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Air Mattresses Buying Guide

When you need an air mattress, you really need an air mattress. It's an indispensable item when you have holiday guests, your kid has a friend sleep over, or an adult child moves back home temporarily. Less bulky than a cot or trundle bed, these spare sleeping spots pack away into their own bags so you can fold them up and stow them under the bed, in a small trunk, or on a closet shelf. 

Types of Air Mattresses

Types of Air Mattresses

From basic to luxurious, air mattresses serve the same purpose: They provide comfort for a good night's rest. To pick the right one, match one of these types of air mattresses to the kind of sleeper you have.

Standard

The basic air mattress is a vinyl pillow roughly the dimensions of a twin, full, queen, or king mattress. The standard version has one main air pocket measuring 8-10 inches tall with a valve at one end. The valve may be small to fit a separate air pump, or it may be large and contain a built-in pump. The surface of a standard air mattress is typically slick vinyl, but some come with a soft velvety top.

Double-High

The double-high air mattress is at least twice as tall as the standard air mattress, measuring about 25 inches from the surface to the ground. With two, three, or four stacked vinyl chambers, the double-high air mattress comes closer to the height of a bed with a mattress and box spring on a frame. This is an easier bed to climb into and out of, and it can be warmer because the sleeping surface is farther off the floor.

Camping

An air mattress designed for camping has features that make it suitable for the outdoors. It should be waterproof and made from extra-durable vinyl that will resist punctures. It should also come with a pump that doesn't need electricity to operate; some have batteries, some are manual, and some have converters that run off a car battery.

Purchase Considerations

Purchase Considerations

Before you purchase an air mattress, consider the size of bed you'll need for the number of sleepers, as well as the storage space you can allot for it. In most cases, a twin-size air mattress is sufficient, unless you often have multiple sleepers. Then take into account these other factors.

Pumps

Pumps vary widely from bed to bed. Some come with the air mattress as a package set, and some are sold separately. If you buy the pump as a separate piece of equipment, make sure it can fit the valve of your particular mattress. The basic pump is a manual version you can operate by hand or foot. It requires no electricity, is always separate from the bed, and inflates the air mattress slowly. An electric pump offers quick inflation, and it can be separate from the bed or built into it. Take note of the advertised speed of inflation for the electric pump, however. A good pump should inflate a queen-size mattress in 2 minutes or less. Some electric pumps have adapters that can be used in foreign countries or with a car battery. And there are air mattresses that come with remote controls tethered to the pumps. The remote control allows the sleeper to let out or add air as needed for comfort.

Capacity

Every air mattress has a recommended weight capacity indicated in the purchasing materials. Take into account the weight of the sleeper -- or a couple's combined weight -- and choose accordingly.

Patches

If not used, stored, or inflated properly, an air mattress can develop a leak. Some air mattresses are sold with patch kits, or you can buy a kit separately from a store that sells camping equipment or home goods.

Toppers

As regular mattresses become more sophisticated, so do air mattresses. The latest additions to the air-mattress marketplace are toppers that give you the same memory foam or pillow-top comfort of a regular mattress. Some toppers are sold as separate components to add to the air mattress, and some are built into the design.

Bedroom on sale
AeroBed
$44.99 $89.99
at Sears

Treat your guests to comfort while you treat yourself to convenience with the twin size AeroBed® Extra Bed. The built-in pump infl...ates the mattress quickly with just a flip of a switch. When you're ready to put it away, the Whoosh® Valve helps deflate it in a minute. This product: AeroBed Twin Extra Air Bed $44.99 11 visitors found this helpfulBought 3/5/10 Now 4/28/10 NO puncture visible-WILL NOT HOLD AIR I bought mine on 3/5 and after 1 month of just sleeping on it - wont stay inflated -carpeted floor and no sharp edges anywhere. No puncture visible. Cant return to store MUST contact manufacturer. by bobedcarBellport, NY | Wed, Apr 28, 2010 Was this helpful?YesNo 0 comments | flag read more

AeroBed Aerobed Twin Extra Air Bed
Intex
$89.99 $168.90
at Overstock.com

This queen-size air mattress from Intex offers both comfort and luxury. With a built-in electric pump, this air bed inflates and d...eflates with the touch of a button, easily adjusting to your desired level of firmness. Built-in electric pump inflates and deflates with the touch of a button Waterproof flocked sleeping surface Materials: Vinyl Dimensions: 18 inches high x 80 inches wide x 60 inches long Weight: 24.35 pounds Capacity: 226 pounds Size: Queen Accessories: Pump, carry bag Model: 66957E read more

Intex Ultra Plush Queen-size Air Bed
AeroBed
$81.18 $141.76
at Overstock.com

Take the luxury of an indoor air bed with you when you sleep outside on this twin size AeroBed Extra High Adventure Bed. This bed ...comes with rechargeable NiCad pump and a polyester carry bag for transport and convenient storage. Materials: Extra-heavy-duty PVC with coil construction on top and bottom to provide strength and firmness Dimensions: 74 inches x 39 inches x 13 inches Weight: 10 pounds Design: Adventure Extra High Sizes: Twin Color options: Tan Accessories: Rechargeable NiCad pump with 120V AC charger and car adapter Storage: Polyester Carry Bag included Care Instructions: See product manual Model: 2000009834 read more

AeroBed Extra High Adventure Twin-size Tan Air Bed with Carry Bag
Sole Designs
$229.53 $399.99
at Wayfair

