SoundAsleep Dream Series Air Mattress
Credit: Tamara Staples

The 4 Best Air Mattresses, According to Our Testing

Give your guests a comfortable place to sleep.
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If you plan on having guests stay overnight in your home, then an air mattress is an easy way to make sure they have somewhere to sleep. Even if you don't have a dedicated guest room, an inflatable mattress can be placed on the floor of your living room and tucked away in a closet when not in use.

To find the best air mattresses, we tested nine of the most popular models on the market. Over two days, we evaluated each one for comfort, support, durability, and more by conducting a series of tests in our lab. We timed how long the air mattresses took to set up, from taking them out of the box to being fully inflated and ready to sleep on. We also considered factors like pump type, available sizes, and overall value while making this list. The SoundAsleep Dream Series Air Mattress is our top recommendation, as it earned a perfect score in our comfort tests and has a built-in pump that easily inflates and deflates.

Keep reading to learn more about each of our recommendations for the best air mattresses.

Our Top Picks

SoundAsleep Dream Series Air Mattress
Credit: amazon.com

Best Overall Air Mattress: SoundAsleep Dream Series Air Mattress

View at Amazon (from $115)

Who it's for: People who are primarily concerned about the comfort of an air mattress.
Who it isn't for: People who are extremely sensitive to smells. 

If you're looking for the most comfortable air mattress, then we recommend checking out the SoundAsleep Dream Series. It comes in every size from twin to king, so you can easily choose the option that best fits your needs. Designed with 21–48 air coils (depending on the size), this air mattress provides plenty of support while you're sleeping. In fact, our testers gave this model a perfect five-star rating for comfort and had no complaints about how it felt to lie on. Plus, it's sturdy and barely moved around when we jumped on it. 

As for portability, the air mattress comes with a bag that allows you to easily carry it from a storage closet to the room where you want to set it up. Just note that it did give off a slight smell at first, although it wasn't as noticeable once we put sheets on. If you're sensitive to smells, you might want to choose another model or let this one air out before use. 

The SoundAsleep air mattress comes with a built-in pump that inflates with a single twist of the knob (and deflates with a twist in the opposite direction). Even though it's easy to operate, this air mattress seemed to inflate slower than some of the others we tested. The entire setup process took seven minutes (from unboxing to being able to lie on it), but that's still only a difference of a few minutes compared to the models that took the least amount of time. We also gave this air mattress five stars for durability, and it does come with a one-year warranty that covers manufacturer defects but not holes from regular use. Overall, this is a seriously impressive (and not too expensive) air mattress. 

Product Details: 

  • Available Sizes: Twin, twin XL, full, queen, and king
  • Pump Type: Built-in pump
  • Weight Capacity: 300 (twin) to 500 (king) pounds
  • Warranty: One year

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Beautyrest Skyrise Raised Express Air Mattress
Credit: wayfair.com

Best Budget Air Mattress: Beautyrest Skyrise Raised Express Air Mattress

View at Wayfair (from $84)

Who it's for: People who want a budget-friendly option or who only need an air mattress for occasional use. 
Who it isn't for: People looking for an air mattress with a built-in pump.

Air mattresses can often be expensive, especially those that have additional features or come in larger sizes. For a more budget-friendly option that's also good quality, we recommend the Beautyrest Skyrise Raised Express Air Mattress. Our testers gave this model a perfect score for its overall value, which means it's the perfect balance of price and performance. It performed well in all of our tests, especially for support and durability. The air mattress is available in three sizes (twin, full, and queen), but keep in mind that we found the dimensions to be slightly smaller than typical mattress sizes.

The Beautyrest air mattress took the longest to set up (just over nine minutes), but that's likely because it uses an external pump. The pump comes with the air mattress, but we really wished that it was built in. "The external pump made it take longer to inflate and wasn't that intuitive," a tester said. Still, we found the Beautyrest Skyrise to be another comfortable option that "almost feels like a regular mattress," according to one tester. The air mattress even has a valve that allows you to adjust the firmness by letting a small amount of air out at a time. Since people have different preferences, this feature gives everyone the opportunity to sleep as comfortably as possible. 

However, the one-year limited warranty on the Beautyrest air mattress isn't as forgiving as some of the others on this list. It fully covers defects within three months of purchase, but after that (up until a year after purchase), the brand offers a 50 percent credit toward a replacement Skyrise air mattress. 

Product Details: 

  • Available Sizes: Twin, full, and queen
  • Pump Type: External pump
  • Weight Capacity: 700 pounds
  • Warranty: One year
Insta-Bed Raised Air Mattress With Never Flat Pump
Credit: walmart.com

Best Air Mattress With Built-In Pump: Insta-Bed Raised Air Mattress With Never Flat Pump

View at Walmart (from $250)

Who it's for: People who are worried about their air mattress deflating in the middle of the night.
Who it isn't for: Light sleepers who would wake up from the hum of a motor. 

If you've ever slept on an air mattress that lost air throughout the night, then you'll appreciate that the Insta-Bed is specifically designed to prevent that from happening. The Never Flat technology uses two built-in pumps: one that inflates and deflates and another that monitors air pressure. The latter will automatically add air to the mattress whenever it detects deflation. It took less than five minutes to set up, and our tester noted that almost all of that time was while it was inflating. Keep in mind that you'll still hear the motor once it's done inflating due to the second pump, but our team found that it's quiet enough to sleep through as long as you don't mind a little white noise.

The Insta-Bed air mattress is only available in queen size, which is 18 inches high while inflated, according to our measurements. The extra height is a good thing because it allowed our testers to get in and out of bed with ease. We were also very impressed by the support and durability of this model, which didn't sink at all after being weighed down overnight. But as for comfort, we just wished the top was a bit plusher. Our testers appreciated that the mattress has some edge support, and it's also worth noting that you can choose from three firmness settings to find what's most comfortable for you.

