The Best Air Mattresses Of 2023 + Expert-Backed Ways To Make One Feel Like A Real Bed
While air mattresses may immediately bring to mind camping trips or houseguests, there are actually plenty of other reasons to use this type of mattress, aside from the sheer convenience. And if you think all air mattresses are uncomfortable or poor quality, think again. Sure, there are some that will leave you tossing and turning, but the best air mattresses are well made and come with a slew of benefits.
"Being able to adjust the level of firmness means that different body types can use the same mattress," says Seema Bonney, M.D., founder and medical director of the Anti-Aging & Longevity Center of Philadelphia. "Air mattresses do a great job of molding to the person's body type, and areas with more pressure deflate the air cells, which helps to redistribute pressure to other areas." What's more, a 2022 study evaluating different mattress types and their ability to maintain a cooler temperature over long periods of time in an ICU found that air mattresses kept patients at a significantly lower temperature than standard or egg crate models1.
Below, learn who should use an air mattress and the benefits of investing in a high-quality design—plus, find our picks for the best air mattresses of 2023.
The best air mattresses of 2023:
The best air mattresses of 2023:
What is an air mattress?
While a traditional mattress is made from multiple layers of memory foam, latex, and/or springs, air mattresses are a bit different in design. Bonney describes them as "inflatable mattresses made of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) or textile-reinforced urethane plastic or rubber." These materials are easier to inflate and deflate, making them ideal for short-term use and hassle-free storage.
Who should use an air mattress?
Most people will find air mattresses best for short-term use while traveling or staying at a friend's house, as they are portable and easy to assemble. That said, certain individuals may benefit from using an air mattress on a regular basis. According to Bonney, people with back pain and elderly people at higher risk of pressure sores may find relief from sleeping on an air mattress, due to the adjustable air pressure and surface.
It's important to note that infants should not sleep on air mattresses. According to The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), because of the softer surface, infants have an increased chance of suffocation from either resting in a facedown position or falling into a gap between the air mattress and furniture.
How to choose an air mattress.
When shopping for an air mattress, consider the below factors:
Since air mattresses are not typically used with frames, they don't tend to have as much height as a standard design, which can impact how easy or difficult it is to get in and out of the bed. Older people or those who are movement-impaired should keep this in mind when deciding what type of mattress to choose.
While you should always treat your air mattress with care, it should be able to withstand typical tosses and turns. Textile reinforcement is helpful to prevent stretching and prolong the life of the mattress.
With any mattress, comfort should be a top priority. Many of the air mattresses on our list offer adjustable firmness, which can be extremely helpful in finding the right comfort level for your sleeping position and preferences.
How we picked:
We read through hundreds of positive and negative reviews to ensure each air mattress lives up to the brand's claims.
We made sure each mattress included on this list was made from durable and heavy-duty materials recommended by our experts.
Each mattress has its own features and design. We've called out things like built-in pumps, durable materials, and other standout qualities for each mattress on our list.
A good mattress is an investment in your health and well-being—but you shouldn't have to sacrifice quality for cost. We selected products that fit a range of price points.
Our picks of the best air mattresses of 2023:
Best luxury: Serta Raised Air Mattress
- Has built-in air pump
- Customizable firmness options
- Some users say it isn’t soft enough
The luxury element of this mattress comes from its built-in sensors, which monitor air pressure and keep air flowing throughout the night. Sleepers can even select a firmness preference (plush, medium, and firm) depending on their position and needs. Independent coils create a soft-yet-supportive surface that’s tough to find in an air mattress. Bonus: it comes with a compact carrying bag for easy storage and travel.
With over 2,700 five-star ratings, this mattress has a 4.2 overall rating on Amazon. Shoppers call it “the best air mattress,” raving about its durability and comfort. One writes, “ “I’ve been through many air mattresses and literally this is the only one that does not leak air AT ALL! And if you want to keep it plugged in, it has an auto air refill monitor thing that slowly keeps refilling air silently through the night when needed. You don’t even need that- but it's a great feature!”
Some reviewers note that they added a foam topper for more comfort.
Best for kids: Hiccapop Inflatable Toddler Travel Bed
- Extra long bed bumpers
- Exceeds federal child safety standards
- Lightweight and portable
- Pump is quite loud
When it comes time for kids to sleep on an air mattress, you’ll want to find an option that meets the highest safety standards. If your child twists and turns during the night, you’ll breathe easy knowing this mattress has four safety bumpers on each side and boasts reinforced weld seams for added durability. The mattress is also incredibly easy to clean. If it gets dirty, simply wipe it down and let it air dry. One downside is that the pump is a bit loud, but that’s to be expected with many electric pumps.
