle or SUV it’s a great alternative to driving under the influence or spending money on hotels on a long trip. Also if you have little ones it’s a convenient way for them to get some sleep and give you a break.
Blow up mattresses for cars are specifically designed, with inflated feet or a customized stand to ensure a snug fit for a good night’s sleep and to prevent anyone rolling or falling off.
Gone are the days of ‘roughing’ it in a sleeping bag while camping; a good air mattress for camping is perfect to take along on weekend getaways, hiking or backpacking trips and camping. They fit inside a tent and can be deflated and stored easily.
They’re made from a hardy, durable fabric, are portable, lightweight and come with a convenient carry bag.
If you’re interested specifically in camping air mattresses, then check out our reviews of the best ones.
The Top 10 Best Air Mattress Options
The SoundAsleep Dream Series Air Mattress is not only queen sized, it is also fit for a queen. Measuring 58” x 78” x 19” this is an excellent choice if you need a new bed, a temporary one or a comfortable one for the guest room.
Regarded as one of the best-selling air mattresses, it has an internal pump that makes setting up and deflating the bed quick and easy, literally taking four minutes for it to reach full size. The raised air mattress has two separate inner chambers which means you can adjust it for different levels of comfort.
The SoundAsleep Dream Series is currently one of the top choices at the moment. If you are looking for a raised air mattress, this is it – it is feature-rich, great value for money and very good quality.
Also considered to be one of the best air mattress picks at the moment is the queen sized Intex Comfort Plush Elevated Dura-Beam Airbed.
Intex have managed to produce a bed that offers extreme comfort, a bucket-load of features, excellent quality and all at a very good price. Although the pump is slower than some of the air mattresses it still inflates to full size in an impressive four minutes but be warned, deflating is not as easy or as quick – allocate about 12-15 minutes for this.
For a very good price the Intex air mattress will maintain its shape and firmness for a long time and can be used indoors or outside; height-wise it is 22” which is as close to a regular mattress as possible. If you want a permanent, temporary or extra sleep option then this is perfect.
It seems like a small detail but when you wake up pillowless during the night or in the morning you will understand what a clever #lifehack the raised edge at the head of the bed is. The Coleman® SupportRest™ Elite PillowStop™ Double High Airbed has a built-in 120V pump so you never have to worry about forgetting it at home or it breaking.
Besides being excellent value for money it is also very well made thanks to the AirTight® system that ensures zero leaks, while the ComfortStrong™ coil system and Support Lock™ gives long lasting support and comfort. There really isn’t anything to complain about when it comes to this air mattress.
Serta is the number one mattress manufacturer in the world and the Raised Air Mattress with Never Flat Pump doesn’t disappoint. Available as a twin and queen size there are too many features to mention, but rest assured (bad pun I know) you can’t go wrong with this air mattress.
There are two built-in pumps, both using Never Flat technology: one is to inflate and deflate the mattress while the other one works tirelessly through the night to make sure the pressure stays the same while you sleep. The Serta raised air mattress comes highly recommended and will serve you well.
Air mattresses for cars are very underrated and underused: they are convenient if you’re traveling a long distance and need a nap, or if you’ve being partying a little harder than you should have and want to sleep it off before driving. It’s also perfect for kids to sleep on during a long trip.
With an air mattress for the car you can wave goodbye to cricks in the neck and aches in the back and say hello to a restful sleep in the comfort of your vehicle.
The Goldhik Car Mobile Cushion Air Bed is easy to store, easy to inflate and made of an ultra-strong PVC material that will last a long time. The car air mattress is well-priced and definitely worth it. Just keep sharp objects, cigarettes or direct heat away from it.
The Lazery Sleep Air Mattress is beyond comfortable and offers some very nifty features. There are seven different combinations of support and firmness that can be adjusted with an LED remote and the controls are so precise you can adjust the settings for aching joints, bad backs and any other conditions.
The self-inflating bed goes from zero to 19” off the ground in under 4 minutes, making it a convenient choice while the ComfortCoil technology with 40 internal air coils, double chambers and the soft flocked cover give you the ultimate in comfort. This air mattress is specifically designed for indoors but it is portable, deflating quickly and storing easily.
Little ones need a comfy spot to rest as well and the Shrunks Toddler Travel Bed Portable Inflatable Air Mattress is an excellent choice for families on the go, impromptu sleepovers or stay-overs at Nan’s house.
The design of the bed makes kids feel secure and can be used for little ones transitioning into bigger beds. Made from kid-friendly materials that are BpA-safe, lead-safe and Phthalates-safe, it is lightweight, folds easily and inflates in 5 minutes.
The air mattress is raised high enough that they’re not sleeping on the floor but not too high that it’s dangerous if they fall off. Standard sized crib sheets tuck neatly into the inner air mattress which means they feel right at home
An additional safety feature is the signature rails that also prevents children rolling off. It also comes with the cutest durable carry bag, an electric pump and a 2-year warranty.
The Lightspeed Outdoors 2-Person PVC-Free Air Bed with Battery Operated Pump is made to be sturdy and withstand the elements, as well as be comfortable. The external battery operated pump inflates the mattress quickly and it deflates just as easy after use.
The 2-person air bed is a good size and the dark blue color is perfect for the outdoors, while the fabric is abrasion resistant, puncture-resistant, temperature stable and the seams are finished off well, stopping leaking or tearing.
Even though it is specifically meant for outdoor use the manufacturers haven’t compromised on comfort – Lightspeed’s patented stabilizer two-Boston valve system allows you to adjust the firmness to suit your needs.
