When you’re shopping for a mattress, you’re greeted with a lot of options – innerspring, memory foam, hybrids, latex, and others. But, what about people who go camping or backpacking regularly, or have frequent sleepovers from friends and family.
Most certainly, taking the mattress off your frame to go camping or storing it away when the guests leave seems like a mission impossible. Air mattresses are a great option who love sleepover parties, travel with a truck, or travel often. Here’s a compelling review of the best air mattress and nine more options for every occasion and condition.
But, before we dive into the reviews which contain all the details about every mattress, it’s important to highlight some key features of the airbeds.
Additionally, we will look into some advantages and disadvantages of air mattresses that you need to be aware of in case you suffer from some health condition.
Who Are Air Mattresses For?
Air mattresses can be for everyone. If we got started on the use of air mattresses, we wouldn’t be able to count it on our fingers. Air mattresses are great companions for unexpected guests or relatives, a good alternative that will prevent you or your guests from sleeping on the floor in case you don’t have enough space.
Additionally, their ability to be folded and packed up in small pouches make it an even more attractive investment because you won’t have to worry about not having any space in your apartment.
Lastly, their portability and aforementioned ease of storage make air mattresses a great bed for camping. There are even special designs suited for backpacking if you’re a fan of hiking and finally, a lot of models now are made of strong PVC variants that can accommodate dogs and heavier sleepers.
What Makes a Great Air Mattress?
When shopping for an innerspring, memory foam, or a hybrid mattress, you’re settling for one type of firmness. Split king smart mattresses offer the most flexibility in terms of choosing the firmness level of a mattress, especially when you sleep with a partner. Still, given that medical air mattresses and smart adjustable firmness mattresses are too expensive, a lot of people settle for inflatable air mattresses.
The good side of that is that the built-in pump dictates whether you want to inflate the mattress to its full firmness or give it a little plush.
A study has shown that the firmness of a bed has a huge impact on the quality of sleep. With that in mind, adjustable firmness can meet your preferences even when they change.
There are air mattresses for every purpose. Whether you’re looking for a mattress for regular day-to-day use, guests, backpacking, seaside, camping, or trucks, there are always good models. Additionally, the durable PVC material is strong and usually will withstand multiple trips and camping. That said, you can use it everywhere.
Who can resist taking their dog for a vacation? Some of us like to spoil our best friend and provide them with the best sleeping surface we could find, even for occasional trips to nature like camping.
Dogs usually have bigger claws, if you don’t take them regularly to the cosmetician. Still, that won’t prevent them from enjoying on a new air mattress, and thanks to the durable PVC material, it’ll withstand even the sharpest claws.
Although the warranty for airbeds is shorter than in the case of other mattresses, it’s more affordable.
People usually can’t cash $500-$2000 on a new luxurious mattress. If they travel often, an affordable air mattress will give them more flexibility, without emptying the pockets.
Air mattresses have a great inflation time. You can pump them up in less than five minutes, as well as deflate them. Memory foam mattresses, once bought, take up to four days to decompress.
Coming in comfy storage bags or pouches, air mattresses are fairly easy to store. If you live in a small apartment, you can easily fold and store them away.
NOT for Everyone: Drawbacks You Should Know
Potential Back Pain
There’s no scientific proof that air mattresses can cause direct back issues.
It’s commonly accepted that this is up to a person’s preferences. Logically-speaking, air mattresses can trap the air between the sleep surface and sleeper’s back, ultimately leading to discomfort in the lumbar area.
Still, some people swear by the comfort of air mattresses and how they eliminate their back issues.
One thing is for sure, adjustable firmness is the biggest quality of air mattresses, so even if you experience potential back pain, you can re-adjust.
Temperature regulation can be a tricky thing even in the most premium models. Unfortunately, air mattresses are no exceptions.
A study found that there are sleep implications of sleep quality based on the temperature regulation of air beds compared to the futon beds.
Follow-up research found that more modern models, those that use a newer air col technology are less susceptible to high temperatures.
Solution: If your mattress could withstand additional weight and pressure, you can invest in a wool or gel memory foam mattress topper that would regulate your temperature. There are also a lot of sleep systems that could help you regulate the temperature.
