An air bed is an incredibly useful item to have around the house that can greatly increase your capacity when it comes to hosting guests. Of course an air mattress is another word for ‘air mattress’ and essentially refers to any inflatable bed that the user can deflate when they no longer need it.
This then allows you to store the mattress out of harm’s way, perhaps under your own bed or in a wardrobe and then bring it out for use whenever a guest comes around and needs somewhere to stay. Air beds can be quick to inflate depending on the make and also very comfortable, making them the ideal solution for hosting multiple people at once.
But of course not all air beds are made equal and some are going to be better suited to different scenarios than others. This buyers’ guide will therefore help you to get the best blow up bed for your home and to provide a comfortable and peaceful night’s sleep for your guests, while simultaneously avoiding wasting money unnecessarily.
We’ll also go over some of the very best air mattresses available right now and compare them in terms of their specifications, price range and features. By the end, you should be able to make an informed decision, leading to a purchase that you can be highly confident in.
There are many different types of air bed depending on your requirements and many different factors to consider when comparing which option is the best fit for your needs.
One obvious consideration is the size. Do you want a double air bed or a single air bed?
For most people, the double makes most sense as it will allow you to host more than one person at once and also cater to couples. It makes for a much more comfortable bed for a single individual too, giving them space to stretch out and make themselves at home. For parties and sleepovers, friends can also share a double in sleeping bags to make better use of the available space.
But double air beds are also more expensive and they take up more room on the floor. If you’re living in a very small apartment, then you may only have room for a single. Likewise, if you have a precise use-case scenario in mind (hosting a particular friend on a regular basis for instance), then you might choose a single to save money.
Note that some air beds will come with a built-in electric pump. This can be a very useful feature that allows the bed to inflate itself while you stand back and watch, or while you entertain your guests. This is a great bonus but of course means the mattress needs to be near a power outlet. It also increases the price.
Other mattresses will require an external pump but if you already have one lying around, then that can save you money. Note as well that a mattress with an external pump will also make more sense for those wanting to take it camping.
The material is going to impact on the durability and the comfort of your air bed. Most modern inflatable beds are made from vinyl while some have a microsuede finish along the top to add extra comfort.
Comfort matters a little less though, seeing as you can easily enough throw a blanket over the top. Our priority here is the thickness of the material and you shouldn’t settle for less than 20 gauge. One of the quickest ways to waste your money is to find a puncture in your air bed days after you have purchased it.
As well as the thickness of the material, you should also consider the thickness of the mattress itself once filled with air. The thicker your mattress, the longer it will be before it needs to be refilled and the less likely it will be for your guests to find something on the ground digging into their back through the mattress. That said, thicker air beds take longer to fill and they take up more space. They also tend not to compress quite so effectively.
The chambers of the air bed refer to the innards that contain the air. The best models will have multiple chambers – sometimes one on each side and sometimes separate chambers for the head rests as well. This is useful as it allows some parts of the mattress to be filled more than others.
For instance, you can opt to fill more air into the mattress on one side if one of your guests prefers a more solid surface to sleep on. Alternatively, you can fill more or less air in the cushion, in order to provide a more supportive headrest versus the support offered by the rest of the bed.
With all that said, let’s dive in to the top air beds currently on the market and see which of them offers the best value and the best features…
The beds will be divided into categories, based on their prices, features and strongest benefits.
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Best Air Mattresses Under $150
Best Air Beds Under $100
Best Air Mattresses Under $50
Unless you’re looking for a permanent fixture in your home, $150 is more than enough to get a top-of-the-range air bed. For those that want to offer their guests a little luxury, this list will provide a great selection of beds that are great value and that can be considered some of the best on offer right now.
With this bed, you get a heavy duty twin air bed with a built in electric pump and a handy remote for increasing and decreasing the amount of air in the chamber. It features 40 air coils and has a gripped bottom and comfortable, waterproof underside. There are 7 firmness settings and it stores very easily. The product measures 15.8x15x7.6inches and is puncture proof with multiple layers of material. It can hold up to 500lbs.
