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Whether you’re moving house and surrounded by boxes, heading out on a camping weekend, or simply like to host friends and family – getting yourself the best air mattress will make life much more comfortable.
Air mattresses make comfortable and convenient alternatives to traditional beds. Often lightweight, simple to use, and easy to pack away when not required, they are a must-have product. They are perfect if you regularly have overnight visitors or stay away from home.
If you’ve never purchased an air mattress before or you’re just looking to upgrade to a better model, we’ve got you covered. In this article, we’ve reviewed the top 10 air mattresses money can buy in 2021 and included a handy buying guide, too!
Air Mattress Reviews
SoundAsleep Dream Series Air Mattress (Editor’s Choice)
This top-rated air mattress is a queen size coming in at 58″ x 78″ x 19″. Featuring a raised height design and two individual internal chambers, this adjustable air mattress provides for personalized comfort, making it a great temporary bed for guests.
The 40 durable internal air coils lend this premium mattress increased firmness and support for a more refreshing sleep. It also comes with a sure-grip bottom that prevents the airbed from being pushed around if you toss and turn overnight. The waterproof flocked topper is extra thick for comfort while underneath it is puncture-resistant PVC in multiple layers for resiliency and durability.
For added convenience, this luxury air mattress is also fitted with a 1-click electrical pump that lets you fully inflate and deflate the mattress in no time. A click on the toggle is all you need to do to bring the air mattress to its full size in under 4 minutes. This is perfect if you have guests staying unexpectedly, but bear in mind it is rather noisy. You should also expect some chemical odor upon the first use, but this does dissipate fairly rapidly.
Overall, thanks to its ease of use, comfort and 1-year warranty, this is our most recommended electric inflatable mattress. However, even though this could potentially be the best air mattress for everyday use, you will still need to top up the air every other day or so if you’re using it long-term.
King Koil Queen Air Mattress (Most Comfortable)
If you’re looking for a luxury airbed to accommodate friends and family, we think this model by King Koil is the most comfortable air mattress on the market.
Featuring an ultra-soft and thick sueded quilt top, this queen-sized airbed is warm and comfortable, so you and your guests can enjoy a restful night’s sleep. The fully-waterproof and puncture-resistant material guards against spills or accidents, while the textured suede topper keeps your sheets firmly in place.
With a coil-beam construction for support, this air mattress helps maintain proper spinal alignment as you sleep. In fact, King Koil products are endorsed by the International Chiropractors Association, making them a great option if you suffer from back pain.
Effortless to inflate and deflate, the King Koil air mattress features a convenient built-in pump for rapid setup. Should the mattress develop slow air leaks with frequent use, simply click on the internal air pump to give it a boost. It also comes with a 1-year guarantee for your peace of mind.
Intex Comfort Plush Elevated Dura Beam (Best Cheap Option)
If you need a cheap air mattress for occasional use, this air bed from Intex is our top low-cost choice.
Raised to a generous 22″, it is higher than most raised air beds available on the market. It resembles a traditional bed in height and comfort, with the added benefits of mobility and lower cost. Due to its height, this inflatable bed easily fits into a queen-sized fitted sheet without bunching or shifting.
With its built-in, high-powered electric pump, you can quickly inflate or deflate the Comfort Plush Elevated Dura Beam air bed to full size within three to five minutes. The firmness can also be adjusted with the touch of a button. But while the firmness level is good, it can be a little uneven at the edges, so couples may find that one partner is more comfortable than the other. It is also worth noting that many users complained that this mattress tends to lose air during the night and takes a long time to deflate and pack away.
The high-quality materials and plush top used to build this mattress mean that it’s a great option for occasional camping trips or hosting. At such a low cost, the Plush Elevated Dura Beam definitely offers great value, but it is unlikely to be suitable for daily use.
OlarHike Queen Air Mattress with Built-in Pump (Best for Guests)
If you regularly host friends and family, we think the OlarHike Queen Air Mattress is the best air mattress for guests.
