Air mattress is great to have on hand for your overnight guests or when you travel. The best air mattresses easily and quickly inflate and deflate, have stable, comfortable sleeping surfaces, and are durable.
Whether it’s your In-laws arriving unannounced for an overnight visit or you’re hosting your child’s friends for a slumber party, you’ll need a good air mattress (or two or three) to give guests a good night’s rest. Your reputation as a host is on the line!
We then had real consumer testers set up the mattresses and lie on them to rate the ease of use and comfort. The picks ahead are from brands that have done well in our tests along with newer models that have unique features and rave reviews from users.
We’ve taken the most popular and the best air mattresses we’ve found on Amazon and other major retailers (including Target and Walmart) and put them through a battery of hands-on testing to see which might potentially offer the best quality sleep. This includes repeatedly inflating and deflating air beds, evaluating their construction and durability, and subjecting them to the rigors of camping and a series of acrobatically inclined children’s sleepovers to test them for comfort, air pressure and how puncture-resistant the air chamber is are (after all, air leaks are counter-productive to a great night’s sleep).
5 Best Air Mattress of 2021:
This popular, highly rated inflatable air mattress isn’t cheap — but it does what mattresses are supposed to do. Priced at $120, the SoundAsleep air mattress is more expensive than most of the other models we tested in its height range, but it’s durable and if you ask us, it’s the overall best air mattress on the market. Though we take Amazon customer reviews with a grain of salt, this mattress has more than 11,000 five-star reviews testifying to its durability and comfort. (Fakespot, which grades the trustworthiness of Amazon testimonials, gives this bed’s reviews an “A.”)
SoundAsleep calls this a double high airbed, and it is on the taller side — you’re sleeping a good 18 inches off the ground. Air coils help this mattress to maintain its shape but like many models that come with an integrated electric pump, it’s plenty heavy, weighing about 19 pounds. The pump is loud but powerful. It took a reasonable 3.5 minutes to fully inflate the mattress — and I mean fully — and about the same to deflate it.
The SoundAsleep Dream is made of rigid plastic that’s still easy enough to fold up and stuff into the included nylon drawstring sack that serves as a carry bag, which is great for camping. But it’s also one of the more pungent beds I tested, and people who are sensitive to off-gassing may want to choose an alternative.
When you order directly from SoundAsleep, there’s a 30-day no-questions-asked return period. If you buy from Amazon or SoundAsleep, you get a limited one-year warranty that covers manufacturer’s defects (but not punctures or holes made on your watch). You’ll need to pay for shipping the mattress back to SoundAsleep.
- Built-in pump
- Slip-resistant materials
- Over 21,000 reviews on Amazon
- A bit pricey
The comfort and support that is offered by memory foam is just a bonus. Fox Airbeds sells one of the leading products on the market with this product, which has a memory foam top above the air chamber.
There are also two pillows included, along with a built-in two-way pump for inflation. While there is the pump built into the product, you also have the option of inflating with an external pump if you so choose. If you decide to purchase this product, you will have your choice of five sizes from Twin XL to California King.
While a lot is going for this mattress, there are also some considerations to recognize as well. On the positive side, some of the compliments for this product include its comfort, the ease of inflation, and the fact that you don’t bounce around when the other person moves.
Looking at the reviews, there is some concern about its ability to stay fully inflated through the night. Also, the top may be slightly challenging to deflate once it is overinflated.
In all, this is one of the best products according to consumer reports and is worth consideration because of its inclusion of memory foam, but take note of the potential considerations before you buy.
- Integrated pump
- Memory foam topper
- Four size options
- I-beam coils
- Needs to be plugged in all night
King is in its name for a reason. Amazon shoppers can’t say enough about this high-quality air mattress. It’s built with coils that fill with air to support your body in a comfortable-yet-firm way. The top is constructed with a thick and quilt-like material that is soft and cushioned—the exact way you’d want your mattress to be.
Close to 12,000 people have given this air mattress a 4.5-star rating because of its dependability that they say goes unmatched. These shoppers say from the easy inflation, deflation, and sleep you’ll get in between, the mattress is a win.
“This air mattress is fantastic,” wrote one five-star reviewer. “I’ve been sleeping on it every night for 10 months … I actually wake up pain free when sleeping on this mattress. I can’t say the same when I travel and stay in hotel beds. It has been my best purchase over the last year. You won’t be disappointed.”
- Suitable for tall people
- Quick inflation
- Larger size is more expensive
4. AeroBed Kids
Air mattresses can take up a lot of space in a tent, so if you’re looking for something for the kids, save a little interior space and look into a mattress sized just for them. This one from AeroBed is custom made for little ones, with a 50-by-25-inch sleep surface.
You don’t have to worry about them rolling off, either, thanks to a 4-inch-high cushion on the perimeter. It comes with a washable fitted mattress pad with a cute star and moon motif, too, leaving you with one less item on your pre-trip shopping list. Plus, the included AC pump makes sure the bed is inflated and ready to go in less than one minute.
While it’s probably not a great idea for kids to jump up and down on this air mattress, it’ll hold up for many trips to come, thanks to heavy-duty PVC construction and electronically welded seams to keep every last bit of air in.
- Raised edges
- Comes with fitted sheet
- Pump isn’t built-in
The Coleman SupportRest Elite Double High Airbed with Built-in Pump is also a great air mattress—it’s a little cheaper and just as comfortable as the SoundAsleep, and it comes with a built-in pump, an 18-inch height profile, a flocked PVC top, and a one-year warranty. But the motor was a bit louder than the SoundAsleep’s, and out of the box it had a stronger plastic odor than other mattresses, so we think it’s probably worth spending the extra $20 to $30 (depending on size) for our main pick.
The Coleman does inflate in half the time it takes the SoundAsleep (a negligible difference of a minute or so), and it also stays firm throughout the night. It’s the only air mattress we recommend that has a quick-release valve to help the air escape faster when it’s time to pack it up (unlike the SoundAsleep, which can be deflated only by using the pump).
It’s still a good idea to use the pump to get as much air out as possible, for more compact storage. And the Coleman doesn’t have a cubby to store the power cord, which the SoundAsleep does. Coleman seems to have similarly good customer service—we reached out via webchat and were helped within minutes. To redeem the warranty, the company simply requires you to send photos of the damage and a copy of the receipt.
- Convertible design
- Easy storage system
- No pump included
What to Look for in an Air Mattress
- Size: You’ll want to think carefully about the size of your mattress in terms of its dimensions and height. If your kids will be using it, a twin will probably suffice. However, adults and couples will likely prefer a full or queen-size mattress.
- Duration of use: Is your mattress going to be used for just a few nights, or is someone planning to sleep on it for an extended period of time? Some air mattresses tend to deflate slowly after a few uses, while others stay inflated for much longer, making them a better option for long-term use.
- Inflation method: Most of today’s air mattresses have pumps to inflate them, which saves you the trouble of having to blow them up manually. However, check whether the mattress you’re considering needs to be plugged into an outlet or if it has a battery-powered pump; the latter is an essential feature if you plan to take it out into the wilderness.
How we chose
In choosing the air mattresses for our list, we considered the following:
- Customer reviews. We checked reviews to see what customers are saying about the performance, durability, and comfort of these air mattresses.
- Ease of set up and use. We looked for self-inflating air mattresses that are ready in just minutes. The mattresses on our list also pack down for easy storage and come with storage bags.
- Durability and comfort. We checked for high-quality materials and construction (like PVC and internal air coils) as well as details like a flocked top (think: super-soft, velvet-like fabric) for added comfort.
- Warranty. All the air mattresses on our list have at least a 1-year warranty.