The best air mattress overall is the one category it all comes down to, all the testing, dozens of mattresses, 1000s of man-hours, dozens of featured testers and their reviews, resulting in ONE list of 3 products that deserved a spot at the very top.
Without much ado, let us present the winners of the latest update:
TOP 3 airbeds – December 2016 update
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What happened since the last update?
We’ve had our share of “set-in-stone” categories over time, but this one definitely takes the cake.
Nothing has changed on our list of winners in the last 5 updates, and the current one is no exception to this, let’s face it, boring tradition.
None the less, the sheer abundance of new info (in-house/outsourced tests + user feedback) is sure to keep us well occupied in our search for the best air mattress currently on the market…
Individual reviews of the top-rated
Let’s explore every one of our past-and-future winners until we make sure we’ve left no stone unturned. We’ll go over their basic info sheets, some PROs and CONs shared by the users and our honest and unbiased conclusion at the end.
Let’s break the ice with our king of the hill….
SoundAsleep Dream Series Queen Size Inflatable Mattress
This air mattress is the crown jewel in our little inflatable kingdom.
We all know it’s been dominant in every category that would have it and the best air mattress overall is definitely not an exception.
Current ratings, main PROs and CONs
SoundAsleep - Queen/Twin
- Supportive and comfortable - Comfort Coil
- Thick quality materails - puncture resistant
- Top score in air retention
- Fast, reliable pump
- Great value for money
- Tends to go out of stock
- Queen size only when fully inflated
- No color choices
Let’s kick things off with the specs (as listed by SoundAsleep):
- ComfortCoil Technology is the leading design on the market, featuring extra support and durability through 40 separate comfort coils
- 1-click built-in patented pump inflates or deflates the mattress in less than 4 min
- Perfect air mattress for guests, relatives and friends
- Inflated dimensions – 78” x 58” x 19”
- Double-high raised inflatable bed featuring the construction with dual chambers
- Sure-Grip bottom for sliding prevention
- The top is flocked, extra thick and waterproof with multilayer pierce-resistant material
- Guarantee – 1 year
- Support available nonstop via call/E-mail
Now that’s a product specification we all know and love, it’s been dominating the category as far back as we can remember. The SoundAsleep Dream Series air mattress seems to be here to stay.
We got all the preliminary info in one tight little package, so let’s broaden the scope by taking a look at what users and featured testers had to say in their recent comments:
Positive feedback shared in consumer reviews:
- SoundAsleep Queen is a beast among air mattresses! You just can’t beat that quality, at least not in this price range. I’ve had an AeroBed I paid around 300 bucks for, and it was on par with this little guy. Great price, excellent buy!
- SoundAsleep is our go-to brand when it comes to air mattresses. I already had one in Queen Size before, and it bit the dust after whole 3 years of heavy abuse. We used it as our main bed, even though the company recommends against it. Durable as hell, so we’re sticking to it as long as they make them like this!
- The flocked top of this inflatable bed is really something else. It holds the sheets like they’re glued to it, feels very soft and pleasant to the touch and, most importantly, leaves all of my spilling accidents consequence-free
- I really dig the small indentations on the surface. They’re just the right depth. If they were any deeper, they would be totally uncomfortable, but the way they are, they just add to the overall feeling of complete support
- I’ve had pressure points problems for as long as I can remember. I almost laughed my own mother out of the room when she suggested an air mattress. Who would’ve guessed she was actually on to something. After days of concentrated nagging, I’ve decided to bite the bullet and buy the damn thing. Best decision ever!!! It supports me perfectly, aligns my spine and has just enough give for my hips and shoulder to sink in. I guess mother knows best after all
- The thing that surprised me the most about this portable bed is how firm the sides are. That’s something I never expected I’ll see outside of a regular mattress. They can support my weight no problem, so I don’t have to dive into bed always aiming for the center
- The built-in pump is really powerful, and it inflates the mattress in just a couple of minutes. This makes it incredibly easy to set up. I especially like that I can also deflate it the same way instead of squeezing the air out manually
- I really like the height of this air mattress. It’s much easier to get in and out of the bed this way. I used to sleep on low-rise beds for long enough, and it started messing with my back that’s already pretty busted. This buy was the best thing I could’ve done for my spine, and it didn’t burn a hole through my pocket to match
Let’s take a look at some of the downsides:
- The tag says SoundAsleep Queen Size air mattress, but it appears a bit smaller. I haven’t done the measuring still, but I’ll get around to doing it when I post an update to this review
- I wish it were just a bit higher. I’m having some serious issues with my back, and every inch helps…
- It’s heavier than I imagined it will be. I’m talking about the weight of a deflated mattress. I though air mattresses are supposed to be lighter than this
- The built-in pump is pretty loud. Luckily, the mattress holds air like crazy, so I don’t have to use it often
Our final opinion in a nutshell
Our opinion on SoundAsleep air mattresses is already well-known, it’s by far the best inflatable bed out there way beyond its modest price range.
