Best Air Mattress: Reviews and Buyer’s Guide
Air mattresses are an excellent option for guests and frequent travelers. Air mattresses act as temporary sleep solutions, perfect for sleepovers and road trips. Their portable design and easy setup can turn any open area into a comfortable resting place.
In our article, we provide a list of our favorite models and include a guide on what to look for in the best air mattresses.
30 Second Summary: Best Air Mattress
- Our Recommendation: The SoundAsleep Dream air mattress is a simple, solid model, made from extra-thick vinyl with soft flocking on the surface. The consistent comfort and support offered through its 40 internal air coils make the SoundAsleep Dream air mattress perfect as a temporary bed.
7 Best Air Mattresses
|SoundAsleep Dream||Firm sleep surface with 40 internal air coils for durable support.||
|Intex Comfort Plush||Tallest air mattress model on the market at 22 inches.||
|Insta-Bed Raised||Includes a backup pump to keep the mattress inflated at night.||
|King Koil Luxury||Built-in pump air mattress includes a manual pump— great for indoor and outdoor use.||
|Air Expect Airbed||Plush sleep surface offers extra support through internal air coils.||
|Fox Air Plush High Rise||Reinforced side chambers provide good edge support.||
|REI Kingdom Sleep System 40||Comes with bedding to keep user warm and insulated in 40-degree weather.||
1. SoundAsleep Dream
The SoundAsleep Dream air mattress is 19 inches thick and includes an extra-thick, waterproof vinyl surface layer to reduce risk of punctures. The mattress contains 40 internal air coils to improve support and durability with a firm sleep surface.
The double height of the SoundAsleep Dream air mattress makes it easier to climb in and out of bed, plus the bottom is lined with textured Sure Grip to prevent sliding. This mattress is meant for indoor use and built to handle up to 500 pounds. An internal electric pump fully inflates the mattress within 4 minutes.
The SoundAsleep Dream is a no-frills, solid air mattress and comes with a nylon drawstring bag for easy storage. The mattress is available in twin, twin XL, queen, and king sizes and includes a 1-year warranty and a 30-day return policy.
SoundAsleep Dream Highlights
- Great for indoor use
- 40 internal air coils for support
- Supports up to 500 pounds
2. Intex Comfort Plush
The Intex Comfort Plush air mattress is 22 inches thick— one of the tallest air mattress models on the market. The interior is filled with horizontal air chambers, acting as a solid support to the body. The mattress is made from thick vinyl with tight seams and covered in a soft flocking for better puncture-resistance and a waterproof top.
The sturdy and firm sleep surface of the Intex Comfort Plush air mattress has excellent motion isolation, so sleepers won’t have to worry about sleep disruptions from a sleeping partner. The mattress can hold up to 600 pounds, and thanks to the built-in pump, fully inflates within 5 minutes.
The Intex Comfort Plush air mattress is a great option for indoor or outdoor use and comes with a duffle bag for easy storage. The mattress is only available in a queen size and comes with a 30-day return policy. Unfortunately, the mattress doesn’t include a warranty.
Intex Comfort Plush Highlights
- Tallest air model on the market
- Made from thick, durable vinyl with soft flocking
- Fully inflates within 5 minutes
3. Insta-Bed Raised
The Insta-Bed Raised air mattress is 18 inches tall and made out of water-resistant PVC material, with the suede-like feel of flocking. The mattress includes 35 circular air coils for extra comfort and support, creating a soft, comfortable sleep surface. The bottom of the mattress is coated in Sure Grip to prevent sliding.
In addition to a built-in pump, the Insta-Bed Raised air mattress includes a back-up pump— it silently keeps the mattress inflated as you sleep to prevent sagging. The air mattress fully inflates within 4 minutes and the pump is 20% quieter than those from other leading air mattress brands.
As one of the more lighter air mattress models, weighing about 13 pounds, the Insta-Bed Raised air mattress is only available in a queen size. The mattress comes with a 30-day return policy and a 1-year warranty.