We liked that the Insta-Bed air mattress came with a patch kit, which is a nice addition if you encounter any punctures or rips after regular use. It comes with a one-year warranty in case of any defects (not regular wear and tear or damage), and you can file a claim online.

Product Details: 

  • Available Sizes: Queen
  • Pump Type: Built-in pump
  • Weight Capacity: 500 pounds
  • Warranty: One year

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Ivation EZ-Bed Air Mattress With Frame and Rolling Case
Credit: amazon.com

Best Air Mattress With Frame: Ivation EZ-Bed Air Mattress With Frame and Rolling Case

View at Amazon (from $330)

Who it's for: People who would rather sleep farther from the floor. 
Who it isn't for: People who don't have storage space near the setup spot.

Air mattresses typically sit very low to the ground, which can potentially make your guests feel uncomfortable if they don't like being so close to the floor. But since the Ivation EZ-Bed air mattress comes with its own bed frame, it looks and feels more like a real bed—especially when placed in a guest room. In our tests, we found that this model was comfortable, well-designed, and overall a pretty good value. It's the most expensive air mattress on our list, but its features and quality make it worth the splurge. 

Even though it might seem like setting this air mattress up would be complicated due to the frame, the process is actually so easy that it earned a perfect score in our testing. It has a built-in pump and the frame automatically extends when you start inflating, so it doesn't require any extra effort than the other air mattresses on this list. "The setup for this bed couldn't be any simpler," one tester said. "You just unzip the case, select the firmness level, and move the dial to 'inflate,' and a few minutes later you have a comfortable bed for guests." 

One downside of the Ivation EZ-Bed air mattress is that it's pretty heavy and bulky, which would make it difficult to carry up and down stairs. For that reason, we suggest keeping it on the same floor that you'd use it. The case has wheels and a handle (like a rolling duffel bag) so you're able to move it to another room on the same floor. 

Product Details: 

  • Available Sizes: Full, queen, and king
  • Pump Type: Built-in pump
  • Weight Capacity: 400 (full) to 600 (king) pounds
  • Warranty: One year

Final Verdict

The SoundAsleep Dream Series Air Mattress is our pick for the best air mattress because it's durable, supportive, and feels nice to lie on. It even comes with a built-in pump that inflates and deflates with a twist of the knob. If you're looking for a more budget-friendly option, we recommend the Beautyrest Skyrise Raised Express Air Mattress because it's less expensive but still pretty comfortable—and it earned a perfect score for its overall value.  

Our Testing Process

To find the best air mattresses, we tested nine different models over two days in our product testing lab. For each one, we timed how long it took to fully set up and scored from one to five based on its design, portability, comfort, effectiveness, durability, and overall value. Our tests included leaping on the air mattresses to judge their stability and leaving weights on them overnight to see how much they deflate.

SoundAsleep Dream Series Air Mattress
Credit: Tamara Staples

How to Shop for Air Mattresses

Size 

One of the most important things to consider when shopping for an air mattress is size. They typically come in standard mattress sizes (twin, full, queen, and king), but not all brands make air mattresses in every size. Sizes like twin XL and California king are harder to come by, but they do exist. Many of the air mattresses we tested were slightly smaller than we expected, but regular bedding of the same size should still fit. However, extra-thick models might need deep-pocket sheets to prevent the corners of the sheets from rolling off. 

Pump Type

You'll also want to take note of the pump type. Many of the best air mattresses have a built-in pump so you don't have to keep track of additional pieces. Some of the more affordable models come with external pumps, which are still relatively easy to use as long as you don't misplace them. 

Weight Capacity

Make sure to double-check the weight capacity before buying an air mattress, especially if you're going to have two people sleep on it. The suggested weight limits of our picks range from 400 to 700 pounds, and it can also vary depending on the size—for example, a twin mattress won't be able to hold as much as a king.

Warranty

Many air mattresses come with some type of warranty that protects you from manufacturer's defects. All of our top picks have a standard one-year warranty, but keep in mind that these warranties don't typically cover rips or tears that would occur with regular use. 

More Air Mattresses to Consider

AeroBed Air Mattress for Kids: The AeroBed performed well in all of our tests, but all of the brand's air mattresses are no longer available on all online retailers. If you can find it in stock, it's a good option for small children—just note that its size is more comparable to a toddler bed, according to our tests.

King Koil Air Mattress: This King Koil model is a thick air mattress that's comparable to the SoundAsleep Dream Series in many ways, but it comes in fewer sizes (only twin, queen, and California king) and isn't quite as comfortable or portable as the SoundAsleep.  

Coleman GuestRest Double High Air Mattress With Built-In Pump: The Coleman Air Mattress is priced well based on how it performs, but it lacks certain features that would make it stand out, like firmness settings and a pump that automatically shuts off. Our testers also wished the storage bag had a handle so it'd be easier to carry. 

Questions You Might Ask

What should I do if my air mattress has a tear?

If you notice that your air mattress has a leak, you should check the manual to see if it has suggestions on how to fix your specific model. Some air mattresses come with patch kits that allow you to repair any holes or tears at home. If the problem persists, you can contact the manufacturer to see if the damage is covered under warranty. 

How do I make an air mattress feel more like a real bed?

One way to make an air mattress feel more like a real bed is by choosing a model that's extra high or comes with a frame. You can also add comfortable sheets, a cooling blanket, and an adjustable pillow to make your guests feel at home. 

Take Our Word For It

This article was written by Amina Lake Abdelrahman, a commerce editor for Real Simple who has been writing about home products for nearly four years. To come up with this list, we tested nine air mattresses over two days in our product testing lab, where we evaluated each model for ease of setup, support, durability, and more.