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Mattress Ratings > Air Bed Reviews

unbiased Airbed Reviews, Ratings & Comparisons

Based on 2,217 Owner Experiences Gathered From 547 Sources

April 2, 2015

This page rates permanent-use air beds, not temporary-use air beds.

What You Need To Know

THE GOOD: Airbeds provide personalized, adjustable support which tends to result in above average comfort and pain-relief potential. Each side of the bed can have its own independent adjustment. Longevity / lifespan overall is good. Initial off gassing odor and heat retention tend to be limited.

THE BAD: Unlike other bed types, airbeds are mechanical which means that more can conceivably go wrong with them. Warranty coverage is below average. Their operation is not entirely silent due to air pumps. Assembly is required. Airbed availability in smaller markets can be poor.

THE BEDS: Airbeds use air for main support as opposed to springs or foam. The comfort layer can consist of regular foam, memory foam, latex or a combination thereof. Firmness and support can usually be adjusted by adding / removing air from the mattress using an electric pump.

THE COMPETITION: See how airbed mattresses compare to other bed types in the mattress type comparison.

Video Summary of Airbed Research

Airbed Ratings: Overall as a Group

The ratings below are based on 2,200+ consumer reviews of permanent-use airbeds. The data was gathered using an unbiased, accurate methodology. For ratings on specific brands, see the section following this one.

Owner satisfaction B- Airbeds overall have 78% owner satisfaction. (78 out of 100 based on 2144 reviews.) Airbeds rate slightly lower than both memory foam and latex beds but significantly higher than innerspring beds overall. Low-priced airbed models tend to rate somewhat worse than mid- and high-priced models often due to excessive firmness. The various airbed brands rate fairly similar.
Durability C- Given the mechanical nature of airbeds, various problems can arise, such as leaks and pump / controller problems. These problems and others, however, can be fixed (see next entry). 25%+ of owners report the need to replace at least one part of the bed over the course of ownership. Problems involving an inability to maintain air pressure may make the bed uncomfortable or unusable until the problem is repaired.
Longevity B+ Airbeds often have good longevity (9-year lifespan on average) because they can be repaired by the owners themselves with parts sent from the manufacturer. This is an advantage largely unique to airbeds; if a bed of another type (such as innerspring or memory foam) develops a problem the entire bed often needs to be replaced. Also, air support – unlike innerspring or foam support – does not sag or lose resiliency with use and age.
Affordable D Prices are $450-$5,000+ depending on model and size. Thickness, comfort layer material, and technology level mostly determine price. In addition to initial cost, at least 25% of owners will at least partly pay for replacement parts at some point during ownership.
Less pain / pressure points b+ The air chambers' ability to contour and conform to one's body minimizes pressure points, provides support and reduces pain (especially back pain) for at least 20% of owners. 10% of owners, however, complain that the bed causes pain for various reasons. (See mattresses & pain relief for general analysis.)
Adjustability of firmness / support a- Firmness / support can be adjusted by adding or reducing air to the mattress. Models with dual chambers have separate adjustment for each side, giving each person their own comfort level. 35%+ of airbed owners say adjustability is a strong advantage. However, 6% are disappointed with adjustment because the range is too limited or because it affects only support, not firmness.
Ease of use d A main downside of adjustability is that finding a personally suitable setting can require significant time and experimentation, say up to 20% of owners. About 6% report an inability to ever find a suitable setting.
Short break in period B Airbeds typically have a shorter break in period than several other mattress types.
Motion isolation b- Models with two air chambers tend to have above average motion isolation, that is, they localize a person's movement so that their partner is not disturbed much by it.
Easy to move on / get up off b Increasing the firmness can make it easy for a person to move around on the bed and get up off of it. Models, however, with thick pillow tops, especially those with high-density memory foam, may offer some resistance to movement.
Even and unob- structed sleep surface, i.e., no "middle problem" c- A significant number of airbed owners report that their bed can sag and or slope where the two air chambers meet – causing a sleeper to roll or slide toward / away from the middle. Or owners may report a hump or valley in the middle. These problems tend to be most noticeable when the firmness setting of the two air chambers is very different. The Sleep Number bed has significantly more complaints on this issue than other airbed brands.
Edge support C+ A mattress with good edge support keeps you from falling off the bed when sleeping or sitting close to the edge. Many airbed brands use an "edge to edge" design that provides such support. Most Sleep Number models, however, use foam side walls for edge support which can deteriorate with use and age, undermining edge support.
No initial odor / off gassing b- About 5% of airbed consumers report an initial off gassing / odor problem. Models with memory foam or synthetic latex generally have the most complaints on this issue.
No sleeping hot or cold b- About 5% of airbed owners report that their bed acts as a heat trap. Models with memory foam or latex generally have the most complaints on this issue. About 2% of owners report that their airbed sleeps cold. These owners usually have a model with a thin comfort layer which results in the owner sleeping almost directly on the air chamber.
Back sleep suitable A- Airbeds overall are likely best suited for back sleepers.
Side sleep suitable b- Side sleepers, owner experience data suggests, often prefer models with significant padding to minimize pressure points as opposed to cheaper, less padded models.
Stomach sleep suitable b There are few complaints regarding suitability for stomach sleepers.
No noise d+ Airbeds make some noise due mainly to their air pump operation. While pumps have generally become quieter in recent years, noise is still a complaint for about 7% of owners. Learn more.
Ready to use D- Airbeds require at least some assembly which can take 15 minutes to two hours depending on several factors. Other mattress types, with the exception of waterbeds, do not require assembly.
No rotating / flipping b+ The air chamber(s) do not need to be flipped and or rotated. The comfort layer(s) may benefit from being rotated / flipped occasionally to avoid uneven wear / compression.
Good for sex, spooning, cuddling c- Most owners say their airbed is acceptable for romance. Some airbeds (especially most Sleep Number models) may have a noticeable trench / intrusion / slope or some other problem in the middle where the two air chambers meet. Being intimate, say couples, on or near this area may be uncomfortable. (See the mattresses and sex comparison for how airbeds compare to other bed types.)
Lightweight B Since the beds consist of air to a large extent, they tend to be lighter or no heavier than the average mattress. This for many owners is an advantage as it makes the beds relatively easy to lift and handle, but owners who equate quality with heavy weight may be disappointed.
Stays put / together D+ The fact that airbeds are comparatively lightweight and modular (consist of separate, individual components) means they are not as stable and integrated as conventional mattresses. This means airbeds are more likely to move on their base and need occasional adjustment of their components.
Warranties d Most airbed warranties are 10-25 years in length, but usually only the first few years are non-prorated. This means that after the first few years, owners will often need to pay 20%+ of replacement part costs. Other mattress types often have superior warranty coverage. (See mattress warranties: what you should know.)
Availability at mattress retailers c- There are many Sleep Number stores across the United States. In general, however, airbeds are not as widely available as most other bed types. Finding airbeds at mattress showrooms, especially in smaller markets, is often difficult.