At 18 “ high and featuring a soft, flocked top, this air bed is very comfortable and mimics the feel of a ‘real’ bed. The thick fabric, inner air coils, and strong seams offer great posture support all night long, while the built-in pump makes inflating easy. Furthermore, this motorized pump is much quieter than others on the market – perfect if you’re trying to set up a guest bed without disturbing your neighbors or waking your kids.
Once inflated, this mattress holds air exceptionally well. Even when sleeping two adults, the OlarHike can maintain inflation for 48 hours without any leaks. So you won’t have to worry about topping it up several times throughout the day. Deflation is simple, too – just turn the pump counterclockwise to fully remove all the air in a couple of minutes.
This easy-to-clean air mattress also comes with a nifty carry bag and puncture repair kit, making it a great buy if you have guests often. However, there are a few negative points to bear in mind. Some customers found that the edges of this mattress provide little support and there is an unpleasant chemical smell that lingers for a few days after opening.
Furthermore, some users have found that the mattress becomes stretched with heavy use, but this doesn’t impact its usability.
Noble QUEEN Comfort DOUBLE HIGH Raised Air Mattress (Best Queen Sized)
Out of all our air mattress reviews, we think this large air bed from Noble is the best queen air mattress on the market.
Featuring specialized coil beam technology, this air mattress offers superb structure and firm support for a healthy and comfortable sleeping posture. The pillow top, flocked upper layer is soft to the touch, keeping you or your guests warm and cozy throughout the night while ensuring the sheets stay securely in place. The quilted top is waterproof, too – so there’s no need to fret over any accidental spills.
The built-in pump means you can inflate and deflate this mattress in minutes – perfect for when your guests decide to stay over unexpectedly. Alternatively, if you already own a pump or would prefer to use a higher-powered one, the convenient secondary valve enables you to attach a pump of your choosing.
While this is a great mattress, there may be some durability issues with heavy use. The material around the built-in pump is prone to cracks and the body of the mattress may suffer bulges if used at high-inflation for long periods. The mattress may have a strong, plastic-like odor for the first few uses. The chemical smell will eventually fade, but may not disappear entirely for a few weeks.
Coleman Camping Cot (Best for Camping)
In love with the great outdoors? This camping cot from Coleman is one of the top air beds for camping.
Coming complete with a battery-operated pump, this camping air bed is a great choice for weekend adventures. The inner air coil construction supports your body for a comfortable night’s sleep, while the leak-proof design and stitched-in cover ensure that it stays secure and fully-inflated until morning.
With a steel frame strong enough to support heavier sleepers of up to 600lbs, you can sleep easy knowing this camp bed won’t buckle overnight. The built-in cup holders are perfect for storing a bottle of beer or your morning coffee, while the fold-up design makes for simple storage.
All in all, the Coleman Camping Cot is a fantastic choice when sleeping under the stars, but it does have a few drawbacks. It is a little heavy when carried over long distances and the battery-operated pump can painfully slow in inflating the mattress. The camping cot is also rather squeaky, especially when you’re a restless sleeper.
Insta-Bed Raised (Best Raised Option)
Another favorite, available in both queen and twin sizes, is the Raised Air Mattress with Never Flat Pump by Insta-Bed – our pick for the best raised air mattress.
It is raised to 18 inches, which makes getting in and out of bed easy. This raised mattress features circular coils and horizontal reinforcements that create an extra comfortable sleeping experience in addition to the flocked top that’s designed to keep the bedding in place.
Harnessed with a very powerful, yet whisper-quiet internal AC pump, it inflates and deflates in just 4-minutes, while also allowing you to adjust the firmness level to your liking – be it Plus, Medium, or Firm. The Never Flat technology keeps the bed at your desired level of firmness all night by adjusting air pressure quickly and quietly needed. Once the sheets are on, you’ll never be able to tell the difference between this air mattress and a quality innerspring bed.
Unfortunately, the secondary pump which maintains the selected pressure is prone to breaking with frequent use. Therefore, we recommend you only use this bed for occasional guests, not as a replacement for a primary mattress. The edge support is also lacking, so if you usually sleep towards the edge of the mattress, you may feel like you’re rolling off.
EnerPlex High Speed Wireless Queen Air Mattress for Camping (Most Durable)
If you’re looking for the most durable air mattress, the Enerplex High Speed should be on top of your list.
