Air Mattress Reviews
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Best queen air mattress

If you want to give your overnight guests the comfort they would expect from a "real" bed, reviewers say you should have a SoundAsleep Dream Series Air Mattress tucked away in your closet. Comfortable, very easy to use, and made from durable materials, the SoundAsleep Dream Series inflates or deflates in just four minutes and stores in the included bag. Users say the queen-sized air bed is plenty big enough for two, and customer service is universally praised.

Cheap air mattress

Thousands of owners say that, for the price, you can't beat the comfort and convenience of an Intex Pillow Rest Air Mattress. This queen-sized air bed measures 60 by 80 inches -- the same dimensions as a regular queen mattress -- and its 16.5 inch height offers enough thickness for a supportive rest. The padded, flocked top and built-in pillows add to the comfort level. The Intex queen-sized air mattress inflates in about four minutes with the integrated electric pump.

King-size air mattress

The king-sized Fox Air Beds High Rise is extremely popular with those who need a larger temporary bed due a move, or because they just like the comforts of home while traveling. The Fox Air Bed king measures 80 by 76 by 25 inches, which reviewers say makes it large enough for two people to sleep comfortably, with room left over for kids or pets. This air bed inflates or deflates quickly with the twist of a dial, and there is a hand pump option as well.

Best twin air bed

The one quibble most people have with air mattresses is that they can slowly lose air while you're sleeping on them. Insta-Bed solves this problem with the Insta-Bed Raised Air Mattress with Never Flat Pump. This air bed's dual pump system senses when the mattress is deflating and activates to maintain the air pressure to your chosen firmness level; there are three to choose from. The twin bed measures 74 by 39 by 18 inches, and a two-year warranty and good customer support help ensure long-term satisfaction.

Best air mattress for kids

As its name suggests, the AeroBed for Kids is a mini air mattress designed for children. It's smaller than a standard twin and has raised bumpers to keep kids from rolling off. The manufacturer recommends the Aerobed for ages 4 and up, but owners report using it successfully with toddlers. Parents love the removable, washable fleece cover and say their children find this air bed quite comfortable. It's also very easy to inflate using the handheld electric pump, and it deflates in about 15 seconds.

Best camping air mattress

You'll be a happy camper with the convenience and comfort of the Therm-A-Rest Basecamp Sleeping Pad. This self-inflating outdoor mattress is lightweight yet durable, and comes in three sizes -- regular, large and extra-large. Users say it provides a surprisingly effective cushion against the hard ground and helps insulate them from the cold. Backpackers love the Therm-A-Rest Basecamp mattress for its light weight and easily compressible design; car campers appreciate its compact footprint. Therm-A-Rest's lifetime warranty is a testament to the Basecamp's durability.

Air mattresses offer comfort and convenience at an affordable price

No, you're not dreaming: Air mattress technology and design has advanced to the point where many temporary air beds are now as comfortable as beds costing hundreds or thousands of dollars more. This makes a blow-up mattress a great choice to keep around for overnight guests, family members who may visit regularly but don't need an everyday bed (like grandkids), or as a temporary solution for someone who has moved and has to wait for their regular bed to arrive.

The right air mattress or sleeping pad can also make camping trips a lot more comfortable, providing a layer of cushioning between your sleeping bag and the ground. Some outdoor air mattresses are, in effect, outdoor beds, bringing all the comforts of the bed in your home to the great outdoors. Sleeping pads are lighter and thinner than regular air mattresses, making them suitable for folding and carrying in a pack. However, while sleeping pads are thin and lightweight, these self-inflating wonders still pack a lot of comfort in a small package.

Queen- and twin-sized air mattresses are by far the most common, but some manufacturers make air beds in full or king size as well. It's important to check the actual dimensions on the blow-up mattress you're considering, however; some air mattresses are sized a bit smaller than the true mattress size. Air mattresses also vary in thickness, but in general they can be either single-height or double-height. A single-height air mattress sits anywhere from 7 to 13 inches off the floor, which can make it difficult for some to get in and out of, especially those who may have physical challenges. A raised, or double-height mattress, by contrast, inflates to between 18 and 22 inches high, bringing it closer to normal bed height. One caveat: that extra thickness might require you to buy deep-pocketed fitted sheet sets, which are less common and more expensive than standard sheets. Head on over to our separate report on bed sheets for our top recommendations.

