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Which air mattress is best?

Whether you have a camping trip planned, are expecting some overnight guests or have just moved into a new place and your furniture hasn’t been delivered yet, an air mattress can provide a comfortable place to sleep. They are easy to set up in a matter of minutes, available with a variety of features and come in a range of sizes and prices.

For home use, the AeroBed Air Mattress with Built-in Pump & Headboard is one of the best options because it is specifically designed to solve the issues most people experience when using an air mattress. The headboard keeps your pillows from sliding away, the built-in pump automatically maintains the pressure all night long and the double-height makes it easy to get in and out of.

What to know before you buy an air mattress


Air mattresses are available in most of the same sizes as traditional mattresses, including full, twin, queen and king. In addition to the standard sizes, you can also find some kid’s models and air mats designed for camping that may be smaller than the standard mattress sizes. 

As when buying a regular mattress, consider how many people you want your air mattress to accommodate comfortably, as well as the size of the sleepers. You should also take into account the space you plan on setting up your air mattress to ensure you don’t get one that won’t fit.

Comfort and support

Comfort and support are very important aspects to getting a good night’s sleep. Whether the air mattress is for yourself or a guest, the last thing you want is the sleeper to toss and turn all night because they can’t get comfortable or to wake up with a sore back or neck because the mattress didn’t offer them enough support. To determine how comfortable and supportive a particular will be, consider its construction and any features that allow you to adjust the inflation levels. You may also want to read reviews from actual users.


The height of an air mattress plays a big role in how much it feels like a traditional bed, as well as how easy it will be to get up from. Single-height air mattresses are generally between 8 and 12 inches tall, which makes them feel very much like sleeping on the floor. While this may be fine for young people, it may be difficult for some older people to get in and out of them. Double-height air mattresses are usually between 18 and 22 inches tall, which is much closer to the height of a normal bed.

Features to look for in a quality air mattress

Flocked top

Most air mattresses have a sleeping surface that is flocked with a velvet-like material. This is helpful for several reasons. The plastic material of air mattresses tends to be slippery, which means sheets will slide around throughout the night. The flocking helps to provide sheets with a bit of traction so they stay in place better. Also, the soft flocking enhances the comfort of an air mattress, especially if it is used without a sheet, as is often the case when camping.

Internal air coils

An air mattress with internal coils is essentially composed of multiple small chambers of air that are designed to replicate the coils in a normal mattress. This adds structure and support, so there is less chance of it sagging under the weight of a sleeper. It is especially important in double-height air mattresses. 

Built-in pump

While you can technically inflate most air mattresses by mouth, this would be a difficult and time-consuming task. Because of this, most people opt to use an electric air pump. The best air mattresses feature built-in pumps, so you don’t have to worry about potentially misplacing it and not having it on hand when needed. If choosing an air mattress that doesn’t have a built-in pump, you should check to see if it comes with a separate air pump, and if not, make sure to buy one separately if you don’t already own one.

Firmness adjustment

Models that feature built-in air pumps may offer firmness adjustment to help you get the most comfortable sleeping surface for your preference. This is often a dial on the pump itself that you turn one way or the other to inflate or deflate the air mattress slightly. Some higher-end models feature corded remote controls that allow you to adjust the firmness without having to get out of bed.

Pressure monitoring

Air mattresses are notorious for losing pressure overnight. Models with a pressure monitoring system will automatically add air as needed throughout the night to ensure you wake up on a mattress that is just as firm in the morning as it was when you first went to bed.

How much you can expect to spend on an air mattress

The most budget-friendly air mattresses usually cost between $25 and $50, depending on the size. As you get into more premium, double-height models with more features, they tend to cost between $100-$300.

Air mattress FAQ

Can I sleep on an air mattress every night?

A. While you certainly can sleep on an air mattress every night, this isn’t really what they are designed for. Even the best models don’t offer the comfort and support of a traditional mattress, which means that long-term use could eventually lead to back or neck pain and stiffness.

Why does my air mattress deflate at night?

A. There are several reasons an air mattress could seem to lose air at night. It may have a pinhole leak, but more commonly, it is simply the design of the mattress. They are designed to hold air, but not be 100% airtight. This ensures they won’t accidentally burst due to pressure changes. Also, oftentimes when people think their air mattress has deflated, it has simply lost pressure because the air temperature has dropped rather than any air actually leaking out. 

What is the best air mattress to buy?

Top air mattress

AeroBed Air Mattress with Built-in Pump & Headboard

AeroBed Air Mattress with Built-in Pump & Headboard

What you need to know: With a thick pillow top section and a raised headboard to keep your pillows from sliding off, this AeroBed air mattress will replicate the experience of sleeping on a real mattress. 

What you’ll love: It will automatically and silently adjust its pressure throughout the night to maintain a constant firmness, and it features a USB port for charging your devices.

What you should consider: It’s not available in a king-size option.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top air mattress for the money

Bedsure Air Mattress

Bedsure Air Mattress

What you need to know: This double-height mattress features a built-in pump and has reinforced coils for support.

What you’ll love: It fully inflates in just 3 minutes and has flocking and raised edges that help keep your sheets in place.

What you should consider: It tends to make a squeaking or rustling noise when you move around.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Intex Dura-Beam Ultra Plush Air Mattress

Intex Dura-Beam Ultra Plush Air Mattress

What you need to know: Featuring an inflatable headboard and multiple air coils throughout for a supportive sleeping surface, the Intex Dura-Beam Plush is a good choice for extended periods of use.

What you’ll love: It has a durable construction that allows it to stand up to plenty of use, and it comes with a storage bag to keep it protected when not needed.

What you should consider: It requires more space than other air mattresses in the same size.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon


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Brett Dvoretz writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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