How Makes The Best Air Mattress

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Best air beds – the best air mattresses for comfy camping and snug sleepovers

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The best air mattresses to accommodate guests or make camping more comfortable

You might be quick to dismiss air beds as being synonymous with a terrible night’s sleep. However, we’re here to tell you that there are some innovative air beds available that offer true comfort. Air beds are also super portable and storable. Most fold down into a compact size that can be easily stashed under a bed or in the attic or car boot.

Finding the right air bed for you depends on how you are planning to use it. If the in-laws or older relatives are coming to stay, you will want something sturdy, and the bigger the better. Many air mattresses offer a raised height, similar to a regular bed. Guests will find these much more supportive and easier to climb in and out of.

However, if you’re a serious camper your air mattress criteria will differ. You will want something that is easy to carry, light and quick to inflate without the need of a power source. For kids’ sleepovers you could probably make do with a basic single air mattress or mat. To avoid any faffing around with extra bedding, look for air beds that come with pillows built in, or even sleeping bags.

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Best air beds

1. Aerobed platinum raised airbed – best air bed for comfort

Impress your guests with this raised height air bed that looks and feels like a real divan. Inflation is a piece of cake and it can go from flat to fat in under 3 minutes and vice versa. The pump is built-in – you simply plug it in and press play. A slight downside is having to keep your finger on the button while the mattress inflates.

Once pumped up, it does resemble a full-size bed so make sure you can leave enough space to walk around it. Make use of the valance and fitted sheet included – you will want to dress to impress with this superior air mattress. If your guests aren’t happy with the level of firmness, it can be easily adjusted with a simple inflate/deflate switch.

The air mattress pump is quite noisy, so bear this in mind if you’re setting up camp once everyone else in the house has gone to bed. If your budget will stretch, this is a top-of-the-range model which we found to be more comfortable than your average sofa bed.

Ideal Home’s rating: 5 out of 5

2. Coleman Maxi Comfort Bed – best double air bed for couples

Prefer a softer or firmer mattress to your partner? This air mattress may be for you, because of its dual chambers. Using the dual-controls you can inflate or deflate your own side of the bed to suit your needs. This means no more compromising on comfort – or rolling into the middle of the bed and waking each other up. Made from strong PVC this air mattress is robust and virtually puncture resistant.

It also features an airtight double lock valve system which locks in air two ways. This means it is almost leak-proof. You will need a separate pump to inflate it but Coleman offer a good range depending on your usage. Choose from battery powered, rechargeable, mains operated or one you can connect to your car cigarette lighter socket. That will also come in handy for pumping up beach toys and other inflatables if you take it camping.

This is an extremely comfortable air bed for two and the velvety finish means you can lie straight on it – no sheets required.

Ideal Home’s rating: 4 out of 5

3. Junior Deluxe Readybed – best air bed for kid’s sleepovers

This all-in-one sleep solution fills a gap in the market. It’s an inflatable bed but with an integrated sleeping bag. Keep this stashed away in the attic or under the bed, ready for kids’ sleepovers or staying with relatives. It’s the perfect air mattress for introducing your little one to family camping trips, with bedding one less thing to pack!

This air bed comes with its own battery powered pump and it inflates­­ within a matter of seconds. Note, batteries aren’t included. It’s recommended that you stop pumping when it’s slightly under-inflated, for greater comfort. The mattress is deep and very comfortable. The built in sleeping bag is made from a soft cotton which you can easily detach and wash in the machine.

To deflate you simply remove the cap and squeeze the air out as you roll it up. Readybed air mattresses are available in four different sizes for all the family, with this one suitable from 3 years up.

Ideal Home’s Rating: 4.5 out of 5

4. Vango Airhead double flocked airbed – best air bed for tall people

At 210cm this extra long air mattress will keep most feet from slipping off the bottom. It also comes with an inflatable head board so you can sit up in bed to read or enjoy your morning cuppa. This added feature makes the double air mattress easier to hunker down on at night. It feels more like a proper bed, which for the price tag, isn’t bad going.

This is a sturdy yet supportive air mattress thanks to it’s coil beam construction. The flocked finish gives it a cosy touch and prevents sleeping bag slippage. Overall, this is a good budget air bed that feels comfortable and holds it shape well. It should stay inflated for a few days before needing a top-up. It’s a great air mattress for couples – or you can stretch out and enjoy it all to yourself.

Ideal Home’s rating: 4 out of 5

5. Dreamboat 12cm, XL – best air bed for camping

Start saving now as this is one of the most advanced self-inflating mats we could find. It is super light, weighing only 3kg and is extremely supportive and comfortable, thanks to it’s 12cm depth. It is also very generous for a single air mattress with a 77cm width. Made from ultra-touch stretch polyester these mats are built to last. They are also slip-resistant, guaranteeing a secure night’s sleep on uneven ground.

To inflate the mat, you simply open the two flat valves at one end and roll out the mat, then sit back and watch. The foam will expand and self inflated within two to five minutes depending on how long it had been rolled up. We’d suggest you always allow longer for first time use.

Another plus side is the fast-fit bags they come in. Forget about having to wrestle with your air mattress to squeeze it back into a drawstring bag. The Outwell bags have a simple split down one side so you can open it up wide, pop in the rolled-up mat then wrap the bag around to fit. We were really impressed with this, and thought it would come in useful if we were trying to pack up a tent in the rain.

Overall this is a very impressive self inflating mat and definitely worth the investment if you’re a keen camper. It’s deep profile with ergonomic shaping is second to none. Indeed, once you’ve spent a night on it you may not want to try anything else. Just don’t let your fellow campers know how comfortable it is!

Ideal Home’s rating: 5 out of 5

6. Ez bed, Durable Inflatable Automatic Air Mattress on Folding Frame – best air bed for guests

On first impressions this is a bit of a beast for a temporary sleeping solution. Folded up, the box is heavy with a double air mattress weighing around 20kg. However, don’t let that put you off as this air bed is a serious bit of kit and a clever design. It comes folded up in a smart-looking black case on wheels, so it’s easy to trundle around from room to room.