Made from resilient, puncture-resistant PVC, this airbed is designed to stand up to regular use without failing. At 9” in height, it’s easy to get in and out of, while the textured, anti-slip base prevents any shifting or sliding, even on hard floors.
Perfect for camping, this air mattress comes with a wireless, rechargeable pump – so you can inflate your bed no matter where you’re sleeping. Compatible with both 12v car chargers and 120v power outlets, the pump can be fully charged in as little as 1.5 hours, so you won’t need to wait around before hitting the road.
This air mattress is comfortable, too. A soft, flocked top keeps you warm and cozy, while the coil beam construction ensures correct spinal alignment for a healthy night’s sleep. It holds air very well, but you should expect to have to give it a top-up every other day or so.
On the downside, like many air mattresses, this model lacks edge support and is vulnerable to bulges if over-inflated for long periods. However, so long as you take care not to over pressurize it, this mattress will last you for years to come.
The Shrunks Toddler Travel Bed (Best for Toddlers)
If you often have children over to stay, we think the Shrunks Toddler Travel Bed is the best single air mattress for kids.
Designed with little ones in mind, this dual-layer air mattress for kids keeps them safe and secure whether you’re out camping, or just staying over at a family members’ house. With a soft, flocked top and clever ‘sheet-tuck’ feature, your child will feel right at home.
Incredibly quick to inflate, the Shrunks Travel Bed features a powerful pump which blows up the bed in just 30-seconds – so you can get them ready for bed in no time. The built-in bumpers help to prevent restless kids from falling out of bed in the night, while the 9” height reduces the risk of injury should they manage it.
Free-from BPAs, phthalate and lead, this air mattress is constructed from child-safe materials for ultimate peace of mind. However, it should be noted that there is a plastic odor once first opened, although this will dissipate after a few days and is not harmful.
All in all, this air mattress is a great choice for toddlers, but there are a couple of caveats. The built-in bumpers are useful, but many users found them to be ‘squeaky’, which may wake up a light-sleeper. Also, while the included pump is effective, it isn’t very durable, especially with frequent use.
Intex Classic Downy (Budget Choice)
Weighing only 11lbs, yet capable of supporting up to 600lbs of weight, the Intex Classic Downy is our choice of the best budget air mattress. This multi-purpose, low profile queen-sized airbed allows for a snug fit for your fitted sheets and can be used both indoors and out.
Perfect for use in tents or at home, this air bed can be folded compactly for easy storage. The combination of a waterproof flocked top and wave beam construction is very comfortable. As an added bonus, as there is no built-in pillow, it also comes with two inflatable ones – great if you’re the forgetful type.
However, it is important to note that this air double bed comes with an external manual hand pump. While manual pumps require some exertion, they are more lightweight than other external pumps, so they are ideal for backcountry outings or traveling.
On the downside, this budget mattress is prone to slow leaks, gradually deflating over time. For this reason, it is not likely to be durable enough for frequent use and would be better kept for occasional outings or hosting.
How To Use An Air Mattress
There are many ways to use an air mattress. We take a look at the three most common scenarios below.
As a Main Bed
Although air mattresses are generally portable, you can also use them as permanent beds that aren’t packed away in storage but are left out for every night use.
These tend to be more expensive than the smaller low-profile guest beds, often come with their own raised platform or can be placed on a separate purpose-built stand.
Air mattresses can be great permanent beds for people who suffer from types of back pain or for those who are looking for a sleeping surface that can be adjusted to their needs as often as necessary. There are many durable options, some of which come with built-in pumps so keeping them inflated over time is as quick and easy as changing the sheets.
As a Temporary Guest Bed
A smaller twin or queen inflatable bed is ideal for temporary hosting.
The flexibility and compact-ability of a small air mattress makes for a more comfortable sleep when compared to the hard floor or an uncomfortable sofa. Many varieties come with built-in pumps to inflate, and power deflate options as well, so setting up and taking down when guests visit has never been simpler.
For Backpacking or Camping
Camping is a great experience, but sleeping on the ground with just a thin layer of a sleeping bag or foam pad beneath you is not for everyone.
