Best Air Mattresses
Forsaking a traditional mattress for an air mattress was once considered a step down in comfort, but today’s air mattresses are a far cry from the low-lying, hard-to-inflate, flat air beds of the past. While still best suited for meeting sleeping needs in the short-term, like camping or hosting overnight guests without a spare bedroom, even the most basic models today are comfortable and allow for a relatively good night’s sleep.
Keep reading to see our picks for the best air mattresses available today. We’re also sharing an air mattress buying guide, including the types of air mattresses available, considerations for buying, and how to choose the right air bed for your needs.
Disclosure: By clicking on the product links in this article, Mattress Nerd may receive a commission fee at no cost to you, the reader. Read full disclosure statement.
Best Air Mattresses
- SoundAsleep Dream Series Air Mattress – Editor’s Pick
- Insta-Bed Raised Air Bed – Best Raised Elevation Air Mattress
- SoundAsleep Camping Series Air Mattress – Best Air Mattress For Camping
- Coleman SupportRest Double High QuickBed – Best High-Profile Air Mattress
- OlarHike Air Mattress with Built-In Electric Pump – Most Comfortable
- Fox Airbeds Plush High Rise Air Mattress – Most Size Choices
SoundAsleep Dream Series Air Mattress
If you’re looking for a highly-rated air mattress that checks all the boxes, look no further than the SoundAsleep Dream Series. This bed has a 19” profile, making it suitable for heavy individuals, and 40 internal air coils for durability. It has a flocked top and is waterproof to ensure it lasts for years, and its patented one-click internal pump inflation system makes setup fast (under four minutes) and simple. Unlike other air mattresses, SoundAsleep offers a one-year warranty with purchase. Keep in mind that the SoundAsleep Dream Series is designed for in-home use only.
Insta-Bed Raised Air Bed
Best Raised Elevation Air Mattress
Raised elevation mattresses like this one can be inflated to more than 10”, and this one inflates to up to 19”. The construction includes two internal electric pumps that will inflate or deflate the mattress in under four minutes. It also includes a detector that will automatically detect air loss and quietly add air as needed. The bed has circular coils and a slip-free flocked surface to improve durability and support. Best of all, you have options: choose from plush, medium, and firm settings, more than three colors, and several mattress sizes.
SoundAsleep Camping Series Air Mattress
Best Air Mattress for Camping
Roughly nine pounds without air, the SoundAsleep Camping Air Mattress comes in Twin and Queen sizes and is light enough to keep in a backpack. Regardless of the size you choose, you can inflate the mattress fully in under four minutes, making them excellent for quick setup after a long day of walking, fishing, or exploring. The waterproof surface is slip-free and the thoughtful design of this bed makes it perfect for rugged excursions and family camping trips alike.
Coleman SupportRest Double High QuickBed
Best High-Profile Air Mattress
The SupportRest Double High Airbed by Coleman can be inflated up to 18” thick and support up to 600 pounds. It comes with a one-year warranty, has a flocked, antimicrobial surface, and includes features to provide support and prevent leaks and holes. The Coleman weighs less than 15 pounds deflated, making it easy to slip into a guest bedroom closet or hall closet, but it also works well for camping. It comes in twin and queen sizes.
OlarHike Air Mattress
Most Comfortable Air Mattress
The OlarHike Air Mattress comes in Twin, Queen, and King sizes and can be inflated up to 18” so that you or your guests don’t get the “sleeping on the ground” sensation. It has a built-in electric pump that’s quiet and takes a simple turn to begin inflation or deflation. The seams are welded and the mattresses use thick fabric layers to improve durability and prevent leaks. It has a flocked top and velvety fabric surface for improved comfort and comes with a handy carry bag, two repair patches, and a user manual in case you have trouble.
Fox Airbeds Plush High Rise Air Mattress
Most Size Choices
The Fox Airbed Plush High Rise Air Mattress inflates up to 18” thanks to its powerful built-in pump. It also comes with the option to inflate with an external pump via a pinch valve, which means you can use this mattress if your electricity is out or you’re camping. Fox Airbeds claims that this mattress line is made with thicker vinyl material than other beds on the market, providing improved support and resistance to punctures. All sizes are true-to-size as well, meaning there’s no need to purchase additional bedding; you can use the sheets and pillowcases you already have.