With a near perfect overall rating of 4.9 out of 5 stars, it’s safe to say that this bed is a great choice for kids. One reviewer writes, “This travel bed is very well made and easy to inflate or deflate. Our 4 year old loved sleeping in it, and we felt confident that he would not roll out of it because of the side bumpers. There are also bumpers at the head and foot of the bed, which stop the pillow and blankets from falling off.”
Best for travel: King Koil Air Mattress
- Waterproof quilt top
- Endorsed by International Chiropractors Association
- Comes with patch kits
- Some say it doesn’t hold air well
- A few complaints about the carrying case being too small
With a built-in pillow and coil-beam construction, this air mattress provides the basis for a comfortable sleep surface no matter where you are. The best part? It’s quick to inflate in about 90 seconds. Plus, it comes in a bag ideal for travel which can be easily carried to the final destination. Just note, a few people say the bed is a pain to fit in the carrying case.
This mattress has over 1,000 five-star reviews from Amazon shoppers and a whopping 4.4 out of five stars overall. One reviewer says, “Perfect for travel when staying with family, or for an additional bed for the hotel.” Another reviewer adds, “What I like the most is, it holds the air!! I have had this mattress for months now, sleep on it every night, and have not re-inflated it.” While most reviews echo this sentiment, a few do say the bed deflates quickly.
Best for outdoor use: Enerplex Never-Leak Camping Air Bed
- Two-minute inflation
- Puncture resistant
- Includes a carrying bag
- No built-in pump
The best air mattress for outdoor use is one that’s portable, small, and designed to withstand the elements. Made specifically for camping, this air mattress comes with a high-speed pump that inflates the bed in less than two minutes. The durable PVC material is perfect for camping, as it’s puncture resistant and won’t break with tiny pokes and prods from nature.
Campers say this is a great mattress for nature and outdoor use, giving it 4.3 out of five stars overall. One camper writes, “It’s so awesome! We never know we just slept on the ground. We never think of it! No soreness!”
Best with headboard: Intex 64447ED Dura Beam Elevated Fiber Tech Soft Air Mattress
- Built-in pump
- Headboard for support
- Enhanced lumbar support
- Doesn’t stay inflated for some
It’s rare that you see an air mattress with a headboard, so this one stands out among the rest. The queen air mattress comes with a headboard that provides support while sitting up. The built-in pump inflates and deflates the mattress in minutes. To store it, simply fold it into the accompanying compact case.
This upscale air mattress has 4.5 out of five stars on Amazon, and shoppers seem to love it. One says, “The absolute best thing is the headboard. No more lost pillows off the end.” Another writes, “Love the headboard feature. It gives you real back support when sitting up.” With that said, some say it doesn’t hold air well so you’ll want to keep that in mind, too.
Best with built-in pump: SoundAsleep Dream Series Air Mattress
- Inflates in under three minutes
- Gripped bottom for unwanted sliding
- Deflates too quickly for some
Built-in pumps make air mattress setup so much easier—and a patented one-click pump inflates this pick in under three minutes. The mattress arrives in a carrying bag that’s easy to tote on vacations, camping trips, or store away in your home. The raised height makes this an ideal choice for elderly people or those who are movement impaired and may not have the easiest time bending down to a low air mattress. What’s more, the bottom of the mattress has a gripped design to prevent it from sliding around.
This mattress has over 38,000 five-star ratings and has garnered 4.4 out of 5 stars on Amazon. One shopper writes, “Been using this for 2 weeks straight while family visits and this is the best air mattress we've ever used. Super firm and nearly no air loss at night. We put a 3" memory foam topper over it and it's fantastic.” Another shopper says, “The pump seems really hefty and durable as well. Easy to plug-in, start filling or deflating.” With that in mind, some people mention the potential for ‘leaking air” throughout the night.
Best budget: Coleman GuestRest Double-High Air Mattress
- Velvet plush top
- Antimicrobial treated
- Supports up to 600 pounds
- Too low to the ground for some
A great budget option, this mattress takes less than than three minutes to inflate using a built-in electric pump. It has a plush velvet top for ideal comfort, and it holds up to 600 pounds. The included carrying bag makes this another great on-the-go option.