Some air mattresses are very basic, just blow up rectangles, but other air mattresses have extra features, such as raised bumpers or built-in pillows. Many people like those features because they help keep your bedding -- and your body -- from falling off the air bed if it's not up against a wall. Parents of small children are particularly complimentary of air beds with bumpers as they feel that those bumpers give their child a feeling of security.

All blow-up mattresses, regardless of what they are used for, have one thing in common: they‘re inflated with a pump -- although some sleep pads are self-inflating and can topped off by blowing into a valve. The pump that blows up the mattress may be built-in or a separate unit, and it may run on standard household current, battery power or muscle power (like a bicycle pump). Some mattresses do not actually come with a pump, which can be both a plus and a minus: you have to purchase the pump separately, but you can choose the type that's most convenient for you, and if it breaks you don't have to replace the whole mattress.

Temporary versus permanent air mattresses

Air mattresses should not be confused with permanent-use air beds such as the Sleep Number Bed, which uses air-filled pockets in place of springs. Temporary, inflatable air mattresses like those covered in this report can be quite inexpensive and are intended for occasional or short-term use only. While some owners do report using an inflatable air mattress as their regular bed, manufacturers do not recommend using air beds for long-term or permanent use. Most of the poor reviews we saw related to our top-rated air mattresses were from people who groused that the mattress started to lose air after months of daily use -- something that's to be expected from using what is, essentially, a reinforced, rectangular balloon.

Also, since you are sleeping on air, blow-up mattresses, even those with pillow or flocked tops, tend to have poor insulation. Because of that, we recommend putting a blanket under your air bed and topping it off with a good, thick mattress pad before adding the rest of your bedding. We recommend the best mattress pads in their own report.

Permanent air mattresses, on the other hand, are meant for everyday use and get excellent ratings for longevity and comfort, but they can also cost $1,000 or more -- at least as much as a traditional innerspring mattress. For more information about permanent air mattresses, see our separate report on mattresses.

Finding The Best Air Mattresses

For this update we found two helpful expert tests of air mattresses at Wirecutter and Your Best Digs. Both sites include a number of popular air beds for testing and many of their conclusions dovetail with owner reviews at retail sites like Amazon and Walmart. As always, Sleep Like the Dead's owner satisfaction surveys were very helpful in helping us narrow down our picks.

Among the factors we consider are what users had to say about how comfortable each mattress is to sleep on, as well as how easy it is to set up and to break down for storage. We also paid attention to durability: how well the mattress holds air during the night and how likely it is to develop problems, such as a leak or a pump failure. The result is our picks for top-rated air mattresses that offer the best combination of comfort, durability and ease of use.


Air Mattress Buying Guide

What the best air mattress does

*Provides plenty of support. A well-made air bed will distribute the air in the mattress equally, so there aren't lumpy spots or "bubbles" that make you roll off. Look for air mattresses with a network of internal air coils or chambers. Coil counts of 30 and up are most comfortable for a queen-sized air bed.

*Inflates and deflates easily. Mattresses with built-in pumps tend to work very quickly -- four minutes is usually the longest it takes to inflate or deflate a queen-sized air mattress. The pump should also be easy to use; simple dial controls are best. The air valves on air beds with external pumps should be well-adapted for the recommended pump and well-sealed to prevent leaks.

*A small footprint when deflated. Air mattresses are often used for camping, travel and other temporary situations, and are meant to be stowed away when not in use. When deflated, the mattress should be compact and lightweight enough to carry and pack away into a closet at home or a car trunk when camping.

*Holds air through the night. Virtually all air mattresses will deflate to some extent during use due to a combination of the weight of the sleeper and changes in temperature. However, the best blow-up mattresses should lose very little to no air over the course of a single night.

