Best Air Mattress Guide: Our Air Bed Top Picks


An air mattress is a homeowner’s best friend.

These inflatable beds are an absolute godsend when you have visitors over and are running low on spare rooms — and they’ve got plenty more uses besides.

Anyone for a comfortable night camping?

best air mattresses

We’ve put together a comprehensive buying guide to air mattresses, as well as a round-up of the very best air beds on the market right now.

Remember, you can skip the buying guide and head straight to the recommendations if you already know what you’re looking for.

Let’s get straight into it.

Why We Recommend Them

The indisputable best thing about air mattresses is the fact that they’re so damn versatile.

Got the grandparents visiting? Bring out the air bed.

Daughter’s invited extra friends to her birthday sleepover? Time for the air bed.

Going camping? It’s air bed time.

Waiting for a new mattress to arrive and got rid of your old one too soon? Air bed.

best air mattress

By Paradoxotaur (CC BY-SA 2.0 licence)

An air mattress is perfect for those last minute emergencies when you’re low on bed space. Instead of piling everyone into the master bedroom, it’s a good idea to plan ahead and have one stored for those just in case… occasions.

You might be thinking that air mattresses aren’t good for anything other than last resort sleep spaces, just marginally better than a mat on the floor. We’ve all slept on those less than quality air beds that haven’t been fully inflated, smell like rubber and are just generally really uncomfortable.

But thankfully, we’re in a new age of technology now where there are a number of incredibly high quality air mattresses on the market as we zoom from 2019 into 2020.

Some of them are even more comfortable than our normal beds!

And while there are lots of premium-priced airbeds with a plethora of snazzy features, there’s also a great selection of reasonably priced mattresses doing a great job too.

Who Are They Good For?

The people most likely to benefit from a really great air mattress are those that  like to welcome visitors into their home, but don’t have a spare room  to house them.

Parents of kids who like the occasional sleepover, people housing friends and family that don’t live nearby, and people that like to be prepared in advance in case they’re ever surprised at extra guests at a last moment’s notice will all benefit from a small investment in the best air mattress.

Of course, air mattresses don’t just have a use for being a spare bed — thanks to their light weight and portability, they’re also  great for adventurers .

A high quality product will allow you a comfortable night’s sleep wherever you are — in a canvas tent on the side of a mountain, in a wooden hut on a beach, or even in the back of a campervan on an epic road trip.

Wherever you need a comfortable night’s sleep, your air mattress will be right there behind you.

Air Mattress Buyer’s Guide

But before you get right in there and place an order, there’s a few things to consider first.

Let’s be honest: not all air mattresses are created equal.

While there are some super high-quality items on the market, there are some that are a little… not so good. 

And there are some which are great but might be no good for your purposes.

Here’s what you need to know before you buy.

best air mattress guide


The capacity is how much weight the airbed can take and is specified in pounds.

Say the capacity is 500lbs, that would mean that it could only take the weight of one person below 500, or a couple whose weight combined is less than 500.

Usually the capacity is more than enough to support the weight of your average American, but it might be worth checking carefully if you expect someone with a larger frame to be using the bed.

How Easy Is It To Inflate?

As suggested by the name, you have to actually inflate an air mattress for it to work.

There are three different types of mattress when it comes to inflation:

  • Self-inflating: Best for campers and backpackers as they’re generally lightweight and low maintenance
  • Manual pump: You will need to buy a separate pump (or use a vacuum cleaner)
  • Internal pump: The pump is within the mattress already

As you can imagine, air mattresses with internal pumps are probably the most convenient and easiest to use for everyday use.

best air mattress

Looks like a long job. By Chris Walsh (CC BY 2.0 licence)

What's Its Purpose?

The most important thing to consider before buying an air bed is to determine what exactly you are buying it for.

How portable does it need to be?

How comfortable does it need to be?

There are a few features to watch out for that can really optimize your air mattress to be the best for your needs.

For instance, if you’re primarily using the mattress for camping, it’s likely that you’ll want a self-inflating model.

