Having an air mattress in your bedroom means that you’re almost guaranteed good sleep every night. Not only are they extremely mobile, but they also provide great comfort and peace to your precious slumber. If you are tired from a hard day’s work, then you have the perfect thing to use for resting. Aside from that, there are lots of sleepers who are struggling with getting comfortable at night. Most of them aren’t satisfied with the comfort that their bed can provide, but fortunately, an inflatable air mattress is an available solution for people that are seeking the perfect level of customizable comfort, whether it’s for permanent, temporary, indoor or outdoor use. If you’re in the market for a new one, take a look at our roundup of our best air mattresses further below and choose one from the top 10 for sale in 2022.
Air Mattress Buying Guide
What Is An Air Mattress?
An air mattress is literally a low or slightly raised inflatable bed. Known by many other names such as an inflatable mattress, blow up bed, or air bed, they use adjustable pressure for support rather than the traditional spring, memory foam, or latex core. There are usually at least one or two chambers that run throughout the inner cavity, which allows the user to adjust the comfort that they need. It is ideal for people that seek different levels of support as they sleep. Some air mattresses which contain two chambers possess a dual technology that allows two people to adjust their side independently to whichever level of soft or firm they want. Kids love air mattresses too, as it introduces a slightly different experience, especially when traveling or having a sleepover.
Most are made from polyvinyl chloride or PVC; however, many manufacturers are continually looking for improved material to provide the most outstanding comfort and durability, and have come a long way since the invention some years ago. Most owners of some of the best air mattresses have only positive feedback to relay based on their purchases.
Why Should I Use An Air Mattress?
Ultimately all of us are looking for the utmost comfortable slumber as we lay at night. Not only those that are tired from work mentally and physically but also people with any kind of aches and pains are all hoping from added benefits of their purchase as they sleep. However, more specific to the above, some audiences and users would welcome an inflatable air mattress, which we review below:
For Outdoors and Camping
For outdoor activities, the choice selection of sleep surface is usually some kind of portable blow up mattress. Most campers use them due to the small, lightweight, and flexible nature, which forms the basis of this invention. Although sleepers are not in a cozy home bed while enjoying the great outdoors, they can still get good sleep on one of these so they can start their activity full of energy. There are specialized types of inflatable air mattress, which are made especially for outdoor activities. For example, a good choice for a portable air mattress would be a low profile (not raised), can be Twin or Full size, and would most likely have an external pump as opposed to a built-in pump. More on the different types of pumps later.
For Guests Or Traveling
Also known as a guest bed, the most significant thing about air mattresses is the flexible and compact nature in which they exist. In short, you can leave it deflated and packed away in a storage cupboard ready to use as a guest bed whenever your visitors arrive. If it’s an air mattress with built in pump, simply plug in and watch the bed take shape within minutes; some Queen size versions can become fully inflated within 4 minutes when using a mains operated pump. Once your guests leave, you can use the same pump to deflate and pack away again. Alternatively, smaller air beds such as the low profile types are even more mobile, which means if you plan to visit guests, you can take your bed along and inflate when required. This kind of flexibility is perfect for frequent travelers and students too.
Reduce Various Pains
An inflatable air mattress is also ideal for people with certain conditions such as fibromyalgia or sciatica. Due to the customizable support by way of inflating to make it firm, or deflate to soften, there is much-welcomed personalization for those who require pressure point relief.
Cheap Yet Effective
Everyone needs comfort as they sleep, but we also know that good quality comes with the expensive price. Some people can’t afford to have a top of the range luxury memory foam mattress in their bedroom. So, rather than buying a budget innerspring, which is the same price as a top of the range air bed, you’re better off with the latter. Even the best air bed comes in much cheaper than other mattress types; they have similar lifespans and provide more than adequate satisfaction for the money. Once the bedding is in place, its hardly noticeable whether there is a traditional or an inflatable mattress in place.
Maximize Floor Space
Lack of space is something that some of us have to deal with, and beds tend to take up the most floor space than any other piece of furniture. It’s not uncommon for parents to buy a kids air mattress and leave deflated during the day while the room is utilized as a play area, and then inflate before it’s time to sleep. Considering the best air mattress for everyday use on the market right now can be fully inflated via a mains outlet within 4 minutes, this isn’t a huge nightly effort and well worth the spacial benefits.
A super active bed partner can create tension at night. Buying the best air mattress within your budget will help a lot since the top rated models can isolate motion between the sleepers due to the dual chamber technology that they possess. An air mattress that features isolated chambers on both sides allows each person to isolate and adjust the level of their ideal firmness level. It’s not a big deal anymore if you don’t like the firmness level of your partner because you can adjust your side. You don’t need to argue with your partner regarding this issue. It can also be done easily. The level can be changed in just a single push of the button provided. And with that, it solves nighttime tension and helps you to avoid morning stress.
