Air mattresses are an extremely convenient, space-saving option for guests, especially when you don’t have enough spare rooms. They are also a great choice if you’re on a tight budget, with the cost of traditional mattresses and box springs being particularly prohibitive.

In this article we take a look at some of the very best options out there. Among these fantastic options, our top choice of air mattress is the Intex Dura-Beam Airbed. The pillow-top design is super comfortable, it’s easy to inflate, and the ‘Fiber-Tech Interior Construction’ ensures you’ll feel well supported all night long.

Interested to learn more? Check out our in-depth reviews and buying guide below.

  • Full size model with 13” height
  • Edge Lock Construction
  • Comfortable Pillowtop Air System
  • Internal electric pump
  • Patented Fiber-Tech Interior Construction
  • 300lb weight capacity

  • Queen size with 18” mattress height
  • Built-in headboard
  • Cushioned Pillowtop Air System
  • Durable Fiber-Tech Interior Construction
  • Internal electric pump
  • 600lb weight capacity

  • Twin size with 16.5” height
  • Internal electric pump
  • Waterproof flocked top
  • Internal double-layer wave beam construction
  • 300lb weight capacity
  • 30-day warranty

  • Queen size mattress
  • Battery-operated pump
  • 500 pound capacity
  • Patented stabilizing system
  • Durable, abrasion-resistant TPU construction
  • 1-year warranty

This air mattress by Intex is our top choice. This full-sized model has an excellent 13-inch height to keep you off the floor for a more comfortable night’s sleep. Engineered with a patented Fiber-Tech Interior Construction, this model offers enhanced support, stability and comfort thanks to the thousands of high-strength strands of polyester fibers that support the interior. The edge-lock construction further ensures a comfortable night’s sleep, as does the Pillowtop Air System for added comfort.

With its internal electric pump and 300-pound weight capacity, this air bed is a fantastic all-round choice. Just be aware that the vinyl can smell a little when first purchased and you will need to air this model for several days before the smell fully subsides. In addition, while the top and sides are reinforced, the bottom of this air mattress is made from less substantial material and is therefore more susceptible to a puncture. Nonetheless, this still makes an excellent air bed for regular or occasional use.


  • Edge Lock Construction & Pillowtop Air System for a comfortable nights’ sleep
  • Internal electric pump inflates bed in minutes
  • Patented Fiber-Tech Interior Construction provides support throughout the night


  • Odor from vinyl when new
  • Bottom surface could be more durable

If you are looking for an extra comfortable air mattress, then check out this queen model by Intex. Our upgrade pick features a built-in headboard to give your guests extra comfort. Not only will this stop your pillows from falling, it also serves as a great back support for reading or watching TV. With a generous 18-inch height, this luxurious queen-sized inflatable mattress utilizes Dura Beam Deluxe Fiber-Tech Technology to provide extra comfort, support, and stability. This model also benefits from an internal electric pump, a cushioned Pillowtop Air System for even greater comfort, as well as a 600lb weight capacity that makes it suitable for use by the majority of couples.

While this is one of the best air mattresses on the market, it is rather difficult to fold it back up into its carry bag after use. Moreover, the power cord is located at the opposite end to the headboard. Assuming you place the headboard against the wall, the electric cord could become an unnecessary trip hazard.


  • Built-in headboard provides that “real bed” feeling
  • Cushioned Pillowtop Air System for comfort
  • Durable Fiber-Tech Interior Construction give support in all the right places
  • Internal electric pump for rapid inflation


  • Difficult to fold up into carry bag
  • Cord located at bottom end of bed

If you’re looking for a bed on a budget, then take a look at the Intex Raised Airbed, our best budget choice. This twin-sized inflatable mattress has a respectable 16.5-inch height as well as an electric internal pump for your convenience. It inflates within just three minutes, making it a quick and easy solution to putting up any unexpected guests. With its 300-pound weight capacity and internal double-layer wave construction, this air mattress is not only great value for money, but also great quality. Featuring a waterproof flocked top that will help to increase your comfort and keep you warmer, this mattress is a great choice for anyone looking for a just-in-case spare bed.

