This content was originally published on OldHouseOnline.com and has been republished here as part of a merger between our two businesses. All copy is presented here as it originally appeared there.
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An air mattress can be an excellent guest bed and should be your top choice for temporary sleep setups. The requirement is simple – it should be comfortable and must not deflate overnight. They’re also great if you’re planning an outdoor camping trip. Whichever inflatable mattress you go with, it’s also important that it is easy to set up and carry and compact enough to store when not in use.

Thicker Air Mattresses Are the Comfiest

Many air mattresses are equipped with memory foam and thick pads, making them the finest in the category. A thick air mattress is always better than a thin one. Why? Even if your mattress deflates overnight, a thick one will ensure that you continue to sleep peacefully. On the contrary, a thin one will have you awake and uneasy in the middle of the night. An air mattress can’t be as comfortable as a real mattress, but if you’re looking for a close deal, it’d be a thick air mattress.

Other Qualities To Look For in an Air Mattresses

In addition to the thickness, here’s what else you need to consider while buying an air mattress:

  • Height: If you’re planning on using your air mattress on the go, an air mattress with lesser height will be easier to carry and store. But if you’re buying it for your home, we suggest buying an air mattress that’s at least 18 inches high.
  • Air chambers: The air chambers in your mattress should ideally be vertical. If the air chambers are positioned side-by-side, you’ll notice sagging when you lie down, and it won’t be as comfortable.
  • Inflating time: An air mattress should be able to inflate and deflate quickly. Make sure this feature is a part of the deal, or half your time will be spent inflating and deflating it for storage and camping trips. The inflating or deflating time is usually mentioned by the manufacturer in the product’s description.
  • Flocked fabric: The mattress should have a suede-like finish. An air mattress with a plastic finish is never comfortable to lay on. It’ll just be sticky, and you’ll be fidgeting all night long. Make sure the bottom of the mattress also has a non-slip fabric. Otherwise, it will be prone to slipping on the floor.
  • Pump: There are two kinds of air mattresses: ones with a built-in internal pump and others that have an external pump. A mattress with an internal pump is far more expensive than its external counterparts and for all the right reasons. It helps save time and keeps you away from the hassle of inflating it manually.
  • Patch kits: While most air mattresses are extremely durable and are seldom punctured, having a patch backup never hurts. A patch kit lets you fix your punctured mattress in no time. Even if you don’t have the kit, you can order it separately.

Is It Good to Sleep on an Air Mattress Regularly?

Even the finest air mattresses are unable to provide adequate back support. Sleeping on them once in a while is totally alright, but long-term use may lead to joint and back pain. This is why we only suggest using them in the guest rooms or on trips.

Summing It Up: What’s a Great Air Mattress

Since you now have a fair idea of what a comfy air mattress looks like, you can go and study a few of the top-rated air mattresses out there. We’re certain you have all the information you need to make a great judgment call and choose a reliable air mattress for your needs.

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Old House Journal

Founded in 1973, Old House Journal is the original authority when it comes to old-house restoration, traditional house styles, period kitchens, bath & kitchen restoration, DIY projects, gardens & landscaping, and more-- from Colonial and Victorian through Arts & Crafts and Mid-century Modern homes.

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