Last updated - April 2017
If you stumbled upon our little corner of the internet, chances are you're looking for the best air mattress for your needs. You might've read reviews of the airbeds, looked at prices, sizes, ratings, materials but you're still not sure what's right for you. If that's the case, you're at the right place.
It's out mission to make it all simple.
Try not to make fun of us after watching the video about what we do...
Before we get any further, let's present the winners of the last update:
Currently best air mattresses - TOP 10:
The best air mattress overall
Best Choice Bamboo Topper air mattress review
With the ratings of 96/100, the "Best Choice" by air mattress.com is the bed that changed everything when it hit the market last year.
It blew the competition away in pretty much all quality categories.
Current ratings - 96/100.
Best air mattress for side sleepers
Fox Plush high-rise with memory foam topper airbed review
If you are looking for the best airbed for side-sleepers, your needs are very specific and not all air mattresses are a good fit.
- you need proper spine alignement
- extra padding for the pressure points at hips and shoulders
- sturdy airbed that distributes weight well
Without a doubt, our top airbed pick for-side sleepers is the Fox Plush with a memory foam topper.
Best air mattress for heavy people
Fox Plush Elevated air mattress review
The primary reason why the Fox Plush Elevated is the best airbed choice for heavy people lays in the fact that it is the only inflatable bed that features a 0.6 mm vinyl, which is 43% thicker than standard PVC used in airbeds.
It also features airflow chambers and at the top for a flatter and sturdier sleeping surface, just what an airbed should provide to those on the heavier side.
Top pick for everyday, long term home use
If you are looking to use an air mattress as a permanent bed and use it long term and every day, you will need an airbed that's:
- Reliable and not prone to punctures or leaks
- Preferably designed using air-coils instead of beams. Coils put less stress on the seams increasing the longevity and lower chances of punctures and leaks.
- Made of higher than average PVC quality
- Going to offer good spine support
You can see our full guide on the best air mattress for everyday, long-term use here.
Best air mattress for guests & guest rooms
Choosing the best air mattress for guests of for your guest room is more sensitive than choosing one for yourself.
We'd like to mention two types of blow up beds that we consider are the best for guests and guest rooms:
- Never Flat air mattresses
- EZ bed air mattress
These are our top picks for guests
Serta Raised Never Flat air mattress review
- The small auxiliary (never-flat) pump keeps the bed inflated by adding air when sensors register a pressure drop
- Inner construction - 35 circular coils for better support
- Comes in Twin,Twin pillow-top, Queen and Queen blue
- Dimensions (queen): 80x60x18"
EZ airbeds - best for guest rooms & guest you'd like to impress
If you're OK with spending a few extra bucks and get and EZ bed, this is the choice that your guests will be talking about at that breakfast table.
An EZ bed is mounted on a steel frame and it sets up & down automatically, in fact, it's pretty impressive to watch.
Our top pick among EZ beds is the Insta EZ, it is pretty much the same product as the Insta EZ with a lower price tag.
Serta EZ airbed review
Fact sheet of the Serta EZ:
- Airbed dimensions: 78x60x22"
- Frame dimensions: 64x54x11.5"
- Three comfort levels: plush, medium & firm
- Inflates & deflates in under 4 minutes
Top-rated airbed by size (single, twin, twin xl, full/double, Queen, King & California King)
But we're in luck because the airbed that's been the top-rated for 6 months (Best Choice with a bamboo topper) comes in 4 sizes:
- Twin XL
This means that our top pick overall is also the top pick among:
Twin XL, Full (Double), Queen & King sizes.
So what we'll do in this section where we are presenting our top pick by sizes is present the runner-ups in the categories where we already have a winner and, naturally, the top-rated blow up beds that are not covered above.
Presenting the runner-ups in each size category
Best Twin air mattress review - Simply Sleeper SS-58RF
For the quality of the materials, the Simply Sleeper Ss-58RF is, we are free to say, a cheap air mattress.
Three layers of PVC - classic PVC is simply made of one layer of vinyl, while this twin airbed includes 3 layers, which makes it one of the most durable and abrasion and puncture resistant inflatable beds on the market.
Inflated dimensions of this twin airbed are: 75.5x40x18".
Single piece construction pump - not something you see often on the market. A pump that's a single-piece as opposed to those that glued together is more reliable, less likely to develop leaks around the pump-area and quieter.
This twin is also the only airbed on the market that you can easily was using soap and water.