The set-up is super fast and the air bed does all the hard work for you. Simply unzip, plug in and let the show begin. As the air mattress unfolds it’s like watching a transformer toy morph into something completely different. It concertinas out and leaves you with a full-size and sturdy bed on a proper metal frame. Take-down is easy too, plug it back in, select the deflation mode and once the mattress is flat you gently lift the frame up and fold the bed back into the case.

This is the perfect spare bed for guests and the ease of use is impressive. It felt just as comfortable to sleep on as a proper bed. One tiny snag is the positioning of the cable – it sticks out of the side of the mattress, and we found it could get in the way of fitted sheets.

Ideal Home’s rating: 4.5 out of 5

7. Bestway Dreamair Premium Airbed – best air bed for everyday use

With integrated pump, this luxurious air mattress inflates in only 200 seconds – it’s quite a spectacle to watch! The pump is mains-operated so you just need to be within easy reach of a power socket. It also has a deflation option making it super easy and quick to pack away in a drawstring bag. And if you want to take it camping there is a separate valve which you can hook a battery operated pump into.

Once inflated, this air mattress is huge, standing almost half a metre off the ground. If you top this with a 13.5 goose down duvet and fluffy pillows it will look and feel like a proper single bed. The sleeping surface is velvety soft and the unique rib design is there to prevent roll offs. Sewn onto the side of the mattress is a mesh storage pocket; we found this useful for storing our bedtime read, eye mask and smart phone.

Ideal Home’s rating: 4­ out of 5

How much do I need to spend on an air bed?

Image credit: Outwell

Depending on size and usage the prices of air beds can vary hugely. For an expedition-quality self-inflating mat, £60-£200 would get you a top-of-the-range single. If you’re after a straightforward air mattress for kids’ sleepovers, prices start around £10 for something fairly basic.

If you want to offer your guests something close to a real bed experience, look to air mattress experts Aerobed. A coil construction mattress starts at £130 for a double, going up to £330 for a raised king size. It may sound expensive but it’s still cheaper than your average sofa bed!

How to buy the best air bed for you

Image credit: Coleman

What is the difference between an air bed and a self-inflating mat?

A self-inflating mat or SIM is a popular choice for campers and festival-goers. It is a thin air mattress with a layer of foam padding inside. They range from 2cm–12cm in thickness but check the width too, as they can be a bit narrow so you might want to upsize. To inflate, you simply open the valve to allow air to be automatically sucked in.

They roll up small, similar to your average yoga mat and are extremely light. Some people might find them too thin and firm. however, note that they can also be used with a camp bed base for an off-the-ground set up. Air beds follow the same sizing rules as regular mattresses but they can feel a bit smaller based on their level of inflation.

These air mattresses are a better option if you’re planning to share with someone else. There are plenty available in a double or king size. The best mattresses come with long, tubular air chambers. This means the level of firmness or softness can be adjusted using the pump, which are either built-in or external. Some come with a special flocked velvet-like coating that eliminates the need for sheets as they are super soft to the touch.

How easy is it to inflate and deflate an air mattress?

This depends on how much your budget will stretch. There are three main types of pumps: a foot pump, an integrated pump or an electric pump. Most top of the range airbeds come with a rechargeable or mains-operated integrated pump. They will also have a remote control which can inflate and deflate the mattress within a matter of seconds.

Self-inflating mats are a doddle as they come with a valve that, once opened, allows to mat to self-inflate. You can then top it up with a few breaths, so no need for any extra equipment. Your average air bed comes with a separate pump that is either rechargeable or can be plugged into the mains for home use or into a car cigarette lighter socket. The latter is handy if you’re camping and can take up to 3 minutes to inflate.

Do air beds lose air?

Like anything filled with pressurised air, these mattresses are susceptible to springing a leak.Air beds do tend to lose air naturally and gradually anyway. If you notice a rapid loss, there could be a hole somewhere. But where? Follow these steps to help detect the source of the problem:

1. Blow up the air bed fully and then examine the entire sleeping surface and listen out for a thin hissing sound. An inflated mattress makes it easier to identify defects.

2. If the leak is too small, it might be hard to hear so another popular method is to gently wipe over the mattress with a soapy sponge and look out for small bubbles. Washing up liquid is good for this.

3. Once you find the hole, circle it gently with a permanent marker so you don’t lose it and then deflate it.

4. Most good air beds come with their own fixing kit. Each kit’s instructions may vary so be sure to read them carefully.

5. If your air mattress doesn’t come with a repair kit, there are many available on line, or you can repair the hole in the same way as you would with a bike puncture.

5 Best Air Mattresses of 2020

These air beds can stand up to everyday use, camping trips, and more.

Insta-Bed Raised Air Mattress

The built-in pump monitors air pressure and self-adjusts so your mattress won’t deflate overnight.

  • 2-pump system prevents sagging
  • 3 firmness levels
  • Deflates on its own
  • Needs to be plugged into an outlet all night

Intex Comfort Plush Elevated Airbed

At 22" high, this inexpensive pick is taller than most air mattresses so it’s easy to climb on and off.

  • Claims to inflate/deflate in 4 minutes
  • Indented sides help secure fitted sheets
  • Can use the built-in or separate pump
  • No warranty

SoundAsleep Dream Series Air Mattress

This online best seller features 40 internal air coils for all-night firmness and support.

  • 10,000+ five-star reviews on Amazon
  • 1-step internal pump
  • Traction on the bottom helps prevent slippage
  • Only for indoor use

AeroBed Air Mattress for Kids

This bed has 4" safety bumpers around the edges and is low to the ground to keep children safe.

  • Easy to pack
  • External pump inflates bed in 60 seconds
  • Comes with fitted sheet (shown)
  • Only for ages 4+

Coleman EasyStay 4-N-1 Airbed

Use these twin-size mattresses separately, attach to make a king, or stack and secure with a clip for extra support.

