Best Air Mattresses (2020): Reviews and Buyer’s Guide

By Alesandra Woolley

Good hosts have adequate food and drink, but great hosts have comfortable places for their guests to sleep. Realizing that many of you, like us, find yourselves woefully unprepared for overnight guests, we put on our research caps and pulled together a list of some of the best air mattresses available. 

Whether you’re looking for high-end multi-pump air bed systems, or no-frills “sleep under the stars” mattresses, we have recommendations for the best air mattresses for any buyer. Keep reading to see our top picks and learn more about how to find the best air mattress for you.

Best Air Mattresses

Take a look at our 8 top-rated air mattresses below. We’ll give you an in-depth look at each air mattress and share information about pricing, customer ratings, and other important details. 

By clicking on the products below, we may receive a commission at no cost to you, the reader. It’s how we fund our Mattress Lab and bring you better mattress reviews and comparisons.

Intex airbed

Most Cheap: Intex Pillow Rest Raised Airbed

  • Amazon Rating: 3.9/5
  • Size: Twin (39″ x 16.5″ x 75″)
  • Height: 16.5 in
  • Pump: Electric
  • Warranty: 30 days

It’s cheap. It’s easy. It’s good. It’s the cheeseburger of the air mattress market and it is for that reason, we love it so. No frills, but including standard features and an onboard pump, this Intex offering comes at a bargain-bin price but with top-shelf quality.

Cheaper than dinner for two, this air mattress is perfect for college students, young adults, or those who are in a bind and need to make a quick purchase. Even though it’s cheap, this Intex inflatable mattress is still sturdy. It’s constructed with a double-layered wave beam interior, waterproof flocked top with vinyl beams, and built-in pillows. Plus, it can hold up to 300 lbs. That’s pretty impressive for a bargain buy if you ask us. 

Best Bargain: Intex Deluxe Pillow Rest Raised Airbed with Soft Flocked Top for Comfort

  • Amazon Rating: 3.6/5
  • Size: Twin, Queen
  • Height: 16.5″
  • Pump: Electric
  • Warranty: None

Bargain shoppers will love this queen-sized, velvety soft air mattress with a built-in pillow for when you need to pack light or forget to bring your own pillows. This inflatable air mattress comes with a built-in, high-powered electric pump to make inflating and deflating the mattress a breeze – it only takes about 4 minutes to become fully inflated! The Intex Deluxe also comes with a waterproof flocked top for an extremely sturdy construction, plus a carrying and storage bag for easy transportation.

Most Comfortable: King Koil Luxury Raised Air Mattress

  • Amazon Rating: 4.4/5
  • Size: Twin, Queen, California King
  • Height: 20 in.
  • Pump: Electric
  • Warranty: 1 year

If you’ve got a bigger budget and a bigger body, this King Koil air mattress (available in California King) may be the right pick for you. Highly reviewed, endorsed by the “International Chiropractors Association to help promote proper spinal alignment and a healthier night’s sleep”, and with the word “luxury” right in the title, you know this is both an ergonomically sound and comfortable way to hit the hay. The King Koil provides the support and comfort of a traditional mattress at a huge fraction of the cost.

SoundAsleep air mattress

Most Durable: SoundAsleep Dream Series Air Mattress with ComfortCoil Technology

  • Amazon Rating: 4.3/5
  • Size: Twin, Twin XL, Queen, King
  • Height: 18-19 in. (depending on size)
  • Pump: Electric
  • Warranty: 1 year

With over 18,000 user reviews on Amazon, the score for the SoundAsleep Dream Series is a shocking 4.3 stars out of 5. This premium double-height air mattress is built with dual chamber construction, ComfortCoil Technology, and a SureGrip bottom for firmness and stability. The SoundAsleep is a heavy duty air mattress that offers exceptional support. You can fully inflate the mattress under 4 minutes and it will stay inflated for days! Those weekend guests will be supported all weekend long!

air mattress

Most Luxurious: Insta-Bed Raised Air Mattress with Never Flat Pump

  • Amazon Rating: 3.6/5
  • Size: Queen
  • Height: 18 in.
  • Pump: Electric, Additional Secondary Pump to Maintain Pressure
  • Warranty: 1 year

A frequent problem with inflatable beds is their tendency to begin deflating in the middle of the night under the weight of your body. Thankfully, the folks at Insta-Bed have created a two-pump system where, should the mattress begin to deflate in the middle of the night, it will quietly and autonomously pump air back in. Comfort, reliability, and advanced features for just around a hundred bucks is tough to say no to.

