Why buy an air mattress?
Air mattresses are great because they allow you to get restful sleep when you are unable to use your regular bed. When visiting family or friends, camping, moving, or renovating your bedroom, having an air mattress can save your back from sleeping on the floor or a lumpy couch. Air mattresses are especially handy for camping since they’re much lighter and easier to pack than camping cots and can deflate and re-inflate as needed. When deflated, they can be rolled up and folded down into carrying bags for more convenient transportation or storage. With the proper tools, inflating them won’t take more than a few minutes.
These types of mattresses are also great to have on hand in your home for when you have guests over to ensure they have a place to sleep. Even if you have a spare bed or cot for the guest room, it never hurts to have an air mattress so you can host more guests if need be. And there is a surprisingly wide variety of different air mattresses available in terms of quality and features you can keep an eye out for to ensure that you or your guests are comfortable when sleeping on them.
What should you look for in an air mattress?
- Comfort: Naturally, you will want your air mattress to be comfortable so that you can have a restful sleep when using it. How the air mattress distributes weight will be the primary factor for comfort. Other factors include construction, padding, and whether the air mattress stays inflated overnight; some models have a tendency to slowly deflate overnight, and you don’t want to wake up flat on the ground, defeating the whole point of buying an air mattress in the first place.
- Durability: Many budget air mattresses can be quite comfortable but are easily punctured and rendered useless. Thus durability is a key necessity, especially essential for outdoor spaces like tents, campers, or campsites. Air mattresses with waterproof or water-and mold-resistant qualities will greatly aid in their durability and extend their service life, especially if you plan to use them for camping.
- Setup: If an air mattress can’t be quickly and easily set up, it’ll cause you more trouble than it’s worth. Thankfully, many modern air mattresses can be inflated or deflated in minutes and require minimal upkeep, even with extended use. Modern models will almost without fail come with their own pumps, usually built-in ones that inflate them extra quickly. Double-check and make sure the pump doesn’t require an outlet to work if you plan to take your air mattress camping quite often—unless you have a generator that will be compatible with it. Otherwise, you’ll need to invest in a portable air pump that can operate without one while you’re at your campsite or in the wilderness.
What are some other factors to look for in an air mattress?
Be sure to figure out ahead of time what size of air mattress is right for your need. Like regular mattresses, they’re available in double, twin, queen, and even king mattress sizes. Opt for a queen or king-sized air mattress if you want more than one person to be able to sleep on it at a time, while a double or twin will be more suitable for a single person (unless they’re 6 feet tall or above). Alternatively, some couples like to push two twin air mattresses up next to each other so that they don’t feel each other shift in the night as often.
Also consider the thickness and firmness of the air mattress. Thicker air mattresses are less likely to fully deflate overnight and allow you or your guests to sleep on a more elevated surface—closer to a real bed, but they’ll also take up more storage space. They’re often ranked on a scale of 1-10, with 1 being the softest possible air mattress and 10 being the firmest. Firmer air mattresses are usually considered preferable to softer ones, as they’re less likely to sag. Children and adults under 150 pounds, however, can get away with sleeping on softer air mattresses without issue. Some models also have a dial setting that allows you to adjust the comfort and firmness level at will.
SoundAsleep Dream Series Air Mattress
This air mattress features a one-click pump and thick, comfortable flocking.
Pros: If you’re after an extra-tall, extra-thick air mattress, this is the perfect model for you. Odds are you won’t even feel like you’re sleeping on the ground. The thick flocking on the top of the air mattress is very comfortable, which helps to encourage a restful night’s sleep. The mattress will not slide around, even if you toss and turn in the night, thanks to its SureGrip bottom, and it’s totally waterproof. The one-click pump will inflate it in minutes. There’s a nice range of different sizes available: twin, twin XL, full, queen, and king sizes, all with high weight capacities. Even the twin bed can support up to 300 pounds.
Cons: This air mattress is on the expensive side, so it’s not the best option for those looking for a budget-friendly option. And as is often the case with many air mattresses, this model can be quite squeaky when you toss and turn or move around on it.
Bottom Line: This quintessential air mattress checks all the boxes to make it a top choice. Waterproof, tall, and thick with a nice weight capacity, it’ll keep you naturally elevated off the ground for a more comfortable night’s sleep.
Coleman Quickbed Airbed
This air mattress is made out of antimicrobial material to help prevent mold and mildew from growing on it.