*Comes with a warranty. The best airbed warranties will cover both the bed and the pump (if included) for at least a full year.

Know before you go

How will you use the mattress? If you intend to use the mattress for guests -- or even as your own temporary bed -- then you may prefer a double-height air mattress. These are roughly the same height as a normal bed, making them easier to get in and out of than a single-height mattress on the floor. If you plan to use the blow-up mattress mostly for camping, however, you might find a single-height mattress easier to fit into your tent. With a camping mattress or sleep pad, you should also pay attention to how long the mattress takes to inflate and deflate and how easy it is to carry.

How will you inflate your blow-up mattress? If your mattress is strictly for indoor use, then a pump that plugs directly into a wall outlet will be both quick and convenient. However, if you intend to take the mattress camping in areas where there's no electricity, you'll need some other means of inflating it. You could use a pump that's powered manually (such as a bicycle pump or a built-in foot pump), a battery-powered one, or one that plugs into your car's accessory outlet. Some mattresses don't come with a pump at all, so you'll need to buy one separately. In that case, make sure that the one you choose will work where you intend to use it, and also that it's compatible with the air valve on the mattress.

How big does the air bed need to be? Air mattresses aren't always as large as a comparable regular mattress and box spring -- although others are. Double-check the mattress measurements to make sure it's large enough for you to fit comfortably -- or that it's comfortable enough for two if you have a partner. This is especially important if you (or your partner) are taller than average. Check the mattress's weight capacity as well to make sure it can support your body weight (solo or combined).

Where will you store the air mattress? Consider the amount of room the air mattress will take up when it's deflated. Don't assume that you'll be able to fit the mattress back into its original box once you've unpacked and used it; without a vacuum pump, it may not be possible to squeeze every bit of air out of it for packing.

Queen air mattresses are a top choice

Blow-up mattresses are available in the same size ranges as permanent mattresses, although queen- and twin-sized air beds are by far the most popular choices. In this section, we name a Best Reviewed queen, twin and king-sized mattress, plus a couple of worthy runners-up. If you're more interested in air mattresses or sleeping pads for camping, we discuss those elsewhere in this report.

First introduced to the air mattress market in 2013, the queen-sized SoundAsleep Dream Series Air Mattress (Est. $120) has blown up the competition. At 58 by 78 inches, it's slightly smaller than a true queen-sized bed, but very few reviewers note that as a negative, with many owners saying there is plenty of room for two people to sleep comfortably.

And comfort is the adjective we see the most when reading reviews of the SoundAsleep Dream Series. Owners can't rave enough about this supportive, yet adaptable, mattress. We even noted a few comments from husbands who tried to get themselves in the dog house so they would have an excuse to sleep in the guest room (not that that's something we'd recommend). Testers at Wirecutter praise this mattress's back support; although they do note that, "As with all air mattresses, there was some creaking and jiggling, which is more noticeable with two sleepers on a larger mattress." The Dream Series also comes in a twin size (Est. $100) if you only need room for one. That size is tested by Your Best Digs and it comes in at number three on their list of the top seven air mattresses. The SoundAsleep brand is the second-highest-rated in the temporary air mattress category at Sleep Like the Dead, with an owner satisfaction rating of 88 percent after 16,250 owner comments.

The SoundAsleep Dream Series features a network of 40 internal air coils that, combined with its tall, 19 inch height, feels as if you're sleeping on a true box spring and mattress, as opposed to an air bed, reviewers say. However, that 19-inch height also makes it hard to get a regular sheet set on this mattress; you'll have to shop for fitted sheets with deep pockets, which may be pricier than regular sheets. (See our separate report on bed sheets for some recommendations.)

The built-in pump on the SoundAsleep Dream Series means that it inflates quickly -- four minutes or less according to the manufacturer, and testers at Wirecutter found that to be true. Users also agree that inflating and deflating this air bed is super quick and easy. The SoundAsleep folds up to a fairly manageable 12 by 12 by 24 inches. The air mattress comes with a storage bag with handles.