The Dream Series has hit the market in the middle of 2013, and it has reigned supreme ever since.
Somnio LLC, the owner of the SoundAsleep brand, has announced a lot of new models coming in the next quarter, so we can’t even imagine what they’re cooking in their New Jersey corporate headquarters.
This line of portable beds is known for its ComfortCoil Technology, which finally separated the air chambers within the mattress into 40 compartments, providing much better support and structural stability of the mattress. thousands of user reviews on Amazon alone, and almost a 5-star rating are a perfect showcase of the customer attitude towards changes these mattresses introduced.
We always like to see buzz words such as “patented” in product specification and Dream Series is positively brimming with them. Besides its chamber tech, we also have a patented built-in pump, which is a wonder of modern air mattress design.
One more thing that gives us our piece of mind with this air mattress is Eco-friendly PVC. PVC is one of the most toxic plastic materials out there, for both humans and the environment, so making the material softer with Eco-friendly plasticizers is definitely a load off. The SoundAsleep line was among the first to introduce this trend.
We mustn’t fail to mention the super elegant design of this line. The buyers are absolutely bananas for the blue-on-beige combination, silk lines and clean look.
Comfort, Durability, Air retention…it’s all there
The standard goodies are here as well. Things like comfort, longevity, solid construction, air retention, water and slip-resistance, thick puncture-resistant material, and others are also a part of the perfect combo that is SoundAsleep.
So, if you’re asking us whether or not this air mattress is a good idea, the whole team behind 3Beds has one resounding YES for you. It’s the top-of-the-line product on the market today and has been for more than two years now. It casts a shadow over much more expensive models and continues to “terrorize” them all over our ultimate guides. The company also makes great camping beds – if you’re interested in a low rise you can red more on the dedicated page of the SoundAsleep Camping Series.
Excluding the luxury models that cost a couple of thousand, it’s our opinion that this is the best air mattress on the market today. Enough said.
Runner-up: Fox High-Rise Plush Airbed
Fox air mattresses are “beasts” among inflatable furniture and they’re your best bet if you’re after that “regular bed” feeling. They’re comfortable and heavy-duty, so they’ll feel more like your old-school bed whereas, for example, SoundAsleep will be much lighter.
Current Ratings of the Fox Plush Airbed
Fox Plush High Rise
- by Far the best option for extra tall people
- very big - the measurements are that of the actual sleeping surface
- comfortable and supportive
- durable - 43 % thicker PVC used
- extra height
- too big for small rooms
- reports of defective pumps (don't fully deflate the bed)
- reported structucal flaws - chambers bursting and bulges developiong
- Air-flow chambers
- 43 percent thicker vinyl
- Built-in pump for quick inflation/deflation
- External air mattress pumps are also applicable
- Warranty – 90 days
As always, Fox Beds keeps its product info sheet short and not overly informative. Luckily, we have other means of getting to the bottom of this.
Positive experiences users shared about this inflatable bed:
- This portable bed sleeps great, and the height did wonders for my arthritic issues. I’ve hurt my back too many times trying to get out of the bed that was too low. Excellent for unexpected guests, but also as the main bed
- I’ve burnt through several cheaper air mattresses and finally decided to put my money where my mouth is and go for a premium model. I’ve been using it daily for about 4 months now, inflating it and deflating constantly. It holds like a champ, remains super comfortable and it’s so easy to deflate and tuck under my sofa. Totally worth the money!
