Best air mattresses of 2022

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Updated Jun 17, 2022 2: 17 PM

Your camping guests and house guests deserve better than an old, worn-out mattress. A beat-up bag full of air can make you feel irritable and achy. All you have between you and the cold, uncarpeted floor is a thin sheet deflated vinyl. Modern air mattresses can help you–and any friends and family who sleep over–avoid the tragedy of sleep deprivation.

It’s a great time to purchase an air mattress. They’ve improved a lot in recent years and are now more durable and versatile than models from just a few decades ago. Many air mattresses have built-in pumps and some are ideal for camping trips. The best air mattresses can be stored in your closet or in an emergency bag for when you are in need.

How we selected the best air mattresses

There are many types of air mattresses that you can choose from. Prices range from the price of a pizza to the hundreds. We omitted models from the most expensive dozens of inflatable beds to make our recommendation. The most expensive mattresses have unnecessary features that add bulk and expense. The cheapest models are nothing more than glorified pool flotillas that promise a restless night of sleep that is uncomfortable and noisy. It can be difficult to choose the best air mattress. We have selected options to fit almost any needs and budget, since prices can range from as little as $10 to more than a few hundred dollars. You don’t want features that you won’t use.

We considered key features such as how the bed inflates and adjusts. Also, what material the sleeping surface is made from. Not all tops are the same. We also looked at two types of air mattresses, which were categorized by their height:

  • Raised air mattresses: models that are 16-inches high or taller
  • Standard air mattresses: models that are 12-inches high or shorter

What to consider when buying the best air mattress

What are the things you should consider when buying a quality mattress? These are the factors you should consider before purchasing an air mattress:

Price & material

Most air mattresses have a rubbery feel and are made from plastic polymer or PVC (polyvinylchloride). Some models include a suede-like material on the top of their mattresses (often called “flocked”). This can make them more comfortable and keep sheets in place. It can be tempting to spend a lot of money on a model with many features. But make sure you will actually use them.

Mattress type, height, dimensions, & weight

Air mattresses come in a variety of sizes. Some models are only available in full, queen, and twin sizes. Most come in two thicknesses or heights: 12 inches or less (single height) or 16 inches or more (double height). Many air mattresses will include information about the weight of the product in their technical specifications. This is important if you plan to travel with it or use it outdoors, such as on a camping trip.

Built-in pump/inflation and deflation rates

Many air mattresses have built-in electric pumps. These are very useful, as long as you’re close to a power outlet. If you plan to use your air mattress for camping, you might not be able to find an electrical outlet. Many air mattress manufacturers are now producing quieter air pumps than older models. Older pumps can be quite noisy. Research is necessary to determine how fast an air mattress with a built in pump can inflate, then deflate. Many models include both times in their technical specifications and marketing materials. Some models can be assembled in a matter of minutes.

Warranty & customer service

Many of the air mattresses we recommend come with a 1-year warranty. This is helpful in case your mattress develops a leak within a few weeks. Many customers have expressed their satisfaction with the warranty and said that they are happy to receive a replacement. You should also review customer reviews to ensure that there are no complaints about warranty issues or customer service. A bad customer service department could prevent you from receiving a replacement.

Additional quick tips on buying an air mattress

  • Determine who will use the air mattress and where. Is it one person or two? What is the weight of each person, and can the mattress support their weight?
  • Will it be used only indoors, only outdoors, or both indoors and outdoors?
  • Read through reviews to see if the inflatable mattress has a history of defects.
  • Study the product manual and, if it has a notice about the warranty, be sure to keep it in a safe place where you can easily find it again.
  • Once you have your inflatable mattress at home, be sure to immediately open it up, inflate it and check for leaks or other defects.

Best air mattresses: Reviews & Recommendations

Best overall: SoundAsleep Dream

Why it made the cut: A luxurious top and thick build make this one of the most comfortable air beds around.