Insta-Bed Raised Highlights
- Silent built-in pump plus a back-up pump for consistent support
- Suede-like feel of flocking
- Lightweight air mattress model
4. King Koil Luxury
The King Koil Luxury air mattress is 20 inches tall and made from durable PVC material for a durable, waterproof mattress. The top and sides are coated with soft, suede-like flocking, plus a no-skid textured bottom. The firm support of the mattress keeps the spine in neutral alignment, and can handle up to 600 pounds.
Fully inflated within 2 minutes, the King Koil Luxury air mattress has one of the fastest inflation times of any air mattress model on the market. It contains both a built-in pump and a manual pump— a perfect bed for both indoor and outdoor use.
The King Koil Luxury air mattress is available in twin, queen, and California king sizes and comes with an oversized carry case and a patch kit in case of punctures. The mattress includes a 30-day return policy and a 1-year warranty.
King Koil Luxury Highlights
- Ideal for indoors and outdoors
- Firm feel for neutral spinal alignment
- Includes a patch kit
5. Air Expect Airbed
The Air Expect Airbed is 19 inches tall and contains 40 internal air coils for extra support. The thick, quilted, suede-like topper is waterproof and puncture-resistant, helping to keep bedding in place while providing a plush sleep surface. Raised edging prevents sleepers from rolling off the bed.
Supporting up to 650 pounds, the Air Expect Airbed offers excellent motion isolation and consistent support. Thanks to its built-in electric pump and manual pump outlet, the air mattress is great for both indoor and outdoor use. It takes under 5 minutes to fully inflate the mattress through the built-in pump— it may take a few more minutes with a manual pump (not included).
The Air Expect Airbed mattress comes with 6 self-adhesive repair patches in case of a puncture and a storage bag. The mattress is only available in queen size, but includes a 30-day return policy and a 2-year warranty.
Air Expect Airbed Highlights
- Great motion isolation
- Raised edging keeps sleepers on the mattress
- Includes 6 self-adhesive patches for quick, emergency repair
6. Fox Air Plush High Rise
The Fox Air Plush High Rise air mattress is 19 inches tall and contains special I-Beam coils for a supportive sleep surface and reinforced side chambers for stability and good edge support.
The great motion isolation of the Fox Air Plush High Rise air mattress gives excellent back support, and can handle up to 600 pounds. A good option for indoor and outdoor use, the vinyl material is 50% thicker than other leading air mattress brands. The mattress has a built-in electric pump, but is also compatible with a manual pump.
The Fox Air Plush High Rise air mattress includes two pillows. The mattress is available in twin, full, queen, and king sizes, and comes with a 30-day return policy and a 90-day warranty.
Fox Air Plush High Rise Highlights
- Good edge support for those who prefer sleeping on the edge of the bed
- 50% thicker vinyl than other leading brands
- Includes two pillows
7. REI Kingdom Sleep System 40
The REI Kingdom Sleep System 40 air mattress is our only shortest height option for our best air mattresses article— 6 inches tall. It’s manual inflation only, but the mattress comes with a powerful and effective hand pump, taking about 5 minutes to fully inflate.
Unlike other air mattress models, the REI Kingdom Sleep System 40 comes with a fitted sheet, top sheet, and quilted comforter. The bedding stays in place with toggles and loops, keeping sleepers warm and insulated in 40 degree weather. While the mattress is meant for both indoor and outdoor use, indoor might be better, depending on how cold the weather is outside.
The REI Kingdom Sleep System 40 air mattress is available in queen size only and comes with a 30-day return policy and a 1-year warranty.
REI Kingdom Sleep System 40 Highlights
- Comes with a fitted sheet, top sheet, and quilted comforter
- Single-height air mattress
- Manual inflation only (hand pump included)
What is an Air Mattress?
An air mattress is a portable bed meant as a temporary sleeping solution for guests and camping trips. Most air beds will have flocking or textured surfaces and sides for a soft feel and to prevent skidding. Comfort and support is based on the amount of air contained inside an air mattress.
Air beds are easy to set up and take down— all you have to do is unfold the mattress and inflate. Inflation time depends on the model, since some rely on hand or foot pumps, while others use electric pumps powered through batteries or an electrical outlet.
What to Look for in an Air Mattress
Before starting your search for the best air mattress, you must first take into consideration some important factors: how the air mattress will be used, the thickness of the air bed, the amount of weight it can handle, an electric or manual pump, bed size, how well it retains air, the price, and if a warranty and return policy are included. All of these factors will help you find the best mattress to suit your needs.
