Our Rating: (8.5 / Out Of 10)
Air mattresses have come a long way in recent years. They used to be thin, uncomfortable, and hard to inflate. Now you can find these convenient beds-in-a-bag with embedded electric pumps, microfiber-topped surfaces, and in a variety of sizes. Of course, if you need an air mattress in the great outdoors, you likely aren’t going to choose one with an electric pump, but even the ones with hand pumps have improved.
The Intex Classic Downy Airbed comes with a couple of inflatable pillows and a “double-quick” hand pump. This queen-sized air mattress has all the bits and pieces you could want in a comfortable temporary bed. Plus, the top is waterproof, which makes it even better for camping. On top of all of those benefits, this is an incredibly affordable airbed.
A few days ago, I got this air mattress in the mail, and now I can share with you all the great things about this bed (and warn you of the few pitfalls). So, let’s jump into this air mattress review so you can decide whether this Intex airbed is the right one for you.
Why an Air Mattress?
If the idea of sleeping on the cold, hard ground sounds like taking the whole “roughing it” thing too far, then an air mattress is a good solution. You’re still sleeping in a tent, but you get a bit more comfort with the mattress, rather than sleeping on the ground or just in a sleeping bag. The result is likely a better night’s sleep, so you can tackle those whitewater rapids or hike farther up that mountain.
Inflatable mattress have been around for more than 125 years, and they didn’t change much until recently. Added features include flocking for a better fit for your sheets, bigger sizes, and taller mattresses (some inflate as tall as a regular bed).
Air mattresses have a bit of a reputation for leaking air as you’re sleeping, which could result in you bottoming out by morning. Typically, that doesn’t happen, though. And to be fair, you should expect a bit of leakage. Temperature changes in the room, or even from the heat of your body, or too much weight on the mattress can push the deflation to higher levels. Plus, air just naturally seeps out of the valve. Additionally, a new air mattress needs a couple of inflations and deflations to really get the material good and stretched out.
As long as you understand all of those points, and you don’t mind refilling the mattress the next day, it can be a great sleep solution. The Intex Classic Downy Airbed may suffer from some air leakage, but it’s minimal, and at its incredibly affordable price, it’s worth the purchase.
My Intex Classic Downy Airbed was delivered a few days ago, and it was easy for me to move from my front door inside my home. It weighed a little more than my purse, so it was a lighter haul than I expected. The packaging was clean and compact. It was easy to unpack, unfold, and start using right away.
This airbed offers a variety of extras that aren’t typically included for such a low price, but not all of the features are welcome. The good news is that you have the option to use them, or not. Let’s go over all those bits and pieces.
The size of this air mattress is equivalent to a standard queen-sized mattress – the height is only a few inches lower. It’s nearly 9 inches tall, so it’s still going to be low to the ground, but the length and width are the same as a regular queen mattress. Sheets fit well on this mattress, with a little extra room to spare.
The Intex Classic Downy Airbed is made of thick vinyl that’s thick and sturdy, and it’s topped with a waterproofed soft flocking. Not only does this reduce the annoying sound of sheets sliding around on a rubber-like surface, it also minimizes that slippage. There’s almost nothing worse than trying to get comfortable and sliding sheets off your air mattress. That shouldn’t happen with this mattress.
The bed comes with two inflatable pillows, which sounds great, in theory. The truth is, these pillows are thin – I couldn’t inflate them any higher than 1.5-inches thick. You do get a hand pump with this air mattress, and it’s “double-quick,” which should reduce the amount of effort you need to use to fill the mattress, and fill it twice as fast. The pump pushes air into the mattress whether you’re pushing the pump down, or pulling it back up. It took me about 10 minutes to totally inflate the mattress with the hand pump. It’s a decent workout.
When the air mattress is inflated and dressed for bed, it’s a comfortable sleeping surface. The sheets fit well enough, and they didn’t slide around when I laid down. The pillows felt hard and uncomfortable, and they’re too small for real comfort. You’d be better off bringing your own pillows.
I did notice a bit of air loss, but it wasn’t too bad. If you have two people sleeping on this mattress, you may notice more air leakage, though. A few extra pumps in the morning should solve the problem, though. And if you’re using this for camping for a night or two, it shouldn’t be too much of an issue. I did notice that the manufacturer states that there will be stretching of the fabric after inflation, which could cause air loss. So, it’s expected.
Deflating the air mattress is as simple as opening the second valve, and the air whooshes out quickly. It took me about 4 minutes to deflate, fold, and roll the mattress back up close to its original size and I fit it back into the box it came in.