Thankfully, an air bed makes a comfortable and affordable alternative to thin sleeping pads. You can comfortably fit a twin size inside a small tent and up to a queen-size in a larger tent.
Purpose-built camping mattresses can often be inflated using the DC port in your car or manually with a foot pump, and when you’re done with it in the morning or at the end of your trip, it can be simply rolled up and left in the trunk for next time.
What Is The Best Air Mattress To Buy?
In this section of our buying guide, we discuss the features you’ll want to consider when deciding on the best inflatable mattress for your needs.
Types Of Air Mattresses
There are many types of air mattresses on the market, but not all are created equal.
Let’s take a look at the eight common varieties; so you’ll have a better idea which is the best air bed for you.
Heavy Duty Air Mattresses
An air mattress will be considered heavy duty if it is made from high-quality, puncture-resistant fabric.
These types of air mattresses often feature some kind of ‘leak-locking’ technology or leak proofing in the pump. They are usually marketed for use over long periods or in rugged outdoor environments, without suffering from the wear and tear that most low-quality cheap air mattresses would incur.
Heavy-duty air mattresses are more durable than their lightweight competitors. Therefore, they are often the best choice for camping or those who are looking for a temporary or permanent replacement to a traditional bed.
Automatic/Self-Inflating Air Mattresses
Many air mattresses on the market today are considered ‘automatic’ or ‘self-inflating’. This means they feature built-in pumps. Self-inflating mattresses are popular because they allow you to flip a switch and walk away – knowing your air bed will be perfectly filled when you return.
There are a couple of types of self-inflating air mattresses. The first type allows you to choose your firmness setting, typically plush, medium, or firm. The second type inflates it entirely, without giving you a choice in firmness. This kind is slightly less desirable, but can usually still be adjusted manually after it is inflated fully.
The pumps on self-inflating air mattresses are either battery-powered or plug-in. Battery-powered models are most often rechargeable, although some cheaper models may use disposable batteries.
High Quality/Luxury Air Mattresses
These days, blow up air mattresses can be just as luxurious as a high-end pocket sprung or memory foam mattresses. Automatic inflation to your perfect level of firmness, pillow tops, memory foam accents, and even built-in pillows are just some features available on luxury air mattresses.
The best full-size air mattress is typically available as a high-level, raised model, although that is not always the case. Some low-profile models also have luxury features available, but usually not as many as their raised counterparts.
Cheap Air Mattresses
The best inflatable bed isn’t always the most expensive.
A cheap, blow up mattress can be a great, inexpensive alternative to a regular bed or a good way to keep your guests from sleeping on the couch. As long as you don’t need the high-end luxury features available on today’s options, you can get good deals on low-cost air mattresses that will last a long time and are quick and easy to store.
The best cheap air mattress will often have an external pump, rather than a built-in model. These types are not for everyone since they do require more time and energy to inflate, but for the price tag, they offer a convenient option for hosting and occasional camping trips.
Pillowtop Air Mattresses
We often think of an air bag bed as less comfortable than our everyday beds, but that doesn’t have to be the case.
The best blow up mattress options will have pillow tops. Some are permanent, while others can be zipped off for easy cleaning and storage. Pillow tops range in softness and thickness as well, so you can be sure to find just what you need to achieve your best night’s sleep.
Only the more luxurious and most high quality air mattress will offer pillowtop options, so be aware that shopping on a budget may deter you from buying one of these. However, as they gain popularity, they are becoming more and more mainstream, and easier to find at lower prices.
Features To Consider When Choosing An Air Mattress
Now that you have a better idea of which type is the best blow up bed for you, let’s take a look at the other features you should keep in mind before purchasing.
Size and Dimensions
Whether you’re seeking the best twin air mattress or the best double air bed, rest assured that manufacturers try their hardest to produce portable air mattresses that mimic standard mattress sizes.
Although air mattresses most commonly come in Twin and Queen size, they are often also available in Full, Single, and Double. Let’s take a look at the dimensions of each:
- Queen Dimensions: 60” W x 80” L
- Twin Dimensions: 38” W x 74” L
- Full Dimensions: 54” W x 74” L
- Single Dimensions: 36” W x 74” L
- Double Dimensions: 54” W x 74” L
Please note that these dimensions do not include height as that can vary based on whether you choose a low profile or raised. Raised air mattresses range in height from 16” to 22”, regardless of the size of the airbed. Low profile mattresses are anywhere from 7” to 10” high.
