other criteria

Air mattress with frame – Top 3 picks of November 2016

We first created “Best air mattress with a frame” guide about a few year ago for two reasons:

  1. We received a lot of questions about inflatables and airbeds with a frame and decided to answer all the questions on a dedicated page
  2. There’s a trend that we, as THE authority website in the niche, could not afford to ignore

air mattress with frame home settingTrend?

The whole “let’s mimic the regular bed experience” thing really started picking up the pace in 2012. Our way of staying on top of this  idea was a series of regularly updated ultimate guides, one of which you’re reading right now.

Air mattress frame was such a quirky novelty back then, but we definitely made the concept “our own” in the years to follow, as indicated by the sales numbers we had access to.

Short history babble and reminiscing aside, the trend is still building up steam, and we have a whole new generation of near-regular-bed inflatables just itching for a proper review.

Top 3 airbeds with a frame

Picture & RatingModel
See Its Amazon ratings
top airbed with frame
Coleman Cot
with side tables
see its ratings here
second best inflatable bed_frame
Insta EZ
see its ratings here
placed 3rd serta queen with frame
Serta EZ
see its ratings here

We’ll also introduce a little comparative chart, so that we can get a better picture of our today’s contestants/winners.

Comparison

The Winner
Coleman Cot
2nd best
Insta EZ
3rd best
Serta EZ
comparison image 1
image 2
Image 3
Comfort89 / 10085 / 10084 / 100
Durability88 / 10085 / 10081 / 100
Air retention91 / 10087 / 10085 / 100
Pump87 / 10087 / 10081 / 100
Value for money87 / 10081 / 10083 / 100
OVERALL RATING88 / 10085 / 10082 / 100
ColorBeigeDark tanLight tan
Sizestwin, queenqueenqueen
Height (")222222
See it on Amazon
see on amazon comparison table orange
see on amazon comparison table gray
see on amazon comparison table gray

After the collective jumble, it’s time to separate them and give them each the attention they deserve, being the best of the best currently on the market.

Let’s see what the new users we’ve contacted had to say about these models, followed by our test results and final thoughts and opinions.

The top-rated framed airbed – Coleman Queen Airbed with Cot and Side

We never fail to point out that Coleman was one of the brands that saw 3Beds take its first steps, so needless to say we’ve spent A LOT of time with their models.

The ratings of this Coleman:

Coleman Queen Air Bed and Cot

Coleman Queen Air Bed and Cot
8.84

Comfort

9/10

    Durability

    9/10

      Air retention

      9/10

        Pump

        9/10

          Value for money

          9/10

            Pros

            • Versatile – Camping and home use
            • Affordable
            • Comfortable
            • Durable (Puncture-resistant)
            • Thick material

            Cons

            • Heavy
            • Elevated
            • Difficult to clean
            • Short-lasting plastic smell

             

            see ratings here one line

             

            The thing about this particular piece is the fact that the frame is not attached to the air mattress, making the latter replaceable.

            The full steel frame will last a lifetime and accommodate ANY Queen mattress you set your sights on. In the category of airbeds with a frame it dominates much like the SoundAsleep Dream Series air mattress dominates the category of regular models.

            Nifty little perk, isn’t it?

            Here are the basics for our top choice among airbeds with a frame:

            coleman queen airbed cot frame

            • Versatile design – can be used both outdoors and indoors
            • Elevated support while sleeping
            • Airbed can be separated form the cot
            • Sturdy steel-made frame supports up to 600 lbs of weight
            • 2 side tables for personal items and drinks
            • 4D battery pump included (batteries are sold separately)
            • Airtight system
            • Carry bag included
            • 1-year warranty

            Very promising product specification. All the necessary info to get us started on the right foot is there, so we can jump right into user reviews – after all who better to help you make the right choice then the people who field tested these frames.

