If you host guests but never seem to have enough beds, an air mattress can easily solve your issue. Best air mattresses, especially those prepared for indoor use, can be inflated and ready for your friends to sleep on in a matter of minutes. Deflating them is also a breeze and once deflated, they can be stored almost anywhere. If you choose a good air mattress it’s a win-win situation: win for you as you save space and money by not buying another bed and a win for your friends who can sleep comfortably while visiting you.

Air mattresses are also a great choice for frequent travelers. You can keep it in your vehicle’s trunk and it’s there if you ever need it (e.g. when your friend’s couch is uncomfortable). Buying a mobile air bed won’t break your budget and if you’ll choose well, chances are you will use the mattress you chose for a long time.

For starters, let’s learn what we need to look for and think about when choosing an air mattress.

Image used under Creative Commons from Greg Grossmeier

Best Air Mattress for Everyday Use

Image
Name
Pros
Cons
Bottom line
SoundAsleep Dream Series Air Mattress
SoundAsleep Dream Series Air Mattress
  • Great customer service
  • User-friendly pump that inflates and deflates
  • Prone to air leaks
Intex Comfort Plush Elevated Dura-Beam Airbed
Intex Comfort Plush Elevated Dura-Beam Airbed
  • Pump that inflates and deflates
  • Comfortable
  • Prone to air leaks
Insta-Bed Raised Air Mattress with Never Flat Pump
Insta-Bed Raised Air Mattress with Never Flat Pump
  • Never flat pump
  • You can control the firmness of the mattress
  • Has to be plugged in the whole night
SimplySleeper SS-49T
SimplySleeper SS-49T
  • Built-in auto-stop pump
  • Quick to set up
  • Too firm for some people
Insta-Bed Queen Raised Air Mattress with Sure Grip Bottom
  • “Sure-grip” that hold the bed to the floor
  • Quick power deflate
  • Loses more air after sleeping on it than expected

SoundAsleep Dream Series Air Mattress

SoundAsleep Dream Series Air Mattress
SoundAsleep is currently the most popular air mattress on Amazon and for a reason. It’s comfortable and holds air well. It’s made from PVC which is a material that stretches, so if it seems to lose air after first few nights just pump the mattress (preferably after deflating it fully) and check the morning after. Chances are it will remain firm as it has fully stretched out. The top of the mattress has an additional layer of material that makes it softer and therefore more comfortable.The ComfortCoil offers ample support, allowing the mattress to stay nice and firm for longer. Also, we loved the extra thick top and the puncture-resistant material.

SoundAsleep is for both single sleepers and couples and allows weights of up to 500 lbs. It has a built-in pump that starts inflating the mattress after flipping a switch, no need to open or close any valves. The pump does its job in about 4 minutes. If needed, flip the pump switch to the other side and the motor will deflate the mattress. The mattress comes with a handy carry bag. While this air mattress has won over hundreds of customers, some say it’s not as durable as other mattresses. Here’s what reviewers wrote about SoundAsleep on Amazon:

The mattress exceeded my comfort expectations. The 19-inch height made it feel like I was sleeping on a traditional box spring bed, rather than an air mattress on the floor.

The prompt and helpful support was refreshing and a nice change from the normal customer support these days.

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Intex Comfort Plush Elevated Dura-Beam Airbed

Intex Comfort Plush Elevated Dura-Beam Airbed
Intex Comfort Plush is another popular and high-rated airbed available on the market. It’s built-in pump allows to both inflate and deflate it easily, which also means you can quickly adjust it’s firmness by touching a button. In case you don’t have access to an AC outlet you can attach a manual air pump.Comfort Plush is a queen-sized (good for a single sleeper or a couple) mattress with a capacity of up to 600 pounds. It’s covered in plush flocking to increase comfort. It’s raised 22 inches from the floor, which makes it feel like a normal bed, which as I mentioned earlier is quite important, especially for older people. Also, it comes with a storage pouch so you can store it easily to take with you while traveling.

Intex’s airbed wins for the powerful air pump that inflates the mattress within minutes. The indented sides are also a nice touch because it keeps the bed sheet in place. We also loved the supple, Fiber-Tech™ material, which is designed to keep you feeling nice and cool all night long. The only downside is that this mattress is also prone to leaking, especially for older models. Still, these Amazon reviewers left a five-star rating along with positive feedbacks on Intex airbed. Here’s what customers wrote about this air bed:

The Intex Comfort Plush Elevated Dura-Beam Airbed is PERFECT! We have already had another guest staying with us who was the first to use it and after her 10 day stay she gave it two thumbs up.

At a full inflation, one sleeper did not wake up the other when getting out of bed for a toilet visit during the night. Better than many standard beds. With additional uses, I may well bump the rating up to 5 star if it continues to perform as it seemed to on the two nights we used it.

I have had this bed for 6 months, i pumped it up, and after it stretched a tiny tiny bit i turned the pump on for a half a minute to put a little more air in it. Since then i have not even turned the pump on again.

