Sleep Better: What to Look for in a Comfy Air Mattress

Like sleeping on a plastic-wrapped cloud.

Woman playing with dog on bed.
Sorry, doggy not included.Cottonbro, Pexels

Air mattresses might seem like a modern thing, but one of the first—the Perfection air mattress manufactured by Mechanical Mfg. Co.—showed up in trade catalogs way back in 1896. Even more interesting? What shoppers looked for in that 19th century inflatable cushion are the same ones we look for today: comfort, convenience and durability.

Intex Dura-Beam Deluxe Comfort Plush Elevated Airbed Series

Advanced Design

This mattress features inside support that maximizes stability for cozier sleep.Intex

Nobody enjoys sleeping on an uncomfortable mattress, inflatable or not. For maximum coziness, look for an air mattress with supportive fibers in the interior to add stability and support the sleeper. Also look for features like soft flocking on the top of the mattress and indentations on the sides to keep the sheets secure all night long. Many users prefer a taller design that feels more like a conventional mattress and makes it easier to get into and out of bed.

King Koil Queen Air Mattress with Built-in Pump - Best Inflatable Airbed Queen Size - Elevated Raised Air Mattress Quilt Top 1-Year Manufacturer Guarantee Included

Super-Quick Set-Up

This portable sleep solution blows itself up in under 2 minutes.King Koil

When it comes to convenience, the actual inflation portion of setting up an air mattress can make or break the experience. (Have you ever forgotten the pump and used a garbage bag to inflate an air mattress in the woods? Not rad.) Models with built-in pumps simply plug into an outlet and inflate themselves in minutes. That design also makes it easy to tweak the firmness of the mattress with the touch of button.

SoundAsleep Dream Series Air Mattress with ComfortCoil Technology & Internal High Capacity Pump - Queen Size

Solid Construction

This option has multiple layers of PVC under its soft flocked top for durability.SoundAsleep

Of course, air mattresses need to be durable enough to withstand regular use as well as being set up and put away over and over. Look for a model constructed with heavy-duty materials like multilayer 15-gauge PVC. This is a thicker plastic that resists puncturing, ensuring solid sleep for the long haul.