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Best Air Mattresses 2018 – [Buyer’s Guide]Last Updated December 1, 2018
Best Air Mattresses of 2018
Here are my top picks with detailed reviews, comparison charts and buying guides to help you purchase the perfect item for your needs. The above tidbits will bring you closer to selecting air mattresses that best serves your needs and as per your budget.
I make the search easier for you, by reviewing the best air mattresses on the market. I must say I am quite a fan of air mattresses, so when the question “What are the best air mattresses available on the market?” came to my mind, I excitedly started gathering information together with personal experience to write this article in the hope that it may help you find the suitable air mattresses.
Test Results and Ratings
№1 – Etekcity Upgraded Air Mattress Blow Up Elevated Raised Bed Inflatable Airbed with Built-in Electric Pump
Why did this air mattresses win the first place?
I am very happy with the purchase. It is definitely worth its money. The product is top-notch! I really enjoy the design. It is compact, comfortable and reliable. And it looks amazing! The product is very strong. Its material is stable and doesn’t crack. I also liked the delivery service that was fast and quick to react. It was delivered on the third day.
№2 – SoundAsleep Dream Series Air Mattress with ComfortCoil Technology & Internal High Capacity Pump
Why did this air mattresses come in second place?
I like this product. For such a low price, I didn’t even hope it to be any better. It’s decently made. Managers explained me all the details about the product range, price, and delivery. The design quality is top notch and the color is nice. The material is pretty strong and easy to wash if needed.
Why did this air mattresses take third place?
I liked the design. We’ve been using it for 2 months and it still looks like brand new. It doesn’t squeaks nor bents. Looks great in my apartment. A very convenient model. It is affordable and made of high-quality materials. It is inconvenient to use due to the size. I am going to get something different next time.
Air Mattresses Buyer’s Guide
It is an absolute joy to experience complete comfort on a mattress- that ultimate blend of support and comfort that allows you to enjoy a perfect sleep. While some of you can experience your perfect level of comfort from a conventional memory foam or innerspring mattress, others have a hard time finding a level of comfort and support that feels just right.
In addition to this, several sleepers struggle with having a distinctive comfort preference than their partner. Fortunately, air mattress is the ideal solution for those who combat with finding that ultimate level of comfort. Such mattresses use air, rather than a foam core or coil system, as a means of support. Sleepers with preferences ranging from firm to plush can find their perfect comfort simply by adjusting the amount of air in the chambers.
However, when you are looking for an air mattress, you may get confused by what you see and what you hear. This is why you should spend some time researching the best air mattress products to meet your needs. We all know that it can be a difficult task to recognize what is of great value to you without ending up with what will be a waste of your hard-earned cash. Our brief guide covers the important things to keep in mind when buying an air mattress and the popular products to consider.
Size Does Matter
While air mattresses will follow the conventional mattress sizes, you still need to consider the size that will be enough for the intended use. Although this is the case, you need to know that the variations in firmness will influence the size and can make the mattress look smaller or larger than expected.
If you have enough space, purchase power and plan to have two people sleeping on the air mattress together, you can consider a king or queen size. The size of the mattress should be considered with the use, the space available for the inflated mattress, and the space you have to store the deflated mattress and its accessories.
Fortunately, you will not need a lot of space since most of the mattresses will deflate and fold to a carry-on suitcase size that can fit in small spaces, including your closet. This leaves the inflated space and the use of the mattress as the major points to consider when buying the mattress in terms of size.
Use of The Mattress
Just like buying the traditional conventional mattresses, you will need to consider the use of the mattress. If you want the mattress to be used by kids when camping or during those occasional sleepovers, a basic air mattress sitting low on the floor will be enough.
Older people may have a difficult time getting off the low mattresses and will need thicker mattresses that are a bit raised. There are even mattresses that will come with a bed frame but this will only make the mattress bulkier, heavier and more expensive.
If you are buying the air mattress for purposes of camping, then you will need to consider a smaller mattress that can be inflated fast. Ensure that your choice of mattress fits in most camping tents or you may have a great problem. Camping or backpacking air mattresses need to be small enough to be easily carried when deflated.
We are talking about air mattresses and it means that the air in the mattress is the most important thing. Under this point, you should consider how much air the mattress needs to be comfortable and how the air will get into the mattress.
The basic air pump is manual and does not need electricity to pump in the air. The drawback is that you will have to work extra hard to inflate a large size mattress. The advantage of the manual pump is that you can use it in the middle of the woods, where there is no electricity.
Electric air pumps offer a faster way to inflate your mattress and will come separate or built-in. You need to consider the speed at which the pump inflates the mattress. As a standard, good pumps will not take more than two minutes to inflate a queen-size air mattress. To make the work easier, you can consider buying a mattress with a remote-controlled air pump as this gives you the advantages of reducing or increasing the air to match your comfort needs.
These are the most common types of air mattresses in stores. This is because the mattress does not have the hassle of losing the pump and the inflation will be much faster and easier. These mattresses will be priced higher than the external pump air mattresses, but the investment is worth your money.
Consider The Features
The features that a mattress has will influence your purchase. Some of the things you may want to consider include the top of the mattress. Most mattresses are made of PVC, which can be quite uncomfortable to sleep on. For this reason, some manufacturers add a velour or suede top to provide a softer more comfortable feel. These soft tops ensure that you don’t just slide off the mattress when you are sound asleep. Some of the toppers are included in the mattress design, but you can buy a soft top separately, if you have a mattress with bare PVC.
While some of the features are important, some are added to make your experience better. A built-in LED light can be a great addition especially at night when you want to move around without switching to the main lights. Other air mattresses will have USB ports for charging and sensors that assist in the automatic control of air pressure as you sleep.
When an air mattress is used and stored for a long time, it may develop some air leaks. Although repair patches are available in stores that deal with home goods or camping equipment, there are some brands that will include the patches that are designed to seal the leaks.
When you are looking for your ideal mattress, you should think about how high you want the mattress to be. Keep in mind, that the more air there is between you and the ground, the more comfortable you will be. Thicker mattresses are comfortable but this is not always the case depending on the features it has.
The height of the mattress.
When it comes to the height of inflatable air mattresses, the thicker it is, the more comfortable and enjoyable it will be. Although it is not always true, it is more suitable when there is more air space between you & and the ground. A thicker and high air mattress also makes you feel like you are sleeping on a real mattress because it is easier and quicker to get up.
The size of the air bed.
Air beds have the same sizes of conventional beds. They come as full, twin, king, and queen. There are only certain slight differences when it comes to the mattresses’ dimensions. You must understand that the edges of most air beds are less supportive than the conventional mattress, so if you are still debating on the right size to go for, it is advisable to go for larger size.
About 75% of owners describe comfort, pressure point relief, and support to be good or better. The rest say their mattress is uncomfortable due to an inability to hold air or due to excessive firmness. Some owners add a topper to improve comfort.