As highly praised as the SoundAsleep Dream Series beds are, there are also a few caveats. First of all, it's only for indoor use and only for occasional use. We saw several complaints from people who used it daily for several months at a time, and then complained about it losing air or no longer inflating; we also saw some complaints from those who used it for camping and said it didn't last. Neither of those are the intended uses, as the manufacturer makes very clear. Also, the Dream Series beds, like most other blow-up mattresses, will gradually lose air as you use them and will need to be "topped off" after one or two uses (although a few reviewers say they use their SoundAsleep air beds for a week or more with no deflation). The majority of users understand this and have no problem. Others are irritated that they have to occasionally add air to their air mattress.

The Intex Pillow Rest Queen Air Mattress (Est. $50) doesn't get quite as much praise for comfort as the SoundAsleep Dream Series, but it's also about a third of the price and could be a good choice for a very temporary sleeping arrangement. This queen-sized air mattress is true-to-size, measuring 60 by 80 inches, making it slightly larger than the SoundAsleep. The Intex brand earns an overall owner satisfaction rating of 77 percent after 4,825 comments at Sleep Like the Dead.

At 16.5 inches thick, users say the Pillow Rest doesn't feel quite as "bed-like" as the SoundAsleep, but many say that's still plenty of padding for a very comfortable sleep. It's also thick enough that you'll probably still need deep-pocket sheets. The built-in pillows and easy-to-use, integrated air pump also get a lot of love -- the blow-up mattress inflates and deflates in about four minutes.

The main issue with the Intex is durability. Over time, the chambers that hold air can burst, resulting in a lopsided mattress. Some reviewers report that they burst with alarming "pops," waking them in the middle of the night, others say it was quieter and more gradual. However, these complaints are often made by those who use this air bed on a regular basis instead of a standard mattress and box spring set, or who have owned the Intex for years. Air mattresses are meant to be a temporary sleeping arrangement and no air mattress can't be expected to last forever, especially one this cheap. If you need a comfortable, occasional solution to accommodate overnight guests, the Intex Pillow Rest will be a great choice.

King-sized air mattresses allow you to stretch out

Although king-sized air mattresses are not quite as popular as queen-sized models, since they take up more space, couples appreciate being able to turn to the Fox Air Beds Plush High Rise (Est. $150) king size air mattress in a pinch. Many couples who are in the process of moving across the country say they purchased this air bed to use until their furnishings arrive; others say they use it for camping in family-sized tents, although it's not a mattress that's intended for outdoor use, per se. It's also a popular choice to set up in a guest room, since it's so accommodating of more than one sleeper. The Plush High Rise measures 80 by 76 by 25 inches, which is true king size; again, you will need deep pocket sheets for the 25 inch thickness. Fox Air Beds are also available in queen (Est. $130), full (Est. $110), and twin sizes (Est. $100). Your Best Digs names the Fix Airbed (they test the twin size) the number four rated mattress after testing seven.

Many users who have used the king-sized Fox Air Bed for an extended period say that it holds up better than most inflatable beds. However, like all air beds, it will deflate slowly over time -- sometimes more quickly than others -- and needs to be topped off when it does so. Also, although the manufacturer touts the inflatable bed's durability, and most users say it seems durable, there are complaints of it leaking or collapsing within a few months and the short, 90-day warranty gives us pause.

Having said that, the Fox Air Bed is very easy to inflate and deflate, owners note, with a simple dial control that activates the built-in pump. Also, unlike most air mattresses with a built-in pump, the Plush High Rise can also be inflated by any type of external pump -- for example, a hand or battery-operated pump in case you have no access to AC electricity. Also, if the built-in pump fails, you won't have to toss the whole mattress.

