Why get an air mattress? Sure, they seem dated, they certainly aren’t as comfortable as a real mattress, and you’ll sleep in constant fear of puncturing it. However, despite all of the downsides (both real and imagined) there’s no denying one important truth: air mattresses are fun. Just ask any awestruck five year old who has just finished watching a flat bundle of plastic inflate in minutes into a comfortable and movable bed, and they will thrillingly let you know how fun an air mattress can be.
These aren’t designed to be permanent sleep solutions, after all. Air Mattresses exist to fill a gap in your sleep needs. You use them to go camping. Your children will use them for sleepovers. Or perhaps you might even inflate one just to have a fun and lazy movie watching day with in kids in style. Think of them more as accessories and you’ll be surprised at just how much fun that you and your family will have once you bring an air mattress into all of your lives.
The only real question is which air mattress you should bring home. There are so many available and not all air mattresses are created equal. So how do you tell the difference between the great air mattresses and the weak ones? Well, fortunately you’ve come to the right place. The staff at the Sleep Judge has done all of the hard work for you. We’ve tried all the air mattresses out there. The good ones, the bad ones, and the ugly ones. Now, we’ve compiled a list of our six favorite air mattresses into one place. Below those recommendations, we’ve also provided a buyers guide to help you know what to look for in an air mattress.
In other words, by the end of this article, you’ll be something of an air mattress expert. All you need to do is keep your eyes glued to this page and scroll away. Everything that you could possibly want to know about air mattresses is about to be revealed!
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SoundAsleep Dream Series Air Mattress
Insta-Bed Raised Air Mattress
InstaBed EZ Bed Air Mattress
King Koil Luxury Raised Airbed
Sleep Restoration Air Mattress
Intex Comfort Plush Elevated Dura-Beam Airbed with Built-in Electric Pump
Our Top 6 Best Air Beds
Below you’ll find what we consider to be the best 6 air mattresses for your money. These have been extensively reviewed and are very popular among consumers. Hence why they are in our top 6.
Our top pick and all around winner is the SoundAsleep Dream Series Air Mattress. Here’s a video review if you want to dive straight into it. Otherwise, keep scrolling to read out about all of the top contenders.
1. SoundAsleep Dream Series Air Mattress
- One-click pump design is convenient
- Easy to inflate and deflate
- Excellent customer service
- Maintains shape
- Air loss is minimal
- Able to adjust firmness
- Holds up to 500 pounds
- 19 inch thickness makes it easy to get in and out of
- “Sure Grip” bottom prevents slipping
- Waterproof top
- Flocked design keeps bedding in place
- Material is puncture-resistant
- Convenient storage bag
- Power cord storage space on the front of the product
- Not well-suited for camping (they have a camping model for this)
- Can’t use a hand pump to fill it up
- Works best with deep fitted, non standard sheets
The SoundAsleep Dream Series is the highest rated air mattress on the market and it has earned that title for a reason. This air mattress is constantly praised for its comfort, durability, and ease of use.
The 40 coil flat sleeping surface provides excellent edge and inner support as well as a comfort level hard to match in the air bed world. The soft waterproof top of the mattress has been compared by consumers to sleeping on a pillow top. Inflation and deflation is nice and quick with the internal pump that comes with the mattress. The sure grip bottom keeps the mattress in place on the floor, which is a great feature for in home use. While this version is best for in home use, the people at SoundAsleep also provide a camping version that comes with a rechargeable battery pump for those long hikes in the woods. Worth keeping in mind if you plan on taking your air mattress out into the wilderness.
With a capacity of 500 lbs, and multiple layers of puncture proof material, the SoundAsleep has no issue holding the average couples weight. It’s hard to find anything to complain about. This is quite simply one of the finest air mattresses on the market.
2. Insta-Bed Raised Air Mattress with Never Flat Pump
- Never-flat pump ensures you won’t end up on the floor
- 35 circular coils for extra comfort
- Strong durability
- Needs constant power supply to stay inflated through the night
Insta-bed is a very popular and well-known brand that takes pride in creating beds that are more comfortable than their competitors. They have created a special technology in order to ensure that their products are comfortable enough to induce sleep in each and every customer. Many people consider Inst-bed to be a favorite because of the high quality products that they produce. We are inclined to agree.