How To Choose An Air Mattress
When you’re choosing the best air mattress, there are some common features and characteristics which you should know about and compare against, which we have included in the buying guide below.
What Are The Different Air Mattress Pump Types?
One of the most common features or buzz words you’ll come across when choosing an inflatable mattress is the type of pump it comes with; 99% should come with at least one of the two major pump types, which is a built in pump, or an external battery pump. An air mattress with built-in pump is literally a device attached to the interior and controlled from the exterior, that plugs into the mains and when switched on it forces air into the chambers. The pump can also perform the opposite and will deflate too if required. While this type of contraption is usually fitted to the more expensive types, it’s undoubtedly worth paying the extra dollars in the long run.
These are common in the smaller and more mobile styles, such as the low profile or Twin size air mattress. External pumps fall into three categories, which are mains, battery, and manually operated. Mains operated are preferred and most powerful, but has it’s limitations when it comes to traveling. Battery operated is required for the likes of a camping mattress, which would typically plug into a car cigarette lighter and draw power for inflation.
A manual pump would often be hand or foot-powered, and is the cheapest and least desirable, though it can be effective in the great outdoors when battery power is unavailable. As you can imagine, requiring an external pump has a direct correlation on the price, so if you’re after a cheap air mattress, this is the type for you. Another thing to remember is that even if it requires an external pump, it may not come supplied and will require purchasing separately.
What Air Mattress Sizes Are There?
There are typically only two mattress sizes in the US that are widely available, which are the Twin and Queen size. A Twin is the smaller option measuring at approximately 38 inches wide by 75 inches long. The Queen size is the larger of the two, which measures about 60 inches wide by 80 inches long. Both variations are available in the low and raised designs.
Height is probably the most important deciding factor for some, as it greatly determines the size, weight, flexibility, and possible usage scenario. Neither is better or more popular than the other as they serve different purposes. For example, the first type we’ll mention is the raised air mattress or sometimes referred to as elevated. This is much taller (approx 18-22 inches) and resembles a traditional bed, therefore offers a great solution for home or permanent use, or a temporary guest bed. The raised is available in both Twin and Queen size options, and will often come with a built in pump.
The second type is known as a low style, which is much shorter in height (approx 6-10 inches). Most people will agree that for visiting friends or outdoor usage a low profile style is preferred due to the smaller, lighter, and flexible nature. However, these often require the use or purchase of an external pump.
It’s always good to have a decent warranty when you purchase anything, regardless of price. Consumers shouldn’t have to worry about being left in the lurch when their product fails or if it’s faulty out of the factory.
Most air mattresses will come with some form of warranty, ranging from 30-days up to about 1-year. This is especially important to check when you purchase an air mattress with built in pump. These are mechanical parts, and like anything mechanical it can fail. The same goes for any external pump that is supplied with your purchase.
Additionally, although leaks and defects are unlikely from a good quality airbed, you may experience these (among other build-related issues).
Our Favorite Air Mattress
Finding The Best Air Mattress
In order to find the best air mattress, we narrowed it from 26 blow up mattresses to only 10. We then validated and checked prices and availability for the selected products. As for research, we cross-checked references against 13 different sources which totalled 47 hours. Below are some of the criteria we evaluated:
- Mattress size and height
- Type of pump, if any
- Type of power source required, if at all
- Whether it’s for indoor or outdoor use
- Warranty period
- Any additional perks and features
Our Top 10 Picks
- SoundAsleep Dream Series – Editor’s Pick
- Insta-Bed Raised – High-Quality Pump
- King Koil – Best For Bad Back
- SoundAsleep Camping Series – Best Outdoor Option
- Lightspeed Outdoors 2-Person – Lightweight and Versatile
- Coleman SupportRest Elite – Best For Everyday Use
- Intex Comfort Plush Elevated Dura-Beam – Best For Heavy People
- Intex Raised Downy – Budget Option
- Serta Raised – Long Warranty
- AeroBed Air Mattress For Kids – Aged 4+
As you can see from our buying guide, there are numerous features and styles of an air mattress. Everything from size, height, and inflating options are a consideration when it comes to choosing one. The type you buy will ultimately depend on your own needs. All of the above selections are top picks and come highly recommended for the everyday consumer. Choosing the best inflatable mattress now depends on the shortlist you compose.
Please feel free to comment or email us for any further advice which we may have left out.
Helen is a passionate writer contributing her expertise in sleep science and wellness to our readers. With a background in psychology and a love for exploring the intricacies of a good night’s rest, she aims to help readers achieve improved sleep and overall well-being through her insightful articles.