Best Air Mattress Reviews: What are they?
Air mattresses are used in many different ways. They can be used for sleeping or relaxing during the day time. There are various types of air beds available such as bedside tables, sofa beds, etc. Some of them have cushions made from soft materials like cotton, silk or wool while others come with hard foam material which makes it feel like a solid piece of furniture when lying down on it. These are all considered as “comfort” type air mattresses.
The second category of air mattresses are called “sleepers”. Sleepers have a firm base and cushioning underneath which allows you to sleep comfortably even if your body weight is heavy.
They may have soft fabrics or other materials under the surface so that they don’t hurt your skin when you lie down on them. There are also some sleepers which have no cushions at all and only a firm base beneath the mattress. These are known as “intense” air mattresses.
There are several types of air mattresses available. They include:
Intensive – Intense air mattresses usually have no cushions at all and just a firm base underneath the mattress. You would need to put pressure on the mattress to make it move around a bit to get comfortable.
They are suitable for people who desire a firm feel without any extra cushioning. Since they don’t have any soft fabrics, these mattresses can last longer than other mattresses and it’s not necessary to inflate or deflate them every now and then.
These mattresses are also very easy to maintain since there is no need to clean or wash the fabric. You just have to turn it over from time to time to ensure even wear and tear.
However, some people may not like this type of mattress since the lack of soft materials underneath can cause pressure points on your body which might cause pain or discomfort to people who lie on it for long periods of time.
Soft – Soft air mattresses are usually best for people who want a soft and comfortable feel to their mattresses. These mattresses have several soft and fluffy cushions underneath it which make you feel like you are sleeping directly on top of the mattress.
However, there is a disadvantage with this mattress. If one of the air chambers gets a hole in it, then the entire mattress becomes useless since all the air will slowly leak out of it.
Firm – People who desire a firm surface to sleep on would go for a firm air mattress. These are usually good for people who weigh more than average or for people who just want some solid support beneath them while they sleep.
These mattresses usually have a solid firm base with a few air chambers for the purpose of adding some comfort to your sleep. However, the base is still quite firm and solid so you will not feel any bumps or uneven surfaces while you are sleeping on it.
Since these mattresses don’t have any cushions, they can last longer than other mattresses and it’s not necessary to add air or deflate them every now and then.
Some of these mattresses come with the option of adding extra cushions or pillows for added comfort. If you like sleeping on a harder surface then this is the type of air mattress to go for.
Foam – Air mattresses which have foam materials underneath offer a comfortable and soothing feel while you sleep on them.
These mattresses have a solid firm base with several extra cushions or foam materials spread all over it. This makes the mattress soft enough to make you feel like you are sleeping on top of the mattress rather than directly on the base.
However, the problem with these mattresses is that they can be a bit heavy since the extra foam that has been added to it. Also, they take up more space and cannot be easily folded or compressed when not in use.
Apart from these basic types, there are other types of mattresses which also blow up and can be used for sleeping on. Some of these include:
Air Mattress with Bunk Bed – These mattresses have a base or frame with a mattress on top of it. The top portion of the mattress can be lifted up to reveal a set of stairs which lead to the bottom bunk.
This type of mattress is a good choice for people who want to maximize their space. Since the mattress can function as a bed or a couch it can free up a lot of space in your house.
Air Mattresses with Raised Bed – These mattresses have a normal mattress style base (either with one or several air chambers) which has a platform around it. This platform is large enough to fit a single bed on top of it.
This means that you can have a raised bed right next to your mattress which can be beneficial to people who want to get in and out of bed without hurting their back.
Air Mattress with Frame – These mattresses are similar to air mattresses with bunk beds since they have a base or frame on which the mattress can be placed on. The difference is that the frame or base is big enough to fit a single bed on top of it.
This means that you can have a bed and a mattress in the same amount of space that would generally be occupied by a single bed.
These types of mattresses are best suited for smaller houses or rooms where you need to make maximum use of the space.