2nd best twin XL air mattress review - FOX Plush twin Extra Long
Twin XL air mattress is the same width as a twin (39-40 inches) but it is extra long.
Inflated dimensions of the Fox TWIN XL are: 80 x 39 x 20 inches.
We already mentioned this airbed a few time above and each time we stressed that what sets it apart is just how robust and durable it is.
The increased durability is a result of extra thick materials - one of the few dog & cat-proof airbeds on the list. Claws of a dog or a cat can do little damage to this heavy-duty air mattress.
Current Ratings : 93 / 100
2nd best queen air mattress review - Sleep Restoration
A queen air mattress is pretty much the size of a regular queen bed - 60 x 80.
It is true that dimensions of an air mattress are not always true to size - products of inferior quality can vary up to 10 % because of temperature changes and the vinyl expanding.
This is not the case with the Sleep Restoration in Queen size - it is a true queen size.
What allows this queen inflatable to be completely true to size is the fact that it cannot deform significantly because of the sturdy, layered PVC.
Current Ratings : 92 / 100
2nd top-rated airbed in King size - Fox Plush High-rise
Dimensions of King air mattress are 80x76 inches and, in this case, we have a high-rise sitting at 25 inches.
The King size is yet another category where the Fox Plush airbed is the runner-up and 2nd best-rated.
If you are considering this King airbed, make a special note of the height.
As we stressed - this FOX airbed in King size is the highest model we know - elevated 25 inches of the ground.
Current Ratings : 92 / 100
Best California King air mattress review - Fox Premium Gel Topper
If you are set on getting a California King air mattress, you're in luck.
The choices are limited and it's only Fox that makes airbeds in Cal. King.
Luckily, This Fox Cali King with premium gel foam topper and pillows is also one of the top-products overall.
We already went over its main advantages: the extra tough, heavy gauge PVC, the airflow chambers on the top and the unparalleled height.
Current Ratings : 90 / 100
Top-rated airbeds by profile height (low, mid & high-rise)
Before we move on to present our top picks in each profile height, let us take a moment to make sense of all the terms the companies are using to describe height and what they mean.
Low-rise air mattresses
Low-rise air mattresses can vary in height from 6 to 9.5 inches depending on the brand and the intended use.
These are the terms companies use to describe their low-rise models:
As we mentioned, a low-rise air mattress is any model that's within the range of 6 to 10 inches high.
While some low-rises are thin enough to be used as backpacking airbeds (like the LightSpeed Outdoors model sitting at only 6.25 inches and weighing only 6 lbs) most low-rises are around 7-9 inches high.
They can be used both indoors & outdoors, but the primary use is outdoors and camping.
The low profile makes all the difference if you have to fit the airbed in a slanted tent or the back of SUV when car-camping.
Don't let it confuse you, single high airbeds are just low-rises that come from Coleman that uses the term to separate their product.
The profile range of single high is also 6-9 inches but it's usually 8".
Examples of single high inflatables from Coleman are:
- Coleman Durarest Single High (image below)
- Coleman Quickbed Easy-Stay
- Coleman 4-in-1 (which can "act" as a raised as well)
In spite of how the wording sounds, extra high models from Coleman are just low-rises that are on the higher end of the spectrum (9-10 ").
An example of an "extra high" inflatable bed is Coleman Quickbed Elite Extra High, which you can see in the image below.
If you see the words mid-rise in the name of an inflatable bed, it usually means that it's on the Intex models that are 13-15 inches high.
A few examples of mid-rises from Intex:
- Intex Comfort Plush Mid Rise Dura-beam
- Intex Pillow Rest Mid-Rise (in the image below)
- Intex Deluxe Mid-rise Pillow Rest airbed
High-rise, raised, double-high & elevated airbeds
Raised or high-rise air mattress is a general term used across the industry for any product that's 17-25 " high.
All the other terms like Double-high or Elevated describe raised air mattresses from specific brands.
Double High air mattresses are Coleman products and they have the same profile height like your typical raised inflatable bed.
It's just a way for the brand to try and distinguish their products from the competition.
A few example of a "double-high" airbeds from Coleman:
- Coleman SupportRest Double High
- Coleman SupportRest Premium Double High
- Coleman SupportRest Plus PillowStop Double High
Elevated is, again, just a terms used by Intex to describe a few of their models like:
- Intex Comfort Plush Elevated
- Intex Dura-beam Series Elevated Classic
- Intex Dura-beam Series Deluxe with built-in pump
Profile height of the "elevated" models can be anywhere from 16-22 ".
