Even if you aren’t going camping right now, or aren’t planning any sleepovers any time soon, you may still want to invest in a good adjustable air mattress. They are very easily stored, and come in handy in spontaneous situations where an extra bed is needed in the moment. Some folks don’t feel the need to get a self-inflating air mattress, being that they probably won’t be using it that much. But, when avid outdoorsman are looking for a quality camping air mattress, they tend to go all out when it comes to thickness, durability and convenience.

Some folks buy air mattresses because of the fact that they don’t attract bedbugs, or because of the way they are softer on your bodily pressure points during sleep when compared to some regular mattress. Air mattresses are also used in medical facilities for preventing patients who will be in the same bed for a long time from getting bed sores (or pressure sores).

If you have never slept on one before, or if you have had some bad experiences in the past, maybe you could use a little help when shopping for your next air mattress. This guide will help to point you in the right direction.

How Do Air Mattresses Work?

There are a few reasons why you could need an air mattress. For example, you could be going on a camping trip, and many folks feel that they are a lot more comfortable than a sleeping bag. Or, you could simply be planning to stay with friends and family for a few nights. Air mattresses are the perfect in-the-moment solution for getting a good night’s rest in a situation where there may not be an extra bed, and they are very portable and easy to use.

Whether it’s a camping air mattress or one that you plan on using indoors, air mattresses pretty much work the same. If you have a self-inflating air mattress, then you don’t have a whole lot of work to do. The mattress will have a small cap that you can twist that will let the air inside, so there is no pumping or attaching a vacuum. In some cases, you may have to adjust the air some to fit your own personal comfort needs. But, overall, there is hardly any effort by you personally with a self-inflating one.

If you don’t have one of those, you will have to manually fill up the air bed. What you will normally need to do this is a pump or a vacuum. First, you need to find out where you want to put it. If you have a camping air mattress, then you want to find an area where the ground is clear of rocks, sticks and other debris that may puncture your mattress. If you are going to be using your adjustable air mattress indoors, you can put it anywhere on the floor that is open, a place in the house where you feel like you can get a good night’s rest.

After you have the air mattress laid out on the floor, it’s time to inflate it. Look around the mattress and locate the valve cover. This is where the air will go into the mattress. When you find it, open it up and insert the pump that you will be using. Sometimes, adjustable air mattresses have the pumps that you have to manually use, just like the ones you would use to, say, inflate a bicycle tire. You have to use a little arm muscle to pump those, but they allow you to get the mattress to that just right firmness, and you can let air in and out until the mattress feels good to you.

If you are not using the hand or foot pump, then you probably have a vacuum. These are way easier to use. All you do is insert the vacuum hose into the valve on the mattress and fill it up to your personal comfort level of firmness.

Different Types of Air Mattresses

Whether you have a self-inflating mattress or not, there are a few different kinds to choose from. One of the most popular ones is the twin air mattress. This is good for a single sleeper and, if you are a side sleeper, you may want to get one that is a little higher off the ground or floor. Many people who are sleeping indoors prefer one that is 8 to 9 inches tall, but, if you are a heavier person, you may opt for a 16 or 18-inch one.

If you decide that a full mattress is for you, then you probably are looking to sleep more than one person. If that is the case, no matter how heavy either person is, it is recommended that you go with one that is higher, maybe 14 inches. This will ensure that the body weight of the two will be more evenly distributed, and that both people will get a better night’s rest. But, it is worth mentioning that even folks who plan on sleeping alone still opt to get a full-sized mattress. It allows them stretch out a lot more, and maximizes their quality of sleep.

Queen mattresses are also great for sleeping one or two people, and they come in lots of attractive styles. You may prefer to purchase a queen mattress that has the beams cut into it, and they can go either vertical or horizontal. Which one you choose will depend mostly on whether you are a side or back sleeper, it just depends on what is most comfortable for you. If you have a tendency to sweat a lot in your sleep, you may want to purchase an adjustable air mattress that has a soft top, being that the ones that are plastic will likely be uncomfortable for you.

King-sized air mattresses are the large, cozy ones that can sleep two people very comfortably. As a rule of thumb, whenever you are purchasing a larger air mattress, always get one that has some height to it. No matter how wide it is, the thinner ones can sometimes be so low to the floor that, when you lay down on them, you will sometimes actually feel the floor beneath you. If your air mattress is not on a carpet, the cold floor will wake you up in the middle of the night.

Same with a camping air mattress, but for a different reason. When you are outdoors, you will want to sleep up off the ground, even if you have found an open space for the mattress. An outside mattress with some height to it gives most people the peace of mind of feeling safe while sleeping outdoors, even if they are inside of a tent. Besides, they are a lot more comfortable than thinner ones, although sometimes not as portable.

Overall Best Blow Up Air Mattress

When it comes to adjustable air mattresses, the average person is looking for comfort and durability. That being said, the best overall one would be the Fox Airbeds King High Rise. One great thing about this mattress is that it has a super comfy pillow top, and the air flow chambers make for a great night’s rest. Whether you are a back or a side sleeper, this feature will allow you to get a deeper sleep without sweating, and the size will allow two people to rest happily.

