best air mattress pictureIf you’re looking to buy your first ever air mattress, the abundance of brands, features and options to choose from can make it a rather complicated decision to make. Alternatively if you’re looking to replace an existing one, again, there is so much choice from different manufacturers you may find it hard to narrow down the right model.

To aid in your decision making process we have put together this useful buying guide and air mattress reviews, which include the essentials to help you understand all the options and terminology involved in this huge field.

Top 10 Comparison Table

General Info

Also commonly referred to as an air bed or sleeping pad, they are literally a PVC blow up mattress which is filled with air instead of memory foam, latex or springs. They could be low profile, raised (also known as double high), or placed on a stand. Some even come with legs. There are different ways of inflating them but usually its with an electrical powered pump or something similar. They generally tend to have a higher owner satisfaction than an innerspring, but not quite as high as latex or memory foam. Some people prefer to sleep on air mattresses because of the advantages they have such as adjustable comfort levels which is great for back pain relief. Also both sides of the bed can be customized to different levels of firm or soft which is great for those who share but have different preferences.

A camping mattress in a tent

ALPS Mountaineering camping mattress

An inflatable mattress can come in all different sizes, ranging from the smallest Twin size all the way up to King. Unlike a heavy innerspring or memory foam, the portability of adjustable air beds means many different scenarios where they could be used, and so makes it one of the most appealing selling points. You can easily blow up and leave it to be used as a permanent bed for you and your partner, or it could be deflated and packed away ready to be used as a guest bed. Alternatively, if you buy a sleeping pad you can use it for camping trips which easily fit inside your tent instead of using a sleeping bag on a hard surface. The flexibility and affordable prices make air mattresses as a whole very popular household items in many countries across the globe.

Common Places Of Usage

Before you buy it’s best to decide why you need one how you’ll use it:

– As a Main Bed (Permanent)

Although air mattresses are generally portable, you can use them as permanent beds which aren’t packed away in storage but are left out for every night use. They tend to be more expensive than the smaller low-profile guest beds and sleeping pads, and are available in large sizes such as Queen and King. Some already come on their own raised platform, or can be placed on a purpose built separate stand.

– As a Guest Bed (Temporary)

A smaller Twin or Queen size can be ideal for temporary usage, whether you’re taking it to a sleepover, or whether people are coming to visit, the flexibility and compact-ability means comfortable sleep instead of a hard floor or uncomfortable sofa. Nowadays for just a small chunk of change you can buy air mattresses which serve as perfect guest bed solutions. One of these can last a lifetime, and is easily packed away in the closet when not in use.

– In a Car or SUV

Have you ever had to sleep in your car? Maybe you’re planning a road trip and don’t want to pay the hotel costs every night. Well, you’re in luck; an inflatable car bed is a great way of getting sound sleep in the back of your car. They come with custom stands or are shaped with inflated feet that sit in the rear foot-wells which support the edges when fully inflated. The snug fit maximizes back seat surface space to make room for the blow up mattress which is plenty suffice for a good nights sleep.

– Used For Backpacking or Camping

It’s almost obvious that you’ll take some kind of sleeping equipment when you’re out camping. Previously most people would have used a sleeping bag, but now there are comfier and affordable alternatives in the form of a camping mattress (also known as camping pad or sleeping pad). You can easily fit a Twin size inside a tent and when you’re done in the morning it can be rolled up and left in the trunk or backpack.

Buying Guide

There are so many factors to consider when choosing the right one. Not only companies, but options exist such as raised height or low profile. There are various pump options too; do you need an external manual foot pump, or a built-in automatic electric pump? Before you make any type of purchase it’s good to know the pros and cons, comparable features, price brackets and brands. In this section of our air mattress reviews and buying guide we discuss the things you’ll want to consider or especially look out for when deciding on the best air bed for your needs.

– Thickness: Raised

Raised Queen Air MattressAir mattresses come in different heights or thickness, but most common are the raised type. These are normally the same height of a normal bed. The raised type is literally an inflatable mattress adjoined to its own platform, which is designed to keep users away from the floor and offer a more traditional experience, and also makes much easier access to getting in and out. The slight disadvantage is due to its size, it would take up more space than the alternatives when packed away for storage.

