Recommend a good air mattress

What is a good air mattress? I know they sell queen size ones for $50 on amazon and walmart, and the reviews are good. At least some are good, some say the thing will fall apart in a few months.

Is a $50 air mattress all it takes to sleep comfortably in a situation where you don’t have a real mattress (guests visiting, moving situation, van down by the river, etc)? I was under the impression I would need a foam memory topper on top of an air mattress to make it comfortable.

The last time I slept on an air mattress was when I was a kid. Maybe the tech has advanced quite a bit since then because I remember it sucking back then.

Whats a good queen size air mattress? I’ve seen some go for $300+ that have legs, but I don’t know if these are any better than the $50 ones.

We have a queen inflatable that we use for extra guests, but not often. Air Bed might be the make, not sure. But I’ll point out that sleeping on a sheet right over vinyl is not comfortable. There needs to be something absorbant in between.


The ones I’m looking at have a ‘flocked top’

Do you have any recommendations for something to put on top of the mattress? I was wondering if a 2-4" foam mattress pad on top of the air mattress would help.

Coleman. I have two, a twin and a queen, they’re both well over five years old and have been deployed in some rugged conditions and are still in perfect shape. Get the battery powered inflator, too, it’s very portable, strong and durable.

We’ve used an Intex queen size inflatable mattress, with a build in pump, for over 10 years.
We originally got it for camping. When we started using a camper instead of a tent, the air mattress became guest bed only.

The one we have is the height of a standard bed (I think it’s a 22" height), so it’s comfortable to sit on, to get in or out of it. The build in air pump means I don’t ever lose the darn thing. It usually needs to have the air topped off each night, but it does a decent job of holding air.

Looks like they are about $50 on Amazon right now.

I agree with the recommendations to get the built in air pump. I believe mine runs on D cells.

I don’t think you need 2-3" topper. I’ve seen pads that are 1/2" thick or so that would help. The flocked top helps too.


Here’s a question for all of you that use air mattresses regularly…don’t you freeze? We have a flocked topped mattress and I have put 2 fleece blankets plus a fleece or flannel sheet on top of it. It still gets so cold. My husband slept on it one night because of grandkids taking up the beds. He had to put his winter jacket on in the middle of the night. My niece and her husband slept on one at my sister’s house Christmas Eve night. They said it was horribly, uncomfortably cold too.

How long do you need it for, and does it need to be portable? Because Amazon also sells some cheap memory foam mattresses for about a hundred dollars that are more comfortable than an air mattress (but less portable, of course.)

I’ve used several air mattresses over the years. In my opinion, a simple (inexpensive) mattress cover/pad is a big help. The two I currently have are queen size. For each one, I have a queen size pad and a set of queen sheets. No problems.

I think that one of the problems with using air mattresses is that you need to keep ambient air from getting in between the mattress and the bottom sheet. A mattress cover/pad usually does the job for me.

If you want something extremely comfortable that can be packed to a compact size, suitable for car camping where packability is an issue; but where you don’t need something so light that it’s suitable for backpacking – I can recommend the Exped Megamat. They categorize it as “base camp” equipment, which gives you an accurate sense of the weight/comfort zone its in.

It’s not cheap, but it’s so much more comfortable than any backpacking inflatable that it has been worth it for me for the few nights a year that I end up sleeping in or near my car at a trailhead.

I think you want to spend at least $100. I’ve had two Colemans (used to have a cat), and both were comfortable. One had a foot pump, the other electric. The foot pump is fine if you have plenty of warning that guests are coming, but the electric motor is nice. The important thing is baffles.

Flocked top is nice, too, it feels more like a matter. We got one that is double the height of a normal mattress, and, of course, normal sheets don’t fit on it, though it’s easier to get in and out (on and off?) of.

Where do you want to use the mattress? If using it at home, you’re better off w/ a plug in pump; more powerful & the batteries don’t die.

I use mine in the summer, w/ just a very light sheet/blanket. I’d be both miserable & drenched in sweat if I put all of that on.

I’ll second the Exped Megamat. Inflatable mattresses don’t get any better than this.

We have had several over the years. Coleman and Intex being the most common.

This is the model we currently have:

It is a great height for getting in and out of bed. It is quite comfortable. It has the flocked top. We keep a king flannel set of sheets to use with it. And then whatever blankets are needed.

We have used it to travel to friends houses that do not have extra beds, to provide an extra bed for visitors, etc.

It seems to hold the air quite nicely. It has the built in pump and it inflates in just a few mins and then when you are ready to put it away, you can reverse the pump and it will suck all the air out, so much easier to put away than the normal air mattress (we can actually fit it back into the storage bag).

We have never had a problem with it being cold sleeping on, but we live in the south, so it does not get that cold. And we have not felt the need for any mattress topper, the flocking and style of the mattress seem to not need such.

I don’t think I would want it for daily long term usage, but I cannot imagine any air mattress that I would use long term. But if it were in a pinch, it seems good enough that it could be used for longer term than 1 week.

Another vote for Coleman and for a padded mattress cover. Even the flocked topped are not all that comfortable by themselves. Also snag a few sheet suspenders; you risk shortening the lifespan of the mattress but for comfort, for a better guest, they can help a lot if your sheets have a slightly funky fit.

I’ve had Coleman and Intex, with built-in pumps and without, and they have all been fine. I think a separate pump is nice because then you can use the pump for other things, too.

Unless it’s hot as balls, it not very comfortable without something more than a sheet between the sleeper and the mattress. A memory foam topper is nice but a 2 - 4 inch topper takes up a lot storage space. If storage is a problem, you can get away with using a comforter under the sheet instead.

Do you use king sheets on the king mattress? Is there a way to fit the contour sheets on it?

The reason why you get cold on an air mattress is that the volume of air underneath you pulls heat from your body. Piling covers on top does nothing to address the real issue. I have an old school, super heavy wool Army blanket that goes underneath the sheets–doubled up on the twin, laid out flat on the queen. Get some good insulation underneath you and you’ll be right as rain.

That’s where I put the extra blankets - I lay them on top of the mattress and then put the fitted sheet on top of those blankets. Still cold.

I’ve never had luck putting fitted sheets onto a fully inflated mattress but you can inflate the bed into them. Fill the bed 80-90% so it has most of it’s shape, put the sheet on, fill the rest of the way. Sheet stays on for me when I do that.