Weighing under six pounds it is lighter than most air beds and is compact to store. The mattress has two built-in handles making it easier to carry around and position it, while an oversized bag makes it easy to pack away.
If you consider yourself to be more of a ‘glamper’ and prefer the comforts of home when you’re roughing it in the wilderness then the SoundAsleep Camping Series Air Mattress isn’t a smart choice, it’s the only choice.
This is probably one of the most comfortable air mattresses on the market and it doesn’t lose air pressure during the night. What makes it so popular is the effective internal coil system which means no more dipping in the middle if you happen to be sharing the bed. The heavy-duty external pump inflates it the mattress in 3 minutes and it deflates quickly too.
The air bed is available in twin and queen size, has its own travel bag, and it has a ridged area at the top to keep your pillows put while you sleep. To add to that the bed is durable and resistant to all the elements you would find outdoors, and it comes with a one-year warranty. There’s no way you won’t be happy with this air mattress.
The AeroBed Classic Air Mattress is a low profile design, available in both a queen and twin size. It is lightweight, compact and perfect for camping or backpacking and it can also be used indoors as a temporary sleeping arrangement for guests or sleepovers.
It comes with an external pump that is quick and easy to use: simply insert it into the mattress and it inflates automatically, in under 5 minutes and the oval coil construction adds to the bed’s comfort. The air mattress has a Whoosh valve, AeroBed’s patented device that deflates the bed quickly and with zero effort and the handy carry bag adds to the convenience.
It’s a good buy – excellent quality and very well-priced.
A Guide to Buying the Best Air Mattress
Because there is such a wide variety of good air mattresses around on the market it’s important you know what to look for when choosing one. Whether it’s for a camp-out, a sleepover, grouchy Aunt Ethel staying for the holidays or for the main room, there are a few things to look for and consider. Below are a few tips and suggestions that will hopefully help you when buying one.
Raised Air Mattresses
A raised air mattress is the same height as a normal bed, and it usually has a base or platform that keeps you off the floor. Because it is a little more stable it’s easier to get out of but it is bigger than the other air mattresses and takes up more space. The solid base makes it a little more difficult to move around or from room to room. These air mattress beds are generally more expensive.
Thin or Low Profile Air Mattresses
Thinner or lower profile air mattresses don’t have a base which makes them more portable, slightly cheaper and more convenient. Because it’s a case of “blow and go” these are perfect for camping, backpacking, keeping in the car and impromptu sleepovers.
There is also a sleeping pad, which is the same size, around about the same price and as convenient as the low profile blow up mattress. These are usually flatter, making them easier to pack and fold away.
When it comes to inflating air mattresses you have two options – an external (outside) pump and a built-in or internal one. External pumps vary in size and are either manually operated, battery or mains powdered. With an external pump mattress you have to make sure you don’t forget it and it is a little less convenient because it is something extra to carry. These blow up mattresses aren’t as popular anymore and manufacturers are slowly phasing them out.
An air mattress with a built-in pump has convenience written all over it. You’re not worrying about losing it, losing parts and it not working. These air mattresses are easier to inflate and as quick to deflate. Because they are more convenient they are more popular and you can get internal-pump air mattresses at really good prices.
Air mattresses have come a long way and nowadays you can get ones that are more comfortable than traditional mattresses and a darn sight more comfortable than the floor or sofa. If you’re in the market for an air bed the best thing to do is ask around, read reviews (like this one) and visit forums to see what people are saying. Even if you’re purchasing online, if you get the chance, try one or two out in a store and make a decision from there.
For added comfort, when buying an air bed, do exactly what you would do with a traditional one – buy one that is bigger and that you fit on more comfortably rather than a smaller size.
Another important feature to look for is how well the quality mattress holds air. The last thing you want is guests waking up on the floor because somehow during the night the air has escaped, turning the comfortable mattress into a PVC sheet.
Find out what the weight capacity of the blow up mattress is, and check the seams to make sure they’re finished off well and are as leak-proof as possible.
The appeal of a blow up mattress is its convenience. For you to get the most use out of it the mattress needs to be easy to inflate, deflate, pack away and store. Depending on what you plan to use it for it needs to be suitable, for example if it’s a camping mattress it must be portable, durable and lightweight while one for the main room at home needs to able to withstand daily use, be leak-proof and be comfortable.
An air mattress with an internal pump is a little more convenient and one that deflates quickly is better than one that doesn’t.
Price is always a factor. Ideally you want one that fits into your room, tent and budget and doesn’t cost a small fortune. When looking at the price consider all the features, the durability and the warranty; sometimes buying too cheap might cost more in the long run. Think about how often it will be used, where it’s going to be used and who will be using it. You can get some great beds at really good prices with a lot of the most important features.
Although it isn’t a deal-breaker it is important to see what is covered under the warranty; is there a return policy or will it be replaced if it is damaged. A one-year warranty is standard with quality air mattresses but there are a few that have extended ones.
Comfort, durability and cost are probably the most important factors when buying a good air mattress, but at the end of the day it comes down to you, your budget and your needs.
Whenever you’re buying something as a long-term investment it needs to make sense – to you, to your budget and to your needs. It is very much a personal choice and needs a little thought and a whole lot of research.
These reviews are based on an individual’s likes and dislikes, and cater to the particular needs. For now there are no major aches and pains, bad backs or joints, so keep this in mind when choosing one for you.
Some of the best air mattresses have come a long way and can sometimes be more comfortable than the high-end traditional beds and bases. The important thing is to get one that appeals to you and your needs, keeping in mind how and where you plan to use it. My kids love camping in the backyard on warm nights and I often join in, on condition I can use my air mattress.