The Insta Raised Bed With Never Flat Pump is a prime example of this company’s high quality. This bed is approximately the same height as regular beds and its dimensions are 80″ x 60″ x 19″ for an inflated queen size. If you are looking for a bed that will not only provide you with comfort and convenience, but with durability as well, then you may seriously want to consider purchasing this air bed. The Insta Raised Bed is great for camping, however, you will need a larger tent if you purchase the queen size air bed. Instead of sleeping in an uncomfortable sleeping bag where you will be practically sleep on the ground, why not try this comfy air bed instead? Most customers who purchase this air bed absolutely love it.
Many air beds or mattresses are notorious for deflating prematurely. You may be lying on it and notice the bed slowly flattening. Fortunately this bed and its never flat pump is dependable and will never deflate unless you deflate it first. This bed will hold strong for you throughout a full night’s sleep.
The Insta Raised bed is also good for those with back and joint problems because the bed actually conforms to the shape of the body and provides adequate cushioning, which can prevent the joint and muscle pain that may occur when sleeping on lower quality air and regular beds.
3. Insta-Bed Raised Air Mattress with Never Flat Pump
- Self Inflating and Deflating
- Secondary pump keeps it inflated quietly
- Excellent motion transfer
- A little on the heavy side (50+lbs)
- A little on the pricey side, but worth the investment
The InstaBed EZ Bed Air Mattress is one of the best air mattresses that you will ever use. It’s self-inflating and deflating. It folds up compactly enough to be stored in a duffle bag while still offering surprising comfort when fully inflated. Within seconds, you can watch it grow from a folded piece of plastic to a fully developed airbed that will provide a comfortable night’s rest with minimal motion transfer from sleeping partners (a major bonus that most air mattresses don’t offer!).
It’s possible adjust the firmness of the mattress to plush, medium, or firm. This really helps when you’re in need of particular back aligning support. Most air mattresses have one major issue: noise. But the NeverFlat pump, which is located inside the bed and inflates throughout the night. is virtually silent. It makes hardly a noise at all, which is beyond impressive. It also a 500lb weight capacity, which is far more than enough for two full grown adults.
This is one of the finest air mattresses that you’ll ever sleep on. The only potential downside is that it is recommended for residential use, ideally as a guest bed. So don’t expect to sleep luxuriously on this thing during camping trips. This is an indoor air mattress only. Other than that, the InstaBed EZ Bed Air Mattress is one of the finest air mattresses on the market.
4. King Koil Luxury Raised Airbed
- Height makes it easy to transition in and out of bed
- Firmness customization capability adds to comfort
- Fitted sheets stay in place
- Carrying bag is compact and convenient
- Not well-suited for rustic camping
- Product is heavy
It’s impossible not to be impressed by the King Koil air mattress. The coil-beam construction offers an impressive combination of comfort and spinal support. The 600-pound weight limit is well beyond what most air mattress can offer and the quality of the materials used in production should allow provide enough durability for the King Koil to last for years, if used properly.
If you’re looking for an air mattress to use on camping trips and have a compatible manual pump, this air mattress is practically puncture proof. So it’s well suited for outdoor use (though it would be ideal to have an outlet nearby, if possible). This strong, yet comfortable air mattress is easily one of the best on the market and well deserving of your consideration! It truly does it all.
5. Sleep Restoration Air Mattress
- Double-height makes getting in and out of bed easy
- Built-in pump makes inflation and deflation simple
- Ability to customize firmness is convenient
- Mattress is able to hold air pretty well
- Fitted sheets stay in place
- Carrying bag makes it easy to transport and store the product
- Not well-suited for camping
- Sleep surface is initially cold
- Pump is too loud
Considering the quality construction, the Sleep Restoration Air Mattress is surprisingly inexpensive. It certainly could make a great guest bed or camping sleep solution. Just make sure to bring along a fitted sheet to protect the white cover. This mattress is 20 inches tall, which makes it easier to get out of than many other air beds on the market. The cover is kind of fuzzy and this really helps increase the overall comfort level. The flocked top helps prevent the slippery sliding that’s commonly associated with air mattresses. No air mattress is going to compete with the real deal, but for an air mattress, the Sleep Restoration is quite accommodating.