  • Double Lock valve helps prevent leaks
  • Fits king and twin bed sheets
  • Can be used indoors and outdoors
  • Doesn’t come with a pump

The best air mattresses on the market can make sleeping at a guest’s house or camping outside feel like a luxurious hotel. For a good night’s rest, you’ll want an inflatable bed that’s easy to set up, convenient to carry to and from your destination, and won’t deflate so much overnight that you’ll wake up with an aching back.

A quality air mattress should offer durability, as well as be able inflate and deflate in less than five minutes — and according to manufacturers, every pick ahead checks that box with ease. To find the best air mattress, the Textiles Lab at the Good Housekeeping Institute evaluated the market to find options that are easy to set up and well-suited for both indoor and outdoor use. We considered the types of pumps used, online customer reviews, stand out features, and our expert-favorite brands.

Below, you’ll find everything you need to know about our Lab’s top pick, the Insta-Bed Raised Air Mattress, plus info on four more air mattresses we loved.

Best Overall Air Mattress

Insta-Bed Raised Air Mattress

The biggest problem with a bad air mattress is waking up to find that your blow-up bed completely deflated overnight and you’ve basically been sleeping on the ground all night. That’s why the Insta-Bed’s Never Flat technology earned the top spot in our review:If the mattress starts to deflate, the whisper-quiet pump automatically adjusts to prevent sagging. The three firmness levels let you choose whether you like the mattress plush, medium, or firm — and the built-in pump constantly monitors air pressure to make sure it stays that way all night.

In addition to offering back support by staying inflated through the night, we loved how fast the built-in pumps inflate and deflate the mattress — around four minutes, according to the manufacturer. The circular coils make the surface feel more like a real mattress and the flocked finish (which feels just like suede) means you won’t feel any plastic underneath your sheets.

Best Value Air Mattress

Intex Comfort Plush Elevated Airbed

What this mattress lacks in cost, it gains in features. At 22-inches high, it’seasier to climb in and out ofthis mattress compared to other air mattressesthat sit closer to the floor. Even with its added height, the manufacturer says this mattress takes just four and a half minutes to inflate and can support up to 600 pounds — meaning two family members can share the bed. It comes with a built-in electric pump, but a manual pump can also be used, making it great for weekends in the woods when an outlet might not be accessible.

Most Popular Air Mattress on Amazon

SoundAsleep Dream Series Air Mattress

With over 17,000 reviewers and an average 4.3 star rating, this might be the most popular air mattress on Amazon. It’smade with a grippy bottom so itwon’t slide around on hard, flat flooringand once you turn the dial, the brand says the built-in pump will inflate or deflate in less than four minutes. You won’t have to worry about a sagging mattress either. One online reviewer said once he inflated this one, he didn’t need to add more air for a solid two weeks, despite the fact that he slept on this mattress every night, meaning this air mattress is great for everyday use.

Best Air Mattress for Kids

AeroBed Air Mattress for Kids

This is the mattress the Senior Product Analyst in the Good Housekeeping Textiles Lab uses when she’s on vacation with her own kids. She says it’s the perfect solution for a child who is too old for a crib or pack and play, but not yet ready for a regular bed. The AeroBed is built with afour-inch safety bumpersaround the edges, and even if your child were to accidentally roll off, the bed is just a few inches off the ground. The mattress comes with a sheet that straps on to stay securely in place and can support up to 300 pounds, so you can still climb into bed with your little one for story time.

Best Convertible Air Mattress

Coleman EasyStay 4-N-1 Airbed

No matter the situation, this air mattress is ready. Your setcomes with two twin-size mattresses that can be used separately, attached to make a king, or stackedand secured with a clip to make a taller and more supportive single bed. Once you’re ready to head home, the unique “Wrap ‘N’ Roll” storage system lets you roll the mattress right into the attached bag as soon as it’s deflated. The one catch is that you’ll need to purchase a pump separately, as it doesn’t come with one included, but Coleman offers a battery-operated pick for just $15.

7 Ways to Make an Air Mattress More Comfortable

It goes without saying that unhealthy sleeping patterns are amongst the most common problem which leads to a range of different issues. And, when it comes to it, the mattress is one of the main causes for this.

With this said, we’ve decided to take the liberty of providing you with a few things that you might want to considerif you wanted to make your air bed a lot more comfortable. While we understand that this is likely to be a temporary solution, it is still important to make sure that it is supportive and reliable enough to prevent any issues.

Here are a few things that you might want to take into account if you want to enhance the quality of sleep on your air bed.

Proper Covers and Spreading of Bed Sheets

What you might want to consider is the fact that an air mattress (inflatable bed) is nothing but an inflated air into a structure that has been preliminarily enclosed and made in the form of bed. With this said, the air inside is bound to get warm as the weather becomes hotter.

The same is true for when the weather becomes colder – the air is also going to cool off. To prevent any serious alterations regarding temperature, you should prepare the proper spreading of bed sheets alongside mattress covers. This would prevent you from feeling uncomfortable due to the severe temperature changes.

Put it on a Softer Surface

This is another straightforward and quick way to improve the overall quality of the inflatable mattress. It is because the vinyl bottom layer of the bed is not going to augur that good with a surface that’s harder. These include hardwood floor, for example – it is certainly going to make your sleeping quite rough. For this reason, you can put it on a mat or a rug, and this will significantly increase the overall quality of your sleep. And if you’re wondering how to make an inflatable mattress quiet, this trick can help you with the noise as well.

Add a Topper

This is one of the most affordable ways to substantially increase the overall quality of the bed. This is going to ensure that you don’t sleep on the characteristic rubbery surface of the air bed.

In cheaper solutions, this surface feels particularly uncomfortable, and with a mattress topper, you can easily get rid of those issues. The topper is going to maximize the comfort as much as it is actually possible. It is also usable on regular beds as well.