Size of Bed
Who will be using the bed? Your kids probably don’t need a King size bed. And if it’s just for occasional guests then a Queen size would be fine. However, anyone considering using one for an extended period of time may well want the comfort and space that a King size bed offers.
Low Profile or Raised Bed
Again, this boils down to who will be using the bed. Elderly persons or anyone overweight or with hip or knee issues may well find that getting up from a low profile bed is uncomfortable or difficult. Plus a raised air-mattress feels more like sleeping in a ‘real’ bed. In you are looking for an air mattress for everyday use then this is the type you want to consider buying.
There again, if you enjoy the Japanese style of sleeping – on the floor and with no bed-frame, or plan to use the bed for young kids, then a low profile mattress is ideal. This type is also the best for camping or outdoor use. Now you know what type will suit your requirements, check out our T op Best Air Mattresses for 201
These are all from well-known American brands. All offer affordable quality. Simply choose the right one according to your own preferences and requirements.
Insta-Bed EZ Queen Air Mattress.
Never flat technology enhances comfort than in any other air-mattress on the market today. It begins with a touch and ends with a touch. When deflated, just zip it up and roll. This easy top live with, comfortable queen size bed maintains air pressure and has a consistent inflation. The Never Flat air pump technology, which consists of primary and secondary pumps, makes sure the bed inflates properly and quickly every time.
The strong frame gives the mattress a real sturdy feeling. This makes it much better than floor standing air beds. Once you throw a bed sheet over the top, you will barely notice a difference between this mattress and a real bed. Except that it’s certainly more comfortable than a real bed. 🙂
Intex Pillow Rest Classic Airbed
Intex breaks onto the list yet again with this classic airbed option. While this is only a single height mattress, don’t think that this means that they skimped out on the features by any means.
Features and Benefits gle Height – While this might be a drawback to some, single height beds are lighter and faster to inflate.
Selectable Sizes – Having a choice is nice, and there are different sizes of this Intex mattress that you can choose from: twin, full and queen.
Built-In Pillow – Save yourself some space when you pack by taking advantage of the built in pillow feature of this air mattress.
Built-In Pump – Don’t fight with an external pump ever again! Just plug in the built-in electric pump and have your bed ready for sleep in just a few minutes.
Verdict: While this might not be the best option for everyone who is looking for a quality air mattress for their upcoming camping excursions, this is much more lightweight than other options and it is able to get inflated in only a few minutes. This is a great option if you can easily get that low to the ground.
Want to see what a quality single height airbed looks like? Have a look here:
Insta-Bed Raised Air Mattress
Nearing the top of the list, Insta-Bed has offered up a product that has a lot of people talking all over the primary retail locations online. With countless reviews, there is nary a bad thing to be said about this mattress, so let’s take a look at why that is.
Intex Deluxe Pillow Rest Raised Airbed
While you are not always going to need a fully raised bed when you are out camping, it does feel nice to be a little off the ground than the traditional single height bed will offer. Intex has a nice in between height with their Pillow Rest product.
The Dream Series mattress is certainly no exception.
This particular mattress offers their patented ComfortCoil, which not only acts as a wonderful barrier between you and the ground but also offers a bed that will stay inflated and firm throughout the night.
The double height should put you at or just below what you would normally sleep back at home.
Durability is always an important factor for an air mattress.
The SoundAsleep Dream Series is resistant to moisture issues while the thick flocked top provides a comfortable sleeping surface.
The material is multi layered and resistant to most punctures.
The included pump is capable of inflating the mattress in about four minutes flat, which is great considering no one wants to stand around and wait for a mattress to inflate itself.
When your camping trip is over, simply deflate your air mattress and put it away in its very own carry bag.
The only drawback about this particular mattress seems to be due to the pump noise- it can be a little loud than what most accustomed to, but no worse than running a vacuum in your home.
The ComfortCoil technology offers great support and comfort throughout the night.
The material is immune to most punctures and is a durable/waterproof type material.
The flocked design up top will help keep your bedding in place, but the lack of a lip on this mattress makes it nearly impossible for sheets to get a grip.
Not this one.
The SoundAsleep Camping Series mattress is the perfect alternative to throwing your regular mattress into the car for camping.
Everything from sharp objects that can potentially puncture the mattress, to the unpredictable weather elements.
The SoundAsleep Camping Series Air mattress differs from the rest of the air mattresses in this lineup with its extra thick and puncture resistant material.
The Flocked top is not only waterproof, it also helps keep your bedding where it belongs- on your bed.
Included with this air mattress is an external rechargeable electric pump.
This mattress combines durability and comfort in a lightweight package.
Included with the mattress is a rechargeable electric pump- which definitely sets it apart from the rest of the competitors in this lineup.
The customer service is fantastic
The SureGrip material on the bottom helps keep the air mattress stationary.
The flocked top will ensure your bedding stays in place while resisting moisture build up.
Some air mattresses suffer from stretching due to weak PVC materials
Choosing a Camping Air Mattress
When people go camping, they generally fall into two different categories: those who can sleep on the ground and those who cannot. For those who cannot do, they teach. Since I find myself in the no-can-sleep-on-the-ground camp, I hope to share my knowledge of comfy air mattresses with likeminded campers. Here are some general points to look for in a camping air mattress.
Electric Pump vs. Hand or Foot Pump
It might seem like a no-brainer to go with the electric pump because it does all the work for you. You must consider how far you have to walk to your destination. Obviously most people will drive most of the way, but if you have a mile hike to your campsite it would be best not to have an electric pump.
Just as a quick note when you go shopping for pumps, websites will refer to a pump as having a DC or AC plug in. This refers to whether it plugs into the car or into the wall. AC is for a wall outlet and DC is adapted for a 12-volt car outlet.
If you’re browsing our website, we offer two electric pumps: the Intex Quick High PSI Indoor/outdoor Pump AC/DC and the Intex Quick-Fill Outdoor Electric Pump DC. Both pumps offer three different nozzles to adapt to any air mattress.
We also offer hand pumps and one foot pump. Our Intex 1inch Bellows Foot Air Pump works to inflate and deflate your air mattress, and might be preferable if you have back problems so you don’t have to bend over. Both hand pumps inflate on the fore and back strokes to make inflation much quicker.
Narrowing Down the Camping Brands
The most well-known camping brand has to be Coleman, since they sell other products related to camping. While the beds they make are great and suited for camping, there are other brands that also offer camping air mattresses.
Technological innovations have made it possible for you to ditch your old spring mattress for a newer option that will come in handy when you have guests over and even during a camping trip.
Air beds have been slowly gaining popularity for being a cheaper alternative for achieving a good night’s rest without having to make a dent in your wallet. Keep reading for an in depth look at how air beds function and are the perfect mattress
Air Bed Comfort Vs. Regular Extra Bed Comfort
If you plan on using an air bed as your primary mattress for in-home use, it’s guaranteed to provide more support than a regular memory foam and spring mattress because you have the option to customize the air bed to your sleeping standards.