The only drawbacks are that it is rather difficult to get it folded back up into its bag and, when inflating, the pump can be rather loud. Furthermore, the internal pillow rest may not be to everyone’s liking. Depending on your preferences, you may find that it is either too high to be comfortable or not high enough for adequate neck support.


  • Internal electric pump for easy inflation
  • Waterproof flocked top protects mattress from water damage
  • Internal double-layer wave beam construction provides great support during the night
  • Three-minute inflation


  • Hard to fit back in its bag
  • Pump is very loud
  • Pillow rest not to everyone’s liking

This inflatable queen-sized mattress by Lightspeed is our best choice for travel. Made from a durable, lightweight and abrasion-resistant TPU, it is an ideal choice if you are looking for an air mattress to take with you on your travels, weighing in at just 5.6 pounds. It also benefits from a patented stabilizing system that evenly distributes weight to minimize bouncing and movement disturbances. It comes with an included battery operated pump so you can use it wherever you go.

While this makes an excellent option for traveling, bear in mind that when fully inflated it is only seven inches deep. There are also no batteries included for the pump, so be sure to stock up before you make your purchase and hit the road with it. Regardless, this lightweight, compact, and durable inflatable mattress makes a good choice for the traveller. If, though, you are looking for extra comfort and use at home, we suggest checking out the Intex Dura-Beam Airbed.


  • Extremely lightweight, making it great for travel
  • Patented stabilizing system reduces bouncing
  • Highly durable


  • Only seven inches high
  • No batteries included

Comparison Chart

Intex Dura-Beam AirbedIntex Dura-Beam Deluxe AirbedIntex Raised AirbedLightspeed Airbed Mattress
Dimensions (in)75 x 54 x 1321.1 x 16.9 x 9.475 x 39 x 16.579 x 55 x 7
Weight Capacity (lbs)300600300500
Battery-powered PumpXXX
Electric Internal PumpX
Weight (lbs)15.927.313.36

Buyer’s Guide:

Air Mattresses

For everyone from students in single-semester living arrangements, travelers, campers, frequent family visitors, air mattresses are much more useful than they are often given credit for at first glance. Transportable, inexpensive, and a lot more comfortable than a sleeping bag on the floor or rolling off the sofa, air mattresses are an excellent way to get a good night’s sleep.

Unexpected guests can drop in at any time, or travel problems could result in family members needing to stay over at the last minute. If you have a small home or little spare room, an air mattress can be put up in your lounge in next to no time and conveniently taken down again the next day. Air mattresses are also much cheaper alternatives to purchasing a traditional mattress along with a box spring. So, whether you’re on a tight budget, moving between houses, or saving up for the bed of your dreams, purchasing an air bed can be a great way to save money.

There are several different styles of air bed available, but in general all air mattresses can be split into the two main categories of indoor versus outdoor mattresses. Naturally, there is often some overlap and, depending upon whether you prefer “glamping” or camping, an indoor style can be used outdoors and vice versa. Let’s take a look at the main characteristics of these different types of air mattress.

Indoor Air Mattresses

Air beds intended for indoor use are generally heavier and contain electric pumps that need to be plugged in. While they are still manufactured to not puncture easily, the home environment naturally presents fewer risks than the great outdoors. As they are often purchased for use as pop-up spare beds for guests, this type of air mattress can be a lot higher than the outdoor variety and is designed to provide greater comfort often at the expense of portability and weight. You may find that your indoor-use air bed has a greater level of all-round comfort and special features such as internal “threaded beams” for greater support, or even an inflatable headboard for a more homey look.

Outdoor Air Mattresses

If you are looking for an air bed for camping you will need one that can be inflated with a manual pump or from your vehicle. If you are staying at a campsite and have a large tent, you will probably prefer to purchase and use an indoor air mattress, but if you have a small tent and are looking to get closer to nature, then a compact air mattress designed for outdoor use can provide you with extra comfort and make your trip go much better with a more comfortable night’s sleep.

Designed to be highly portable and lightweight, this style of air mattress can also be easily transported. Their low height and waterproof material make them a great choice for camping, just be sure to double check your ground sheet before inflating in case of any debris or underlying vegetation or sharp stones. While this type of air mattress is optimized for use outdoors, you could certainly spend a comfortable night indoors on one or offer it to any unexpected guests.

