best by size, reviews

Best Air Mattress – 2018 update

New tests for this update

Before we move onto the results and list the TOP 3 best air mattresses, we'd like to use the opportunity to thank the Denier Martin Lab, Boston, MA who helped us with the tensile testing of the vinyl samples.

We've been working on including the DMA (Dynamic Material Analysis) into our ratings but getting the methodology right wasn't a simple task. Below are the current ratings.

tensile testing the air mattress- material

How we test & rate the Airbeds

Top 3 twin airbeds

Left to right - Sound Asleep Dream, Fox Plush and Intex Durabeam

Currently Best Air Mattress

SoundAsleep Dream Series

By far the most popular

It’s been years now since we first started testing & reviewing air mattresses. If you asked us in 2012, we’d say that there nothing new that could happen to disrupt the industry.

Come 2013, a new brand, SoundAsleep, launched their first model – Dream Series. Not only did it change the industry but, within 6 months it was the most sought-after air mattress out there. It is currently by far the most popular among users & the best air mattress in our ratings.

soundasleep queen

SoundAsleep - Queen/Twin

SoundAsleep - Queen/Twin
9.4

Comfort

9.5 /10

Durability

9.4 /10

Air retention

9.4 /10

Pump

9.4 /10

Value for money

9.5 /10

Pros

  • Supportive and comfortable - Comfort Coil
  • Thick quality materails - puncture resistant
  • Top score in air retention
  • Fast, reliable pump
  • Quiet inflation
  • Superior customer service

Cons

  • No color choices
  • Only Twin & Queen size
  • On-arrival defects (see in full review below)

See the full review & tests here >>

2nd best air mattress & most durable

Fox Durabeam

The only 0.6 MM thick vinyl

There's no similar air bed on the market in terms of sheer durability. This Fox is the only model out there to move the industry standard from 0.4 mm thick vinyl to 0.6 mm.

That resulted in a bed that's harder to puncture, plain & simple. You can see more details about the upsides and shortcomings of being thicker and bulkier in the full review (link in the yellow field below).

fox plush high rise - second best air mattress

Fox Plush High Rise

Fox Plush High Rise
9

Comfort

9.0 /10

Durability

9.5 /10

Air retention

9.0 /10

Pump

8.7 /10

Value for money

8.8 /10

Pros

  • durable & resistant to punctures
  • true to size
  • comfortable top - extra layer of air flow chambers
  • highest - easier to get on and off

Cons

  • heavier than other airbeds
  • bulkier - packs bigger
  • reported structural flaws (details in the full review below)

3rd top-rated & best value for money

Intex Plush FiberTech

Highest value for money

If you asked a few years ago if we could imagine an Intex model in the Top 3, we'd shrug it off. Not that we have anything against Intex, but they have a certain, let's say, reputation. It's a reputation of catering to the chunk of the market that's looking for cheaper air mattress that are less likely to last and be as comfortable as the top models.

That changed when Intex introduced the FiberTech technology. There really is no comparison between their older models and any piece based on FiberTech fibers. Yet, somehow, they managed to keep the cost down.

You can see what FiberTech is & whether this inexpensive Intex might be for you in the full review (link in the yellow field below).

intex elevated plush fiber tech

Intex Comfort Plush Elevated Dura-Beam

Intex Comfort Plush Elevated Dura-Beam
9

Comfort

9.0 /10

Durability

8.8 /10

Air retention

8.7 /10

Pump

8.9 /10

Value for money

9.6 /10

Pros

  • Comfortable
  • Firm and supportive sleeping surface
  • Easy to set up
  • Solid construction
  • Excellent price-to-quality ratio

Cons

  • Challenging to fully deflate
  • Low-quality carry bag
  • Heavy
  • Temporary plastic odor

See the full review & tests here >>

Data sheets, impressions & reference info

The specs of the Dream Series Twin:

