Best Air Mattresses | Air Mattress Buyers Guide

best air mattress

Air mattresses are primarily used for activities such as camping that require sleeping outdoors and/or in a vehicle. They are also suitable for overnight guest room accommodations. Temporary air mattresses come equipped with manual or electric air pumps, which allow owners to inflate or deflate the bed to their desired thickness.  None of these models are to be considered a long-term solution.

Models sold today are divided into two categories: ‘standard elevation’ or ‘single high’ models that can be inflated up to 10″; and ‘raised elevation’ or ‘double high’ models that can be inflated to more than 10″. Please note that ‘temporary air mattresses’ are not the same as ‘airbeds’; the latter are designed for bedroom sleeping and long-term use.  Additionally there are options with build in collapsible frames.

Portability is also important for backpacking trips; models that break down easily and can be compacted to smaller sizes are better for longer hikes. Other variables include durability, noise potential, and price-point.

Read on to learn more about what air mattresses we like and recommend below. You can also start by reading our best mattresses summary.

Types of Air Mattresses

1. Single height

A single height is your cheapest way to get an air mattress and still have some decent comfort.

air mattress

2. Double height air mattress

Double height air mattresses will provide more comfort.  Additionally it will feel more like a normal mattress being elevated off the ground further than a single height.  The extra height also makes it easier to make the bed up with sheets and a comorter.

EnerPlex Queen Air Mattress for Camping

3. Air mattresses with build in frame

This type of air mattress will provide more of a luxury or normal feel since it has a base compared to just sitting on the ground.  You will find many of these in homes or rental airbnb’s for additional sleeping space but a more permanent feel than a traditional air mattress.

4. Hiking air mattresses

This type of air mattress is very light and compact which will make them easy to carry in a hiking pack.  This type of air mattress allows you much more comfort when sleeping outside or in a tent without being difficult to carry.

Benefits of Air Mattresses

  • Perhaps one of the biggest benefits to air mattresses is they make for an instant guest bed.
  • Much more comfortable than a couch or the floor
  • Fast set up and take down
  • Space saving

Cons of air mattresses

  • They can leak air
  • Not a permanent solution
  • Can get mold inside
  • Bad motion isolation

Below are my Favorite Air Mattress Options:

Best Overall

EnerPlex Queen Air Mattress for Camping, Home & Travel – 13 Inch Double Height Inflatable Bed with Built-in Dual Pump

EnerPlex Queen Air Mattress for Camping

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This is a great air mattress for the price for home use or camping (not hiking). With double height you will be well off the floor and not have to worry about bottoming out the mattress.  With the built in pump it is easy and fast to inflate.  This is amazons best selling air mattress for a reason, it is a nice set up for a very low price.  Normal sheets will work on this mattress as well.

Highlights of this air mattress:

  • Multipurpose: Our premium, waterproof air mattresses can be used as a floor mattress at home, a portable bed for traveling, and even as a camping mattress in the great outdoors.
  • Fast Use: Our queen air mattress with built in pump inflates in under 2 min. If camping or traveling, use a portable battery pack or car outlet adapter alongside the pump to inflate.
  • High-Quality: Designed with puncture-resistant PVC, this 13″ blow up mattress has a premium comfort top flocking to prevent leaking and provide non-slip stability.
  • Durable: Our portable, inflatable mattress has a sturdy coil beam construction – perfect for a comfy cat nap in your neck of the woods.
  • Adjustable: To achieve your desired level of comfort, use the built-in, fastest inflating pump on the market to fill up the queen air bed. Let it form and then inflate or deflate to your liking.

Specs & other information:

Best Value

Intex Dura-Beam Standard Single-High Airbed Series

air mattress

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This is a standard inexpensive air mattress.  If you need something cheap but durable for home or for you tent this option could be good for you.

Highlights of this air mattress:

  • Fiber-tech interior construction and a velvety sleeping surface
  • Extra wide opening 2-in-1 valve for fast and easy inflation and deflation
  • Includes hand-held battery pump that can also be used for other inflatables – Operates on 6 C-cell batteries (not included)
  • Standard queen bed size: 60″ X 80″ x 10″
  • Max weight limit: 600 lbs

Best Air Bed with Collapsible Frame

Ivation EZ-Bed (Queen) Air Mattress with Deflate Defender™ Technology Dual Auto Comfort Pump and Dual Layer Laminate Material

Best Air Bed with Collapsible Frame

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This type of air mattress is more luxury.  This is very commonly found in Airbnb’s but is a great solution for any home to give sleepers a more luxury feel with a durable frame underneath vs just the floor.  I personally have one of these at our cabin and my sister does at her Airbnb property.  They work great and do not feel as temporary.  you can adjust the firmness with the dial and the built in pump makes it easy to inflate.