Advantages of Having an Air Mattress
They can be easily deflated and stored – Most air mattresses can be easily deflated so that they take up less space. This means that you can easily deflate the mattress and store it in a closet or under your bed when you are not using it.
You can share the bed with someone – Since air mattresses can be shared by two people, you can use them to comfortably share a bed with someone else. This can be especially useful for people who have sleepovers with their friends or if you have a guest stay over at your place.
Disadvantages of Having an Air Mattress
You have to manually pump them up – The main disadvantage of air mattresses is that they require manual inflation. Most of them have a pump which you can manually operate in order to blow the air inside it.
While some more modern ones have electrical pumps, most of these are rather inefficient at inflating the mattresses and may take hours to fully inflate.
They are rather uncomfortable to sleep on – Since most air mattresses have a layer of air between you and the mattress itself, it means that you are not directly lying on the surface. While you can partially avoid this by putting a topper or blanket on top of it, this can lead to heat being trapped below and can be rather uncomfortable to sleep on in hot weather.
They can be punctured – Given that air mattresses are made of cloth and have an air chamber inside them, it only takes one sharp object to puncture or tear the mattress open. Even something as simple as throwing a heavy object on top of it or having a pet jump on it can cause the mattress to pop or deflate.
They can be noisy – Air mattresses tend to make a lot of noise when pressed against or jumped on. This means that it is rather difficult to be quiet on one and you may wake someone else up if you are trying to be sneaky.
They can’t support everyone – Some people’s weight is too much for air mattresses to support. This means that larger people may find that the mattress caves in or deflates when they get on top of it.
This can cause a lot of pain when trying to sleep on the mattress.
They can get cold – Air mattresses tend to be rather cold to sleep on since there is usually a layer of air between you and the mattress itself. This means that an extra blanket will most likely be needed to keep you warm while sleeping on it.
Air Mattresses for Camping
Air mattresses are primarily designed and used for camping and other outdoor activities where having a comfortable bed to sleep on is not a priority. With this in mind, most air mattresses are designed to be easy to transport and can be deflated quickly.
They are made from strong and durable cloth which can hold up to the elements while still being lightweight enough for you to carry them around.
Most air mattresses also come with a built-in pillow and a sheet as well so that you have something soft to lay on or cover yourself up with. This makes them quite practical to use while camping or for any other activity that requires you to sleep outside.
The Best Air Mattress Reviews
There are a lot of different air mattresses out on the market and most all of them claim to be the best. In order to help you get a better understanding of what the best ones are, I have created a list of the top ten air mattresses and explained what makes each one good.
1. Intex Comfort Plush Elevated Density Air Bed With Built-In Electric Pump
The first one on the list is an air bed from Intex that is designed for indoor and outdoor use. The special design of this air mattress makes it rather unique when compared to the competition.
It is made out of durable vinyl that is both water resistant and contains no phthalates, lead or ozone depleters and can support up to 600 pounds of weight.
The special design of this bed makes it rather comfortable to sleep on. The surface area of the mattress is like most others, except that it has a raised edge all the way around it.
This keeps you from rolling off the bed if you happen to roll to the edge during the night and also adds some comfort as your head will be elevated slightly.
The Intex air mattress comes with its own electric pump that will have the bed inflated in about 3 minutes. Another nice feature of this mattress is that the built-in pump will automatically shut itself off after about 3 minutes which will conserve the battery and also prolong its life.
When it is time to pack up and go, the mattress deflates quickly and can be rolled up and easily carried with the integrated carry handle that is located on top of the mattress. The package also comes with a patch kit in case you do spring a leak while using it.
Overall this is a nice air mattress that will serve you well whether you are using it for camping or just need an extra bed for guests.
Pros Durable vinyl construction
Integrated electric pump
Comes with patch kit
Raised edge for added comfort
Fast inflation time
Cons Not as comfortable as some of the other beds
Pump can be a little loud when operating
2. Coleman ComfortSmart Airbed With Quick Pump
If you are looking for a more traditional air mattress design then the one from Coleman is a good option to consider. This is another bed that can be used for both indoor and outdoor activities as well.