- The biggest plus in my book is the fact that it stays completely inflates all throughout the night. My back and I like our sleeping surface crazy firm, and that’s exactly what we got with this inflatable mattress
- Fox air beds are the best! They’re a Cadillac among air mattresses! This is my third plush high-rise, and the previous two have served me the grand total of 5 years. Durable little guys. They’re a bit more expensive than your cheap Intex air mattress at Wallmart but definitely worth the extra cost
- It came here much before expected, and it was packaged really well. There’s absolutely no chance of it getting damaged during transport
- I’ve read a TON of air mattress reviews, and I really liked what people said about this Fox air mattress. I’ve decided to follow my hunch. Invest a bit more cash and I wasn’t disappointed. All the positive reviews were absolutely true!
- My wife and I bought this air bed to sleep when we visit our son. We stayed for 4 days last time, and the bed passed its first test with flying colors. It’s extremely comfortable and didn’t need any additional air during our whole stay
- It’s very simple to use and set up. I didn’t have to buy any extra sheets since my deep pocket fitted set works just fine
- I always liked customizability with air mattresses, and this one is no exception. It lets me adjust the firmness according to the current state of my back, so every night is as comfortable and pain-free as it can possibly be. I use the firm setting the most, and the mattress is as firm when I wake up as it was when I went to bed. Great buy!
- I like the material. It just feels much thicker than my previous portable bed, so I expect to avoid the “piercing” mishaps on my next camping trip. The top is also great. It feels really soft and it keeps my sleeping bag from sliding all over the place
- This air bed is much more comfortable than I initially expected. I’m a 350-pounds male, and it holds me no problem. The biggest thing about it is the support, however. It keeps my spine well-aligned, and I don’t need to stretch for half an hour every morning just to get functional
Known downsides of this Fox air mattress:
- The material is too stiff for me. On the plus side, it’s much less likely to get punctured, which was the whole point, I gather
- This mattress is a tank in both good and bad meaning of the word. It’s practically impenetrable from my experience, but it’s also very heavy to carry around. You can forget about taking it camping unless you’re going by car
- It was much cheaper when I bought it for the first time some 3 years ago
- The carry bag feels too flimsy for the weight of this thing
- It’s a bit bigger than expected, so our fitted sheets didn’t fit so much. Had to go out to buy a dedicated queen sheets set
Our final thoughts on the Fox Plush
What we like to do in this section is outline the main selling points or advantages over similar products and brands. If there are some to be found, that is.
Luckily, we have a couple of things we’d like to point out here.
The first quality of this air bed is its durability. The construction is beyond solid, and it features a very thick vinyl. “Almost impenetrable”, as some of the buyers stated. This, in turn, makes it the best air mattress for camping, but we have a slight glitch there.
It’s also heavier than most of the models in the same category, so mobility is definitely not one of its stronger suits. So, planning your camping trip with this mattress won’t hold much water unless you’re car-camping. You can forget tugging this monster on your back.
More weight, solid construction and 22 inches of height make it get as close as possible to your average, regular bed. Just throw some sheets over it and you won’t feel the difference. That brings us to the sheets problems. Users have reported their standard sheets not fitting properly, so bare that in mind as well.
The vinyl used for this Fox air bed is 0.60mm thick, as opposed to 0.40 in the competition products, which increases its weight capacity and makes air chambers and seems much stronger. To put it simply, this mattress is made to be used (and abused).
One more thing not to overlook is the effort put into the sleeping surface of this portable bed. The Fox Beds calls it “super flat”, and the customers agree in their reviews. What this means is the ubiquitous problem of air mattresses developing a hole in the middle is avoided with their “air flow” design. The whole surface features the same level of firmness, providing exactly the same support for the whole body of the sleeper.
The “air flow” design is a term used in air mattress manufacturing to signify diamond-shaped air chambers that allow air to flow freely from one to the other.
So, would we advise you to buy this mattress? Is it worth the price tag? Yes and yes! After the Dream Series, this is the best air mattress currently on the market, so it won’t let you down whether you’re using it for camping, guests or as your main bed.
3rd Best: Intex Comfort Plush Dura-Beam
Intex is a wide-known manufacturer with some of the best models on the “budget” end of the shelf. This is one of their more expensive models, which says a lot at $60.