  • ComfortCoil Technology Features 21 air coils to provide better support/stability
  • 1-click built-in electric pump for quick inflation/deflation (less than 3 min ‘till full inflation)
  • Designed for use indoors
  • Inflated size – 73” x 38” x 18”
  • “Double-height” raised air bed constructed with dual air chambers
  • Sure-Grip material on the bottom prevents the unwanted sliding of the bed
  • The flocked top is waterproof and multilayer, extra thick and puncture-resistant material
  • Comes with a carry bag
  • Warranty – 1 year
  • Phone and E-mail are always available for support

Quality Ratings:

We’re used to Sound Asleep’s exhaustive specifications by now. Let’s filter all these claims through some good (and bad) user experiences to see which parts of the story hold water, like the thickness of the PVC (image below).

pvc thickness of the sound asleep

PVC thickness of the Dream Series (two layers measured)

PROs from user and testers:

  • We’ve bought this for our guest from Europe, and it was a complete hit! It’s very simple to operate and set up, or deflate and store away after the visit. We’ve only had to add a little bit of air during the 5-day use, so huge thumb up for this model
  • The carry bag is pretty convenient, and it has enough room to fit the mattress perfectly. I don’t have to struggle for half an hour trying all the different ways of rolling it up so I could fit it into its own storage sack
  • It’s my first air bed with extra height to it, and it really makes a difference. We've seen it over and over in air mattress reviews we read and we had the experience with our old Aerobed - a blow up mattress usually tends to get quite cold when the room temperature fall bellow a certain degree and having a bit more space between the ground and myself keeps things much warmer than before
  • The shipping was very prompt, and the packaging was nicely done. There’s no way this thing would get damaged during transport. Not in a million years

Sound Asleep dream series best twin airbed

  • I had a major move last month after my spouse passed away. New town, heck, new state. My furniture delivery was late, so I had to do a bit of camping with nothing but this twin blow-up bed and a card table. The comfort is really astonishing, and it made my new empty apartment feel like home already. Never expected inflatables could be this comfortable
  • I bought this bed for my grandchildren to sleep on and play with. Children love everything bouncy, so I put two and two together… It’s not only very comfortable and fun for them, but the top is easily washable, should the need arise. This product made me one “cool grandma”
  • I’ve been using it for guests, and I haven’t had a single complaint so far. I got only positive impressions about the comfort and, especially, the fact that you can choose your own level of firmness. It’s an entirely customizable experience that hasn’t lost air overnight in like ever
  • The deflate option just sucks the air out completely, so it’s very easy to fold however you like and dump it in storage until you need it again
  • I like the little “cup” thing for storing the cord. It keeps the bed safe from punctures while in storage and keeps the whole thing looking tidier
  • It inflates and deflates in a snap! We bought it for our guests, and the first test was a 235-pounds male, who slept on it like a baby for three nights straight. We didn’t have to add any air during that time, which came off as a surprise for everyone, especially, cause he inflated it to the max to keep the surface as firm as possible

soundasleep twin airbed inflating

Negative reviews - CONs:

  • The electric pump is quite noisy, but the bed doesn’t leak air anyway, so I don’t even have to activate it all that often
  • It’s a perfect surface for my aching back and shoulders. I wish it were a couple of inches higher, though
  • Even when deflated, the bed is pretty heavy, much heavier than I imagined it would be. I was always under the impression these are supposed to be light as a feather or something but, I guess, they’re anything but. So, being heavier than I though would be my only downside to report

Our impressions

I don’t think we need to talk at length about our position when it comes to SoundAsleep products.

We’ve been testing and reviewing Dream Series ever since it first appeared on the market in 2013. It started out slow, but when people realized the quality behind the brand, it sent the sales number through the roof.

We’ve also been monitoring the situation and the future plans of Somnio LLC, the owner of the brand, and they announced some new models coming soon, so we can’t wait to see what designs come out of their New Jersey base of operations.

