The Best Air Mattresses of 2016

There’s an old adage that time camping is not time spent, but invested. Camping is a good indulgence for everyone; those treks in the woodlands, catching fish from streams and lakes, sitting by a campfire, all these are very fulfilling activities. At a time when urbanization has taken over and people have lesser time to loosen up, camping has become a perfect getaway for most.

Proper sleep and rest while out camping are necessities, rather than luxuries. And as much as camping takes people closer to nature, sleeping on the floor like cavemen just won’t do. This is especially so for adults and seniors with back problems and joint aches. This is where air mattresses come in; offering a comfortable sleeping platform in a relatively light-weight and easy-to-set-up form factor.

It’s worth clarifying, however, that air mattresses aren’t just ideal for camping. They can be used in homes when you have a visiting guest who needs to sleep over. Some people also use them when sleeping in their cars, which would be ideal if you want to save on hotel accommodations while on road trips. It happens more often than you think. In fact, some outfits have customized air mattresses that, when inflated, can fit perfectly into the back seat in a way that you can sleep and turn over without tumbling to the floor.

The Highest Quality Air Mattresses

The best mattress for home use or for sleeping in a car may not necessarily emerge as the best in an outdoor kind of setting like camping.  But that aside, you’ll need to consider the features and technology used in making each.

For instance, Sound Asleep dream series is often ranked as the best air mattress since it’s affordable, comfortable, and has superior technology. Boasting of the comfort coil technology, it has over 40 internal coils to enhance comfort and stability. These coils ensure that you sleep on a flat, even surface even when the air inside deflates. They are particularly ideal for people with back aches looking for a consistently flat surface. But while these mattresses are best for home use, especially when you have guests who need a comfy place to rest their bodies for the night, they aren’t so ideal for the outdoors.

The Coleman air bed is also a great example of the best mattresses. It’s available in King-size, and has an internal air pump. Coleman airbeds have extra height to ensure that you are safely elevated off the floor. The top surface is made of soft but firm suede that ensures your sheets won’t slide and fall over easily as is common with most budget air mattresses.

Intex airbeds are also worth a top spot in the list of the best air mattresses. They are easy to use. All you that’s needed is to remove them from the storage bag and plug them to a power source. Their internal air pumps take 3 to 4 minutes to inflate them to full size.

Some brands also have the internal coil technology, and inbuilt fitted sheets. The only thing that should perhaps concern you about Intex airbeds is that they are mostly available in Queen Size (60 x 80 x 22). Getting them in smaller versions may be tricky.

Luxurious Air Mattresses

Insta-bed and Serta are undoubtedly the most luxurious air mattresses. They are at the top of the rankings thanks to their ability to retain inflation for longer durations and the additional unique features that they pack. In picking the ideal air mattress, the technology and kind of air pump used matters much. Insta-beds and Serta have an internal pump in addition to a smaller one that is self-regulating. This means that when the mattresses’ air pressure starts dropping at night, the smaller pump will automatically switch itself on and pump in more air. Everything is done automatically, silently, and once the desire levels have been attained, the pump switches itself off. This technology is known as Never Flat System and is only found in these 2 brands of air mattresses. It is what makes many users find the mattresses luxurious.

With other brands, you’d have to manually start the air pump to add more air in case of deflation during sleep. The fact that Insta-beds and Serta have additional horizontal and vertical inbuilt reinforcements also makes them some of the most durable air mattresses on the market. They have a 1 year warranty, and will cost you anything from $107 to $137 respectively.

The best air mattress for camping

ALPS Mountaineering rechargeable air mattresses are the unrivaled king when it comes to the best camping mattresses. They are multipurpose, meaning that they are ideal for both indoor and outdoor use. Moreover, they are sturdy, light, and can fit to most tents’ this makes them a choice of many campers. That aside, you don’t need wall outlets in order to inflate them since most can be easily connect to your car, which is something that comes in handy when you’re out camping and away from any conventional power sources. ALPS Mountaineering air mattresses are available in Twin size and King size. They are sturdily built and don’t develop leaks or punctures easily, even when placed on an unfriendly, uneven camping ground.

Sound Asleep Camping Series is also a great choice for campers given that they are super comfortable, durable, and boast of superior technology in terms of the inner air coils incorporated. They are made of a super thick material that adds more warmth when you’re camping outdoors. With a 1 year warranty, Sound Asleep Camping Series air mattresses are a perfect pick; you can’t go wrong with this brand.

Intex pillow rest air mattresses are also an ideal choice for anyone looking for an affordable, comfy, camping mattress. They are lightweight and have a powerful internal air pump. These are particularly ideal if you are sleeping in your car while camping since they fit perfectly and have an inbuilt pillow that inflates together with the rest of the mattress. They accord you comfort while out camping without much hassle.

Budget Air Mattresses

Budget air mattresses cost from as little as $30. Albeit, most of them tend to have an external air pump. A good example is the Intex Raised Downy Airbed. Going for as little as $47, this budget air mattress comes with an inbuilt air pump and offers the user extreme comfort. Price aside, the Intex Raised Downy Airbed is a high profile mattress that’s slightly higher off than most standard air mattresses. The big caveat, however, is that it’s not so durable. Still, it’s quite ideal for emergencies when you have a guest over and need a cheap mattress for the time being that’s comfortable. It’s also perfect for people with limited mobility who may tire getting on and off to bed.

Aerobed classic is also an excellent example of a budget mattress that is bound to offer you value for your money. Like all recommendable camping mattresses, the Aerobed Classic is lightweight, built with a durable, sturdy material, and has a zipped bag to carry it on your back. The powerful external air pump, which comes free when you buy the mattress, is capable of inflating the mattress in 4 minutes. For a mattress renowned for its comfort, durability, and sturdy make, plus affordability, the Aerobed Classic is a great bargain any time.


No matter what your requirements or individual preferences are when buying an air mattress, rest assured that there is always a brand out there that suits you. In any case, what has been discussed above as either positive features or negative ones may not necessarily matter much to you. Thus, a good, perfect air mattress is not one that is luxurious, affordable or such; it is one that suits your needs!

The majority of the mattresses manufactured specifically for camping do not have an inbuilt air pump; they tend to have an external pump that uses a car charger, or physical strength (hands, legs) to pump air to your mattress.  Homes and indoor air mattresses on the other hand, are often AC powered due to their internal pumps.

It is prudent to read as many reviews as you can about the mattress you’re interested in buying. While at it, look out for the mattresses’ air holding capacity/ability. Some brands look comfy, inviting, durable, but can’t hold air consistently for 6 hours before they need to be refilled. Unless such mattresses have the Never Flat Surface feature discussed earlier in this article, then you’d have to wake up in the middle of the night to switch on the air pump, which is disruptive to your sleep.

Last but not least, consider the ease of use for the air mattress you’re interested in. Unfolding, inflating, deflating, storage; a good air mattress should enhance all these features. Mattresses with inbuilt air pumps are always easier to store; external pumps and plugging cables mean more storage space.  By and large, air mattresses are affordable and more recommendable over other solutions such as the memory foam mattresses, which emit a strong odor due to the PVC used during manufacturing. This may affect some users, especially those that are allergic to strong odors. Besides, air mattresses don’t sag in the middle like the foam mattresses do.

Take advantage of this guide to get yourself the most ideal air mattress for your needs.