Another discomfort commonly recognized in the air mattress is the motion isolation. Sturdy innerspring mattresses have layer or mechanism that prevents your sleeping partner from feeling your movements, whether you’re changing position, standing up or something else.
Mattresses on the floor often slide and slip when the other one moves. As a result of wobbly air construction, the mattress will move and wobble as someone changes their side.
To fix the problem with motion isolation, getting a mattress topper, or getting an air mattress with a stand would be quite helpful.
Still, the best solution would be to turn it into a bed of its own, by placing it on a bed frame like a regular, box spring, or adjustable base.
Unfortunately, despite multiple comfort layers on some better airbeds, no design can replace the ultimate contouring and cradling feeling that memory foam or latex mattresses give.
Without that, air mattresses are only a temporary solution. Some people who suffer from certain chronic conditions like arthritis and similar may feel uncomfortable in the long run.
10 Best Air Mattress We Recommend in 2021
1. Best Overall: Active Era Air Mattress
Do you often go camping? Or do you have a lot of friends and relatives who often sleepover? If you’re a bit of both and sleeping so close to the floor is no stranger thing to you, we reviewed the Active Era Air Mattress, which is the best overall air mattress. You can use it daily, as well as travel and accommodate your guests.
- 35 structured air-coils for extended comfort and back support.
- The pump that works extremely fast and deflates even faster.
- Durable and waterproof design.
- A built-in pillow that makes traveling even more convenient.
- Supports both heavier and taller people.
- It’s durable enough to contain pets like dogs.
One of the best things about the Active Era air mattress is that it’s pretty thick and tall, rising to 17-inches, it provides good support and balance for nearly everyone. Additionally, it provides support for people up to 550 pounds, which is good for couples, as well as heavier sleepers. The air mattress also boasts an advanced support system that retains the air inside, avoiding bulges and sinking gaps in the mattress.
What may make your bedtime on this air mattress easier is also the fact it ships with a built-in pillow. The built-in pillow comes with a lot of benefits. Perhaps, it won’t replace your original pillow, but it’s great for campers who don’t feel like carrying their in-home pillow and getting it dirty. The pillow rises 3 inches which also gives support to people with breathing problems like snoring and sleep apnea, while also promoting sleeping on your back.
When it comes to its comfort, you don’t have to be worried about the back pain, or strain in muscles or joints. The mattress sports amazingly-designed structured air-coils, 35 in total. That makes a great sleep surface. While it doesn’t feel like advanced memory foam, it gives a breezy and airy design and sleeping on the floor definitely won’t feel uncomfortable or inconvenient.
Its pump is also swift and practical. You’d be surprised that the bed takes less than three minutes to pump up, achieving the full firmness level in less than three minutes. It comes with an intuitive switch which helps you deflate super-fast when you need it, automatically. Storage is also relatively easy, with a convenient pouch bag. The top layer is both comfortable and durable, thanks to the 15-gauge puncture-resistant material, that is also waterproof.
Even in case of an unwanted puncture, it ships with puncture repair patches.
2. Runner Up: Intex Dura-Beam Deluxe Series
If the Active Era air mattress is out of stock or you need more support, Intex Dura-Beam Deluxe Series air mattress is the second-best option we wanted to present. We’ve had the honor of reviewing a lot of Intex adjustable mattresses. However, as its name suggests, the Deluxe series model is made to offer the luxurious level of comfort and support with 22-inch height which is more than enough for sleepers looking for extra support.
- Luxurious thickness level at amazing 22-inches.
- It delivers a sufficient amount of support for both lighter and heavier sleepers.
- New PVC formula with more TENSILE strength compared to the old-fashioned PVC.
- The 16-gauge design also handles dogs well.
- Easy for storage and good for traveling with.
Similarly to our first choice, there is a 600lbs weight threshold, but it’ll be more than enough to soothe both heavier people or more people. Intex is also known for making durable mattresses, and you don’t have to worry about this one is durable. It can handle dogs with sharp paws and nails. It can also handle vigorous jumping and playing from both children and pets.