Not all mattresses are built the same— some can handle being in the outdoors, while others perform better inside the home.
For those who love the great outdoors and those who don’t like sleeping on the ground, an air bed is the perfect solution. Their compact size makes them easy to store in the car; just make sure the bed size can fit inside your tent. We don’t recommend an air mattress for backpacking trips though— the bed takes up too much-needed space in your backpack. Instead, try for a rollable air mattress.
Air mattresses are also great options for RVs and large vehicles— perfect for road trips, car camping, or emergency use.
Air mattresses are a great option for guests, especially if you’re limited on space, plus as a guest bed, air mattresses last longer because they aren’t used regularly. When not in use, the bed is easily deflated and stored.
Can you sleep on an air bed every night?
If you’re considering an air mattress as a permanent bed, we don’t recommend it. Plus, many air mattress brands include disclaimers with their product stating that the company is not responsible should any damage occur through regular use by the customer.
Air beds are not designed for nightly use; not only are they not durable enough for habitual use, but they’re not equipped with the best comfort and support systems to promote healthy sleep. Sleeping on an air mattress night after night can lead to soreness, stiffness, and overall pains. If you’re already prone to aches and discomfort, we recommend investing in a bed with better support, like one of the best mattresses for back pain relief.
The thicker the air mattress, the longer it takes to inflate and deflate, but a thicker mattress is easier to get in and out of bed. There are two categories for air mattress thickness: single height and double height. Single height refers to an air bed 10 inches and lower. This type of height is best for kids. Double height is more common in air mattresses and refers to air beds 10 inches or higher— ideal for adults.
Weight is always worth considering when purchasing any type of mattress. Most air mattresses can handle up to 300 pounds, but make sure to take into account the combined weight of two people if you have a sleep partner.
Air mattresses include either a built-in electric pump or a manual pump, but some models include outlets for both. Manual pumps require the use of a hand or foot pump to inflate— most air beds don’t include one, but manual pumps can be purchased separately.
Built-in electric pumps are powered through batteries or through an electrical outlet. Electric pumps inflate air mattresses quicker than manual pumps and cost more than manual pumps. Some air mattress models may include both a built-in pump and a manual pump.
Air mattresses follow standard mattress sizing— twin, twin XL, full, queen, king, and California king sizes. Smaller sizes, like twin, twin XL, and full are better for outdoor use; better able to fit inside tents and vehicles. Larger sizes, especially queen sizes are more commonly found inside living spaces.
How well an air mattress retains air is a vital factor worth looking into. Most models may lose some air after a few nights of use, but can be easily inflated again through either a built-in or manual pump. Be aware of using an air mattress in cold weather— in colder climates, air condenses, causing the mattress to lose air resulting in sagging, disrupted sleep, and aches and pains.
Unlike traditional mattresses, air mattresses offer the same amount of comfort to side, back, and stomach sleepers alike. Instead of searching for the best mattress for side sleepers, or whatever sleeping position you prefer, you can now search by features and price; this allows you to focus more on the products themselves rather than finding one to fit specific needs.
On average, air mattresses cost about $150 or less. Higher-end models include built-in pumps and memory foam toppers, while lower-end models use manual inflation.
Warranty and Return Policy
Warranties and return policies are reassurances to the customer from the manufacturer that they’ve purchased a quality product.
Air mattress warranties are shorter than regular mattresses— standard mattresses come with 10-year warranties, while air mattresses only last between 1 to 3 years; some don’t come with a warranty at all. While looking for an air mattress, try to find one with a warranty for better protection— it may prove to be a more reliable product.
A return policy enables customers to return an air mattress for a refund as long as the return is within a certain period of time outlined by the company. Return policies last about 30 days— some may extend to 90 days, but it depends on the brand. After 30 days, customers might still be able to return the air mattress for a partial refund, but most companies won’t accept returns after 30 days.
Did You Find Your Air Mattress?
Air mattresses are a great temporary sleep solution. The support and comfort they offer through the use of air help guests and campers alike sleep comfortably. After reading our guide, we hope you’re able to find the best air mattress, whether it be for your home or the great outdoors.