Home Health & Fitness Best Air Mattresses to Buy in 2018

Best Air Mattresses to Buy in 2018

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Air beds used to be a fast-track ticket to a sleepless night and sore back the following day. Not so nowadays, with decent ones sending you swiftly off into the land of nod. Whether you want one for camping, sleepovers or just for the rellies staying over once in a while, our guide will help you find the right one for your needs.

If you’re after a high-performance option for serious camping trips, you’ll probably want an air mat, in which case consider whether it’s self-inflatable or you have to blow it up yourself. Check the sizing too – some are on the narrow side – and how small and light it is to carry during the day. If it’s for kids, there are dedicated air beds available, that are well worth checking out. And for adults in the home environment, remember bigger usually means better – and that’s not just width, but height, with some now as tall as regular beds, with similar comfort levels.

You could be looking for an affordable option for your home or apartment. After all, ‘regular’ mattresses are quite expensive, where you can easily have one of these for a couple hundred bucks or less.

Or, you may be looking for one because you are going out camping, having guests over to the house, or you want to have something to pack away in your car for a long road trip. Whatever the case, you want to be sure that you wind up purchasing the right blow up bed for your needs.

Consider how fast and easy it is to inflate and deflate, as well as how robust it is – you don’t want one that works wonders for a few nights, then punctures, leaving your guests waking up on a cold, stone floor. Above all, check it’s comfortable. Every air bed claims to be snug and relaxing, but many are anything but. The best ones are well crafted with high quality air chambers and top layers consisting of the likes of memory foam, as well as allowing you to adjust the firmness or softness of the mattress. As with any mattress, you ultimately want one that supports your body, while providing enough “give” to conform to your natural shapes and curves.

General Info

Also commonly referred to as an air bed or sleeping pad, they are literally a PVC blow up mattress which is filled with air instead of memory foam, latex or springs. They could be low profile, raised (also known as double high), or placed on a stand. Some even come with legs. There are different ways of inflating them but usually its with an electrical powered pump or something similar. They generally tend to have a higher owner satisfaction than an innerspring, but not quite as high as latex or memory foam. Some people prefer to sleep on air mattresses because of the advantages they have such as adjustable comfort levels which is great for back pain relief. Also both sides of the bed can be customized to different levels of firm or soft which is great for those who share but have different preferences.

ALPS Mountaineering camping mattress

An inflatable mattress can come in all different sizes, ranging from the smallest Twin size all the way up to King. Unlike a heavy innerspring or memory foam, the portability of adjustable air beds means many different scenarios where they could be used, and so makes it one of the most appealing selling points. You can easily blow up and leave it to be used as a permanent bed for you and your partner, or it could be deflated and packed away ready to be used as a guest bed. Alternatively, if you buy a sleeping pad you can use it for camping trips which easily fit inside your tent instead of using a sleeping bag on a hard surface. The flexibility and affordable prices make air mattresses as a whole very popular household items in many countries across the globe.

Common Places Of Usage

Before you buy it’s best to decide why you need one how you’ll use it:

– As a Main Bed (Permanent)

Although air mattresses are generally portable, you can use them as permanent beds which aren’t packed away in storage but are left out for every night use. They tend to be more expensive than the smaller low-profile guest beds and sleeping pads, and are available in large sizes such as Queen and King. Some already come on their own raised platform, or can be placed on a purpose built separate stand.

– As a Guest Bed (Temporary)

A smaller Twin or Queen size can be ideal for temporary usage, whether you’re taking it to a sleepover, or whether people are coming to visit, the flexibility and compact-ability means comfortable sleep instead of a hard floor or uncomfortable sofa. Nowadays for just a small chunk of change you can buy air mattresses which serve as perfect guest bed solutions. One of these can last a lifetime, and is easily packed away in the closet when not in use.

– In a Car or SUV

Have you ever had to sleep in your car? Maybe you’re planning a road trip and don’t want to pay the hotel costs every night. Well, you’re in luck; an inflatable car bed is a great way of getting sound sleep in the back of your car. They come with custom stands or are shaped with inflated feet that sit in the rear foot-wells which support the edges when fully inflated. The snug fit maximizes back seat surface space to make room for the blow up mattress which is plenty suffice for a good nights sleep.