Place it on a Box Spring

This is one of the things which is going to enhance the comfort of your air bed substantially. It is also going to ensure that you would be capable of getting out of the bed a lot quicker and without having to put in as much effort. The reason for this is that the overall height would be a lot more. If you wish to enhance the quality of your sleep substantially, box spring is another thing that you might take advantage of – it is quite convenient.

Your Pillow Matters

There are tremendous and undeniable benefits which are associated with the usage of a proper pillow. They can’t be overstated. For this particular reason, you should always make sure that you have a great and appropriate pillow for your bed.

This is something that applies to regular mattresses as well. It doesn’t matter if you have the most expensive mattress on the market, if your pillow is uncomfortable and inappropriate, this could cause a lot of issues.

Using the Wall

Having a headboard over your head is something that you might want to consider for each bed that you use. The headboard is likely to prevent your pillow from falling off as you sleep and causing disruptions. An inflated mattress is unlikely to ever have a board over it, so you can put it right next to the wall to resemble this sensation.

Deflate or Inflate

One of the most important factors which are going to impact the quality of the sleep in an air bed is the amount of air that it contains – this is something critical. If you have too much air in it, the inflatable bed is going to feel very firm.

If you don’t have enough, on the other hand, this is going to cause it to sag and to be unable to support you properly. This is something that you want to prevent. Make sure to inflate and to deflate the bed as much as it is needed to achieve the perfect specification. This is something fairly individual as it would obviously vary based on your actual weight, for instance.

Conclusion

As you can see, an air bed could be adjusted to fit your requirements for a reliable and comfortable sleeping solution. Of course, this is something that should only be used temporarily as it is incapable of bringing any long-term comfort and support.

An air bed is awesome for your guest room, but it doesn’t mean that you have to keep it ill-maintained. Following all of the above is going to ensure that you get a bed that’s supportive, comfortable and cool.

They are particularly affordable, so keep in mind that they would bring tremendous value for your money as well.

Sources and References:

  1. Should You Buy A Pull-out Sofa or An Inflatable Mattress? – sleep.org
  2. Effect of different mattress designs on promoting sleep quality, pain reduction, and spinal alignment in adults with or without back pain; systematic review of controlled trials– sciencedirect.com

More Reading:

Author: Sleep Advisor

Our team covers as many areas of expertise as we do time zones, but none of us started here as a so-called expert on sleep. What we do share is a willingness to ask questions (lots of them), seek experts, and dig deep into conventional wisdom to see if maybe there might be a better path towards healthy living. We apply what we learn not only to our company culture, but also how we deliver information to our over 12.7M readers.

Sleep research is changing all the time, and we are 100% dedicated to keeping up with breakthroughs and innovations. You live better if you sleep better. Whatever has brought you here, we wish you luck on your journey towards better rest.

Transparency Disclosure– We may receive a referral fee (at no additional cost to the buyer) for products purchased through the links on our site or other applicable pages. To learn more, please read our full disclosure pagehere. We also encourage you to read about how we may research and/or test Products here.

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Transparency Disclosure– We may receive a referral fee (at no additional cost to the buyer) for products purchased through the links on our site or other applicable pages. To learn more, please read our full disclosure page here.We also encourage you to read about how we may research and/or test Products here.

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There’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to better health and better rest, but no one has time to sleep, let alone figure out how to upgrade the sleep they’re getting.

From figuring out how to buy a mattress, suggesting ones that are good for different needs and body types, or breaking down the newest science behind technology and wellness breakthroughs, Sleep Advisor has you covered.

Best and Worst Air Mattresses From Consumer Reports’ Tests

Top-rated air mattresses, and one to avoid, from Aerobed, Coleman, Embark, Intex, King Koil, and Simmons Beautyrest

If you’re hosting a full house or you’re otherwise tight on space, an air mattress turns any room into a guest room.

Made of a durable vinyl and ranging in price from $25 to several hundred, air mattresses are generally available in two heights: single-height mattresses, between 9 and 11 inches high, and double-height mattresses, ranging from 17 to 21 inches.

Below, you’ll find reviews of the best and worst single- and double-height air mattresses, based on our latest tests. CR members can also access our air mattress ratings.

To evaluate air mattresses, we look at a variety of convenience factors: the inflation and deflation rates, weight, and how much storage space an air mattress requires. We also look for deflection, or how much the surface sags. If the mattress doesn’t deflect all that much, it means weight is being evenly distributed over the surface of the mattress, making it easier to get in and out.

As you shop, keep in mind the pros and cons of each type.

”Single-height air mattresses often don’t have an electric pump, but that makes them great for the outdoors,” says Larry Ciufo, the CR project leader who oversees air mattress testing. “Double-height mattresses often have an electric pump—and they can be heavy at 15 to 21 pounds. They’re great for guests because most can be fully inflated in a matter of minutes.”

Double-heights are a bit easier to get in and out of since they’re taller, and might offer slightly more comfort since you’re not as close to the floor.

To be clear, we don’t test air mattresses the same way we test standard mattresses. If you’re in the market for a full-fledged guest bed, check out our full mattress ratings, covering innerspring, foam, and adjustable air mattresses.

Best Double-Height Air Mattresses

Double-height air mattresses are great as a makeshift guest bed. Many have a fuzzy vinyl side, making it less likely for your guests to slide across the mattress at night, and they often come with an electric air pump that makes getting the bed inflated less of a chore.

Best Airbed Mattresses – Top Picks and Buyer’s Guide

Our Research

mattresses considered
hours of research
mattress executives interviewed
sleep experts consulted

Quick Overview

Airbeds are a popular alternative to standard mattresses because most models offer customizable firmness. Rather than support cores made of foam or springs, airbeds contain individualized air chambers that can be inflated or deflated to create different feels.

Airbeds are considered especially beneficial for sleepers with shifting firmness preferences and those who frequently experience aches and pains in their neck, shoulders, back, and other sensitive areas. Additionally, some airbeds feature dual-firmness settings that allow couples to customize each side of the bed to match their individual preferences.

