The air mattress has become a great substitute for conventional mattresses in recent years, with many people choosing to use one as their main mattress because they’re so easy to inflate and provide a lot of flexibility for those who need it.
If you move house often, frequently have guests over or you simply need another bed that you can place anywhere in your home, the inflatable air mattress is for you.
They’re comfortable, durable, well priced and are even available in queen and king sizes, providing you with a versatile option whether you intend to use it as a day bed, somewhere to sit or even your main bed.
We’ve tested the best air mattresses available and can now tell you what to look for as well as which air mattress to buy if you’re in the market for a new blow up bed.
Best Air Mattress Inflatable Bed
SoundAsleep Dream Series Air Mattress – Best for Everyday Use
We rated this mattress as the best air mattress for camping and its also managed to take the win as a general use replacement bed.
You’re getting a 19 inch raised height mattress that has been constructed with high quality materials and is built to last as well as a design that wont look out of place in any bedroom. The multi layered soft flocking top cover feels great against the skin and is resistant to wear.
The internal pump is one of the best we’ve tested and is capable of inflating this mattress in as little as 4 minutes. And if you ever need to deflate it for storage, it will automatically let the air out just as quickly.
Comfort is paramount, which is why SoundAsleep have used their ‘ComfortCoil’ technology for the internal construction, providing 40 individual air coils for maximum support. And it works, as you’ll struggle to find a more comfortable air bed.
Available in four different sizes, you won’t go wrong with this model as your new inflatable bed.
Intex Queen Ultra Plush Dura-Beam Airbed – Best Replacement Bed
If you want your airbed to look and perform more like a normal bed, look no further than the Ultra Plush from Intex.
Its stand out feature is that it comes with a built-in headboard, a feature that you are unlikely to see on other blow up beds. This gives you the ability to sit up in bed which is one feature that many airbed users miss when they make the transition to this type of bed.
Intex have utilized their proprietary Dura-Beam system which features a patented Fibre-Tech interior. This system provides exceptional levels of comfort and support which is backed up by the fact that this bed is marketed as being able to support up to 600 lbs in weight.
It also includes a built-in pillowtop cushion system which adds an additional layer of comfort to the design.
Available in queen size only and a height of 18 inches, this bed makes a great alternative to our top pick for those looking for that traditional bed look and feel.
King Koil Elevated Air Mattress – Great for Guests
The King Koil blowup mattress is a firm favorite with consumers and the team here love it too. King Koil have focused on luxury with this air mattress and it shows.
Every surface feels well made and designed to last, with exceptional attention to detail given to how seamlessly the soft flocked top surface blends into the sides. Unlike most air mattresses, this flocking material covers the entirety of the bed and is responsible for much of the luxurious feel.
The internal construction is a unique air coil system which is designed to distribute weight evenly across the bed for the ultimate in support and comfort, providing perfect spinal alignment while you sleep.
Inflation is taken care of by a powerful twin air pump which is fast enough to rival the SoundAsleep model, taking just minutes to inflate from a fully deflated state.
Available in three sizes including twin, queen and California King with an overall height of 20 inches, this air mattress is perfect for use in a spare room when guests stay over or as your main bed.
OlarHike Inflatable Air Mattress – Best Budget Option
OlarHike’s double height air mattress strikes a great balance between comfort, usability and value for money, providing a great air bed at a lower cost than most others.
And they haven’t had to sacrifice many features to achieve it either. The internal air coil system inflates quickly and provides a fantastic level of support with spine positioning and comfort at the core of its design.
The level of firmness can quickly be adjusted via the built-in pump with suggested inflation times provided to achieve your desired level of firmness, whether you suffer from back pain or desire softness.
Wipe clean soft flocking is provided for the top layer and puncture resistant PVC is provided for the sides, making this air mattress as durable as most others.
If you’re on a budget or are simply looking for a cheap air mattress, this model is for you.
Intex Comfort Plush Mid Rise Air Bed – Best Low Height Option
Not everyone wants to be elevated so highly while sleeping. If you prefer to sleep nearer to the ground, Intex’s 13 inch mid rise air bed might be for you.
The external construction is the typical layer of flocking on top followed by PVC sides and a grippy non slip bottom surface for added stability.
Through the use of their Dura-Beam system, Intex have managed to create an air mattress that is just as strong and durable as their full height models, with an overall weight capacity of 600 lbs. This means that the bed is perfect for both single sleepers and two sleepers alike, providing you choose the queen size mode.
Inflation is handled by an internal air pump which inflates quickly and quietly once plugged into a wall socket and it also takes care of deflation for easy storage or transportation.
And best of all, it’s the cheapest air mattress we tested.
How to Choose An Air Bed
Not all inflatable beds are made equally and there can be significant differences in both their intended use and the features and level of specification they possess. Once you know what you’re looking for, the buying process becomes much simpler, so we’ve put together this guide which covers all of the important aspects.
