The phrase “it’s like sleeping on air” is one that conveys an immeasurable comfort. For air mattress manufacturers, it may be something to aspire to when delivering new products to a skeptical market. When most people think about air mattresses, they think about an uncomfortable, low and slowly deflating bed. Although the quality of air mattresses has improved over the years, leaking and durability are still the most common complaints when they arise.
Many different air mattress options are available today, ranging in price, style, comforter, and quality. Qualities and features vary as widely as price, so it’s essential to start your air mattress search by considering the information below.
Air Mattresses Buying Guide:
The original air mattress was invented in 1889 and resembled today’s cheap swimming pool inflatables. Although the design has changed significantly, the original appeal of the airbed has not. To be able to provide a reasonably comfortable temporary bedding solution that could be collapsed and stored in a closet is still one of the biggest draws of today’s air mattress.
Back then, air mattresses provided a cheap sleeping option for overcrowded, small homes as well as a great substitute for steamship mattresses that were often blamed for many diseases. Today, air mattresses are great for overnight guests, vacation rental extra bedding, comfortable camping solutions, or in some cases, temporary daily bedding solutions.
If your air mattress is an added comfort on an occasional camping trip, you may be able to get away with a cheaper, basic air mattress. However, if you want to provide extra comfort to overnight guests, you’ll want to select a higher quality, sturdy product that’s designed for indoor use. Many of the high-end air mattresses are thicker and provide a more comfortable top layer. Watch this instructional video for some more helpful tips
Air mattresses come in the same sizes as beds: twin, double, queen and king. In addition, some air mattress are very thin while others are thicker. Some can be stacked to make a higher bed, and the high-end varieties come with collapsible frames.
When you buy an air mattress for one person, a twin or double will suffice. If two people will be sleeping on the mattress, you may want to go with a queen or even two twins pushed together as a king.
If children, teens or spry adults will be the primary users, a less expensive air mattress on the floor should do the job. However, older guests or those who have mobility challenges may need an air mattress that is on a frame or at least higher off the ground.
10 Tips Before Purchasing Your Air Mattress
- Air Mattress Size: Most air mattresses are available in a few sizes including twin, double and queen. More unusual sizes like a twin XL or a California king may be harder to find. In some cases, you may find twin mattresses hold air better than larger beds. Purchasing multiple smaller mattresses may be a better solution than one larger one.
- Air Mattress Rise Height: The thinnest air mattresses are often marketed to the camping crowd who is just looking to get a little bit off the tent floor. These can be only a few inches thick but easier to inflate, deflate and pack for travel. Standard low-rise mattresses may measure about 8 inches to 10 inches in height. These are great for a college dorm or grandchildren sleeping over. Quality high-rise beds can measure up to 22 inches tall and are better for older guests or more permanent bedding solutions. And, finally, EZ beds are air mattresses mounted on a frame that provides even more height.
- Air Mattress Frequency of Use: If you plan on using your air mattress
asa regular bed, even for a short period of time, you may want to invest in a higher quality mattress. You’ll want to check with the manufacturer regarding whether the model was designed for daily use. Many are intended for occasional use only.
- Air Mattress Indoor or Outdoor Use: In addition, you’ll want to think about where you’re more likely to use your air mattress. Some are designed primarily for indoor use where temperature and humidity are more constant. If you’re looking for a camping air mattress, you may want to select one specially designed for that use to ensure additional durability in outdoor conditions.
- Air Mattress Warranties: Quality companies should stand behind quality products. The best air mattresses should provide at least a one-year warranty on both the air mattress and the inflation pump..
- Air Mattress Luxury Features: The highest-end models may provide a built-in USB port, which allows easy charging of cell phones or mobile devices. In addition, some air mattresses offer adjustable firmness on different sides of the bed as well as reinforced edges to prevent edge collapsing. Many air mattresses have added a softer material over the base vinyl to improve comfort. You can boost the comfort level further by adding a layer of memory foam or fine sheets and blankets.
- Air Mattress Illumination Features: Although it is somewhat gimmicky, some air mattresses feature an LED light along the base of the bed. This provides a nightlight feature for midnight trips to the bathroom or the kitchen. LED lights may also be available to indicate firmness selection options on some models.
- Air Mattress Inflation Developments: You can still save money by buying an air mattress that you can blow up. Or, you can opt for one step up and use a manual hand pump or an attachment to your vacuum cleaner. The latest models, however, can plug into an outlet to automatically inflate and deflate with the push of a button. Top-of-the-line air mattresses even employ sensors that can detect drops in pressure and automatically top off the air in the middle of the night.
- Air Mattress Coil Count: Coils are no longer just for standard beds anymore. A quality, queen-sized air mattress should have a minimum coil count of 30 or higher. This feature will ensure that the air is distributed evenly throughout the mattress, increasing comfort levels.
- Air Mattress Weight Limits: Most air mattresses will specify a maximum weight limit. Be sure that the typical users of the air mattress will not exceed this limit. If they do, you might want to consider a different model or purchasing an additional air mattress for multiple heavier people.
Typical Air Mattress Problems
Like any mattress, there are advantages and disadvantages to air mattresses. Here are some typical complaints and potential solutions to consider.
Air Mattress Leakage
Leakage: This is probably the number one complaint for air mattress owners. Purchasing a high-quality air mattress may eliminate or reduce the problem. Considering investing in one that offers a secondary pump that is designed to maintain pressure during the night.
Air Mattress Temperature Discomfort
Temperature Discomfort: If your air mattress is in a cold room, the air inside the mattress may make the sleeping surface feel colder than comfortable. On warm summer nights, your body heat may become trapped between you and the surface of the mattress. One solution is to add a foam mattress topper to help regulate the temperature.
Air Mattress Punctures
Punctures: Like the leakage problem, punctures are a risk with air mattresses. Be sure you place the air mattress on a smooth surface and away from anything that could cause punctures. In addition, be sure you find the heaviest PVC material, which is measured by gauges. A minimally acceptable gauge is 0.4mm. Some are reinforced or made of textiles to add durability.
Air Mattress Sagging
Sagging: This problem often happens in combination with leakage issues. Certain parts of the mattress will sag more than others. Try to find an air mattress with internal chambers that will help distribute body weight more evenly on the surface to resolve this issue.
Air Mattress Stability Issues
Stability Issues: Most higher quality mattresses have added no-slip bottoms to their models to help keep them from sliding across the floor. Others have incorporated air beams to stabilize air beds as well.
Air Mattress Pillow Problems
Pillow Problems: Depending on where you place your airbed, the pillows may slide off easily in the night. To solve this issue, you can try to place the mattress against a wall. Purchasing an air bed with headboard-like chambers can help stabilize pillows as well. Some models have built-in pillows.
Air Mattress Storage Size
Storage Size: Chances are you’ll be storing your air mattress most of the time. The higher the quality of your mattress, the more likely it will take up additional storage space. Be sure to measure how large the unit is when it is not used.