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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, but 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.
Here, the best air mattresses on the market:
The King Koil Air Mattress inflates with a twist of a knob on its built-in pump in just two minutes. But it doesn’t matter how fast an air mattress fluffs up if it’s not comfy—and the King Koil has you covered there, too. The mattress features air-filled coils that support your body, so you can count on waking up back-pain free after a night on this mattress.
We also love that it’s a hefty 20 inches high, so even your deep-pocketed sheets won’t snap and roll off in the middle of the night. The mattress itself won’t slip and slide either, thanks to full flocking on the top and the bottom. It can hold up to an impressive 600 pounds.
"Overall, the mattress felt sturdy and kept its shape, but it had a nice cushiony feel that very much reminded us of our Casper mattress."—Charlene Petitjean-Barkulis, Product Tester
Best Queen: SoundAsleep Products Dream Series Air Mattress with ComfortCoil Technology & Internal High Capacity Pump
No dedicated guest room? No problem. The SoundAsleep Dream Series stores compactly in its own included storage case in any closet. And no worries that your guests will feel like they’re an afterthought; this mattress wins top reviews for comfort. It’s comprised of 40 individual air coils that create a flat sleeping surface that maintains its shape and firmness, even when there are two people on the bed. Speaking of, it holds up to 500 pounds and is made to be puncture-resistant and waterproof.
The mattress's SureGrip bottom helps it stay in place, even when a fitful sleeper is resting on it, and with slightly raised edges on the sides, guests won’t fall off of it. The built-in pump is 20 percent quieter than most other models, thanks to its patented design, so setting it up late at night won't wake up the whole neighborhood.
"The top of the mattress boasts raised sides, which gave us the feeling of being securely cocooned. Even if the bed deflates a little bit, you won’t worry about rolling off the bed."—Charlene Petitjean-Barkulis, Product Tester
If you want a mattress for your child’s next sleepover guest or don't have much space to accommodate a bigger air mattress, you can’t go wrong with this twin size pick from Beautyrest. It has vertical beam construction for support—this mattress can handle up to 700 pounds. Its top is waterproof, helpful for when you have younger guests or dogs who think their place is on top of any bed. It comes with an external pump and the inflation can be adjusted quickly with its one-touch control button. It also comes with a carry storage bag and a repair kit should it ever pop a leak.
This air mattress is inexpensive to start with—plus it has a built-in pump and built-in “pillows," both of which will save you even more money from having to buy accessories. With a contoured support system and separate beams that are each made up of thousands of polyester fibers, it’s as easy on your back as it is on your wallet. It also works with a manual pump (sold separately), so you can take it on your next camping trip. The velvet-like top might be too rough to sleep on directly, but on a positive note, it offers enough grip to keep sheets in place.
Just because you’re sleeping under the stars, doesn’t mean you have to be uncomfortable. The EnerPlex comes with a rechargeable pump that, when fully charged, will inflate and deflate the twin size mattress six times in under 60 seconds (or the queen size four times); you can recharge it in your car, too, if your trip is longer.
It weighs in at under 13 pounds, so if you’re hiking to your destination, it won’t feel like a ton of bricks in your backpack. It’s comfy, too, with coil beam construction. At 9 inches high, it’s a lower profile than many other air mattresses, which is ideal when you’re sleeping in a tent that might not have a ton of vertical space for a super tall mattress.
This super comfy air mattress has a built-in headboard that gives you a little boost, so you can stream your favorite TV show on your device without getting a crick in your neck. Need to charge your phone or tablet? The mattress has you covered with its built-in USB port. Twist the knob for the built-in pump to your choice of three settings (soft, medium or firm) and/or push the button to release a bit more air for customized comfort. The AeroBed is 20 inches high, so you can easily get in and out—though it’s so close to sleeping in a regular bed, you might never want to leave.
This mattress won’t leave you feeling like you’re sleeping inside a taco; i.e. it doesn’t leak air throughout the night and fold in on you. The top also stays reliably flat, thanks to the reinforced construction. As for that built-in pump? It has 120 volts that will fill the mattress up in less than three minutes.
The mattress itself is antimicrobial treated to resist odor, mold, mildew, and fungus and the plush top offers a layer of comfort and warmth to help you (or your guests) drift off serenely. It also comes with a storage bag that will keep it safe in your closet until the next time you need it.
Your parents and other older guests will appreciate that this air mattress comes with a built-in frame to elevate it 12.5 inches off the ground—which means they won’t have to struggle getting in and out of it. The frame automatically unfolds as you inflate the bed with the built-in pump—it’s recommended that you inflate it an hour before anyone plans on sleeping on it so it can settle, then add or release air to get it just right. As you can probably guess, the frame makes this pick rather heavy, which is why it features wheels on one side—once it’s deflated and folded back in place, you can easily store it in a closet.
For a luxurious air mattress that is durable, comfortable, and holds its shape well, we love the King Koil Luxury Raised Air Mattress. It’s available in three different sizes and features a built-in air pillow. The SoundAsleep Dream Series Comfort Coil Mattress is a close runner up, though, with quality far exceeding expectations.
Size You’ll want to think carefully about the size of your mattress in terms of its dimensions and height. If your kids will be using it, a twin will probably suffice. However, adults and couples will likely prefer a full or queen-size mattress.
Duration of use Is your mattress going to be used for just a few nights, or is someone planning to sleep on it for an extended period of time? Some air mattresses tend to deflate slowly after a few uses, while others stay inflated for much longer, making them a better option for long-term use.
Inflation method Most of today’s air mattresses have pumps to inflate them, which saves you the trouble of having to blow them up manually. However, check whether the mattress you’re considering needs to be plugged into an outlet or if it has a battery-powered pump; the latter is an essential feature if you plan to take it out into the wilderness.