The 10 Best Air Mattresses
This wiki has been updated 27 times since it was first published in May of 2015. Whether you lack a traditional bed for occasional guests or you're planning a camping trip with your family and friends, one of these air mattresses can provide a comfortable sleeping surface for a good night’s rest. With features like integrated pumps, cutting-edge air coil systems, and adjustable firmness, the models on this list are bound to offer something to meet your requirements. When users buy our independently chosen editorial selections, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.
August 12, 2020:
Thanks to their height, ease of use, comfort, and relative durability, we still think the SoundAsleep ComfortCoil and the Lazery Sleep Electric deserve top spots. The Insta-Bed Raised leaves the list after some consideration, however, over concerns about its durability over the long-term. Instead, the Coleman SupportRest Elite is a good choice for many. As with the SoundAsleep and the Lazery Sleep models, it has an integrated pump that saves your breath, as well as a soft top and supportive construction.
While the aforementioned are great for home use or camping with electric hook-ups, we added the Enerplex Queen for those who want cordless freedom. With the rechargeable pump, you can fill this mattress up just about anywhere, but it is much lower to the ground than "fancier" versions. For some, this won't be a problem, but for those with mobility issues, it can be frustrating.
Finally, we kept one air mattress for kids, the Intex Cozy Kidz. Note that while it's appropriate for use by children 10 and under, this does not mean it is safe for infants. In fact, air mattresses in general are not appropriate sleeping surfaces for babies due to the risk of suffocation. If you'll be going on a trip with your tiny one, consider an age-appropriate travel crib, instead.
May 28, 2019:
When you’re entertaining overnight guests, you want to make sure their stay is a pleasant one, so you really can’t go wrong with the SoundAsleep ComfortCoil, which provides excellent back support and control over the level of inflation. For this reason, it retains a high spot on our list. The Lazery Sleep Electric also garners high marks all around, thanks to its considerable height when inflated (which makes you feel like you’re on a traditional bed), comfortable air coils, gripped bottom, and waterproof top.
Joining the list are the Insta-Bed Raised and the Intex Dura-Beam, both of which are reliable choices that come with carrying bags and can be counted on to keep your sheets firmly in place. In this update, we removed the TopElek Elevatedz and the Insta-Bed Queen Raised NeverFlat, which are both currently unavailable.
REI Co-op Sleep System 40 The REI Co-op Sleep System 40 has all the features you could ask for, giving you a relaxing night's rest — although your budget might not find it so comfortable. An insulated choice, it has an R-value of 3.6, so it's appropriate for use in moderately cold weather, and there's a quilted cover that's padded and cozy. rei.com
A Great Night's Sleep Anywhere
And finally, you must make sure you have a comfortable bed on which to sleep.
The average adult requires between seven to nine hours of sleep per night in order to remain healthy in the long term and to be alert and productive each day. However, more than 40 percent of Americans are chronically sleep deprived and, therefore, at risk of everything from a weakened immune system to creating a hazard while driving or operating machinery.
Beyond ensuring that you are giving yourself enough time to achieve an adequate amount of sleep, you also need to make sure you are creating the conditions for quality sleep. Sleep that is frequently interrupted or conditions in which the deeper sleep cycles that naturally occur during circadian rhythms cannot be achieved is not nearly as productive as protracted periods of deep, restful slumber. In fact, nine hours of fitful sleep may be worth less than six hours of deep, uninterrupted sleep.
To make sure you are providing yourself with ideal sleeping conditions, remove as many distractions as possible from your pre-bedtime routine. That means turning off the TV and the computer (and the smartphone) at least a half hour before you sleep, so your eyes and brain can wind down from the stimuli. Make sure the room in which you sleep is quiet, or else is filled with a steady sound created by a fan or white noise machine that can help drown out other sharp sounds that might wake you.
A proper bedroom should be free from light, including even the glow of the clock; turn your clock away from your face to reduce the light it shines on your eyelids and to resist the urge to check the clock every time you wake or when sleep is long in coming. Ensure your bedroom is cool and temperate with proper circulation and ventilation.
And finally, you must make sure you have a comfortable bed on which to sleep. If you need to spend a night or two on a friend's couch while you travel, that's one thing; in general, though, you should spend every night on a supportive, comfortable mattress. Hard as it may be to believe, that could well be an inflatable air mattress given the quality options available today.
The Right Air Mattress To Keep At Home
It's a great idea to keep an inflatable air mattress at home at all times. When you have an air mattress, you always have another bed at the ready, and that's good news for houseguests or for yourself. If your regular mattress becomes unexpectedly compromised by spilled liquid, a popped spring, or any other issue, it's far more pleasant to spend the night on an air mattress than it would be to sleep on the sofa or the floor. Likewise, when you have guests show up (expected or not), you can provide them a comfortable place to sleep with minimal effort.
If you are selecting an air mattress for your home, then its weight and compressed size will likely not be an issue.
If you live in an apartment or a smaller home, having a dedicated guest room may be out of the question. In such a situation, an air mattress is the perfect way to maximize the efficient use of your home when you need to provide extra sleeping surfaces that can be tucked away into an attic, closet, or even under another bed when not needed.
If you are selecting an air mattress for your home, then its weight and compressed size will likely not be an issue. Opt for the most comfortable option that fits your budget, keeping in mind that even the more expensive, self-inflating air mattresses with built in pumps and leak-proof designs are reasonably priced. It's quite affordable to be a welcoming host with gracious and grateful guests.
Choosing And Using An Air Mattress For Travel
If you're choosing an air mattress that you'll use during travel, then weight and inflation options take on a new level of importance. If you are a camper who will be carrying the air mattress over any notable distance, then weight suddenly becomes the most important consideration and should be weighed first, so to speak. Weight is also a factor when loading a vehicle for car camping or a cross-country drive, of course, but it is of much less concern in that case.
Most air pumps won't hold a charge suitable for inflation for more than a day or two, and may only provide enough power to fill your air mattress once.
Next, you must consider an air mattress's inflation method. Many high-quality air mattresses have built-in air pumps that plug right into any standard outlet. If you are in a cabin or tent without an outlet (or a generator), those fancy pumps are absolutely useless, though.
Other options can be inflated by electric pumps that hold a charge, and these are a great idea for limited-term use. Most air pumps won't hold a charge suitable for inflation for more than a day or two, and may only provide enough power to fill your air mattress once. Look for an option that can also be inflated using a hand pump. The extra effort required to pump air into your mattress manually will more than pay off when you can inflate the unit at will in any location.