Air mattresses are extremely simple to use. Before unpacking and inflating your air bed, we recommend taking a few moments to assess the area where you are thinking of using it. You will need to be near a power outlet and away from any possible puncture hazards. If possible, give the area a quick vacuum or brush over.

Once you’re sure that there are no potential puncture hazards in the vicinity, you can proceed to inflate your air mattress. Follow the manufacturer’s usage directions, to make sure that your air mattress is correctly inflated. As air beds can often expand slightly with their first use, we recommend inflating your new air bed a few hours before when possible. Then, just before use, top up with extra air to ensure that any slack that may have formed is filled. Remember, you should only ever fill your air mattress to around 90% capacity. This will ensure that you have a comfortable sleeping experience and will not roll off an over-filled air bed or risk splitting the seams.

With so many different models to choose from, it can seem like a challenge working out how to choose the best air mattress. Here’s our guide to some of the most essential features that you should consider when choosing your new air bed.


If you are purchasing an air bed for yourself, then choose the size that suits you best. If you are looking for an air mattress for guests, you will probably be best looking at a queen size inflatable mattress. That way, you can put up couples for the night as well as an individual. Queens can also be a good choice for sleeping your grandkids or nieces and nephews, if they cannot regularly visit.

Once you have decided upon your air mattress size, double check the dimensions before you purchase. Sometimes, some less scrupulous manufacturers don’t always respect the predefined dimensions. In this case, you could find that your bedding won’t fit your new air mattress. It’s always best to double check the exact dimensions correspond to the standard traditional mattress sizes.

Weight Capacity

For single air beds, you shouldn’t have much of an issue, but the weight capacity for queen mattresses can vary substantially. When you consider that some models can vary by as much as 300 pounds extra capacity, there’s a huge difference. If you are purchasing an air bed for occasional guest use, we strongly recommend going with a model that has a high maximum weight capacity so that it can support the weight of anyone who may need to use it.

Internal Electric Pump

When you purchase an air bed with an internal electric pump, inflating and deflating becomes extremely simple. Plug in your air bed and press the button to inflate it in minutes. Internal pumps make for easier storage and ensure that the pump doesn’t get misplaced or used for other purposes. With an internal electric pump your air mattress can be inflated and ready for use in minutes.

Option to Attach Manual Pump

This option is extremely useful and means you can use your inflatable mattress in a variety of situations, such as outdoors or during a power outage, without the need for electricity.


If you are looking for an inflatable mattress for occasional guests to your home, then weight will most probably not be an issue. If, though, you are looking for an air mattress for camping, you will probably appreciate a lower weight mattress for greater portability.

Sleeping Surface Material

As air mattresses tend to be rather cold to sleep upon, some air mattresses offer a brushed fabric upper that will help to add to your heat and comfort levels. Others have a pillow style construction for optimized comfort and a better night’s sleep.

Internal Supports

In order to maintain a decent height, high-rise air mattresses need some kind of internal support. Certain models have developed lightweight fabric supports that can be used to improve the stability and comfort of your air mattress.

Carry/Storage bag

Whether you’re looking to take your air mattress camping, or to store it in your closet, a carry or storage bag is a handy addition that will make using or transporting it a lot easier.


Some air beds include inflatable headboards, which can provide an additional level of comfort and relaxation. An inflatable headboard will give you or your guests greater support and comfort when reading or watching TV and can make your inflatable mattress look much more like a traditional bed.


  • Inexpensive – If you need a cheap sleeping solution then an air bed can save you a lot of money, as they are much cheaper than traditional mattresses This can be especially useful when you’re moving house, in temporary accommodation, or lodging with a friend.
  • Saves Space & Easy to Store – Store your inflatable mattress in your closet then turn your living area into a temporary bedroom. Having an air mattress enables you to save space, converting living areas to bedrooms quickly and easily without the need for any permanent transformation.
  • Highly Portable – Folding down neatly into a convenient carry bag, an inflatable mattress is highly transportable compared to a traditional mattress.


