There was a point in time when many homeowners thought that their air mattresses were going out of style, just like bell bottom jeans or fidget spinners.
But before you dump your air mattress or air bed in the trash, it is still a lot more useful than we give it credit for.
Maybe your mother-in-law is coming over to stay for a few days or your kid’s friends are doing a sleepover or slumber party. Or it could even be that your spouse has been snoring too much recently and have been regelated to the study till further notice. Air mattresses can also be used for camping and it’s more comfortable than a sleeping bag.
Compared to before, air beds are no longer just a piece of rubber or plastic that you pump air into. These days air mattresses are a lot fancier and it can be a rather daunting task when it comes to choosing one that suits your needs.
This article will show and guide you through the confusing world of air mattresses and how to choose the right one.
Inflatable mattresses used to be made of vinyl or PVC and most of them still are. What has changed is that the type of vinyl used these days are a lot tougher and more durable than before.
There are air mattresses that are made from rubber. If you are using your air mattress mostly outdoors then this would be better albeit at a higher price.
If you have a cat at home, it might be a good idea to get one that is made of a tougher material. A cat’s claw is sharp enough to cause a puncture if it goes on the air mattress.
It would be good practise to try and keep your cat off the air mattress to prevent any punctures.
Although the air mattress might be made of PVC or rubber, some manufacturers will use a softer ad more comfortable material like velvet or suede for the top.
This makes it more comfortable for sleeping without the use of any sheets. It would be best to go down to the shop to test it out as ultimately it boils down to personal preference.
The aim of most air mattresses manufacturers is to design a mattress that feels like an actual one.
These manufacturers will mostly use chambers or beams to try and mimic the sensation.
The majority of consumers do prefer chambers for a couple of reasons.
Air mattresses made with chambers are more stable. When you turn in your sleep, the chambers prevent the mass of air from moving and sloshing about inside. You won’t feel like you’re sleeping on a water bed.
Chambers are better suited for air mattresses meant for two people. It provides more support compared to beams and it feels a lot more like an actual mattress.
Chambered air mattresses are less prone to leaks compared to beams. This is because there is less pull on the seams which is usually the main culprit for leaks.
If you bought your air mattress many moons ago, it will usually be in the usual standard size for one person.
These days, you can get an air mattress in a single, queen and even king sizes.
The single bed size is better if you wish to use it for kids or an adult. But buying an air mattress that is larger in size would definitely be a more versatile choice.
In the previous point, we were discussing the size or width of the air mattress. There is another important dimension that most would-be buyers are not aware which is the height of the air bed.
There are two different heights to choose from when it comes to air mattresses.
The single height air mattress is very basic and doesn’t come with a pump. It can be inflated by just blowing into it like how you would use a floating mattress in the swimming pool.
The no-frills single heigh air mattress is great for the outdoors and camping as it is light and portable.
The main downside is that such air beds tend to slowly deflate once you start sleeping on them. You can go to bed on a nicely inflated bed only to wake up with it being fully deflated.
The other one is the double-height air mattress. This mimics the actual mattress that you sleep on at night. And it feels a lot more comfortable.
It isn’t the best candidate for camping due to its size and weight.
But if you are looking for a more permanent fixture for home use, then it would make a better choice. Most double-height mattresses come with an in-built pump which makes inflating it a breeze.
One Or Two Pumps
Most double-height air mattresses or high-end models would come with an in-built pump for convenience.
Even though these air beds do not leak as often or as badly as the more budget-friendly ones, it does tend to happen over time or as your air seal gets weaker.
Some beds now come with two pumps.
The more powerful pump is solely used to inflate and deflate the bed. While the other pump does a good job of maintaining constant air pressure while you sleep.
With Or Without Bedsheets
If you plan to use bedsheets with your air mattress, get one that has a suede or velvet surface which helps to hold the bedsheets in place.
If you get an air bed that has too smooth a surface, your sheets might come undone halfway through the night.
Some air mattresses also have clips or small hooks at the side that can help to secure your bedsheet.
The thing about air mattresses is that they can be a real pain to store when deflated. They become heavy and hard to fold.
If you are getting an air mattress for the occasional usage, having one that comes with a storage bag will come in handy.
Having the option to keep the deflated air mattress in a proper storage bag is great. There’s no risk of it getting punctured or damaged plus it keeps the dust away.
This is a very important point to consider and one that should not be taken lightly. You should buy your air mattress from a manufacturer that has a very good warranty.
Unlike an actual mattress that can easily last you a decade without any issues, air mattresses tend to break down after a few years.
Get one with a warranty that can cover punctures and structural damage. Make sure that your pump is also covered otherwise your air mattress is as good as useless if you can’t inflate it.
There are some air mattresses that come with built-in pillows. Some models have the pillows attached to the mattress itself while others give inflatable pillows as a separate add on.
It is useful when you have guests over and do not have extra pillows at home. Just cover it with a pillowcase for hygiene purposes.
Stick To Your Budget
Having a firm budget in mind is strongly recommended before your head down to the store to check out the various models.
You don’t want to be spending $1000 on an air mattress when the initial budget is only $300. Things can start to get out of hand when you start considering better pumps, materials, designs and extended warranties.
The sales staff will try and upsell you the more expensive models too. So make sure to stick to your guns and don’t get pressured into buying an air mattress that is going to break the bank.
One Size Doesn’t Fit All
Besides having a firm budget in mind, you will need to decide on why and how you plan to use the air mattress.
If you plan to use the air mattress as a spare bed or as your own bed, then it should be sturdy and as comfortable as possible. Try not to skim on the budget as you will be spending many hours sleeping on it.
Don’t get one that has horrible back support and injure yourself.
If you plan to use the air mattress for all your outdoor adventures, get one that is light and portable. You don’t want to be lugging an air mattress that weighs a ton and wears you down while you hiking.
If you want to get one for your swimming pool, get one that is designed to be waterproof and light. Don’t use an inflatable pool mattress as an actual mattress to sleep on as it doesn’t come with adequate support.
Buying Online Or Offline
If you are looking to spend $50 bucks on an inflatable pool mattress then by all means, do it online. But if you going to use this air mattress as an actual bed or for guests, I would highly recommend that you do go down to your local store to test out as many models as possible.
Even though you might be able to get a better deal online, it is always better to actually test out the mattress in person to see how it feels.
Now that you have a better understanding of how to choose the right air mattress for your needs, you can have peace of mind knowing that you are getting one that will be perfect for you.
Nora is a passionate writer with a love for books, animals, and gardening.
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