Pros: An air mattress that is resistant to molding is a worthwhile investment, especially if you plan to mainly use it for camping or outdoors. This air mattress is resistant to mildew, fungus, and even odors, so you’ll have little to worry about, even if it gets damp or wet on your trip. The ComfortStrong coils provide greater firmness and support than most air mattresses offer, while the top is soft and velvety to add some extra comfort even without a mattress pad. The double-locked valve features a dual seal that offers superior protection against leaks.
Cons: Unlike most models, this air mattress doesn’t come with its own carrying bag included. You may want to hang onto the box and wrappings or buy your own. You’ll have to buy your own pump separately, too.
Bottom Line: When it comes to resisting mold, mildew, and the like, this air mattress is hard to beat, especially for its price point. This makes it an especially ideal choice as a camping air mattress, and you won’t have to worry about it growing fungus or mold if you keep it in storage for long periods of time.
Intex Cozy Kidz Inflatable Airbed
This smaller mattress is designed specifically for children between the ages of 3 and 10.
Pros: If you’re after a child-friendly air mattress for your little one, this model is well worth considering. It’s sized specifically to fit children aged 3 to 10 and supports up to 100 pounds of weight. The plush surface will be plenty comfortable for your child to sleep on every night, yet it’s plenty durable as well. The price is nice, extremely inexpensive, and it comes with both a carrying bag and a repair patch included to further increase its value. The air mattress itself is extremely lightweight to boot, weighing in at half a pound when fully deflated. Its light weight coupled with the carrying bag makes it extremely portable, perfect for bringing on vacation or to a friend’s house for a sleepover.
Cons: This air mattress is water-resistant rather than 100% waterproof, so it’s not really meant for camping or other outdoor use. No pump comes included, and even if you invest in your own electric pump, this mattress takes a longer time to inflate than most.
Bottom Line: Durability is important to consider in an air mattress, especially if kids are going to sleep on it; we all know how much they love to jump up and down on beds of all sorts. Fortunately, this kid-friendly and kid-sized air mattress, despite its small size, is more than up to the task.
Intex Pull-Out Inflatable Bed
This air mattress features a unique shape that allows it to be converted between a couch and a bed at will.
Pros: This is a uniquely designed air mattress, one that isn’t just a mattress alone. It can pull out into bed form or tuck up into a couch shape. When in bed format, it retains its back and arms to give you a place to lean back against and sides to keep you from rolling out of bed while sleeping. The arms have a cupholder built-in on either arm, giving you a place to stash your drinks when lounging. The two-in-one valve supports are extra wide to make it easier to inflate and especially deflate quickly, while the velvety texture is nice and comfy even without a mattress pad or fitted sheet. And since it folds out to a queen-sized mattress with a 440-pound weight capacity, this air mattress is large enough for two adults to rest comfortably on it.
Cons: At almost 17 pounds and rather bulky in size, this air mattress is not the most portable or travel-friendly option. It’s also quite low to the ground in couch form, which may be hard to get in and out of for some people. It doesn’t come with a pump, so you’ll have to buy your own.
Bottom Line: As the name implies, this air mattress is both an inflatable bed and a pull-out couch in one. Unlike most airbeds, it can serve as either piece of furniture as needed and provide ample room for two grown adults to sleep and cuddle up together on it.
Onirii Inflatable Car Air Mattress Bed
This unique, specialty air mattress was designed to fit in the backseat of cars and other vehicles.
Pros: If you’re a car camper, this is the air mattress for you. This uniquely shaped air mattress is designed to fit in the backseat of a car, though it’s certainly not limited to these spaces. There’s an SUV version that is better suited to larger trucks and SUVs instead of standard-sized cars. It’s fully waterproof and comes equipped with three pillows: two regular ones and a travel-style neck pillow. Quite a range of other useful accessories come included with your purchase as well: an air pump, a gas nozzle, a repair pad, a carrying bag, an eye mask, and earplugs. And you get all of this for one nice, low price.
Cons: Be sure to measure the backseat dimensions of your car to ensure that this air mattress will fit it properly, as it won’t be the right size for all vehicles. It’s also a bit too small to comfortably fit two grown adults unless they’re both on the smaller or shorter side.
Bottom Line: You may never have thought of the backseat of your car as a suitable place to put an air mattress, but this model will have you reconsidering this line of thinking. You’ll be able to stretch out on it and gaze up at the stars, lie in comfort at the drive-in, and much, much more.
Air mattresses are handy items to have in your household, even if you don’t travel or have guests very often. You don’t always know when a spare bed might come in handy or when you’ll be invited to a spur-of-the-moment getaway, so it’s best to be prepared.