Best Airbeds of 2020
  • Editor’s Pick – Solaire by Saatva
  • Runner-Up Pick – Sleep Number i10
  • Best Value Airbed – Sleep Number c2
  • Best Luxury Airbed – ReST Bed

Airbeds are fairly expensive, with average price-points that are much higher than those of innerspring, foam, or latex mattresses. Shoppers will also find that fewer airbed models are available compared to other mattress types. However, airbed owners generally enjoy their sleep surface.

Read on to learn more about how airbeds are made and important factors for first-time buyers. You’ll also find our picks for the best airbeds sold today. Our choices are based on verified customer and owner reviews, as well as intensive product research and analysis.

First Time Buying a Mattress?

Hop down to our Buyer’s Guide for a crash course on finding the best airbed mattress.

Our Top 4 Picks

  • Memory foam and latex comfort layers
  • 13.5" profile
  • ‘Soft’ to ‘Firm’ range
  • Dual-firmness options for couples
  • 25-year warranty

  • Memory foam and polyfoam layers
  • ‘Soft’ to ‘Medium Firm’ range
  • 13" profile
  • Excellent conforming and support
  • 25-year warranty

  • Polyfoam layer
  • 8" profile
  • ‘Medium Firm’ to ‘Firm’ range
  • Optimal for heavy people and stomach sleepers
  • 25-year warranty

  • Gel memory foam layers
  • 12" profile
  • ‘Soft’ to ‘Medium Firm’ range
  • Innovative construction and features
  • 10-year warranty

Best Airbed Mattresses – Reviewed

Editor’s Pick – Solaire by Saatva

Highlights

  • Memory foam and latex comfort layers
  • 13.5" profile
  • ‘Soft’ to ‘Firm’ range
  • Dual-firmness options for couples
  • 25-year warranty

Get $200 off a Solaire Mattress Using This Link

Editor’s Choice Overview

Our Editor’s Pick for Best Airbed is the Solaire by Saatva, a relatively new model that combines the innovative, adjustable design of classic airbeds with the pressure-relieving comfort of other mattress types.

The mattress features one (Twin XL and Full sizes) or two air chambers (all other sizes) in the support core. Owners can adjust the firmness of the bed by adding or releasing air. The Solaire offers a firmness range of ‘Soft’ (3) to ‘Firm’ (7), which accommodates the vast majority of sleepers regardless of their weight and sleep position.

The Solaire is also constructed with an organic-cotton pillow-top, which offers exceptional padding, along with comfort layers of gel-infused memory foam and zoned Talalay latex. These materials cradle and support the sleeper’s body, and can alleviate aches and pains as they develop.

In addition to standard sizes, the Solaire is available in Upper Flex Queen and King sizes, which are split from the top to the midsection; this allows owners to elevate the head of their bed using an adjustable base. Split King and Split California King sizes are also available. These options make the Solaire very suitable for couples with differing comfort preferences.

All Solaire orders in the contiguous U.S. and Canada qualify for free White Glove delivery, which includes in-home assembly and old mattress removal; most competing brands charge $100 to $300 for this service. The Solaire is also backed by a 120-night sleep trial and a 25-year warranty.

The Bottom Line.

The Solaire by Saatva checks all the boxes for what an airbed should offer, and then some. The bed is available in a variety of sizes, including split sizes, so individuals and couples with a range of comfort and firmness preferences can all enjoy a good night’s sleep on the same bed. Moreover, Saatva includes premium perks like free White Glove Delivery and backs the mattress with an extensive 25-year warranty.

Recommended for:

  • Every type of sleeper (side, back, stomach, combination).A zoned comfort system of quality latex and memory foams, combined with 50 firmness settings, ensures sleepers can find the perfect balance of comfort and support.
  • Sleepers in all weight groups (light, average, heavy).The sizable firmness range of the Solaire (‘Soft to ‘Firm’) accommodates a large range of body types.
  • Couples.The Solaire comes in split sizes, so couples with different firmness preferences can adjust either side of the bed to their liking.
  • Hot sleepers.The Solaire’s comfort layers of breathable latex and gel-infused memory foam are designed to regulate the bed’s surface temperature.

Not Recommended for:

  • Light sleepers who wake easily from noise or movement.The air chambers can produce some noise when adjusting.
  • Mattress shoppers on a small budget.The Solaire carries a higher-than-average price-point, due to the quality construction, adjustable bed compatibility, and delivery perks.

Runner Up Pick – Sleep Number i10

Highlights

  • Memory foam and polyfoam layers
  • ‘Soft’ to ‘Medium Firm’ range
  • 13" profile
  • Excellent conforming and support
  • 25-year warranty

Get the Best Price on a Sleep Number i10 Mattress

Runner Up Overview

Sleep Number is one of the leading airbed manufacturers nationwide. The company currently offers eight individual mattresses. Our Runner-Up pick for airbeds is the 360 i10 Smart Bed, which is part of Sleep Number’s Innovation line. The i10 is Sleep Number’s thickest bed with a profile of 13″, as well as one of the only models with a memory foam comfort layer (which is rare for any airbed).

The i10 is constructed with two individual air chambers that can customize the bed’s feel from ‘Soft’ to ‘Medium Firm.’ This range should accommodate most sleepers in the light weight group (less than 130 pounds) and average weight group (130 to 230 pounds), as well as heavier individuals who prefer softer surfaces.

Temperature neutrality is another strong point of the Sleep Number i10. Many airbeds either sleep too hot or too cool, but the i10 offers a balanced sleeping temperature for most. Designed specifically for couples, the bed is sold in Queen, King, and California sizes.

Like other Sleep Number airbeds, the i10 is compatible with SleepIQ, a sleep tracking wireless app. The i10 can be controlled using the Sleep Number remote or the SleepIQ wireless app. Sleep Number backs this product with a 100-night sleep trial and a 25-year warranty.

The Bottom Line.