Our top picks among low-rise, mid-rise & high-rises
Top rated low-rise
Top rated mid-rise
Top rated high-rise
Other types of air mattresses
Let us explore a few alternative types of airbed that are, in some ways, sub-categories of the types we already went over, but feature something specific that separates them from the crowd:
We'll look into:
- Air mattresses with steel frame, rails & legs
- Memory foam air mattresses
- PVC-free (TPU) airbeds
- Pillow-top air mattresses
- Luxury (adjustable) airbeds
Air mattresses with a steel frame, rails & legs
A typical example of an air mattress with a steel frame and legs is the Coleman Cot with side tables and 4D pump.
The main difference between the air mattresses with steel frame &legs and an EZ bed (although they look similar) is the fact that, in these models, the airbed itself is not attached to the frame.
It is the sleeve that's attached to the frame and the inflatable part of the bed goes into the the sleeve.
This means that the cot and the airbed can be used as two sleeping surfaces, which is very convenient for camping.
The Coleman Cot airbed (above) is one of few best air mattresses for camping.
Best memory foam air mattress review
A memory foam air mattress is probably the closest an airbed can come to the feeling of sleeping on a real bed.
Two of the most common issues with airbeds are cold rushes of air and an uneven sleeping surface - both resolved by a memory foam air mattress.
The memory foam topper can come attached to the top of the inflatable bed or it can come separately, which allows you more flexibility when using the bed.
The two example below representative of the two types of memory foam airbeds.
In the Fox Premium Gel Memory Foam, the topper and pillows comes separately and you can decide to use it or not.
In the Comfort Quest Queen memory foam by Comfort Boulevard the foam topper attaches to the inflatable bed with a zipper.
The Aerobed memory foam air mattress (image above) is also designed so that you can attach or detach the foam topper.
Top-rated memory foam air mattress - Fox Plush Gel Premium Foam
Current Ratings : 90 / 100
PVC-free air mattresses - TPU fabric
Vast majority of air mattresses is made of Polyvinyl Chloride or PVC.
While safety concerns related to airbeds are mostly thing of the past and the production is strictly regulated by the ASTM specifications, it is not uncommon for people to go with so-called TPU airbeds.
PVC vs. TPU airbeds
TPU stands for Thermoplastic Polyurethane, which means that it is also a form of plastic.
Main differences between PVC and TPU air mattresses:
- TPU has never been associated with any health risks
- TPU does not off-gas (release any fumes)
- TPU is thicker, heavier and stretches less
- TPU is less prone to punctures and air-leaks
Top rated PVC-free air mattresses for indoor & camping use
Best PVC-free air mattress for camping
Best PVC-free air mattress for home use
Best pillow top air mattress review
A pillow-top air mattress is a model that includes a topper, usually made of latex padding.
The pillow-top is either stitched right into the edges of the bed, attaches with a zipper or a fitted elastic band much like a fitted sheet would.
Currently highest-rated pillow-top air mattress is the Serta Raised Never Flat Pillow-top.
Fact sheet of the Serta Never Flat Pillow-top:
- Two pumps - main pump that inflates and deflates the bed and the Never Flat pump that keeps it firm through the night
- Washable fitted pillow-top padding
- Pillow-top water and puncture resistant
- Size: Queen
- Height: 18 "
- Auto shut-off pump
Conclusions and final thoughts on our best air mattress picks and their reviews
What we do, the process, is a living, breathing thing and it changes.
We started with a few very simple techniques like throwing a few sacks of flour onto an inflated mattress and see how well it holds air over time and moved onto a process that we have today.
A process that is tweaked over time to produce the best and more reliable results anybody possible can aside industrial level testing.
Today, the process is pretty much the best we can do and it changes very little but it still does, we still tweak the rating criteria ever now and then if we deem fit but we pretty much test the inflatables like nobody else out there.
That's not all, 3beds looks beyond air mattresses. You'll find a ton of sleep research article, tips and how-to guides, just browse around our top menu.
If there are a few points we'd like you to take away from what we talked here, it’s these:
- We are objective in our testing and don’t accept “sample products”
- We test every product we list
- The final rating is not our “OPINION”. It’s a rating reached through a series of tests, both in-house and by our featured testers and scores it received in online user reviews
- We keep the results up-do-date by revisiting each rating every two months
Bottom line – the products and their rating you see on 3 Beds are as reliable, impartial as it gets.
We are committed to doing the work of protecting good people from bad mattresses.
3 Beds team