The Best Air Mattress For 2022

An air mattress could come in handy if you have overnight guests and don’t have enough room for a regular bed. While some consider air mattresses the last resort, having one or two on hand can be extremely useful if you have a limited sleeping area or end up with more company than regular mattress beds. If you’re camping and don’t want to put your sleeping bag on the cold, hard ground, an inflatable mattress is a good option; you could even throw one in your truck bed to sleep under the stars.

The best air mattress provides adequate back support, overall comfort, and the semi-secure feeling that the entire thing won’t collapse to the floor by morning. However, finding the best air mattress can be difficult without some direction. It’s a highly crowded product category, with over 10,000 search results on Amazon alone. That is why we have done the legwork for you.

We put the most popular mattresses on Amazon and other major retailers (including Target and Walmart) through a battery of hands-on tests to see which might offer the best quality sleep. This includes repeatedly inflating and deflating air beds, evaluating their durability and construction, and subjecting them to the rigours of camping and a series of acrobatically inclined children’s sleepovers to test them for comfort, air pressure, and the air chamber’s puncture resistance (after all, air leaks are detrimental to a good night’s sleep).

To narrow down the best air mattress options for our buyer’s guide, we limited testing to queen air mattress models rather than twin or standard size, and we included comfort and price comparisons.

Best air mattresses, compared

Most warranty information and basic specs, such as dimensions and weight capacity, can be found on manufacturer or retailer websites. I’ve included that kind of information here, as well as qualitative details that are more difficult to come by without firsthand experience. This includes components ranging from comforts, such as a high airbed and air coils, to how long an air mattress takes to inflate and how firm it can get, as well as my impressions of its durability and spice (yes, there is such a thing). Examine it out.

soundasleep dream series air mattress

SoundAsleep

  • Price: $138
  • Pump type: Electric
  • Height when inflated: 19 inches
  • Warranty: One year

This popular and highly rated SoundaSleep Dream Series inflatable air mattress isn’t cheap, but it does the job. The SoundAsleep air mattress is more expensive than most other models we tested in its height range at $120. Still, it’s durable and, in our opinion, the best air mattress on the market. Even though we take Amazon customer reviews with a grain of salt, this mattress has over 11,000 five-star reviews attesting to its durability and comfort. (Fakespot, which rates the credibility of Amazon reviews, gives this bed an “A.”)

SoundAsleep refers to this as a double high airbed, which is on the taller side, with you sleeping 18 inches off the ground. This mattress’s air coil design helps it keep its shape. Still, it’s pretty heavy, weighing about 19 pounds, like many inflatable bed models with an integrated electric pump. The pump is loud but effective. It took about 3.5 minutes to inflate the mattress fully –and I mean thoroughly – and about the same time to deflate it.

The SoundAsleep Dream is made of rigid plastic that folds up and stuffs into the included nylon drawstring sack that also serves as a carry bag, making it ideal for camping. However, it is one of the more intense beds I tested, so those sensitive to off-gassing may want to look elsewhere.

When you order from SoundAsleep directly, you have a 30-day no-questions-asked return period. If you purchase from Amazon or SoundAsleep, you will receive a one-year limited warranty covering the manufacturer’s defects (but no punctures or holes made on your watch). You must pay for the mattress to be returned to SoundAsleep.

The bottom line:  This SoundAsleep Dream series mattress is not inexpensive, but it is well worth the price. Fully inflates, well-constructed, positive customer feedback, slightly more pungent than others. Recommended.

Comfort Plush Elevated Dura-Beam.

Intex

  • Price: $93
  • Pump type: Electric
  • Height when inflated: 22 inches
  • Warranty: None

With the Comfort Plush Elevated Dura-Beam, Intex has struck a compelling price/value balance. Despite its low price, the Intex Comfort Dura-Beam is sturdy, impressively firm, and has horizontal air chambers – and it’s ultimately comfortable enough to sleep on.

The built-in plug-in pump isn’t as fast as others, but it’s plenty powerful, and the bed is among the firmest blow-up mattresses we tested. The mattress’s top and sides are coated in a velvety treatment that Intex claims make it more puncture resistant. That’s true, but it also means that if you spring a leak, you’d better hope it’s on the bottom panel because that’s the only place a patch will stick.

