Best Air Mattress – Buyer’s Guide

Air mattresses are awesome.

Normally it takes up to 4 minutes to inflate an air mattress. And you can easily fold one when you don’t need it.

Air mattresses can save you when your guests arrive, when you go camping or even when you need to sleep in your car.

And what about everyday use? Some people say that you can use your air mattress instead of a standard bed. Well, this is one of the most popular myths. We’ll shatter it later in this post.

There are many different air mattresses on the market. Lots of them have some special features.

So the question is: what you really need from your air mattress?

In this article we’ll discuss and pick the best air mattresses that will be used:

  • As a Main Bed
  • As a Guest Bed
  • For Camping
  • In a Car or a SUV

Read ultimate guide which will help you to pick the best air mattress personally for you!

Top 5 Best Air Mattresses

SoundAsleep Dream Series Check the Price
Coleman SupportRestColeman SupportRest 
Check the Price
Intex Dura-Beam Pillow RestIntex Pillow Rest Check the Price
King Koil Raised Air MattressKing Koil
Check the Price
SoundAsleep CloudNine SeriesSoundAsleep CloudNine Series
Check the Price
Coleman Camping CotColeman Frames
Check the Price

Types of Air Mattresses

Typically, the most common air mattress is a raised (double height) queen size mattress with a built-in pump.

But there are many other fancy types. And to help you figure out in which case you need this or that type of air mattress we explain what types of mattresses exist and why you may need to pick one of them.

If you want to be fully satisfied with your choice you might want to know more about all of the types.

Nowadays air mattresses are more than just a shell you fill with air. Air mattresses may wield different features and they come at different prices. Some may change their shape, some may have different levels of firmness, and some have a remote control.

Types of Air Mattresses by High


A raised mattress is twice higher than a standard mattress in your bedroom.

A raised mattress is usually 16”-20” high.

One of the most common and comfortable types for indoor use.

It’s height usually comparable with normal bed height. So laying on a raised mattress may feel like laying on a normal bed (in regard to height). It’s pretty easy to get into the bed and to get up.

Inflate a balloon and you will see that air inside a balloon is unstable. It moves and its shape changes.

Imagine that air mattress is a big flat balloon. You want it to be stable during the night. So manufacturers have added support systems inside air mattresses, especially raised air mattresses, big ones.

The support system can be made of air chambers, fibers or any other constructions inside a mattress.

Different manufacturers may use different support systems. These systems also help to distribute pressure inside a mattress evenly. It prevents air mattress from deforming and influence its durability.

Support systems make mattresses more stable and durable. So when your partner will lay on the bed you wouldn’t notice that so badly.

With Frames and Rails

This is a portable copy of your standard bed.

There is another way to put a mattress over the ground.

It is to put a mattress on frames.

Why someone would want to do that?

  • You wouldn’t feel like you are laying on the ground.
  • It creates a space between the air mattress and cold floor/ground. You wouldn’t feel cool

Sometimes even when people use air mattresses while camping they want to feel like they sleep on a normal bed. It is possible to get that feeling with Coleman mattress, for example

Frames allow air mattress to imitate a standard bed.

Frames raise a mattress above the ground and isolate mattress from a cold floor or a ground.

You can also use these mattresses outdoor to enjoy extra comfort they provide you with

Low Profile Mattress

Low Raised Mattresses are usually 7”-10” high just like traditional mattresses.

Low profile air mattresses usually two times lower than raised air mattresses.

These are budget-friendly models.

If you don’t want to spend a fortune or believe that your mattress may be destroyed by your kids or pets soon anyway, it can be a perfect choice for you.

Just like raised mattresses they usually contain internal support systems to make them more comfortable and durable.

Raised models are more comfortable than these ones. But these low mattresses are more portable and may be used while camping. Also a good option if you don’t want to pay much and going to use air mattress not often.

By configuration


We should probably call them “transformers”.

Convertible models may change their shape and functions:

  • 2 twin size mattresses may become 1 queen size mattress,
  • Air mattresses which may be transformed into a sofa,
  • Air mattresses that can be used in a SUV or independently on the floor.

You are buying one mattress but getting couple different products.

Sounds great.

So why not kill two birds with just one stone?

Usually these mattresses don’t perform best at each option.

You can save your money because buying two different products would be more expensive. But if you are looking for a specific function you should aim for a product which was made to perform best only that function.