Current ratings of the Intex Dura-Beam:
Intex Comfort Plush Elevated Dura-Beam Airbed
- Firm and supportive sleeping surface
- Easy to set up
- Solid construction
- Excellent price-to-quality ratio
- Challenging to fully deflate
- Low-quality carry bag
- Temporary plastic odor
Product specification for Intex comfort plush elevated Dura-beam airbed:
- Inflatable Queen-Size air bed featuring Fiber-Tech Construction recommended for home usage
- High powered and built-in pump (electric) offers quick 4.5-minutes inflation/deflation
- Customizable firmness
- Flocked, waterproof top
- Height – 22 inches
- Indented sides for slip-free sheets
- Measurements – 60” x 22” x 80”
- Weight capacity – 600 lbs
This info sheet provides much more useful information than the Fox one, but we still have some additional digging to do.
Positive user experiences with this Intex air mattress:
- I’ve read all the Intex air mattress reviews I could possibly find, and this was their best-selling model on Amazon. It’s my first air bed with electric pump, and it’s all sooo much easier than inflating it manually. It basically does all the work for me, and the pump is not overly loud. Good choice and a great purchase!
- I couldn’t believe this thing can reach a full Queen-Size and still keep a firm sleeping surface. Well, I admit when I’m wrong. The entire top is super firm, and it supports my body perfectly without causing pressure points
- Feels better than my old AeroBed at the mere fraction of the cost. The height is perfect for my bad back when I’m going in and out of the bed
- I’ve been using this Intex air mattress as my permanent bed for 2 years now without any issues or malfunctions. It feels pretty well-made, and the material is thicker than with the inflatable bed I had before. It blows up lightning fast and stays firm all night long
- This is the first guest bed that didn’t leave me apologizing for a night of uncomfortable sleeping. It’s every bit as comfortable as regular beds, even more than some I used to own
- We inflated it for the first time when my husband’s parents were visiting. It kept air for a full week without any topping off
- I just flipped the switch, and it was fully inflated before I knew it. It’s also easy to take away once we no longer need it. It deflates just as quick and packs compactly, so it doesn’t take up much storage space
- It’s the first air bed that keeps my sheets perfectly in place. It also doesn’t slide all over the room, even on the hardwood floor. The thing I like the most, however, is the absence of characteristic squeaky sounds when I turn
- It’s the best air mattress in this price range by far! I’ve read a lot of reviews on Amazon, and I saw it was their top-rated air bed sold in thousands of copies. I can realize why now that I have one. I got the format and comfort of a regular bed at the price of a sleeping pad basically. Great buy!
- I didn’t think air mattresses can get this firm. I like my sleeping surface rock-hard, and this Intex inflatable bed really delivers. I would’ve laughed out from the room anyone who told me an air mattress could replace my regular bed, but now I’m not so sure anymore. My back, shoulders and neck haven’t been stiff in the morning ever since I started sleeping on it, so…
Let’s go over some of the reported downsides:
- The mattress is somewhat challenging to fully deflate after I’m done using it
- The mattress is really good, but the carry bag is really low-quality. As far as the downsides go, however, this is a minor one
- This Intex air mattress is massive and heavy as Hades. Transporting the thing is a pretty huge of an undertaking
- My whole bedroom smelled like plastic for a couple of hours, but the smell was completely gone after that
Our final opinion on this Intex air mattress
The thing these mattresses are best known for is their price-to-quality ratio.
Meaning, Intex air beds are extremely budget-friendly but offer surprising quality for the price tag. The crown witness for this claim is their top-selling air mattress title they hold on Amazon.
The thing that separates this model from the heard is the Dura-Beam Technology. The secret lies in the ultra strong, stretch-resistant fibers that offer maximum support and prevent the surface of the mattress from sagging or contouring around the sleeper.
All the main goodies are also there, things like good comfort, appropriate height, durability, flocked top, ant-slipping, solid construction… The price and Dura-Beam Construction are just the main thing, the icing on the proverbial cake.
So, if the budget is tight, you should definitely opt for Intex comfort plush elevated Dura-beam airbed, you won’t regret it. At least, as far as our in-house and outsourced tests plus users all around the world are concerned.
Conclusion of the ultimate guide on the best air mattress overall
We hope you got your money’s worth of new info and the up-to-date situation on the air bed market.
We’ll soon publish our article containing all the test results for these models, offering even more insight into our winners for this update.
That should be more than enough to help you make a fully informed choice whether you’re looking a full-time replacement for your main bed or just a new camping buddy.
We’ll be back to revisit this guide in exactly two months.
Sleep tight ‘till then.