Table of Contents
- Types of Air Mattresses
- Air Mattress Buying Guide
- Review of The 5 Best Cheap Air Mattresses
Whether it’s guests coming over to visit or you’re headed out to camp and want to sleep comfortably – a cheap blow up mattress can be the ultimate solution. But not all air mattresses are created equal, which is why it is important to know what to look for in an air mattress to make sure you get the best bang for your buck!
Types of Air Mattresses
Air mattresses, or air or blow-up beds, are a good option for when you need some extra sleeping space. Made from materials such as PVC, they can be inflated when needed and deflated when not in use to allow for easy storage. Depending upon the type of air mattress you go for, they can be inflated either manually by blowing air through a pipe or by using an electric pump. Price wise you can get an inexpensive air mattress for about $50. However, more premium ones can cost up to hundreds of dollars.
Like regular mattresses, air mattresses also come in a variety of sizes, such as twin, queen, or king. You also have the option of choosing between single or double height, which can be a great feature for the elderly who might find it hard to get on or off a low height bed or for people who prefer to have some height between themselves and the floor while they sleep.
Nowadays, air mattresses come with a lot of customization options such as adjustable firmness and comfort levels or built-in pillow tops. Some air mattresses also come packed with advanced features such as auto-cooling during the night for those who prefer sleeping on a cooler space or a ‘Never Flat’ pump that continues to monitor the air pressure within the air mattress throughout the night to ensure that the fixed level of firmness is maintained throughout the night. Since air mattresses can be easily inflated and deflated, they are a portable and convenient option whenever or wherever you need a comfortable night’s sleep. This makes air mattresses a great investment option for people who like to camp or often have overnight guests.
Air Mattress Buying Guide
How We Tested the Air Mattresses
In an effort to give you the most comprehensive air mattress buying guide, we tested out several air mattresses ranging from generic cheap air mattresses to some of the high-end, brand-name air mattresses.
The air mattresses were judged based on features such as claimed storage capacity, price, firmness, and how much it deflates overtime on its own. Features such as single vs double-height air mattresses, the time it takes to inflate the air mattress, and storage requirements were also taken into consideration.
How to Choose the Right Air Mattress for You
Single height mattresses are pretty much just slabs of PVC that you can manually inflate. Some single-height mattresses can also be inflated using compatible pumps and pump parts that are often sold separately.
Single height mattresses are a lighter and cheaper option and are easy to use and store, making them ideal for camping trips. On the downside, single-height mattresses usually deflate faster. This means that they might lose air during the night making the air mattress sag, which in turn can lead to a sore back in the morning.
On the other hand, double-height air mattresses are similar to normal mattresses appearance-wise. Due to their tiered, indented shape, they retain air longer and feel more substantial. The lip or ribs on a double-height mattress, also come in handy if you plan on using sheets with your air mattress. Unlike single-height mattresses, where the sheet is highly likely to come off during the night, the shape of double-height mattresses allows sheets to hook onto them, thereby ensuring they stay in place.
Double height air mattresses are usually heavier and bulkier than single height mattresses, making them more suitable for use at home for guests instead of on camping trips. Moreover, manually inflating a double-height mattress can take longer than a single-height mattress, but most double-height air mattresses come with electric pumps to help speed up the process.
Air Mattress Weight Capacity
An air mattress will typically host several people during its lifetime. So, you need an air mattress with a higher weight capacity to ensure that it can stand strong regardless of who sleeps on it. For a single air mattress aim for a weight capacity upwards of 300 pounds, and 700 pounds for a queen air mattress. It is important to remember though that there might be slight variations between the claimed weight capacity and the actual weight capacity of the mattress. Moreover, weight capacity is not linked to the air mattress’ quality or durability. To make the most informed decision, it is important to judge the air mattress based on all these features separately.
Do I Need an Air Pump?
Air mattresses need to be inflated before use and two features that can make an air mattress a great option or just average are:
· How fast it is to inflate
· How it is inflated
Most cheap blow up mattresses take somewhere between two to five minutes to inflate. Air mattresses with a higher price tag, usually come with an accompanying electric pump. Others can be inflated using a pump that you need to purchase separately or by simply blowing air in it using a tube. An accompanying pump means you will need more storage space.
On the other hand, finding the correct pump to fit your air mattress can be quite a challenge since there are several variants available.
Storing Your Air Mattress
Since air mattresses are extra sleeping space, you will need to store them in between uses. You might be thinking that all you will need to do is deflate the mattress and fold it. Well, no. Air mattresses, naturally, lose their shape and form once deflated. This means that they are little more than heavy tarps that are a task to fold and store. If you think folding fitted sheets is hard, think how it would be if it weighed many times more. That’s pretty much what it feels like to fold most air mattresses. And while it might be tempting to simply ball them up and put them in a closet, it is highly unrecommended since that can damage the mattress.