– Used For Backpacking or Camping

It’s almost obvious that you’ll take some kind of sleeping equipment when you’re out camping. Previously most people would have used a sleeping bag, but now there are comfier and affordable alternatives in the form of a camping mattress (also known as camping pad or sleeping pad). You can easily fit a Twin size inside a tent and when you’re done in the morning it can be rolled up and left in the trunk or backpack.

The Best Air Mattress Reviews Of 2018

Best Overall: SoundAsleep Dream Series Comfort Coil

  • ON SALE TODAY: The SoundAsleep Dream Series Comfort Coil air mattress beats its competition pretty handily when it comes to reviewer enthusiasm because it gets just about everything right: Comfort, ease of use, and durability are all unparalleled, users say. This double-high mattress comes in both queen and twin sizes, and the queen boasts 40 internal air coils to bolster support. Inflated, it is 19 inches high.

    Reviewers praise the SoundAsleep mattress for several reasons, but one of the major pros was the fact that it doesnt’t leak air or sink overnight, a common problem with air beds. They also like the one-click dial inflation, which allows more control over how firm or soft the mattress ends up. Owners echo this praise, saying the built-in pump is convenient and makes it easy to put up and take down the bed. Many say the SoundAsleep has lasted longer than other air mattresses they’ve tried, and they say the waterproof flocked top helps keep sheets from slipping. Other features include integrated cord storage, a non-skid bottom and a carrying bag. The mattress is backed by a one-year warranty, and queen weight capacity is 500 pounds.

  • Runner-Up, Best Overall: Insta-Bed Raised Air Mattress

    If you prefer a lower-profile air mattress, the double-high Insta-Bed Raised Air Mattress is a bit shorter—18 inches to the SoundAsleep’s 19 inches—but owners are also enthusiastic about its comfort and features. There are also more options with the Insta-Bed: It comes in twinqueen, and queen pillow-top versions.

    The Insta-Bed has “Never Flat” technology that uses a secondary pump to fight sagging and maintain even pressure throughout the night, and most users agree that it does thateffectively. It also has a flocked top similar to the SoundAsleep’s that keeps sheets from sliding quite so much. Reviewers particularly like the easy-to-use inflation pump, which has three pre-set firmness settings and an automatic shut-off. The queen bed has 35 coils to the SoundAsleep’s 40. It also has a one-year warranty, and the queen holds up to 500 pounds.

  • Best Budget: Intex Classic Downy Airbed

    Buyers who are on a tight budget or only need an airbed for occasional use will want to check out the Intex Classic Downy Airbed, which is just a fraction of the cost of more fully featured air mattresses. It’s just shy of 9 inches tall, so like most budget air mattresses, it might not be the best pick for users who have trouble bending over or who simply don’t want to sleep close to the floor. The bed comes in twin, full, and queen sizes.

    The Intex Classic Downy Airbed has a waterproof flocked top that users say is comfortable and keeps sheets from slipping. They particularly recommend the bed for short-term use or kids who don’t need as much support. They also like the extra-wide valve, which is compatible with most air pumps, though some wish that the pump was included—at this price point, you’ll need your own. The mattress gets mixed reviews for durability: Some say it has lasted a long time and far outperforms its low price, while others say they had problems with leaks almost immediately. Note that there is no warranty on this mattress. Weight capacity for the queen is 600 pounds.

    Coleman Airbed Cot – Camping & Backpacking

    Buy on Amazon

    The needs for an air bed when camping or backpacking are significantly different than when setting it up in your home. When camping, your priorities are going to be a compact sizeoverall light weight, and ease of use.

    You will probably be willing to sacrifice a bit of comfort for these characteristics since you will only be spending a few nights on it. This option comes from the respected brand Coleman, and it includes a cot for sleeping up off of the cold, hard ground. The frame can support up to 600 pounds, and there are even two side tables.

