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The 5 best air mattresses: Sleep comfortably

What is the best air mattress? ZDNet chose the EnerPlex Air Mattress because it's customizable, allowing you to adjust firmness and softness to your comfort level. We researched and compared pricing, reviews, and features such as mattress height to determine the top air mattress as well as some other honorable mentions.
allison-murray
sean-jackson-author.jpg
Written by Allison Murray, Staff Writer and  Sean Jackson on
Reviewed by Elyse Betters Picaro

Whether it's for an upcoming camping trip, unexpected guests, or as an in-between when you've just moved into a new place and don't have your furniture yet, sometimes you need a bed in a pinch. In these cases, it's handy to have an air mattress that provides a comfortable space to sleep.

Air mattresses sometimes receive a bad rap for not lasting long, and while that's the case for many, we've scoured the internet to find the best air mattresses that will last and are also comfortable to sleep on.

A blue and white air mattress in a living room setting
EnerPlex

Features: 13-18 inches of height | Puncture-resistant PVC | Oversized travel bag

The EnerPlex Air Mattress takes our top spot for the best air mattress since it is well-received by customers and is customizable to your comfort. Choose between 13, 16, or 18 inches of mattress height, Twin to King sizes, and a deflation valve lets you let out air to your preferred firmness/softness. It also includes a built-in pump that inflates the mattress in under two minutes.

Pros:

  • Two-year warranty
  • Deflation valve lets you customize firmness/softness
  • Built-in pump

Cons:

  • Pump can be loud 
Woman laying on a green air mattress on her stomach holding a cup
Intex

Features: 10 inches of height | 8ft USB cord to connect to power source | Inflates in 5 minutes

If you're looking for a more budget-friendly price, Intex's High Prestige Airbed Mattress is a great option at just under $30. It also has a built-in pump that is super easy to handle -- simply plug the 8-foot cord into any USB power source, and you can inflate the mattress in about five minutes. For its price and its comfort, this is a great air mattress option.

Pros:

  • Lightweight
  • Built-in pump with extra long cord

Cons:

  • Lower height
Woman sleeping on her side on top of a blue and white air mattress
Amazon

Features: 18 inches of height | One-click internal pump | Thick, waterproof top

Those looking to splurge on a truly comfortable and durable air mattress should check out the SoundAsleep Dream Series Air Mattress. It will stay inflated for days since it has 40 internal air coils for added durability and support. In addition, the one-click internal pump inflates in under four minutes. It also comes in a variety of sizes, including Twin XL.

Pros:

  • Extra thick top makes it more comfortable and lasts longer than other options
  • Quiet and quick built-in pump

Cons:

  • Most expensive option on this list
  • Short power cord 
Couple sitting on an air mattress looking at a device
Amazon

Features: 22 inches of height | Storage bag and repair patch | One-year warranty

This air mattress provides a little more extra features than your average air mattress: it has a built-in USB charger so you can charge your phone directly from the inflated bed, a built-in pump, and a built-in pillow, so you don't have to bring pillows with you. In addition, SLEEPLUX says that this mattress retains 10% more internal pressure compared to traditional PVC beds, and it's also made up of three durable layers.

Pros:

  • Built-in USB port to charge your phone
  • Built-in pump and pillow
  • High mattress height

Cons:

  • Only two bed sizes to choose from
  • Queen size is actually closer to a Full 
rei-co-op-kingdom-insulated-air-bed
REI

Features: 6 inches of height | Queen | Included stuff sack

For any upcoming camping trips, this Kingdom Insulated Air Bed from REI is a great option that will be much more comfortable than sleeping on the bare floor of your tent. It has internal insulation with an R-value of 2.6 that helps keep you comfortable in temperatures as low as 40 degrees Fahrenheit. It also includes a separate pump, so you don't have to go out and buy one.  

Pros:

  • Lightweight for travel
  • Insulation helps keep you warm even on colder nights

Cons:

  • Since its height is so low, it's more prone to leaks, so be sure to set it up carefully 

What is the best air mattress?

The best air mattress is the EnerPlex Air Mattress since it comes in various heights and sizes, and you can customize your comfort level thanks to its separate deflation valve. Plus, its built-in pump is super handy. 

Air Mattress

Price

Mattress Height

Size Options

EnerPlex Air Mattress

$125

13, 16, or 18 inches

Twin, Full, Queen, or King

Intex High Prestige Airbed Mattress

Starting from $25

10 inches

Queen

SoundAsleep Dream Series Air Mattress

$150

18 inches

Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, or King

SLEEPLUX Durable Inflatable Air Mattress

$75

15 or 22 inches

Twin or Queen

REI Kingdom Insulated Air Bed

$150

6 inches

Queen

Which air mattress is right for you?

While any of these air mattresses are great options, it ultimately comes down to what size mattress you want, what kind of mattress height you're looking for, if you prefer a built-in pump or a separate pump, and what price you're willing to spend.

Choose this air mattress...

If you want...

EnerPlex Air Mattress

The best overall option.

Intex High Prestige Airbed Mattress

A budget-friendly air mattress.

SoundAsleep Dream Series Air Mattress

A comfortable and durable air mattress that's worth the splurge.

SLEEPLUX Durable Inflatable Air Mattress

An air mattress with extra features like a built-in phone charger and pillow.

REI Kingdom Insulated Air Bed

An air mattress that's fit for camping. 

How did we choose these air mattresses?

We chose these air mattresses after extensive research into the product category. We compared factors like pricing, reviews (both good and bad), different features that make each air mattress stand out, and the heights/size of each air mattress.

How long does an air mattress last?

Air mattresses can last anywhere from two to eight years when cared for and stored correctly. Always keep your air mattress away from sharp objects or pets with claws to prolong its life. If you don't take care of an air mattress properly, you'll most likely have to buy one or even two every year.

Be sure to see if your air mattress has a manufacturer's warranty so that in case it does puncture, you can get a replacement for free within the allotted time frame. 

Can air mattresses be used every day?

Although air mattresses provide a comfortable spot to sleep, they should not replace a bed entirely, and you should not sleep on an air mattress daily. Prolonged use of an air mattress can lead to back problems and stiffness

Do air mattresses come with pumps?

Yes, most brands come with pumps to allow you to inflate and deflate the air mattress. If your model has an automatic built-in pump, follow the manufacturer's instructions for inflating and deflating. Meanwhile, for those without built-in pumps, you'll usually remove the valve cover of the air mattress first, insert the pump, and turn it on. 

Are there alternative air mattresses worth considering?

Here are a few other options to look into:

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