serta air mattress

Great Value: Serta Raised Air Mattress with Never Flat Pump

  • Amazon Rating: 3.6/5
  • Size: Twin, Queen
  • Height: 18 in
  • Pump: Electric, Additional Secondary Pump to Maintain Pressure
  • Warranty: 2 years

See something familiar here? The additional Never Flat pump from the Insta-Bed mattress. Both Sealy and Insta-bed are owned by the same company, so there’s some crossover between the two brands. The big difference between the pair is the two-year warranty Serta offers – one of the longest in the air mattress game – and some slightly different materials. Both, however, are great picks. The Serta air mattress comes with two pumps so your bed silently inflates under your body while you sleep, along with 35 circular coils to make your sleeping surface stable and supportive. This air mattress also comes along with a carry bag for simplified storage and travel.

air bed

Best for Heavy People: Plush High Rise Air Mattress by Fox Airbeds

  • Amazon Rating: 3.8/5
  • Size: Twin XL, Full, Queen, King
  • Height: (largest mattress size): 19 in
  • Pump: Electric
  • Warranty: 90 days

Heavy sleepers may disregard air mattresses, but this air mattress by Fox Airbeds supports up to 750 lbs. Heavy sleepers, couples, and families who all pile in the bed together can all find support and comfort on this air mattress (as long as you go larger than the twin size). The built-in electric pump makes inflation hassle-free – just flip a switch and watch your Plush High Rise air mattress come to life. 

Coleman air mattress

Best for Camping: Coleman SupportRest Double High Airbed

  • Amazon Rating: 4.0/5
  • Size: Twin, Queen
  • Height (largest mattress size): 18 in
  • Pump: No Internal Pump
  • Warranty: 1 year

Not all summer adventures come with access to electricity. When you’re by the lake, in a cabin, or out in the woods, you might need an air bed that doesn’t rely on an outlet. Coleman’s SupportRest Double High mattress is simple and easy – no internal pumps, no frills, just quality craftsmanship. Bring the mattress to your getaway with a battery powered air pump (like this), and you’re all set for a good night’s sleep. The Coleman SupportRest Double High air mattress also has a convenient wrap ‘n’ roll storage system for easy home storage or transportation during your camping trips.


How to Find the Best Air Mattress

Shopping for an air mattress can be challenging and confusing. No matter what you’re looking for — whether that’s a quick, inflatable bed for a last-minute guest or a durable substitute to give you great sleep in a transition period — it’s easy to get lost in a sea of options and varying details. 

We want to make shopping easier for you. In this buyer’s guide we’ll go over: 

Keep reading to learn everything you should know before buying. 

What is an air mattress?  

An air mattress, also known as a blow up mattress, is an inflatable bed typically made with vinyl, plastic, or rubber. The method for inflating the bed varies by mattress. Air mattresses can be inflated by an electrical pump, hand, mouth, or some of the luxury options are even self-inflating. 

Blow up mattresses can be useful in a variety of situations. If you’re in a bind and need a quick sleeping arrangement for a guest, an air mattress is a much cheaper and more convenient alternative to buying a whole new mattress. Air mattresses also make a great option for frequent campers who want to sleep in something more comfortable than a sleeping bag. They’re easy to travel with and offer more support and comfort than sleeping on the floor or ground.

An air mattress is different from an airbed. The term “airbed” refers to a standard-size mattress that is built with inflatable air chambers in the support core of the mattress. Airbeds are also priced like a standard mattress. For an example, the Saatva Solaire is an airbed.

What are the different types of air mattresses?

Generally you can categorize air mattresses into two different groupings (standard or raised) based on their height. Standard air mattresses, also called single height, are 10 inches or shorter, while raised air mattresses, also known as double height, are taller than 10 inches.

There are obviously many more factors that can differentiate air mattresses than their height. One main differentiator is the inflation system. Air mattresses either have an internal or external pump system. Blow up mattresses with an internal pump system will have a built-in electric pump for inflation. They’re easier and quicker to inflate, but also more expensive. 

Read more: The Best Air Mattresses with Built-In Pumps

Air mattresses with an external inflation system will have an external pump that you attach to a nozzle on the exterior of the mattress. External pumps may be powered by an electrical system or with manual power. Manual pumps will require more energy and time – they typically use a foot pedal. Often times, for an air mattress with an external inflation system you will have to purchase the pump separately, increasing the cost of your investment and risk of losing parts.