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Insta-Bed Raised Air Mattress with Never Flat Pump

Insta-Bed Raised Air Mattress with Never Flat Pump
This inflatable air mattress sells for around $115 and comes with a “never flat” pump. This pump keeps the bed inflated all night and does so without noise. It takes less than four minutes to fill the bed with the primary pump.This is different from the neverFlat Pump which gauges the air pressure and keeps the air pressure to the level that you desire while you sleep. It has an auto-shutoff feature that turns the pump off when the bed is completely inflated. You’ll notice that the Insta-Bed Raised Bed is quite comfortable thanks to its 35 circular coils.

Your sheets are kept in place thanks to the bed’s specially designed flocked top. Some users sleep on this mattress year round due to medical conditions and don’t have an issue with it. There is even a warranty available as well.

A couple buyers have noted that the bed has blown out after a year plus of use. Still, it outlasts the majority of competing for inflatable air mattresses. It is also worth noting that some users have mentioned that the neverFlat Pump runs much more often than they expected. This Amazon user say the Insta-Bed is an excellent product and the customer service is just as impressive:

Awesome bed. Great customer service. We’ll be recommending this bed to everyone we know!

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SimplySleeper SS-49T with Auto-Stop Built-in Pump

SimplySleeper SS-49T
This raised twin airbed comes with a handy auto-stop built-in pump. This is a high-quality mattress made with an extra durable durmothane polyester laminate. It is inflatable up to 75.5 inches by 40 inches and can support up to 400 pounds. There are three layers of very soft, airtight materials that won’t puncture or stretch.Users love the fact that the SimplySleeper can be inflated in only two minutes without the application of constant pressure. This automatic “no touch” inflation is one of the bed’s best features. The top of the bed is constructed with 100 percent microfiber that keeps your body temperature constant as it wicks away moisture. You’ll be tempted to sleep on it without a mattress cover because of its amazing softness.

The SimplySleeper SS-49T is actually inflated a day before it is shipped to guarantee that it will retain air as designed. You can even clean it quite easily with some water and soap.Most reviewers love this mattress. It can hold inflations for multiple nights in a row without a problem. They especially enjoy the fact that this mattress is lifted high off of the ground. They like that there is a place to store the bundled up cord after inflating it. It doesn’t leak and is very easy to get out of, even if you are in your golden years.

In terms of negatives, some buyers believe that it isn’t as comfortable as advertised. Some found it too firm and not the best surface for those who sleep on their stomachs or sides. The mattress’s air beneath the heavier parts of your body and goes upwards toward your neck and shoulders. Also, a few people have noted that the mattress expands after it is first used and becomes quite firm. That said, this user – who’s gone through several airbeds before – claims that the SimplySleeper is the best he’s ever used:

In that six months, we have gone through several beds. This is by far the best bed out there. The flattest, the easiest to get out of (we are 60 years old), the most comfortable on your back, and it has held its air for over 5 days now. It appears and feels substantial.

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Insta-Bed Queen Raised Air Mattress with Sure Grip Bottom


The Insta-Bed Queen Raised bed retails for around $120. It comes with a “Sure Grip Bottom 7 Built-In Pump”. There is also a SecureAir dual chamber that prevents air from moving around inside of the mattress and keeps a level sleeping surface.Overall, it measures 80 inches x 60 inches x 22 inches. It is very easy to get in and out of the Insta-Bed Queen Raised Air Mattress thanks to its dual chamber design’s stable edges. It sits at the same height as a regular mattress as it is considered to be a “luxury raised queen size” bed.

There are also “Sure Grips” that hold the bed to the floor so that it doesn’t slide around. The cord doesn’t get in the way thanks to the built-in storage cup. There’s also a 1-year warranty so you can rest easy without concern about losing your airbed to a malfunction. Users love that it power deflates in little time.

As for the negatives, some have complained that the bed becomes too cold as it doesn’t have much insulation. Others have mentioned that it loses more than its fair share of air after it is slept on. A handful has found that it develops holes near the air valve. However, the quality and performance of this product vary from customer to customer. For instance, this reviewer gave the Insta-Bed Raised Queen a five-star rating for its excellent performance:

This bed is a step above the Aerobed. Unlike my previous 2 aerobeds, this mattress doesn’t leak. None at all over an 8 day period of guests. Not even a slow leak. None! Pump is quick and the power deflate is a real time and space saver. Flocking on the mattress is also warmer than a cold plastic top. Can’t believe how much less in price this was over the aerobeds– a no-brainer!

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Buying Guide and Useful Tips

Properties of Air Mattresses

Let’s talk briefly about the most important properties of air mattresses and what to look for when choosing one.

Price

For most of us, the price is a really important factor. Often the most important one. I’m here to let you know that buying an air mattress based on price alone isn’t a good idea. There are many cheap ones on the market and, as the saying goes, you get what you pay for. It’s better to choose a more expensive mattress with much better reviews and a good warranty. Speaking of warranty.