We believe that the biggest advantage of Intex’s Deluxe model is its new PVC formula that not only provides firm support on both the middle and edges of the bed but also ensures that there is less chance for an impact or tearing up. The model also delivers more TENSILE strength and durability compared to the traditional PVC used on older models, as well as some other low-quality mattresses. Also, with 16 gauge thickness, it’ll be nearly impossible to tear this model.
3. Best Budget: Intex Dura-Beam Standard Airbed
Sometimes, not everyone can afford the fairly pricey mattresses. Additionally, if you travel a lot, making such an investment may seem like an idea out of your mind. Don’t worry, because Intex also makes incredibly affordable models that work everywhere, from small bedrooms and guest rooms to wild forests and campsites.
- It’s comfortable and high enough to keep you above the ground.
- It’s waterproof, so that means you can also use it in the water.
- It’s great for camping, traveling, and guests.
- Amazing value for the price.
- Swift and silent electric pump.
- It also comes with a built-in pillow rest which adds more support and balance for the head.
We can’t begin to praise this sub-$30 air mattress enough. It boasts a smooth vinyl design and 16.5-inches height, which is just enough to keep you above the dust or insects if you’re camping. It’s incredibly comfy, balanced, and support. If you sleep with sheets, you can attach them to the air mattress thanks to the design of the indented side.
It’s important to note that the weight capacity for this mattress is 300 pounds. That said, it can either accommodate two lighter people or one heavier person. Nevertheless, it’s easy to carry, maintain, and easily store it away in a convenient hand carry bag. Its inflation times are also good, at 2 and ¼ minutes. It certainly won’t keep you waiting.
4. Best for Camping: EZ INFLATE Luxury Double High Queen Air Mattress
Camping can be extremely difficult, especially if you camp with children or people who are nit-picky. If you love camping but you suffer from allergies that would make it easier for you if you were elevated above the ground in your tent, EZ INFLATE Luxury double high queen air mattress was made just for you.
- It can inflate in a matter of 90 to 120 seconds, which is faster for most air mattresses.
- Customizable comfort makes it easy for you to adjust the firmness levels.
- It’s waterproof, meaning it’s good for a stroll to the ocean.
- It can take up with some beating, both by children and pets.
- It’s incomparably comfortable, especially at rough terrains like camping sites.
These mattresses are designed to provide as much as sleeping space possible, while also being easy to store and carry away. It uses an advanced coil beam technology that makes the sleep surface stable and comfortable on both edges as well as the middle of the mattress. You can use the pumping system to customize the support and comfort level. That said, you can create a sleeping surface that is more appropriate for side sleepers or back sleepers. It can also deflate in a matter of seconds, and take no more than two minutes to inflate.
It’s 16-inches tall, so that also means more support, on all surfaces. For people who don’t like insects or are allergic to dander and dust mites, this is the great height to elevate them from the floor and provide an adequate sleep environment. The PVC design also ensures more durability and comfort.
5. Best for Back Pain: Sable Air Mattresses Queen Size Inflatable Air Bed
Sometimes, your mattress may be too old to handle your back, that disrupts your sleep and makes you wake up sore. However, if you can’t afford a new memory foam or latex mattress, inflatable Sable air mattress is the best option we reviewed that can soothe the back pain. Its I-Beam air coils are of amazing construction and quality. They naturally adjust to your body shape, while relieving pressure and weight off your joints.
- Amazing 30-month warranty.
- It delivers the necessary support and pressure relief for the lumbar area.
- It uses eco-friendly PVC.
- A built-in pillow that supports back sleepers.
- Waterproof design so it can be used outside too.
- The weight support is 661lbs so it works great for heavier sleepers too.
You don’t have to spend loads of money on expensive mattresses, because Sable is known for providing unprecedented quality that matches that of real, static mattresses. The upper side of the mattress sports a built-in pillow for extended support for back sleepers. It also uses a flocked top that uses eco-friendly PVC with proper welding that protects the mattress from the punctures and air leaking.