If you need your mattress to perform a couple functions it can be better to buy one convertible air mattress instead of couple different products. It can be cheaper and more convenient. For example, big air mattress which consists of 2 twin size mattresses would be cheaper than buying 2 separate twin size mattresses.


A single function bed.

Though it can’t be split into 2 beds it performs its main and only function pretty well.

By Inflating Method

With Built In Pumps

Built-in pumps can’t be separated from a mattress.

They are easy to use. It’s impossible to lose them (unless you will lose your mattress too). It is easy to turn them on. It is easy to store them together with a mattress.

Some air mattresses have 2 built-in pumps: one main pump and one additional quite pump. The quite one helps to keep the stable pressure inside the mattress during the night quietly.

Separate Pump

Separate pumps are less comfortable than built-in.

However, you can use that pump for other purposes and can even save money when buying your next air mattress without a pump. For example, this Coleman mattress is sold without a pump.


Those are usually models made for camping.

It’s easy to use self-inflatable mattresses where you can’t turn on the pump.

Other Types

Some air mattresses may be sold without a pump.

Some pumps can work from batteries and some are wired. You need to think about that before picking a mattress for outdoor use.

By Regulation of Firmness

Air mattresses can change their level of firmness.

It’s a unique function that standard mattresses don’t possess.

Have you ever tried inflating a ball or balloon? The more air it gets the harder it becomes.

The same applies to any air mattress. It can become softer or firmer depending on how much air you put inside it.

If you add some air into your air mattress it becomes firmer. Remove some air and mattress will become softer.

It’s perfect for people who are very sensitive to the level of firmness and need to customize their mattresses. For example, people with back pain may feel better only while sleeping on a firm mattress.

But how do you regulate the pressure inside the air mattress?


You can turn on a pump till you get the needed firmness and then turn it off manually.

It’s not comfortable because:

  • It’s hard to guess when to turn off the pump.
  • Every time to get the best level of firmness you’ll need to repeat “guessing” the amount of air you need to pump.
  • It’s important to not overinflate the mattress because it may cause a leak of a mattress.

If you don’t care about regulating the level of firmness, this is a perfect choice for you. These air mattresses are the most simple and cheap comparing to the second two types.


Some air mattresses have mechanical switchers near their pumps.

They usually have 3 modes:

  • Plush
  • Medium
  • Firm

You just have to switch to the mode you need and that’s it. No need to guess when to turn off the pump. No risk of overinflating your mattress.

Adjustable Air Beds

There are 3 main problems concerning this:

  1. Each air mattress may lose pressure
  2. It can be uncomfortable and noisy to inflate mattress at night.
  3. It’s hard to correlate the firmness of the mattress by yourself (manually).

Good adjustable mattresses can easily solve each of these problems.

In addition to this, you can pick an air mattress with a remote control to change the firmness of the mattress during the night.

By Type of Surface

With Memory Foam

When using air mattress every day you may want to make it more comfortable.
Some manufacturers tried to make air mattresses more alike to standard mattresses and added memory foam layer on the top of their products.

Without Cover

Air mattresses without any special cover material may be uncomfortable.

Sheets may slide on a slick mattress.

Cover Which Prevents From Sliding

Lots of mattresses have a cover on the top which prevents sheets from sliding.

By Usage

People may want to use their air beds for different purposes. And there are many ways to use air mattresses. We’ve listed them here, so you can pick a mattress which better suits your needs…

As a Main Bed

You can use air mattresses for everyday use as the main bed. Most manufacturers don’t recommend that. In some cases it can even void your warranty. You need to look for super durable air mattresses to use them as your main bed. SoundAsleep Dream Series may work for you.

As a Guest Bed

You can use air mattresses occasionally. They need to be portable and easy to use.  Air mattress with built-in pump can be easily inflated in a couple minutes.

For Camping

Why not make your camping even more comfortable and eventful, have a nice sleep and rest well. You’ll wake up enthusiastic and full of energy. All you need is a good air mattress for camping. 

For a Car or SUV

An awesome choice for car travelers to have a good night’s sleep. No need to set up the tent. It’s comfortable and warm to sleep inside the car. 

How to Pick

Step by Step Guide

  1. First, you need to ask yourself a question: “Why do I need an air mattress?” It will help you to pick the type of your mattress.
  2. Second question: ”Am I going to use air mattress indoor or outdoor”.
  3. How comfortable it has to be?
  4. How much money are you ready to spend on your mattress?