– Thickness: Low Profile

Low Profile Air MattressThinner or low profile air beds are available without the added base which means they are slightly cheaper, smaller and more compact. This makes them ideal for camping trips as they can be easily deflated, rolled up and packed away into your car or backpack. Better yet, a sleeping pad is by far the best option for camping because they are even thinner so more lightweight and compact than a typical low profile air bed. These are similar in usability, size, and price to a folding floor mattress, but are much more compact when it comes to packing away.

– Pump: External

External Air Mattress PumpThere are two types of pump, one is external and the other is internal. The external types can differ; either manually powered by foot, battery powered, or mains powered. Air mattresses that require an external are slightly cheaper than ones with an internal. One disadvantage is that if you lose the pump you’ll need to buy another one. To be honest, external types are becoming less common in the marketplace so a built-in is the best option.

– Pump: Built-In, Or Internal

Air Mattress With Built-In PumpFor an air mattress with built-in pump there is no hassle of losing adapters or the actual device itself. Also the adjustable comfort levels can be easily set to plush, medium or firm with the turn of a knob. Because these use electricity or battery power it will also inflate much faster than a manual foot pump. Due to popularity and quality, these models are actually more available for purchase in showrooms and websites nowadays than ones that require an external.

Air Mattress Reviews

SoundAsleep Dream Series Air Mattress

SoundAsleep Dream Series Air MattressThis best selling mattress is a Queen size coming in at 58″ x 78″ x 19″. The raised height design and two separate inner chambers for adjustable comfort make this a great option for indoor use as a static, temporary or guest bed. The 1-click internal pump makes inflating and deflating very quick, infact it can reach full size in under 4 minutes. It is currently our reviewed favorite and widely considered as the best air mattress amongst verified owners; full of features, top quality build, and at an affordable price, you really do get more than you pay for with this one.

Serta Raised with neverFLAT

Serta with neverFLATThe latest air mattress we have chosen to include is the 18″ raised version from the worlds number one mattress company. This extremely popular model comes packed with too many features to list and is available in two of the most common US mattress sizes which are Twin (74″ x 39″) and Queen (80″ x 60″). There are two built in pumps using neverFLAT technology, one is to inflate or deflate, the other maintains the pressure whilst you sleep for added comfort and safety. If you’re after a bed from a household name you can trust, this is probably the best air mattress in it’s class.

Intex Comfort Plush Elevated Dura Beam Air Bed

Intex Comfort Plush Elevated Dura Beam Air BedThis airbed is currently causing quite a stir and there is good reason for this too. Raised to a generous 22″ it is higher than most; it duplicates a traditional bed with the added benefits of mobility and lower cost. With the built-in high-powered electric pump you can easily inflate to full size within 4.5 minutes, and adjust the firmness level with the touch of a button. Unfortunately it only comes in Queen size (60 x 80 x 22) but really at such a low price if space permits this is a great choice which will definitely impress.

Insta-Bed Raised with neverFlat

Insta-Bed with neverFlatAnother favorite which is available in both Queen and Twin size; it’s also raised which makes getting in and out easier. Harnessed with the very powerful yet whisper quiet internal AC pump, it inflates and deflates very quickly, and also allows for adjustable firmness selection in the form of Plush, Medium, or Firm. Once the sheets are on, you’ll never be able to tell the difference between this and a quality innerspring. For a cheap air mattress this definitely ticks all the right boxes.

Intex Pillow Rest Raised Air Bed With Built-In Pillow

Intex Pillow Rest Raised Air Bed With Built-In PillowThis air mattress is a very popular, lightweight and compact product from a leading manufacturer in this field. Available in both Twin and Queen, it’s taller than the average at 17.5” high, and has built-in pillows for added comfort. For such a small and low cost model there is surprisingly a high-powered internal pump; this inflatable bed can reach full size in approximately 3 minutes. If you’re on a tight budget and after something that just does the job you need look no further.

