The right air mattress is key for a good night's sleep, even if it's just for a few days. Whether you're hosting overnight guests, going on an outdoor camping trip, or are in a temporary living situation where you need to use one every day, a quality air bed that doesn't break the bank is ideal. For the most comfortable and convenient experience, you'll want an inflatable mattress that's easy to set up, compact to carry and store, and won't leak air overnight while you're using it.
The Good Housekeeping Institute's Textiles Lab tested inflatable air mattresses for durability, overnight leakage, puncture resistance, and more. We then had real consumer testers set up the mattresses and lie on them to rate the ease of use and comfort. The picks ahead are from brands that have done well in our tests along with newer models that have unique features and rave reviews from users.
Read on to learn more about our top picks and shopping tips, but to summarize, the best air mattresses you can buy in 2021 are:
Best Overall Air Mattress: SoundAsleep Dream Series Air Mattress
Best Value Air Mattress: Intex Comfort Plush Elevated Dura-Beam Airbed
Best Dual-Pump Air Mattress: Insta-Bed Raised Air Mattress
Best Adjustable Air Mattress: Lazery Sleep Air Mattress
Best Extra-Long Air Mattress: King Koil Luxury Air Mattress
Best Air Mattress for Camping: EasyStay 4-N-1 Airbed
Best Air Mattress for Kids: AeroBed Air Mattress for Kids
How to find the best air mattress
There are several key features to consider as you shop:
Pump: Options include manual, battery-operated, and outlet plug-in. Most air mattresses come with a pump (either attached or separate), but sometimes you'll need to purchase one separately.
Inflation time: The mattress should be able to inflate and deflate in just a few minutes. This is typically listed as a specification from the manufacturer.
Height: A taller air mattress that's at least 18-inches high is typically more comfortable, but a lower profile one is easier to roll up and carry. It comes down to personal preference and whether you're using it at home or on the go.
Air chambers: The most supportive air mattresses have vertical air chambers or coils that help distribute weight. Air beams that run side to side can still feel comfortable, but you may notice some sagging when you lie down. You can spot the difference by looking at the surface: Ones with the less supportive air beams look like rows.
Flocked fabric: The material feels like suede and can be found on the top side of air mattresses (so it doesn't feel like you're sleeping on plastic) as well as the bottom (to prevent slipping on hardwood floors).
Best Overall Air Mattress
SoundAsleep Dream Series Air Mattress
With over 21,000 Amazon reviews and an average 4.3-star rating, this is one of the most popular air mattresses you'll find online. It has 40 air coils for support, a grippy bottom for slip-resistance, and a built-in pump that can inflate and deflate in under four minutes. It's also 19 inches tall, making it easier to get on and off. This one's perfect for everyday use (i.e. more than just a night or two): One online reviewer said once he inflated it, he didn't need to add more air for a solid two weeks, despite the fact that he slept on this mattress every night.
Available sizes: Twin, Twin XL, Queen
Best Value Air Mattress
Intex Comfort Plush Elevated Dura-Beam Airbed
This one costs less than others, but it doesn't lack any necessary features. You can also choose from three heights — 13, 18, or 22 inches — depending on whether you want a low profile or a tall bed. Even at the tallest height, the manufacturer says this mattress takes under five minutes to fully inflate and can support up to 600 pounds — meaning two people can easily share the bed. It comes with a built-in electric pump, but a manual pump can also be used, making it great for situations when an outlet might not be accessible.
Available sizes: Twin, Full, Queen
Best Dual-Pump Air Mattress
Insta-Bed Raised Air Mattress
This two-pump system uses unique technology to prevent sagging. The first pump is used to inflate and deflate and has an automatic shut-off when it's full with air, while the second pump stays on all night and automatically adjusts the air pressure to keep it fully inflated. The circular coils and 18-inch height help make it feel more like a real mattress and the flocked finish means you won't notice any plastic underneath your sheets.
Available sizes: Queen
Best Adjustable Air Mattress
Lazery Sleep Air Mattress
Sleeping on an air bed doesn't mean you have to settle for sub-par comfort: This one comes with an attached remote control that lets you pick from seven firmness levels ranging from "soft plush" to "extra firm." The remote can also be used for inflation and deflation thanks to the built-in pump. It's more expensive than others, but users say it's worth the splurge thanks to its comfort and ease of use.
Available sizes: Twin, Queen
Best Extra-Long Air Mattress
King Coil Luxury Air Mattress
California King beds are ideal for taller people that need extra length, but they're hard to find when it comes to air mattresses. Not only is this air bed available in a California King size, it also has top-of-the-line features like coils, flocked materials on the top and bottom to prevent slipping, and a speedy inflation of just two-and-a-half minutes with its built-in pump. It also has thousands of five-star reviews on Amazon from users who rave about the bed and the brand's customer service.
Available sizes: Twin, Queen, California King
Best Air Mattress for Camping
Coleman EasyStay 4-N-1 Airbed
No matter the situation, this air mattress is ready. The set comes with two twin-size mattresses that can be used separately, attached to make a king, or stacked and secured with a clip to make a taller, more supportive single bed. Once you're ready to head home, the unique “Wrap ‘N’ Roll” storage system lets you roll the mattress right into the attached bag as soon as it's deflated. The one catch is that you'll need to purchase a pump separately.
Available sizes: Convertible Twin to King
Best Air Mattress for Kids
AeroBed Air Mattress for Kids
This air mattress is the perfect solution for a child who is too old for a crib or Pack 'n Play, but not yet ready for a regular bed. It's built with four-inch safety bumpers around the edges, and even if your child were to accidentally roll off, the bed is just a few inches off the ground.
The mattress also comes with a fitted sheet that straps on to stay securely in place and can support up to 300 pounds, so you can still climb into bed with your little one for story time.
Available sizes: Twin
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