  • Easily Punctured – Unfortunately, air mattresses can often be easily punctured. Before inflating your air bed, always check the vicinity for any possible puncture hazards and keep any pets off your air bed to avoid their claws puncturing the surface.
  • Short Lifespan – With regular use, your air bed will not last as long as a traditional mattress and box spring will. If you are thinking of using an air bed as a permanent sleeping solution, bear in mind that you will probably need to replace it at least once every 12 months.
Air Mattresses


  • Inexpensive
  • Space-saving & easy to store
  • Portable


  • Prone to punctures
  • Short lifespan

  • Can air mattresses get bed bugs?
  • Bed bugs tend to be found in traditional mattresses where they can hide away in the fabric. Traditional mattresses with their soft filling provide ideal environments for bedbugs to thrive, being also warm and near to their food source, your body. Air mattresses, on the other hand, do not provide the kind of environment that favors bed bugs. For a start, air mattresses are filled with air, so bed bugs won’t have a hiding place where they can live and breed within your mattress.

  • Are air mattresses easy to clean?
  • Yes, they are extremely easy to clean. Before you clean your air mattress for the first time, though, be sure to check the manufacturer’s recommendations. Certain cleaning products could potentially damage your mattress so always check first. If there are no contra-indications, or if there was no cleaning information included with your purchase, use a soft damp cloth with a mild soap.

    Be sure to clean your air bed while it is inflated using gentle strokes. Once you have finished cleaning, leave your air bed to dry thoroughly before deflating it and folding it up for storage. If you are using your air mattress to stand in for a regular bed, it can be a good idea to give it a quick wipe over every time you change your bedding.

  • Can air mattresses explode?
  • It is highly unlikely that your air mattress will explode. You should, however, always supervise it while inflating and never overinflate. Doing so can stress the seams and increase the likelihood of your air bed developing a rupture or slowly losing air.

    Most air mattresses will stop pumping once a certain resistance has been reached, others feature safety valves that will let air out once you begin to overinflate your mattress.

  • Are air mattresses cold to sleep on?
  • Air mattresses lack the insulating properties found in traditional mattresses. When you lie down on your air mattress at night, your body heat will warm up a layer of air nearest to your body. The air further away will be colder, this difference in temperature will create a convection current and your body will continue to heat the cold air that is now next to it as the previously warmed air cools.

    In order to help you to stay warm when using an air mattress, we recommend that you place a thick but light blanket under your bottom sheet. This will help you to retain some of your body heat and keep you considerably warmer than just a bottom sheet alone.

  • How long should an air mattress last?
  • The lifespan of your air mattress will all depend upon how well it’s made, how often you use it, and the conditions of use. A good quality air bed with occasional use can last for several years, however, there is always the risk that it could get punctured early on.

    Air mattresses that receive more regular use will probably last for considerably less time, often less than a full year. If you regularly move your air bed to different locations, don’t forget to thoroughly check the area where you will be inflating it for potential puncture hazards. If you are purchasing an air mattress for occasional use by young family members who come to visit, try to ensure that they don’t bounce around too much on your inflated mattress in order to prevent shortening its lifespan.

Final Thoughts

Air mattresses can come in handy in a wide variety of situations. Whether you need to purchase one today for some imminent visitors or you just like to be prepared, we hope our reviews and buying guide has helped you to find the right match for your needs.

While the comfort and simplicity of the Intex Dura-Beam Airbed makes it our top choice, we recommend opting for the Intex Dura-Beam Deluxe Air Bed if you’re looking for the most luxurious inflatable mattress. Featuring a headboard for extra comfort and relaxation possibilities, this top-of-the-range air mattress also has a 600-pound weight capacity, Deluxe Fiber-Tech Technology, and an internal electric pump to inflate within minutes.

Budget shoppers should check out our best budget choice: the Intex Raised Air Bed. This twin-sized air bed has a substantial 16.5-inch height, an internal electric pump, and can inflate in just three minutes. Its waterproof flocked top and internal double-layer wave beam construction make this comfortable model excellent value for money.

Lastly, if you like to hit the road and enjoy the great outdoors, the highly-durable, lightweight, and portable Lightspeed Airbed Mattress should be top of your shopping list.

Further Reading

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