            What the buyers liked and shared:

            the frame packed

            The frame of the blow up mattress packs compactly and makes a good choice if you are driving to a campsite

            • These little side tables might appear to be there just to jack up the price or look “fancy”, but they’re actually pretty handy. I can put a ton of stuff on them including my phone, bottle of water, a book, my watch and so on. They’re pretty sturdy, so none of those flimsy things I expected to see
            • This queen mattress and frame are just perfect for my busted back. I can finally get in and out of the bed without fearing whether I’ll be able to walk for the next couple of hours if I angle my back the wrong way
            • The extra height helps combat the cold weather since it provides extra insulation from the ground. I don’t even have to carry my foam topper with me when we go camping in some inhospitable climates
            • The thing I like the most here is that the mattress doesn’t touch the ground, unlike with all my previous raised camping beds. This frame is the best thing ever!
            • The frame feels very sturdy and solid. I didn’t know what to expect since it did looked a bit flimsy on the pictures. It doesn’t wobble one bit, however, so I don’t even have to put a tarp under it when we’re camping
            • I really like the extra space under the bed. I use it as my permanent solution for sleeping, and I’ve stored a ton of stuff underneath, freeing a lot of space in my bedroom
            • It’s very comfortable and doesn’t have me waking up with stiff back and sore muscles every morning. It’s a lifesaver
            • Bed frame for air mattress has to be one of the best ideas out there when it comes to us campers. We’re no strangers to inhospitable, rocky terrains, and the steel frame elevates the bed so it doesn’t come into contact with sharp rocks or anything on the ground that could pierce it. Great design and one heck of a bed
            • Initially, I was afraid the legs of the frame will wreak havoc on the floor of my tent. That doesn’t happen, however, since it stays nailed to the place I put it in before bedtime
            • When you’re a maniac with your camping gear, you need all the repairing stuff you can get. I managed to drop a cigarette on this bed, and it made a huge mess, of course. The patches I got for free with the purchase really came in handy, and it was fixed in no time
            • So easy to set up and inflate. The complete setting up shenanigans took no more than 15 minutes, including unpacking it

            Reported shortcomings of this Coleman inflatable bed with frame:

            • The whole thing is just heavy as Hades. I was barely able to carry the box once it arrived at our house address. When I unpacked it and saw the carry bag has wheels, everything was much easier. Bottom line, you don’t want to tug this along unless you’re going camping by car
            • I thought the batteries were included in the package, which was not the case. I had to run to the store in the middle of the night with a couple of guests waiting for their bed to be set up. Nobody to blame but myself, I guess, should’ve read the add more carefully
            • I thought the cover for the mattress could be separated from the frame, but it turns out they’re sewn together, which really throws a wrench in my “washing it” plan

            Our thoughts on this Coleman queen mattress and frame

            Plenty of ground to cover with this one, so let’s get right to the main points.

            Versatility

            Very few manufacturers are willing to stand behind their inflatable products with the outdoors use thrown into the combo.

            Coleman advertises this bed as outdoors-friendly and offers a 1-year warranty, which tells us they really put a lot of faith in what comes out of their factory.

            So, you can use this bad boy inside or outside, as your guest/permanent/camping bed. The possibilities are endless.

            On top of all that, the frame keeps it safe from anything pointy on the ground, but we’ll talk more about that later.

            coleman framed cot queen

            The sturdy steel frame supports a whopping 600 lbs

             

            The frame

            Easily one of the best bed frames in our “inflatable” portfolio.

            It’s very well made and provides more than enough support for the 600 lbs of weight, which is the top limit for this bed.

            I know you might expect to see a wobbly mess of a frame but that’s definitely not the case here. The whole construction feels very solid, and stays perfectly in place no matter how restless of a sleeper you are.

            The best thing about this air bed frame is the fact that it can handle uneven grounds like they were nothing.

            It also won’t damage the bottom of your tent since it stays right where you put it throughout the night. So, unnecessary friction be gone!

            The mattress itself

            It’s a standard quality Coleman product, which already speaks volumes.

            As we said already, we’ve spent years testing their inflatables, and they’ve certainly built a grand reputation among the 3Beds team.

            Queen size promises enough comfort for up to two sleepers, and the cap at 600 lbs of weight certainly speaks for the build quality.

