Have you ever received an overnight guest and wondered where they would sleep? You probably ended up showing them the couch, which could be quite embarrassing. It’s a common problem in most homes, mainly because of space constraints and the high cost of purchasing a full bed with a mattress, blankets, and bed sheets
. It doesn’t have to be that costly. With a decent air mattress, you can quickly turn any room into a comfy bedroom.
Buying an air mattress for the first time could be a complicated decision to make, especially with the abundance of brands with different features and options on the market. If you’re looking to replace your old air mattress or add an extra mattress to your home, there are so many choices to pick from as the manufacturers continue to introduce new models to the market. That’s why we’ve made your work easier by narrowing down your choices to five of the best brands to look for.
Air mattresses, sometimes referred to as air beds or sleeping pads, are typically made from PVC that is blown up and filled with air as opposed to springs, memory foam, or latex. They can either be low profile (raised or double high) or designed with a stand. Generally, the mattress is inflated using an electrically powered pump, but a manual pump can be used. When set up, air mattresses are as comfortable as standard beds. You can add a bed canopy
to keep insects at bay and enjoy a good night sleep.
Air mattresses tend to have better owner satisfaction as compared to innerspring beds, though latex or memory foams still perform better. The advantage with air mattresses is that you can adjust the comfort levels to suit your specific needs making them effective for back pain relief. The beds come in a variety of sizes to fit in most rooms or camp tents. If you’re looking for something more permanent, consider buying a folding bed
that can be customized for your space needs.
Let’s examine some features to consider when shopping for an air mattress, and then you can go straight to our top picks.
Air mattresses vary in prices depending on the size, functionality, and pumping mechanism. A good air mattress will cost anything between $70 and $300. Queen sized mattresses designed for indoor use will typically be equipped with internal mains-powered pumps, making them simpler to set up and store. There’s no need for a pump or external air portals or valves to blow it up. For home use, consider mattresses with inbuilt electricity powered pumps for convenience. Be aware that these models as a general rule cost more than camping models.
On the other hand, mattresses designed for outdoor use like camping don’t come with mains-powered pumps. Some may have battery-powered pumps, or you may have to pump them up manually using a foot pump. They are generally made from light materials hence easily portable and also affordable.
There are numerous factors to consider when choosing the right air mattress. Companies that manufacture air mattresses are many, and the options provided are countless. The most common designs are low profile and raised heights. Pump options are also different from one model to the next. Let’s look at these features in further details.
Thickness: Raised Type
Raised queen air mattresses have different thicknesses and heights, but the raised types are more common. The height is just the same as a normal bed. It’s simply an inflated mattress attached to its own platform, which lifts the user off the ground and exhibits a more natural sleeping experience. The only downside to this style is that it occupies more space when deflated and packed for storage.
Thickness: Low Profile Type
Low Profile Air Mattresses are thinner since they come without the added base. This makes them slightly cheaper, more compact, and smaller in size. A low profile air mattress is ideal for camping since you can easily deflate it, roll it up, and pack it away in your car trunk. A sleeping pad provides even a better option for camping trips because they are thinner, compact, and lightweight.
Pump: External Mechanisms
Air mattresses come with two pump types: external or internal. External pumps can be manually operated by foot, mains power, or battery power. Mattresses that require external pumping mechanisms are slightly cheaper that those built with internal pumping mechanisms. The downside with an external pump is that may get misplaced, requiring you to purchase a new one.
Air mattresses with built-in pumping mechanisms are hassle-free to operate. There’s no worry of losing adapters or the pump itself. The adjustable comfort levels can easily be set to firm, medium, or plush by turning a knob. Since they are battery powered or mains powered, you can inflate the mattress much faster than doing it manually. These models are the most common air mattresses for home use.
Construction and Design
Air mattress technology has advanced in terms of design and construction, and now many temporary air beds have become as comfortable as the contemporary beds costing hundreds or thousands of dollars. This has made air mattresses a must-have choice for overnight guests or family members who may visit occasionally. Again, if you’ve just moved into a new home, you can use a blow-up mattress as you wait for your usual bed to arrive.
The right air mattress can also make your camping trips more enjoyable and comfortable by providing a layer of cushioning between the sleeping pad and the cold ground. These are typically outdoor beds, which means you can enjoy the comfort of your indoor bed while outdoors.
The queen size or twin-size beds are the most common designs, but some manufacturers also produce full or king-size air mattresses as well. These beds can be sized as either single-height or double-height. Most single-height air mattresses measure between 7 to 13 inches high. This height could be a challenge for some people to access. A double-height bed, on the other hand, measures between 18 and 22 inches above the ground, which is much closer to the normal bed height. The extra thickness may require you to purchase deep-pocketed fitted bed sheets, which are not very common and could be more expensive.
Some air mattresses are built with simplicity; you only need to blow up the rectangle and you’re good to go. However, others are built with extra features like raised bumpers and built-in pillows. Many users prefer these models since they keep you safe from falling off the edges, especially if it’s not set up against a wall. Parents with young kids also feel that the bumper adds an extra layer of security for their young ones.
Performance and Ease of Use
Today’s air mattresses are relatively comfortable to sleep on and quite simple to set up. A built-in inflation pump is a handy feature that ensures the inflation time is short and you simply plug your mattress into the mains socket, press a button, and you’re ready to sleep.
Choose a mattress that is easy to fold up and store away. Consider models with stuff sacks where you can easily stack the mattress and put it in a store or your car trunk for a trip. Leaks are not a common problem with today’s air mattresses, but be sure to pick a brand that offers a guarantee on leaks.
The most critical consideration when shopping for an air mattress is the comfort. While air mattresses may not mimic standard mattresses perfectly, many models are very comfortable for sleeping. The construction of the mattress or how well it holds air will determine its comfort level.
We looked at brands that know comfort as well as those that specialize in high quality, super reliable products. On top of that, we compared prices against convenience when it comes to pumping up each mattress. We've chosen to focus mainly on standard queen-sized mattresses, but most of the brands we've chosen offer a range of sizes. So, go ahead and pick a model that suits your style and budget.
Pay attention to size, depending on how much storage and floor space you have to spare. Whether you're looking for backup sleeping accommodations or you're an avid camper looking for something more comfortable than the ground, these expert brands have something for you. It’s our hope that you found the best air mattress from our top picks. Even if you didn’t, there are still some awesome alternatives from these reputable brands, so there is something for everyone!