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The 7 Best Air Mattresses for Overnight Guests, Camping and Beyond in 2023

Don't compromise sleep quality for guests or when you're on the go. Shop these best air mattress picks.

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Whether you have overnight guests, your kids want to have a sleepover with their friends or you’ve just moved into a new place and are waiting for your furniture to arrive, an air mattress can come in handy. The best air mattress is comfortable, easy to inflate and super-convenient, because it provides you with the extra sleeping space you need in a pinch. Plus, when you aren’t using it, you can easily store it away in a closet.

Air mattresses aren’t just good for indoor use, though: They are amazing for traveling, too. If you plan to go camping and don’t have one as part of your camping gear, or if you’re embarking on a road trip soon, make sure you have an air mattress for your trip.

But as with buying a mattress of any sort, selecting the best air mattress can be challenging. After all, you don’t want one that spontaneously deflates in the middle of the night. Our carefully curated list has all the best options, whether you’re looking for an outdoor or indoor air mattress, a non-toxic mattress or the best mattress for a specific kind of sleeper.

The best air mattresses

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Rd Editor Tested Sound Asleep air mattress in a living room
Reina Glenn/rd.com

Best overall air mattress

SoundAsleep Dream Series Air Mattress

If you’re searching for the best air mattress for guests, look no further than the SoundAsleep Dream Series Air Mattress. This bed-in-a-box option, which comes in twin, twin XL, full, queen and king, is a host’s dream. It goes from flat to fully inflated—a “double height” of 19 inches—in just four minutes, thanks to its built-in pump. Hot sleepers may want to add a cooling mattress pad.

It has over 52,000 ratings on Amazon and an average of 4.4 out of five stars, probably because it checks all the boxes. Our deputy shopping editor, Reina Galhea, tested this mattress and said that even her 200-pound husband was comfortable sleeping on it. The mattress kept its shape and firmness through the night. Bonus: It deflates quickly and packs up easily for storage in the included carry bag, which is key when you’re entertaining overnight guests.


  • Reaches full inflation in four minutes
  • Has a waterproof flocked top and non-slip bottom
  • Made from eco-friendly polyvinyl chloride (PVC) material
  • Has 40 internal coils add support and durability


  • On the heavier side at 20 pounds
  • Primarily meant for indoor use

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Intex Dura Beam Standard Billow Rest
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Best budget air mattress

Intex Dura Beam Classic Airbed

This Intex inflatable bed easily takes the title of most affordable air mattress. You can buy any of the three sizes (twin, full and queen) for a wallet-friendly price, and each includes a velvet-soft sleeping surface. It has Fiber-Tech inner construction for support throughout the night, and a built-in pillow rest so you don’t fall off the end. All you need is an outlet to inflate it with its high-powered internal electric pumpand your favorite bed sheets, of course.

“What I most like about it that you don’t have to use a pump to pump it up,” writes five-star reviewer, OT., in reference to the internal pump. “I love the easy inflation. I also like the quick deflation when time to put it up.”


  • Won’t break the bank
  • Fiber-Tech polyester fibers don’t stretch over time
  • Features a built-in pillow rest
  • Weight capacity of 600 pounds


  • Not available in a king size

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Invation Ez Bed Air Mattress With Frame
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Best splurge air mattress

Ivation EZ-Bed Air Mattress with Frame

Some air mattresses come with a built-in-frame to improve comfort, which takes the mattress to a whole new level—literally. So how does it work? The Ivation EZ-Bed air mattress automatically unfolds while the bed is inflating (in under four minutes) with its built-in pump—no tools are required! If you’re searching for the best air mattress for older guests or a mattress for back pain sufferers, you’ll appreciate that this one is elevated 24 inches off the ground to emulate a real bed and make getting on and off much easier.


  • Frame automatically unfolds as mattress inflates
  • Inflates in under four minutes
  • Sits 24 inches off the ground
  • Involves Deflate Defender Technology to prevent overnight deflation


  • Pricey
  • Not the most convenient bed to travel with

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King Koil Luxury Twin Air Mattress High Speed Pump
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Best air mattress for couples

King Koil Luxury Air Mattress

If you’re tall, you know that finding an inflatable bed that fits your height can be difficult and make it hard to sleep on vacation. Here’s a travel sleep tip that’s just as important as finding the right travel pillow: Pick the best air mattress for extra length. Not only is King Koil’s air mattress large (it comes in a California King size), it has flocked material to prevent slipping, coils for comfort and a built-in pump that inflates it in two and a half minutes. For an even comfier setup, try a mattress topper.


  • California King size supports up to 600 pounds
  • Comes in 20-inch height and extra length
  • Inflates in two and a half minutes
  • Comes with a patch kit for repairs


  • The pump may be loud

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Intex Kidz Starry Night Air Mattress
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Best air mattress for kids

Intex Kidz Starry Night Air Mattress

Younger children need a safe, secure and kid-sized air mattress when traveling. That’s why we recommend this convenient Intex Kids Starry Night Air Mattress the next time you hit the road. The air mattress, which comes in a mint green color with starry details, has a compact air pump included, and the kiddie pool shape makes sure your little ones won’t roll out of bed. Plus, the inner mattress, which you can tuck your child’s favorite sheets around, comes out for easy mattress cleaning.


