Compbrella Guide to The Best Air Mattresses
Air mattresses are great to have when you have guests staying at your home and you don’t have an extra bed. They’re also very useful for when you go camping and need to put more padding between your sleeping bag and the ground.
What types of air mattresses can you find?
Although air mattresses may vary wildly in cost, size, and materials, they basically come in two types:
- Single height inflatable mattresses come between 9 and 11 inches high. They’re lightweight, small, and typically do not come with an electric air pump (you’ll have to either buy a pump separately or blow really hard to full it up) so they’re optimal to bring along camping or if you have limited storage space in your home.
- Double height inflatable mattresses are between 17 and 21 inches. This makes them easier to bend down to lie down on or to get off the bend. They’re heavier than single weight mattresses, between 15 and 21 pounds, so they’re usually used at home as spare beds when you have company. They usually also come with an electric pump so the mattress will inflate in just a few minutes. They also have a fuzzy vinyl side that gives the mattress traction against the sheet you place on it.
What to look for when shopping for air mattresses?
There are a few factors to think about before you make your decision.
- Size: Like traditional mattresses, air mattresses come in standard sizes: twin, full, queen, and king size. If all you need a mattress for is the occasional one-off guest, you can get away with just a twin mattress, but if you’re going to have regular visits from friends and family and if you’re more likely to host a couple, it’s better to size up to at least a full or queen. Remember that you’ll need enough storage space for these mattresses when deflated and enough floor space when they’re in use.
- Guests: When I was in college I had the most basic air mattress available for when friends came to visit me. It was a thin, single height, twin mattress that you had to crouch to get on and off. Nowadays, my guests are older and need a mattress that’s a bit more luxurious. If your guests are like mine, consider making their stay more enjoyable with a double-height that will be easier for them to lie down on and get back up after without hurting their back. They’ll probably also appreciate a bigger bed that’s suitable for a couple, like a full or queen size.
- Inflation: What if I told you that to sleep tonight you had to blow up 100 balloons by yourself? If that doesn’t sound fun to you, better make sure you have a pump to go with your air mattress. Some air mattresses come with a hand pump, which is especially good if you’re taking the mattress camping. If you’re only going to use the mattress at home, purchasing one that comes with an electric pump is worth the extra money and will save you some stress and an asthma attack.
- Extra features: Although not necessary, some air mattresses come with cool extra features. Common ones can be LED lights at the bottom of the bed, so your guest has a night light when they get up in the middle of the night, or a USB port so your guest can charge their phone overnight. There are even mattresses that automatically pump more air into the mattress when they feel a drop in pressure. These aren’t must-haves, but they are nice to have if you can spend a little extra.
Compbrella Pick for Top 3 Best Air Mattresses
Best Overall: Simmons Beautyrest Hi-Loft Inflatable Mattress – This 17-inch double height inflatable mattress comes in twin, full, and queen size, and features a vertical beam construction that prevents rocking and swaying, so it’s much easier to get out of. Its high-quality construction means it’ll hold air longer than other mattresses. It has a plush velveteen surface that prevents slipping so your guests can sleep in comfort.
2nd Best: AeroBed Classic Twin – If you’re looking for a high-quality single height mattress this is the one. At 11 inches, it aces our deflection test, meaning it will hardly sag at all under your weight. It comes with an electric pump so it is a bit more expensive than other single height twins, but you’ll forget about the cost when it will take you just two minutes to inflate.
Best Value: Coleman Quick Bed Single High Airbed Mattress – Coleman’s air mattresses are reliable, well made, and affordable. They’re great for taking camping and are easy to roll up and store, but bear in mind that it does not come with a pump, so you’ll have to purchase a pump separately or inflate it on your own. It’s not as comfortable as a double-height but it will do the job you need it to do.