The Intex Comfort Dura-Beam air mattress is also one of the tallest we tested, standing 22 inches tall when fully inflated. A small lip around the edge suggests a protective barrier to keep you from rolling off (it won’t). However, the bed is relatively stable. A person’s movements on one side should not bother a companion. For storage, the mattress comes with a duffel bag. And, compared to the others, it didn’t strike me as particularly intense.

This mattress costs between $50 and $135 at retail. There are many leaky air mattress reviews for this model on the site, but there are far more five-star customer reviews than lower-rated ones. Nonetheless, Fakespot gives it a “C,” implying that there may be some “deception involved.” This air mattress is covered by an exclusion-filled, 90-day warranty from Intex.

The bottom line: This is a reasonably priced, tall air mattress that’s relatively comfortable to sleep on. Recommended.

Lightspeed Outdoors Air Bed

Lightspeed Outdoors

  • Price: $40-$100
  • Pump type: Battery-operated
  • Height when inflated: 7 inches
  • Warranty: One year

The Lightspeed Outdoors Air Bed Mattress, designed for camping, lives up to its name: At six pounds, including the pump, this temporary air mattress option is undeniably light. This camping mattress comes with a storage bag and a small, battery-powered pump that takes four D batteries (not included). When compared to a standard plug-in air pump, the Lightspeed bed falls short. I let it run for more than six minutes but was never able to fully inflate the mattress. (The air pump’s “deflate” setting is similarly inefficient.) I’d save the batteries and roll up the mattress to manually expel air.)

Lightspeed Outdoors emphasises that this camping air mattress is Phthalate- and PVC-free, made of Thermoplastic polyurethane, which feels more durable and smells less plasticky than most other air mattresses. If you are sensitive to chemical odours or off-gassing, this mattress should be avoided.

This air mattress for camping measures 55×79 inches — slightly smaller than the technical queen size dimensions of 60×80 inches — but I didn’t have any problem getting standard sheets to fit snugly. And though Lightspeed doesn’t specify its weight capacity, I suspect it’s more or less in line with the others I tested. My two kids and I (combined weight: roughly 320 pounds) assembled comfortably on it.

While working on this article, I noticed that the Amazon price for this mattress ranged between $40 and $100, with some colours being more expensive than others.

The bottom line: The lightweight and reasonably priced Lightspeed Outdoors air mattress are far more cushioned than a sleeping pad and are best suited to car camping. It’s notable for its use of alternative materials. It will appeal to those sensitive to the pungent off-gassing of many plastic air mattresses.

rei air bed

REI

  • Price: $299
  • Pump type: Manual
  • Height when inflated: 6 inches
  • Warranty: One year

According to REI, this is not an airbed — it’s a “sleep system.” And, at $299 for the queen bed, an expensive one at that. But we found it worth the price if you’re looking for a super-firm, durable mattress that comes with dedicated linens and a comforter.

The sleep system includes an insulated air mattress, a fitted sheet, a top sheet, a quilted comforter, and a hand pump, which is somewhat surprising given the price. The mattress is sturdy and well-made. I was able to inflate it until it was completely taut using the included Bravo hand pump. Yes, it took about two and a half minutes of vigorous, aerobic pumping to inflate it, and that doesn’t include multiple hands-on-knees timeouts.

Still, the degree of firmness you can get from the Sleep System is distinctive from other mattresses. Most of the other air mattresses we tested, and especially those that came with a battery-powered pump, were impossible to fully inflate, making for a sleep experience that ran the gamut from slightly saggy to fully dispiriting. Though it requires hard work, REI’s manual pump is by far the most powerful and effective one we tested. Deflating was quicker and easier, and the mattress itself — separate from all of the included linens — is relatively light and compact.

REI’s bedding is bulky but nice. The fitted sheet includes elastic bands at the corners, to keep it in place, and the comforter and top sheet can be connected with the kind of toggle and loop you’d find on a tent fly. As a result, everything stays where it’s supposed to. REI says that the sleep system’s insulation (3.6 R-value) will keep you warm in temperatures down to about 40 degrees. That’s more than adequate if you’re sleeping inside a house or apartment, but I suspect cold weather campers would want additional blankets or a sleeping bag.