Highlights of this air mattress:

  • EZ-bed Built-In Pump Automatically Inflates and Deflates Airbed In Less Than 4 Minutes, Pump Features Auto Shut-Off Options (Plush, Medium, Firm) To Reach A Desired Comfort Level with Ease
  • Deflate defender™ technology: Maintain your ideal comfort level all night long with the new Deflate Defender™ technology silent secondary pump system and dual laminated PVC to protect you from a saggy or punctured mattress.
  • Self-Deploying Frame Design Allows User to Simply Unzip Case, Plug Into Wall, Turn On, and Walk Away For Easy Set Up
  • Durable Polyester Mattress Top with 48 circular coils provides a Soft and Comfortable Sleep Surface That Also Keeps Your Sheets in Place
  • EZBed Unfolds and Inflates To a Standard Bed Height (24″), Inflated Mattress Dimensions: 79″ X 61″, Bed Deflates and Folds in to a Duffle Bag With Wheels for Convenient Travel and Storage; Bed Fits Standard Twin Sheets, Weight Capacity: 450Lbs

Specs and other information:

Best Air Mattress for Hiking

Sleepingo Camping Sleeping Pad

best air mattress for hiking

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For hiking the most important thing to consider is weight.  This air mattress is very light and compact when deflated.  This air mattress self inflates and is easy to deflate and roll into its stoarge bad that will fit in you pack easily.  At 2″ thick you will find a much more comfortable sleeping surface than just the ground or sleeping bag.  A good night’s rest while hiking is important.

Highlights of this air mattress:

  • 2″ THICK SLEEP SUPPORT – you will love this sleeping pad! Want to sleep comfortably anywhere? No need to suffer with a cheap flimsy short outdoor sleeping pad! This quality portable camping mat pad is perfect. Super sturdy and extremely comfortable. Great for any sleep position.
  • WEIGHS ONLY [14.5 OZ] AND PACKS DOWN TO THE SIZE OF THIN WATER BOTTLE – perfect for a backpacking sleeping pad! No worrying about room in your backpack, no backaches due to heavy weight and very convenient to carry. You’ll wish you found this years ago. Comes with a sleek storage pouch.
  • THIS TOUGH, DURABLE, LARGE AND COMFY SLEEPING PAD FEATURES A LIFETIME WARRANTY – economically and practically efficient with an impressive size blown up of 75″ X 23.” This camping mattress pad will give you the comfort you need.
  • TEAR RESISTANT WITH HEAVY DUTY RIPSTOP NYLON FABRIC – this lightweight sleeping pad is made of super strong waterproof and camping grade ripstop nylon fabric. With an impressive 20 denier thickness, this sleeping pad is used only for the strongest camping equipment designed to last a lifetime in the most severe conditions.
  • HASSLE-FREE LIFETIME REPLACEMENT AND NO NEED TO RETURN – we take pride in our perfect customer service record on Amazon, and we promise to treat you like family – even for gifts! In addition to our lifetime replacement, if you aren’t happy with your purchase, we will simply refund your money – no questions asked – just let the reviews speak for themselves!

Specs and other information:

Best Air Mattress Pump

best air mattress pump

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For those of you who are not buying an air mattress with a built in pump this pump is what I recommend.  I like this one specifically because it has 3 power options.  Built in pumps are not for eveyone, especially for camping if a power source is not available for it.

  1. Normal plugin
  2. Cigarette lighter plugin
  3. Battery power

Many of the ones for sale online do not have a battery backup. Which is why this one is great for camping.

Highlights of this air mattress:

  • 3 Convenient Power Options Support three powers. Home use 110V/220V, Car use 12Volt or 8 AA batteries (not included). Therefore, it is perfect for indoor and outdoor use.
  • Effortless Operation Dr.meter electric air pump are so powerful that it cannot only inflate items but also deflate products by sucking air out! Fast to speed- easy way to inflate airbeds, air boat, air pillow, air stool, air cushion, party celebration.
  • 3 Detachable Nozzles Allows you to inflate/deflate with different items, excellent and powerful air pump.
  • Wide Usages This air pump can be used with airbed, inflatable pool/boat/sofa/bathtub/water bed/swim rings/snow tube/air mattress.
  • Ultra-Compact Portable design, easy to carry and storage, perfect for camping, vacation or outdoor activities.

Main things to consider when buying an air mattress

One of the main things to consider when buying an air mattress is what is its use?

  1. Consider our top pick for quick set up and good comfort for overnight guests in the home.
  2. Is this being the for longer than a week or two?  If so consider the option with the built in frame for a more permanent feel vs an air mattress on the ground.

I’ve given much of my career to write mattress reviews; check these out:

As air mattress are often used on trundle beds, gain more key information by reading my Best Trundle Beds Review.