  • Small size is ideal for kids
  • Airbed separates from the bed frame
  • Comes with a carrying case
  • Inflates in two minutes


  • Doesn’t have a built-in pump, but comes with a hand pump

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Alwyn Home Debby Air Mattress
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Best air mattress for road trips

Alwyn Home Debby Air Mattress

Want to sleep under the stars without being on the ground? Then you’ll need an SUV air mattress to go in your car. This one adjusts to fit in the back space of your vehicle, and the two included inflatable pillows create a soft cushion to sleep on. The included air pump inflates the mattress in minutes and it deflates just as fast. It also has storage chambers to keep books, shoes or other items you need a home for. This car mattress should definitely be on your list of road trip essentials.


  • Fits in backseats or truck beds
  • Inflates in two minutes
  • Has extra storage compartments
  • Comes with a storage bag, patch kit and two pillows


  • Thinner than a regular air mattress
  • Has a weight limit of only 350 pounds

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Therm A Rest Basecamp Sleeping Pad
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Best air mattress for campers

Therm-a-Rest BaseCamp Sleeping Pad

When it comes to heading to the great outdoors, a sleeping pad is almost as important as having a quality backpack. With a design that alternates between thermal foam and air, this insulated Therm-a-Rest sleeping pad will keep you comfortable even during chilly nights. It has an R-value of 6.0, meaning it’s ideal for extremely cold conditions. Keep in mind that this may not be the best option for side sleepers, as it only has a 2-inch thickness. Still, it’s a solid option for those who like to spend their time in the fresh air. Don’t forget a mattress protector for pests!


  • Designed to withstand cold temperatures
  • Foam core adds an extra layer of comfort
  • Includes a stuff sack for portability
  • WingLock valve prevents leaks


  • Only 2 inches thick
  • Can only support one person

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What to look for when buying the best air mattress

By adding warm blankets, comfy pillows and maybe even a weighted eye mask, you can easily build a cozy bed on an air mattress. There are five main factors to consider when buying one: the pump type, inflation time, mattress height, air chambers and fabric. While most inflatable mattresses come with a pump (either attached to the mattress or one to insert), there are some that don’t, so you’ll need to buy it separately. Most blow-up mattresses should only take a few minutes to inflate.

While you may be used to a high bed and headboard at home, air mattresses that are lower to the ground are easier to roll up and take on the go. Air mattresses with vertical air chambers or coils are more supportive, because they distribute weight better. Those with horizontal air beams tend to sag more when under a lot of weight. Flocked fabric, a suede/velveteen-like material, covers the bottom of some air mattresses to prevent slipping, and the top to keep your sheets in place. It’s also more comfortable, so you won’t feel like you’re sleeping on plastic.

How we found the best air mattresses

As shopping experts, our only job is to help you find a winning product. We start with the research and reporting basics—what products are made of, what they look like and how much they cost—to ensure that we’re only recommending the buys that are worth your time and money. Then, we research the features that speak to the product’s quality, taking advice from industry insiders and subject matter experts on what makes a product a smart value (or worthy of a splurge). Finally, we do the work of combing through user reviews to see how real people interact with the product, and if it stands up to the test.


Are air mattresses comfortable?

Inflatable mattresses can be just as comfortable as memory foam, hybrid or cooling mattresses. Most feature internal technology to help them retain their shape and keep you rested. Plus, you can inflate to your desired softness or firmness.

How long do air mattresses last?

This is best answered by checking the details of your model. The best air mattress brands have options that last anywhere between one to four years. However, it truly depends on how often and where it’s used. Rough environments or campsites may cause more wear and tear than if it’s being used for a family movie night in the living room.

Are air mattresses bad for your back?

If you have back pain or are a side sleeper, you may want to bring a pillow for side sleepers or pillow cube to relieve back pain. Air mattresses can be adjusted to a firm or soft feel, depending on your needs.

How much weight can an air mattress hold?

Each mattress is different and the weight limit depends on the size and make of the model. Twin air mattresses tend to hold up to 300 pounds while king mattresses often have a weight capacity of up to 600 pounds. For specific information, check the manufacturer’s details.

Can you sleep on an air mattress every night?

Some nomads prefer an inflatable mattress as their permanent bed because it’s more convenient than even a cheap mattress. If you’re looking for the best air mattress for long-term use, opt for a bed with more durable materials and a quality patch kit in case you need to make repairs.

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Maryn Liles
Maryn Liles is a home and travel expert who’s covered everything from the best robotic vacuums to the most remote destinations around the world. She's also the founder of Connected Content Co., an SEO and creative content agency that's done work for Reader's Digest along with other companies and publications. When she's not writing, you can find her working on her latest home DIY project, out for a hike or dancing around the house to '80s jams.