Typically when you buy a spring or memory foam mattress, you need to specify the mattress firmness type, which ranges from a scale of to One on the scale would be a tough bed while ten would be an incredibly soft one. Your sleep position typically dictates the mattress firmness you should decide on.
On What To Pay Attention When Choosing Your Air Bed
Before buying the air mattress thing about few things when choosing the right one:
When buying an air bed, you need to make sure you’re choosing the right size for you to sleep comfortably on. For those who are sharing an air mattress with a partner, you should take into account your partner sleeping on the bed as well.
Before you decide on an air bed, you are required to specify its weight capacity, so you’ll know if it can hold either solely your weight or both you and your partner’s weight combined.
Whether it’s for in-home or outdoor purposes, an air bed can be used in any environment. You can take it on a backpacking trip so you can sleep underneath the stars in ultimate comfort, or you can easily inflate it to fit your car’s back seat, so you can take a quick snooze while you’re on a road trip.
An air bed is convenient to have at home in case you need an extra bed for when family members come to visit during the holidays. For those who live in an apartment, having a guest room is rare, so an air bed will function perfectly as a guest bed since you can set it up in the living room and allow your guest to enjoy a good night’s rest.
Air beds consist of slightly different materials than memory foam mattresses, but some brands do combine elements from memory foam mattresses to create a highly comfortable air bed.
Most air beds have a quilted top that makes up the bed’s exterior, and it functions to protect the air bladder from getting any holes. The air bladder is responsible for trapping the air, which is responsible for allowing the air bed to achieve its shape.
The air bladder of an air bed is typically made of plastic, but the quality of the plastic depends on the brand you choose. Some manufacturers use more eco-friendly plastics while others utilize cheap plastic alternatives.
You’ll notice that the most common material used to manufacture air beds is Polyvinyl Chloride or PVC. For those who are unfamiliar with polyvinyl chloride, the material is relatively cheap and readily available, which explains the low cost of air beds made of PVC.
PVC Equals Waterproof
The PVC material used allows an air bed to be completely waterproof, which makes maintaining and cleaning an air bed a simple process. All you need is a damp yet soft piece of cloth to clean your air bed effectively.
More importantly, the PVC is responsible for an air bed’s ability to not soak in any liquid. In case you accidentally spill your drink on an air bed, you don’t have to worry since it will slide right off, which makes an air bed an ideal mattress for everyday use.
You also have the PVC to thank for in regards to your air bed’s versatility since the material gives the air bed a lightweight and portable quality that attracts most buyers. This makes air beds perfect for camping trips since you’ll want to minimize your weight load for such an adventure.
Built In Pump
There are two pump options in regards to air beds so that you can choose between an external pump or an internal one.
Built in pumps gives the user the ultimate control of adjusting the firmness level of the air bed with just the twist of a knob. These pumps are either powered by electricity or batteries, and you can expect your air bed to inflate at much faster rates when compared to an external pump.
Raised Air Bed
For those who want an air bed to mimic the design of a traditional mattress closely, a raised air bed will suffice for your sleeping requirements. The raised air bed is specially designed to keep you as far away from the floor as possible, but it will take up a significant amount of space which makes storing it a hassle.
Low Profile Air Bed
A low profile air bed doesn’t inflate as high as a raised air bed, so you should expect to sleep close to the floor. These air beds cost less and can be easily stored away for future use. In fact, these air beds are ideal for camping trips since it deflates in seconds and you can easily roll it up and pack it into your backpack.
Deflates and inflates easily
Inflating the mattress is simply especially with those that have built-in pumps and takes a maximum of minutes to inflate fully. Besides, some pumps are very difficult to use. Therefore, you have to confirm the ease of use for the pump. Furthermore, one with simple dial controls is better.
Long time air retention
It is a fact that any airbed would deflate at some point in time due to the weight of the one sleeping and the change in temperature. However, the best airbed should deflate at a slow rate so that it does not go flat overnight. Having known that, it is advisable to always have an emergency pump ready just in case the mattress gets deflated in the midst of the night. The best ones should be able to withstand the weight without deflating the whole night or just deflate by 5% in 1hours.
LOPEZ Self-drive Travel Air Mattress
FBSport Car Travel Inflatable Mattress Air Bed Camping Universal SUV Back Seat Couch
Winterial Back Seat Inflatable Car Camping Travel Mattress / Car Mattress / Camp / Travel
Ancheer Inflatable Car Mattress Car Mobile Cushion Travel Air Bed Camping Car Back Seat Extended Mattress with Air Pump, Repair Pad, Glue Kits
Pinty Car SUV Travel Inflatable Mattress Air Cushion Backseat Camping Rest Sleep w/ Pillow
Opar Car Travel Inflatable Mattress Inflatable Bed Camping Back Seat Extended Mattress with 2
OnlyTM Car Mobile Cushion Air Bed Bedroom Inflation Travel Thicker Mattress Back Seat Extended Mattress
Opar Car Travel Inflatable Mattress Inflatable Bed Camping Back Seat Extended Mattress with Pillows for Parent-child or Lover
Specifications to Consider
The twin measures 74″ x 39″ x 18″ when inflated while the other three are 80″ x 60″ x 18″.
The queen, queen pillow top, queen headboard and twin have two pumps with the Never Flat pump mechanism.
For campers who don’t feel comfortable in sleeping bags.
For home and tent use.
You just need to read the reviews to know this is one of the best air mattress for camping products available. Based on customers review, the mattress hasn’t sagged even though had been using it extensively for a year. Some customers said that It is comfortable and they had the indication of how good it is. There are a few negative reviews, but most are positive.
The mattress looks like a standard twin except the materials have been specially chosen to withstand use in camping. With its internal pump the Intex is easy to use and can be used as effectively in your home as in any tent. Below is a list of its specs.
For couples who need a twin mattress.
For anyone who wants a dependable camping air mattress.
The mattress is a low cost but good quality air bed. The air bed is “phenomenal” and that pumping was an easy process. The Intex is comfortable and remains inflated. The consensus from the thousands of reviews posted is that the mattress offers good value for your money and lasts longer than other similar products. There are a few criticisms, but the feedback is mostly favorable.
Most of the customers like it’s quality clothes and air pump. They found it handy to use, can be easily inflated and deflated. Some people having more weight were afraid how it could support them. But they had found that it gave them not only a good support but also a great comfort.
Air mattress accessories
Intex Quick Fill 12v-DC Electric Air Pump: This quick fill can easily be fitted with your air mattress and can easily inflate airbed within a few minutes. A 12-volt power plug is available with it even to take charge from your battery.
Intex Quick-Fill AC Air pump 110-120 volt: It is a wonderful creation for indoors. A given adaptor along with nozzles makes this more flexible with many inflatable products.
Who we’re recommending this one for
We think this one will be perfect for you if you’re looking for the other bed to sleep on or want to make sure your guests are comfortable. This is probably not for the light traveler or camper but perfect for the more everyday user of this kind of bed. The Sound Asleep Dream series is certainly the best air mattress for everyday use. There is no doubt about that. We have gone through the best products available, and it keeps coming out on top for all the right reasons. You won’t regret purchasing it for your everyday use.
