Are you looking for an affordable bedding option for your home? Regular mattresses are expensive, but we have a solution for you. Air mattresses are the right choice. These aren’t just for camping trips or guest rooms. These beds are the right sleeping solution for your home or communal living situation. Though it is not recommended to make it your permanent sleeping bed. The air mattresses come equipped with an electric or manual air pump with which you can inflate or deflate the mattress as per your required thickness. There are two types of air mattresses available- ‘single high,’ which is also known as standard elevation and ‘double high,’ also known as raised elevation.

Single high mattresses can be inflated up to 10 inches, while double high can be inflated more than 10 inches. Most people consider air mattresses and air beds to be the same,  but the latter one is designed for long term use and has air chambers instead of the coils for extra comfort and has foam as the top layer. These are priced under $150. Buying an air mattress is not as simple as it sounds. There are many aspects to consider while looking for a new air mattress. With that in mind, this air mattress buying guide can help you pick the right one.  Air mattresses are not the same as airbeds, as mentioned earlier. They are not used for patients having spinal cord injury but as a temporary solution during your camping trips, guest rooms, etc.


The air mattresses can be used for multiple purposes other than serving the temporary sleeping surface. Let’s look at the other purposes of these mattresses.


These mattresses are the right option for car camping as they can be easily transported from the car to the campsite for its portable and lightweight feature. They weigh less than 20 pounds when fully deflated. This air mattress may take up a lot of your backpack space; a rollable air mattress is a better option because it can be attached to the exterior of your backpack. While looking for the air mattress for camping tent space is another aspect that you need to consider. For one or two-person tent, the twin and full-size air mattress is the right option. Make sure you measure the interior of the tent before purchasing the air mattress for camping because a larger size can be too wide or too long and won’t fit inside the tent. Before you buy a camping air mattress, note that cold temperatures can increase the chances of deflation during the night. This is why it should be well-built to reduce the risk of deflation.

Guest Rooms

Air mattresses are used as temporary sleep surface for guest rooms or portable bedding that you can even take to someone else’s home. A queen, full or twin size air mattresses are ideal for all occasions as they provide enough room for all individuals without taking a lot of space. Make sure you store the air mattress for guest rooms in a space that is not at risk of any physical damage or excessive heat.

Daily Use

These air mattresses are not designed for everyday use, but some people prefer to sleep on them. Durability is a major concern for this mattress as they deteriorate more quickly when compared to the other types of mattresses. These are ideal for use for those people who suffer pressure in their shoulders, lower back, neck, and back temporarily as they can be inflated or deflated as per your requirements. If you happen to use it for temporary pain relief purposes, ensure it does not lose air during the night. Please note that since these mattresses are not designed for daily use and so the damages (deterioration) may not be covered under the product warranty.

Sleeping In A Vehicle

The air mattresses are an ideal choice for sleeping in recreational vehicles,  SUVs,  motorhomes,  pickup trucks,  minivans, etc. It is a savior when the driver is forced to spend the night in the vehicle because of any unexpected situations.  This is why some people prefer to keep an air mattress in the boot of their vehicle. Some come with stands that fit perfectly in the backseat of most large vehicles. Also, you will find mattresses that are especially available in ‘RV sizes’ that accommodate ideally in most recreational vehicles.

Types of Air Mattresses

One important consideration to make while looking out for the air mattresses is what type do you want. In the past, you would only find blow-up mattresses, but now there are many models available, each having its benefits and limitations. Most people consider buying the raised mattress because it looks similar to the traditional mattresses, is comfortable to sleep on, and also easy to get in and out of bed. The next type available is the convertible air bed. This can also be used as a place to sit on when you are not sleeping. Another option is the air mattress with frame and rails that act more like a permanent sleeping solution.  Self-inflatable mattresses have a pump built in it, which makes it super convenient and simple to inflate.

Air Mattress Size

Air mattresses are available in varied sizes as below:


One of the most crucial points to consider while looking for the air mattresses is the materials it is made of. Most are made from polyvinyl chloride (a synthetic plastic polymer). PVC is used in the production of many products, but it (chlorine in PVC production) has raised many questions on its effects on the human race and the environment. Many air mattresses are made from eco-friendly PVC, which does not include chlorine and thus has no health and environmental concerns. As a substitute to PVC, they are made using rubber or textile backed plastic – Thermoplastic Polyurethane. It is a biodegradable material that does not need any chemical treatments and is considered a healthy and eco-friendly option to PVC.

These are not the only elements you will find the air mattress along with air. These mattresses are designed with micro coils in the first layer for extra comfort and pain relief. You will also find them with memory foam toppers, which provide more contouring and can be rolled up for easy storage.


