Because there is such a wide variety of good air mattresses around on the market it’s important you know what to look for when choosing one. This is our guide to buying the best air mattresses. Whether it’s for a camp-out, a sleepover, grouchy Aunt Ethel staying for the holidays or for the main room, there are a few things to look for and consider. Below are a few tips and suggestions that will hopefully help you when buying one.
The Best Raised Air Mattresses
A raised air bed is the same height as a normal bed, and it usually has a base or platform that keeps you off the floor. Because it is a little more stable it’s easier to get out of but it is bigger than the other air mattresses and takes up more space. The solid base makes it a little more difficult to move around or from room to room. These air mattress beds are generally more expensive.
The Best Thin or Low Profile Air Mattresses
Thinner or lower profile air mattresses don’t have a base which makes them more portable, slightly cheaper and more convenient. Because it’s a case of “blow and go” these are perfect for camping, backpacking, keeping in the car and impromptu sleepovers.
There is also a sleeping pad, which is the same size, around about the same price and as convenient as the low profile blow up mattress. These are usually flatter, making them easier to pack and fold away.
When it comes to inflating air beds you have two options – an external (outside) pump and a built-in or internal one. External pumps vary in size and are either manually operated, battery or mains powdered. With an external pump mattress you have to make sure you don’t forget it and it is a little less convenient because it is something extra to carry. These blow up mattresses aren’t as popular anymore and manufacturers are slowly phasing them out.
An air mattress with a built-in pump has convenience written all over it. You’re not worrying about losing it, losing parts and it not working. These air mattresses are easier to inflate and as quick to deflate. Because they are more convenient they are more popular and you can get internal-pump air mattresses at really good prices.
Air mattresses have come a long way and nowadays you can get ones that are more comfortable than traditional mattresses and a darn sight more comfortable than the floor or sofa. If you’re in the market for an air bed the best thing to do is ask around, read reviews (like this one) and visit forums to see what people are saying. Even if you’re purchasing online, if you get the chance, try one or two out in a store and make a decision from there.
For added comfort, when buying an air bed, do exactly what you would do with a traditional one – buy one that is bigger and that you fit on more comfortably rather than a smaller size.
Another important feature to look for is how well the quality mattress holds air. The last thing you want is guests waking up on the floor because somehow during the night the air has escaped, turning the comfortable mattress into a PVC sheet.
Find out what the weight capacity of the blow up mattress is, and check the seams to make sure they’re finished off well and are as leak-proof as possible.
The appeal of a blow up mattress is its convenience. For you to get the most use out of it the mattress needs to be easy to inflate, deflate, pack away and store. Depending on what you plan to use it for it needs to be suitable, for example if it’s a camping mattress it must be portable, durable and lightweight while one for the main room at home needs to able to withstand daily use, be leak-proof and be comfortable.
An air mattress with an internal pump is a little more convenient and one that deflates quickly is better than one that doesn’t.
Price is always a factor. Ideally you want one that fits into your room, tent and budget and doesn’t cost a small fortune. When looking at the price consider all the features, the durability and the warranty; sometimes buying too cheap might cost more in the long run. Think about how often it will be used, where it’s going to be used and who will be using it. You can get some great beds at really good prices with a lot of the most important features.
Although it isn’t a deal-breaker it is important to see what is covered under the warranty; is there a return policy or will it be replaced if it is damaged. A one-year warranty is standard with quality air mattresses but there are a few that have extended ones.
Comfort, durability and cost are probably the most important factors when buying a good air mattress, but at the end of the day it comes down to you, your budget and your needs.