    There are plenty of great reviews for this Coleman product, which isn’t a surprise given the reputation that Coleman has in the camping market.

    Most feel that this is a comfortable option for sleeping while camping, and the included pump is appreciated as opposed to manually filling with air as usual while in the wilderness. One complaint that you will find relates to the weight of the frame, as some buyers feel it is a little too heavy. If that is not an issue for you, however, you should be pleased with this product overall.

  • Best High-End: Insta-Bed EZ Bed Air Mattress

    The double-high Insta-Bed EZ Bed Air Mattress is a good middle ground for buyers who are looking for the feel of a real mattress set without making that kind of investment. That’s because the 48-coil EZ Bed comes with a frame that gives it the feel of a real bed, boosting sleepers 22 inches off the ground, but it still packs away as conveniently as most other air beds. The EZ Bed comes only in queen size.

    Like the Insta-Bed Raised Air Mattress above, the EZ Bed also comes with the secondary“Never Flat” pump that monitors air levels throughout the night, adjusting as necessary. There are three firmness settings, and the flocked top helps keep sheets snug and secure. Owners particularly like not having to stoop down to get in bed, and some say it’s so comfortable that they even forget they’re on an air mattress. They also say setup is easy, despite the addition of the frame—you simply unzip the unit from its case, plug in the included pump, and watch it inflate. The storage case has wheels to ease moving the bed around, but a few reviewers caution that it does take up more storage room than a typical air mattress. The EZ Bed has a one-year warranty. Weight capacity is 500 pounds.

    Sleep Restoration Inflatable Mattress

    Buy on Amazon

    The inflatable mattress by Sleep Restoration has been taking the market by storm in recent months. Not just a comfy air mattress for guest usage, but also an extremely satisfactory Queen size bed for those who would like to use on a more permanent basis for regular nightly slumber. It claims to be puncture-resistant and has a flocked top coil system for extra comfort which evenly distributes weight across the thick mattress once it is inflated by the built-in pump. What we love about Sleep Restoration is the confidence in their product by offering a 30-day satisfaction guarantee, which with traditional mattresses is quite common but not so much with air mattresses.

    Intex Classic Downy Air Bed With 2 Pillows

    Buy on Amazon

    Intex Classic Downy Air Bed Set with 2 Pillows and Double Quick Hand PumpWeighing only 1.76 lbs, yet capable of supporting up to 600 lbs of weight, the Intex Classic Downy comes available in a low lying Queen size (8.75 inches from the floor) and allows a snug fit for your fitted sheets. The multipurpose model can be used both indoors or outdoors; it fits easily into most tents and can be folded compactly when finished. It comes with two inflatable pillows and an external manual hand pump. The flocked top is a cozy surface which can also be cleaned very easily. Overall, it is probably considered in our opinion as the best air mattress for camping, but also has the luxury and elegance to be used in-home. We think you’d love boasting about this one; certainly a thumbs up from us.

  • Runner Up, Best High End: Serta Raised Air Mattress with Never Flat Pump

    If you’re in the market for a higher-end air mattress without a frame, this Serta with a quilted topper gets high marks from users. It comes in queen and twin sizes, and the removable topper helps eliminate that rubbery, clinical feel that most air mattresses have. There are also 35 built-in air coils to provide a more supportive feel.

    This Serta has a double-high mattress that puts users 18 inches off the floor – great for those who don’t want to stoop down too far – and a durable flocked top that is puncture- and water-resistant. The built-in pump takes only about four minutes to inflate the bed, and it automatically shuts off when it’s done. A secondary pump even monitors firmness throughout the night to prevent those uncomfortable air-mattress cave-ins. Most users say this mattress has provided many comfortable nights of sleep, but a few warn that their bed sprang a leak after tearing at a seam.

  • Best for Kids: Shrunks Inflatable Travel Bed

    Buyers who want a cheap, easy sleeping solution for their kids that’s more comfortable than a sleeping bag should consider the Shrunks Inflatable Travel Bed. At just 4.5 inches high, it will keep kids close to the ground, and built-in security rails make sure even the youngest, wildest sleepers don’t roll out at night. The bed is available in both toddler and twin sizes. The toddler beds are compatible with crib-size sheets.