The Sleep Number i10 Smart Bed offers the customizable sleep experience airbed owners expect, with the added perk of being able to make adjustments using a smartphone app. The bed also stands out among airbed mattresses for its use of a memory foam comfort layer, a material which provides excellent pressure relief.

Recommended for:

  • Every type of sleeper (side, back, stomach, combination).The large firmness range and memory foam comfort layer allow owners to enjoy support and pressure relief, regardless of their sleep position.
  • Sleepers in the light and average weight groups.The i10’s range of ‘Soft’ to ‘Medium Firm’ is most supportive for sleepers who weigh 230 pounds or less.
  • Those who like using sleep tracking technology.Owners can use the Sleep IQ add to adjust their bed, track their sleep, and receive recommendations for improving their sleep.
  • Hot sleepers.The i10 offers strong temperature neutrality and sleeps cool through the night.

Not Recommended for:

  • Sleepers who weigh over 230 pounds.The i10 may not be adequately supportive for these individuals, even at the upper end of the bed’s firmness range.
  • Those who want to be able to return their mattress quickly if they don’t love it.The 100-night sleep trial includes a mandatory 30-night break-in period.

Best Value Airbed – Sleep Number 360 c2

Highlights

  • Polyfoam layer
  • 8" profile
  • ‘Medium Firm’ to ‘Firm’ range
  • Optimal for heavy people and stomach sleepers
  • 25-year warranty

Tuck readers can purchase the Sleep Number 360 c2 Smart Bed at the lowest price available

Best Value Overview

A common complaint among airbed owners – particularly those who weigh more than 230 pounds and/or sleep on their stomach – is that the mattresses are too thick. High-profile beds can be more susceptible to sinking, and larger people tend to have a difficult time getting in and out of bed.

The c2 from Sleep Number has an 8-inch profile, making it much shorter than the majority of airbeds sold today and a great pick for those who normally find airbeds too thick. The mattress has a 2-inch gel-infused polyfoam comfort layer, which provides adequate padding and body conforming for most sleepers in the average and heavy weight groups. The dual air chambers offer a firmness range that falls between ‘Medium Firm’ and ‘Firm.’

The Sleep Number c2 offers better-than-average temperature neutrality, making the mattress suitable for anyone who tends to sleep too hot or too cold on airbeds. The c2 is compatible with the SleepIQ sleep-tracking app as well, which can be useful for those who like reviewing personal sleep data.

The c2 currently offers an exceptionally low price-point compared to the average airbed. Like the i10, the c2 is backed by a 100-night sleep trial and a 25-year warranty.

The Bottom Line.

The firmness range of the Sleep Number c2 makes the airbed a great option for those who require firmer sleep surfaces, particularly stomach sleepers and heavier sleepers. The airbed has a lower profile and firmer feel which may not be ideal for all sleepers, but for those it does work for, its low price-point makes it a very attractive value pick.

Recommended for:

  • Back and stomach sleepers.The firmer feel of the c2 provides excellent support and encourages healthy spinal alignment for stomach sleepers, while the foam comfort layer offers pressure relief for back sleepers.
  • Sleepers in the average and heavy weight groups.The firmer feel of the c2 airbed is most supportive for sleepers who weigh 130 pounds or more.
  • Those who prefer low-profile beds.The c2 measures 8 inches tall, which is shorter than the average mattress and significantly shorter than the average airbed.
  • Hot sleepers.The c2 maintains a comfortable surface temperature throughout the night, benefitting hot sleepers.

Not Recommended for:

  • Lightweight side sleepers.With its firmer feel, the c2 may not provide sufficient comfort for lighter body types, especially those who sleep on their side.
  • Those who want to be able to return their mattress quickly if they don’t love it.The 100-night sleep trial includes a mandatory 30-night break-in period.

Best Luxury Airbed – ReST Bed

Highlights

  • Gel memory foam layers
  • 12" profile
  • ‘Soft’ to ‘Medium Firm’ range
  • Innovative construction and features
  • 10-year warranty

The ReST Bed is available to Tuck readers at the lowest price

Best Luxury Airbed Overview

Our pick for Best Luxury Airbed is the ReST Bed, a high-tech mattress loaded with features that help offer a customized sleep experience. The air chambers are designed to target five areas, or ‘zones,’ of the sleeper’s body: the head, shoulders, lower back, hips, and legs.

Users can customize the firmness for each zone; settings generally range from ‘Soft’ to ‘Medium Firm,’ allowing the ReST Bed to accommodate most sleepers regardless of their weight. The mattress also offers dual-firmness, which enables couples to customize their own side of the bed based on their individual preferences.

In addition to manual customization, the ReST Bed may be programmed for the ‘Automatic’ setting, which continually adjusts the firmness based on the sleeper’s preferences; or ‘Position Detection,’ which will adjust the settings whenever the sleeper moves from their back to their side or vice versa. Owners also access sleep data with wireless devices and integrate ReST Bed customizations into their home technology.

The ReST Bed has a high price-point even by airbed standards, making it a good pick for shoppers with bigger budgets. The mattress is backed by a 90-night sleep trial and a 10-year warranty.

The Bottom Line.

For those seeking the top-of-the-line in airbed and sleep technology, the ReST Bed is it. This airbed features a zoned construction that allows owners to finely tune every part of their sleep experience, or let the app do it for them automatically.

Recommended for:

  • Side and back sleepers.The ReST Bed offers a slightly softer feel that provides an ideal balance of comfort and support for these sleep positions.
  • Sleepers in the light and average weight groups.The ‘Soft’ to ‘Medium Firm’ range of the ReST Bed is most comfortable for sleepers who weigh 230 pounds or less.
  • Those who like smart home technology.The ReST Bed can automatically adjust the bed’s firmness based on the sleeper’s comfort preferences and sleep position, while also tracking the owner’s sleep data.
  • Couples with differing firmness preferences.Both sides of the mattress can be adjusted to different firmness settings.

