If you’re in need of a temporary bedding situation, an air mattress can be a great option! Though these products sometimes get a bad rap for being uncomfortable and cheap, the best models are actually incredibly comfortable. And while they’re not intended for extended use, most air mattresses these days are designed to be as durable, cozy, and supportive as a traditional bed. But how do you separate the high-quality air mattresses from the not so great ones? Well, I’m so glad you asked.
In this guide, I’m going to introduce you to the absolute best air mattresses on the market. They inflate (and deflate!) with ease, hold up their shape overnight, and bring about plenty of sweet, sweet Zzz’s. After we examine my picks, we’ll then chat about the methodology used to pick them, so you know exactly what to look for when buying an air mattress of your own. Plus, I’ll leave you with some expert tips you can use to improve your buying experience.
Best Air Mattress 2021
- Best Air Mattress for Camping – SoundAsleep Dream Series Air Mattress
- Best Air Mattress for Everyday Use – King Koil Air Mattress
- Most Affordable Air Mattress – Intex Comfort Plush Elevated Airbed
- Best Air Mattress for Guests – Noble Inflatable Airbed
Best Air Mattress for Camping
SoundAsleep Dream Series Air Mattress
If you’re after a tall, sturdy air mattress that won’t sink in the night, I’d recommend checking out the SoundAsleep Dream Series Air Mattress. This bed’s built with ComfortCoil Technology, which gives it volume and durability. It’s also built with a no-slip bottom cover, so this bad boy’s not going to move around like other air mattresses on the market.
- The interior of the mattress is supported with “air coils,” which are designed to help maintain the shape of the bed throughout the night.
- The top and bottom covers are also highly durable and are puncture and water-resistant, making this a great mattress for camping.
- This bed also happens to be available in multiple sizes, including Twin, Twin XL, Queen, and King.
- One slight caveat is that you have to plug it into an outlet in order to use the built-in pump. No external pumps can be used to inflate the mattress.
The SoundAsleep Dream Series Air Mattress is a tall, sturdy air mattress that won’t sink in the night.
Best Air Mattress for Everyday Use
King Koil Air Mattress
For folks looking to snag an air mattress that feels pretty darn close to a “real” bed, allow me to introduce you to the King Koil air mattress. Designed with a quilted cover, raised “pillow” edge, and water-resistant suede, this bed is as functional as it is comfortable. Plus, it’s got a built-in pump, so can be used anywhere!
- This is an incredibly versatile air mattress as the built-in pump makes it great for outdoor and indoor adventures.
- This air mattress has a built-in pillow and a soft flocked top, meaning it can be used comfortably in a pinch, even without bedsheets or pillows.
- I also like that you can get this mattress in a California King size, which is pretty rare for the air mattress market.
- Unfortunately, the King Koil doesn’t come in Twin XL or King sizes.
The King Koil Air Mattress is an incredibly versatile air mattress as the built-in pump makes it great for outdoor and indoor adventures.
Intex Comfort Plush Elevated Airbed
Budget-conscious shoppers should definitely give the Intex air mattress a look. This model features a lot of fantastic characteristics (soft top flocking, elevated sides to secure bed sheets and blankets) at a price that won’t break the bank. Sure, it’s not as durable as some other options, but is perfectly fine for occasional use.
- I like that this bed has a built-in raised pillow and soft flocked top, which helps increase the comfort of the bed.
- It’s got a built-in pump, but you can also use an external pump if you so desire.
- All in all, it’s great for folks on a budget, so I’d recommend this air mattress for college students or other young people looking to accommodate guests.
- According to some customer reviews, there are slight discrepancies in size after ordering.
The Intex Comfort Plush Elevated Airbed features a lot of fantastic characteristics at a price that won’t break the bank.
Best Air Mattress for Guests
Noble Inflatable Airbed
Tired of air mattresses deflating in the middle of the night? Well then the Noble air mattress may be the one for you. It’s got a super sturdy build, which helps it to maintain its shape over night. It’s also got a built-in pump and smooth suede top, making it easy to set up and oh so comfortable to sleep upon.
- I like how well this bed maintains its shape over night, which can be great for folks in need of firm support.
- The built-in pump is another nice feature, as it means this bed can be used both indoors and outdoors.
- I also found it easy to inflate. In fact, the brand claims that this mattress can be set up in under three minutes!
- It’s not the most luxurious bed on the market, so may not work for folks in need of extra comfort.
The Noble Inflatable Airbed has a sturdy build, which helps it to maintain its shape over night.