    One of the Shrunks Inflatable Travel Bed’s advantages is its “sheet tuck” feature, which lets parents tuck their kids’ sheets and blankets below an inner mattress to make sure they don’t get tossed aside or dragged on the floor. A carrying bag and pump are included, and parents love how quickly and easily the bed inflates—it takes less than a minute. They also say their kids are plenty comfortable on the bed, though some say the out-of-the-package plastic-like smell can be overpowering at first. Weight capacity is 150 pounds for the toddler bed and 300 for the twin. The bed is covered by a two-year warranty.

  • Best for Camping: Lightspeed Outdoors Air Bed

    Weighing in at just 6 pounds, the Lightspeed Outdoors Air Bed isn’t too heavy to haul around while camping, and it folds up compactly. And at just 6 inches high, it won’t hog room in low-ceilinged campers, tents, or cars, users say. It is available in one size, which is 55 inches wide and 79 inches long—roughly an inch wider and a few inches longer than a standard full size. It comes in blue, green, and brown.

    While most air mattresses are made from PVC, the Lightspeed Outdoors Air Bed is made from thermoplastic polyurethane, or TPU. It is puncture-resistant like PVC but not as prone to stretching; many also consider it a “greener” material because it doesn’t degrade and release potentially harmful byproducts like PVC can. The two-way valve lets users adjust firmness to their liking, and the mattress comes with a battery-operated pump, though some users say the pump is a bit underpowered. Reviewers are mostly impressed with durability and comfort, especially for a thinner camping-style mattress. It comes with a one-year warranty, and weight capacity is 550 pounds.

    How to Choose An Air Bed

    • Types

    One of the first things to consider related to this purchase is what type you are going to buy. Blow up mattresses have come a long way since they were all just a thin layer of air which kept your body (barely) off of the ground. Today, there are numerous models on the market, each with their own advantages and disadvantages. Deciding which type to purchase comes down to the intended use of the product, and the budget you have available for the purchase.

    Many people are going to be looking for a raised mattress, as these are easier to get in and out of than one which sits low to the ground. Raised ones look quite similar to traditional mattresses once they are inflated, and they tend to be rather comfortable as well. Another option is a convertible air bed, which is one that can serve as a piece of furniture as well. This is great if you want somewhere comfortable to sit when you aren’t laying down to sleep. Self-inflatable ones have the pump built right into the product, which is a distinct advantage from a convenience standpoint. Finally, we have one with the frame and rails included that will act more like a permanent solution to your sleeping needs.

    • Comfort Level / Thickness

    Generally speaking, the comfort level offered by a good air mattress is going to be directly related to the thickness. A thicker one will usually be more comfortable than a thinner option, as you are going to have more air underneath you throughout the night. It is common lose some of their inflation overnight – especially if the night is cool – so starting out with a thick pad of air beneath your body is the best bet. With a thin mattress, it is possible to start the night somewhat comfortable, only to wake up with your body at least partially on the ground as it has deflated.

    Learn more about why blow up beds deflate.

    Another comfort point to be considered is the possibility of having a different material – such as memory foam. In this case, you are using the air in the mattress to support your body weight, but you get the added comfort of material like foam. These tend to be more expensive, but they do provide a comfortable night’s sleep in most cases.

    • Size

    Just like regular ones, inflatable beds are available in different sizes, generally ranging from Twin to King. Choosing the right sized is an important consideration and one that largely depends on your needs. Twin and Full sized beds tend to be an excellent choice for campers and single folks. Unless you have a family, there’s no reason you’re going to want a big bed for camping.

    The most common is the Queen size. It’s big enough to sleep two full adults but smaller than a King; it won’t take up your entire living room, or spare bedroom. Manufacturers make Queen sized more than any other, which gives the consumer many options to choose from. Don’t worry as our top picks are listed in this buyer’s guide.

    Lastly, there is the King size. If you’ve got the extra room and don’t mind paying more than what the Queen size will cost, the King is a great option. If you’re using it for guests, they will definitely be happy for the extra sleep space you gave them!