Not Recommended for:

  • Stomach sleepers.The ReST Bed may feel too soft for some stomach sleepers, especially those with heavier body types.
  • Heavier sleepers.The upper end of the ReST Bed’s firmness range is a ‘Medium Firm,’ which may not be adequate for sleepers who weigh over 230 pounds.

Airbed Mattress Buying Guide

Below, we share everything sleepers need to consider when buying an airbed, along with our best tips for buying a new mattress.

Buyer’s Guide for Airbed Mattresses

What You Need to Know About Sleeping on an Airbed

Airbeds offer a unique experience for sleepers that sets them apart from other mattress types. Unlike innersprings that feature steel coils or memory foam or latex mattresses with polyfoam-based support cores, airbeds are constructed with internal air chambers that can be adjusted by adding or removing air with an electric pump, resulting in customized firmness and support.

Older airbeds feature manual adjustment controls, but many newer models can be adjusted remotely using a portable controller or smart app technology.

The availability of airbeds is somewhat limited compared to innersprings, hybrids, memory foam, and latex mattresses. Additionally, the price-points of most airbeds are significantly above-average.

However, airbeds tend to earn above-average customer satisfaction ratings, due in large part to their customizable controls and long lifespans, as well as pain- and pressure-relieving abilities. The adjustable controls also make them suitable for side, back, and stomach sleepers.

Airbeds vs. Air Mattresses

It’s important to note that the term ‘airbed’ refers to a mattress used as the primarily sleep surface in bedrooms and guest rooms. Airbeds are different from temporary air mattresses (also known as sleep pads) that are commonly used for camping or floor-sleeping. This review will only discuss airbeds designed for primary sleep, and not temporary air mattresses.

Types of Airbeds

In order to meet the definition of an airbed, the mattress must be designed as a primary sleep surface and feature at least two internal air chambers in the support core. Beyond this criteria, airbeds sold today may differ in several ways:

  • Comfort Layer:The comfort layer of an airbed typically features polyfoam, memory foam, and/or latex layers. Most airbeds sold today have comfort systems consisting of one to two layers, and measuring between four and five inches thick.
  • Settings:Airbeds sold today generally have several different settings. A quick survey of airbed mattresses sold today finds that the number of unique settings ranges from 20 to 100, with 50 to 60 as the average number.
  • Number of Chambers:Airbeds sold today have at least two air chambers. Regardless of the total number, air chambers usually have a symmetrical arrangement related to each side of the mattress. An airbed with two air chambers will have one chamber supporting each side, an airbed with four air chambers will have two chambers supporting each side, and so on.

The Feel of an Airbed

Airbeds offer a sleep experience unlike other mattresses. Key attributes include:

  • Variable Comfort Layer:A n airbed’s feel will often depend on the types of materials used in the top layers, rather than the air chambers themselves. Some airbeds have foam comfort layers, while others forego the comfort layer completely and only feature a cover.
  • Adjustable Firmness and Support:In addition to customizable firmness, many airbeds also offer adjustable support. Airbeds with six or more air chambers usually feature a zoned system designed to target different areas of the body, as with the Solaire and ReST Bed. Generally speaking, the more chambers an airbed has, the more effectively it will target pain and pressure in specific regions of the body, such as the neck, shoulders, lumbar, and hips.
  • Other Factors:It’s important to note that many outside factors can affect airbed firmness and support settings, resulting in less than ideal sleep conditions, and the possibility of back pain and increased pressure. These factors include room temperature, barometric pressure, and changes in sleep position.
  • Temperature Neutrality:Some sleepers complain that their airbed sleeps too hot, while others report excessive cooling during the night. Of our picks, both of the Sleep Number models and the Solaire by Saatva offer excellent temperature neutrality.

Who Sleeps Best on an Airbed Mattress?

  • Individuals with shifting firmness preferences.Firmness preferences can change due to lifestyle factors, like an illness, injury, or weight gain/loss. They can also change if a person changes their sleep position. Airbeds allow these folks to continue sleeping on the same mattress, despite these other changes.
  • Couples with different firmness preferences.Many airbeds are built with dual firmness settings (including all of our top picks). This means either partner can adjust the feel of their side of the bed to their preference.
  • Those comfortable with adjusting their bed’s firmness settings.Most airbeds offer a large range of firmness settings, and it’s up to the owner to make the adjustments to find their perfect fit. For many airbed owners, this is the most attractive feature of these beds.
  • Those who prefer high-profile beds.Due to their construction, many airbeds are much taller than the average mattress, and measure 10 to 15 inches (our Best Value pick, the Sleep Number c2 is a notable exception, at 8 inches tall). The taller profile can make these beds easier for some individuals to get in and out of, and satisfy the aesthetic preferences of others.

Pros and Cons of Airbed Mattresses

  • Airbeds have the highest customer satisfaction ratings among all mattress types
  • Airbeds offer adjustable comfort and support to accommodate most sleeper preferences
  • Most airbeds effectively absorb and isolate motion transfer, leading to fewer nighttime disruptions for couples when someone shifts positions or gets out of bed
  • When properly maintained, airbeds have a longer-than-average lifespan
  • Airbeds have the highest average price-point among all mattress types, and availability is relatively low
  • Noise potential is high for airbeds and many owners report sleep disruptions
  • Malfunctions and breakdowns are common in airbeds, and repairs can be costly
  • Environmental factors such as temperature and moisture can affect airbed settings

Choosing the Best Airbed Mattress

While airbeds have lower availability than other mattress types, you’ll still have your pick of quality airbeds to choose from. To narrow down your selection, it can be helpful to know the following:

  • How construction affects the feel and long-term supportiveness of an airbed mattress
  • What firmness range is appropriate for you, based on your body weight and sleep position
  • What’s included in the mattress warranty, and what kind of lifespan you can expect out of your airbed mattress

We’ll review these points in the following sections, starting with the construction of an airbed.