If you have ever used a cheap air bed, then you’ll know how frustrating it is to have it slowly deflate moments after you’ve filled it. It’s embarrassing offering guests a nearly-flat air mattress to sleep too. But with the Lazerly Sleep Air Mattress, guests will have not only a very well pumped (and very tall!) air bed but also the option to casually fill and deflate it at any point with the easy remote and built-in electric pump.
The bed has a very comfortable top and feels firm thanks to internal structure and height. The only downside, other than the slightly higher price, is that this air bed doesn’t store quite as easily as some of the others and will require a closet or another empty space for keeping it. Maybe not one for camping then but then that was never the intended purpose.
This is an interesting option as an airbed that offers something a little different from some of the others on this list. This ‘airbed cot’ combines a relatively thin airbed with zip-up surround material, along with a folding metal frame to raise it off the ground. In that regard, it offers a good balance of the benefits of both a futon and an air mattress.
This product also provides a built-in pump, ‘side tables’ for standing drinks and a rating up to 600lbs. In short, you are getting a lot for your money and will be able to offer more for your visitors compared with a regular air mattress. It weighs 92.64lbs and measures 78x22x59”.
For those looking to offer their guests a little more luxury, without taking up too much space, the Coleman Airbed Cot offers a great solution – allowing you to deflate the mattress when not in use and fold the frame narrow. Guests will have the luxury of cup holders and the bed claims it is suitable for use outdoors.
For $100, you’re looking at some fairly mid-range air beds. That means you’ll get basic features and great usability but won’t get some of the bells and whistles included at the top of the range. There are no folding frames or remote controls here but otherwise, you should still be able to get everything you need to host guests in style!
This mattress includes a built-in pump to inflate your bed in under 3 minutes and comes in at approximately 78x60x18inch. It has a one year warranty and a pillow stop feature to keep pillows in place. A ‘reinforced’ construction promises to help you sleep on a more stable surface.
The bed weighs 17lbs and comes in grey with a striped effect.
This is a great mattress at a budget price for around $80 at the time of writing. It includes a built-in pump to help with quick inflation, meaning that you can have it up and ready to go within minutes. While not huge, this is definitely a reasonably sized double bed and has a good amount of height off the ground to protect your back.
The ‘reinforced structure’ referred to by the manufacturer, describes the inclusion of internal structures that act like beams within the air chambers to help prevent the bed from bouncing around quite as much as they otherwise may do.
The ‘pillow stop’ feature is essentially nothing more than a slightly raised ridge around the edge of the bed designed to prevent the pillows from falling off. Not ground-breaking then but certainly a useful inclusion!
Perhaps the most interesting feature though is the AirTight System, which promises to be completely ‘leak free’. This will keep the air inside your mattress for long periods, so that no one has to wake up with their backside touching the floor!
Overall, this offers a good amount of features and a decent overall quality in regards to the price. That makes it an easy product to recommend, though of course it’s not up there with the very most expensive models and you wouldn’t want to sleep on it every night!
This is an air bed that is aimed at campers but which can just as easily be used around the home to host guests or for a range of other tasks. The bed is very portable for this reason, which makes it a great choice for those that are pushed for space. Also includes a carry bag for easy transportation and thick material to prevent punctures. The bed comes in both a Queen and Twin size.
By buying what is designed first as a camping bed, you are getting a very comfortable bed that will also give you a lot of practical benefits. A bed designed for camping is automatically going to offer you better resistance to scratches and tears, while at the same time providing you with easy transport and storage. It’s a good price too, making this an all-round great choice.
Some of us aren’t looking to make a big investment on an air bed. After all, this is something that will mainly only get used a few times a year when friends come to stay or when we’re camping or travelling ourselves.
In that case, you can get some surprisingly good air beds for under $50. You might find they don’t last quite as long, or that they aren’t quite as comfortable – but of course you get what you pay for. And in every other respect, you should find that these fit the bill nicely!