Airbed Brands: Ratings and Comparison

The table below rates and compares many of the more popular airbed mattress brands / models (in alphabetical order). Select a mattress below for complete ratings. Also, many of the following mattresses can be compared in more detail in the mattress comparison.

Boyd Comfort-
Pedic IQ
Habitat Furnish-
Innomax Personal Comfort Sleep Number Tempur-
Pedic Choice
Owner Satis- faction (Sample)              
80% (29) 83% (196) 77% (48) 83% (29) 78% (172) 82% (89) 78% (1664) 81% (26)
$900 - $3000 $1080 - $5100
$1900 - $4200 $1300 - $3000 $600 - $3000
$450 - $3800 $450 - $5250 $2700 - $4100
Distinctive Advantage Or Trait              
up to six air chambers original airbed company self adjusting, no pumps generous return policy value potential FDA regist- ered mfg facility dominates airbed market minimal assembly
SLTD Company Rating              
B B+ C B+ B+ B- B B
BBB Rating              
A+ A+ A+ A+ A+ A+ A+ A+
In Business Since              
1977 1981 1870 2001 1975 2012 1987 1992
In Stores and or Online              
online, some stores online, some stores stores, online online online, some stores online stores, online stores, online
several especially nightair beds.com various smaller retailers & comfort aire.com several retailers habitat furnish
Sams Club, others personal
bed.com, Amazon
Sleep Number stores / online several retailers
Return Policy Length / Fee              
can vary by retailer 100 days / no fee. must keep 30 days can vary by retailer 365 days / $75 fee 90+ days / no fee (Sam's) 120 days / no fee on most models. must keep 45 days 100 days / shipping fee can vary by retailer
20 yr, 2 yr non prorated 25 yr, 2-4 yr non prorated 10 yr non prorated 20 yr, 3 yr non prorated 10-25 yr, 2 yr non prorated 25 yr, 3 yr non prorated 25 yr, 2 yr non prorated 10 yr, 5 yr on pumps, hoses, remotes
-- independent subsidiary of Select Comfort made by Simmons; new model as of 2014 made by Water Mattress, Inc. -- -- over 400 stores intro- duced in 2013

Our mattress research has appeared in –

About Our Unbiased Air Bed Ratings and Research

Our ratings are based on 2,200+ consumer reviews of permanent-use air beds, especially reviews for the Sleep Number / Select Comfort bed. The data was collected using an unbiased, accurate methodology.

We receive NO compensation of any kind from any company, organization or individual to affect in any way or degree our mattress research or its findings.

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