With its top coil system, sleepers will enjoy even distribution of their weight across the entire top surface. The construction consists of multiple layers of durable materials that are both puncture-resistant and waterproof. This thickness offers stability and comfort. Air leakage can be a problem, but that’s true of most air mattresses. So, it’s nothing out of the ordinary. Overall, this is one of the best air mattresses to take on family a camping trip and offers incredible value at a great price.
6. Intex Comfort Plush Elevated Dura-Beam Airbed with Built-in Electric Pump
- Affordable luxury
- 600-lb. weight capacity
- Flocked, waterproof top
- Thick vinyl
- Tight seams
- Included built-in electric pump
- Very little odor
- Inflates quickly
- Standard queen-sized sheets don’t fit well
- A bit of air loss after one night’s use
This queen-sized air mattress has an almost regular bed height at 22 inches. The bed also inflates quickly because it includes a built-in electric pump, so no one’s going to wear themselves out with a manual pump. Just turn on that electric pump and kick back until your air bed is ready for further relaxation. From the thick vinyl to the waterproofed flocking on top of the airbed, this air mattress is filled with features that will make it the bed any of your extra guests will want to sleep on. While intended for indoor use, you could easily take this camping and sleep like kings or queens. You’ll just need a tent big enough to accommodate it. That’s on you.
It’s quick and easy to inflate thanks to the built-in electric pump and you can adjust the air to the right comfort level. The thick vinyl offers durability and the soft flocking on top of the bed eliminates the need for sheets. There isn’t much to dislike about this air mattress. It’s convenient, comfortable, and affordable. The only downside is the lack of warranty, so perhaps it’s worth buy this air mattress from a reputable source that offers a generous return policy. If anything goes wrong with Intex Comfort Plush Elevated Dura-Beam Airbed With Electric Pump, you’ll be responsible for all repairs and replacement.
Buying Guide: Best Types of Air Beds for Your Needs
All blow up beds are not created equal, which in this case is good, since variety is indeed the spice of life. But it’s also bad because you may end up with an airbed that will go wrong. That’s why it’s important to educate yourself on airbed technology. There are various types and various specs to consider when making the air bed purchase plunge and here is a smattering of the types of air beds you are bound to encounter:
You may be interested in: RV Mattress Sizes, Types, and Places To Buy Them
Best Air Mattress For Guests
A raised air mattress is perhaps the closest type to resembling a normal bed. They often have multiple air chambers that result in a more durable bed. They also, as implied by the name, are higher off the ground then a low raised blow up mattress. Once inflated they tend to hold more firmly and the rocky sleeping experience is done away with.
Convertible air mattresses are typically two twin beds, which can be either separated or combined to form one large bed. The versatility of convertible air mattresses are ideal for meeting the needs of varying guests. If one weekend finds you entertaining your married friends from college, then combing the bed becomes ideal.
But if another weekend finds you entertaining several of your buddies, then separation into two twins becomes readily available. Having a convertible is typically cheaper than purchasing two twin beds, and it always allows for adjustment to meet your guests’ needs.
Best Air Mattress For Everyday Use
Air mattresses can now be purchased with accompanying frames, with are usually metal. Portable as well, these frames allow for the mattress to be off the ground, an ideal feature for use of the air mattress in the home so that the cold of the basement floor doesn’t transfer to the mattress. Along with frames, they can also come equipped with rails. Rails are typically attached to the mattress and are made of foam.
Avoid air beds with a thin foam rail, but look for blow up mattresses with a sturdy thick foam rail. A rail allows for a better sleeping experience, as it aids in preventing you from falling or slipping out of the bed during your sleep. If you want a good air mattress with a frame to get in and out of the bed easier then look no further than the Coleman QueenCot Airbed.
