Air Bed
From Practical Guest Beds to Peaceful Rest Beds

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Air Bed Mattresses

Once reserved for holidays and houseguests, air beds have recently carved out a much broader niche in the bed world, due largely to the efforts of the Sleep Number mattress company, maker of the popular Sleep Number bed. Today's more robust, upscale air beds look similar to innerspring mattresses, but use air in lieu of coils. For aficionados, the air bed's most attractive feature is its adjustable firmness, which can be easily tweaked by increasing or decreasing the air pressure in the mattress. Of course, if you are merely seeking a storable sleep accommodation for friends and relatives, you may be well served by a more basic, portable air mattress. This type of air mattress has also seen great improvements in recent years, both in comfort and ease of use.

Air Mattress Construction

When evaluating air mattresses, it is important to understand the key elements of their construction.

Relative to a traditional innerspring mattress, the key differentiator of an air mattress is its unique air-filled core, commonly referred to as an air chamber. Each air chamber is connected to an electric air pump, which is located either inside or underneath the bed, and is operated via a remote control. Air chambers are typically made from either vinyl or rubber, using various techniques to ensure a tight seal that minimizes leakage. Although some air bed owners do notice small amounts of natural air loss over time, this is typically something that can be easily adjusted on a periodic basis using the electric air pump.

Some air mattresses feature two separate air chambers with a foam rail in the center to provide support between them. This design provides the obvious benefits of both customized air pressure on each side and motion separation between the sides. That said, in some models, the center rail can be a source of minor discomfort in the event that one or both sides are set to particularly low pressure levels.

The air chamber(s) are surrounded by four walls of sturdy foam encasing, as well as several layers of upholstery on top. These top layers tend to greatly resemble the upholstery in an innerspring mattress, and can be evaluated the same way. Air mattresses are sometimes sold with specific foundations, however they can often utilize traditional mattress foundations as well. In most cases, air beds will require some assembly once you get them into your home.

Adjustable Firmness

Perhaps the most highly acclaimed, and well-advertised, feature of the air mattress is its adjustable firmness. By increasing or decreasing the amount of air in the mattress, air beds can be configured to a precise level of desired firmness, or even different levels of firmness on each side. Air bed advocates find this advantageous in many ways, not only to resolve differing preferences between sleeping companions, but also to adapt to changing preferences for any one person over time. Some people find their comfort and support needs simply change over the natural course of a mattress' 10+ year lifespan. Others find their inclinations are influenced by shorter-term life events such as pregnancy or injury. Still others claim that their predilections vary on an even more frequent basis, depending on their activities that day for example.

Air Mattress Support

In an air mattress, support is provided by the air-filled core. As such, air pressure needs to be adjusted to a relatively firm setting in order for the mattress to do its job. Some people find that the mattress loses its comfort at this level of firmness, leading to the common complaint among air bed detractors that air mattresses are either too soft to be supportive or too firm to be comfortable. Enthusiasts counter that the easy adjustability of an air bed allows you to find the precise level of pressure that delivers this balance appropriately. If you are concerned about finding such a balance, it is recommended that you go with a firmer air pressure setting for support and add a memory foam topper or other cushioning layer for comfort.

Additional Air Mattress Features

For those seeking the best possible air mattress experience, a number of additional features are available on higher-end models. Extra layers of cushioning, from traditional pillow-tops to memory foam pads, can enhance the comfort of the air mattress. Remote controls can be cordless, and are available with lighted keypads and programmable settings. And quieter air pumps, sometimes referred to as a "whisper quiet" pumps, can help prevent noise disturbance from any late-night adjustments. (When running, a standard air pump usually sounds something like a hair dryer wrapped in a blanket.)

Air Mattress Manufacturers

Leading brands of upscale air mattresses include Sleep Number and Comfortaire. To find other air mattress lines, please browse our extensive list of air mattress manufacturers and product lines below.

Rating Summary

14 people recommend air bed mattresses. Read the reviews.


Top Brands for air bed mattresses


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Available Brands Air Bed

Spotlight Brands:

Brands Making Air Bed Mattresses:

Brand Support Type Tags Price Reviews
Alfa Airbeds Air Air Bed, Memory Foam 0 5.0
(1 review)
Comfortaire Advanced
The Comfortaire Advanced Series offers the same improved design as the Preferred Series and has the added benefits of the OUTLAST technology. This NASA certified ...
Air Air Bed, Adjustable Comfort, Latex, Memory Foam 4 $$$$ 5.0
(1 review)
Comfortaire Original
Comfortaire ®…The Original Air Bed Company™.  Long before there was a Sleep Number Bed® Comfortaire was creating and marketing dual adjustable air supported sleep systems.  ...
Air Air Bed, Adjustable Comfort 2 $$ 5.0
(1 review)
Comfortaire Original Comfort
Air Air Bed, Adjustable Comfort, Latex, Memory Foam, Natural Materials 3 $$$ 5.0
(1 review)
Boyd Varied Air Bed, Adjustable Comfort, Dual Comfort, Made in Europe, Factory Direct, Gel, Gel Memory Foam, Latex, Memory Foam, Natural Materials, Organic Materials (Certified), Sustainable Materials, Waterbed 2 $$ 2.0
(3 reviews)
Innomax Luxury Support Varied Air Bed, Dual Comfort, Innerspring, Latex, Memory Foam, Waterbed 0 2.0
(1 review)
TEMPUR-Choice Collection Foam Air Bed, Memory Foam 5 $$$$$ 2.0
(1 review)
iSleep Innerspring Air Bed, Innerspring 0 1.0
(5 reviews)
Sleep Number Performance Air Air Bed, Adjustable Comfort 0 1.0
(3 reviews)
Dreameasy Adjustable Air Air Air Bed 0 1.0
(1 review)