Twin-sized air mattresses a handy alternative for kids and guests

The biggest complaint we see about all air mattresses is that they gradually lose air through the night. This is because no material that is comfortable enough to sleep on will also hold air forever. Insta-Bed has largely has solved this problem with the Insta-Bed Raised Air Mattress with Never Flat Pump (Est. $150). There are two built in pumps. The main pump inflates the mattress in about four minutes, then the secondary pump monitors and maintains that air pressure. The air mattress also deflates quickly, and owners say that it is very easy to handle and store. This twin Insta-Bed measures 74 by 39 inches -- true twin size -- and the 18-inch depth makes users feel as if they're sleeping on a "real" bed, although it does require deep pocket sheets. It's also available in full and queen sizes.

While most air mattresses can be adjusted by adding or removing air, the Insta-Bed has three preset firmness levels, plush, medium or firm, and the secondary pump maintains whichever level you choose. Your Best Digs makes the twin-sized Insta-Bed their runner up pick. They tested it with the secondary pump system engaged and not engaged, and said even with it not on deflation was minor. The Insta-Bed brand earns a satisfaction rating of 79 percent after 3,740 owner comments at Sleep Like the Dead.

Contrary to Your Best Digs experience, the Insta-Bed Raised Air Mattress series gets some of the best owner reviews we've seen for comfort, with many users saying that they like it better than their regular bed because of its soft, yet uniform support thanks to its 21 circular air coils (35 on the queen size). It's particularly popular with back-pain sufferers. One concern we do have: we've seen an uptick in durability complaints, mostly related to leaks at the spot where the pump attaches to the mattress. There are also mixed reviews for customer service; some reviewers say it was excellent, others say it was terrible, but either supply no details or give this bed a low rating for durability without saying if they tried to contact the company and have the problem rectified. The Insta-Bed comes with a one-year warranty.

New for this update is Your Best Digs top choice, the Lazery Sleep Air Mattress (Est. $120). It's more highly rated at Amazon than the Insta-Bed, with 4.7 stars in more than 660 reviews. However, those are the only two review sources we found for this bed, and the Lazery's reviews date only from late 2015, while the Insta-Bed's date from 2012 -- so long-term durability is not as cut-and-dried with the Lazery as it could be. And we certainly did see durability complaints regarding the Lazery as well, just not as many.

So, we're keeping an eye on the Lazery air mattress with a view toward elevating it to Best Reviewed status next year based upon what we've seen so far. Your Best Digs -- as well as users -- really like the Lazery's seven firmness settings, which is unique to this bed. It also shuts off automatically when it reaches the desired firmness setting. That means you can customize your comfort simply by adjusting the dial, which is also very user-friendly, according to Your Best Digs. The Lazery inflates and deflates quickly, (1.5 and 2 minutes, respectively) and is a bit smaller than the Insta-Bed at 73 by 38 inches, although it's also 18 inches high.

Little kids love having their own little bed

Air mattresses for kids are a great idea not only for visits to grandma, but also for camping or any type of traveling where there might be a limited number of beds. No kids' air bed gets better reviews than the AeroBed Mattress for Kids (Est. $60), a mini air mattress that keeps small children snug and comfortable. It's for ages 4 and up, but many parents say they even use it as a travel bed for toddlers and it works very well.

At 50 inches long and 25 inches wide, this bed is roughly the same size as a crib mattress, and reviewers say that crib sheets will fit this air mattress. The AeroBed has a raised bumper all the way around the edge to keep children from rolling off and a fitted, washable cover made of soft fleece. Owners say it inflates quickly and easily with the hand-held electric pump, and most say that their kids find it very comfortable to sleep on. It's also reported as very durable, with some users saying they've owned the AeroBed blow-up mattress for 5 or 7 years and it's still going strong. The only real complaint we saw was the occasional mention that it sometimes squeaks when the child rolls around, but that may be fixable by adjusting the inflation.

A full-sized air mattress may be a good fit for some

They're less common than queen- or twin-sized air mattresses, in fact, some companies don't even make their air beds in a full size, but people who feel like a twin is just too small, yet don't have room for a queen-sized bed love this size option. We don't recommend one, specific full-sized air mattress in this report, but both Insta-Bed and the Fox Air make their well-reviewed air beds in a full size model.

 
 
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Prashnavali

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