            A little tip from 3Beds experts is to ALWAYS pay attention to the weight capacity of the inflatable bed. For example, a Queen Size with 300-400 lbs cap is definitely not what we’re looking for.

            This construction is definitely heavy, so the wheeled “carry” bag comes in really handy. Still, at 40.2 pounds this is not something we want to use when backpacking.

            The overall height is 22 inches, which is more than enough for proper comfort and insulation from the ground.

            The measurements, however, are somewhat shy of the real Queen Size at 78” x 59”. Regular Queen Size should be 80” x 60”.

            Since the mattress can be pulled outside the sewn cover, you can use the frame for other Queen mattresses since this steel construction isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.

            Setup speed

            We tested the pump by inflating/deflating the bed for exactly hundred times. It always took around 3 minutes to do it, so the whole setup process takes almost no time to do.

            The only tedious thing to do is putting the mattress into the cover the first time you get it. That tends to take some time for people to do, but it’s smooth sailing from that point on.

            The pump

            The pump uses 4D batteries, which are NOT INCLUDED in the original offer. We had numerous people complaining about being left with no batteries, but it clearly says NO BATTERIES in the product specification.

            Power-vise, the pump does the job in about 3 minutes, which is beyond impressive of a time. Even much more expensive models can only dream about it. Our following models on the list have it beat by almost a half, however.

            Bottom line…

            Coleman is a trusted brand, and this is one very solid product of theirs.

            You’ve seen the customer reviews, heard our opinions, so the only thing left to do is hit the (online) store and snatch one of these bad boys for yourself.

            Insta-Bed EZ Queen Size Air Mattress

            The ratings of Insta Bed EZ:

            Insta EZ

            Insta EZ
            8.5

            Comfort

            9/10

              Durability

              9/10

                Air retention

                9/10

                  Pump

                  9/10

                    Value for money

                    8/10

                      Pros

                      • Comfortable with a flocked top
                      • Patented and silent neverFLAT pump
                      • Elevated frame
                      • Easy to set up and store
                      • Quick inflation/deflation

                      Cons

                      • Vinyl smell for a short while
                      • Indentations are uncomfortable for some
                      • Too high for some elderly consumers
                      • Loud main pump

                       

                      see ratings here one line

                      This bed is advertised as all the features of a regular bed tempered with those of an inflatable one.

                      Knowing Insta as a renowned brand, we need to explore these claims with proper thoroughness.

                      More so because this model scored the 3rd place in our August update on Best Insta air beds.

                      Manufacturer’s info sheet:

                      Insta with frame queen size

                      • 2 separated pumps
                      • NeverFLAT secondary pump keeps the air pressure all night long
                      • Different comfort levels range from plush to firm
                      • Self-deploying frame
                      • The flocked top is durable and keeps the sheets perfectly in place
                      • Dimensions when fully inflated – 78” x 54” x 22”
                      • Dimensions of the frame – 64” x 54” x 11.5”
                      • Wheeled compact duffle for easier storage and travel

                      They’ve also included a quick instruction on the behavior of inflatables when you start using them for the first time.

                      It’s the well-known story about air mattresses needing some topping off before the material stretches to its full capacity.

                      inflating the airbed structure

                      Unlike the Coleman Cot – this framed Insta sets up automatically – plug it in and watch the magic happen

                      Here are some positive thoughts on this Insta air bed with frame:

