The Best Air Mattress Reviews

We all have that Aunt Ethel who pops in over the holidays for a quick visit, but then never leaves. And someone - usually not her - has to sleep on the floor or the sofa or share a bed with a sibling.

The good news is the rather ingenius invention of the air mattress. The bad news is Aunt Ethel won’t want to leave. Ever.

An air mattress, or air bed, is a PVC blow-up pad that’s filled with air instead of springs, foam or gel. They are available in various sizes, from little ones for toddlers to children, single, twin, queen and king-sized ones; and you have a choice of a low-profile mattress, a raised one or one that fits on a stretcher or a stand.

The best thing about them, over and above how comfortable they are, is their portability. Unlike heavy memory foam or spring mattresses, you can take it anywhere, move it from room to room and store it easily when it’s not being used. Because they’re so affordable, you can have a few for home for your ocassional camping trips or, really anywhere else that you might want to take a quick nap at.

The Most Common Uses for an Air Mattress

Air mattresses bring a whole new level of comfort and convenience to your home. Here are the most common uses.

For Guests

Air mattresses are ideal if you need to make temporary sleeping arrangements for a night or two. Whether it’s an impromptu sleepover for the tweens, or party guests who have had too much to drink and don’t want to drive, they’re quick to inflate, can be used anywhere in the house and are stored away easily.

As far as prices go, they’re affordable and are a smart solution to sleepless nights on the floor or sofa.

As a Permanent Bed

Because they are so comfortable, a lot of people are replacing their traditional beds with air mattresses. They’re perfect if you stay in an apartment or dorm, and they can be used in the spare room or your guest room.

Raised air mattresses can cost more than low profile ones, and they’re available in king and queen size as well as twin. Depending on how and where you plan to use it, you can purchase one with a base or there are stands available that can be bought separately.

For Camping

Air mattresses put the ‘glam’ into glamping, so much so that you can’t even say you’re ‘roughing’ it. There are air mattresses that are perfect to take along for a weekend away, hiking or backpacking and even extended road trips.They easily fit inside a tent, can sleep one or two people and inflate and deflate quicker than you can say “campfire’s burning”.

Made from durable material, they’re portable, lightweight and come with a convenient carry bag.

For the Car

Designed specifically to fit in a car, an air mattress is a comfortable and convenient way to travel long distances without spending money on hotels or motels. It’s also handy if you have little ones in the car and they need a nap.

If you’re on the lookout for an air mattress for the car you’ll recognize them by their inflated ‘feet’, which ensure a snug fit and prevents anyone rolling off or falling down the sides.

Our Essential Guide to Buying an Air Mattress

There are loads of air mattresses to choose from, and it can get a little overwhelming picking the right one. Before you buy the first one, we suggest you decide exactly what you want to use it for, how often it will be used, and where. If it’s for when Aunt Ethel stayovers in the guest room, you will probably need a raised air mattress with extra support and zero chance of deflating during the night. If you want to get one for a fun family campout, you will want a more portable one that inflates quickly and easily and fits inside a tent comfortably.

Whatever the reason you’re looking at air mattresses, we’ve put together a buying guide to help you choose the one for your needs and more importantly, your budget.

Comfort

It goes without saying you want an air mattress that is comfortable - otherwise what’s the point? They’ve come a long way, and there are a lot of factors to consider with regards to comfort level. Just like with normal mattresses, you can get firm ones, ones with a bit of ‘give’, while some have built-in pillows and others have flocked tops.

What we can suggest is that you try out a few - even if you want to buy online. It’s still worth popping into a mattress store and testing one or two out. And if you do, don’t only lie flat on your back. No one sleeps like that all night unless you’re Dracula, so try the bed lying on your side, your back and even on your stomach

Type of Air Mattress

Low Profile Air Mattresses

Low profile air mattresses don’t have a base, are more portable and slightly cheaper than raised mattresses. Because they’re easy to pack away and store they’re ideal for occasional use at home, camping, backpacking and for the car.

You can also look at a sleeping pad. These are usually flatter and can be folded and packed away easily. They work well if you’re going hiking and camping, and moving from one camp site to the next.

Raised Air Mattresses

The same height as, or pretty close to, a raised air mattress has a base or stand, which makes it easy to get in and out of.  The base makes the air mattress far more comfortable but it does take up more space and isn’t as portable. The base means you can’t just fold it up and pack it away or move it from one room to another, and they can be more expensive.

Pump Option

External Pump

Air mattresses can be inflated two ways, with a built-in pump or an external one. External pumps work with batteries, mains, or are manually operated, as in you pump it with your hands or feet. With an external pump mattress, you need to remember to take it with, make sure there’s space for it and not lose it. From what we’ve noticed, these are becoming less popular, and manufacturers seem to be slowly phasing them out.