You may also notice that is more suitable for heavy sleepers because of its 661lb limit, meaning it can either accommodate more than two people or even two heavier persons. The electric pump will inflate the mattress from three to five minutes, depending on the room conditions or outside.
Lastly, it provides support that makes it spill-resistant and waterproof.
6. Best for BackPacking: Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XTherm Ultralight Backpacking Air Mattress
- Modern and durable design. It also comes with pump sack, stuff sack, and repair kit.
- Extreme value with a lifetime warranty. The company offers great customer service and support even after years of using it.
- Superb thermal insulation and 7.2 R-value for the extremely cold conditions.
- Triangular modern design.
Backpacking can be extremely exciting, and also cold. The core difference between camping and backpacking is that campers usually arrive at the campsite with the car. However, backpackers have a little more adventure to their journey. They walk, bike, or climb to their camping destination. That’s why a soothing air mattress is extremely important during cold nights in the woods and mountains. Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XTherm provides proper insulation and is sufficiently light to carry on your back through the day. It is rated at 7.2 R-value, meaning that it can be used even in the most frigid temperatures. It boasts a triangular Core Matrix which, aside from warmth offers balance, comfort, and soothing night rest.
7. Best for Guests: SleepLux Air Mattress
- Three durable layers that can support all sleeping positions and sleepers.
- Mesh core between two durable layers for extra-support on the edges and mid.
- You can use it to charge your phone thanks to a built-in USB port.
- Easy to store and won’t take too much space.
- It is extremely durable. Your dog will love it too.
Depending on whether you host sleepover parties for one or more friends, SleepLux air mattress is available in queen and twin options. There are specially-designed I-Beam chambers with three durable layers. Your guests will easily fall asleep and enjoy restful sleep as if they never left their beds at home. It is designed so that it can accommodate different sleeping positions and demands. With this air mattress, you’re going to remain remembered as a great host.
8. Best for Heavy Sleepers: SoundAsleep Dream Series Air Mattress
- Two variants of the bed friendly towards both light and heavier sleepers.
- Flocked waterproof top.
- It can be taken outside thanks to the sturdy construction.
- Incredibly comfortable and delivers balance and stability.
- It’s slip-resistant.
SoundAsleep Dream Series air mattress is a model we featured through our previous reviews. However, for this particular topic, we decided to place it as a particular model for heavier sleepers because of its durability, support, and overall comfort. There are different variants of the mattress, so one can take up to 500lbs while another variant can take up to 700lbs. It is also great for multiple people to share a bed. Thanks to its flocked, sturdy, and waterproof top, it can host pets without a problem.
9. Best Truck Bed Air Mattress: Pittman Outdoors AirBedz Lite
- Good value for the price.
- It supports air coils over wheel wells, which adds up to its stability and support.
- Durable PVC construction which can put up with more pressure.
- Comfort Coil System which evenly distributes the weight.
- High-grade DC Air Pump will inflate the bed in no time.
If you spend more time on the road than in bed, then you must know the importance of getting the proper amount of rest while you’re on the go.
With that in mind, we decided to review a special kind of truck mattress, Pittman Outdoors Air Bedz Lite. It’s available in multiple sizes and can be used to accompany you during your traveling, allowing you to sleep peacefully and rested, thanks to its durable air coil technology.
10. Best for Camping With Dog: WonderSleep Classic Series Air Mattress
- Inflation and deflation are done super-fast, which makes it great for camping.
- Dream Coil Technology provides support across the sleeping surface for multiple sleepers and your dog.
- Suitable for both in-home and camping use.
- Thick and waterproof flocked top, it will easily resist your pets’ claws.
- The sturdy and reinforced bottom prevents slipping and sliding.
- 20-inches height, and no need to worry about bugs and other insects or dust.
Are you a dog person? So are we, especially when it comes to camping. Your good boy or girl deserves the most comfortable camping experience, just by your side. WonderSleep Classic Series Air Mattress is designed out of durable and futureproofed materials that will keep your mattress inflated even after several nights of sleep. Even the dogs with long, gnarly claws can enjoy and get their sleep on this mattress. If you love camping and want to make it an unforgettable experience for your dog, this mattress is definitely worth its shot.