Air Bed Buying Guide

With all of the different brands of adjustable air mattresses on the market, it can become quite confusing trying to figure out what is and what isn’t important when it comes time to make a purchase. We have provided this air bed buying guide to help you compare the different products available and make an intelligent purchasing decision.


Quality Air Chambers

Also known as the “air bladder,” the air chamber is the part of the bed that actually fills up with and holds the air. These are typically made up of PVC, nylon, urethane, or vulcanized rubber. While PVC, nylon, and urethane air chambers will last a long time, they are often considered stiff and uncomfortable for their owners. We recommend the vulcanized rubber for its durability and flexibility for comfort. A bed made with at 25 gauge-vulcanized rubber usually last a lifetime and cannot be over blown or popped.

Box Baffled Design

You’ll also want to take note of how the air chambers are arranged within the air mattress. Some manufacturers go for the bare minimum and use a side-to-side air channeling system. Over time, this system often develops lumps or a “hammocking” effect on the mattress. These manufacturers also have a habit of installing a bulky center foam barrier that you can uncomfortably feel down the center of the mattress. More modern manufacturers have introduced a box baffling design and I-beam technology to their air chambers. These beds disperse the air more evenly to give you more support and comfort. You also won’t feel that uncomfortable center barrier of foam between the air chambers.

Side Rails

Side rails are built around the perimeter of the air chambers to add support to the bed and prevent bowing-out. If you are trying to add good support to bed, avoid products with cheap side rails composed of plastic or thin foam. You want to get a bed with side rails composed of high-density foam. These side rails will be comfortable to sit on and will last as long as the air chambers.

Air Pump

Some air pumps are placed inside the mattress or out of reach of the owner. This is a huge no-no. Your air pump should be located outside of the bed where it can get proper airflow and can be cleaned when needed. The pump should have a quiet hum to it; quiet enough that you can change your firmness setting without waking your partner. You’ll also want a strong pump that reaches your desired comfort level quickly.

Moisture Barrier

The only thing inside of your air mattress should be the air chambers you pump air into. There are a lot of air mattresses on the market today that allow moisture, dust-mites, bodily fluids, etc. into the air chamber through the outer layer. This can be extremely dangerous because toxic mold spores can grow inside these types of mattresses and harm you. Your air mattress should have a moisture barrier that keeps all these elements out of the bed.


Nobody can promise perfect construction 100% of the time. Things can go wrong in the construction of any product by any company and they may go unnoticed to the consumer. You want to make sure the air mattress you purchase comes with at least a 10-year warranty.

Free Trial

The last time you went to a mattress store to “test” a mattress, did you actually fall asleep? You need some time to really try a mattress out to make sure it is the one that suits you. Your air mattress should come with a free trial period. We recommend giving yourself at least 2 weeks to adjust to your bed and decide whether or not it’s the perfect air mattress.

Personal Tastes

One Air Chamber or Two?

Queen, King, and Cal King sizes sometimes give you the option of having two air chambers. These are ideal for couples who prefer different firmnesses in their mattresses. If you are single and don’t plan on sharing your mattress anytime soon, go for one chamber.

Memory Foam, Latex, or Pillow Top Cover?

Many air mattresses today use a variety of materials for the cover of the air mattress. Avoid run-of-the-mill cotton or down pillow top air mattresses. The material may feel plush and comfortable, but it will break down over time and become lumpy and uncomfortable. If you want a pillow top type feel, opt for a “pillow flex” top. These are specially formulated fibers that hold their form throughout the life of the bed.

Memory foam gives that “sinking in” feeling and has a slower response time (how long it takes the mattress to return to it’s original shape). Memory foam naturally conforms to the shape of your body to significantly reduce stress on the pressure points of your body.

Latex has been gaining a lot of popularity over the past few years. Latex mattresses offer a “bouncy” feeling that many people find extremely comfortable and supportive. Latex will last forever and offers significant pressure relief.

You definitely want to make sure you find a bed with a removable/washable cover. Nothing is worse than spilling something on your mattress and having it leak to where you can’t clean it.

Remote Control

The remote allows you to choose the desired firmness level of the air mattress. We do recommend you get a remote that lets you see digitally what the level of firmness is. Remotes can come either wired or wireless.

All of our air mattresses we sell meet the above-mentioned criteria. If you have any questions feel free to call us and we’d be happy to help you out with your decision.