Air mattresses are perfect for hosting guests temporarily, but they can even replace a traditional mattress long-term.
And our pick for the best air mattress, the SoundAsleep Dream Series, can fulfill both those roles with ease. Recommended by nearly every source that we consulted, it’s comfortable, durable, and affordable — just about everything you need in an air mattress.
We all know that air mattresses are much cheaper than traditional mattresses. But price doesn’t always equate to comfort — some high-quality inflatable mattresses can be just as comfortable as your standard innerspring (or even more so).
Air mattresses come in all shapes, sizes, and heights, but it’s not just a case of “bigger is better.” You’ll want to choose the best mattress for the size of your space and the number of people that will be using it. And you definitely don’t want to pick an air mattress with an inefficient pump or poor-quality construction.
We’ve thoroughly researched and ranked the 10 best inflatable mattresses so that you don’t have to. Our research is based on a combination of real customer feedback and authority website reviews and opinions. As a result, you can be sure that these truly are the best air mattresses around.
Air mattresses — or air beds — are an alternative to the traditional spring or foam mattress. Most people consider them to be a short-term sleeping arrangement, suitable for hosting your family when they’re in town for a few days. But the reality is that many people now use them as a permanent, inexpensive sleeping arrangement in place of a conventional mattress.
Constructing a ranking for air mattresses isn’t the easiest task in the world — they’re all practically the same in appearance. But there are areas in which some can pull ahead of the competition and provide more value for money.
Key factors include speed and ease of inflation, little-to-no air loss, and how conveniently they can be stored away once deflated.
We started with more than 25 candidates and narrowed it down to just 10 of the best air mattresses. We did this by looking at the products most commonly recommended on reputable “best of” rankings, then aggregating several other data points and applying our own custom criteria.
Although we’ve compiled the winners for you, you should still know what to look for when you make your final selection. Read on to find out more.
Ease of use
When considering ease of use, you should look at the height of the air mattress, as it varies from one model to the next. Once fully inflated, double-height mattresses can reach a similar height to a traditional bed and mattress combined. This makes it easier to get on and off the mattress, as opposed to one that’s closer to the floor.
You should also look at what type of pump is included, as it will dictate the speed and ease of inflation. Try to avoid manual pumps whenever possible — they’re few and far between, but highly inconvenient compared to electric. Many air mattresses feature built-in pumps, though twin-size mattresses usually have external pumps.
Be sure to check out the inflation speed. Most mattresses will have an inflation speed of around 3 to 5 minutes. Of course, the smaller this number, the better — but we’re talking about a fairly minimal difference that won’t affect you too much. What is useful is a “reverse” function, which sucks the air out when you’re finished using the mattress.
Finally, take into account how easily the mattress can be stored and transported, and how that applies to your use case. For example, if you want an air mattress to take on camping trips, don’t choose one that’s cumbersome and heavy, or difficult to deflate and pack. A common problem is repacking a mattress into the original bag — some never seem to want to go back inside.
Coils or beams
Almost every air mattress is constructed with roughly the same design on the outside. They almost always use PVC on the bottom layer, with a flocked top for comfort and grip. But where companies can innovate is in the internal construction of the mattress, which is invisible to the naked eye.
There are 2 basic categories for internal construction: beam and coil.
Beam mattresses are those that feature large ridges on the surface of the mattress. These are formed by long PVC strips that connect the bottom and upper layers. But this design has a drawback: When it comes to pressure distribution, your body must sit within the ridges, meaning that you have less mobility.
On the other hand, coil mattresses use PVC cylinders to connect the layers instead. As a result, weight is more freely distributed across the surface area. This means a more durable mattress and better-quality, more comfortable sleep.
We’re tired of reviews that focus on just a few products that are only featured for the sake of product marketing. That’s why our research is based on real feedback from both authority sources and authentic customer reviews.
We started with a long-list of the best air mattresses, before narrowing it down to a shortlist based on positive customer reviews. Finally, we applied our own custom criteria, which we’ve laid out in detail for you below.
- Weight capacity — how much weight the mattress can support;
- Height — though this is subjective, many users prefer double-high air mattresses, so we favored those;
- Durability — how resistant the mattress is to punctures and wear;
- Value for money — whether it’s worth the price tag;
- Ease of storage — how easily you can deflate, roll, and pack away the mattress;
- Inflation and deflation speed — how long it takes to set up and take down the mattress; and
- Warranty — what’s covered and for how long.
Based on this methodology, we’re confident that the following 10 products are the best air mattresses you can buy right now.
Best Air Mattresses
SoundAsleep Dream Series
There’s no question that this is the overall winner when it comes to choosing the best air mattress around. Out of the sources that we consulted, 75% named the SoundAsleep mattress as the number one air mattress you could buy. That’s backed up by over 15,000 reviews on Amazon with an average rating of 4.5 stars, and few reported disadvantages or drawbacks.