Who we’re recommending this mattress for
This is our “Best on a Budget” recommendation. People like it – as long as you don’t expect it to be the Sound Asleep Dream Series (our top recommendation for both top rated and best seller). It’s much lighter than other alternative options on the market – so if you’re not looking to haul out a large 20lb bed for every guest or you’re off on an adventure than this might just be right for you. We have reviewed a lot of products on this page, and that includes most of the best inflatable mattresses in the market, and you will enjoy what we have in store for you.
How to Shop for a Mattress
I assume you’re reading this guide because you decided you need a new mattress (and not because you’re just curious about what’s going on in the world of mattresses these days). Perhaps your current mattress is hurting you, or you wake up tired. Maybe you just want a bigger size. Maybe you’re moving and don’t want to lug your old mattress from place to place. Whichever is the case, my goal is to help you select the right mattress so you don’t make a mistake and so you don’t pay a penny more than you have to.
A mattress is perhaps the most important piece of furniture in your home. If you get the recommended hours of sleep per night, you will spend at least 1/3rd of your life in that mattress. That means if you keep that mattress for years (which is about the average), of those years will be spent on it. However, many of us don’t think about our mattresses and how it impacts our lives every day.
In this post, I will go over the basics on selecting the correct mattress. Elsewhere on the site, I will go into more detail on each of these topics and more, but this will be enough to get you started. choosing a mattress
If you can find a mattress that keeps you in proper alignment while not causing any pressure to your body, you’ve found a good mattress for you. There are some other minor factors to look for. They include motion transfer, edge support, and temperature.
Selecting the Right Mattress Store
Your first order of business will be to choose a store to shop at. Feel free to pick several to shop around at, especially if they’re near each other. There are several types of stores out there. I will give the pros and cons of each.
How to Test for Support in a Mattress
The most important factor in finding the correct mattress is proper support. You need the mattress to push up on your body to counteract your body weight. So that means get a hard, firm, stone-like mattress, right? Wrong.
Your body isn’t a straight line. Whether you sleep on your back, side, or stomach, your body has curves, and a mattress must come up to support the curves and arches of your body (similar to how a good shoe will have arch support). Consider the image below to illustrate:
You’ll notice that the mattress dips down around her shoulders and hips, but her spine is in proper alignment. If the mattress were too hard, her hips would be pushed up and her shoulders would be pushed up, and her spine would not be straight. If you’re in this position for too long, you can wake up with a back ache.
Additionally, if you keep changing positions to try to keep your back in alignment, you’re not getting into the deeper stages of sleep, which causes you to wake up tired. The same exact consequences occur if a mattress is too soft, and you’re in it like a hammock. You want a mattress to contour to the shape of your body to hold it in its neutral alignment.
How to Test for Comfort in a Mattress
The second most important criteria to selecting the right mattress is comfort (or as you may hear it called, pressure relief). If a mattress is too hard, it can cause pressure to your body. This cuts off circulation and pinches nerves (ever wake up with a “pins and needles” feeling in your hand?), and will cause you to change positions frequently.
If you’re frequently changing positions, your sleep is fragmented and you don’t get into the deeper stages of sleep (such as REM sleep). This means you’ll wake up tired, even if you thought you got hours of sleep. When you’re trying out the mattress, you should be able to lie in one position without moving around for at least a few minutes. If you can do that, you’ve found a good mattress.
Those are the two main criteria. If you find a mattress that keeps you in proper alignment which doesn’t cause pressure to your body, you’ve found a great mattress for you. To help fine-tune it from there, there are a few other things to consider.
There are several other criteria that you can look for when searching for a mattress.
Motion & Separation: If you share your bed, you want to minimize motion transfer. If your partner gets in or out of bed, or changes positions, you run the risk of being woken up if the mattress transfers too much of that motion to your side of the bed. Try the mattress in the store with your partner, and have your partner switch positions while your back is turned to see how much motion you feel.
Temperature: Another issue some people have is heat retention of the mattress. Most good mattresses these days have features to help mitigate this (advanced foams, phase change materials, ventilation, etc). The biggest risk here is with cheap memory foam mattresses.
Edge Support: You want a strong edge support on your mattress, particularly if you sleep near the edge of the bed, or sit on the edge of the bed often. Most of the average or better innerspring mattresses use the upgraded foam encasement around the edge, but some of the very cheapest mattresses just use a steel rod on the side. Foam encasement is better. Memory foam mattresses don’t often have a separate edge support because of the nature of the foam (it’s designed to take the shape of your body, even when you’re just sitting on it).
The mattress shopping experience
Walking into a mattress store can be an intimidating experience. When you first walk in, you’re likely to see a sea of white rectangles and what you perceive to be a slimy, sharky, salesperson out to rip you off. You might be tempted to throw up your hand, say “I’m just looking,” and run out of the showroom and buy online.
Luckily, the real mattress shopping experience isn’t nearly as bad as I just made it sound, and in this section, you will be better prepared to know where to shop. In this section of the guide, I will walk you through the process of actually trying out the mattresses and selecting the right one, as well as give you some tips to get the best possible price.
Choosing a mattress store
Your first order of business will be to choose a store to shop at. Feel free to pick several to shop around at, especially if they’re near each other. There are several types of stores out there. I will give the pros and cons of each.
You can always buy a mattress online. There are dozens, if not hundreds, of sites you can choose from. You can even go to Craigslist and get somebody’s used mattress for free (eww).
Pros: You get to shop for a mattress without leaving your house, you can shop dozens of companies quickly, and you’re likely to find a low price. In fact, websites like US Mattress tend to have the lowest prices anywhere. There are also direct-to-consumer mattresses like Leesa, Nest Bedding, and Ghost Bed which sell good mattresses at reasonable prices.
Cons: You can’t try the mattress! This is a huge risk to take with your money and your health. In the previous section, I talked about testing the mattress for comfort and support. How can you make sure the mattress contours to your back and doesn’t cause pressure on your side unless you try it?
If you buy one online without testing it, be sure to get one with a free return policy. The aforementioned online stores Leesa, Nest, and Tomorrow Sleep are popular options for this. The free return policy completely negates the only con of buying online.
In fact, if all of this seems like a bit much, it would not be a mistake to just buy a Leesa, try it out, and if you don’t like it just send it back and iterate from there.
Another exception: If you try a mattress in person, you can buy the same or similar model online if you can do the comparison shopping. In fact, this is the strategy I recommend in my mattress negotiation guide. (Read more about buying a mattress online here)
Like department stores, furniture stores will also often have a section dedicated to mattresses. This is sensible, since a mattress is a piece of furniture.
Pros: It is convenient to have a whole bedroom set and a new mattress delivered at once. Sometimes they’ll give you a very low price on a mattress if you’re buying an entire bedroom set.