Air mattresses come in different heights or thicknesses, but most commonly these are raised for ease of access.
Raised air mattresses are generally around the same height as a typical mattress and box spring combo. They are simply inflatable mattresses adjoined to their own platform, designed to keep users further off of the floor and offer a more traditional sleeping experience than low profile models.
Since raised inflatable mattresses are much easier to get in and out of, they are ideal for older guests or those with mobility issues. Since they keep you further away from the floor, these are also great if you are using them in cold weather, where the ground chill may seep through a thinner mattress.
The slight disadvantage is simply to the size. They take up more space than low-profile models when packed away for storage, and are more difficult to use in a tent or other outdoor scenarios.
Thinner, or low profile, air mattresses are made without the added base that comes standard with taller models.
This lack of base typically means that they are slightly cheaper and more compact than raised air mattresses. Low profile mattresses are ideal for trips as they can be easily deflated, rolled up and packed away into your car or backpack when not in use, and they are not too large to fit into a small tent.
Low profile air mattresses are similar in usability, size, and price to a folding floor mattress, but are much more compact when it comes to packing away, and typically far more comfortable. Since these easily portable mattresses are small enough to store in tight spaces when not in use, they are ideal for apartment dwellers, too.
Furthermore, low profile models are no less high-tech than their raised counterparts, so you won’t have to worry about giving up the luxury of an internal pump or automatic deflation just because you opted for a low profile mattress.
Part of the appeal of inflatable air mattresses is their portability; however, not all are easily traveled with.
Of course, the weight will be a significant factor in whether or not an air mattress is portable, but that is not the only factor to consider. For example, some models come with bases that are necessary for use, thus making them far less portable than others.
If you’re planning to take your inflatable mattress out and about, we recommend looking for one that folds down and comes with its own carry bag for convenience.
Two different types of pump may come with your air mattress:
External pumps can differ in how they are powered. They are typically either manually-powered, battery-powered, or plug-in. Air mattresses that require an external pump are usually slightly cheaper than those with built-in pumps, making them a good choice if you’re on a budget.
However, since the pump is not connected in any way to the body or base, it can more easily be misplaced. On the flip side, since the pump is not attached, it can also be used to pump up other inflatables you might have in your home, like a ball, bicycle tire, kiddie pool, or inflatable pool toys.
Built-In, Or Internal Pumps
Air mattresses with built-in pumps are often the preferred choice because there is no chance that you will lose the adapters or the pump itself.
Some automatic pump models offer adjustable comfort levels that can be easily set to plush, medium or firm with the turn of a knob. Almost every model with a built-in pump can be turned on and then ignored because it will automatically stop inflating when full. This is great because it gives you time to do other things while the air bed inflates.
In addition, many of the best blow up mattresses with built-in pumps also come with an automatic deflate option, so you will no longer have to roll on the surface or use any other crazy tricks to get the mattress to deflate faster once you’re finished using it.
While all of the air mattresses we have reviewed are excellent choices, we think the best air mattress of 2021 is our editor’s choice – the SoundAsleep Dream Series Air Mattress.
This queen sized air mattress is large enough to accommodate multiple guests, while the raised height makes you feel like you are sleeping on a real bed. The separate air chambers enable you to adjust the firmness and fill to your particular preferences for ultimate comfort, and the built-in, 1-click pump acts rapidly to inflate or deflate this mattress in as little as 4-minutes, so you won’t need to wait around.
Perfect for accommodating friends, family or for use as an alternative to a traditional bed, we love how this air mattress features 40 internal air coils that maintain spinal alignment for fantastic support all night long. The non-slip base prevents any sliding on hard floors (even if you’re a restless sleeper) while the flocked top is thick, cozy, and fully waterproof.
All in all, if you’re looking for the best quality air mattress for long-term use and a great night’s sleep; we think you should look no further than the SoundAsleep Dream Series Air Mattress.