Specs

  • Weight limit: 300 lbs.-500 lbs. depending on size
  • Available sizes: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King
  • Pump: Built-in

Pros

  • Inflates in under 4 minutes
  • Thick, waterproof, flocked top
  • Queen air mattress is 19 inches in height
  • Available in a variety of sizes

Cons

  • Slightly more expensive than many other air mattresses
  • Bulky at 24 pounds
  • Requires breaking in to maintain maximum inflation

We were impressed by both the SoundAsleep Dream Series Air Mattress (and its construction) as well as its feature set. On top, it’s made with 15-gauge material and has a multi-layered flocked top (which has a suede-like feel to the material) for a comfortable sleeping surface. This texture is a huge improvement over bare vinyl, even under a sheet.

The bottom of this mattress has a series rubbery grips that prevent any unwanted sliding. The mattress is made up of an internal coil structure that helps it maintain its shape through the night.

Overall, the setup of this air mattress is very simple. To quickly inflate or deflate the mattress, simply turn the toggle button on the side. What’s also nice is that the company says the pump was designed to be 20 percent quieter than competing pumps. The pump is still powerful, and it inflates the bed in just 4 minutes.

The SoundAsleep Dream Series air mattresses are available in five sizes: Twin, Twin XL and Full, as well as King and Queen. Each model supports up to 500 lbs. (combined weight), except the Twin and Twin XL, which supports up to 300 lbs. (combined weight). All sizes are 18 inches in height, except the Queen, which is 19 inches. The mattress itself weighs a little over 24 lbs. The mattress comes with a nylon bag that allows you to store and transport the air mattress safely.

Best for camping: Coleman EasyStay 4-N-1

Why it made the cut: Its modular design allows you to sleep on various widths and thicknesses.

Specs

  • Weight limit: 300 lbs.
  • Available sizes: Can be used as two Twins, King, or double-high Twin
  • Pump: Not included

Pros

  • Can be used in different configurations
  • Strong construction–for indoors or outdoors
  • Compact when not in use: Fold, roll, and store
  • Relatively inexpensive

Cons

  • Doesn’t include a pump for inflating or deflating the mattress
  • Difficult to adjust firmness

The Coleman EasyStay 4N-1 is a convertible laptop that can be configured in a variety of ways. It can be set up as two separate Twin beds (8-inch high). You can push them together to make a King-size bed with an 8-inch height. Or, position the two beds on top of each other and use them as a double-high twin bed (with a 16-inch height), for extra inflated support. This air mattress can be used in almost any type of tent, from tiny tents to large camping mansions.

The inflation system has a Double Lock valve that helps keep the mattress firm and inflated, making it less likely for it to sag. Some users have complained that it is difficult to adjust the firmness of a mattress. For example, the valve is so complicated that you can’t release enough air to make it softer. Be careful when you blow it up.

When the EasyStay is not in use, it has an integrated wrap ‘n’ roll storage system. All you have to do is fold, roll and store the air mattress for easy storage. It is important to know that this air mattress does not come with a pump. You will need to purchase one separately.

Best self-inflating: Lazery Sleep

Why it made the cut: Adjusting the amount of air inside the bed is dead simple thanks to a remote.

Specs

  • Weight limit: 500 lbs.
  • Available sizes: Twin, Queen
  • Pump: Built-in

Pros

  • Comes with a remote control to quickly dial in the firmness of the air mattress
  • Built-in pump
  • Includes a carry bag

Cons

  • Slightly more expensive than many other air mattresses
  • Wire on remote control is too short
  • Some user reviews claim various defects–from slow leaks to non-functional pumps

The mattress comes with a built-in pump (which claims to be 20 percent quieter than the competition), and can fully inflate in 4 minutes. It’s available in two sizes: The Twin size has a height of 18 inches and the Queen size has a height of 19 inches. Each model supports up to 500 pounds and comes with a carry bag. It also comes with a SureGrip bottom that prevents the bed’s unwanted sliding. The material is also puncture-resistant, very durable, and according to the company.

The downside to most air beds is their inability to adjust the mattress’ firmness or softness. Although you can let a little air out to make the mattress softer, or add more air to make the mattress firmer, this process is not very precise. The Lazery Sleep mattress has a wired remote control that allows you to change the firmness of your mattress quickly. It has 7 settings, ranging from Extra Firm to Plush. Simply dial in the desired setting, and the inflatable mattress will adjust to that level. The Lazery Sleep comes with the company’s ComfortCoil Technology, which has 40 top air coils, which the company says provides “added comfort to both single sleepers and couples.”

