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.
Price, available space, size of the mattress, purpose, durability, special features, portability, ease of use, and duration of use are the most important factors when choosing an air bed.
Our top pick and all around winner is the SoundAsleep Dream Series Air Mattress.
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. 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:
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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.
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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.
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.
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.
Top 5 Best Air Bed Reviews
We included what we considered to be the best 5 air mattresses for your money. These have been extensively reviewed and are very popular among consumers. Hence why they are in our top 5.
1. SoundAsleep Dream Series Air Mattress
- 40 coils keep surface flat and comfortable
- 500 lb capacity
- Internal pump with one-click design
- Good warranty
- Excellent Durability
- High customer praise
- Works best with deep fitted, non standard sheets
The SoundAsleep Dream Series is the highest rated air mattress on the market. 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.
People looking for an everyday use, durable and reliable air mattress. This is the best bang for your buck.
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, 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 it to be a favorite because of the high quality products that they produce.
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.
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.
Everyday use and people looking to spend a little extra money for added comfort.
3. Intex Pillow Rest Twin Airbed with Built-in Electric Pump
- Built-in pump
- Great for children
- May need to be reinflated periodically
- Warranty isn’t as strong as other manufacturers
Many customers consider Intex to be a favorite brand, as evidenced by repeat customers and high ratings. If you are looking for a sturdy, good air mattress, then you may want to consider the Intex Pillow Rest Twin Airbed with Built-in Electric Pump. Being one of the best twin air mattresses, it is often used during camping trips, for overnight guests, and even while staying in hotel rooms.
It can even be great for spare bedrooms, but if you choose to leave it inflated all the time, then you will need to top off on the air as needed, since vinyl has the tendency to leak air over time. This is normal and should not be cause for alarm. The handy built-in electric pump included with this bed makes inflating it a cinch. You don’t have to worry about looking for a pump or purchasing one separately since it’s built-in. Several additional strong qualities make this air bed highly preferred over the various others currently on the market. It’s durable, firm as well as quite comfortable. Many consumers claim they didn’t miss their own beds when sleeping on the Pillow Rest while on vacation or during a visit with a friend or loved one.
Many people also greatly appreciate the 15 gauge vinyl beams on the sides and bottom of this bed, because it provides it with extra support and stability. This air bed also contains a waterproof flocked top, which is convenient in case of accidental spills. This is one of the best mid-priced mattresses for your money.
Children and people with small frames. Those looking to save some dollars on their purchase.
4. Intex Deluxe Pillow Rest Raised Comfort Queen
- Very comfortable
- Reasonably priced
- Built-in Pump
- Loss of air over time
- Short warranty
- Some fine the pillow uncomfortable
This is a deluxe model in the Intex brand range. This mattress comes with a 21.2-gauge waterproof flocked top. It also has 15-gauge vinyl beams on the sides and below. What this offers you is a snug sleeping space to cocoon into every night. Since it comes with a built-in well powered pump, this mattress does the job of inflating itself. This is done in a short while and with minimal fuss.
The mattress also comes with a button control to help you regulate the pressure so you can set it to a level you are comfortable with. It reaches a height of 19 inches, which is much higher than standard mattresses. The good thing about this bed is that it gives you a minimum of 3 years of good service before it begins to sprout a few leaks on the lower portion.
This is a bed that meets several common criteria – it is an economical option. It has its own electric pump and may be inflated easily. It is a great height from the floor making it easy to get on and off of for all ages. When not in use, it may be easily deflated and stored inconspicuously in your home. This is a great sleeping option to have in case of unannounced guests.
People that are loyal to the Intex name and want one of their higher end options.
5. Coleman Double-High Quickbed
- Stands 18 inches high
- Storage unit attached to mattress
- Exceptionally comfortable compared to traditional air mattresses
- Does not include pump
- Initial rubbery odor
- Patch kit not included
Just about everyone is aware of Coleman and its numerous camping related products. From stoves to lanterns to tents, Coleman is an extremely popular brand that is a favorite of many people.
Whether you’re looking for an air bed to take on a camping trip or an overnight trip to a friend’s apartment, this amazing bed boasts Coleman’s expected high quality. Unlike other air beds or mattresses that make you feel like you’re sleeping on the floor, this bed is doubled in height, which makes getting on and off of it very easy. With a soft and cushy top, many consumers consider this air bed to be almost equivalent to an actual bed, especially when it comes to comfort. The Coleman Double-High Quickbed makes transporting this handy bed a breeze with its convenient wrap and roll system.
You can be packed and ready in no time with this extremely helpful feature. Customers especially appreciate the Quickbed’s high quality construction, which consists of heavy duty puncture resistant PVC, a comfort coil system for added support as well as a soft and cushioned top for ample comfort. Another aspect of this air bed that customers really like is the price, a better deal for such quality is hard to find.
People looking for a more comfortable than average air mattress. Easy to get on and off and don’t need a built in pump.
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.
If you’re finding that your air mattress keeps getting leaks, maybe it’s time to upgrade to a new one. Check out our top 5 air mattress reviews.
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. 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.