Three best air mattresses

Moriah Lee

Afraid your air mattress will develop a tear? Simply patch up the hole with a hot glue gun. Easy fix!

Whether you find yourself frequently hosting friends, traveling cross country, or camping in the great outdoors, air mattresses are a must-have in a home Having gained popularity over the years, these blow-up beds have become a common household item for their convenience, affordability, storage, and comfort. If you are looking to be counted among the adventurous, free-spirited consumers of our society, consider purchasing an air mattress today to aid in all your future ventures.

Considerations when choosing air mattresses

By far the most important consideration when purchasing an air mattress is the comfortability of the model. Higher quality mattresses often feature a soft fabric top layer to keep users warm and cozy, though many buyers find lower cost models without the fabric top just as effective in providing a decent night's rest. Another helpful comfort tip is to buy an air mattress with dual internal air chambers or coils, especially if you're planning on sharing the bed with another person. Dual air chambers conveniently allow customers to adjust their side of the mattress to their preferred firmness--a must-have for sensitive sleepers.

Air mattresses come in twin, full, queen, and king options, and the size you purchase depends entirely on your needs. Solo campers and travelers may opt for a twin or full-size mattress; those planning to host overnight guests or get away with their partner should consider a queen or king. Another size deliberation that many customers overlook is the height, which can range from 8 inches to about 22 inches (the latter are known as a double-height mattresses). Some users prefer shorter air mattresses so they can turn their car into a camping vehicle, stuffing an air mattress into the bed of a truck or interior of a Prius. Other customers are partial to double-height models. These are about the height of a typical bed and are easier for those with joint issues to get in and out of.

Generally, air mattresses are lauded for their durability, especially with today's modern constructions. However, the models with the most longevity are often made from thick, puncture-resistant materials like PVC or latex. It also never hurts to buy an air mattress with a warranty, especially if you're planning on purchasing a top-of-the-line model.


Since air mattresses depend entirely upon the quality of the air pump, it's important that you find one that exceeds your expectations. Most customers appreciate a pump that is already built into the mattress, as this prevents the pump from getting lost or from taking up unnecessary storage space. Air mattress pumps are available in two main builds: battery-powered pumps and pumps that have to be plugged into the wall. Customers wanting an air mattress for overnight guests may opt for the convenience of a plug in, while those aiming to take their mattress on camping and traveling ventures should buy a battery-powered model. Note that not all air mattresses are supplied with a pump; if quick inflation is important to you, make sure to purchase a model with an included air pump.

Storage is another key detail when choosing a mattress, as this will protect your purchase from mold, dust, tears, and critters. Most buyers tend to simply deflate the mattress and stuff it back into its original box, but this isn't always an easy task. For a simple and protective storage system, opt for a mattress that includes a container or bag.

Air mattress pricing ranges from as little as $25 to upwards of $400. Size is a factor in determining a mattress' price, though mid-range models can typically be expected to cost around $50 to $90. Higher-end air mattresses will usually cost more than $100.

Other important details

The main complaint customers have after purchasing an air mattress is air loss during the night. Though air loss is common for many air mattresses, a high-quality mattress shouldn't be losing more than an inch a night. The better quality your mattress is made from, the less likely it will leak air.


Q: I usually don't find air mattresses comfortable. Do you have any tips to help make sleeping manageable?

A: Mattress toppers like egg-crates add an extra layer of cushion and are often a go-to accessory for many users. Another tip: watch how much air you put into your mattress. If you typically appreciate firmer beds, fill the mattress to maximum air capacity. If you enjoy a softer surface, keep the mattress somewhat deflated.

Q: What is the best way to clean my air mattress?

A: Handheld vacuums usually do a nice job of picking up crumbs, hair, or dirt. For a deeper clean, simply wipe down the mattress with rubbing alcohol.

Air mattresses we recommend

Best of the best: SoundAsleep Dream Series

Our take: One of the most popular air mattresses available for purchase with upwards of 15,000 reviews. Durable and comfortable.

What we like: Fabric top with a gripping bottom to keep the bed in place. Built-in pump inflates mattress in under four minutes. Double height.

What we dislike: Inflates somewhat slowly when compared with other models.

Best bang for your buck: Intex Raised Downy Airbed with Built-in Electric Pump

Our take: Customers looking for an inexpensive, yet reliable model will find their match in this comfortable and sleek product.

What we like: Built-in pump with 22 in. height. Indented sides keep sheets in place throughout the night. Soft fabric top layer.

What we dislike: Customers wish the product was more durable.

Choice 3: Insta-Bed Raised Air Mattress with Never Flat Pump

Our take: A decent mid-range option for those needing a dependable air mattress. Great for those who hate inflating their mattress.

What we like: Features a built-in never flat pump, which automatically inflates the mattress throughout the night. Fabric top layer.

What we dislike: Light sleepers may find the pump's automatic inflating system annoying throughout the night.

Moriah Lee is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money. BestReviews never accepts free products from manufacturers and purchases every product it reviews with its own funds.

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