The bottom line: This is a high-priced air mattress, but it’s well-made, comfortable to sleep on, and suitable for indoor and outdoor use. The manual pump requires more effort to operate but produces a firmer mattress than any other we tested.

Other air mattress options

$25 Bestway Airbed

Walmart

  • Price: $25
  • Pump type: Electric
  • Height when inflated: 12 inches
  • Warranty: Unclear

The $25 Bestway Airbed is the epitome of a low-cost air mattress, compact, lightweight, and relatively quick to inflate with its integrated pump.

Unfortunately, this air mattress model is not at all comfortable. It’s only nine inches tall and sits low to the ground, and the pump isn’t powerful enough to fully inflate it, so it’s a squishy ride. The tubular design gives it the appearance of a pack of hot dogs. The one raised, horizontal hot dog meant to resemble a pillow rest sets the mattress askew, making it even more unstable.

On Walmart.com, there are numerous negative reviews citing slow air leaks, fast air leaks, burst seams, spontaneous bubbling, and terrible customer service, as well as dozens of very positive ones. And, while Bestway’s comically vague manufacturer’s warranty doesn’t inspire confidence, given the price, warranty isn’t a critical factor here. Nonetheless, according to Walmart’s policy, most products can be returned in their original packaging for a full refund within 90 days.

The bottom line:  If you’re looking for the least-expensive air mattress available, this is it. But unless you’re a narcoleptic, don’t expect to get a decent night’s sleep on it.

Beautyrest Hi-Loft_

Walmart

  • Price: $60
  • Pump type: Electric
  • Height when inflated: 17 inches
  • Warranty: 90 days

The Beautyrest Hi-Loft comes with a plug-in electric pump that attaches to the mattress’s body. Once connected, it quickly inflates the mattress (about 2 minutes), though not as fully as I would have liked. After it has been inflated, promptly unscrew the pump and replace the valve cap. It’s not the most attractive solution.

The Beautyrest is designed in the same pack-of-hot-dogs style as the Bestway Airbed and has the shaky feel of a pool float. (Many companies that manufacture air mattresses also manufacture pools and pool accessories.) That makes sense.) It is not as stable as other air mattresses, and I nearly tipped it over by laying too far to one side. Simmons lists its dimensions as 80 by 60 by 17 inches. Still, my measurements place it closer to 76 inches long, implying that anyone taller than 6 feet will likely hang off the end.

The mattress is made of a softer vinyl than other mattresses, making it easier to roll up and fold into a compact, storage-friendly shape.

The bottom line:Other inflatable air mattresses in the $60 range are more stable and comfortable.

Serta AirBed

Target

  • Price: $110
  • Pump type: Electric
  • Height when inflated: 16 inches
  • Warranty: 90 days (exchange only)

This air mattress retails for $110 but we bought it on sale for $80 from Target. I wouldn’t recommend it at either price.

That’s not to say that the Serta 16-inch AirBed doesn’t have anything going for it. The built-in electric pump is quieter than some of the other integrated electric ones we tested and its 8-foot power cord is longer than average, which might be an important consideration for some.

Still, even inflated to capacity, this air mattress is squishy, less supportive and more pungent than other mattresses we tested. And it deflated to a surprising degree during the 80 minutes that my kids laid on it while watching the movie Boy and the World, which doesn’t bode well for a great night’s sleep.

Our Serta air mattress was purchased from Target, which will not accept it for return once it has been opened but will exchange it for a new one within 90 days.

The bottom line: There are better and less expensive air mattresses than this one.

Not recommended

King Koil Luxury Raised Air Mattress

Amazon

  • Price: $158
  • Pump type: Electric
  • Height when inflated: 20 inches
  • Warranty: One year

The King Koil Luxury Raised Air Mattress is consistently ranked among the top ten bestsellers on Amazon. However, this could be due to the company’s mastery of search engine optimization and Amazon review manipulation as much as its ability to design a quality product. Fakespot currently assigns a “C” grade for authenticity to this bed’s customer reviews, which number in the thousands. This is an improvement over the “F” grade it received previously.

Nonetheless, there are several reasons to prefer the King Koil Luxury Raised Air Mattress: The built-in pump is powerful enough to inflate the mattress completely in just over three minutes, and it’s quite tall, standing about 21 inches tall.