The main reason you want to think about it before buying the mattress is a location. Some mattresses are made for outdoor use and some mattresses are made to be used in a home only.

If you may want to use air mattress in your truck or yard it’s better to think about special mattresses.

Some air mattresses may use batteries. So it’s easier to use them outdoors.


Common air mattresses are not meant to be used outdoors or at camping.

You wouldn’t be able to use your common air mattress in your car. But some air mattresses which were made for car or SUV can be used in house but they are less comfortable for indoor use.

Comfort Level/Thickness

Some mattresses are more comfortable than others. However, comfort has its price.


Think about how much space you have for your air mattress and how many people are going to use an air mattress.

Air mattresses come in different sizes just like standard ones: twin, queen, king.

If you are not sure which size is good for you, check this post.

Keep in mind that air mattresses may have sizes which are close to standard (twin, queen, king) but be a little different.


Pump is the heart of every air mattress. It is one of the main things to consider before buying air mattress.

Air mattresses are equipped with different types of pumps:

  • Electrical
  • Mechanical
  • Pumps on batteries
  • “Dual pumps system”

Pump makes an impact on:

  1. Mechanical pumps and pumps with batteries allow you to use air mattresses outdoor. You will need a power source for electrical pumps (you may use battery or will need to connect pumps to an electrical outlet).
  2. A good pump makes it easy to inflate the mattress. Consider this before trying to inflate your air mattress in the middle of the night. Mechanical pumps are harder to use inside the house. Pumps on batteries will require batteries replacement. And separate pumps can be missing somewhere when you need them. Built-in pumps can be the best choice for indoor use. Luckily this is the most popular type of pumps in air mattresses nowadays.
  3. New technologies allow making pumps silent during the night. Pay attention to air mattresses with two pumps: standard and the silent one. The second silent pump may have different names (depends on manufacturer) but its main function is to silently and slowly inflate the air mattress during the night.

Air Holding Ability

Stretching of PVS and Seams. Valve

However, need to remember that all air mattress may lose air even if they are fine.

The main reasons for losing air may be:

  • Temperature Fluctuations
  • Not Taking a Good Care of Your Mattress.
  • Not Following the Instructions


The warranty period and terms may vary.

Manufacturers may provide you with 30 days or 1 year warranty period.

As for terms, sometimes you may find out that you’ll have to pay for shipping. In some cases, it decreases the amount of refund dramatically. So you just wouldn’t want to return your money back.

The overall warranty of the product is critical. It says about the quality of a mattress much better than advertisements.


In most cases, price correlates with durability.

You may find a cheap air mattress which looks good but you should pay more attention to its durability. Read reviews of other customers to find out whether their air mattress has lasted long.

Durability depends on the construction of air mattress and lots of details that you wouldn’t be able to check.

Good warranty and high price may be criterions which correlate with durability.

Weight Limitations

You will be able to find the limitations in a specification that comes with a mattress. But it’s better if you will look for weight limitations before buying a mattress.


Because if you will overload your mattress you may cause it to leak. And it will ruin your sleeping experience.

The mattress may be good for you but if you may have heavy guest you’ll need to think about picking a mattress with proper limitations for them too.


Durability is the most important thing about your mattress.

Usually, owners of air mattresses complain about leaks and deflation of their mattresses.

The mattress itself may look fine, may have an awesome price, may even feel comfortable. But you will hate it if you will find out that

If you want to buy the best air mattress, you need to think about it in the first place.

What makes your mattress more durable?

  • The thickness of the Material.
  • Type of the Material.
  • Weight Distribution.
  • Pressure Distribution.

Best Air Mattress for Long Term Everyday Use

Do you want to use your mattress every day?

We have two news for you, one good, one bad.

The bad news is that air mattress is not made to last long. The good news is that there are mattresses which last much longer than others.

These are not just words. Using air mattresses on an everyday basis for a long period of time may void a warranty.

SoundAsleep, for example, recommends considering buying a standard mattress if you need a sleeping solution for longer than 2 months of daily use.