When looking for a cheap blow up bed that is convenient to use and store, look for one that comes with a storage bag or box. Although this might mean the air mattress will take more storage space, it will ensure that your mattress remains safe, and your closet continues to look nice and tidy.
Another important aspect to consider when it comes to storing your air mattress is the amount of storage space you will require for it. With storage space a limited and valuable commodity in most homes today, portability and compactness are two key features to look out for.
Damaged Your Air Mattress? Here’s What You Can Do
If treated with care, a good-quality air mattress can last you for quite a few years. However, they are prone to damage.
Your air mattress can be highly susceptible to getting holes either during use or while storing. These holes mean the air will escape during the night, causing the air mattress to deflate. This means you will be left with a saggy, uneven sleeping surface. Most air mattresses come equipped with a repair patch in case such a situation arises. You can also purchase a repair kit for your air mattress separately.
Popular materials to patch up any holes in air mattresses include rubber, cement, cloth, or even adhesives such as guerrilla tapes.
Mattress Shopping Tips
- When buying a cheap air mattress, it is important to take into consideration all of the features of the air mattress.
- On top of that, ensure that the mattress provider or manufacturer provides a favorable return policy, warranty coverage, and delivery options.
- If you have the option, do try to bargain too, as chances are that you might be able to get a better, discounted price.
Review of The 5 Best Cheap Air Mattresses
After extensive research and testing, we have shortlisted 5 air mattresses on sale that provide the best balance between price, comfort, and convenience. All 5 are listed below along with their descriptions, specifications, and pros and cons to help you make an informed decision.
Intex Comfort Plush Elevated Dura-Beam Airbed is a high quality air mattress composed of thousands of strong polyester fibers that provides long-lasting comfort and durability. The mattress is available in Queen, Full or Twin sizes. The grey colored mattress has a water-resistant, flocking fabric top layer that is soft and comfortable to sleep on. The mattress is made out of durable materials, which reduces its vulnerability to punctures and leaks.
Intex’s Comfort Airbed range comes in 3 thicknesses- 13 inches, 18 inches, and 22 inches. The standard size for a queen airbed is 80 inches x 60 inches x 13 inches. When deflated, the cheap air mattress with built-in pump is relatively light and easy to carry around as it weighs 22 pounds and has a weight capacity of 600 pounds. The Intex Comfort Plush Elevated Dura-Beam Airbed can be easily carried and stored in the accompanying bag.
This Intex blow up airbed is equipped with an electric pimp that allows easy inflation and deflation of the airbed in 4.5 minutes. In case you are out camping or don’t have access to an AC power source, the air bed can also be inflated using a manual pump that can be purchased separately. The level of firmness of the Intex air mattress can be adjusted as per your liking simply by turning a dial.
Like all PVC air beds, the Intex Comfort Plush mattress will also experience some stretching due to air pressure when it is inflated the first time. This is why, it is recommended to inflate the air mattress at least two hours before you plan on using it and then topping it off once more if you feel it has lost some of its firmness.
This blow-up air mattress also comes with a convenient patch kit that helps you spot-fix any leaks or punctures in case of any accidents or ruptures.
The Serta Raised Queen Pillow Top double-height air mattress is made up of comfortable and durable polyvinyl chloride. It comes equipped with not one, but two built-in, electric pumps that work together to provide you with a comfortable sleep free of any interruptions due to any loss in firmness. The air bed’s primary pump is used to inflate or deflate the air mattress. The mattress has a fast inflation time of 4 minutes.
The secondary pump is the ‘Never Flat’ pump that runs throughout the night to monitor the air pressure within the air mattress. In case of any leaks or stretching, the Never Flat pump noiselessly inflates the mattress again to ensure that it maintains your desired level of firmness throughout the night.
The Serta air mattress has a decent weight capacity of 500 pounds, so it is good for two average adults. It has a unique 35 circular coiled design that contours to your body perfectly that allow you to sleep comfortably. And you can make sure that your Setta air mattress remains as good as new, by making use of its storage and carrying bag that helps you store or carry it around easily without damaging the air bed.
Serta’s Raised mattress comes with a pillow top cover so that you don’t have to worry about getting an extra pillow when camping or setting up the air bed for a guest. Moreover, the pillow cover is washable and water-resistant just like the rest of the mattress, making this cheap queen air mattress a great value for money.