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Available Models Air Bed

Below is a list of available Ultimate Hybrid models.
Model Line Brand
Dreameasy Adjustable Air Princess Dreameasy Adjustable Air Dreameasy
iSleep Sleep Adjustment Bed iSleep
Sleep Number p5 bed Sleep Number Performance Sleep Number
Boyd Night Air Gentle Breeze Pillow Top Boyd Night Air Boyd
Innomax Luxury Support Harmony Innomax Luxury Support InnoMax
TEMPUR-Choice Luxe TEMPUR-Choice Collection Tempur-Pedic
Comfortaire oc600 Comfortaire Original Comfort Comfortaire
Comfortaire Elegance Comfortaire Advanced Comfortaire
American National Instant Comfort 7500 American National Airbeds American National
American National Instant Comfort 5500 American National Airbeds American National

See all available Air Bed models →

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Q&A Air Bed

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Reviews

Air Bed mattresses are recommended by 14 of our 25 reviewers. Do you have something to say about your mattress? Write a review!

Review Summary

Based on 25 reviews

Overall Rating:
Recommended by: 14 of 25 reviewers

  • Comfort
  • Support
  • Durability
  • Value

    “Leaky mattress”

    Posted by Dan S from Mobile, AL on February 12, 2013
    I am replacing the plastic barrel connector for the third time. And for the third time the company has changed the design. Little wonder! I cannot depend on this bed, and I will not buy another.

    “Westbay Sleep Lake Elsinore”

    Posted by Vince C from Newport Beach, CA on January 23, 2013
    I’m speaking from experience and I won’t bore you with all the ugly details, I Purchased a COMFORTARIE Air Bed Mattress Elite 1 at the OC Fair (FIRST MISTAKE) from WEST BAY Sleep in Lake Elsinore I was told by the salesperson at the OC Fair that it was a ...

    “The perfect bed!”

    Posted by Julie V from Richmond, CA on December 13, 2012
    I've had shoulders and back problems for many years so it's hard to find the perfect bed to support my back. I needed one that is plush enough yet also firm enough. I'm glad I chose this bed because I can choose how firm I want it to be depending ...

    “Great Mattress”

    Posted by John Z from Charlotte, NC on September 9, 2012
    I was looking online after looking at Sleep Number. I went to youtube and seen some Videos on Innomax Air mattress. The videos were very informative. I contacted the website and spoke with the man of the video. His name is John. I called John and he answered all my ...

    “Very comfortable! Worth the price!”

    Posted by Julie V from Charlotte, NC on August 6, 2012
    I have back and shoulder problems so this bed is perfect for me. I love how soft the foam is yet it still supports my problematic areas. The remote controlled areas is perfect for my fiance and I when we need to adjust the level of comfort. Definitely worth the ...

    “The sink hole bed ”

    Posted by KRISTI T from Waterloo, WI on September 18, 2011
    I can not begin to tell you how disappointed I am in this bed. We have had this bed for four years and have tried to make it work, especially after spending $3,000.00 dollars! I too, trusted our chiropractor's advice and truly wanted to believe this was going to help ...

    “Worst I have ever had”

    Posted by Diane C from Rome, GA on April 19, 2011
    This mattress created a 2-3 inch depression in center...when store manager came to inspect...he agreed a replacement should be made...when I called the company number he gave me...they said no....Im not a very happy customer... This company does not stand by their products... The place I purchased this mattress from ...

    “Sleeping in a Ditch!!”

    Posted by David & Stephanie J from Carbon, IN on February 28, 2011
    We bought this mattress from a Select Comfort Store at our local Mall; thinking this was going to be the greatest thing. A good night sleep with no aches in the morning. We have an Antique Highback full size bed and it being a small bed we at least wanted ...

    “Royal Ripoff”

    Posted by Denise J from Orange, CT on November 9, 2010
    I would not recommend this bed. It arrived with a broken motor. 1 year later the air controls broke down and now another year later the inner tube is leaking. The warranty says they repair or replace 100% however then they tell you that you have to pay shipping. $57 ...

    “White Water Rafting”

    Posted by A. B from Austin, TX on September 5, 2010
    Every Sleep Number bed I've slept on, including the one I own, is like sleeping on a blow-up raft. Regardless the setting the bed is not supportive in the right areas. Too firm and it is like sleeping on a board. Lower settings and it sinks in the middle - ...

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