Best Air Mattress 2021 • 7 Air Mattresses Reviews
Today’s air mattresses are plush and supportive, keeping guests comfortable without stealing precious space. Our team takes a look at the current marketplace.
Air Mattress Leaderboard 2021
What is an Air Mattress?
Air mattresses are designed for camping, temporary guest beds, or road trips. They’re equipped with air pumps and come in a range of elevation levels. Some products are best for wet outdoor weather, providing waterproofing and portability for long hikes, while others are crafted to provide extra durability and silent inflation. A range of different shapes cater towards different user-bases, with backpacker options that are a few centimetres high and home versions that are as high and wide as a double bed top.
How Does an Air Mattress Work?
Air mattresses come in three alternatives: Self-inflating, manual pumps, and internal pumps. Self-inflating models consist of two levels of foam within an air-tight shell. These valves usually close automatically when you roll the mattress. As you unroll them, the valve opens, allowing the foam to introduce air into the air mattress.
Manual offerings have a removable air stopper for a manual pump, which can be operated by hand or foot. Internal pumps are usually electrical and will inflate your bed in a few minutes without manual involvement. You’ll find internal air coils that support the back, which test best for users with chronic pain. Air tight models are styled not to lose inflation overnight. On review and survey sites, you’ll also find models that adjust depending on how well you inflate them. Most lose air over an eight-hour period, so some products have an automatic pump that works throughout the night to keep the mattress. This review will look at all three offerings and how they suit a range of different air mattress applications.
Advantages and Applications
There is no perfect air mattress, only the best product for your unique needs, so in this review, we’ll be focusing on the pros and cons of every application and its features.
The best product in this survey class will allow for machine washing. Home mattresses come in double, single, and queen-sized models, with smaller offerings being best for hiking and larger ones being best for home usage or camping. Plush double air mattresses are usually cheaper than traditional beds, knocking off 90% of the price. They’re more versatile, too, catering towards house guests while also improving the comfort of your tent. Unlike spring beds, air beds with two chambers can separate movement, so you shouldn’t feel your partner during the night.
What Types of Air Mattress are There?
Every air mattress has its own unique benefits and drawbacks. Some have built-in pillows and plush, soft, orthopedic back support, but these features detract from their portability. The flocked top of a traditional mattress can be achieved with the help of a coil system that distributes body weight evenly for the best comfort. If you’re reading this review hoping to find a hiking bed, a lush coil support air mattress will be too heavy for your needs. A shorter, single air bed with a battery-operated pump is easy to carry on long overnight walks and comes with the considerable side-benefit of being waterproof.
A narrow, plastic-coated air mattress will protect your sleeping bag from morning frost and rain and can weigh as little as 5 lbs. It certainly won’t feel like a premium lamb’s wool mattress, but it will provide the best comfort available to long distance hikers. Few air mattresses remain firm for the night, a considerable drawback that you can avoid by choosing a model with a continuous pump. These aren’t always silent, but they do keep your air mattress inflated, so if you’re coping with back pain or injuries, this is the best way to ensure you wake up feeling refreshed.
Natural rubber avoids this effect. Thermoplastic food grade polyurethane is less likely to off-gas, so it’s often used for medical applications, particularly among users who value biodegradable offerings. Of course, even the best air mattress in our review requires lengthy assembly. If you’re using yours as a permanent bed, this won’t be much of a drawback, but a noisy continuous pump may disturb your rest, so we’ve included silent plumps in this review.
The Big Air Mattress Buyer’s Guide – Defects to Avoid
Innerspring mattresses often come with longer warranties than the best air mattress brands. However, some air beds carry lifetime warranties, so they compared well. Limited one-year warranties are the most common ones in air mattresses in this review. They usually cover workmanship defects and materials, but some will void a warranty if there is proof of damage from pets or sharp objects. Cheaper air beds cover as little as 45 days, so it’s advisable to sample these as soon as they’re purchased.
