2022-08-13 03:13:53 By : Mr. Sky Zeng

All products and services featured are independently selected by Forbes Vetted contributors and editors. When you make a purchase through links on this page, we may earn a commission. Learn more

An air mattress is the ultimate way to expand the sleeping capacity in your home without adding any square footage or extra furniture, like a sofa bed. Simply roll it out and pump it up to create an instant guest room wherever you have floor space. And of course, an air mattress is handy for camping in comfort or when you need a place to temporarily crash while waiting for a new mattress to arrive. If you want something comfy and dependable, the Serta Air Mattress With Never Flat Pump is a solid pick—made by the reputable mattress brand, it features an innovative air pump that monitors air pressure throughout the night. That said, there are several more great options on this list.

The SoundAsleep Dream air mattress has a built-in air pump that puffs the sleep surface up in four ... [+] minutes or less.

Sure, inflatable mattresses have a bad reputation for deflating in the middle of the night or sagging in weird places, but that usually only happens if you purchase a lesser-quality option. If you haven’t shopped for an air mattress in a while (or ever), you’ll be surprised at what’s out there. Today’s best air mattresses are much sturdier than their older counterparts, and many include handy features like built-in pumps to make set up and take-down effortless. Inflatable headboards and air pressure monitors that instantly respond to dips in mattress puffiness can also be found, all with the goal of making your sleep experience as pleasant as possible.

After researching features and customer ratings, we rounded up the best air mattress options on the market and tapped a doctor to help answer some frequently asked questions, below.

Made by mattress company Serta, this air mattress has a lot going for it. One of its biggest features is a built-in dual air pump system. One pump inflates and deflates the mattress, while the other continuously monitors and silently maintains your preferred air pressure during the night. The mattress has 35 circular coils for extra support and is lightweight enough to easily tote from room to room.

What the reviews say: This Serta air mattress has a 4.2-star rating (out of 5) from nearly 4,000 Amazon user reviews. One fan says, “A friend slept on it for a month. My son slept on it for 2 months. It never went flat [so] I bought another one.” Meanwhile, another shopper admits, “I was suspicious of its comfort but was willing to take on the added expense if the mattress was truly comfortable. My husband and I slept on it for over a week [and] it was far more comfortable than I expected.”

The SoundAsleep Dream mattress is an Amazon bestseller with almost thousands of five-star reviews. It has a dual, double-height chamber for extra cushioning and is built for durability with its extra-thick, waterproof flocked top made of puncture-resistant PVC. And when it comes to set up, there’s no messing around: This mattress has a built-in air pump that puffs the sleep surface up in four minutes or less. Want it firmer? Just click on the pump again. Once blown up, the SoundAsleep Dream Series can stay at your desired firmness level for days.

What the reviews say: Nearly three-quarters of the 47,000-plus Amazon reviews are 5 stars. What makes this air mattress an Amazon best-seller? According to one satisfied sleeper, it’s the quality: “There are cheaper air beds but the SoundAsleep Dream Series offers firm, stable support that feels very similar to a traditional mattress.” Another customer finds it so comfortable that they don’t plan on buying a “real” mattress: “Two months after purchase, I am solidly impressed. I haven't slept this well in ages.” SoundAsleep’s customer service also receives a lot of kudos for their attentive responses to queries and delivery issues.

It’s always smart to stick with reputable brands and this air mattress from Beautyrest is incredibly tough. It features extra-thick fabric on top that’s also puncture-resistant to keep you floating on a comfy cloud all night long. Plus, it’s not just the topper that’s sturdy: The sides and base of this mattress are made from a highly durable vinyl that can support up to 750 pounds. An included pump lets you easily inflate and deflate the mattress and a built-in button lets you customize firmness to your preferred comfort level. This pick also features coil-in-coil construction for added spinal alignment and support.

What the reviews say: “I slept on this at a friend's house and had to leave a review,” starts one account. “I couldn't believe that it kept the air pressure that I set it to all through the night. I thought for sure I would have back problems but I didn't.” Regarding durability, another satisfied shopper says, “My wife reported that she was surprised at how it didn't seem to flop around when I turned over, which is rare in my experience with air mattresses.” It’s also proven tough enough to withstand energetic kids. “I bought this air mattress for my two grandsons. They love it. If it can outlast them, it's a winner,” beams one happy grandparent.