When you buy an adjustable air mattress, you want one that is going to last. You won’t be sleeping on it many nights in most instances, but this one can actually take it if you had to. The vinyl this air mattress is made of is over 40% thicker than usual. This great for, say, children who will be sleeping on it. Most adults will be more mindful of the fact that air mattresses can pop and deflate, but kids with toys and other items aren’t thinking about their little fire truck accidentally puncturing the bed. Sleeping on an air mattress is fun for kids, because it is something they don’t do all the time. This one will give parents the peace of mind of knowing that, if the children are in that back room playing, the mattress material is tough enough to take a little licking and keep on ticking.

The stability of this bed is amazing. If two people are sleeping in it, there is almost no motion transfer. Also, with many other adjustable air mattresses, you have to sort of put your body more towards the middle of the bed. Otherwise, you may feel the bed tilt towards the side that you are laying on. But, with this one, you can lay right on the edge of it and the stability remains. This is also the overall best pick because it’s a large king mattress that is 80 inches in length and 76 inches wide.

The two-way pump is one of the most loved features in this self-inflating mattress. When you figure out where you want your mattress to be on the floor, all you do is set the knob to ‘Inflate’, switch the power button on, and let it fill with air. Then after you’ve gotten your good night’s sleep and are ready to put it away, switch the knob to ‘Deflate’. Turn it on like before, and all the air will automatically suck out so that you can store it at its smallest size. Not only can you fill or release air automatically, but a cool new feature is the valve. This will allow you to fill up your bed with a pump if you had to, and release air easily as well.

Still, things can always happen, so this one also comes with a 90-day warranty.

Best Four Air Mattresses for Outside

So…you want to do some camping, huh? Well, here are the best four adjustable air mattresses for your outdoor expedition!

The Coleman Support Rest Double High. Coleman is known for their quality products, and this one is another. Although it doesn’t have an automatic pump, it is still one of the best heavy-duty camping air mattresses on the market. You can get it in multiple sizes, the sleeping surface is splendid, and this is the Official Airbed of the National Park Foundation.

AeroBed Quilted Foam Topper. This one is a little pricier than the rest, but definitely worth it. You know how you are always trying to find just the right cover to go over your adjustable air mattress? Well, this one comes with a sleep surface that feels like a quilt. The best thing about it is that it is mold and mildew resistant, and is also self-inflating. There’s even a light that tells you when it’s full.

The Sound Asleep Dream Series. This mattress is very properly named. The support system that is built into it makes it one of the best in comfort, and the fact that it is thick and waterproof gives it a wonderful outdoor advantage. It only takes about four minutes to inflate or deflate, and it comes with a carry bag for easy portability. Plus, you don’t have to worry about it sliding around with its Sure-Grip bottom.

The Coleman Airbed Cot. This one comes with a battery that inflates and deflates the mattress, along with a zip-around cover for the mattress itself. Yes, you can use it indoors or outdoors, but it is one of the best camping air mattresses because of the fact that it has the strong metal frame that can support up to 600 pounds of weight. The reason many people choose outdoor mattresses instead of a sleeping bag is because they want to be elevated off the ground, and camping air mattress with 18 inches or so of height are good. Still, this Coleman has separation from the ground, which newer campers will appreciate, at least until they feel more comfortable sleeping outdoors.

Best Five Air Mattresses for Inside

If you are having friends and family over and have no extra beds, an adjustable air mattress is just what you need.

Intex Comfort Plush Elevated Dura Beam. This wonderful adjustable air mattress is high off the floor, 22 inches to be exact. It has one of the easy-to-use dials where you can turn the knob to ‘Inflate’ or ‘Deflate’, and is Fiber-Tech constructed. It is very reasonably priced for the quality, and you could even feel safe taking this one outdoors if you wanted to.

Serta Raised Air Mattress with Never Flat Pump. People always love a self-inflating air mattress, but what about one that maintains its own firmness? You know how sometimes your air mattress will let go of some of the air while you sleep? Well, with this one, it will silently keep same air pressure at your desired comfort level. This mattress is also puncture and water resistant, and has a flocked top for added comfort.

The Sleep Restoration Queen-Sized. As soon as you see this mattress you just know that it sleeps well. The top is frocked on this one, and two averaged-sized people can sleep comfortably all-night long. It has a built-in air pump for your convenience, and is made thicker for added durability. It’s also stylish to look at, unlike some of the more plain-looking air mattresses on the market.

Intex Classic Downy Airbed. Yes, they make air mattresses that come with inflatable pillows. This is one of the more reasonably-priced ones, and you get your money’s worth being that it can hold up to 600 lbs. in human weight. If you are between 200-300 lbs., this portable adjustable air mattress will last you for years.

Intex Pillow Rest Raised. This one has the pillow built in, which is what many people prefer, seeing separated ones as extra work. It is 62×80, and sits just over 16 inches off the ground. It also has a built-in electric pump that inflates the entire bed in under five minutes.

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