We liked…

ComfortCoil Technology is one of the main selling points of this series. It did a wonderful job at separating the internal air chambers into 40 separate compartments, drastically increasing the comfort, support and the overall stability of the construction. It's what makes it the best air bed Overall.

Comfort Coil technology illustration

Illustration of the Comfort Coil technology

A great deal of their patented technologies also found its way into this series. Besides the chambered design, we’ll also mention their patented electric pump, which just adds a cherry on top of a functional and practical design.

We could also say that the proverbial cherry is embodied in the form of Eco-friendly materials. The PVC used here doesn’t emit any harmful substances such as phthalate particles since no plasticizers were used in the plastic-softening process. So, that’s just one less safety issue to worry about.

The sleek lines and elegant design is also a point that hasn’t escaped our fellow customers. We've seen in mention in the air mattress reviews, and we agree.

On the downside…

Yes, they are quite heavy, even when completely deflated. We know there’s a general opinion out there that air beds are light and feathery, but that’s really not the reality of it. They’re pretty heavy, so they’re not our best option for backpacking or similar endeavors. So, unless you’re car-camping, we wouldn’t recommend any of these.

The built-in pump DOES get pretty loud, but it doesn’t need to be activated all that often due to excellent air retention, so it’s not all that bad.

side view of the inflatable bed

The mattress smelled a bit like plastic when we originally unpacked it, so there’s that as well. The smell simply disappears after a while, though.

One more thing we’d like to point out is the flocked top. This is a malady of all the flocked tops in the world, so we have to live with it. They collect dust and other particles like crazy. They’ll need a bit of cleaning quite often, but that’s the trade-off for added comfort and keeping our sheet in place.

So, what's the verdict?

It’s a definitive YES, as in air mattress that would definitely give us our money’s worth. You can just take a quick look at the bunch of our guides where these (usually) take the cake to see just how well-positioned Dream Series currently is.

There’s no beating this model in its price range and in price range 2-3 times higher, that's the bottom line.

Fox Twin & Queen Plush - 2nd best air bed review

Fox models are known for their durability and thick material used in their construction. That’s why they were nicknamed “beasts among air beds” (around our office), alongside some of SimplySleeper models.

They make even bigger of a trade-off when it comes to weight, so they’ll generally be even heavier than SoundAsleep products. It's only natural - after all, the PVC of this FOX is almost 50% thicker than most other air mattresses.

pvc thickness of fox plush

PVC is almost 50% thicker

The fact sheet as provided by Fox:

  • The air chambers feature air-flow construction
  • The vinyl is 43% thicker than the one generally used
  • Built-in electric 2-way pump
  • Added valve for external pumps
  • Release valve

Fox is well-known for their terse specification with a huge skimp on the details. Fortunately for us, we have more than one ways of learning all there is to know about a certain product.

sturdy edges of the runner-up in twin airbeds

Drew testing the edges. Thicker PVC + chambered design = sturdy edges

Positive user feedback we collected:

  • It’s the best twin air mattress ever to find its way into my humble collection! Far more comfortable than I’m used to when it comes to inflatables. Being a 350 lbs male, I provide my share of challenges, but it supports me without any apparent difficulties
  • I’m sold on the support of this model. It holds me without a problem and keeps everything well-aligned without causing pressure points. My busted back never felt better, and I’ve completely ditched my morning stretching routine since I got it. Just don’t need it anymore
  • The material used here just feels rugged and thick like nothing I’ve seen before. I felt like such a noob remembering all of my piercing mishaps, knowing this existed all along. Luckily, a friend recommended it just to shut me up when I kept on whining about my bad luck with my camping sleeping arrangements
  • The top portion of the bed is just what the doctor ordered to keep me from sliding off it in the middle of the night. It keeps my sleeping bag riveted in place, and feels nice and soft while doing so
  • My back dictates what kind of mattress is tolerable at what point. Sometimes firm is good, sometimes I have to go softer, or I won’t get any sleep at night. Inflatable bed is a quick fix to this problem since it lets me choose my own level of firmness, so I can make one bed comply with all the “mood swings” of my back. It can go from plush to ultra firm in a flip of the switch, which means more good night’s sleep for me