Every air mattress in this review is prone to punctures, but some are more resistant than others. If you have pets, try a stretch-free full fabric cover and skirt. This will make your bed feel cosier during the winter, too. The more flexible a material is, the better it will resist tears, and rubber meets both qualities while simultaneously helping you protect the environment. Vulcanised rubber is especially sturdy and is ideal for camping. Its stretchy surface is a test winner when it comes to resisting bursting. To test your product’s puncture resistance upon inspection, check its stretchiness and the width of its material.
Time Consuming Set-up
Self-inflating air beds were among the most convenient in our analysis, but an automatic pump reduces your set-up times just as well.
Toxic fumes can affect skin, encourage allergies and asthma, and many a trial has found them to have serious effects on your long term health. The best air mattress brands on review sites are pthalate and PVC-free. If you have multiple chemical sensitivity, TPU and TPU coatings compared well in terms of being hypo-allergenic, but if you’re only looking for a brand that keeps your skin protected from chemicals, an air mattress with an extra top panel will be best for your needs. Testing for toxicity is usually a simple evaluation because most noxious chemicals have a powerful scent.
Minimal air leakage is important in all air mattress designs because it’s the best way to prevent the bed from bursting. Never-flat pump technology achieved a fine balance between air leakage and burst resistance in a study we read, keeping your air mattress at its best throughout the night. It will kick in when it detects a certain level of deflation, which means your mattress pump will function as you sleep. This makes a silent pump an important feature in your purchase. To test your product’s air leakage during inspection, look for sturdy seams, a continuous pump, and a flexible material. Run a comparison of the nozzle’s flexibility. A firm nozzle is likely to lose its rigidity in time. A soft option will retain its strength for longer.
Electric air mattress pumps are the most common among the manufacturers in our review. They save time but require a power source. Battery and rechargeable electric pumps are best for camping, but they can be too heavy for hikers, who may have to settle for manual pumps. The loudest in product test sites were high-pressure air flow electric pumps, so these are best accompanied by sound insulation. If you’re shopping online and can’t sample your pump prior to purchase, ask your brand manufacturer if their pump is sound-insulated and look for a trial or comparison table online.
Heavy beds tend to deliver an excellent test result in terms of quality, but they’re not the best for the hikers reading this review. One online test run found that lightweight battery air pumps are best for campers, but you’ll need your air mattress to be equally easy to carry, so don’t forget to compare weights. You needn’t do without comfort coil technology, even if you’re camping. A single, narrow design with coils tested best for hikers who take their sleep seriously. If you’re in the market for a juxtaposition of quality and weightlessness, an air mattress pad made of synthetic fibres and PVC will probably compare well to your alternatives. The industry is packed with pads for hikers, and most are well-insulated to keep you warm throughout the night.
A firm mattress provides better lumbar support and weight control than a soft one, which is why chronic pain patients are increasingly turning to air beds. Upon examination, they’re less likely to lose their shape, but that doesn’t tell the whole story. Air mattresses with horizontal air channels will distribute hip weight evenly, but if you’re a side sleeper, you need something a little softer in comparison to support your waist. If you sleep on your back, the best air mattress in our review for your pain has individual pocketed springs to support you both vertically and horizontally.
Consumer Tests and Reports
Consumer Reports Product Test
Consumer Reports created a comparison table of the best air mattress brands in terms of sagging, deflection, and weight distribution. Using weights of 250 pounds, their experiment measured the depression of the surface over time. Scores were also given for the best mattresses in their review in terms of the juxtaposition between convenience and weight after deflation. The suitability test covered different pumps, heights, and brands, arriving at a best brand air mattress from the many in its review line up.
The best double-height air mattress in their review was a basic non-coil mattress that was 17-inches in height. It took three minutes to inflate and four to deflate. It passed the deflection analysis with flying colours, indicating that a coil-free air mattress may well provide better lumbar support than a coiled one. The best mattress in their review in terms of deflection was a plush model with a mid-rise design and comprehensive interior construction.
If you suffer from back pain, this is probably the best offering for your needs. The best single-height air mattress in the review rated well for convenience due to a powerful electric pump. It sank four inches on depression, winning the practical test thanks to its interior coils. While this seems to point to coils as best, the worst air mattress in their review had precisely this similarity. The test found a two-inch difference in deflection, weighing more than the best air bed in the review. The mattress was far thicker than the best products in the trial, so you may be better off choosing a product that’s less than 15 inches in height.