When deflated, this mattress folds down to fit in an included carrying case, so you can easily store it or take it on the road. It’ll hold up to 500 lbs, so in most cases you can sleep 2 adults in tandem without any difficulty. And the top layer is both comfortable, thanks to plush padding, and waterproof, which protects it from sweat.
Considering it’s an industry-leading design, we would’ve liked a longer power cable — this one is around 3 feet in length. Additionally, according to some reviews, bottom sheets can slip on the puncture-resistant PVC, despite the contoured design. However, this is a common air mattress complaint shared with other models, so it’s more about using the correct sheet than any fault in the product. Overall, this is a clear winner for the title of best air mattress.
- Padded, waterproof upper layer
- Supports up to 500 lbs
- Folds down to fit in a case
- Relatively short power cable
- Bottom sheets can slip
- A little pricier than others
Insta-Bed Raised Air Mattress
Noisy pumps can be a major annoyance on many air mattresses, but thankfully, this isn’t a problem with our second-place winner. Insta-Bed pumps run much quieter than others, and the mattress even includes a compartment for storing the cable. You can pick this air mattress up in a queen size, or in a twin size for individual sleepers or for the kids.
Available in 3 colors, the flocked top is comfortable and soft, in addition to being water- and puncture-resistant. One thing to bear in mind is that this particular model doesn’t include the Never Flat pump seen in pricier models. This is a secondary pump that kicks in silently overnight to keep your mattress inflated, stopping you from sinking flat.
You may find this model heavier than alternatives, making it less appropriate for camping or traveling. Some users have also run into trouble finding instructions or information online due to the company’s confusing product line — the brand appears to sell many very similar models. But your air mattress should come with enough information for easy operation.
- Pump runs very quietly
- Twin and queen sizes available
- Built-in cable compartment
- Heavier than your typical air bed
- Model lacks the Never Flat pump
- Similar models confuse things
King Koil Luxury Raised Airbed
Figuring out comfortable sleeping arrangements for your guests can be a real pain in the neck. But the King Koil brand is the only air mattress manufacturer that has been endorsed by the International Chiropractors’ Association. So you can rest assured that your friends, family, or other visitors won’t suffer from a bad night’s sleep.
The King Koil includes features that help combat 2 of the biggest problems with air mattresses: There’s a backup valve, so if there are problems with the internal pump, you won’t be left high and dry. And the puncture-repair kit means you won’t have to fork out for a new mattress just because of one little tear.
This mattress supports a greater weight limit than our overall winner, but misses out on the top spot due to a few drawbacks. Out of the box, the mattress has a strong odor that takes some time to fade away. And some customers have struggled to repack the mattress back into its storage bag once it’s been unpacked and used.
- Supports up to 600 lbs
- Includes puncture-repair kit
- Backup inflation valve included
- Odor takes time to dissipate
- Hard to fit it in storage bag
- Dark color shows imperfections
Intex Comfort Plush Elevated Dura-Beam
The Intex Comfort Plush offers support for up to 600 lbs, with an elevated height of 22 inches. It features a powerful built-in electric pump, which can be tucked into a storage compartment. And as you’d expect, the flocked top is waterproof, with indented sides to hold fitted sheets in place.
After several days’ worth of use, the bed settles in and should not need to be pumped up regularly. But those initial few nights may be less comfortable, as the fabric will expand and stretch during the night. Once stabilized, the bed is firm and durable, and won’t leak air from night to night.
However, this stability comes at a cost, as customers have reported that the mattress is firmer than many sleepers prefer. This can be remedied to an extent by using a mattress topper between the sheet and the mattress. But be wary that the other drawback is a lack of warranty — no Intex mattress comes with any warranty from the manufacturer.
- Includes a carrying case
- Fitted sheets a good size match
- Very stable once settled in
- No warranty
- Takes time to settle in
- May not be soft enough
Coleman SupportRest Airbed
Coleman is one of the better-known brands in the air mattress world, with a broad selection of sizes and models available. The Coleman SupportRest is widely reputed to have great staying power overnight, with minimal air loss through the valve. This is thanks to the built-in double seal, which makes it more difficult for air to escape.
Another great feature of the SupportRest that’s rarely found in air mattresses is the removable cover. It’s safe to put this cover through the washer, so whether it’s sweat or late night snack spillage, you’re covered. However, there are a few negatives that drop this air mattress down to the middle of our ranking.
One is the lack of a built-in pump — it’s the first product on our ranking not to have one. Additionally, numerous customers have reported that this mattress can be tricky to roll and fold flat enough to re-pack. The storage bag remains fastened to the mattress even when the mattress is being used, which can be an inconvenience.