fast and efficient pump

Fast pump, quick inflation and deflation

  • The pump does its work in a matter of minutes, and I especially like the extra valve. I can take this mattress to my camping trip without any power source, and I can still inflate it with a regular manual pump. It’s a great advantage over all other beds I had and took camping. So, the whole setup is a minute’s work, and deflation and packing don’t take much more than that as well
  • You’ll need no extra sheets when you buy this bed since regular twin set fits just fine. I also like the indentations on the side, so I have something to latch my fitted sheets onto. So, as far as bedding goes, a regular set of twin fitted sheets will keep you covered
  • It’s basically as if we’re going camping every time we visit our son. Last time we swore we’ll find a more permanent sleeping solution, and this inflatable fits the bill perfectly. It’s much higher, for one, so it takes away that camping feeling out of the equation. It’s also very comfortable and simply refuses to lose air. It just had a 4-day baptism of fire, and it kept it together like a champ.
  • These are as durable as air mattress can get! I’ve had one for 3 years now as my guest bed, and it’s still going strong. I just bought another one to sleep at my daughter’s house when I go for a visit, and I expect it to last far longer since I won’t be using it as much. It just feels massive, and the material wasn’t as near as flimsy as I expected when I got the first one. I thought these are just cheap rubber that burst the moment you look at them. Boy do I know better now...

deflated twin fox airbed

Fox Plush - unpacked and deflated

Some of the reported shortcomings:

  • I think it got more expensive than the couple of years ago
  • You WON’T pierce this mattress; I don’t care if you put it on some sharp rocks directly. It’s been through hell and back with me, and still doesn’t give up. The downside, though, is how heavy it is. More weight was to be expected, so I can’t really complain all that much
  • I’m not satisfied with the carry bag. First of all, it way too big for the size of the mattress, so it always brushes against the ground when I try and carry the thing. It also feels too weak for the overall weight of the bed, so I just have a feeling it’ll break at any given moment
  • The material is unorthodoxly thick, but also pretty stiff, which makes rolling it up quite the challenge

2nd best best blow up mattress in a nutshell

As we stated already, durability and rugged construction are what sells this particular model. The built is, as one of the customers pointed out “unorthodoxly” solid, and the vinyl chosen really is much thicker than we’re used to. Our measurements don’t exactly show “43% thicker”, but it’s pretty darn close. The material amounts to some 0.60mm. The connections are also pretty tight, so the nickname “beast” is completely justified.

This all makes it our safest bet for still having a bed in the morning in the great outdoors since it’s practically impenetrable. In terms of durability, it is the best inflatable mattress out there.

On the other hand, though, the trade-off is the overall weight. It’s plenty heavier than what we’re used to, so it’ll present an additional challenge to tug around. We always say air mattresses are not a viable option unless you’re car-camping. Well, this goes three times for this Fox model.

testing the twin inflatable bed

So, we have 22” of height paired with impenetrable material and rugged construction. It’s as close as we’ll get to a regular bed. Just throw your favorite set of sheets and try and spot the difference. When it comes to sheets, we’ve had some reports of standard ones not exactly fitting properly, so bear that in mind as well.

One of the big things is the so-called “super flat” surface. That’s how Fox called it, and the buyers agree. This means there will be no holes or bulges anywhere on the surface, EVER! To all of us dealing with inflatable furniture, this is a problem known all too well, so this can finally put our mind at ease as far as that’s concerned.

The design of the air chambers called “air-flow” is referring to their diamond shape and the ability to transfer air from one another with ease.

So, performances indicate camping all the way, the overall construction suggests home use. Whatever you pick, however, this model will not disappoint.

