With the Best Air Mattresses, You Won’t Wake Up on the Floor

Self-inflating pumps, we heart you.
Air Mattresses

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Reading up on Domino’s shopping guides is like having your own personal product concierge. We do the tedious part—deep-dive research, hands-on testing, and tapping experts for advice—so all you have to do is hit “add to cart.” That’s why we call them Simply the Best.

Whether you need to host unexpected guests, are planning a weekend camping trip, or are in the middle of a renovation (as in, your primary bedroom looks more like a construction zone than a sleep sanctuary), one of the best air mattresses can come in handy. They’re easy to store and an ideal spot to rest your head if and when you’re in a pinch. 

And while the general consensus is that these inflatable beds are uncomfortable, the list below offers high-quality picks you can rely on. Our favorites feature self-inflating pumps; are made from durable materials; and suit a range of functions. So no matter if you’re not yet ready to outfit an entire guest bedroom or need something lightweight enough to stuff in your backpack for trips on the go, you can find a solution, below. 

Our Favorites

Best Overall: SoundAsleep Dream Series Air Mattress

Best Overall

Sizes: Twin, twin XL, full, queen, king | Material: Eco-friendly PVC and top flocking | Pump type: Internal | Inflation time: Under 4 minutes 

What we like:

  • Waterproof and puncture-resistant
  • Raised sides
  • Quiet pump
  • Small business

Worth noting:

  • Not the most compact

Why we chose it: When it comes to quality air mattress sleeping, this model is the crème de la crème with sturdy fabric and a reliable motor. 

Quiet, affordable, and comfortable: It shouldn’t be surprising to see SoundAsleep’s ever-popular Dream Series top our list. It is the best all-around air mattress with a patented internal EZ pump, “sure-grip” bottom to prevent sliding, comfort-coil technology for extra body support, and an extra-thick PVC to stand up against anything sharp or jagged. Every design detail was taken into consideration, which is also why the majority of our experts placed this at the top of their lists. 

Best Value: Intex Dura-Beam Air Mattress

Best Value

Sizes: Twin, full, queen | Material: Plastic | Pump type: Internal | Inflation time: Under 5 minutes

What we like:

  • Affordable (we’re talking less than $100)
  • Indented sides to prevent sheet slipping
  • Can hold up to 600 pounds

Worth noting:

  • Isn’t easily recyclable

Why we chose it: An incredibly comfy air mattress that doesn’t sacrifice quality for affordability. 

We still can’t get over just how low the price tag is on this über-cozy air mattress. (A soft pillow-like top? Yes, please.) Its velvety surface offsets the stiffness of standard plastic, making it extra-plush to the touch. The mattress’s deep sides keep you far off the ground, but note: Only a deep-pocket sheet will work here (the right set will just add another layer of comfort). One other major perk that sets it apart from the competition? It can hold up to 600 pounds, making it ideal when you’re hosting your favorite couple friends who may be concerned about uneven weight distribution. 

Best for Guests: Ivation EZ-Bed Air Mattress

Best for Guests

Sizes: Full, queen, king | Material: PVC | Pump type: Internal  | Inflation time: Less than 4 minutes

What we like:

  • 48 circular coils for added comfort
  • Self-deploying design with elevation from floor
  • Easily folds up into a duffel bag with wheels

Worth noting:

  • A splurge

Why we chose it: Ideal if you’re hosting guests before you’re, ahem, really ready to.

According to Nicole Shallow, a board-certified behavior analyst who specializes in sleep habits, there is proof that the higher an air mattress is off the floor (to mimic a standard bed set), the easier it is to fall asleep. Not only does Ivation add a frame to raise its bed 24 inches off the floor, it includes coils to imitate the feel of a standard spring mattress. This means your guests won’t scoff at your decision to pick air over tradition when furnishing a spare bedroom. In fact, after one night on this model, they’re likely to prefer it! 

Perhaps the most exciting feature, however, is the hands-off prep approach. This mattress can blow up on its own (all you have to do is turn the knob on the built-in pump to plush or firm) and fold back down into a wheeled duffel bag—frame and all—to be transported from place to place. It’s definitely on the pricier side, but it’s built to last. 

Best for Camping: EnerPlex Camping Series Air Mattress

Best for Camping

Sizes: Twin, queen | Material: PVC | Pump type: External | Inflation time: 2 minutes

What we like:

  • Inexpensive 
  • Low inflation time
  • Coil beam construction for spinal alignment

Worth noting:

  • Limited sizes

Why we chose it: After hiking and hanging, the last thing you want to worry about is blowing up your mattress—EnterPlex does the work for you. 

For those who plan to not only bring their air mattress on the road but also outdoors, you’ll need something strong enough to stand up to the jagged edges of rocks and sticks. EnerPlex keeps the camper in mind—it’s inexpensive, blows up in less than two minutes, and even boasts lines of internal coil beams to provide extra support for your body. Despite its ability to be folded up small enough to stow in a backpack, we’d say this mattress is a better fit for casual weekend outings as opposed to extreme hiking (those who are scaling peaks over the course of a day). At 12 pounds, it might be too heavy to tote miles into a campsite. 

Best for On-the-Go: Invoker Sleeping Pad

Best for On the Go

Size: One size (77.2-by-27.6-by-3.15 inches) | Material: Foam and knitted fabric | Pump type: No pump (self-inflating valve) | Inflation time: 25 seconds

What we like:

  • Multiple color choices
  • Only 6 pounds
  • Comfortable memory foam

Worth noting:

  • Can only accommodate one sleeper

Why we chose it: Small and lightweight enough to throw into a trunk, Invoker’s sleeping pad will encourage you to get on the road. 