This stylish and chic upholstered headboard is a fantastic compliment to any kind of bedroom. Proudly made in the USA. Features: 8... Button tufted design Adjustable height Jojo pattern Made in the USA Dimensions: Twin: 26" - 56" H x 43" W x 3" D, 29 lbs Full: 26" - 56" H x 56" W x 3" D, 29.5 lbs Queen: 26" - 56" H x 64" W x 3" D, 30 lbs read more

Jojo Upholstered Headboard
Skyline Furniture
$271.39-$348.87 $359.00
at Wayfair

This trendy slipcover headboard is manufactured with a sturdy solid pine frame. Features:Trendy Athens style Makes a great additio...n to any bed in your home Spot clean only Made in the USA Solid wood construction Slipcover collection Skyline Furniture provides 1 year limited warranty (except fabric) read more

Slip Cover Upholstered Headboard
Skyline Furniture
$258.32-$329.24 $480.00
at Wayfair

This beautifully hand-crafted headboard adds style to any bedroom. The slipcover headboard is accented by its minimalist styling a...nd design. With its pine wood frame and thick luxurious foam padding bedtime reading may last a little longer. Features:Made in the USA Included hardware and instructions Upholstered in 100% cotton lilth marigold fabric Polyfoam padding, upholstered fabric, wood and metal construction Slip Cover collection read more

Slipcover Upholstered Headboard
Coaster Furniture
$423.36 $648.00
at Homeclick

This group of daybeds offers you great function and style, perfect for the spare bedroom in your home. With a variety of different... styles and finishes available, these daybeds will freshen up your home. Offering a comfortable place to relax during the day, and a cozy spot to sleep at night, a daybed is just what you need to complete your youth or spare bedroom. Great style and value make these daybeds a wonderful choice for your home. This elegant daybed will be a beautiful addition to your classic spare bedroom. The headboard, footboard, and back feature distinctively curve crown molding, above slatted panels for a charming look. Shaped posts are topped with simple round finials, creating a sophisticated style. The bed has a multifunctional use, offering a comfortable reading and lounging spot by day, and cozy sleeping by night. In a clean White finish, this bed will be a gorgeous addition to your home. Key Features Consits of 4826B1 Back and 4826B2 Side NOTE:Requires Innerspring Mattress (sold separately). read more

Coaster Furniture 4826 Classic Twin Daybed in White
Coaster Furniture
$237.65 $485.00
at Homeclick

Choose from a variety of futon styles to meet your needs. Add one of these futons to a spare bedroom, den, or dorm room to create ...a great multi-functional space. Perfect for relaxing, reading, watching television, or playing video games by day, these futon frames convert easily to a double bed at night. Make the most of your space with a futon! Simply add a futon mattress pad and youre ready to go. The Futons collection is a great option if you are looking for furniture in the Phoenix, Tempe, Scottsdale, Mesa, Chandler, Arizona area. This cool contemporary futon frame will give your spare bedroom or den a stylish look. The sleek metal arms gently arc into simple square legs, with a smooth frame all in a Nickel metal finish. Easily convert from a couch for lounging, to a comfortable bed at night, ideal for overnight guests. Make the most of your space with this stylish futon. NOTE:Futon Pad not included. read more

Coaster Furniture 7251 Contemporary Metal Futon Frame in Silver
Camaflexi
$349.00 $540.44
at Homeclick

The Twin Bed represents the core building block of unique bedding system. The bed includes a slat roll foundation, featuring uniqu...e durable center rail support system, which guarantees it is built to last! The traditional Arch Spindle style shown in rich, child safe, protective finish is as handsome as it is durable. Optional under bed storage drawers or a trundle will add further functionality to this bed. Flexibility is what we are all about! Camaflexi offers the best in sturdy, eco-friendly and healthy bedroom furniture for your growing childs needs. Key Features Featured in the classy arch spindle style to compliment your room décor Constructed of 100% all natural solid wood Includes a slat roll foundation, with unique extra sturdy center rail support system for added longevity Child-safe protective finish compliant with us federal hazardous substances act Meets and exceeds all U.S. government safety standards Covered by one year, peace of mind warranty, covering manufacturing related defects Verifiable sustainable wood source, both eco and people friendly Under bed clearance from bottom of bed rail is 11-1/2 Takes standard twin size mattress Mattress not included read more

Camaflexi C10 Twin Platform Bed with Arch Spindle Headboard
Camaflexi
$457.60 $706.99
at Homeclick

Make your little one feel bigger in his Camaflexi Twin Size Day Bed. It features front and rear safety guard rails for extra secur...ity and peace of mind for you. This bed includes a slat roll foundation, featuring unique super durable center rail support system, guaranteeing that this bed is built to last. The traditional Arch Spindle Style, Child-safe protective finish is as handsome as it is durable. When your child grows and its time to move on, the transformational qualities built into beds allows you to change the bed to fit your growing childs needs. Remove the safety guard rails and you have a regular twin bed. Add on the leg extender kit and youve transformed your little kid Day Bed into a cozy and fun low loft bed. Flexibility is what we are all about! The Camaflexi system offers the best in sturdy, eco-friendly and flexible beds for your growing childs needs. Key Features Featured in the timeless arch spindle style to compliment your room décor Constructed of 100% all natural solid wood Includes a slat roll foundation, with unique extra sturdy center rail support system for added longevity Child-safe protective finish compliant with US federal hazardous substances act Removable front and rear guard rails Meets and exceeds all U.S. government safety standards Covered by one year, peace of mind warranty, covering manufacturing related defects Under bed clearance from bottom of bed rail is 11-1/2 Takes standard twin size mattress Mattress not included Clearance between post and front guard rail is 31 read more

Camaflexi C30 Twin Day Bed with Front Guard Rail and Arch Spindle Headboard
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