Read more: The Best Air Mattress Pumps

Shopping considerations

Whether you’re in the market for a luxury air mattress that offers all the comforts of a traditional bed or you’re just looking for a quick budget buy, there are a few key considerations you should keep in mind when shopping for an air mattress. 

How do you want to use the air mattress?

An air mattress can be used in a variety of ways. You may be looking for a quick inflatable bed that you can blow up when you have guests and store away for the majority of the time, you may need an air mattress for your camping trips, or it could be for a short-term sleeping situation while you’re in between beds. The way you intend on using your air mattress makes a big difference in the type you should purchase. 

If you only need an air mattress for a small chunk of time when you have guests, its ease of storage will be more important. For a camping air mattress, you’ll want something durable, waterproof, and non-reliant on electricity. 

If you’ll be stuck in mattress limbo and need to sleep on an air mattress for a while, the quality of comfort and durability will be more important. Determine how an inflatable bed should fit your needs to start your shopping journey.

How much are you willing to spend?

After determining how much use you need to get out of your air mattress, you can reasonably determine a price point. An air mattress can cost anywhere from $20 to a couple hundred dollars. Budget shoppers who only need to inflate a bed for guests are more comfortable on the bargain end of the spectrum, but those looking for resilient, durable, and reliable bed for outdoor adventures should be more willing to spend at least $100 on a quality air mattress.

What size air mattress do you need?

Air mattresses are sized in similar dimensions to traditional mattresses, ranging from twin to California king. In terms of height, there are low-profile and raised air beds. A low-profile air bed typically ranges from 4 to 9 inches in height when fully inflated. A raised air bed can range around 14 to 25 inches when fully inflated. 

Low-profile air mattresses work well for those only looking to use it a few times a year or for children, while a raised air mattress is more appropriate for long-term solutions and typically offer more comfort. 

What kind of pump system should you get?

Most air mattresses nowadays come with an electric air pump either internally built in to the bed or for attachment. An electric air pump is the most simple way to inflate an air mattress and is likely your preferred purchase option. There are also manual pumps, but those require much more effort and time.

What should you avoid in an air mattress? 

Depending on your situation, you may not have that much to worry about when purchasing an air mattress. Searching for a blow up mattress for a quick fix that will get the job done a couple of times a year is much more simple than searching for one that will actually offer you quality sleep when you need it. 

As with most purchases, we suggest you avoid anything on the extremely low or high end of the price spectrum. You’ll get what you pay for in a cheap air mattress – not much. As for the most expensive air mattresses, it’s not likely you’ll need something with all the bells and whistles since air mattresses are typically used as a temporary sleeping solution. 

With the exception of air mattresses for camping, you really just need something that is durable, supportive, and easy to use or store. Durability is one of the key factors to look out for. You don’t want to have to worry about fixing a leak in your air mattress

Frequently asked questions

Does sleeping on an air mattress cause back pain? 

Sleeping on a cheap, low-profile air mattress is likely to give you back pain in the morning. If you’re worried about an air mattress causing back pain, you’re less likely to run into this issue with a high-quality raised air mattress. You can also add a mattress topper and keep the bed inflated to avoid back pain.

Can you sleep comfortably on an air mattress? 

The more high-quality air mattresses can be surprisingly comfortable. You can also enhance your comfort on an air mattress by adding a topper, using comfortable bedding, placing it on a box spring or other foundation for support, and keeping it well inflated.

Can you put sheets on an air mattress? 

Yes – you can use the same sheets for an air mattress that you would use for a standard bed. Just be sure to check the sizing of your sheets as compared to the air mattress, including the depth. You may need deep-pocketed sheets for some raised air mattresses that are extra thick.

How much do air mattresses cost? 

Air mattresses can cost anywhere from $20 to over $100. The price depends on the quality, size, and technologies used in the bed. The thicker the air mattress, and the more advanced technology (like self-inflating beds) used in the construction, the more expensive it will be.

Summary

In conclusion, the best air mattresses will offer support, durability, convenience, and easy storage. Remember to consider how you expect to use your air mattress when deciding what type you need. Those who need a quality sleeping surface for camping trips will need to consider more factors than those searching for a quick fix for guest. 

While the market for air mattresses is shockingly complex and well-populated, we hope we’ve been able to offer up some rock-solid recommendations and make your life a little bit easier. As a reminder, here’s a recap of our top picks: 

For more mattress guides and tips to help you sleep better, stay on Mattress Advisor.

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