Intex Dura-Beam FiberTech air mattress reviews

When we say “Intex”, we hear low prices and enough quality to make it worth our while.

This model is one of the top-sellers because of the good value for money. It's the rating sin the value for money category that pushed it into the TOP 3 twin airbeds.

Intex twin fiber tech

It probably won't be a choice of those looking for an inflatable bed that would last for years, but as a guest bed, it will do the trick.

The basic specs:

  • Fiber-Tech Construction
  • Home use recommended
  • Adjustable level of firmness
  • Flocked top
  • Waterproof
  • 22” of height
  • Indented sides prevent slipping of the sheets
  • Size – 60” x 22” x 80”
  • 600 lbs max weight capacity

 

Here’s what the users liked most:

  • It provides a rock-hard sleeping surface, just the way I like it! If anyone told me, an inflatable bed could ever serve as a replacement for a regular bed… Let’s just say my reaction now would be quite different than two months ago
  • Best Twin Size air mattress in this price range! I got it for around 40 bucks, which is ridiculously cheap. I got myself a good quality and comfortable bed for the money I could’ve spent buying a sleeping pad
  • It’s the first one to have a flocked top, which keeps my sheets from moving and sliding off the bed. The bottom has a good grip and doesn’t slide around, even when I put it on hardwood floors
  • I can turn and twist all I want, there’s no squeaking or any unpleasant sounds whatsoever
  • It’s so easy to inflate and set up. All I have to do Is turn the switch, and the electric pump will take care of the rest for me
  • After we’re done using it, it takes us just a couple of minutes to deflate it, stuff it in its bag and put it away in storage.

pump of the intex durabeam twin

  • It needed some extra air until it stretched to its full size after we inflated it for the first time. After that, I went on for weeks without any extra air whatsoever. Pretty impressive little mattress, especially since it’s as cheap as it is
  • It’s the first bed ever we put in our guest room and actually didn’t have to apologize for a dreadful night our guests had. It’s as comfortable as they come, and our guests can finally have a good night’s sleep when they come to visit
  • I’ve had an Aerobed Twin before this Intex, and I can say I like Intex far better. It costs less, and it’s much more comfortable and easier to set up
    Reported shortcomings:
  • The plastic smell was kind of a pain for a while, but it was all but gone after we left it outside for a day
  • I have a minor downside in mind. It’s the bag actually. The whole mattress seems pretty well-built, but the bag really jumps out because of its poor quality. It just isn’t on par with the mattress itself. It’s a minor downside, however
  • Inflation is just a snap, but deflating the bed can be a bit challenging. The pump doesn’t suck all the air out sometimes, so I have to do some manual deflation as well. This happens less and less often, though

What we think about it

The main thing this Intex twin air mattress with built-in pump has going for it is its ratio between the quality and the price.

We can’t even begin to describe how un-scalable those two are. It really puts some things into perspective. In terms of value for the money spend, this is the best inflatable mattress. The price, however, is where it blows them out of the water.

Intex Comfort Elevated unboxing

Dura-Beam Construction and fiber-tech build show us that this model has a couple of tricks down its sleeve as well. We haven’t really met fiber-tech before we started talking about this series of mattresses, so let’s say a word or two.

The main thing here lies in a huge number of strengthened vinyl fibers spreading between the top and the bottom of the mattress. They give it a lot of extra stability and make the structure much more solid than it would be.

So, if the budget is limited and the things are tight, don’t let that stop you from enjoying Mother Nature. You can get this little guy and give yourself a gift of camping like a sir/madam.

Wrap-up

We hope you got some useful info out of our three digest reviews for this update.

We’re all mattress and camping freaks here, so you know we enjoyed gathering the data and, hopefully, helping you make the right choice.

The next update is due in exactly two months and we're already gathering new info and trying to stay on top of any changes in quality.

Choose smart, sleep tight and remember…

Mind over mattress!

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