Cons: The salespeople aren’t usually specialized specifically on mattresses (though this varies by store). The selection is usually a little smaller than a mattress specialty store (but again, this varies)
In the store
Alright, so you’ve selected a few stores to go to and you’ve checked out some online mattress stores to get a general lay of the land. Next, you need to set aside some time to properly try the mattresses. This is not a purchase that should be made over a lunch break or in a few minutes. Set aside an afternoon to go mattress shopping. Expect to spend up to an hour or so in a mattress store trying mattresses.
Next, you walk into a store, gaze upon the sea of white rectangles and are approached by a salesperson. What do you do?
The biggest thing to realize is that the salesperson is there to help you. Most salespeople I work with genuinely want to help you find the right mattress. The slimy “used car salesman” stereotype is somewhat uncommon (though not unheard of) in the mattress business. Just give him or her a chance to help you. Most of the better stores will have a process in place to help find the right mattress. But the key is to take the time to try the mattresses.
Once you’ve narrowed down which mattresses offer the proper support and relieve the most pressure, it’s important to spend some time on that mattress to make sure it works for you. If you’re having trouble deciding between two mattresses, spend several minutes on each one.
Whichever you can spend longer in one position on without tossing and turning is likely the better mattress.
Try it on your back, try it on your side. Remember to check for proper support and comfort.
How to negotiate for mattresses
I have a mattress negotiation guide, so read that for an in-depth treatment of this topic. I will just summarize here.
The prices of mattresses are negotiable at most retailers and on most brands. In mattress shopping, the general strategy is to play one retailer off of another. Most places have a price guarantee. So if you get a quote from one place, you can take it to a competitor and have them beat the price. Take that price to another competitor and get an even lower price. You can also look up the mattress online (like at US Mattress) and get the retailer to match the online price. This is the easiest, least painful way to negotiate on mattresses.
If you don’t have time to go back and forth between retailers, online prices are usually the best as long as you are good at comparison shopping. So you can find the mattress that works best for you, and then just buy the comparable model online.
Even though the specific model names will usually differ, a Platinum Luxury Plush at one retailer will be virtually identical to a Platinum Luxury Plush at another retailer.
There are two basic categories of mattress.
Innerspring. These are the traditional mattresses with springs (or coils if you prefer). They can be all tied together or individually wrapped
Specialty foam. These will usually be made of different types of foam. Two categories of specialty foam are latex and memory foam.
Beyond these two major categories, you’ll find a few other types of mattresses. Some manufacturers make air mattresses, that use air chambers instead of coils for the support. Also, there are still some waterbeds around, in which water is used for the support. I honestly don’t know as much about these two categories of mattresses, and they make up a small part of the mattress industry, so I won’t go into them here. The biggest air mattress manufacturer is Select Comfort with their Sleep Number bed. There are several small waterbed manufacturers.
Most mattresses you’re likely to run into are the “innerspring” type. They have metal coils inside of the mattress with foams and fibers on the top.
The lower priced mattresses tend to use the older style coil in which they’re all tied together. The hourglass-shaped ones are called “Bonnell” coils, but other manufacturers have stronger variations on that type (like the “offset” coil and the “continuous” coil). These are generally a little less expensive than the individually wrapped coil, but don’t contour as well and transfer more motion.
On the left are Sealy “classic” coils that are all tied together. On the right are the higher end individually wrapped coils.
The better innerspring mattresses will use individually wrapped coils. This type of coil allows the mattress to contour to your body from the coil level, which give better support and causes less pressure. Additionally, wrapped coils are better at separating motion from side to side on the bed. So if one person bounces around or changes positions, the partner will not feel it as much. The downside? They’re usually more expensive.
The foams above the coils will have varying densities. You can get a mattress with firmer foams on the top or softer foams on the top. Some will be in the style of a “pillowtop” (which means the manufacturer sewed an extra cord around the side of the mattress to indicate it has a good amount of foam).
Don’t pay too much attention to the exact title of the mattress. One company’s “cushion firm” might be similar to another company’s “luxury firm” or even a “plush.” Just spend some time on each mattress and check for comfort and support, regardless of what the mattress is called or whether or not it’s technically a “pillowtop.”
How much to spend
The mattress industry does itself a disservice by advertising like this, because that’s usually the absolute rock bottom as far as price and quality go.
I’ll give a breakdown of what you can expect at each price range. This will vary by retailer and by region. If you live in the northeast, the prices will be towards the higher end, if you are in the middle of nowhere, the prices might be a little less. Additionally, these prices are for queen sized mattress and boxspring sets. Subtract ~100-300 for the boxspring, or multiply by ~50% for a king. (Note: These are what I consider the “real” prices for the mattresses, when they’re on sale. Retail prices might be much higher)
A Solid Guarantee
Air mattresses do not last very long. The most decent one can last from anywhere over a year to around four years with either occasional or regular use. As such, the mattress should have a solid backing from the manufacturer which comes by offering at least year warranty against defects.
Although this is a subjective matter, an air bed provides more comfort than a couch, a sleeping bag, or even a floor mat in a tent. The support comes in that since you can’t take a comfy foam bed, you’ll feel better on an air mattress. You also get to customize the comfort level by adjusting the air level of the mattress by the touch of a button.
Inflates in Under Four Minutes
With the patented one-click internal pump, you have a bed that inflates and deflates at a moment’s notice. It makes it a great option for guests since you won’t have any trouble topping it up. Many people notice that it reaches the desired firmness level after pumping to the highest level. It comes with simple dials which make it easy to choose the firmness. This is unlike the Insta-Bed Air Mattress which offers one firmness level owing to the two never flat pumps. •
Apart from the soft velvety top, it is waterproof meaning it won’t absorb any water when you take it camping. It enjoys a sure grip bottom which also comes to prevent it from shifting and sliding when you turn. It has a construction from multiple layers of PVC to keep it in good condition in that it won’t puncture and crack when used regularly. •
Can flatten under high pressure from heavyweight
WonderSleep Classic Series with Dream Coil Supporting Technology Review (9.4/10)
Now we look at the second mattress on our list. It’s not by any means less in terms of quality and design. It qualifies as the top pick regarding the support and structure. It is intended for indoor use just like other air mattresses that feature rubber seams. The unique thing about the WonderSleep Classic Series Airbed is the Dream Coil Technology.
True to size
The WonderSleep airbed comes in a queen size. You’ll find that the dimensions stated on the manufacturer’s website are accurate since some inches are not slashed from the sides. It inflates to 20 inches above the floor. This height is just perfect when getting in and out of bed. It’s not as short as the Lightspeed Outdoors bed making it great for guests who need a comfortable bed. •
Inflates using a powerful rotary pump
If you don’t want to stand over a mattress as it pumps; grab the WonderSleep air mattress. Its rotary pump is so powerful that in less than minutes, it’s all puffy and ready. The same speed is seen when deflating the bed. It collapses to a size small enough to be rolled into a storage bag.