                      • I really enjoy the height of this bed. It’s my first air mattress with frame, and I don’t know why it hasn’t occurred to me to get one before. It keeps me elevated from the ground, which really helps cope with low temperatures in cooler climates. My previous “grounded” camping “freezers” are happily the thing of the past
                      • My husband and I are passionate campers, but we always had problems with our inflatable beds since he’s a humongous beast and a restless sleeper to on top. This bed is definitely breaking some new frontiers for us. It holds us both without any problems, and I can’t even feel my husband’s twisting around all that much. I think my beast of a husband finally found his match 
                      • The top surface is very well balanced, and I can’t feel any pull towards my husband’s side, even though he’s much bulkier than me. It’s also super supportive, which really helps him with his bad back. He told me he never slept this good during our camping getaways. No back pain or stiff joints whatsoever
                      • The top is really soft and “grippy”, so it keeps my sheets right where I place them. My Queen Size set of sheets fits perfectly, and the height of the mattress alone is great for the fitted sets. The fact that we finally have a waterproof bed also came in handy more than once in the two weeks we’ve been using it
                      • The steel frame feels more than stable, so the problems of my bed moving around the room are over (thank god). The extra height also helps me get in and out much easier with my busted back and all
                      • The sides are sufficiently firm to hold me when I sit on the edge, and that’s one hell of a good start with my new bed. I’ll share more impressions after I’ve used it some more
                      • The set of pumps is just amazing! The main one inflates it in a flash, and the NeverFLAT one keeps the firmness on my chosen setting at all times. I can’t even hear it activate at night, which was one of my initial fear. I thought it’ll be too loud or have a constant hum or smt, but I can’t even hear it
                      • I can’t believe how easy the whole setup process is. It’s all done in just a couple of minutes, and the bed does most of the work itself
                      • The frame is a great addition, and it really adds that “regular bed” vibe to the story. Taking it down and storing it is also a breeze

                      Reported downsides:

                      • Although this is one of the best air bed frames I’ve ever seen, it makes the whole construction pretty heavy and bulky. The duffle bag is quite convenient, especially with the wheels and all, but it’s still a huge monstrosity of a bed. On the other hand, it’s the closest air mattress got to mimicking the “real” bed, so I guess the extra weight has to be a part of the deal
                      • This inflatable bed with frame was a definite hit both in terms of comfort and quality, but the primary pump sounds just like my vacuum cleaner. Luckily, I don’t use it that often since this is my main bed and I never deflate it. NeverFLAT pump is completely silent, and it keeps everything nice and firm, so I guess I won’t be having to deal with the loud one anytime soon
                      • My son bought this inflatable bed with frame for me, but it’s too high for me. I’m having trouble getting in or out, so I guess I’ll keep it as a guest bed

                      Official 3Beds stance on the Insta air bed with frame

                      Not unlike Coleman, Insta was one of the brands that were “with us” from the start, so we have mastered their crafts a bit better than those coming from manufacturers we introduced further down the path.

                      So, let’s break down the EZ and see what makes it tick.

                      Pumps/Inflation

                      One of the most impressive features of this Queen air mattress with frame is its inflation time and the array of pumps it features.

                      The primary pump serves for initial inflation and deflation while NeverFLAT monitors air pressure and refills the bed with air if needed to keep your desired firmness setting.

                      The main pump is quite loud, and it indeed DOES sound like a vacuum cleaner. On the other hand, the NeverFLAT is silent as it can be, and you won’t even hear it activate during the night.

                      The state of the primary pump is easy enough to check by simply turning it on. NeverFLAT, however, activates automatically, so in order to check its functionality right off the bat, look at the light located on the front panel. It should be on and glow red.

                      The pump takes 1:44 minutes to inflate the mattress to medium firmness, 1:58 for firm.

                      The thing we don’t necessarily like here is the absence of “user-control”. You have 3 different firmness offered (plush, medium, firm), and that’s it. It’ll be more than enough for most of the users, but we still like to nit-pick wherever features permit it.

                      The frame

                      This is one of the things that sets this bed apart. The frame is solid steel, built very well and much more stable than you might initially think. It won’t wobble or move around during the night, so nothing to worry there.

                      Our pressure test proved the whole thing to be very tight and well-performing under significant weight.

                      The weight cap for this model sits at 500 lbs.

                      The thing we need to mention regarding the “self-deploying” frame is that it’s not entirely self-assisted. The initial spreading of the frame has to be done manually. Same thing goes when you’re packing it. Other than that, it’s completely automatic.

                      The size and weight

                      The bed itself is Queen Size, but we want to talk more about the size of the duffel when completely packed.

                      Its measurement are 37” x 17” x 18”, and it weighs around 60 pounds, which is very considerable, especially when you’re trying to check it on the airport. For the record, we did our measuring ourselves via tape measure, so it might stand out from data you find someplace else.