The Coleman Air Mattress is a double heighted air bed, made using good quality polyvinyl chloride. It is designed for both indoor and outdoor use. It is available in Queen and Twin sizes. The dimensions of the Queen air mattress are 78 inches x 60 inches x 18 inches. The comfortable 18 inch height of the bed allows you to get on or off the air bed comfortably. This Coleman Air Mattress claims to support a weight of upto 600 lbs and its contoured and reinforced coil construction design provides superior, stable support to let you enjoy a comfortable sleep. The mattress is double sealed to prevent leaks and to maintain firmness throughout the night.
This blow up air bed does not come with an in-built electric pump. Instead you need to purchase a 120V manual pump separately to inflate this air bed. It has a decent inflation time of 5 minutes. The valve that covers the pump outlet is made from plastic and does not seem to be made of a very durable material.
The mattress comes with an integrated wrap and roll storage solution along with a storage and carrying bag that makes it easier than ever to keep your Coleman Air bed tucked away nicely when not in use and prevent it from getting damaged while carrying it around with you on camping trips.
Despite Coleman’s claims about this air bed’s durability and leak-proof design, during our testing, we found that the air mattress did lose some air overnight, which affected its firmness. The manufacturer does however provide a limited 1 year warranty, so you can have this issue addressed.
The King Koil Air Mattress is ideal for both overnight guests and camping trips. It is available in 3 sizes- Twin, Queen and California King. The Queen sized air mattress is available in black color and has dimensions 80 inches x 60 inches x 20 inches. The 20 inch height of the bed means you can easily get in and out of the bed and get the comfort of sleeping in a traditional bed even when you are camping or need some extra sleeping space at home.
This King Koil mattress is made using a fully flocked material that is both comfortable to sleep on and durable. The indented sides of the double heighted mattress means your standard size sheets will fit comfortably on the air bed without slipping off during the night. This airbed provides superior support while sleeping, especially to the spine. In fact, they are the only air bed manufacturing company that is endorsed by the international chiropractors association.
The air mattress comes equipped with an in-built high speed electric pump that provides fast and convenient inflation and deflation. The 2 minutes inflation time of this blow bed makes it stand out from the other blow up beds. Moreover, the air bed is made using reinforced material to ensure there are no leaks. However, in case of stretching, you can easily adjust the firmness of the mattress by simply pressing the inflation button for a few seconds.
King Koil Queen air mattress weighs a modest 17 lbs and has a support capacity of 600 lbs. Moreover, it is waterproof, comes with a complimentary storage and carrying bag, and is covered under a customer friendly warranty that lasts for a period of 1 year.
The SoundAsleep Dream Series Air Mattress is ideal for both indoor and outdoor use. It is available in 4 sizes- Twin, Twin XL, Queen and King. The Twin XL sized air mattress has dimensions 80 x 40 x 18 inches. This SoundAsleep air mattress is made using eco-friendly PVC and is flocked on the top to help keep your sheets in place and provide additional comfort and durability. The indented sides of this premium double heighted air mattress means your standard size sheets will fit comfortably on the air bed without slipping off during the night.
When it comes to comfort and convenience, the SoundAsleep Dream Series blow up beds are second to none. Built using an exclusive ComfortCoil Technology and a SureGrip bottom, you are sure to get a comfortable night’s sleep without worrying about back aches or the mattress skidding across the floor at night.
This inexpensive Twin XL air mattress comes equipped with a top-tier in-built electric pump that utilizes SoundAsleep’s patented 1-click technology that lets you easily inflate and deflate your air mattress with just the click of one button. The mattress has a fast inflation time of 4 minutes, and can remain inflated for prolonged periods. Moreover, the thickness can also be adjusted by just clicking on the inflation pump button.
This air bed weighs just 14.6 lbs, making it a portable option ideal for camping trips. It has a support capacity of 500 pounds. The SoundAsleep Dream Twin XL air bed is waterproof, easy to store and carry using the complimentary carry on bag, and is beautifully designed. Moreover, all SoundAsleep air mattresses come with a customer friendly 1 year warranty and great customer service.
Most air mattresses are compatible with 110V power sources and can also be used on the go by installing a 150W inverter in your car.
You can use any other box or duffel bag that is large enough to hold your deflated and folded air mattress.
Ensure the pump’s dial is set to inflate throughout the night. If the problem persists, check for damages or leaks. If this is the case, you can either patch up the air mattress yourself or have it repaired or replaced by the manufacturer if your warranty allows.
The cost of the air pump depends upon the type of air pump and pump part you need. Check your air mattress’ user guide to see which pump you need. Typically, you can get an air pump for under $50.