If you’re planning to use it inside for the occasional overnight guest, consider whether you want or need these additional features:

Cold Floors?
If so, you may want to consider buying an air mattress that’s raised up off the floor away from the cold.
Who is Using it?
If you have any elderly, disabled or larger-framed guests likely to visit, you’ll want to buy an air mattress that’s reinforced, durable and supportive.
How Much Support do you Need?
Again, raised air mattresses provide the most support to sleepers. They are raised higher off the ground than a normal, cheaper low-rise airbed and are usually comprised of a number of air chambers which provide more firm support, stability and durability than the average air mattress.
How Much Comfort do you Need?
If you suspect that the person using the air bed is likely to need it for more than just the occasional night, you may want to spend a little more money purchasing a more comfortable model. Some air mattresses benefit from a plush top for additional comfort and even weight distribution, and some particularly hi-tech products even allow you to automatically adjust the comfort level of the mattress.
Other Things to Consider

Aside from the above, you should also consider the following practicalities before buying an air mattress, to ensure that it’s the best purchase for your needs and circumstances:

  • How much does it cost?
  • How long will it last?
  • How much space will it take up?
best air mattress

Mattress miscalculation… (By Dan Taylor-Watt: CC BY 2.0 licence)

Best Air Mattresses in 2020

Now that you’ve hopefully discovered exactly what it is you’re looking for, it’s time to have a look at what the best of the market has to offer right now.

We’ve included a wide array of price points, from some of the cheaper models all the way up to the most luxe and premium, as well as an array of air mattresses for different purposes. Some will be great for everyday, indoor use, while others are much better suited to camping and outdoor activities.

Best Brands

There are a huge number of different companies selling air mattresses, but there are a few that stand out above all the rest.

Intex and Coleman are two of the most well known and respected air bed manufacturers, with a long pedigree for providing high quality and durable items in the home and adventure markets.

While there are lots of other excellent products from many other brands, it’s always a good idea to check that the company knows their onions when it comes to air mattresses.

Now, without further ado…

The 8 Best Air Mattress Reviews

SoundAsleep Dream Series Air Mattress

best air mattress


We love…

  • It’s a raised, double-height air mattress
  • It’s incredibly durable and supportive thanks to the ComfortCoil Technology – 40 internal air coils keeps your bed flat and firm
  • It has its own internal pump for inflation in under 4 minutes, that’s 20% quieter than its competitors
  • Waterproof, extra-thick flocked top
  • Puncture-resistant, 15 gauge multilayer materials
  • 1 year guarantee
  • 500lb capacity
  • Portable with an included carry bag
  • Won’t slide thanks to the Sure Grip bottom
  • Over 20,000 reviews on Amazon

Where it could improve…

  • It’s designed for indoor use so is not suitable for camping
Check Today’s Price on Amazon

You can find out more about the SoundAsleep Dream Series Air Mattress in this video:

Intex Classic Downy Airbed Set

best air mattresses


We love…

  • Low price
  • Comes with 2 inflatable pillows
  • Comes with an easy to use, double quick hand pump
  • 20.8 gauge waterproof flocked top
  • Easy to clean
  • Works great with fitted sheets
  • Plush feel
  • Non-slip
  • 600lb capacity

Where it could improve…

  • Not suitable for long-term use — it needs regular topping up to stay firm and inflated
  • You will need to pump it yourself
  • No warranty
Check Today’s Price on Amazon
Coleman SupportRest Double High Airbed

best air beds


We love…

  • 18-20 inches raised
  • The look and feel of a traditional bed
  • Very supportive – ComfortStrong Coil Construction = flat and firm
  • Keeps stable with support lock reinforced construction
  • Air tight and factory tested
  • 1 year limited warranty
  • Heavy duty PVC materials means that it’s super durable 
  • Soft and plush surface
  • 600lb capacity
  • Great for indoors and outdoors