Airbed Mattress Construction

As we’ve discussed, airbeds are unique from other mattress types in their construction. As with anything, the construction affects the quality of the final mattress. Here’s what you need to know:

Trench

Some airbeds are designed with chambers beneath each side of the bed and a small gap between them. In these cases, sleepers may notice sagging and less support in the center of the bed.

This can lead to long-term pain and pressure issues; the gap may also affect the responsiveness of the sleep surface, which is tied to how good the mattress is for sex. Some manufacturers compensate for this trench effect by eliminating the gap between the chambers.

Air Chamber Construction

The materials used to make air mattress chambers will vary by manufacturer. Many are constructed from vulcanized rubber, but other materials — such as latex or cotton — may also be used.

The construction of the air chambers does not affect the feel or supportive qualities of the mattress to a noticeable extent, according to owner feedback.

Thickness

Airbeds are somewhat thick compared to other mattress types; most models sold today range between 10 and 15 inches thick. However, the overall thickness of an airbed is usually associated with its comfort layer components.

The air chamber support core, on the other hand, tends to remain constant; most airbed support cores measure between five and seven inches thick, regardless of the airbed’s overall thickness.

Noise

Above-average noise is one of the chief complaints associated with airbed mattresses. This is largely due to buzzing and whirring produced by electric air pumps. Many models also squeak when supporting weight.

Assembly

Some airbeds are shipped fully assembled. Additionally, select manufacturers offer in-home assembly services for a surcharge. Some, like our Editor’s Pick, the Solaire by Saatva, include it for free.

Other mattress models are designed for owner assembly, and come with detailed instructions. Most of these models feature a modular design that does not require any mattress expertise, but putting them together can be a time-consuming process.

Finding Your Ideal Firmness Range

The beauty of an airbed is that you can adjust the firmness to your exact preferences. But if this is your first time buying a mattress, you may not know what those preferences are.

Generally, people hone in on their preferred mattress firmness using two factors: their body weight and sleep position.

  • The most popular firmness range foraverage weight sleepers(those who weigh between 130 and 230 pounds) is ‘Medium’ to ‘Medium Firm.’ Those who sleep on their side may prefer something a bit softer, while stomach sleepers will prefer a firmer setting to encourage healthy spinal alignment. Back sleepers usually enjoy the most comfort from a mattress with a middling firmness.
  • Lightweight sleepers(those who weigh less than 130 pounds) prefer softer mattresses, ranging from ‘Soft’ to ‘Medium.’ Lightweight side sleepers enjoy a bed on the softer end of that range, while stomach sleepers will feel more supported by a ‘Medium’ or even ‘Medium Firm’ mattress. Back sleepers sleep best with something in the middle, like a ‘Medium Soft’ or ‘Medium.’
  • Heavyweight sleepers(those who weigh more than 230 pounds) need firmer mattress to experience adequate support, ranging from ‘Medium Firm’ to ‘Very Firm.’ A side or back sleeper may enjoy the plusher comfort of a ‘Medium Firm’ mattress, while stomach sleepers will be more comfortable on a ‘Firm’ or ‘Very Firm’ mattress.

The table below summarizes the popular firmness ranges for most sleepers, based on body weight and sleep position:

Weight GroupPreferred Firmness for Most Side SleepersPreferred Firmness for Most Back SleepersPreferred Firmness for Most Stomach SleepersBelow-average (Less than 130 pounds)3 (Soft) to 5 (Medium)4 (Medium Soft) to 6 (Medium Firm)4 (Medium Soft) to 6 (Medium Firm)Average (130 to 230 Pounds)4 (Medium Soft) to 6 (Medium Firm)5 (Medium) to 7 or 8 (Firm)6 (Medium Firm) to 7 or 8 (Firm)Above-average (More than 230 Pounds)5 (Medium) to 6 (Medium Firm)6 (Medium Firm) to 7 or 8 (Firm)6 (Medium Firm) to 7 or 8 (Firm)

While all airbeds offer customizable firmness, each bed will be listed with a specific firmness range. For example, the ‘Soft’ to ‘Firm’ range of the Solaire by Saatva, our Editor’s Pick, is much larger than the ‘Medium Firm’ to ‘Firm’ firmness range of the Sleep Number 360 c2, our Best Value Airbed.

When considering different airbed models, always verify that the bed you’re thinking of purchasing offers a firmness range that includes your preferred firmness setting.

Airbed Lifespan and Warranty Considerations

Durability and lifespan with airbeds can be tricky. When properly maintained, leading airbed models can perform for eight years or longer, which places them well ahead of the industry average of seven years.

However, equipment breakdowns and malfunctioning components are common within the first few years of ownership. Replacing parts is usually covered under the product warranty and airbed manufacturers anticipate these requests, but filing warranty claims can lead to additional owner expenses.

Here’s why: most airbed warranties span at least 20 years. However, in most cases, thenonprorated coverageperiod only extends two to three years in length.

During this time, owners will not have to pay to repair or replace defective components of their mattress, including adjustable controls or air chambers. The only expenses associated with nonprorated coverage are mattress shipping and handling costs, and some manufacturers will cover these as well.

Once nonprorated coverage ends, the remainder of the warranty will beprorated. This is when things tend to get expensive.

During prorated coverage, owners must pay certain costs to replace their airbed or specific components (such as air chambers). These costs are usually calculated by multiplying a percentage of the product or part by the number of years that have passed since the warranty began. The longer the owner sleeps on the mattress, the higher the prorated costs will be.

For example:

Let’s say that an air chamber in an airbed is defective and costs $300 to replace. Under the terms of the airbed warranty, owners must pay 20% of the air chamber cost (or $60), plus an additional 4% of the original cost for each year they have owned the mattress. If the chamber becomes defective after 10 years, the owner must pay 60% of the original price, or $180, to replace the air chamber.

Typically, prorated charges will cap around 90% to 96% during the final few years of the warranty. So while owners will never pay full price to replace their airbed or an individual component, they will come close during the latter stages of their warranty.

For more information, please visit our guide to Understanding Mattress Warranties .

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