Air mattresses are undeniably convenient—they can add extra sleeping space just about anywhere and don’t take up much room when they aren’t in use. While there are some minor differences in features between models, most are made of puncture-resistant PVC, or polyvinyl chloride. Despite that, air mattresses at all price points remain vulnerable to leaks, so keep that in mind. An air mattress probably won’t be a “forever” purchase.
Before you buy, consider who will be who will be using the air... mattress and how frequently. A double-high air mattress that’s taller from the ground, usually 18 inches or more, might be easier for older visitors to manage or more comfortable for frequent or long-term guests. But kids or occasional guests who don’t mind being close to the ground may be fine on a less expensive, lower-to-the ground air mattress.
If you still need help deciding, here are some of the best air mattresses on the market.
ON SALE TODAY: The SoundAsleep Dream Series Comfort Coil air mattress beats its competition pretty handily when it comes to reviewer enthusiasm because it gets just about everything right: Comfort, ease of use, and durability are all unparalleled, users say. This double-high mattress comes in both queen and twin sizes, and the queen boasts 40 internal air coils to bolster support. Inflated, it is 19 inches high.
Reviewers praise the SoundAsleep mattress for several reasons, but one of the major... pros was the fact that it doesnt’t leak air or sink overnight, a common problem with air beds. They also like the one-click dial inflation, which allows more control over how firm or soft the mattress ends up. Owners echo this praise, saying the built-in pump is convenient and makes it easy to put up and take down the bed. Many say the SoundAsleep has lasted longer than other air mattresses they’ve tried, and they say the waterproof flocked top helps keep sheets from slipping. Other features include integrated cord storage, a non-skid bottom and a carrying bag. The mattress is backed by a one-year warranty, and queen weight capacity is 500 pounds.
If you prefer a lower-profile air mattress, the double-high Insta-Bed Raised Air Mattress is a bit shorter—18 inches to the SoundAsleep’s 19 inches—but owners are also enthusiastic about its comfort and features. There are also more options with the Insta-Bed: It comes in twin, queen, and queen pillow-top versions.
The Insta-Bed has “Never Flat” technology that uses a secondary pump to fight sagging and maintain even pressure throughout the night, and most users agree that it does that... effectively. It also has a flocked top similar to the SoundAsleep’s that keeps sheets from sliding quite so much. Reviewers particularly like the easy-to-use inflation pump, which has three pre-set firmness settings and an automatic shut-off. The queen bed has 35 coils to the SoundAsleep’s 40. It also has a one-year warranty, and the queen holds up to 500 pounds.
Buyers who are on a tight budget or only need an airbed for occasional use will want to check out the Intex Classic Downy Airbed, which is just a fraction of the cost of more fully featured air mattresses. It’s just shy of 9 inches tall, so like most budget air mattresses, it might not be the best pick for users who have trouble bending over or who simply don’t want to sleep close to the floor. The bed comes in twin, full, and queen sizes.
The Intex Classic Downy Airbed has a waterproof flocked... top that users say is comfortable and keeps sheets from slipping. They particularly recommend the bed for short-term use or kids who don’t need as much support. They also like the extra-wide valve, which is compatible with most air pumps, though some wish that the pump was included—at this price point, you’ll need your own. The mattress gets mixed reviews for durability: Some say it has lasted a long time and far outperforms its low price, while others say they had problems with leaks almost immediately. Note that there is no warranty on this mattress. Weight capacity for the queen is 600 pounds.
The double-high Insta-Bed EZ Bed Air Mattress is a good middle ground for buyers who are looking for the feel of a real mattress set without making that kind of investment. That’s because the 48-coil EZ Bed comes with a frame that gives it the feel of a real bed, boosting sleepers 22 inches off the ground, but it still packs away as conveniently as most other air beds. The EZ Bed comes only in queen size.
Like the Insta-Bed Raised Air Mattress above, the EZ Bed also comes with the secondary... “Never Flat” pump that monitors air levels throughout the night, adjusting as necessary. There are three firmness settings, and the flocked top helps keep sheets snug and secure. Owners particularly like not having to stoop down to get in bed, and some say it’s so comfortable that they even forget they’re on an air mattress. They also say setup is easy, despite the addition of the frame—you simply unzip the unit from its case, plug in the included pump, and watch it inflate. The storage case has wheels to ease moving the bed around, but a few reviewers caution that it does take up more storage room than a typical air mattress. The EZ Bed has a one-year warranty. Weight capacity is 500 pounds.Continue to 5 of 7 below.
If you’re in the market for a higher-end air mattress without a frame, this Serta with a quilted topper gets high marks from users. It comes in queen and twin sizes, and the removable topper helps eliminate that rubbery, clinical feel that most air mattresses have. There are also 35 built-in air coils to provide a more supportive feel.
This Serta has a double-high mattress that puts users 18 inches off the floor – great for those who don’t want to stoop down too far – and a durable flocked top... that is puncture- and water-resistant. The built-in pump takes only about four minutes to inflate the bed, and it automatically shuts off when it’s done. A secondary pump even monitors firmness throughout the night to prevent those uncomfortable air-mattress cave-ins. Most users say this mattress has provided many comfortable nights of sleep, but a few warn that their bed sprang a leak after tearing at a seam.
Buyers who want a cheap, easy sleeping solution for their kids that’s more comfortable than a sleeping bag should consider the Shrunks Inflatable Travel Bed. At just 4.5 inches high, it will keep kids close to the ground, and built-in security rails make sure even the youngest, wildest sleepers don’t roll out at night. The bed is available in both toddler and twin sizes. The toddler beds are compatible with crib-size sheets.
One of the Shrunks Inflatable Travel Bed’s advantages is its “sheet... tuck” feature, which lets parents tuck their kids’ sheets and blankets below an inner mattress to make sure they don’t get tossed aside or dragged on the floor. A carrying bag and pump are included, and parents love how quickly and easily the bed inflates—it takes less than a minute. They also say their kids are plenty comfortable on the bed, though some say the out-of-the-package plastic-like smell can be overpowering at first. Weight capacity is 150 pounds for the toddler bed and 300 for the twin. The bed is covered by a two-year warranty.
Weighing in at just 6 pounds, the Lightspeed Outdoors Air Bed isn’t too heavy to haul around while camping, and it folds up compactly. And at just 6 inches high, it won’t hog room in low-ceilinged campers, tents, or cars, users say. It is available in one size, which is 55 inches wide and 79 inches long—roughly an inch wider and a few inches longer than a standard full size. It comes in blue, green, and brown.
While most air mattresses are made from PVC, the Lightspeed Outdoors Air Bed is made... from thermoplastic polyurethane, or TPU. It is puncture-resistant like PVC but not as prone to stretching; many also consider it a “greener” material because it doesn’t degrade and release potentially harmful byproducts like PVC can. The two-way valve lets users adjust firmness to their liking, and the mattress comes with a battery-operated pump, though some users say the pump is a bit underpowered. Reviewers are mostly impressed with durability and comfort, especially for a thinner camping-style mattress. It comes with a one-year warranty, and weight capacity is 550 pounds.