Air Beds with internal pumps are the only way to go if you are planning on using an air mattress everyday. While manual pumps can work and are fairly quiet, if you want to save time it is best to consider using an external electric pump or purchasing a mattress with a pump included .
If you’re out camping and will be inflating multiple beds, then consider using one external electric pump to reduce cost or if you are crafty, and don’t want to buy a pump specifically for your air mattress, you can always bring a vacuum cleaner. However, if you plan on using a singular mattress for all your portable bed needs, then consider purchasing a mattress with a built in pump. Try to purchase a pump that is easy to use and that is built to function at a high output. Noise with a pump is inevitable, but if you can find a pump that is not so noisome, then consider purchasing such in order to avoid annoying your camping neighbor or if indoors, those sleeping in other rooms.
Recommendation: We recommend the Insta Raised Air Bed as it has a never flat pump feature that will prevent you from having to constantly turn the pump on in the middle of the night. This by far is the major reason why this is the best air mattress for every day use. Read our full review here.
In addition to internal pumps, some air mattresses also come equipped with remote controls. A remote control allows you to adjust the amount of air and the level of the mattress while you are using it. This is useful for finding the perfect amount of air, without having to climb out of bed and start fiddling with a pump in the middle of the night.
You may be interested in: The Best Air Mattress Pump
Top Air Mattresses For The Outdoors
Here are the two types we recommend for backpacking. These allow for easy packing and are lightweight so that you can move easier. If you are looking for more camping options, check out our camping air mattress comparison page.
If you are going back packing and need to pack light then low profile self inflatable air mattresses are the way to go. The Stansport is an excellent choice.
If you are looking for a cheap air mattress and need a small one for you kids during camping, then look no further than a low raised air mattress. Intex has a considerable amount of inexpensive air mattresses to choose from.
Other Types Air Bed
Memory Foam Air Mattresses
An air mattress can be made from a number of material, with the most popular being the standard latex or the comforting memory foam. Memory foam in a blow up mattress is similar to memory foam in a regular bed, and it is designed to adjust to the ridges and contours of your body to get you the most comfortable sleep possible. Memory foam will be more expensive, but it is also one of the most comfortable air beds you can buy and with today’s busy lives, you need the best sleep you can get. All of these types, it should go without saying, are improvements on your standard low raised. While your standard air mattress might save you in the immediacy, do consider investing in the mattress with the accompanying feature that best suits your lifestyle and needs. They typically come in sizes of Twin, Twin XL, Full, or Queen, with King being out there, but very rare.
Camping Air Beds
Framed air mattresses are popular with campers to elevate themselves off the ground. Metal frames are portable and easy to set up. However, if you don’t want to sully the great outdoors experience, you can stay closer to the ground with your traditional air bed. They are cheap air beds, but absent a pump, you will be using your mouth and your lungs to inflate it. However, as discussed above, there are external pumps that can run off an electric outlet or can be powered by your car, and they make the traditional air bed a not so unflattering option. There are also Truck-Bedz air mattresses, that are made for those who want to sleep in the back of their pickup trucks, SUV’s, or mini-vans. These mattresses come in different shapes and sizes and fit a number of vehicle types. But perhaps the best camping air mattress for light packers and those that like to truly rough it, the best choice might be the slim, light, and self inflating kind. These are heavy duty air mattresses and are made to endure the craggy and uneven surfaces of the earth, these mattresses are certain to allow for a rich and full camping experience. Click here for comparisons and more info on camping air mattresses.
Tips for Use and Repair
If you don’t have an air mattress pump and have blown up several air mattresses in one sitting with just your lungs, you know how red in the face and out of breath it can make you. Here’s a clever trick to save you time and breath. This can also work with a leaf blower, or shop vac.
Probably the most annoying thing about an air mattress is attempting to keep it full of air, for even the best of air mattresses are bound to deflate given frequent use and time. Some things you can do to keep the air mattress inflated throughout its use are:
- Be careful to never over-inflate the air mattress. It is always tempting to make it as firm as possible, but too much air can lead to rips and leaks.
- When you first use it, fill the air mattress up to 90 percent capacity and then wait three hours and deflate. Repeat this process. Then fill it up to capacity. Why? You want to get the plastic use to expansion before you actually place your body on the mattress. Once the fibers of the plastic become worn in a little, then it will become ideal for first time usage.
