Air Mattresses are convenient and often times extremely comfortable. Here are the best air mattresses available for a great night sleep.
The air mattress, also known as an air bed, inflatable mattress, and blow-up mattress, is incredibly useful in every household.
While its main benefit is providing temporary guest accommodation, more and more people are now using air mattresses as regular beds. After all, you wouldn’t need to hire a mover if you are relocating with an air bed.
The first air mattress was introduced in the US in 1889 by Pneumatic Mattress & Cushion Company, designed to be deflated and stowed easily.
A product called “Perfection” Air Mattress, sold by Mechanical Mfg. Co. was described in an old catalog as having an air-tight valve, which keeps the mattress firm even after continuous use.
The 1896 trade catalog entitled “10,000 Nights of Luxury” discussed the benefits of an air mattress in great detail. In hospitals, it was said to relieve bed sores among long-staying patients.
Interestingly, little has changed about the air mattress’s design and functionality even after a hundred years. Some of the advantages of an air mattress over a conventional mattress is portability and how it allows users to decide how hard or soft it can be based on their level of inflation.
Fast forward to today, portability is still the biggest selling point of air mattresses. But what was popular as a piece of camping equipment, now comes in different sizes and styles, with unique upgrades and reliable comfort.
Do you need an air mattress?
There are different factors to consider when buying an air mattress. It depends if you need it for everyday use or only plans to keep it as a spare bed. Perhaps you only need it for a comfortable campout?
Whatever your reasons are, you need to know the pros and cons of owning an inflatable mattress. Every brand has a unique feature that brings added versatility and convenience to the table.
You may find yourself wanting different types of air mattresses for varied needs. This guide will help you weigh and decide if an mattress is what you need.
Air beds are great for small spaces. You only have to take it out when you need it. It can be tucked away and stored without hogging all your storage space. Perfect for small apartments or if you want to go for a sleepover. Sure, why not bring your own bed?
You can set the firmness of an air mattress. If you have a foam or a spring bed, you have to put up with the level of hardness you chose for the rest of its life (or until you buy a new one). You can’t remove the “fillings” without damaging your bed. Changing the level of firmness in an air mattress is as easy as opening the valves and removing as much air as you’d prefer.
Cleaning or dusting an air mattress is trouble-free. Forget heavy lifting; you don’t need to break your back rotating a 60-pound mattress all by yourself. An average queen-size bed weighs less than 20 pounds and can hold more than 500 pounds.
They don’t sag. Of course, an air mattress can go limp as it loses air but all you have to do is inflate it again.
You can use it outdoors. There are many multifunctional air mattresses available in the market, which you can use at home, in your car, and when you are out camping. They are waterproof, durable, and easy to carry.
You won’t want to deal with punctures and leaks. Depending on the surface material used, air beds are subject to punctures and air seeping out unnoticed. A good quality, puncture-resistant inflatable probably costs a fortune, but there are heavy-duty air mattresses that can take all sorts of abuse, whether you are hiking or dealing with a grumpy cat.
Some pumps are noisy. When inflating an air bed, some pumps impart an audible sound that can be irritating at night. If you’re sharing a room with sleeping children or a guest, you might want to inflate your bed early on.
It has a shorter warranty than regular beds. Your air mattress comes with a pump and it can break or get faulty. Replacing a pump requires extra cost, so are repairs for leaky or punctured mattresses.
Temperature regulation can be a problem. Most air mattresses are made of synthetic materials that aren’t breathable. Depending on the weather, you may feel too hot or too cold because the air inside the mattress takes on the temperature outside, and there’s no way to disperse the heat from your body. The best solution for this is to place bed covers or cotton blankets on the bed’s surface.
Sleeping with a companion can be uncomfortable. A standard air mattress can be a struggle when sleeping with your partner, especially if you are a light sleeper. Bigger mattresses have two separate chambers inside, so opt for a full-size air mattress and pray you won’t drip in the middle.
Other things to consider when buying an air mattress
An air mattress is typically made of polyvinyl chloride or PVC. They can also be made of rubber and flexible thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU). The latter is more durable, stretchy, and with desirable chemical properties, but not as commonly used as the other materials mentioned.
High-quality mattresses made of vulcanized rubber or special urethane plastic are durable and comfortable enough to give you a good night’s sleep. Just put a mattress topper and you’re good to go. This extra layer of support and cushioning addresses the temperature regulation issues in standard inflatable mattresses.
An air mattress can be filled automatically or manually, and some provide an option for both. A self-inflating mattress has a built-in internal pump and inflates in minutes. However, it requires electric power so you need to plug it into a wall outlet. Those with two inflation options may not come with a pump, thus purchasing a separate pump is necessary.
The height of your air mattress matters. An air bed that raises you comfortably off the ground would feel like a real bed instead of a camping mat. It’s hard to find an air mattress that provides the same comfort as a traditional bed. Your best bet is a plush, elevated, inflatable bed with suction grips on the bottom that prevent sliding.
Air beds differ in size, forms, and features to serve different purposes. Lightweight, thin, and reduced-size mattresses, also known as sleeping pads or mats, are intended for camping and multi-day hikes. A layer of foam is usually added under the air chambers for insulation.
Large and more elaborate blow-up beds are great for permanent use or as a spare bed for guests. Permanent air beds must offer precise customization for firmness and temperature since comfort is the number one deciding factor in choosing any bed.
Whether you’re a budget shopper or someone who values luxury, there’s an air bed that will suit your needs. Although a low-priced temporary bed can save the day, it is also worth investing in an air bed with accompanying features that could spell the difference between comfort and misery.
However, you don’t need to spend thousands on a comfortable mattress. You can get a branded blow-up for less than $150. The average prices range from $50 to $500. But, seriously, no one’s stopping you in taking home a high-end, adjustable, memory-foam air mattress at $3000.
Air Mattress FAQ
Q: Is an air mattress good for health?
A: Air-filled beds have mixed reputations. Some find it unbearably uncomfortable. Others use it to ease their back pains. It’s best to consult your doctor if you need an air mattress for health reasons.
Q: How can I make an air mattress more comfortable?
A: Newer models are now more comfortable than traditional air mattresses. But if your existing mattress is flimsy and stiff, you can make it extra comfy by using proper covers and bedsheets To increase the overall quality of your air mattress, choose a good topper. They can be made of gel foam, latex, polyester, and cotton blend materials.
Q: How can I prevent my air mattress from losing air?
A: Sometimes an air bed deflates overnight, which can be frustrating. Improper inflation can occur for a variety of reasons such as a flaw in the design, a puncture, or the natural stretching out of new mattresses. One trick to try is to inflate the bed for a few days without using it. Also, make sure you know the maximum capacity of your mattress, as the extra weight can cause damage and improper inflation.
Q: How long do inflatable mattresses last?
A: If you intend to use your air mattress regularly, it will degrade quickly. Good quality mattresses used sporadically can last for more than five years. A mattress advertised as a temporary bed is not designed for everyday use. Using it as a primary bed could void your warranty.
Q: Should I throw away a punctured air mattress?
A: It depends on the type you have. Most air mattresses with small punctures or leaks can be repaired. But if repair costs are high, it’s best to buy a new one.