SoundAsleep Camping Series Air Mattress

SoundAsleep Camping Series Air MattressWhen it comes to choosing the best air mattress, we didn’t think there would be two products from the same manufacturer on the same top 10 list. However, here it is again but this time the SoundAsleep Camping Series, which as you can see is a low height, made of extra thick durable materials, and is extremely portable. It comes available in both Twin or Queen size and is supplied with an external pump which has a heavy duty battery that can inflate in under 3 minutes. The technology and thought that has gone into the design of this blow up mattress is second to none, and with the 1 year warranty included you cant go wrong.

AeroBed Classic Air Mattress

AeroBed Classic Air MattressThe Classic comes in a Queen and Twin size but like the ALPS model it’s a low profile design, so it’s extremely lightweight, and in terms of compactness it serves as an ideal camping mattress, or for temporary in-home or guest usage. It requires an external pump which comes supplied; a very good device indeed which inflates to full size in under five minutes. It’s cheap, sturdy, well built and comfortable. What more could you ask for at such a cheap price?

Coleman Premium SupportRest Air Bed

Coleman Premium Double High SupportRest Air Bed With Built in PumpA Coleman air mattress is something that everyone should experience at least once in their life. The cheap blow-up alternative to conventional mattresses at it’s best, the latest raised Queen size from their QuickBed range has a soft suede top for comfort and 35 coils for support and stability. Unlike others, this only has one 120v built-in electric pump. Perfect for guests due to it’s compact storage size, and with a lightweight design (17 lbs) means it’s also easily transportable in the included zipped carry bag.

Sleep Restoration Inflatable Mattress

Sleep Restoration Queen Size Inflatable Mattress with Built-In Electric PumpThe inflatable mattress by Sleep Restoration has been taking the market by storm in recent months. Not just a comfy air mattress for guest usage, but also an extremely satisfactory Queen size bed for those who would like to use on a more permanent basis for regular nightly slumber. It claims to be puncture-resistant and has a flocked top coil system for extra comfort which evenly distributes weight across the thick mattress once it is inflated by the built-in pump. What we love about Sleep Restoration is the confidence in their product by offering a 30-day satisfaction guarantee, which with traditional mattresses is quite common but not so much with air mattresses.

Intex Classic Downy Air Bed With 2 Pillows

Intex Classic Downy Air Bed Set with 2 Pillows and Double Quick Hand PumpWeighing only 1.76 lbs, yet capable of supporting up to 600 lbs of weight, the Intex Classic Downy comes available in a low lying Queen size (8.75 inches from the floor) and allows a snug fit for your fitted sheets. The multipurpose model can be used both indoors or outdoors; it fits easily into most tents and can be folded compactly when finished. It comes with two inflatable pillows and an external manual hand pump. The flocked top is a cozy surface which can also be cleaned very easily. Overall, it is probably considered in our opinion as the best air mattress for camping, but also has the luxury and elegance to be used in-home. We think you’d love boasting about this one; certainly a thumbs up from us.


As always we struggled to choose just one of the 10 reviewed, so we’ll start by discussing the top two from our updated air mattress reviews for 2018.

The best air mattress of 2018

SoundAsleep Dream Series: The best air mattress of 2018

The SoundAsleep Dream Series air mattress is the best rated among owners for comfort, build quality, back support and affordability. We agree and that’s why it receives a high rating. It would have rated 5 stars but because it requires a mains / electrical source for the pump it isn’t considered the best camping mattress, but great for indoor use.

The Intex Classic Downy is an extremely popular product that serves a multipurpose design and has all the qualities and perks of the above, but additionally has the advantage of potentially being used as an outdoor mattress if you require. It can easily be inflated using the supplied hand pump, or you can buy a charger and use via a regular home outlet. The only thing we wish for was that it could be made available in smaller custom sizes like other sleeping pads.

In short, no matter what your requirements there is a model out there to suit everyone. What we consider as positives or negatives may not be as relevant to your needs, but hopefully our mattress buying guide has given some insight as to what to look out for whilst making your decision.