The University of York
The University of York compared alternating pressure air mattresses with standard mattresses for preventing bedsores in bedridden patients. This was a methodical review of 35 randomised clinical trials with an inbuilt control. The suitability test also studied the effects of air beds on healthy people. Three of the studies found that an air mattress with constant air pressure reduced the odds of bed sores. Four of the trials in the review found air beds to be more comfortable for bed-ridden patients upon long-term examination.
The review also looked at the cost effectiveness of air mattress solutions and found a 54% reduction in price compared to hollow fibre mattresses. While the review limited itself to hospital conditions, the air mattresses in the study distributed weight more evenly, supporting the back and keeping you comfortable throughout the night. The review only studied alternating pressure air mattress, which ordinary consumers can buy from home medical supply stores. There are a number of sub-categories to consider, including bariatric and lateral rotation options. These come with an extra weight capacity of 450 lbs to 1000 lbs. The test result found that self adjusting options provide pressure relief and are best for light sleepers who suffer from neck, shoulder, and back pain.
YourBestDigs spent more than 100 hours testing seven air mattresses for comfort and ease of use. Only one of the products in its review maintained air pressure, largely thanks to an internal pump that controls firmness overnight. None of the other products shared this similarity. The Insta-Bed was the runner-up to the Lazery Sleep Air Mattress in the practical test, which lost only a fraction of its firmness overnight. Its review tested average inflation and deflation times and whether the mattresses deflated without help. To review durability, air beds were inflated and weight-tested with 200 lbs over 48 hours.
All the mattresses in the review had air coil systems. The test result found that coils are generally efficient for maintaining air pressure in the centre of the air mattress, but not the sides and corners. The review also noted unpleasant chemical odour, with the Lightspeed Outdoors two person mattress being the test winner in terms of off-gassing. The review found that electric pumps worked well to fully deflate most mattresses, although the Insta-Bed didn’t deflate fully. Many of the mattresses included in the review lost their stability. The Lazery and Insta-Bed mattresses were the best options in terms of sleep quality and comfort. The former scored perfectly in most tests. It was also the firmest of all models, although it has the option of a softer inflation.
Camping air mattresses are generally narrow, so this shortfall requires special care during shopping. A thick, thermal plastic or rubber is needed to keep you warm on winter nights. The best camping air mattress in the review weighed six pounds, making it a comfortable addition to your backpacking kit. Some of the high-rise air beds in the review lost firmness quickly through the air valve upon evaluation, showing considerable sagging by morning in the test result. The greatest hazard reported in this review was air mattress safety for infants. Deflation is a serious risk for babies, so air mattresses should be reserved for adult usage.
- Sound Asleep
- Fox Mattresses
- Sleep Restoration
- King Koil
its best-in-class Dura Beam bed dominating the line. The air mattress has performed reasonably well on review sites. The model is best for home use, but it only accommodates sleepers weighing 10.8kgs. Its two-in-one valve is designed for width, and the bed itself is made from vinyl and polyester. Many of its beds have built-in pumps in accordance with the needs of those requiring lumbar support. Its Amazon review page reports that Intex products require inflating every three days, with most leakage occurring at the valve.
Air Mattress History
The first mattress was invented during the Neolithic period to raise users from the ground away from bugs and pests. Air mattresses first appeared on the market centuries later, in 1889, when a traditional mattress company in Massachusetts created a rubber offering to be used on Atlantic steamships. It could be easily stored and even used as a life raft. The air bed became popular among land-based clients in the 20th century when users began seeking out a bed for tiny one-room apartments, but not before hospitals began to realise that air mattresses could prevent bedsores.
The first air beds came were six foot products with two divisions that let you control the firmness of your bed. Air mattresses became sought-after water toys in the late Forties, but permanent air beds only became day-to-day products in 1981. The Coleman Company was the first to create air beds specifically designed for camping and household guests. Today, the market is divided into camping, guest, and hospital beds for adults. In recent years, governmental studies pointed to the dangers of pthalates found in PVC and vinyl, so alternative plastics and rubber have become popular in the last two decades.