Warranty

You need to know that even if you’ve bought the absolute top air mattress on the market, it can turn out to be leaky after first inflation. That happens and you need to be prepared for it (hint: buy your mattress in advance, not two days before it’s needed). Read the mattress’ warranty and look for reviews where people mention they needed a replacement and how that turned out. Best companies usually send a replacement quickly and no questions ask. Make sure you choose a company that doesn’t wait a week or two before sending a new mattress.

Size

This one is fairly simple. Consider how many people should the mattress accommodate and choose appropriately. If it’s for one person, twin or full-size mattress is enough. If it’s for a couple, choose a queen or king-sized mattress. Obviously, make sure the room where you plan to inflate the mattress has enough space to fit it.

Height

For some groups of people mattress’ height is very important. Generally speaking, the older people who will use the mattress are, the more important its height. First of all, higher air beds resemble traditional beds. Second, important for elder people, the higher the bed the easier it is to get in and out of it. And since whoever is going to use the bed is likely getting in and out of it at least once a day, make sure that’s comfortable for them as well.

Durability

Simply speaking, look for a durable mattress. Obviously, even the most durable air bed can be punctured quite easily, but by choosing a durable mattress you decrease the chances of puncturing by accident.

Pump

Unless you plan to use the mattress outdoors, choose one with a built-in pump that plugs directly into an outlet. Having the ability to inflate the mattress manually is also worth considering, especially if there are temporary outages where you live or the air bed won’t have access to an outlet. Make sure the pump is quiet and inflates the bed quickly (in a couple of minutes), as quite often you will use it in the late evening or during the night and you likely won’t be in the mood to wait 10 minutes until it does its job. Because of the same reasons, the pump should be easy to access and use. You don’t want to struggle for a couple of minutes to get that thing working.

Just to let you know, there are some mattresses with a second, automatic pump that makes sure the mattress is properly inflated throughout the night. Worth thinking about if you’re afraid the mattress will lose too much air during the night.

Comfort

Measuring comfort is tricky as there isn’t really a good way of doing that. Many people suggest testing out the mattress before buying and that is certainly a good idea. But testing for a couple of minutes won’t give you the same feeling as you would get for spending a night (not to say a couple of nights in a row) on it.

Because of that, make sure you read what buyers wrote about the comfort that the bed provides. If most people found it quite comfortable, even for a long term use, chances are you will find it comfortable too. If most didn’t get a good night’s sleep on it, chances are the same will happen to you.

Air holding

Ideally, you would inflate a mattress once and it would stay fully inflated forever. That’s not the case, though. The reality is every air bed will need inflation from time to time. Some mattresses more often than others. As long as you don’t have to inflate it every day or two (Which would be really annoying), it’s should be fine, especially because adding some air will usually mean running the built-in pump for a couple of seconds.

When it comes to air holding, there’s one more thing you should know. After buying the mattress, chances are for the first few nights you will find the mattress in need of some pumping in the morning. When that happens, many people think the mattress is leaky. More often than not that’s not the case and the change in firmness isn’t caused by loss of air but by the material stretching. After two or three nights that effect should be gone.

Benefits of an Air Mattress

Just like any type of bed, an air mattress has its pros and cons. The materials, size, and quality will affect the overall performance of the mattress. Below, we’ve outlined some of the many benefits of using an air mattress:

Comfort

Comfort is the most important factor you must consider when shopping for a mattress and air mattresses happen to be some of the most comfortable mattresses on the market! As the name implies, air mattresses utilize air as a cushion so you’re literally sleeping on air. The firmness can be adjusted according to your preference to ensure a sound sleep night after night.

Portability

Air mattresses are designed for camping, overnight trips, etc. so they have to be portable. These mattresses typically fold conveniently so you can carry it with you wherever you go. Because they are lightweight, airbeds are easily movable from room to room. And they should be ready to use within minutes!

Durability

Air mattresses vary in quality, some will break down faster than others, depending on how often you use it, how you use it, and the material. Most air mattresses are able to withstand the same or more than the weight that a typical mattress can handle. But just like anything in life, it will break down at some point so to ensure longevity, take care of your mattress.

Price

One of the benefits of an air mattress is that it’s cheaper than your average foam or spring mattress. Despite the differences in prices, air mattresses offer the same benefits you get from a traditional mattress.

Importance of Reading Reviews

While in case of many other products you just need to read product’s description and features and you already know if it’s something for you, for air mattresses things are different. Virtually every manufacturer promises you getting a good night’s sleep on their product, describes it as a super-durable and tells you their air bed is best for your needs. As you probably know, that’s not necessarily the truth. Instead of believing the producer, do a bit of research yourself.

While we did most of the heavy lifting for you by choosing the best mattresses on the market, you still need to take a closer look at those and read some reviews. Look for both positive and critical reviews. Take note of what people liked and what they didn’t like. Read how the manufacturer handled customer service. This will give you confidence when you will finally decide to press that “buy” button.