This is an impressively cheap option for your air bed that will still offer a decent amount of functionality.
The bed can support up to 300lbs, measures 75x39x18” and weighs 9.7lbs. It comes with many of the features seen from Coleman air bed products, including Support Lock, AirTight and Pillow Stop.
This is a very cheap air bed despite featuring some of Coleman’s more high-end features. These include the Support Lock function, which is basically a slightly reinforced construction that provides ‘pillars’ within the air bed to help offer a little more back support and to prevent you from bouncing around. You also get additional ‘Comfort Strong Coil Construction’, which is intended to help create channels to prevent bulging within the bed, among other things.
AirTight as mentioned for previous products means that should experience zero leakage during the night, so that you wake up on an air bed the same size and shape as the one you went to sleep on. The bed promises to be durable, comfortable and convenient and to easily ‘wrap and roll’ when deflated. Product reviews tend to agree and so for this price, it’s a great proposition.
Just why is this bed so affordable compared to some others? Largely it comes down to the fact that there is no included pump – you need to do this yourself. That in turn means that you’re getting a little less for your money but as we have mentioned, this also makes it a better option for campers and for those who already own their own pumps.
Now here’s an airbed with a somewhat unique design proposition and some interesting features. The standout here is the fact that this bed is actually made from two separate air mattress which can be spread out next to one another or stacked on top of each other – but which are connected at the middle to avoid from drifting apart.
The size varies then depending on how you will be using it but when folded, it is a mere 15x11x6” and weighs 11.2lbs (shipping weight).
This is a great purchase if you are a regular host and you want something that will be able to handle a range of different scenarios. And especially if you are looking for something that fits that bill at a very reasonable price of just under $50.
As mentioned, this is not really one air bed but two, which can be zipped together or taken apart. That way, it can become two twin sized beds or one king sized. You can also make the option of having one twin bed with both stacked on top of each other for a particularly tall air mattress and one that will provide a ton of comfort and perfectly cushion you from any uneven bumps in the floor underneath.
The bed otherwise has a few features, such as a soft top for extra comfort, inner coils for additional firmness and wrap ‘n’ roll storage. It also has some of the other features you’ll note from Coleman products, such as the double lock valve and ‘AirTight System’ to ensure air stays in the bed.
The downside is that the bed doesn’t come with its own pump and that it lacks some of the more advanced features. There’s no ‘Pillow Stop’ design for instance (which would have been very easy for the company to implement) and the structure doesn’t have as many supportive features.
While the bed boasts ‘AirTight System’, it also has a lot of precautions about the way that heat and humidity can affect the rate of deflation – which is something you don’t see so much on others like it.
This is a large inflatable Queen airbed that can be used around the home. It is able to fill up quickly thanks to a built-in electric pump and that makes it one of the cheapest models out there to include this feature. The bed is 7.5x14.5x18” and increases to 60x22x80 inches when it is filled up. It utilizes dual chambers, with the lower chamber providing additional springiness and comfort. The top features a flocked ‘mattress’. A carry bag is also included.
Overall, this option is one of the best on the market right now in terms of value for money. That’s thanks to its included electric pump combined with the low price under $40.
While it doesn’t have quite the same features as some of the other models from the likes of Coleman, it nevertheless impresses with a few extras such as the included carry case and the indented sides designed to help keep sheets in place. Also impressive is the height at 22inches, which should keep you well away from the ground throughout the night.
As you can see, it is possible to get some really great value for money when buying air beds and to make big savings versus buying a futon or a permanent bed. As a way to host guests, to sleep comfortably when you are travelling and to save space in your home, air beds are a particularly great choice.
Just remember to consider the different use-case scenarios and which design will best suit your needs. Is this mainly for use around the home? Who will be sleeping on it? Will a power outlet be easily available? And how much space do you have to store it when not in use?
You also have to be careful of course to make sure you aren’t getting a dud that’s going to end up flat as a pancake after your first use – but if you stick to the advice in this guide, you should be fine!