- Make a constant effort to check for leaks. Listen for hissing noises and always look to the valve to ensure it is closed correctly. Use soap and water solution to spray the mattress down to look for bubbles. Once a leak is found, then prepare to fix it with either patches or adhesive.
- Do not overload the mattress. The mattress is not made to support multiple sleeping bodies. Look on the box and packaging to discover weight limits.
- Keep away from dogs and cats. Even if they don’t bite, one misaligned paw step can leave a scratch and subsequent hole.
- Remember the air mattress is for function and not for play. Don’t wrestle or jump on the mattress. It is definitely tempting, but say no.
- Avoid using sharp objects in or near the mattress. Pens, pencils, and knives, all can leave just the pinprick of holes that lead to a hard to find leak.
But in the event of a leak, repair is doable with the right tools. Air mattress repair kits sometimes come with the mattress, but if not they can be purchased from camping stores or big box retailers. While leak repair will vary depending on the kit and supplies at hand, below is a quick and dirty hashing of how to patch an air mattress.
- To repair you want to firstly have discovered your leak.
- After discovery, you want to deflate the air mattress.
- After deflation, apply a sealant.
- After sealant has been applied, wait five minutes.
- Repeat step four twice for a second and third coating.
- You are now essentially done. You may choose to place a repair patch on the now sealant applied leak spot, but this is at your discretion.
You might want to read: Best Air Mattress with a Built-in Pump
Purchasing an air mattress should never be a spontaneous endeavor, but should be one where you invest serious thought. There are many types, and even many more brands, and the only way to determine what is best for you is to do your research and to make some comparisons. You don’t want to just grab any air mattress and accept the consequences. Take the time to find the right air mattress to suit your needs. While an air mattress can be a godsend to a person who is constantly traveling or who is constantly on the go, it can also be a nightmare if you purchase a type that doesn’t fit the purpose you had in mind. Hopefully, this guide has provided you with everything that you will need to ensure that you bring home the air mattress that you and your family deserve. If you think that we’ve left anything out of this air mattress guide, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. We’d love to hear from you and have an opportunity to update our air mattress guide.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I choose an air mattress?
From the onset, think of how and where you intend to use it. Camping, or as an extra sleep space when company arrives? What about the weight of the sleeper/s? Will you always have access to electricity for the built-in pump models, or do you want the ability to hand pump, if needed? How rugged does the mattress cover need to be, and is waterproof, an important feature? Also, for how long do you need it to be inflated? One night, a weekend, a week? How well does it hold its air?
What is the best air mattress with a built-in pump?
We’d recommend the SoundAsleep Dream Series air mattress, and here’s why. Not only is it super durable and waterproof, it features a 40-coil flat sleep surface for superior edge support and an almost pillow-top comfort. Inflating and deflating are quick and easy (though no hand pump option) and it’s one of the few air mattresses that actually offers a more rugged “camping version” with a rechargeable battery-operated pump. It can hold up to 500 pounds with minimal air loss and at 19-inches in depth, it’s almost like climbing into your own bed.
What is the most durable air mattress?
Unlike the comfier latex versions that are designed for home use, the most rugged air mattress will be made from high grade synthetics or thick vinyl to prevent punctures and tears. A budget-friendly option is the Intex Classic Downy Airbed, made from waterproof vinyl and featuring a soft, flocking upper. For a little more, you can splurge on the SoundAsleep Dream Series made with puncture-resistant synthetics and built-in, battery powered air pump.
How long should an air mattress last?
A good quality air mattress should last between 10 and 15 years, with proper maintenance and storage.
Can you sleep on an air mattress every night?
Yes, today’s designs are comfortable enough to use every day and offer a number of great features and handy conveniences. One of the best designs we’ve seen is the Instabed EZ Bed air mattress which includes their NeverFlat pump. It monitors air pressure on a continual basis and inflates as needed. It also allows you to customize the firmness levels between plush, medium and firm. A sturdy metal frame makes it look and feel more like a standard bed.