Best for guests: Coleman QuickBed Airbed

Why it made the cut: It’s basic, light, and packs down small so it’s easy to store.

Specs

  • Weight limit: 300 lbs.-600 lbs.
  • Available sizes: Twin, Full, Queen
  • Pump: Not included

Pros

  • Cheaper than most air mattresses in its class
  • AirTight system, with a Double Lock valve, prevents sagging

Cons

  • Doesn’t include a pump
  • Relatively thin
  • Hard to customize inflation level

If you don’t have the budget for an expensive air mattress, the Coleman QuickBed can be a great option. This Coleman QuickBed is not able to “transform” into other beds. However, it shares many features with its brand sibling the Coleman EasyStay. Coleman’s AirTight system is featured on this mattress. It includes a Double Lock valve which the company claims helps keep the mattress firm and inflated. This air mattress can provide a good night’s sleep for guests, whether they are visiting from the in-laws or middle school students.

The Coleman QuickBed, like the EasyStay can be used outdoors and indoors, and it also folds up for easy storage. The QuickBed does not have an air pump, just like the EasyStay. To inflate or deflate the mattress, you will need an air pump. It supports up to 300 lbs., has a height of 8 inches, and has a soft plush top, which allows for a more comfortable sleep. It is also lighter than its competitors at 5.5 pounds, making it more portable.

Best budget: Intex Comfort Dura-Beam

Why it made the cut: It offers multiple size and thickness options, and flexible inflation methods.

Specs

  • Weight limit: 300 lbs.-600 lbs.
  • Available sizes: Twin, Queen
  • Pump: Built-in

Pros

  • Less expensive than comparable models in its class
  • Takes only 4 minutes to inflate
  • Electric or manual pump
  • Queen available in three different heights
  • Indented sides (for keeping fitted sheets in place)

Cons

  • Available in just two sizes

The Intex Comfort DuraBeam air mattress is softly flocked for added comfort. The mattress’s sides have grooves that keep your fitted sheets in their place. The mattress is made of thousands of high-strength polyester fibres that are very durable and stable.

We recommended the Queen-sized Intex air mattress, which is 18 inches high. There are many other models. This model is the best for comfort and easy inflation. The Intex’s Queen-size model comes in three heights–Elevated (22 inches), Elevated (18 inches), which we recommend, or Mid Rise (13 inches). They all support up to 600 lbs. The Twin-size model comes in two heights–Elevated (18 inches) or Mid Rise (13 inches)–and supports 300 lbs. (combined weight).

The Intex comes with a carry bag that allows you to store and transport the deflated mattress safely. The air mattress also has a compartment to store the cord, so it doesn’t dangle or flop around. To set it up and put it away, you just push the On button to turn on the 120-volt pump. To inflate or deflate your mattress, you just need to turn the knob under the button. It’s all clearly labeled.

FAQs

Q: Do all air mattresses come with an air pump?

These days, more expensive models almost always include an electric built-in pump, but cheaper air mattresses may not. If your mattress does not come with an electric pump, you will need to purchase it separately. Make sure that the new electric air pump you purchase fits the air mattress.

Q: Is it OK to sleep on an air mattress every night?

Although some air mattresses are quite sturdy and are made to last for years, many experts recommend not sleeping on an air mattress every night for long periods of time. Air mattresses are not as supportive as traditional mattresses.

Q: Why are air mattresses more uncomfortable than regular mattresses?

Because air mattresses are filled with air, you’ll often find that the mattress will slowly get cooler during the night as the temperature drops, unlike a regular mattress. But you can use a thermal mattress topper made for an air mattress so that you don’t feel the cold coming from your air mattress.

Q: Should you deflate an air mattress every day?

Although there is no set recommended amount of time for keeping an air mattress inflated, constantly deflating and re-inflating an air mattress can put unnecessary tension on the seams, affecting its longevity. Inflated air mattresses are more susceptible to being damaged by animals and children. Use your discretion.

Final thoughts on the best air mattresses

You might think that any air mattress will work, but after spending a night in a vinyl sack that makes you tired and sore the next morning, you’ll realize how uncomfortable it is. It’s worth the effort to find the right air mattress for you. A model like the SoundSleep Dream is perfect for any night or nap. Your brain and hips will be grateful.

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