It loses its structure when used outdoors
As we said, this bed is built for the indoors. The seams have a rubber construction which means if they are subjected to very high temperatures it will become loose. This is where you notice sagging and loss of air at fast speeds than if you just used it indoors. •
The pump is loud
The rotary pump comes with the power and unwarranted noise when inflating the bed. As one user noted, the pump produces a whistle like sound. Some people find it distracting, but if you don’t mind it, you’ll end up with a product that offers convenience and support.
Powerful Built-in Pump
When the SoundAsleep could inflate in four minutes, this bed can inflate in three minutes. You could say it’s because it’s a twin size but the mattress will save you time and effort to inflate and deflate it. Since the internal pump is electric, it eliminates the need for using a foot or hand pump. This way, you’ll not risk losing any of the adapters that are used in subsequent top-ups. •
Right Height for a Twin Bed
This mattress is 16.5-inch high. It may be in a twin size, but it provides comfortable getting in and out of bed. You’ll like that someone can sit on it like on a regular bed such that you can wear shoes without bending awkwardly. If you are not afraid to sacrifice the few inches to get a quality airbed, the Intex Pillow presents a great choice. •
Cons of this mat •
Bypassing the Electric pump is not straightforward
If you wish to use this mattress off the grid, the bed needs another type of external pump for inflation. You’ll have to follow the instructions about bypassing the electric pump and ensure you have a hose that fits into the hole used for manual inflation. •
Inbuilt Pillow does not provide custom firmness
Some people prefer a soft pillow while others like a hard pillow. With the Intex design, you’ll have to make do with a pillow that has the same firmness level as the bed.
Intex Comfort Plush Dura-Beam Elevated Airbed Queen Size Review (8.9/10)
The making of this bed is by thousands of polyester fibers. They provide support, stability, and comfort. You’ll be thankful that it is leak proof so that it stays inflated for long hours on end. The fibers keep the bed together such that no matter the pressure you exert, it retains its firmness. You’ll love that it includes a soft flocked top with indented sides. It follows the Intex Pillow Raised Airbed which ensures any fitted sheets do not slide away from the edges. The Intex Comfort Plush also has horizontal air chambers to enhance the support system of the bed. It can support a good 600 lbs. without giving in to pressure. •
Quick to Inflate
The 2inches of this mattress come to life using an inbuilt electric pump. It inflates this mattress in 4½ minutes. This is not a short time, but you won’t spend any unnecessary time trying to puff it up for use. If you are tired of looking for parts of an electric pump or using an energy-intensive foot or hand pump, get the Intex Comfort Plush.
Just plug in the pump in a 110-120 V outlet to start the inflation. The inflation dial also doubles up as a method of pumping without an electric pump. With a manual hose pump, you can still get the bed puffed up and ready for use when out in the woods. Deflating is also very convenient by the touch of a button. •
Easy to Care and Maintain
When it comes to maintaining the Intex Comfort Plush in good condition, you will work on a mattress that requires mild cleaning. This bed only needs a soap solution and water to get it all clean and ready for use. Since it stretches wide after the first inflation, it will need some topping up after you first inflate it. The bed holds air for extended periods before asking for a refill. • Saves you Money
Even with the many high-quality features like a thick vinyl construction, this airbed manages to come at a very affordable price. You will not notice the air loss as it is very minimal. You’ll get to use a mattress that is easy to climb in and out of, thereby providing convenient firmness. For most people not having to inflate an airbed several times when used regularly is a plus which the Intex Comfort Plush delivers.
It takes long to deflate
When the Intex Comfort plush takes only 4½ minutes to inflates, it takes around minutes to deflate; even then, sometimes it does not lie flat after collapsing. Some users have had to jump on the mattress to get all the air out. However, it collapses to the size that fits into the available carry bag.
Two Internal Pumps
If you like a firm bed every second of your sleep, the Insta-Bed offers that specific support. It comes with two pumps where one of the devices is intended for inflating and deflating the mattress. It gets it up and ready in less than four minutes. The second pump maintains the firmness level of the bed. It ensures the mattress does not loose air when too much pressure is applied. As you can tell, you won’t be able to choose the firmness like you would with the SoundAsleep Dream Series. •
The flocked top enjoys a soft surface to lay the body. It provides with the feeling of a regular bed since the sheets do not produce a squishy sound when you toss. You can enjoy a peaceful night as the mattress does not remind you of being on a plastic surface. It keeps the bedding in place. Just ensure they are larger than standard Queen sheets since the bed’s dimensions do not match a conventional queen bed. You’ll also need a large tent if you wish to take it out for camping.
Why we liked it
Most people buy an airbed for guests since it stores compactly. But when you need to take it for camping, the pump is somewhat a problem. The Lightspeed Outdoors mattress aims at providing a bed that you can bring absolutely anywhere. It uses a battery-operated pump such that you won’t need to be in a place with an electrical outlet to use the bed. •
Weighing in only lbs. when inflated, you can already tell you’ll not feel the weight when it is folded. The bed provides a convenience of carriage such that everyone in the family can carry it. We only have a problem with the full height. At only 10.inches, most people find it difficult when climbing in and out of it. If you don’t mind the height, it pays off because the price is attractive and it has a 1-year warranty. •
Offers Ample Support
The LightSpeed Outdoors mattress has an integrated 2-inch pillow. It is unlike what you see on the Intex Pillow Raised bed since the firmness is adjustable. It has a way of customizing the whole feeling of the mattress so that the head and neck are fully supported. It uses tuft at the base to ensure it stays intact and that it will not slip when placed on a soft surface. • It’s Clean and Fresh
This mattress explores a TPU construction. Other air beds like the Intex model all use PVC for the frame. TPU, on the other hand, is stretch resistant, and it does not retain an odor. As such, it does not need airing, and you can sleep directly on the top surface. It is free of any plastic smell caused by PVC and phthalate. The bed is suitable for both the elderly and young who might be affected by foreign chemical odors.
It’s slightly smaller than a Queen Bed
If you are buying the mattress because of the Queen size, well, you are in for a bit of a surprise. This is because the bed is slightly smaller than the standard queen. It is a good fit for two small adults or one heavy-weight person. More than that and it will feel like sleeping in a squeezed bed. An exact queen size is the SoundAsleep which is also in the same price range.
Coleman Premium Queen Size Double Support Rest Airbed Review (8.2/10)
Why we consider this mattress as one of the best air mattress?