                      The wheels definitely help to keep the whole thing manageable, so you shouldn’t have to much trouble “carrying” it around.

                      Having said that, don’t even think about taking it camping unless your car is in the mix.

                      Bottom line…

                      Insta really knows how to make ‘em!

                      The whole concept behind this air mattress with frame is all about getting as close to regular beds as possible, and it does so with great success.

                      The frame, being the key part, adds that familiar feel of stability and support, while the inflatable top part brings the air bed comfort to the table.

                      With great design, solid construction NeverFLAT feature, this is one complete package!

                      Serta Queen Size ezy frame  blow up bed

                      This is almost the exact same model like the one we just reviewed.

                      The ratings of this model:

                      Serta EZ - Queen

                      Serta EZ - Queen
                      8.28

                      Comfort

                      8/10

                        Durability

                        8/10

                          Air retention

                          9/10

                            Pump

                            8/10

                              Value for money

                              8/10

                                Pros

                                • Comfortable, sturdy construction
                                • Durable and well-made
                                • No air leaks; good air pumps
                                • Prevents motion-transfer
                                • Good for back pain

                                Cons

                                • Heavy when fully inflated
                                • Expensive
                                • Short-term plastic smell
                                • Too firm for some buyers

                                 

                                see ratings here one line

                                 

                                The only differences are the price and the brand. Serta is the cheaper option of the two, so it always came as a bit of surprise that people tend to buy the Insta model more.

                                Be that as it may, Serta is a company made in 1931, and that fact alone commands respect and admiration.

                                Here’s what they had to say about their EZ air bed with frame:

                                serta airbed on a steel structure

                                • Two pumps
                                • The NeverFLAT secondary pump keeps the mattress always at your favorite firmness setting
                                • 3 levels of firmness – plush, medium and firm
                                • Self-deploying frame
                                • Durable flocked top is also slip-resistant and comfortable
                                • Carry bag included

                                Basically, we have the same set of information and features we got with the Insta iteration (unintentional riming).

                                 

                                 

                                PROs:

                                • Both of the pumps are right on the money! The primary one makes a quick job of inflating the mattress, and the frame just follows along. I don’t know what to say about the NeverFLAT one since I never actually heard it do anything. All I know is that my bed is nice and firm all the time, and I don’t really care about the innerworkings and whatnot
                                • A set of Queen sheets turned this little guy into a real bed. Honestly, you can’t tell the difference if you don’t know it’s an air bed
                                • The frame is a really nice touch, as it adds a lot to the regular bed feel. It’s easy to set up and super comfy so I would say this one is definitely a keeper
                                • This little contraption just made my back pain disappear! I was suffering chronic pain in the lower part of my back for as long as I can remember, and none of the fancy mattresses I’ve tried over the years did anything. A friend recommended an air mattress, and I, having nothing to lose decided to buy one. This one looked appealing for its frame construction, and the rest is history. Having back problems? This is the bed for you!
                                • Ok, so this air bed on frame changed my camping for good! The extra height really goes the extra mile in keeping me warm all night long, so I don’t even have to bother with super thick blankets or my old foam topper I used to tug along whenever I go somewhere with cooler nights
                                • It feels like I have a regular bed in my tent. Great choice for some extra comfort and warmth when camping
                                • We like having guest around, and friends regularly just pop by and stay overnight, so we really needed a good guest bed. We were looking something we can store away when nobody’s around, but it still had to feel like a good bed. Serta EZ with frame fits the bill on all accounts. It feels just like our main bed, and it’s very easy to collapse and store away when we don’t need it anymore
                                • The shipping speed really surprised me. It came here way before it was supposed to, and everything was just the way it was supposed to be. No damage to the bed or anything
                                • The mattress almost sets itself up, so it saves me a lot of work every time I have guests around. I also slept on it for a couple of nights, and it’s as comfortable as my regular bed
                                • Great thing to have if you have overnight guests regularly. I suppose it’s good for things like camping since nothing on the ground can touch it