How We Picked
Now that we’ve perused my selections, let’s get into the methodology I used to pick them. You can think of this section as a list of all the factors you need to consider when shopping for an air mattress of your own.
Each air mattress has its own particular technology to help with stability and shape, whether it’s air coils or fiber beams. These designs offer a supportive surface all across the mattress, helping to prevent slouching in the center. Brands will note what kind of support core they’re using, so make sure to take note of it when shopping. No support system is inherently better than another, but it should be a major red flag for you if one isn’t listed at all.
A flocked top is another pretty standard design feature. It provides a velvet-like texture that helps with temperature, comfort, and keeping sheets in place. This material is layered on top of puncture-resistant PVC to create a mattress top that is both sturdy and soft to the touch.
However, this puncture-resistant PVC can sometimes leave the surface with a less than desirable odor. If you’re someone who’s prone to allergies or maybe just sensitive to smell, you may want to focus on brands that have worked to mitigate this issue. As always, customer reviews will be super helpful in assessing whether or not there’s any off-gassing at play.
Ease of set-up is another super crucial factor to consider when buying an air mattress. The most high-quality models have a “set it and forget it” internal pump that fills up the bed without any more effort from you than a simple flip of a switch. Some require wall outlets to charge these pumps while other beds are equipped to fill without external help. Depending on your needs, you may want to opt for either a built-in pump (say, if you’re going camping) over one that needs to plug into a wall.
Most of the options on this list are “double-high,” but you can also find air mattresses that are lower to the ground that function almost like sleeping pads. While those options have their own virtues, such as being lightweight and easy to carry around (useful for outdoor activities or frequent traveling), they’re not nearly as supportive as the models included in this round-up.
In general, taller air mattresses will give off a more “realistic” vibe, as they’ll be more akin to the beds folks are used to sleeping on. Plus, a little extra height helps to curb some of the sinkage that may occur as air leaks out overnight.
The most common air mattress sizes are Twin and Queen. You can find other options, but it’s perhaps most difficult to find Twin XL and King size air mattresses. This isn’t a huge issue, but is something to consider if you’re partial to a certain bed size.
Though not as expensive as traditional beds, air mattresses with all the bells and whistles can still be quite pricey. However, there’s a ton of variability on the market, so it’s crucial that you think about the features that are most important to you. Maybe you want to use your bed when camping, so you’ll need an built-in pump. Or perhaps comfort’s most important, so you’ll want an air mattress with built-in pillow and soft suede flocking.
What is the best air mattress to buy?
The best air mattress will feature a soft, flocked cover for comfort, a sturdy internal system of air support, and a built-in pump for easy set up.
Can I use an air mattress as a regular bed?
Technically, yes, though you won’t get nearly as much support from an air mattress as you will from a standard bed. Air mattresses are best used as temporary sleep devices.
How much does an air mattress cost?
There’s a lot of variability on the market, but you can snag a high-quality air mattress for under $200.
How can I buy an air mattress?
As with traditional beds, you can buy an air mattress online or in store! I recommend browsing the Internet for models you like and then seeing where they’re most readily available.
Still not sure how to find the right air mattress for your needs? No problem! Take a look at some of my expert tips for navigating the search with ease.
- An important thing to think about is how many people will be sleeping on the mattress! If you’re using it for a single sleeper, go with an affordable Twin option. If it’s going to be used by a couple, you’ll want a highly supportive Queen mattress that won’t deflate overnight.
- If you’re going to be using the bed while camping, you’ll need a built-in pump, so don’t even consider one unless it has it!
- Keep an eye out for buzzwords like puncture-resistant and waterproof lining. These properties add durability to the mattress, ensuring that it will last for a long time.
Well folks, that does it for this guide to the best air mattress on the market. When buying one of your own, make sure to think about the height you want and the support you need, as well as the pump mechanizations that are going to work easiest for you. Once you do that, you’ll be well on your way to scoring the air mattress of your dreams!
Our Review Process
Our Sleepopolis reviewers personally test each mattress. We start by unboxing the mattress to figure out how difficult (or easy) it is to get the mattress from the box to the bed. Then, we spend time laying on the bed in different positions, taking time to assess it on our backs, stomachs, and sides. Next, we perform our Sleepopolis tests, using specialized tools to measure qualities like motion transfer, bounce, and pressure relief. Our last step is to open up the mattress and take a look at each layer. These steps allow us to give our final verdict on the mattress. Jump back to our mattress picks.