Like with most plastic items, this air mattress has a bit of off-gassing, which is that weird smell that comes with new plastic stuff. It dissipated quickly enough, and it should be completely gone after a few days of use. If you use it once, and then store it away folded up, you may notice a smell the next time you pull it out. Either way, it’s super minimal.
Maintenance, Care & Warranty
Cleaning this Intex Classic Downy Airbed is as easy as spot cleaning with a bit of water and mild soap. The flocked top is waterproof, which makes it ideal for camping. To make sure you keep your air mattress intact, check the area for any sharp objects and remove them before setting up. The vinyl is thick, though – 15-gauge vinyl on the bottom and sides – so you shouldn’t have issues with punctures, but you never be too careful!
There is no warranty offered from the manufacturer, so you’ll have to rely on the store from which you purchase this air mattress. If you get an airbed with a hole or a broken pump, you may be able to exchange it for a new one, but every store’s policy is different.
As with any product you buy, there are usually mixed reviews. There are glowing reviews, and people posting one-star reviews, saying if they could give zero stars, they would. The overall opinion seems to be that this is a good air mattress for camping that’s more affordable than other options.
Many reviewers said the air mattress worked well indoors and out, and in some cases, the mattress stayed inflated for a full month with no issues. Of course, the material stretches out over time and a little air loss happens, so adding a few pumps was all that was needed.
Some people had bad luck with their mattresses and said there were holes or the airbed wouldn’t inflate at all. In those cases, a defective item could likely be exchanged at the point of purchase. Most of the feedback we get back from The Sleep Judge users is that Intex has the most problems with developing leaks, whereas air mattresses like Sound Asleep, InstaBed, Coleman, etc. do not. With that being said, I can’t attest for long term use of this Intex product, but I can say that after testing it short term, it was great. No leaks aside from minor material stretching which was easily fixed with a few extra pumps of air. Overall, this air mattress is long-lasting and a good choice for a camping trip, or a last-minute overnight guest.
Yes, there is an odor. You really can’t get away from that off-gassing smell when you buy a vinyl air mattress, and especially an inexpensive one. However, the smell does go away soon after it’s aired out. Most people reported the smell went away after a few days. Others who had more a more sensitive nose weren’t able to deal with the strong scent. It seems to vary by person, so this is going to be different for you.
The overall opinion of this air mattress is that is comfortable when it’s inflated. It’s meant to sleep one to two people, but if you need to fit three average-sized adults, you may be able to do so. As long as you stick to the 600-lb. capacity rating or less, you shouldn’t have any issue, except maybe a bit more air loss by morning.
For the price, you can’t beat the value. You get an air mattress with waterproof flocking, an air pump, and two pillows – though most users of this airbed would much rather not have those tiny, hard pillows. Even if you only get a few nights use out of this air mattress, it’s about one-third the price of a hotel, which is an incredible value when you’re spending the night at someone’s house. And when you consider the comfort level of the hard, cold ground or a sleeping bag while camping, well, you can’t beat this queen-sized airbed.
It’s hard to gauge Intex’s customer service regarding this product because the manufacturer doesn’t offer a warranty of any kind for its air mattresses that I can find. It’s better to realize this before buying an Intex product because the company doesn’t fare well when it comes to customer service. Before you purchase this airbed, check with the brick-and-mortar or online store policy on returned items – it could save you a headache later.
I’ll admit that I didn’t have high hopes for the Intex Classic Downy Airbed because of its ridiculously low price and several poor reviews. I was pleasantly surprised by many of its features, though. The size of the bed is basically a queen-sized mattress, and my fitted sheet fit on it quite well, but not as snugly as I would’ve wanted. The flocking works to keep my sheet in place, though, so that’s a good solution for having a little extra sheet leftover. The top of the mattress is waterproof, which is also a nice feature because spills and accidents happen, especially while camping.
This air mattress is a great sleep solution for camping, whether I decide to hook up an electric pump or use the included hand pump. It does take about 10 minutes to inflate it fully, but the pump is “double-quick,” which means it pushes air through the nozzle and hose when you push the pump down and when you pull it back up – no wasted effort!
The pillows I could live without, but it’s one of those extras you can just ignore. If you have kids sleeping on this air mattress, they might like the inflatable pillows, but I found they’re just too small for an adult-sized head. Plus, when they’re fully inflated, they’re just hard and uncomfortable. Even half-inflated, they don’t work well. Thankfully, that new air mattress smell goes away quickly enough.
It’s hard to find any other negatives about this airbed, which is a good thing! The price point, the quality of the mattress, and the thickness of the vinyl all make this a great purchase for anyone on a budget.