Air Mattress Buying Guide
An air mattress is a temporary, inflatable sleep surface designed with a manual pump or electric air pump that can be located on the internal or external surface of the mattress for inflation. Whether you’re in the market for an air mattress to accommodate guests, for an upcoming camping trip, or for another short-term sleeping arrangement, it can be helpful to know the different types of air mattresses available and important buying considerations to keep in mind as you shop.
Air mattresses fall into two categories:
- Standard elevation air mattresses, otherwise known as single highs, measuring 10 inches or shorter in height.
- Raised elevation air mattresses, otherwise known as double highs, measuring taller than 18 inches in height.
When it comes to choosing between the two types, keep in mind that raised elevation styles will mimic the experience of sleeping on a standard mattress more closely. Standard elevation air mattresses, however, may be less costly due to the fact that slightly fewer materials are required for their construction.
These are the buying considerations to keep in mind when shopping for a new air mattress.
- Use—If you plan to use the mattress for camping, you’ll want to look for certain features, like a waterproof surface, a low overall weight, and a portable structure. If you plan to use the air mattress indoors, your considerations may be more focused on traditional mattress features, like weight capacity, comfort, and ease of use.
- Flocked, waterproof surface—A flocked, or textured, the surface provides additional warmth for sleepers, and some air mattress covers are waterproof. Flocking helps maintain comfort throughout the night, and models with flocked and waterproof surfaces are considered more suitable for sleeping outdoors.
- Portability—Portability is important for campers and backpackers, but any well-made air mattress should break down easily and compact to a smaller size for storage. Search reviews for feedback about how easy the air mattress is to store and whether it has a portable storage bag or backpack.
- Durability—All temporary air mattresses are susceptible to leaks, equipment issues, and more. The average air mattress will last roughly two to three years with consistent use and five or more years with inconsistent use.
- Noise potential—One of the downsides of air mattresses is that noise potential not only involves the sounds sleepers may hear when shifting around on the mattress at night but also the noise made by the internal or external pump. Look for quiet battery- or electricity-powered pumps that are relatively quiet throughout the night, especially if the mattress features a pump that inflates the mattress automatically when it senses that the air is low.
- Price point—Most air mattresses are relatively inexpensive, with the average cost of a Queen size for most models priced below $150. However, as with most mattress products, higher-end and higher-quality brands may cost more. If you’re purchasing a mattress for a one-off camping trip or guest accommodation, there’s no need to buy a top of the line model. If the air mattress will serve as your primary sleeping surface of if you camp or backpack at least once a month, it’s worth it to invest in a nicer model.
- Thickness—While air mattresses can be single high or double high, the majority on the market today are double high (or raised elevation) models that measure more than 10 inches in height. Many mattresses measure 19 inches in height and some measure 20 or more inches thick. Keep in mind that the thicker the mattress, the longer it will take to inflate, the mattress’ height will impact how difficult or easy it is to get on and off of.
- Size—Most air mattresses come in Queen and Twin sizes, but several brands make air mattresses in King and Full sizes as well. If you’re using the mattress for camping, measure the dimensions of your tent and choose your size based on how much space you’ll have. For guest bedrooms and alternate sleeping accommodations, consider the number of sleepers, the size of the room, and how much walking space you’ll need around the mattress once it’s inflated.
- Pump style—Air mattress pumps fall into several categories: manual or electric, and internal or external. External pumps attach to a nozzle on the outside of the mattress and may be operated manually using a foot pedal or are battery-powered. Typically, external pumps will need to be purchased separately from the air mattress, and you risk losing it since it isn’t attached to the mattress. Internal pumps are built into the air mattress and use knobs or buttons. Internal pumps contain no spare parts that can be easily lost and inflate quickly and quietly, but they’re more prone to breakdowns.
- Repair/patch kit—Some air mattresses are sold with a leak or patch kit to help seal holes when they appear. If you purchase a model without a kit, you’ll need to find one online so that you have it handy in case of an emergency.
How to Pick the Right Air Mattress for You
An air mattress is certainly not the most important purchase you’ll in your lifetime, but it’s one you’ll want to get right the first time. Purchasing an uncomfortable air mattress that isn’t fit for your space or uses case can result in wasted money, uncomfortable sleep, and unhappy guests.
Whether the air mattress will be used by you at home or on a camping trip, or by guests in your spare bedroom, use the buying guide and our top air mattresses of 2019 above to get you started in finding the best air mattress for you.
Mattress Accessories & Bedding
Best Travel Pillows
A guide to the best travel pillows, the pros and cons, who they’re good for, and what to consider when shopping for them.