Where it could improve…

  • Requires an air pump

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Serta Raised Air Mattress with Never Flat Pump

best air bed


We love…

  • NeverFLAT pump system keeps bed silently inflated all night
  • Pump will auto shut-off when bed is fully inflated
  • Flat and firm thanks to 35 circular coils inside
  • Flocked top is soft and comfortable, puncture and water resistant
  • Your sheets stay in place
  • 18″ raised height so easy to get in and out
  • Includes carry bag for easy transport and storage
  • Automatic controls for you to adjust to your desired comfort level
  • Sure grip bottom so no slipping
  • 500lb capacity
  • 1 year warranty

Where it could improve…

  • It’s quite difficult to repack the bed in the compact carry bag
  • The initial pump that inflates the bed is very loud (although the NeverFLAT auxiliary pump works silently in the night)
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King Koil Air Mattress

best air bed

best air mattress

We love…

  • Ultra plush, extra thick, waterproof bedding top
  • Fully flocked top and sides to keep bedding in place
  • No slip bottom
  • Extra spinal support
  • Comes with built-in pump that fully inflates a twin in 2 minutes
  • 1 year warranty
  • 20-inch height for enhanced elevation
  • Flocked top coil system distributes weight evenly across bed and keeps spine aligned
  • Comes with a carry bag and patch repair kit
  • Puncture resistant
  • 600 lb capacity
  • No sinking overnight

Where it could improve…

  • Only available in Twin, Queen and California King — no King size
  • Hard to fit in the carry bag
Check Today’s Price on Amazon
Intex Dura-Beam Comfort Plush Elevated Airbed

luxury air bed


We love…

  • 22 inch raised height, that’s easy to get in and out of
  • Internal pump that inflates in 4.5 minutes
  • Low price
  • Flocked top that has indented sides to keep sheets from slipping
  • Comes with a carry bag for easy transport and storage
  • 600lb capacity
  • Fiber-Tech beam construction provides enhanced stability, durability and support
  • Horizontal air chambers lend even greater stability — great for older or disabled guests
  • You can customize the comfort level at the touch of a button
  • Internal pump is powered electronically. If you’re traveling, you can use a separate pump for inflation

Where it could improve:

  • Strong plastic smell upon first unpacking
  • Carry bag isn’t well constructed
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You can find out more about the unique durability of the Intex Comfort Plush Elevated Dura-Beam Airbed in this video:

Intex Pillow Rest Raised Airbed

best air bed


We love…

  • Built-in electric pump inflates air mattress in around 3 minutes
  • Built-in pillow
  • Raised 16.5 inches off the floor
  • 20.8 gauge waterproof flocked top
  • Works great with fitted sheets
  • Comes with a shoulder strap and carry bag

Where it could improve…

  • Some users have reported that the interior chambers can burst their walls, leading to a balloon-like feel
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Coleman Self-Inflating Camp Pad with Attached Pillow

best air bed for camping


We love…

  • No need for a pump: it self-inflates and deflates with a free-flow valve
  • Comfortable with a tufted, cushion design
  • Durable and weather resistant so perfect for the outdoors
  • Can be stored and transported easily thanks to light weight and compression straps
  • 1 year limited warranty
  • Comes with a pillow for extra comfort

Where it could improve…

  • The pillow does not self-inflate and so must be blown up manually
  • Bear in mind that this is not a bed and so can’t offer the same comfort as the other air mattresses on this list
Check Today’s Price on Amazon

Here’s a short video on how to choose the best sleeping pad for your camping and backpacking needs:


So by now, you should have some idea of exactly what it is that you want from an air mattress, and which products are the best on the market.

All you have to do now is decide.

What’s your pick for the best air mattress in 2020?

We hope you’ve found our Best Air Mattresses post helpful. Looking for alternatives? Be sure to visit our best sleep gear section for other great options.

1 Comment

  1. Avatar

    I use a self-inflating mat when I trek for several days and the truth is that they are extremely comfortable. Although it does not have a great density, it does generate a padded surface that isolates you from the cold and allows you to sleep more pleasantly.

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