You neither should sacrifice on your pets nor your sleep. So, if you have a pet who would sleep on the same air mattress as you, then look for the one that is super durable and not easy to puncture (your pet claws can puncture the mattress). High-quality materials can protect your mattress from damage and also make it last longer. Also, a warranty that covers punctures can be helpful to you. For your and your pet’s health, choose a mattress that is made using non-toxic materials.

Ease of Use (Pump)

Inflating requires you to attach an external pump to a nozzle of the air mattress. The pumps can be operated electrically using batteries or manually, using a foot pedal. The battery-powered pumps can be costlier than the manual pumps, but the latter requires a lot of time and energy. Thus, electrical pumps are faster. If the mattress deflates in the middle of the night, you do not have to go through the tiresome process of inflating manually. The only drawback of the electric pump is that it doesn’t come along with the air mattress, and you will have to purchase it separately. Some air mattresses come with internal air pumps. These are operated using buttons and knobs and do not contain any parts that you would lose. A benefit of this air pump is that it can inflate very quickly. The drawbacks are, it is costlier than external air pumps, and if damaged for any reason, then you can’t inflate unless repaired.


The width of the air mattress and comfort are inter-connected. The wider the mattress, the more comfortable you will be.  Queen size mattresses are perfect for those who want to have some extra space while sleeping or couples.  If you have a spacious room, then you should go for a wide mattress.

Air Holding Capacity

This is one of the essential points you need to consider. Before buying the air mattress, you need to be aware that while sleeping, air will be the only thing between you and the ground. This can be a concern if you are sleeping in a cold surrounding, for example, outside the tent.  So if you are camping somewhere and the temperatures may drop during the night, you need to ensure that the air mattress is going to hold maximum air. This is because cold temperatures cause the air to condense,  and thus it won’t provide you enough support. If your a mattress even has a minor leak,  you may end up finding yourself on the ground in the morning. Hence, look for quality air mattresses and check out customer reviews.


The air mattress comes with an affordable price tag. Most mattresses are priced under $150. The low-cost mattresses are made using PVC and without internal pumps, while the high-end ones have memory foam toppers, micro-coils, internal pumps, and made using TPU.


Air mattresses that are internal or external battery-powered produce much noise during inflation. Also, many users claim that they produce squeaking sounds while turning positions at night. Using a pad or topper can help reduce noise.


Most mattresses that you find in the market can take up a minimum of 300 pounds, which is enough for most sleepers and the extra accessories like blankets, pillows, etc. Remember, not all air mattresses have the same weight capacity and thus check this point for various types before buying.

Mattress Weight

Air mattresses are the lightest of all, but when you go camping, it is important to know its weight when deflated. Most weight below 20 pounds, but if you are looking for an air mattress particularly for camping, then look for anything in between 8 to 10 pounds.


Most air mattresses are not as durable as the traditional mattresses.  If you store them and use them occasionally,  it will serve the purpose for quite a long time.

Additional Features

There are a few additional features you need to look into if everyday use is your purpose of buying the air mattress. A non-slip bottom helps the mattress not to slide when you turn positions. Also, side ridges will help keep your sheet fitted.

Air Mattress – Frequently Asked Questions

How to Maintain My Air Mattress?

Storing the air mattress in the right space is very important. Ensure the place is neither too cold nor too hot, also shouldn’t be vulnerable to moisture buildup. If you have pets at home, ensure the mattress doesn’t become their scratching board. Large air mattresses come with a carrying cover which provides additional protection while keeping it portable.

Can Bugs Live on Air Mattresses?

Unfortunately yes! Bugs can crawl on any type of mattress. The only relief is that it is not very difficult to eliminate them compared to memory foam mattresses that are deep, giving more space for the bugs to live. One simple way you can get rid of them is by deflating the air mattress and keeping it in sunlight.

How Can I Sleep More Comfortably on My Air Mattress?

There are a few things that you can do to improve the quality of your sleep on the air mattress, which are:

  • Sleep on a fitted bed sheet.
  • Add a topper for extra comfort.
  • Place the air mattress on a box spring, which will also help you get out of the bed quickly without putting in too many efforts.
  • A headboard over your head will help the pillow not to slip off while you are sleeping. The wall can also work as the headboard.
  • Check the amount of air. If the mattress has too much air, deflate it because it may be too firm to sleep on. In the same way, if there is not enough air, inflate some otherwise it would be too soft and cause body pain.

What Causes Air Mattresses to Bulge?

Bulging is causes due to over-inflation. Blowing too much air into it can cause bubbles. Remember that the seams are not too strong, and blowing in too much air can stretch it, creating bubbles. We hope you find this air mattress buying guide helpful and can make an informed decision with its considerations.