However, there are some issues. This raised airbed had the most pungent and plasticky odor of the inflatable mattresses I tested. This King Koil air mattress is also substantial. Although Amazon lists it as 17 pounds, the queen-size King Koil air mattress weighs nearly 21 pounds. Even when fully inflated, this mattress squishes significantly when you try to get up from it. I discovered that it lost significant amounts of air overnight on multiple occasions. Consumer Reports has savaged the King Koil for these cardinal sins, singling it out as one to avoid – and I agree.

The bottom line: Overpriced, odorous, and less capable than others of remaining fully inflated overnight.

Coleman AirBed

Coleman

  • Price: $183
  • Pump type: Battery-operated
  • Height when inflated: 22 inches
  • Warranty: One year

I’m not a fan of the Coleman AirBed Cot. It’s expensive, heavy and unwieldy, hard to set up and, worst of all, uncomfortable to lay on.

Coleman’s air mattress isn’t particularly distinctive, aside from being one of the most overpoweringly plastic-smelling models I tested. To say the included QuickPump, which runs on four D batteries, is underpowered is an understatement. The battery-powered pump was unable to fill the air mattress to its full capacity, and I gave up after 10 increasingly frustrating minutes. (Some Amazon reviewers have resorted to inflating this mattress with their mouths.) The pump nozzle does not fit snugly into the mattress valve, forcing you to hold it in place throughout the frustrating process.

But the steel backbone is something else: It makes the whole package absurdly heavy — it weighs about 42 pounds, which is about twice as much as any other we tested, which makes it a poor choice for a camping cot — though it comes with a wheeled, but ultimately unwieldy, carry bag.

The steel backbone, on the other hand, makes the entire package absurdly heavy – it weighs about 42 pounds, which is about twice as much as any other we tested, making it a poor choice for a camping cot – though it comes with a wheeled, ultimately unwieldy, carry bag.

There are a few thoughtful touches — including a zippered pocket that holds the air mattress in place on the frame, and two foldable side tables, each of which has an integrated mesh pocket to hold a drink. But they’re not nearly enough to salvage Coleman’s Airbed Cot.

The bottom line: Hard pass.


What to look for in an air mattress

When looking for the best air mattress, there are a few general factors to consider. Most people looking for the best air mattress will prioritize price. A queen-size bed can be purchased for as little as $30, while the most expensive air mattresses can cost hundreds of dollars. A higher price tag, however, does not always imply a taller airbed, a better air mattress, better air pressure, a self-inflating mattress, a better sleeping surface, more comfort, or a good night’s sleep.

Most air mattresses include an electric pump that plugs into a wall outlet. Some have an external rechargeable pump that is powered by four D-cell batteries. Some even include a manual hand pump. Plug-in pumps are typically powerful, but heavy and noisy. Battery-powered pumps are lighter and do not require a wall outlet, but they are typically less effective and cannot fully inflate a mattress. A manual pump or a flat pump, on the other hand, can deliver a level of firmness that the others cannot match and requires no batteries or electricity to operate – but it will require a significant amount of physical labour to operate.

Though most queen-size air mattress options measure approximately 60 inches wide and 80 inches long, height is both a variable and a selling point. It may be a primary consideration for older or disabled people who would have trouble getting on or off a bed that’s too low to the ground. Likewise, an overly mushy mattress will be harder to dismount.

Of course, if you’ve ever tried to get a good night’s sleep on a shoddy air mattress, you know that the criterion for quality is how consistently it holds air. And nearly every air mattress has a slew of negative customer reviews about air leaks. This industry has been traumatized by these complaints: Every bed we tested was emblazoned with disclaimers, pleading that all air mattresses stretch when inflated and that you shouldn’t assume they’re leaking if they temporarily lose their initial level of firmness.

Nonetheless, many air mattresses, whether stretched out, leak during the night. Repeatedly. Even when you top them off. Some manufacturers’ claims lose credibility as a result of this. Some beds are simply more durable and well-built than others. However, airtightness is challenging to assess, even after inflating an air mattress, and may only become apparent over time. As a result, most manufacturers provide a one-year warranty or guarantee. Some people extend it to two years. Others will give you 90 days and a couple of vinyl patches to cover a puncture wound

 

More for sweet dreams

Originally published earlier. It has been updated with new formatting, but the picks are unchanged from the original version.

The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.

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