There are two main groups of reasons why mattresses don’t last long:

  • The mattress is made of lots of components which move or work. The material of the mattress has to stretch, the pump needs to work every day, seams which hold the mattress together will stretch too, the valve needs to be opened and closed. Every component should work perfectly to keep the mattress in perfect condition. So sooner or later your pump can get broken or leaks of air may emerge.
  • Besides that, children, sharp objects, animals can pose a danger to your mattress. You need to realize that wrong movement with some sharp object in your hand, animals paws with sharp nails or even placing a mattress on a small imperceptible sharp object can ruin your mattress. So if that mattress would be your only option to sleep on, one day you may face the problem of finding something to sleep on.

How to Pick the Mattress Which Will Last longer?

  1. Best Warranty. You should look for the product with the longest warranty period. Warranty periods vary from 30 days to 1 year! Customer service has to be responsive and helpful. Not only this will help you to solve any problem but will be a sign of a good quality mattress. If the manufacturer is ready to provide you with a longer trial period, he’s more confident about the quality of his product.
  2. Air Chambers. Air chambers make the mattress more stable. Which means when you are laying on the mattress with chambers the pressure will spread through the chambers, the mattress will not deform and the material will not stretch.
  3. NeverFlat Pump. It actually holds the same pressure inside the mattress during the night no matter what. So what you get again is a stable mattress which doesn’t deform and stretch while you are using it.

This advice will help you to pick the most durable mattress. However, manufacturers may use any other technologies to make their mattresses more durable. You can look for reviews of a particular mattress to find out whether it’s durable or not.

Just keep in mind that cheapest mattresses may not be very durable and the best option for you even despite the attractive price.

Best Comfortable Air Mattress

If you are looking for a mattress that you will use every day you’ll need to find the most comfortable one.

What does comfort mean to you?

You may neglect some features. And some features may be critical for you. Will give you the list of possible options an air mattress may possess.

It can be fun to use the air mattress sometimes. It also can be fine to buy an air mattress for everyday use for a short period of time.

But using the air mattress every day for a long period of time might not be the best idea. You can get disappointed.

What to Look For?

It all depends on your needs.

There are different types of mattresses. Make sure that your mattress fits its purpose. You can’t use a common air mattress on camping and mattress for camping may not fit your car because of its size.

Start from thinking how you want to use your air mattress and what your needs are, pick the proper type first and then go for details (height, pump, inflation).


Raised Air Mattress

Raised air mattresses are higher than common models. Usually, they are twice higher than common air mattresses and not thinner than 10″. Raised air mattresses are much easier to get in and out. Their heigh is similar to the height of a common bed. These model can be preferable for people who seek for comfort.

Mattress with Built-in Pump

Air mattresses with built-in pumps are easy to use. You only need to turn on the pump to inflate the mattress. You will never lose the pump, you will not need extra space to keep your pump. It’s usually easier to use air mattresses when they have a built-in pump.

Adjustable Air Bed

Depending on the amount of air inside the air mattress it may be soft or firm. People may have different preferences but if you have an adjustable air bed you can pick the firmness you like at any time!

Memory Foam on the Top

The perfect option for those who don’t like how a common air mattress feels. There can be a layer of memory foam on the top of the air mattress to make you feel more comfortable.

Best Air Mattress for Guests

You need to determine what do you mean by saying “best mattress for guests”.

Are you looking for the most comfortable mattress for your guests or the cheapest one?

Depending on that you can reduce some features you may need for everyday use:

  • Memory foam on the top. Not everyone likes memory foam feel. You may pick it for yourself but you can’t be sure if your guests will appreciate memory foam feel.
  • Adjustable features. Still can be useful.
  • Separate Pump. You may pick the mattress with a separate pump just because you wouldn’t have to pump the mattress often.
  • Convertible Mattress. That’s a useful feature if you are not always sure how many guests you would have or don’t have much space.

You probably wouldn’t need to use the mattress too often.

Tips for Use and Repair

First, you need to find out whether your mattress has a leak.

Mattresses may lose air for different reasons:

  • Changes in temperature.
  • Stretching of the material during the first use.

Care and Maintenance

Please read the manual.

It is important!

Air mattresses have different weight limits. They also may need some special care. And in case you will not follow some rules it may void the warranty!

Usually, you have to inflate air mattress twice before using to let it stretch.

Do not over inflate.

Storing your bed under 50 °F (10 °C) and over

100 °F (38 °C) may affect its performance and will not be covered

under warranty.

ay from any sharp objects. Large cuts or snags may

not be repairable and will not be covered by your warranty

Don’t sit on a mattress during inflating


Post Author: Sleepguide

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