- Removable, washable cover
- Retains inflation well over time
- Features a double air seal
- Does not come with built-in pump
- Quite difficult to roll and fold
- Storage bag remains attached
Coleman Queen Airbed Folding Cot
The Coleman Queen Folding Cot is quite different from any of the other air mattresses we’ve reviewed here. A relatively compact air mattress layer is elevated off the ground by a steel frame. This provides great durability and stability, and protects the mattress from punctures caused by those annoying rocks under your tent.
With its sturdy, versatile design, you can use this cot at home or on camping trips. In either scenario, you’ll likely find the included side tables useful. (They’re permanently attached to both sides of the mattress.) However, the unique design of this mattress does bring some drawbacks to the table.
First, you’ll need a second person to help carry the bed in most cases, as the frame is probably too heavy and unwieldy for one person. And, of course, the frame means that this bed takes up more space than the average airbed, even when packed away. It’s also one of the most expensive air mattresses on the market — you pay for versatility.
- For indoor & outdoor use
- Durable, supportive structure
- Includes attached side tables
- Steel frame adds weight
- Pricier than most air mattresses
- Requires more storage space
Intex Dura-Beam Standard Series Essential Rest Air Bed
A 20-inch queen air mattress, this Intex bed provides enough space for 2 sleepers up to 600 lbs. The high-powered internal pump offers easy setup, and can fully inflate the air mattress in about 3 and a half minutes. The Dura-Beam construction, which is featured in all beds from this brand, provides good durability and support, too.
The mattress has curved edges, which helps to keep fitted sheets from slipping off during the night. Although the edges are ridged, many customers report that the sides of the mattress are less supportive than they’d like. So you might have to ensure that this bed is pumped up close to its limit for maximum support.
Still, for a relatively budget price, this is a good entry-level air mattress that’s perfect for guests or other short-term use. It’s accompanied by a decent storage bag that isn’t difficult to repack when you’re finished with the mattress. Plus, there’s a PVC patch repair kit just in case you run into any snags or holes in the vinyl.
- Comes with a patch repair kit
- Curved edges for fitted sheets
- Includes good-quality storage bag
- No warranty
- Sides feel less stable
- Not very supportive
Etekcity Upgraded Air Mattress
One of the major selling points of this mattress is its 2-year warranty, which is far longer than most. And Etekcity is known for providing excellent customer service should something go wrong with your air mattress. Some customers have even reported receiving a free replacement when a product was defective out of the box.
The flocked top design offers a perhaps unintended benefit that helps resolve one of the main grievances with air mattresses: Because of the material, fitted sheets easily grip the corners of the mattress, preventing them from slipping off. However, we’re not as enthusiastic about the storage bag, which feels quite flimsy and cheaply designed.
And there’s a disadvantage to the type of material used for the flocked top. Numerous reviews have reported that it can be noisy when you’re turning over in the night, which risks waking others. This mattress is also at the pricier end of the budget when compared to alternatives on this list.
- 2-year manufacturer warranty
- Excellent customer support
- Flocked top holds sheets in place
- Material can be noisy
- Storage bag feels cheap
- At the pricier end of the budget
Intex Comfort Plush Mid Rise Dura-Beam Airbed
This air mattress from Intex is one of our favorite picks for a budget range mattress. Whether you need something for a last-minute guest or you’re shopping for yourself, this mattress doesn’t cost a fortune and won’t make you feel like you’re skimping on quality or durability by spending less money.
The design features raised edges to provide stability and reduce the risk of rolling off, while the internal Dura-Beam support reduces sagging in the center of the bed and improves your sleeping posture. The only downside to the raised perimeter is that it reduces the available surface area for sleeping.
The mattress comes with a bag for convenient storage. However, customers report that this product suffers from the common issue of being very difficult to fit into the bag. What’s more, Intex beds don’t come with a manufacturer warranty, so that’s one major drawback of the inexpensive price tag.
- Raised edges provide stability
- Very inexpensive
- Good support
- No warranty
- Edging takes up sleeping space
- Can be tricky to re-pack
Why do air mattresses deflate overnight?
We’ll be honest: If your goal is to find the perfect air mattress that never leaks air, you’re going to struggle. The truth is that all air mattresses lose some air over time — if they didn’t, they could simply burst. But there are several factors that can contribute to the amount of air that your mattress loses throughout the night.
One such factor is the temperature in your room. Colder air is more condensed than warmer air. So when the air inside the mattress condenses overnight, the bed will feel flatter than it was when you went to bed. Conversely, when the air temperature begins to rise again, the mattress can feel slightly re-inflated.
Of course, your body weight can also play a part in the amount of air that is lost from the mattress. The height of the mattress can matter, too — taller mattresses, often called “double-high,” can lose air more rapidly than shallower mattresses.