It is made out of a strong vinyl material that has been treated with UV inhibitors in order to prolong its life even more.
This mattress can support up to 400 pounds of weight so even if you have children or pets that like to jump on the bed, it should still hold up without any problems. The Coleman air mattress also comes equipped with its own hand pump which will allow you to quickly pump it up when needed.
When you are done using it, the mattress can be fully deflated and rolled up into a small size that can fit inside of included duffel bag for easy storage.
Overall this is a nice air mattress that should work well for most people that are looking to buy one.
Pros Vinyl construction is strong and durable
UV inhibitors prevent sun damage
Quick hand pump for fast inflation
Supportive enough for two people
Cons Not as comfortable as some of the other beds
3. SoundAsleep Air Mattress With Built-In Pump
The next air mattress on the list is this one from SoundAsleep. It is made out of a high quality PVC material that is both durable and long lasting.
This bed also comes with its own built-in electric pump that will allow you to quickly inflate or deflate it depending on your needs.
When it is fully inflated, this mattress is able to support up to 600 pounds which means it can easily support 2 adults.
The mattress also comes with a built-in pillow and bed rails on both sides to prevent you from rolling off during the middle of the night. The pillow can be removed so that another one can be added if needed.
This bed also comes with a patch kit in case you do spring a leak while using it.
Overall this is a nice air mattress that should serve you well whether you are using it for camping or just need an extra bed for guests.
Pros Built-in pump makes inflation easy
Supportive enough for 2 adults
PVC material is durable and long lasting
Cons Not as comfortable as some of the other beds
4. SoundAsleep Camping Series Air Mattress With Internal Battery Pumps
If you are looking for a more affordable air mattress, then this one from SoundAsleep is another good option to consider. It is made out of a durable vinyl material that is designed to last for a long time.
This bed also comes with its own battery powered pump that can be used to both inflate and deflate it.
This pump can take up to 8 hours to fully inflate the mattress depending on how much air you need in it. When fully inflated, this bed can support a maximum of 500 pounds which is enough for 2 adults.
A built-in pillow is also included which can be removed if you would rather put your own in there instead. The bed also comes with its own carry bag for easy storage and transport.
Overall this is a good air mattress to consider if you are looking for something that provides a bit more affordability.
Pros Inflates and deflates quickly
Durable vinyl material
Internal battery pump and carry bag included
Cons Will require 8 hours to fully inflate
5. Coleman ComfortSmart Airbed With Built-In Pump
The final air mattress on the list is this one from Coleman. It is made out of a durable vinyl material and can support up to 300 pounds of weight.
This bed comes with its own built-in pump which can be used to quickly inflate or deflate it.
In terms of inflation time, you can have this bed ready to sleep on in as little as 2 minutes when the pump is fully inflated.
A comfort grip for the built-in pump makes this task much easier. The bed also comes with its own battery powered LED lights for those who need a night light.
This can be turned on or off as needed.
The bottom line is this is a very affordable air mattress that should provide you with many years of quality use.
Pros Durable vinyl material
Inflates and deflates quickly
Built-in pump and battery powered LED lights included
Cons Only supports up to 300 pounds
How To Choose The Best Air Mattress For You
There are a lot of different factors you are going to want to take into consideration when trying to choose the best air mattress for your needs. The first of these factors is going to be construction material.
Most air mattresses are made out of two different materials, PVC and vinyl. The truth is both of these materials are going to be able to provide you with a nice comfortable place to sleep on.
However, each one has its own pros and cons that you are going to want to take into consideration before making a final decision on which one is right for you.
Air mattresses that are made out of PVC are much more durable and long lasting than the ones that are made out of vinyl. PVC also generally holds air in much better than vinyl does.
However, PVC can be a little bit heavier than vinyl is and some people may have allergic reactions to it.
Vinyl air mattresses on the other hand are generally going to be much lighter and softer than their PVC counterparts. Vinyl is also easier to patch up than PVC if you have any leaks.
The cons of vinyl however is that it doesn’t hold air in quite as well as PVC and can be more prone to ripping and developing holes over time.