Coleman is best known for their outdoor products. They never disappoint since their airbed is a product we feel meets the threshold of a good air mattress. First, it is at a reasonable price. No additional features come with it, so we expect it to be all-around in terms of support, comfort, weight, and durability. •
High Inflated Dimensions
The height of this bed stands at 1inches. From the look of it, the bed seems to be on a platform. You can climb in and out of it like a regular bed. Plus it has very little air loss if any throughout the night. Some users report that the bed stretched too much after the first inflation so it may lose some noticeable air after some hours. As such you should refill the bed just before bedtime to prevent sagging. •
Convenient Electric Pump and a Double Lock
Coleman uses an internal electric pump. After plugging in, the bed is ready within four minutes. It’s just like the SoundAsleep. The only difference is that Coleman uses a double lock valve to ensure the mattress stays inflated. You can choose a comfort level to get a personalized firmness. That is if you want it hard it can inflate fully, or you can adjust the settings to a softer feel. Another impressive feature of the pump is that it can be battery-operated. This means you don’t need to be around an electric outlet to pump the mattress. •
It is not for use outdoors
This bed comes with rubber seams. They are affected by temperature changes which may cause them to open and create structure deformation. It is outstanding for use in rooms with normal temperature so that the bed stays in perfect condition.
Air Mattress King Size Raised Inflatable Bed Review (7.9/10)
Exceptional Back Support
Even though this bed does not qualify for many regular uses, it assures you of constant back support. That is; when you take it for travel, you’ll receive the same comfort your home bed provides. It also excels in retaining the firmness level as it is built from laminated vinyl. It is stretch resistant. Thus, the bed does not lose much strength over time. The laminated vinyl construction is the reason why this mattress can support 600 lbs. with no fuss. •
Loses air at a higher rate than other air beds when used regularly
For those that love to sleep on a soft mattress, this mattress seems exceptional. But after many regular uses, it will lose some of the air in the night making it softer to most peoples’ liking. Another hitch is in that the bed becomes super hard when it is fully inflated.
Starts to lose the air fast after using it for more than just occasional use
Queen Raised Airbed Intex with Pillow Rest
The air mattress comes with a built-in electric pump with the high-powered system for easy inflation and deflation in approximately minutes, offering hassle-free set-up and storage. Designed with the waterproof double-layered wave beam construction, the bed is not just durable but a comfortable sleep alternative.
Insta-Bed EZ Air Mattress Queen
Fully equipped with the Never Flat patented system, the built-in pump inflates the bed while maintaining a silent operation along with the fast and efficient deflation technology that deflates the bed for storage in just minutes.
Insta-Bed Never Flat Pump Raised Pillow Top Air Mattress
Inflate the bed without too much fuss with the Never Flat pump system that maintains the air pressure and helps you monitor the firmness and comfort level of the air mattress to achieve your desired surface. The quality materials keep the bed water resistant and withstand punctures and any damages.
Intex Raised Airbed with Built-In Electric Pump
The inflatable twin airbed comes with a built-in electric pump with waterproof top and formidable construction to withstand pressure and weight over a long period of time. The added comfort comes from the built-in pillows while the high-powered pump inflates and deflates the bed in seconds.
As a Temporary Guest Bed
The ideal choice for this particular purpose is a smaller sized twin or queen bed which can be used for sleepovers or temporary sleeping arrangements such as when you have guests coming to visit and will be staying overnight. Air beds are compact and flexible to use while ensuring comfortable sleep and an alternative to sleeping on a sofa or couch, making this mattress type an excellent choice for guest bed solutions that could last even a lifetime with careful maintenance and storage.
In SUVs and Cars
Inflatable mattresses are perfect for road trips or if you don’t want to sleep in hotels with inflatable car beds that are specifically designed for this particular scenario and purpose. Getting a sound sleep right in the back of your vehicle is possible with air beds that are easy to inflate and come with custom stands or have their own inflated feet designs located at the rear foot-wells and offer edge support when fully inflated.
Air Mattress Brand Gossips
There are top picks when it comes to the best air mattresses available on the market today, each brand offering various features and pros and cons. Some of the most common and popular names you will encounter in this mattress niche include Dream Series by SoundAsleep, the neverFLAT model by Serta, Insta Bed’s Never Flat, ALPS Mountaineering Rechargeable air beds, Intex Comfort Plush, Pillow Rest Intex, AeroBed Classic, the Camping Series by SoundAsleep, Inflatable Couch Bed by Intex, Insta EZ Bed Queen, and Coleman Air Bed.
Who should get this
If you need a mattress for guests or for yourself (say, if you just moved into a new place), an air mattress is likely the most comfortable option. You could get a futon, camping pad, or folding cot, but an air mattress has the advantage of offering the height and surface area of a real bed and working with your regular sheets, along with storing down into a relatively small package.
An air mattress, no matter how expensive or well made, is not meant to replace a real mattress. It won’t withstand nightly use over a long period of time (and many companies specify that if you use the mattress as your primary bed, you’ll void the warranty). An air mattress should be reserved for occasional use, or even up to a week or two, at a time.
How we picked and tested
We looked for air mattresses that were tall enough to climb onto easily and that could take the wear and tear of a few years of occasional use.
We first tested air mattresses in 201for our guide to the best gear for small apartments, and we did another round of research and testing for this year’s update. After reading user reviews and assessing our own experiences sleeping on air mattresses, we settled on a few criteria that make an air mattress good for home use:
A built-in electric pump. These pumps allow for the fastest and fullest inflation and deflation, and an attached pump means you don’t have to store (and locate) an extra item. Some air mattresses have battery-powered or manual pumps so they can be used while camping, but you shouldn’t choose this if you’re only using the mattress indoors, where you’ll never be far from an outlet. And as we describe in our guide to the best camping mats, air mattresses aren’t a great choice for camping, anyway.
A relatively comfortable sleeping surface. An air mattress will never be as comfortable as a real mattress. But it should hold air and not noticeably deflate during the night (it’s normal to need to “top up” the mattress before each subsequent night’s sleep). You should be able to easily adjust the firmness to your liking, and it shouldn’t rustle or jiggle too much once you lie down on it. We’ve found that the most comfortable air mattresses are around 1inches high. This is the approximate height of a mattress set on a box spring on the floor, and makes it easier to climb in and out of.
An air mattress from a company that offers a warranty against manufacturing defects in the pump and mattress, along with responsive customer service, will stand out over similar models.
Our testing protocol was simple: We slept on each mattress for one or two nights. (In some cases, we tested the twin-size version of the mattress, with a single 150-pound sleeper; in others, we tried the queen size with two sleepers collectively weighing 280 pounds.) We evaluated how comfortable the mattress felt, whether it noticeably lost air and sank during the night, and how easy it was to inflate and then deflate for storage.
The SoundAsleep Dream Series mattress inflates quickly, is tall enough to easily climb onto, and it’s also pretty comfortable to sleep on (for an air mattress!).
The SoundAsleep inflates fully in under four minutes, which was not the fastest of the mattresses we tested, but not an inordinate wait by any means. We preferred its simple dial controls to those of mattresses with firmness settings (like the Insta-Bed Raised Mattress with NeverFlat Pump), because this gave us more control over filling and deflating the mattress to the desired firmness. The SoundAsleep’s pump also deflates the mattress quickly and the mattress comes with a woven nylon storage bag, packing down to about 1by 1by 1inches.
Fully inflated, the queen-size SoundAsleep is 1inches tall—roughly the height of the average sofa seat.