This mattress has a 4.2 overall rating, with reviews praising the easy setup and how comfortable it is. One writes, “Easy to inflate, sturdy, comfortable and perfect height to get up easily. I love that you can inflate or deflate by small amounts to get it just right. The built in pump is a great feature. Takes only a few minutes to inflate or deflate.”
While most agree that this mattress is the perfect height, some wish it were a bit taller.
Best for back pain: Simmons Rest Aire 17" Air Mattress
- Quick inflation and deflation (2 minutes)
- Ideal edge support
- Supports up to 650 pounds
- Short mattress warranty
Made from PVC, this mattress has a flocked top and coil design meant to emulate the feeling of a traditional mattress. To inflate the bed, simply turn on the inset pump—it will be fully expanded within two minutes. The mattress is finished off with an antimicrobial treatment made to keep it fresh and odor-free.
Shoppers say they “love everything about this air mattress.” It has a 4.3 overall rating, with comments about how the comfort level and quick inflation. One reviewer writes, “It's so comfortable and I have back problems but with this bed I don't have any problems at all. I sleep so peacefully.” Another adds, “One of the best air mattresses I have come across! Inflation and deflation is quick and effortless!”
Best for hot sleepers: Beautyrest Comfort Plus Air Bed Mattress
- Great edge support
- Anti-leak built-in pump
- May not hold air well for some
Hot sleepers need a mattress that will keep them cool during the night. And, while that usually doesn’t come to mind with air mattresses, this one is surprisingly breathable. Not only does it contour to your body for ideal support, but it has a cooling top that helps regulate your body temperature throughout the night. The mattress arrives in a carrying case for easy transport and storage.
Reviewers say this mattress is supportive and comfortable and that the durable material holds up well over time. One writes, “This air mattress is the bomb. So easy to inflate and deflate. My guests found it comfortable to sleep on. High enough off the ground that you can get on and off of it pretty easily.”
Keep in mind, a few people note that the air deflates more quickly than they’d prefer.
Best for Small Spaces: Intex Premium Durabeam 10" Twin Air Mattress
- Great for indoor and outdoor use
- Durable and lightweight
- 2-in-1 inflation valve
- Pump is not included
- Too low to the ground for some
Some air mattresses are large and bulky, which doesn’t lend itself well to small spaces. This durable and lightweight option folds easily and can be stowed away to keep your space clear. It’s made from non-stretch fibers that hold up well over time and has an adjustable firmness that makes it a great pick for all types of sleepers. The only major downside is that the mattress doesn’t come with a pump—so you’ll want to make sure you have one handy before you decide to inflate it.
One five star reviewer writes, “Great price. Excellent for my 6 year old on one of his first camping trips. Was pleased that it held air so well and that it was easy to fold up when we were done.” Another adds, “I've only had to inflate it once a month so it does a good job maintaining air. Best part is you can inflate it to your liking: soft or firm. Only thing I would say is that it is very low to the ground and if you have bad knees or have trouble getting up from the floor you will have a hard time.”
Is there a better option than an air mattress?
Yes, there is a better option than an air mattress: a regular mattress. Traditional mattresses are made with higher quality (and often more sustainable) materials and are always going to be more supportive than sleeping on an air mattress. If you aren't able to get a regular mattress or are looking for something specifically for camping or outdoor purposes, Kristen Casey, licensed clinical psychologist and insomnia expert, says to try to make your experience on an air mattress as close to on a real one as possible. "If an air mattress is your only option, we try to make it similar to a regular bed," she says, recommending you do this by adding pillows and blankets.
Is it OK to sleep on an air mattress every day?
According to Casey, long-term air mattress use depends on the person and their unique circumstances. "We generally suggest avoiding using an air mattress long term unless there is a clinical or medical reason, such as ulcers, pain, or mobility issues," she says. "However, some do not have the opportunity to sleep on a regular mattress daily, so an air mattress is a better option than the floor or couch."
What is the life expectancy of an air mattress?
This really depends on the brand, construction, use, and other factors. "There is no clear consensus on how long an air mattress can last—some sources state a few years to over 10. Of course, the more use, the lower the life expectancy of the mattress," says Bonney.
Air mattresses are typically brought out for short-term use—but that doesn't mean they have to be uncomfortable. When shopping for the best air mattress, be sure to consider the materials, features, and reviews to ensure you're choosing the right one for your needs. To make your sleep environment even more inviting, take our expert's advice and check out these best pillows for neck pain, cooling comforters, and the most comfortable pillows for a more restful sleep.