How to Choose Your Next Inflatable Mattress

Inflatable mattresses are a great option for anyone who needs to quickly set up a comfortable bed.

inflated air mattress
A fully inflated air mattress is comfortable and a great solution for unexpected overnight guests.Intex

When friends or relatives call and you need beds to put everyone up for the night, inflatable mattresses can offer a great alternative to lugging heavy old mattresses up from the basement. Deflated, air mattresses take up very little room and can easily stow in a closet. Plug them in and in less than five minutes you can have a lovely queen-size mattress ready for sheets and blankets. If you’ve already started to look for an inflatable queen, you’ve probably already run into a bevy of choices. To help you find the right mattress for a great night’s sleep, here are a few key considerations to mull over before you buy.

Dimensions

SoundAsleep Dream Series Air Mattress
Made of puncture-resistant Eco-Friendly PVC, this mattress will last for years and 40 internal air coils provide added durability and support so your bed will remain flat and firm.SoundAsleep

Not all inflatable mattresses are created equal. Some inflate to lofty heights (22 inches), which makes them closer to a regular bed height and easier to get in and out of. True, queen-size specifications are 60x80 inches, so make sure the mattress you choose is at or very close to those specs. Also pay attention to weight ratings. 600 pounds is a good minimum to shoot for.

Inflation and Deflation

Intex Comfort Plush Elevated Dura-Beam Air mattress
The sleeping surface on this mattress is covered in soft flocking for extra comfort and the indented sides keep your fitted sheets from slipping.Intex

While it may not matter to most folks, some mattresses inflate faster than others. Most will inflate in under five minutes, but some break the four-minute inflation time barrier for ultra-fast setups. Look for models that feature a secondary pump that will silently keep the mattress inflated overnight. A switch that allows you to toggle between inflation and deflation is also nice to have for easy setups and take-downs.

Durability

Intex Dura-Beam Standard Series Pillow air mattress
This mattress will hold up to 600 pounds and the built-in pillow makes it feel just like a bed.Intex

Look for an air mattress made with puncture and water-resistant materials. Some mattresses have indentations along the sides, which is great to keep fitted sheets from crawling up. A plush top to keep sheets from slipping is also nice to have; just make sure there is a non-slip bottom to your mattress, so it stays put. Some models may actually work both indoors and in the tent on camping trips. All you need is an AC power inverter that runs off a 12V cigarette lighter to inflate one.