Numbers, Data, and Facts
The air mattress market is worth €165 million. Air mattresses have done more than merely earn good revenue, though. They were responsible for the multibillion AirBnB industry. Its founders realised that they could rent out their San Francisco apartment using the help of an easily-stored air bed. In those days, most air beds were made from vinyl chloride PVC, but today, eco-friendly options are becoming more popular. Most air mattresses only support 300 lbs, making thicker options better for larger users.
The best manufacturer, in terms of branding power and popularity, is AeroBed, which patented the pneumatic support system used in a dual valve assembly and battery-operated set-up, forcing other brands to come up with their own diversified designs. Even so, the earliest air bed patent was created in 1853 when John Scott invented his early product. Air mattress technology isn’t limited to bedding. It inspired the invention of the Airscreen, a large inflatable screen ideal for outdoor movies. Air beds have been studied for their effects on sleep quality in patients with back pain. Researchers found that medium firmness in a self-adjusted air bed is best for promoting sleep comfort and quality as well as spinal adjustment in patients who need lumbar support.
Safety Instructions when Dealing with an Air Mattress
Air mattresses have led to infant deaths around the world, so they should never be used for, or even around, children. Your airbed is only as safe as its material, particularly if you suffer from asthma or allergies. Always choose a pthalate-free product and stay aware of chemical treatments that can worsen eczema and other skin conditions.
Some air beds release chemicals into the air, so never use flammable substances such as aerosols around your mattress. They can cause explosions. Over-inflation is risky and should be avoided. To prevent related injuries, some air beds come with a shut-off valve. Vinyl is softest when new, so you might need to inflate your bed more initially. To prevent chemicals from mixing, your bed should only be cleaned with a mild soap solution. No harsh chemicals, including bleach, should be used. Your mattress is safest when used in the upright position. Safety profiles vary from product to product, so read your manual before using your new bed.
How to Set Up an Air Mattress Correctly in Six Steps
10 tips for Care and Maintenance
If you’re on a shoestring budget, you can use a bike pump converter to manually inflate your mattress. To keep your product clean and puncture-resistant, a memory foam top can be used, adding to your bed’s lifespan while improving your comfort. If your mattress doesn’t come with its own carrier bag, buying one will ensure that you don’t suffer from a puncture during storage and travel.
Alternatives to an Air Mattress
If you enjoy having guests, but don’t have the space for a permanent bed, futons are often foldable for storage. They save space during the day and require very little maintenance. If you’re going camping, you can even roll up your futon mattress and take it along for a comfortable night’s rest. Cots or folding beds save space and can be disassembled for storage.
If you’re camping, a sleeping bag is an obvious alternative that can be used with a soft camping mat. Sofa bed mattresses give unexpected guests a place to sleep, while hammocks provide a fun alternative on hikes.
Why is your air mattress bulging?
A hole can cause air bubbles in your mattress. Deflating and reinflating your bed may provide a temporary fix.
Can an air mattress be fixed?
Punctures can be mended at home with a repair kit. Valve and pump repairs require professional support.
Can an air mattress go in a washing machine?
Some air beds are machine washable. Others have suede covers that don’t respond well to water.
What air mattress is best for camping?
Camping requires a lightweight product that accepts a battery-operated or manual pump.
What air mattress is less prone to leaking?
Thick, nonporous materials with well-formed seams and leak-resistant valves retain air for longer.
Will an air mattress pop?
If you over-inflate your mattress, it might burst.
Can an air mattress get wet?
Most air mattresses are made of PVC and other waterproof materials.
Are air mattress pumps universal?
Universal nozzles fit standard air valves, but many air bed brands have unique designs that require brand-specific pumps.
What is the tallest air mattress?
Are air beds good for daily usage?
Most air beds are intended for temporary usage. They deflate relatively quickly and most brands don’t offer enough lumbar support for permanent sleeping.