Internal Pump

These are far more convenient than an air mattress with an external pump. You don’t have to worry about forgetting or losing it, having it break on a camping trip or stressing about where you’re going to keep it. They’re definitely far more popular, and even if you’re buying on a budget you’ll find a few good makes for under $100.

Convenience 

Let’s talk about convenience. For you to get the most out of your air mattress, you want it to be easy to blow up, deflate, pack away and store - or in the case of a raised mattress, you want it to have side handles to move it around easily. You also want it to be durable, leak-proof and easy to keep clean. If you go camping a lot, it needs to be portable, preferably have a carry bag and inflate and deflate quickly.

As mentioned earlier, an air mattress is more convenient if it has an internal pump, and one that deflates quickly is better than one that doesn’t.

Price

This is always a tough one, because as much as we don’t think you need to spend a fortune to get a good quality air mattress, you also don’t want to buy a cheap one that’s going to cost more in the long run.

Don’t look at the price tag on its own: compare features, the durability, and look at the warranty (if there is one). Also think about where you will be using it, how often it will be used and if it packs and stores away with the least amount of fuss, and space.

Warranty / Guarantee

Most air mattresses come with a one-year warranty; some are limited, and some have very specific terms and conditions. Check if there is a return policy, whether it can be exchanged or if there’s a cash refund option.

For us, the most important things to consider are comfort, cost, and durability.

The 5 Best Air Mattress Options

According to the criteria above, we’ve listed the top 5 best air mattresses on the market today. You can read a more in-depth review of each individual mattress by clicking on the title.

 

  1. SoundAsleep Dream Series Air Mattress

The SoundAsleep Dream Series Air Mattress is a generous queen sized air mattress, measuring 58” x 78” x 19”. It’s probably the top selling mattresses at the moment and is suitable as a replacement for a main bed, a guest room or as a temporary sleeping arrangement. It takes under 4 minutes to inflate it to its full size with the high capacity built-in pump and it’s engineered to provide the optimal firmness when you lie on it.

It is made using a puncture resistant material and has a 500 lbs weight capacity. The SoundAsleep Air Mattress comes with a one-year warranty.

 

  1. Serta Raised Air Mattress with Never Flat Pump

Serta has been making mattresses for years and has earned the reputation of being the number one mattress manufacturer in the world; you’ll understand why when you lie on the Raised Air Mattress with Never Flat Pump. The mattress has two built-in pumps with Never Flat technology – one inflates and deflates the mattress and the other one ensures the pressure of the mattress remains the same while you’re asleep.

This very well-made mattress has a flocked top which provides a comfortable lying surface and is puncture- and water-resistant.

The Serta Raised Air Mattress comes with a one-year warranty.

 

  1. Intex Comfort Plush Elevated Dura-Beam Airbed

Another air mattress that comes highly recommended is the queen sized Intex Comfort Plush Elevated Dura-Beam Airbed. 

Intex has delivered a bed that is comfortable, comes with a ton of features and is well-priced. It maintains its shape and firmness and can be used indoors or outside. We also like that it stands 22” high, which is about the same as a ‘normal’ bed. This means you can get in and out of it with the least amount of fuss and your dignity in tact.

If you want a permanent, temporary or extra sleeping option, you’ll do well to get this air mattress.

 

  1. The Shrunks Travel Bed Portable Inflatable Air Mattress Bed for Toddlers

We thought we’d include an air mattress for toddlers too. Perfect for families on the go, impromptu sleepovers with friends and cousins or a weekend away at Nan’s house, the Shrunks Toddler Travel Bed Portable Inflatable Air Mattress is ideal.

Kids feel secure in the bed because of the raised sides and it’s great for toddlers who are moving from their ‘baby’ bed to a bigger one. It’s completely safe for them, made from non-toxic materials that are BpA-, Phthalates- and lead-safe and it comes with rails to stop little ones rolling off. It’s also low enough that if they do happen to fall out they’re close to the floor.

The Shrunks travel bed comes with the sweetest little carry bag, its own electric pump, and an impressive two-year warranty.

 

  1. Coleman® SupportRest™ Elite PillowStop™ Double High Airbed

The Coleman® SupportRest™ Elite PillowStop™ Double High Airbed has a raised edge at the top of the mattress which keeps your pillow in place during the night; a simple detail but a brilliant #lifehack. It has a built-in 120V pump that works well and inflates the mattress quickly and the smart technology, like the AirTight® system, prevents leaks, while the ComfortStrong™ coil system and Support Lock™ provides excellent comfort and support.

It comes with a one-year warranty, and we especially like the anti-microbial treatment, which means it’s odor-, mildew-, fungus-, and mold-resistant.

Summary

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.

Have you recently purchased an air mattress? Which one did you get and are you happy with it?

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