If you’re looking to ditch air mattresses altogether or need to make the most of a tight-quarters sleeping space (as in a cross-country road trip), consider this lightweight, self-inflating, and surprisingly comfy sleeping pad. Ideal for multiday trips or outdoor recreation, the memory foam–based dream is one of our favorite finds this year and a must-have for anyone who lives life on the go. While you won’t be able to share the pad with a significant other, you can certainly put two next to each other and enjoy a night of effective support and thermal insulation. 

How We Chose These Products

Taking Shallow’s expert advice into consideration, we researched the most popular air mattresses on the market and narrowed our list down to a handful that maintained consistently positive reviews in categories like durability, affordability, comfort, and warranties. From there, we ran these options by a physical therapist, chiropractor, and hiking enthusiast so they could hand-select the best based on personal use, as well as the quality of construction and materials used. “These are some of the best of the best,” stresses New York–based personal trainer and hiker Dominick Mangine. “The quality of these mattresses provides a good night’s rest, meaning you’ll wake up feeling refreshed and able to tackle a day of outdoor activities without aches and pains.” 

Our Shopping Checklist

Design and Material

Most air mattresses are made of polyvinyl chloride (PVC), a synthetic polymer of plastic that is flexible enough to allow for easy expansion and deflation. More expensive models will provide a thicker PVC layer to prevent any holes or cuts. “You’ll want to decide on an air mattress that works best for what you’re using it for,” says Shallow. “Some features like self-inflating pumps and strong materials may be important for some, but you ultimately want one that is durable and not easily destroyed by small sharp objects.”

But when it comes to comfort, Shallow recommends looking for an option with a single air chamber, either vertical or horizontal, as it will best maintain the structure. “Additionally, you can always buy a duvet cover, sturdy pillow, and even a mattress topper for added support,” she adds. “Air mattresses are also not ideal for temperature regulation, so be sure to add cozy fleece sheets.” 

Pump Style

Many modern air mattresses will have an internal pump that blows air directly into the unit with a simple touch of a button. Some motors may be placed on the outside, which means buyers should exercise extra care when using and storing the product. Manual pumps are essentially a thing of the past, so you don’t need to worry about exerting any extra effort to get air into your unit. 

Inflation and Deflation

Thanks to advances in technology, most electronic or battery-operated pumps will inflate an air mattress in less than five minutes. Keeping them from deflating, on the other hand, is all about going with a durable material that won’t easily leak. Otherwise, Shallow notes there are a few tricks to maintain your air mattress throughout the night. “First and foremost, keep the room temperature consistent. When sleeping outside or camping, the air mattress is more likely to deflate. A warmer temperature is ideal,” she says.

She adds that monitoring the weight capacity and avoiding over-inflation will help. “When buying a new mattress, blow it up but avoid using it for the first 48 hours to allow for the material to stretch into position. Be sure to deflate an air mattress the next morning to prevent too much pressure put on the seams, which causes leaks,” she explains. 

Warranties and Trials

“Search for an air mattress that also offers a warranty,” Shallow advises. “This provides peace of mind that it is long-lasting and high quality.” For instance, our favorites, on average, offer a minimum two-year-long period. 

Ask Domino

Quit counting sheep and count on sleep expert Nicole Shallow, founder of Your Behaviour Gal, to answer your burning air mattress questions to ensure a good night’s rest, even if the bed happens to be inflatable.  

Q: How long does an air mattress last?

An air mattresse can last between two and eight years, depending on how you care for it, as well as how much it is used. 

Q: My air mattress is leaking. Is there anything I can do to fix it?

First, locate the leak by fully inflating the mattress and lying on it. Small holes are harder to uncover, but try to find the air that is coming out. If you can’t, use dish soap on a cloth or sponge and wipe it over the surface. Bubbles coming up faster or growing will be the source of the leak. Use a writing instrument to circle this area once clean and dry. Next, deflate the mattress and either use a patch (they sometimes come with a mattress purchase) or rely on a makeshift one from home in the interim, like thin plastic adhesives or duct tape (though these should be short-term solutions). Allow anything to dry and adhere for more than eight hours before trying to use the air mattress again. Be sure to inflate it and test for more leaks. 

Q: If my air mattress is old or beyond repair, can I recycle it instead of throwing it away?

Most air mattresses contain a lot of plastics, which can contaminate soil and waters, so disposing of them properly is important. Recycling will depend entirely on the material the mattress is made out of and the rules in your area. If possible, it is best to take the extra time to  recycle it at a recycling depot. Ask questions about how you can best dispose of it while also considering the environmental impact. 

Q: What’s the best way to store an air mattress?

Deflate the air mattress when you are not using it, then fold and roll it up. If there is a storage bag, place it in there before putting the mattress into a storage container that is airtight (extra dust or dirt can adhere to the mattress). Also be sure to store the mattress in a space that will be away from any potential water leaks or damage that may result in mold or mildew. 

The Last Word

Whether you’re becoming one with nature or simply need a sofa alternative for overnight guests, the best air mattresses don’t skimp on quality.  All our favorites come with an easy-to-use pump and are designed with durable materials, so you won’t have to worry about leaks—the last thing you need, or want, to do is wait in a returns line or have to send a product back.