    • Pump / Ease of Use

    Inflating can be a difficult chore – or it can be quick and easy. A pump is incredibly convenient to have for these situations. Surprisingly, some models still require the use of a hand or foot pump, which demands that you put in some sweat and effort before you can lay down for the night.

    On the other hand, other mattresses come with inflating units that run electrically. Either through the use of batteries or by plugging the unit in, these make inflating your bed no problem at all.

    The most significant advantage to an automatic pump is the ability to add air back into your mattress during the night. If you wake up in the middle of the night to find that it is losing air, you can pump it back up with just the flip of a switch.

    This is a great convenience, and it may make the extra cost worth the investment in your mind. No one wants to manually re-inflate a bed in the middle of the night.

    • Air Holding Ability

    Naturally, this is a critical point (read more about the study). You don’t have to think about how well your spring mattress is going to hold up over the night, but you do need to concern yourself with this feature when it is only air between you and the ground.

    As was mentioned earlier, this is a point that is of particular concern when sleeping in a cold environment – such as outside while camping.

    If you are camping somewhere that the nighttime temperatures are going to drop significantly, you need to make sure your mattress is going to hold as much air as possible. Cold temperatures are going to cause the air to condense, meaning there won’t be as much left to support you in the morning as there was at night.

    While there isn’t much that you can do about cool temperatures, you can pick out one that is going to hold on to as much air as possible. If it has a leak or two, and you combine that problem with weather conditions, you will suddenly find yourself laying on the ground. Shop for quality products which have been well-built and designed to prevent leaks whenever possible.

    We put together a guide on how to fix a leak.

    • Warranty / Customer Service

    It is a nice bonus to buy one that comes with warranty protection of some kind. Or, at least, you should consider buying from a company which has a good reputation for reliable customer services. If something goes wrong, you don’t want to be all on your own to get it fixed and back to working order.

    This is especially important with a self-inflating mattress that has a motor to consider as part of the overall product.

    Of course, your coverage on these points is going to be directly related to the amount of money you invest. Buying an expensive one should return you some form of warranty protection, while you will likely be on your own if you purchase a cheap model.

    In the end, you need to think about what you want to get, and how long you would like it to last. Finding a product with a good warranty provides for peace of mind, but you can be sure that you will pay for this benefit in the purchase price.

    • Price

    It should go without saying that you are going to want to consider price along with all of the other points carefully. You are going to have to pay at least a couple hundred dollars to purchase one of more quality options. Or, you can opt for the inexpensive route, which will keep your cost way down but will also limit the comfort and features that you enjoy.

    In the end, it’s all about what you want this mattress to do for you.

    Just looking for something decent to set on the floor of your tent while out camping for a few days?

    You can probably save money by buying an affordable model from a respected brand. Need one that you can inflate in the guest room for a week while your family is in from out of town?

    Conclusion

    As always we struggled to choose just one of the 10 reviewed, so we’ll start by discussing the top two from our updated air mattress reviews for 2018.

    SoundAsleep Dream Series: The best air mattress of 2018

    The SoundAsleep Dream Series air mattress is the best rated among owners for comfort, build quality, back support and affordability. We agree and that’s why it receives a high rating. It would have rated 5 stars but because it requires a mains / electrical source for the pump it isn’t considered the best camping mattress, but great for indoor use.

    The Intex Classic Downy is an extremely popular product that serves a multipurpose design and has all the qualities and perks of the above, but additionally has the advantage of potentially being used as an outdoor mattress if you require. It can easily be inflated using the supplied hand pump, or you can buy a charger and use via a regular home outlet. The only thing we wish for was that it could be made available in smaller custom sizes like other sleeping pads.

    In short, no matter what your requirements there is a model out there to suit everyone. What we consider as positives or negatives may not be as relevant to your needs, but hopefully our mattress buying guide has given some insight as to what to look out for whilst making your decision.

    You may wish to purchase a nicer model that can provide them with a better night of sleep. Think about your own needs and then set a budget for the purchase that matches up with those requirements.

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