Probably the biggest factor in how much air your mattress loses is the quality of the valve. That’s why you want to be sure you’re choosing a well-made product from a reputable brand — otherwise, you could easily go to sleep on an inflated mattress and wake up on the floor.
Can you over-inflate an air mattress?
Think about it: What would happen if you over-inflated a balloon? Yup — it would burst. The same can be said about an air mattress.
Over-inflation will place excess stress on the seams of the fabric. Push it too far and your air mattress could rupture. And we’ll bet that won’t be covered by any warranties.
As a general rule of thumb, try to only inflate your mattress to 90% capacity on its first-time use. And don’t aim to have it bursting at the seams on each subsequent inflation, even if it seems more comfortable. That’s a surefire way to reduce the longevity of the air mattress and risk injuries during the night.
When it comes to deflating the mattress, take similar care in removing all the air before packing it away. Disconnect the valve and allow the mattress to fully deflate before you try to fold it into its storage case. Don’t be tempted to apply pressure to the mattress to speed things along — it could tear the seams.
Can air mattresses be used every day?
There are numerous reasons why somebody might want to sleep on an air mattress rather than a traditional mattress. For one, you can purchase an air mattress for less than $100, whereas a normal mattress can cost hundreds more. And there’s also the benefit of reduced storage space, since you can simply deflate your mattress every morning.
On the flip side, air mattresses are not known for providing much lumbar support for your spine over time. This means that the occasional use might be okay, but long-term use could lead to stiffness and discomfort. And it can be more difficult to regulate body temperature on an air mattress, with sweaty heat in summer and uncomfortable chills in winter.
If you’re sharing an air mattress with a partner, then you might find yourself encountering another drawback of this product: When another person gets into or out of the bed, you’re far more likely to feel their movements.
Ultimately, it’s all about deciding whether you’re happy to live with the advantages and disadvantages that come with this setup.
What’s the weight limit on air mattresses?
Air mattresses come with a variety of weight limits, ranging from 300 lbs or less up to 600 lbs, or even higher. But the best practice isn’t always to buy the mattress that has the highest weight limit. For optimum comfort, you should choose the correct product for the weight of the person or people who will be using it.
Twin-size mattresses will typically support around 300 lbs, but despite the name, they’re best suited to a single sleeper. Queen-size mattresses will usually support around 500 to 600 lbs, like our best overall air mattress, the SoundAsleep Dream Series.
Air mattresses that are designed for specific weight ranges have differences in their physical structure. Queen beds will feel firmer for an individual adult sleeping alone, due to their increased support and reinforcement.
What are the best air mattresses?
There are all kinds of air mattresses out there — and since they all look practically the same, it can be difficult to choose. But some products are better than others, and some brands more trusted in the industry. So from the top 10 air mattresses listed above, we’ve selected 3 category winners as the best-in-class.
For the best air mattress, we recommend the SoundAsleep Dream Series as the hands-down winner. Not only is it highly recommended by almost every authority website, it also has over 15,000 reviews on Amazon. Regardless of your reasons for buying an air mattress, if you want the best, this is it.
Alternatively, there’s the best budget air mattress, the Intex Comfort Plush Mid Rise Dura-Beam, which is no-frills but gets the job done. It won’t set you back a fortune, and it’s both durable and comfortable, with a high weight capacity. There’s not too much variation in air mattress pricing, but this is as cheap as they come.
And finally, you’ve got the King Koil Luxury Raised Airbed, which is our pick for the most convenient air mattress. Besides being comfortable, it comes with a repair kit as well as a backup valve that can be used instead of the built-in electric pump. It’s also the only air mattress to have been endorsed by the International Chiropractors’ Association.
Air mattresses are ideal for hosting friends and family, replacing a costly mattress, or camping out in the wilderness. But they’re at their best when paired with other useful accessories. Here are some of our favorites:
- Inflatable Backpacking Camp Pillow: What’s the point in camping with a compact air mattress if you have to lug around heavy pillows? This inflatable pillow is the perfect addition to your camping setup and won’t take up space in your pack.
- ORIGINAL Sheet Suspenders: A major complaint with some air mattresses is the fitted sheet slipping off the vinyl corners. Keep your sheet anchored throughout the night with these sheet suspenders.
- Tear-Aid Vinyl Repair Patch Kit: Air mattresses may be cheaper than traditional mattresses, but that doesn’t make them a throwaway item. If you get a puncture, it’s cheaper to repair than replace.
- AmazonBasics Sherpa Blanket: AmazonBasics items may be inexpensive, but they’re generally great quality. This cozy sherpa blanket is perfect for staying warm on your new air mattress.
- 100% Silk Sleep Mask: Curtains don’t always do the best job of blocking out light. But a sleep mask can help you to wake up feeling well-rested, no matter how bright your surroundings.