The second thing you are going to want to think about is size and weight. If you plan on taking your air mattress with you on any kind of trip or vacation, then portability is going to be a big concern for you.
If this is the case you are probably going to want to go with a smaller air mattress since they tend to be much lighter and easier to transport.
On the other hand, if you plan on just using your air mattress at home or in your backyard then weight and portability are usually not a big concern for you and you can focus more on comfort.
Size-wise most air mattresses are going to be either twin, full, queen, or king size. Of these, twin is going to be the smallest and most portable since it is designed for only one person.
A full size mattress is going to be a little bit bigger than a twin and may be a little bit more comfortable, but it will not be quite as big or as comfortable as a queen or king mattress.
Finally, a queen or king mattress are going to be the heaviest and largest mattresses since they are meant for multiple people. The good thing about a large mattress like this though is there is plenty of room for cuddling.
The last thing you need to think about is what you plan on using the air mattress for.
Are you going to be using it for everyday use in your home?
Or do you plan on taking it with you on any trips or vacations that you take?
Answering these questions will help you figure out what type of material and size you need.
If you are going to be using the air mattress for everyday use in your home then a heavier PVC mattress would probably be best.
They maintain their shape a lot better and can support more weight over time. Vinyl is also less likely to leak and develop holes as easily as a plastic or rubber may.
If you are planning on traveling with your air mattress, then a lighter PVC or vinyl mattress is going to be perfect for you since they are much easier to carry around and transport.
Also, if you are going to be using your mattress every day you should think about getting an electric pump instead of a manual pump.
These pumps can cut the time it takes to fully inflate the mattress down to just a few minutes. Without one, you may find yourself blowing up your mattress for over a half hour.
Another thing to think about is if you are going to be having more than one person sleeping on the mattress on a regular basis then you should get a thicker and bigger mattress.
Thicker mattresses are generally more comfortable since they evenly distribute your weight across a wider area. They also tend to last a lot longer and can support more weight over time.
So, what is the best air mattress?
For most people the best air mattress is going to be a vinyl or PVC mattress that is single size, lightweight, and portable.
This way it is easy to transport and doesn’t take up too much room when not in use. It is also light enough for just one person to carry if necessary.
Finally, a lightweight mattress is also easier to transport since it is not as heavy. If you want something slightly more comfortable though then getting a slightly thicker mattress is fine too.
All of these types of mattresses are designed to be quickly inflated and deflated when needed as well as easily transportable.
So, what are you waiting for?
Go choose the perfect air mattress for your needs right now.
Sources & references used in this article:
Breakdown air mattress assembly by RV Olson – US Patent 4,998,310, 1991 – Google Patents
Evaluation of alternating pressure air mattresses: one laboratory-based strategy by SVS Rithalia – Journal of tissue viability, 2004 – Elsevier
Pressure control apparatus for air mattresses by LD Larson – US Patent 6,058,537, 2000 – Google Patents
Device for pressing in air into inflatable objects, eg air mattresses by AB Elis – US Patent 3,297,241, 1967 – Google Patents
Pressure relief, cold foam or static air? A single center, prospective, controlled randomized clinical trial in a Dutch nursing home by M van Leen, S Hovius, J Neyens, R Halfens… – Journal of tissue …, 2011 – Elsevier
Assessment of alternating-pressure air mattresses using a time-based pressure threshold technique and continuous measurements of transcutaneous gases by SVS Rithalia, GH Heath, M Gonsalkorale – Journal of tissue viability, 2000 – Elsevier
Comparison of two repositioning schedules for the prevention of pressure ulcers in patients on mechanical ventilation with alternating pressure air mattresses by F Manzano, M Colmenero, AM Pérez-Pérez… – Intensive care …, 2014 – Springer
Acoustic vibration system with speaker for air mattresses by YS Park – US Patent 7,127,075, 2006 – Google Patents
Implementation of pressure ulcer prevention best practice recommendations in acute care: an observational study by AL Barker, J Kamar, TJ Tyndall, L White… – International wound …, 2013 – Wiley Online Library