                                 

                                automatic setup of the frame

                                Similar to the Insta – this Serta is a plug’n’play, but the pump cannot be battery operated, so it’s not really a camping option

                                CONs:

                                • It’s a great air bed with frame, perfect for camping, but heavy as hell. The bag attached to the construction does have wheels, which makes the whole thing more bearable, but you still don’t want this with you unless you’re going car-camping. No backpacking shenanigans of any sort, however. The weight is understandable, though, with the steel frame and everything. Air mattresses are heavy even without one
                                • The choice for the sleeping surface doesn’t feel all that comfortable to me. I like it flatter, so to say. The complete surface has these not-so-small indentations, which really feel awkward to me. My wife doesn’t complain, but I still got us a foam topper to make the things more comfortable. Much better
                                • The price was a bit too spicy for me, so the ol’ budget definitely felt it, but it was totally worth it. It looks costly just when you look at it. I mean the frame alone looks like some mighty complicated machinery, although it’s pretty simple. Kudos on the design, though
                                • This bed also had a distinct plastic odor when we unpacked it, but we know how to handle it by now. Just leave it out for a day or two, and the smell is as good as gone

                                Final thoughts on Serta EZ air bed with frame

                                The thing we can’t avoid when writing about this product is comparing it to the previous one, Insta EZ. They’re “basically the same bed”; you can often hear or read.

                                Yes, they DO look the same; they have the same frame design, the same set of pumps and pretty much all the rest.

                                So, what’s the catch?

                                We admit these two beds are somewhat of a mystery even for us.

                                The thing that furthermore increases the level of general bafflement wit those two is their prices.

                                Currently, Insta model costs more, but Serta was more expensive in time for our previous update, where we also expressed our surprise at the price differences.

                                We were also surprised to see Serta, which was more expensive at the time, have better sales numbers than its cheaper “mirror-model”.

                                This has a potential stamp of some corporate shenanigans, but we can’t say with certainty what’s exactly going on with these two.

                                Our research

                                Being stupefied with these beds as you might be right about now, we conducted a small research of our own with 250 buyers for each model.

                                We asked them some simple questions, consulted the percentages and tried to deduce are they REALLY two peas in a pod.

                                Survey criteriaInsta EZSerta EZ
                                Reports flaws on arrival2 %4 %
                                Structural issue within one month (like air leaks)7 %11 %
                                Pump issues within one month1.5 %2 %
                                % of users who described this bed as comfortable82 %80 %
                                % of users who said this mattress was worth the money87 %81 %
                                see on amazon comparison table orange
                                see on amazon comparison table gray

                                As you can see, this framed Insta does have a slight edge over its counterpart.

                                These findings would be completely bonkers in times when Serta was “the expensive one”, but we simply don’t know what to make out of that past scenario.

                                What about the product itself?

                                Everything we said about the previous air bed with frame goes here as well.

                                Physically, they’re exactly the same, minus the color. Insta is gray while Serta dons a shade of beige.

                                Performance-vise, we have to give a small advantage to Insta, though, based on our survey.

                                However, the mattresses are very solid products on their own, as we previously said, so none of the corporate conundrums should really interest us.

                                Bottom line, if you want a good and comfortable air mattress with frame, which replicates the experience of a regular bed, these will fit the bill more than any other inflatable bed on the market.

                                Conclusion of our update on air mattresses with bed frames

                                Companies that make these have gotten one step closer to passing their products as “real beds”.

                                The added frame really optimizes air mattresses as a concept. It adds stability, support, extra insulation from the ground, height, better visual appearance… Need I go on?

                                Insta/Serta models have their frames attached to the PVC, but Coleman’s can be used with other mattresses long after the original “bites the dust”, which is a very relevant extra benefit.

                                All in all, we recommend these wholeheartedly since they’ll take your “inflatable furniture experience” to a whole new level.

                                Choose smart

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                                • Air mattress with frame – Top 3 picks of November 2016

                                  We first created “Best air mattress with a frame” guide about a few year ago for two reasons: We received a ...
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