8 Air Mattresses As Comfy & Reliable As A *Real* Bed

When I got my very first apartment, I slept on an air mattress for about four months. No joke, it was one of the most comfortable beds I've had. While I've since graduated to a real bed, I still love inflatable beds. And that's because the best air mattresses are designed to be convenient, supportive, and offer all the same benefits of a real bed, but without becoming a permanent fixture where you set them up.

The trick to buying a quality air mattress is to pinpoint what you're going to need it for and how long you intend to use it. If you're using an air mattress as an alternative to a futon, memory foam, or innerspring mattress, it pays to invest in a high-quality raised mattress that's has a built-in pump. These are more likely to be durable and hold air throughout the night than cheaper models.

However, if you've got some overnight guests coming and you're in a pinch, you may want to grab a mid-market air mattress that's perhaps not as luxurious as others, but is still cozy enough that it won't leave your house guests feeling sore in the morning. And if you're planning an outdoor trip and just want an air mattress to make the woods bearable, your best bet is opting for a PVC or nylon-based inflatable bed because of its tougher exterior.

However you plan on using your air mattress, you can rest assured that these eight are some of the best out there.


A Raised Mattress That Re-Inflates Itself Throughout The Night

Serta Raised Air Mattress with Never Flat Pump, $114-135, Amazon

Waking up on deflated air mattress is a terrible way to start the day, but with this raised, air mattress from Serta (available in Twin and Queen sizes), you don't have to worry. Made with a patented pump system that can inflate and deflate the bed in less than four minutes and continuously monitors pressure, this bed can re-inflates itself if it senses that it's losing air. It also features a flocked top, which helps keep sheets in place, so if you plan on using an air mattress for an extended period, this is the perfect choice.


A Classic Air Mattress With A Soft Fleece Surface

AeroBed Classic Air Mattress, $70-87, Amazon

This air mattress from AeroBed is a classic for a reason, and gets high ratings from reviewers who praise it for it's firmness, support, and soft, flocked fleece surface. It's available in Twin and Queen sizes, and it comes with a drawstring for easy storage, plus a handheld pump that automatically starts running once you insert it into the mattress. A patented valve included here also ensures this bed deflates softly, so you'll barely hear a peep.


A Twin Mattress That Your Cat Will Never, Ever Destroy

SimplySleeper SS-47T Ultra Tough Twin Air Bed with Built-in Fully Automatic Electric Pump, Beige, $78, Amazon

Cats are an air mattress's number one threat, but they're SOL when it comes to this tough Twin-size inflatable bed. Made to be puncture resistant, it features three layers of heavy duty PVC that kneading claws will never penetrate, but it also has a really soft microfiber surface, so you won't feel like you're sleeping on top of a trash bag. It also comes with a built-in pump, so you don't have to worry about how you're going to inflate it with each use.


A Raised Mattress That Easily Transforms From A Twin To A King

Coleman EasyStay 4-N-1 Single High Airbed – Twin/King, $50, Amazon

This versatile air mattress can function as either a double Twin, Twin mattress set, or as one King-size bed, which makes it a fantastic investment if you're traveling with a group or plan on having guests over for an extended stay. Featuring inner coils that help give it firmness, a soft top, duffle storage bag, and two sealing points to keep air locked in through the night, this bed makes for a restful night's sleep.


A Pull Out Air Mattress That Beats Any Sofa Bed

Intex Pull-out Sofa Inflatable Bed, 76" X 87" X 26", Queen, $47, Amazon

Air mattresses are like the modern-day pullout sofa, so it makes sense that this inflatable pull-out sofa bed — which has over 2,000 positive reviews on Amazon — would be so popular. Queen-sized and able to seat and sleep up to two people, this inflatable sofa bed includes built-in pillows and valves for easy inflation and deflation. One reviewer commented: "For this price, [it's] a very good bed. We used is as a sofa in the kids room and they love it."


A Dreamy Mattress With Over 13,000 Reviews On Amazon

SoundAsleep Dream Series Air Mattress with ComfortCoil Technology & Internal High Capacity Pump, $120, Amazon

If you need an air mattress that will give you the comfort, support, and durability of a real mattress, this highly rated queen option (which has over 13,000 reviews on Amazon) from SoundAsleep is a must-have. Made with 40 internal air coils that help it stay flat for single sleepers or couples, plus an auto pump that you can adjust to any degree of firmness, this raised, double-height bed is like sleeping on a cloud. It also has a flocked, waterproof top, and created with multilayer, puncture-resistant materials so it won't sag or lose air throughout the night like other models.


A Durable Mattress With A Wireless, Rechargeable Internal Pump

ALPS Mountaineering Rechargeable Air Bed, $77-106, Amazon

"This is the best air mattress I have ever had," raves one reviewer. It's made from PVC, features a soft flocked top, and comes with a wireless internal pump that can be charged in the wall or car. Another reviewer wrote: "Whether for the camping I do use it for, or just for an extra temp bed in the house, I wouldn't hesitate to use this."


A Super-Cheap Mattress With Two Inflatable Pillows

Intex Classic Downy Airbed Set with 2 Pillows and Double Quick Hand Pump, Queen, $24, Amazon

With more than 1,700 reviews on Amazon, this super-cheap Queen airbed with two inflatable pillows is one of the best bargains you'll find online, especially if you're looking for a bed for short-term use. "Works way better than expected," wrote one reviewer of this bed, which comes with a hand pump, has a waterproof flocked top, and features a two-in-one valve for easy inflation. Another commented: "This air mattress held up for a week on vacation and didn't appear to leak any air."

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