Air Mattress Types
The most common type and the one most people will be interested in is the raised air mattress. They range between 15 and 25 inches in height and are designed to replicate a normal bed.
They’re also the most comfortable type of inflatable bed as due to their size, they hold far more air once inflated which is going to provide you with greater support and comfort.
Convertible Air Beds
The convertible air bed is designed to be used as both a piece of furniture and a bed depending on how you’ve configured it. This is option is great for those who want to sit on a sofa during the day which can then be turned into a bed for sleeping on.
If this feature sounds appealing, some floor mattresses offer a similar solution.
Roll Up Air Mattresses
Roll up inflatable beds are designed to be rolled up when not in use for easy storage. Their low height and profile make this task far quicker and easier than a raised mattress which makes them useful for short term sleeping solutions.
The sacrifice is far less comfort and the sensation of sleeping on the floor which won’t be for everyone.
Self Inflatable Air Mattresses
Some blow up beds are capable of inflating themselves via a built-in air pump – very convenient if you don’t have an electric or foot pump to hand. Unfortunately, this type of air mattress tends to be low in height which makes them more similar in use to a roll up mattress.
Best used for camping and road trips for most people.
Built-In Frame Air Mattresses
There are several inflatable beds on the market which even come with a built-in frame. These frames are designed to provide additional support and are great for those who want their bed to look like one.
A good solution for those who want a more permanent option.
Any good air mattress should feature a soft covering for the sleeping surfaces. This covering is usually a soft flocking which is applied to the top side of the mattress. Some air mattresses will also feature this material to the sides of the mattress which makes for a plush feel.
It is also important to make a note of the inner construction of the mattress. The best air mattresses for everyday use will feature an air coil system which consists of several individual cavities which each fill with air.
This provides increased levels of comfort as the mattress contours to the shape of your body. As mentioned, a greater overall volume of air will also make for a more comfortable air mattress.
Size is one of the most important aspects, especially if your new air mattress will be replacing your existing bed. Luckily, air beds are sized much like normal beds, allowing you to find a match for the size you need.
King and queen size air mattresses are perfect for sleeping two adults comfortably. Make sure you buy a raised mattress to ensure each person receives enough support and a level of firmness they’re comfortable with.
Twin, twin xl and full size air mattresses are better suited to children and adults who are sleeping solo. They’re usually low-profile mattresses too so might not provide the height you’re looking for.
Pet Considerations (Cats & Dogs)
Cats like to scratch and dogs can take chunks out of almost any material. If you have pets at home, it’s a good idea to make sure that your air mattress is ‘puncture proof’ so that teeth and claws pose less of a problem.
Most good air mattresses are made out of a thick PVC which is marketed as resistant to punctures so put this feature at the top of your shopping list.
If you intend on allowing your pets to lie on top of your air bed, its also worth making sure that the top cover is easily cleaned.
Every inflatable air bed will need to be inflated before use, and the larger the bed, the more effort it will require to inflate to maximum capacity.
Thankfully, the sort of air mattress designed to be used everyday will come with its own built-in pump. These pumps usually plug into a wall socket and inflate your bed in a matter of minutes.
Mattresses without a means of automatic inflation will require the use of an external air pump. This can either be a hand pump, foot pump or a portable electric pump.
A built-in pump is always the best option as they can be inflated at the flick of a switch – perfect if you’ve lost a little air during the night.
Air Retention & Leaks
The biggest issue most users will face when using an air mattress long term is their habit of deflating or leaking air. The amount of air leakage you will experience varies by mattress as some are better than others.
Making sure that all air valves are secured properly can also prevent loss of air.
Ambient temperature has to be a consideration too as air condenses when the temperature drops. This can result in slight deflation overnight if you’re camping and sleeping outdoors.
Prices vary quite greatly between models, with some costing around $30 and some upwards of $150. The more you spend the more features you’re getting so its quite easy to find something suitable for your needs within budget.
The most expensive air mattresses are the raised type which feature their own pump. They’ll also be more expensive if they’re heavier duty and have been constructed from stronger and higher quality materials.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can You Make an Air Mattress Softer?
Sleeping on a pillow of air isn’t soft enough for some people. If that sounds like you, its possible to buy a mattress topper that can be placed on top of your air bed.
This is going to provide you with even more support and comfort, especially if you decide on a memory foam mattress topper.
Can You Make an Air Mattress Firmer?
If you’re struggling to get comfortable as your blow-up bed feels as if it lacks heft, you might to increase firmness levels. This is best achieved by adding more air to the mattress until you find your preferred level of hardness.
Blow up mattresses are pretty cost effective, but it pays to spend time making sure you’re buying the right one. A good night’s sleep is important whether you’re on the road or staying at home, and the best inflatable mattresses are going to provide you with just that.
Each air mattress we’ve tested in this guide is more than worthy of your consideration, so check your requirements off as you go through and choose the one that is the most suitable.