24 Things to Consider When Buying an Air Bed

24 Things to Consider When Buying an Air Bed

An air bed or air mattress uses air for cushion. It features interior dual air chambers, foam rails, and padded topper or memory foam on top. An air pump with a hose connected to the side of the mattress inflates the bed. Some models come with a firmness control system to adjust the support and comfort pad.

What makes it different from an ordinary mattress is that it is portable. You can store it in a bag when properly deflated. You can bring it anywhere, including your garden, the nearby park, and campsites. It also floats on water, and some individuals use it as a floatation device in the swimming pool.

For sleeping, an air mattress is considered highly flexible because you can adjust its firmness or softness according to your comfort. It is ideal for chronic and pain-free sleeping. It also costs less because of its lightweight materials. It is durable and can last long with proper care. When buying an inflatable or air mattress, you should consider different factors such as the types, features, accessories, size, weight, thickness, materials, built-in pump, length of inflation, price, and warranty.

1. Size

Mattresses come in different sizes such as junior, single, twin, queen, full, and king. A junior size air bed is ideal for kids, whilst twin or queen can accommodate a couple. Consider buying the larger size if you have a big family with four members or more. Big mattresses come in handy when unexpected guests decide to stay overnight.

2. Type

Consider the different kinds of air mattresses that fit your needs. Whilst there are no formal classifications of air beds, they differ in terms of sizes, features, materials used, forms and shapes, and purposes. A large air bed can be a permanent feature in the bedroom which you can regularly use at night. A raised air bed mimics the traditional bed because of its height and distance from the floor. There is no need for constant inflation and deflation, but you can still adjust its firmness depending on your preference. It comes with different accessories, including an inflatable headboard and detachable backrest. For more comfort, you can consider buying a memory foam air bed. Another type is a temporary inflatable bed for guests such as relatives and friends who are staying overnight. You can deflate and store it to free up space in the room, once the guests leave. Self-inflatable air beds also come with built-in pumps. Meanwhile, technical air beds are particularly known for quick inflation or deflation.

If you have a family as guests, you can use single air mattresses that can be combined into a bigger bed. If you love the outdoors, air beds are ideal for camping or picnics. You can also use a lightweight inflatable bed for events such as parties and concerts. You can bring one to the park to play with your children. Meanwhile, camping air mattresses come in different shapes and sizes, and some are specifically designed to fit in your RVs or pick-up trucks. A single compact air bed is lightweight and highly flexible that you can carry it on your back and lay inside the tent. If you love swimming, you can use an air bed as a beach toy that is specifically designed to float on the water. More than a floating device, you can actually lie and sleep on it. Just make sure you stay close to the shore.

3. Pump

Make sure that a mattress comes with an air pump that is easy to operate and can quickly inflate when needed. You can choose a manual or automatic pump that is either built into the bed or in separate form. With a built-in air pump, an inflatable mattress is easy to carry and store even outdoors.

4. Pillow tops

These accessories depend upon one's body weight. Heavy people would be comfortable with extra cushion, whilst those on the lighter side will not need a big and thick pillow top.

5. Other Features

Look for these features of an air mattress when buying one: reinforced construction (very important for back support) and two-layers (mimic a bed with box spring for double support).

6. Softness

Too much softness in an air mattress is not advisable as this could cause sagging, lead to back pains, and cause problems with the middle spine area. Some people advise against putting infants and young kids on air beds because of the possibility of suffocation.

7. Thickness

Another thing to consider is the thickness of the air mattress. The thinner the mattress is, the greater the tendency of your body to sink. It may cause discomfort whilst you sleep.

8. Inflation and deflation

Consider them for quick use both indoors and outdoors. Choose an air mattress that can instantly be inflated and deflated and can be handled by even a young person with minimum supervision. You don't want to spend more than five minutes just to prepare your bed, especially if you are too sleepy coming from a tiring activity.

9. Extra storage

For easy handling, buy one that comes with a storage bag that is easy to carry around and where you can pack the mattress when not in use. This will also adequately protect the materials in your air bed.

10. Chambers

These refer to underlying parts that contain the air. Good air beds feature several chambers that spread the air equally within the chambers.

11. Comfort level

Not all mattresses are made equal; so is the comfort level provided. The following are the five comfort levels of air beds: a.) Cushion firm - similar to lying on the grass; b.) Ultra pillow top - like lying on the cloud; c.) The firm - similar to sleeping on a carpet; d.) Plush - similar to sleeping on a comforter stack

12. Dial settings

This allows you to select the comfort levelfirm, medium, and plush.

13. Experiences of pain

Your choice of foam may depend upon the type of your pain experience. With lower back pain, you will need a firm, cushion, or plush mattress. For acute pain, stick with the firm.