We don’t actually recommend cheaping out on an air mattress you plan to have for longer than a few months—you’ll save money in the long run by investing in a more durable model. But if you need an air mattress STAT and don’t want to spend more than $50, the Intex Dura Beam is your best bet. It’s mind-blowing to be able to get a decent queen-size air mattress with a built-in pump for around $40. It’s got a velvety sleep surface plus the company’s own Fiber-Tech inner construction for stability and support, with a pillow rest for added comfort. When you’re done, simply set the mattress to deflate.

What the reviews say: As a short-term or emergency solution, Amazon shoppers highly recommend this Intex budget air mattress. According to one reviewer, “I needed a bed for myself when I flew to my sister’s for a last minute family emergency ... I’m 62 and slept on it for 24 nights. I would take a bed over it, but this air mattress did a great job.” Another shopper who purchased this air mattress in the midst of moving house put it simply: “I slept on the floor for the first few nights and the mattress definitely beats the floor.”

Replicate the “traditional” bed experience with the Intex Dura-Beam air mattress, which has a built-in headboard for added support behind sleepers’ heads, even if they’re simply lounging and watching television. It offers a streamlined design so it looks less like a typical air mattress with an internal pump at the foot of the bed, a plush pillow-top surface and reinforced edges to prevent you from rolling right off. A carry bag is included so you can either stow it away or bring it along whilst on the road or in the midst of a move.

What the reviews say: Seeking a new queen-sized bed? This enthusiastic Amazon shopper says this Intex air mattress is it. “ I would recommend this bed before I would a box spring and mattress bed, seriously! I have even been able to keep my cushy mattress protectors underneath.” And as for comfort, one customer account reads, “The headboard is surprisingly comfortable to lounge up against. [It’s] very comfortable for if I want to be on my laptop or if I were wanting to watch movies.”

The best air mattresses for camping offer comfort and convenience, and the EZ Inflate checks both boxes. For starters, it’s waterproof, puncture-resistant and has a flocked top for extra cushioning so you can sleep well under the stars. It’s also extremely portable, with a built-in pump that allows for simple setup and eliminates the need to lug a separate pump along. The whole thing folds up into an easy-to-tote bag when it’s not in use, making it ideal for taking on the go.

What the reviews say: The EZ Inflate has over 10,000 Amazon reviews – 70% of those awarding it 5 stars. According to one happy camper, “I took it camping for a weekend, and [the air mattress] was actually more comfortable than my own bed. Very easy to inflate and deflate and stores very easy in bag.” Another reviewer raves, “I love that it will inflate in minutes. [It’s] super convenient to use and all you need is an outlet. Used it for camping and I was able to fit myself and two small kids comfortably.”

If you have trouble getting that just-right level of firmness, this EnerPlex air mattress is a great option. It uses a two-pump system to help you get a perfect feel. The first pump is used to quickly inflate and deflate, while the second pump allows you to easily adjust the air pressure to either blow your mattress up more or lower the pressure. Best of all, it’s designed to feel like a real mattress thanks to circular coils that create a strong and supportive foundation. Quilt top flocking gives you a smooth feel and helps prevent those dreaded air mattress squeaks when you move.

What the reviews say: Among the EnerPlex’s 40,000 Amazon reviews, 70% of them are a perfect 5 stars. One customer says it’s close to the comfort level of their adjustable bed: “We used this inflatable mattress during a recent move and found this mattress to be nearly as comfortable as our real bed, without [the features] that Sleep Number beds have.” One customer points out it’s great for couples, saying, “My boyfriend and I slept soundly on it without rolling any which way off of it. In fact, I got up in the middle of the night to use the restroom, barely moving the bed, and my boyfriend stayed asleep.”

Having a built-in pump is the ultimate in air mattress luxury: Simply flip a switch and your sleep surface is ready in minutes. The King Koil mattress fully inflates in under two minutes, leaving you barely enough time to whip out your sheets before it’s ready to go. It also features a thick, sueded quilt top for comfort and to keep your bedding from slipping around during the night. When you’re ready to pack your mattress away, just hit the deflate knob, stand back, and let it go to work for you.

