The 10 Best Single Air Beds
We spent 47 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top options for this wiki. Here's an idea: Instead of having a guest room in your house that stays empty for most of the year, convert it into an arts and crafts room, a home theater, a gym, or whatever else you like. Then, on the odd occasion when someone comes to stay overnight, you can still provide them with a comfortable place to sleep using one or two of these single air beds. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best single air bed on Amazon.
The Benefits Of Having An Air Bed
Finally, air beds, when deflated, take up very little space.
Finally, air beds, when deflated, take up very little space.
While you may not be willing to swap out your regular bed for an air bed, you should consider adding one to your home. These portable, flexible items come in handy often. First of all, if you travel a lot with your family, then you need all the tools possible to help you save money on those trips. Many hotels charge for rollaways, but you can easily pack an air bed and give everyone somewhere comfortable to sleep at no extra charge. Air beds are great for extended camping trips, too. While a quality sleeping bag over a camping pad can suffice for a few nights, if you're setting up camp for a while, you'll want something that resembles your actual bed.
The second benefit of air beds is their adjustability. Most air beds allow you to adjust the firmness. Research has shown that no one level of firmness is perfect for everyone. The best firmness for you depends on the position in which you sleep; your back, neck, and shoulder health; and other conditions like arthritis and sleep apnea. When you sleep in a standard bed, you're pretty much stuck with the firmness of that mattress. When you sleep in an air bed, you can adjust the firmness every night, depending on your needs.
Finally, air beds, when deflated, take up very little space. If you have a small apartment and your living room doubles as your bedroom, an air bed can give you the illusion of more space. When you wake up in the morning, you can simply deflate it and put it in your closet. This is much better than opening and closing a fold-out couch every day. Plus, your room may be so small that you barely even have space for a couch.
The History Of Air Beds
Air beds were originally conceived out of a nautical need — steamships wanted a more space-efficient alternative to the hair-filled mattresses they'd been using. Being able to deflate air beds and stow them away while the crew members were awake was quite helpful. It didn't hurt that they could also use them as floatation devices in the event of an accident on the high seas.There is some debate over who invented the original air mattress, though. Many people maintain that the Pneumatic Mattress & Cushion Company in Reading, Massachusetts was responsible for the first air mattress, in 1899.
It didn't hurt that they could also use them as floatation devices in the event of an accident on the high seas.
So, from where does this debate spring? Well, a Gold Rush pioneer named Margaret A. Frink wrote of a version of an air bed in 1850. In the book Best Of Covered Wagon Women, she describes an India-rubber mattress that "could be filled with either air or water." But Frink wasn't the only one making use of inflatable beds. In 1853, just a few years after Frink made her trip to California, a man named John Scott filed a patent for an item that much resembles the Sleep Number bed that's so popular today. His patent details a bed with an exterior just as cozy as a regular one, but built around an air bubble.
Even long before mattress companies or pioneer women created rubber air mattresses, a 16th-century upholsterer took a stab at them. A French man named William Dejardin made a bed from waxed canvas that was filled with air. Unfortunately, while this material may have worked fine for some of Dejardin's other projects, it was not designed to sustain high air pressure and burst rather quickly. Regardless of who invented the first official air bed, people have always had a desire to sleep on air. There are anecdotes about a man who tried inflating intestines purchased from the butcher with air, tying them at the ends, and forming cushions out of them. Fortunately for us, today, the air mattress has come a long way from animal insides.
What To Look For In A Single Air Bed
There are three main features to look for in an air bed: convenience, comfort, and durability. Let's start with convenience. Look for an air bed that inflates and deflates in seconds. When you're ready to hit the hay at night, you don't want to wait a half hour for your bed to inflate. Likewise, if checkout time from the motel is 11 a.m. and it's now 10:55, you don't want your slowly deflating air bed to be the reason you pay a late checkout fee. Your air bed should also fold or roll up into a small size, so it won't take up too much space in your suitcase, camping backpack, or car.
Some air beds have built-in pillows, too, so you won't be in a bind if you forget to pack your regular one.
Now let's discuss comfort. You love your partner, but you don't want to share your air mattress with him or her. It's not that you're selfish. Many sleeping habit polls find that couples are choosing to sleep separately. If that's you, then get an air bed that can double as a twin or king bed. These models typically feature two single beds stacked on top of one another that can be separated and put beside each other to form a larger air bed. Some air beds have built-in pillows, too, so you won't be in a bind if you forget to pack your regular one.
As for durability, it's very important that your air bed is made from puncture-resistant material. You don't want to wake up in the middle of the night to find you're sleeping on the floor because you accidentally set up your air bed on a safety pin. You may want to consider an air bed with an automatic pump that puts just the right amount of air inside, too. If you accidentally over inflate your bed, you run the risk of popping it or stretching it over time, as well.
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