14. Sleeping position

Your sleeping position can affect how you choose the comfort level of your air mattress. For instance, if you sleep on your stomach and weigh heavier, your choice could be a firm top surface or a dense mattress. If you sleep on your back, your choice could be comfort firm. If you frequently change positions, opt for a dual-chambers air-filled mattress. For your sleeping firmness and sleeping position scale, sleeping on the stomach ranges from soft to over medium firm or 5-7 on a sleeping scale. Sleeping on the side ranges from very soft to medium or 3-6 on a sleeping scale, whilst sleeping on the back ranges from medium to medium firm or 5-7 on a sleeping scale.

15. Weight of your body

Your weight can determine your ideal firmness level.

Average (over 150 pounds)

Choose a mattress with a firmness scale of 5-7 for comfort and support.

Light (lighter than 150 pounds)

The best option of around 5-6 in the firmness scale is recommended if you don't want to sink too much.

Heavy (over 200 pounds)

Choose a 12-inch bed that is 10 on the firmness scale.

16. Other body conditions

Before buying an air bed, consider your physical or medical conditions. Is your body stiff or hyper-flexible? Do you have wide hips? Do you suffer from a back or shoulder injury? A bad shoulder can keep you awake, and a firm mattress can distort your spine if you have wide hips. If you are hypermobile, a soft mattress won't suit you. Adjust the air bed's comfort or firmness level according to your body conditions.

You may consult an expert on body alignment, anatomy, spine and mattress. You can spend some time with them before buying a mattress. A consultant may perform trial and error tests to see how your weight is distributed over the mattress or how your curve fits its shape. Check whether the mattress seller claims that their product is medically-approved or are orthopaedic. The reality is that there's no organisation that certifies these labels.

17. Puncture resistance

You don't want to spend a fortune on an air mattress only to find out that after one night, it already has a small hole on the other side. Choose one that is puncture-resistant of protruding objects to some level. Be sure not to deliberately puncture your resistant mattress with sharp objects, though.

18. Antimicrobial surface

This antimicrobial surface would keep your mattress free from the musty odours caused by bacteria and fungal buildup. On top of that, it keeps the mattress long lasting.

19. Mattress lifespan

As a rule, mattresses last five to ten years. If you are constantly waking up with body soreness, it's time to shop for a new one. A bed's lifespan depends on the type of the material that it is made of. An air bed can last as long as other types of mattresses, depending on the frequency of use and the regular care you put on it. Look at this comparison.

Type of Mattress Lifespan
Air bed 7.2 years
Waterbed 7 years
Pillowtop 7 years
Hybrid 10 years
Innerspring 7 years
Memory Foam 10 years
Latex 10 years

20. Budget

The prices of air mattresses may range from $50 to $300, depending on the size and features. Make sure that you know how much you are willing to spend before you commit to one. Don't rely solely on price as your buying consideration. A higher price does not mean better quality. Choose only the accessories that you need because you might be offered items such as pillow tops, bed frames, and bed covers when you just want the basic mattress.

21. Replacement option

Some sellers offer a partial refund, whilst others give a 100% money-back guarantee. Make sure to test a mattress before buying it for a worry and risk-free decision.

22. Product test

Before buying a mattress, test it for comfort, durability, firmness, and softness. Roll, curl, and sleep from side to side. Test the bed with a colleague so that you will know if you are comfortable on long-term use.

23. Warranty

Choose a product with a long warranty coverage for your peace of mind. Read the terms and conditions such as the length of coverage and incidents that can void the warranty.

24. Buying options

You can choose between the physical or online store. The benefits of buying from the physical store are that it allows you to directly see, touch, and test the mattress. The downside is that you might be pressured by the salesmen at the shop. You may also be inconvenienced if there's no physical store near you. If you go to the physical store, test each of the store's mattresses and read reviews. Feel free to negotiate for price, accessories, and delivery options. On the other hand, online shops bring several advantages such as the filtered search for mattress type, size, features, item number, quantity, accessories, delivery options, and warranty. Online sites can provide screenshots, photos, and the interactive magnification of a certain mattress, as well as payment options, warranty, technical specs, and a wish list. Make sure that you choose a reputable website and read real reviews from its customers.


Buying a mattress need not be tedious. Know your body conditions, needs, comfort level, and usage preferences. Consider these questions: What is your budget? What are your acceptable types and materials? Do more research and read real customer reviews before you hit that cart button.

How can Outbax help?

Outbax can help you choose the best mattress for your indoor and outdoor needs. With its search filters and magnifying tools, you can select the best mattress that works for you. For more information, visit https://outbax.com.au today!

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