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9 best air mattresses for 2021, according to an expert

Because no one likes sleeping on the floor.
Boy and girl reading lying in a red tent with a book
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Air mattresses are a necessity if your family loves camping outdoors or often host sleepovers on the weekends. The worst thing about air mattresses, though, is that many never stay inflated throughout the night. You may even wake up tossing and turning with a sore neck or back on the floor the next morning!

For a better night's sleep, we reached out to Robert Pagano, founder of sleepline.com, who shared his tips on how to shop for an air mattress that you’ll actually love.

What’s the first thing someone should look for when buying a new air mattress?

According to Pagano, the first thing you should think about when shopping for a new air mattress is its height once inflated. “A high-loft mattress is better if you prefer sleeping higher off the ground. A low-loft mattress is better if you want to sleep closer to the ground. Most people prefer mattresses that keep them further off the ground because it replicates the feeling of sleeping on a normal mattress on a frame,” he said.

What kind of pump works better for filling an air mattress?

The biggest differences between an electric and manual pump are price and convenience. “Electric pumps are much more convenient and easier to use. Some brands include settings so you can adjust the firmness of the mattress at the touch of a button,” explained Pagano.

Manually pumped air mattresses are usually much cheaper and are great for people on a budget. “Another major benefit is that they don’t require electricity, which is great for people who are camping or won’t have access to an outlet,” said Pagano.

Are there any other features somebody should look for in an air mattress?

Pagano suggests always looking for an air mattress with at least two air chambers. “Multiple air chambers make it more comfortable and supportive throughout the length of the mattress. If it doesn’t have at least two air chambers, some portions of the mattress may not be as supportive as others and it will feel uneven when you sleep,” he explained.

Expert-approved air mattresses

Intex Dura-Beam Standard Pillow Rest Classic Airbed Series

This low-loft mattress from Intex is great for just about every occasion. There is an integrated internal electric pump that allows the mattress to inflate and deflate quickly. It also has integrated pillows so you don’t need to bring your own.

Coleman EasyStay 4-N-1 Single High Airbed

This Coleman air mattress is a great all-in-one since it can be used as two twin beds, a king bed or a double-high twin bed. It has a double lock valve that helps keep it inflated through the night. One thing we love about this air mattress is the integrated storage system that allows you to fold and roll the air mattress quickly and compactly for storage.

AeroBed Air Mattress for Kids

Kids will love sleeping on this air mattress that’s just their size. The mattress has a four-inch-high safety cushion that keeps kids on the mattress during the night without the chance of falling off. The package also includes a nighttime themed mattress pad and AC pump. It can be inflated in under one minute with the pump, making for a quick setup for impromptu sleepovers.

Insta-Bed Raised Air Mattress

For those looking for an air mattress with a higher loft, consider this raised air mattress. Inflating it is easy with the integrated pump that allows you to set your comfort level to plush, medium or firm. The air mattress will continue to regulate the comfort level and push new air in with a secondary pump that’s super quiet and won’t wake you up.

Serta 16" Raised Queen Size Air Mattress

Serta is known for their comfortable beds and their air mattresses are no different. This raised air mattress has a hands-free pump that gets the mattress inflated and deflated in two minutes. The mattress also comes with a carry bag that can be used to store the mattress or as a convenient travel bag for camping or glamping.

SoundAsleep Dream Series Air Mattress

The SoundAsleep Dream Series Air Mattress is raised and comes with an integrated one-touch internal pump to inflate and deflate the bed. The top of the bed is waterproof, so there’s no need to worry if you spill something on it. With over 27,000 five-star ratings on Amazon, we think this air mattress is a big winner for everything from camping to guest stays.

Coleman Air Mattress with Built-in Pump

This Coleman Air Mattress will have you sleeping like a baby all night long. The air mattress comes with a built-in pump that makes it easy to inflate the bed when you’re ready to use it. The ridged sides are perfect for keeping fitted sheets on the bed as you sleep. When it’s time to pack up, just deflate the air mattress and roll it into the carry bag for easy storing.

Lazery Sleep Air Mattress

The high-loft Lazery Sleep Air Mattress includes a built-in electric pump can fill the entire mattress in four minutes and an auto shut off feature to keep it from getting too full. There are seven settings that allow you to pick how firm you want the bed from soft plush to extra firm.

Intex Dura-Beam Ultra Plush Inflatable Pillow Top Bed Air Mattress

This air mattress includes a built-in headboard, which is just about as luxe of an experience you can have with an inflatable bed. It has an internal pump that inflates the bed in just a few minutes and allows you to change the firmness of the bed. The ridged sides are also great for making this air mattress look like a real bed since they can help to keep fitted and regular sheets on without issues.

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