What the reviews say: On Amazon, the King Koil air mattress has nearly 30,000 reviews, with roughly 75% of those being 5 stars. One shopper says that the King Koil is the best mattress they’ve ever slept on, adding, “It was a cinch to set up—the built-in pump is easy to use and inflates the mattress quickly.” It’s also quite comfortable, as this happy customer can attest: “I have been sleeping on [the King Koil] for two months and have not had a bad night's sleep. [The 20-inch mattress] is a great height for getting in and out [of bed] (I am 67 years old). I may never go back to a 'regular' mattress again.”

The Brookstone Innovations Perfect Air Bed has a built-in pump that fully inflates in an impressive two minutes. Even better? It stays inflated for days. It also has little bells and whistles that other mattress don’t, like a built-in storage port for the power cord, an adjustable dial that lets you customize firmness and a cozy plush top. When you’re ready to stow the mattress away, simply set the dial to “deflate” and let it do the work for you.

What the reviews say: One 5-star review reads: “I shopped around for awhile since air mattresses notoriously deflate easily. This one is durable and holds its air, even after a few nights on it.” Another fan of the Brookstone air mattress says it’s a “really comfortable air bed that is both easy to inflate, deflate and store. A perfect extra guest bed and ideal for my young grandson's sleepovers. He loves it. The [included] fitted sheet was a nice extra.”

Thanks to its combination of coziness and sturdiness, this Englander air mattress will be your new go-to. The microfiber surface adds a touch of extra comfort and its puncture-resistant construction and waterproof materials make it durable enough for long-term use. It’s also a breeze to set up: A built-in pump inflates this air bed in about 90 seconds and deflates itself at a similar speed.

What the reviews say: If you want an air mattress that feels more like a traditional bed, this is the one to get, according to many 5-star Amazon reviews. A traveling missionary gives the Englander high marks: “The microfiber fabric is strong but soft and warm ... I have been on many trips, but never before did I have such comfortable sleep after long days of work.” It’s also ideal for sleepers of all sizes, per this account: “[My 6-year-old] daughter and her friends love it and they both fit easily in it. It will easily fit two adults. I am 5-foot-4 and my husband is 6-foot-2 and we have plenty of space on it.”

To help you make the right purchase, we narrowed the field by first looking at bestselling air mattresses and then analyzing them for features like sturdiness, quality materials and ease of use. Air mattresses also got bonus points for affordability and user-friendly features. We also took customer reviews and ratings into account and deferred to them to point out potential pros and cons of each pick. Finally, we turned to an expert, Mara Vucich, D.O., a doctor of physical and rehabilitative medicine at Baltimore’s Mercy Medical Center, to help answer some frequently asked questions about air mattresses, below.

Technically, yes. That said, there isn’t really any data to show which type of mattress is best for your back, inflatable or otherwise, according to Mara Vucich, D.O., a doctor of physical and rehabilitative medicine at Baltimore’s Mercy Medical Center. “It really comes down to the position that your neck and back are in when you're lying down on any mattress,” she explains. Your neck and lower back have a natural curve (called a lordosis) and maintaining that alignment “will result in less pressure and pain on your neck and lower back,” she says. And yes, she adds, this is also true on an air mattress.

It’s not necessarily good or bad as long as it’s supportive, Vucich says. “I wouldn’t say an air mattress is not supportive, but it’s better to blow it up to a firmer level. Certainly if there isn’t enough air, at some point you’ll lose firmness and can feel sore in the morning.”

Each retailer and product is slightly different. However, an air mattress that’s used infrequently can last for six years or more. If you use it more often or if it’s your regular mattress, it may develop signs of wear and tear sooner. Of course—as with most things—quality is key.

Along with making sure your mattress is inflated to a firm level, Vucich says that your alignment and positioning when you sleep can make a big difference. “If you’re sleeping on your back, you may want to have a flatter pillow to fill in that lordosis in your neck,” she says. “If you’re on your side, you need a thicker pillow to make up the space between your ear and your shoulder.” She also suggests putting a pillow between your knees when you sleep on your side to keep your spine in a comfortable position. Further, marshmallowy mattress toppers, supportive pillows and sumptuous bed sheets can all contribute to a cozier sleep experience.