The queen-size SoundAsleep inflates to 1inches high (1inches for the twin), which is comparable to a mattress resting on a box spring on the floor. This makes it much easier to get in and out of bed compared with lower air mattresses, some of which are only a foot high. We had no problems getting our queen-size fitted sheets to grip the mattress snugly, even though the queen-size SoundAsleep measures 5by 7inches (slightly smaller than a standard queen-size mattress). Like the other mattresses we tested, the SoundAsleep is made from PVC with a flocked, velvety fabric top, which keeps the sheets from slipping around and provides a homier feel than a plastic-topped air mattress would.
The SoundAsleep didn’t noticeably lose air or sink during the night (unlike at least one other mattress we tried). In fact, it even stayed comfortably firm over two consecutive nights, without needing to be topped up. The twin size was comfortable for a 150-pound single sleeper, and the queen was comfortable for a couple collectively weighing 280 pounds. As with all air mattresses, there was some creaking and jiggling, which is more noticeable with two sleepers on a larger mattress. And like all air mattresses, the SoundAsleep feels nothing like a real mattress, though the addition of a foam topper or mattress pad would add extra cushion and insulation. But everyone slept comfortably through the night, and no one reported soreness or back pain in the morning.
The SoundAsleep packs down to about 1by 1by 1inches and fits into a woven nylon storage bag.
We like the simple inflate and deflate controls on the SoundAsleep better than mattresses with pumps that only allow for preset fill levels.
The flocked top on the SoundAsleep helps keep a fitted sheet from slipping.
The SoundAsleep comes with a one-year warranty, which is the longest warranty of the mattresses we considered. If your mattress springs a leak, the inner inflation coils fail, or the pump breaks within the first year, SoundAsleep will either repair or replace your mattress. When we called SoundAsleep to ask about how its warranty works, it said that you may simply have to send a photo of your mattress, or mail the item back, depending on the nature of the defect, how long you’ve owned it, and how often you used the mattress. In most cases, SoundAsleep told us, the customer would not be responsible for shipping charges.
We have evidence that SoundAsleep may go above and beyond the terms of its warranty to keep its customers happy. Wirecutter editor Harry Sawyers’s SoundAsleep mattress developed a leak around the pump after 1months of use, and SoundAsleep agreed to repair the mattress free of charge, even though it was out of warranty.
Long-term test notes
For the past year, a couple of Wirecutter staffers have used two separate SoundAsleep Dream Series mattresses for occasional guest bedding. They’ve been mostly happy with the mattresses. I, Courtney Schley, author of this guide, have used my mattress five to six times over the past year, and haven’t noticed any change in performance; it still doesn’t lose any air or sink during the night.
Senior editor Harry Sawyers said he likes that the storage bag is big enough to actually accommodate the folded mattress. But he said that the pump is very loud and that there’s a bit of guesswork to figuring out how much to inflate the mattress. “I almost always under inflate, thinking it’s full enough,” he says.
One tip to avoid this issue is to fill the mattress all the way up, and then release air slowly until you reach the desired firmness. The company says it’ll take about four and a half minutes to reach the maximum fill level; after this, the motor will keep running but air won’t go into the mattress, so you don’t have to worry about it overinflating or popping. Nonetheless, it’s important not to leave the motor running unattended, as it can overheat.
Care and maintenance
According to SoundAsleep, you can clean your air mattress with water and a mild soap solution and let it air dry.
SoundAsleep says the PVC material of the mattress may stretch slightly after the first time you inflate it, and you may need to top it up with air about an hour after you first fill it up.
The various manufacturers of mattresses we tested say not to store the air mattress in areas with high temperature fluctuations or humidity, as this can stress the materials. That may mean that you won’t want to store your air mattress in an unfinished basement or garage.
The air mattresses we tested all come with patching kits to repair small holes that may develop. Here are instructions for locating and patching leaks.
It’s important not to let the motor run for more than six minutes or so. As we note above, the mattress fully inflates in about four minutes; after this, the motor will keep running but no more air will go into the mattress. After about six and half minutes, the motor will automatically shut off to avoid overheating, and it won’t turn back on for about an hour while it cools down. The company says that running the motor longer can damage it.
We tested the Insta-Bed Raised Mattress with NeverFlat Pump, which is virtually identical to the SoundAsleep but with a different pump system. Instead of a simple inflate-deflate pump, the Insta-Bed with NeverFlat Pump automatically inflates to preset fill levels: plush, medium and firm. We think the presets may be nice for some people, but others will want the ability to customize the exact firmness level they desire. The Insta-Bed also has a secondary NeverFlat pump that will kick on if the mattress loses air during the night to refill to your desired firmness setting. The pump makes a subtle buzzing noise in standby mode, which our tester found annoying (although you can unplug the pump). The extra pump also means extra seams, creating another potential area for leakage.
We wanted to love the Intex Dura-Beam Series, which inflates to a lofty 2inches and currently costs about half as much as the SoundAsleep. The Intex’s pump was powerful, filling the mattress to full firmness in less than four minutes. But when we tested the queen size with two sleepers, it was noticeably less firm in the morning, enough that one tester said his back felt a bit sore in the morning due to the lack of support. We tested it for a second night with a single sleeper, and once again it significantly leaked during the night, feeling wobbly and unstable by morning. Also troubling is Intex’s short warranty, which guarantees the product for only 90 days. We don’t think this is long enough for most people to detect failures with the mattress, because an air mattress is used only occasionally.
We also tried the Intex Pillow Rest, which has a raised area at the head of the mattress meant to support a pillow. We tested it in the twin size, but it is only 16.inches tall. Our tester didn’t like the elevated pillow area, and having a designated top of the bed could make it awkward to position it relative to your nearest outlet. Like the other Intex mattress, it comes with only a 90-day warranty.
We didn’t test the AeroBed Premier, because it costs significantly more than the SoundAsleep but didn’t appear to offer anything extra that would justify the higher price.
We eliminated another expensive model from AeroBed that has a built-in foam topper. Because air mattresses last only a few years at best, you should invest in a separate foam topper or mattress pad that you can use with multiple mattresses.
We eliminated another half dozen mattresses because they were too expensive, had unnecessary extra features like metal frames, bedskirts, or remote controls; high numbers of suspicious reviews, or no warranty or customer service number.
First of all thanks for reading my article to the end! I hope you find my reviews listed here useful and that it allows you to make a proper comparison of what is best to fit your needs and budget. Don’t be afraid to try more than one product if your first pick doesn’t do the trick.
Most important, have fun and choose your Air Mattresses wisely! Good luck!
So, TOP3 of Air Mattresses
- №1 — Etekcity Upgraded Air Mattress Blow Up Elevated Raised Bed Inflatable Airbed with Built-in Electric Pump
- №2 — SoundAsleep Dream Series Air Mattress with ComfortCoil Technology & Internal High Capacity Pump
- №3 — Intex Comfort Plush Elevated Dura-Beam Airbed with Built-in Electric Pump