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Mattress Ratings > Air Bed Reviews
Based on 2,046 Actual Owner Experiences
|This page rates permanent-use air beds, not temporary-use air beds.|
THE GOOD: Permanent-use airbeds use air and sometimes foam for support as opposed to innersprings. This tends to result in above-average contouring support, comfort and pain-relief potential. Their longevity / lifespan is also above average.
Firmness can be adjusted by adding / removing air from the mattress using an electric air pump. Each side can have its own firmness setting which makes the beds couple friendly in this regard. And the relative light weight of the beds makes them fairly easy to move and handle.
THE BAD: Unlike other bed types, airbeds are mechanical – meaning more can conceivably go wrong with them.
In addition, their operation is not silent due to the air pumps. Warranty coverage is below average. Assembly is required.
The ratings below are based on 2,000+ consumer reviews of permanent-use airbeds. The data was gathered using an unbiased, accurate methodology. For ratings on specific brands, see the sections following this one.
|Owner satisfaction||B-||Airbeds overall as a group have 78% owner satisfaction. ( ) Airbeds overall rate slightly lower than memory foam and latex mattresses, but significantly better than innerspring mattresses overall. Mid-priced airbed models tend to rate somewhat better than low- and high-priced models.|
|Durability||C||Given the mechanical nature of airbeds, more can conceivably go wrong with them, such as leaks and pump / controller problems. These problems and others, however, can be fixed (see next entry). At least 20% of owners report the need to replace at least one part of the bed over the course of ownership. Problems that involve an inability to maintain air pressure may make the bed uncomfortable or unusable until the problem can be repaired.|
|Longevity||B+||Airbeds often have good longevity (on average about an eight-year life span) because their design is modular. In other words, the beds can be easily repaired by the owners themselves with replacement 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. In addition, air support – unlike innerspring or foam support – does not sag or lose resiliency with age and wear, helping longevity.|
|Affordability||c-||Prices are $700-$6,500 for a queen. Mattress thickness, comfort layer material, and technology level tend to determine price.|
|Less pain||b+||The ability of the air chambers to contour to one's body minimizes pressure points, provides support, and reduces pain, especially back pain, for many pain sufferers. About 10% of owners, however, complain that their bed causes pain for various reasons. (See mattresses and pain relief for general analysis.)|
|Firmness variety||a-||Firmness can be adjusted by adding or reducing the amount of air in the mattress. A bed with dual air chambers can have separate firmness adjustment for each side, allowing each person to have his or her own firmness or comfort level. At least 30% of airbed consumers say that firmness adjustability is a strong advantage of the beds. About 6% of owners, however, are disappointed by the range or effectiveness of their bed's firmness / comfort adjustability.|
|Motion isolation||b-||This is usually a moderate strength for airbeds, especially those with dual air chambers. A mattress that has good motion isolation localizes one person's movement so that another person on the bed is not disturbed much by it.|
|Easy to move on||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 memory foam, may offer some resistance to movement.|
|Even and unobstructed 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 of the bed. These problems tend to be most noticeable when the firmness setting of the two air chambers is very different. The Sleep Number / Select Comfort bed has significantly more complaints on this issue than other airbed brands.|
|No initial odor / off gassing||b-||About 5% of airbed consumers report an initial off gassing / odor problem. Models with memory foam or 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 beds with minimal padding / topper layer resulting in the owner sleeping almost directly on the air chamber.|
|Back sleep suitable||b+||Airbeds are likely best suited for back sleepers.|
|Side sleep suitable||b-||Side sleepers, owner experience data suggests, may 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 are the noisiest type of bed because of the air pump operation. Excessive air pump noise is a complaint for at least 8% of owners. Learn more.|
|Ready to use||F||Permanent-use airbeds require assembly that can take 30 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 core of the beds do not need to be flipped and or rotated to avoid sagging and loss of support. However, some models have toppers that may need to be rotated / flipped occasionally to avoid uneven wear / compression.|
|Good for sex, spooning, cuddling||c+||Opinions vary, but most owners say their airbed is ok for romance. Some air beds (especially the Sleep Number Bed) have a 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 can be difficult and uncomfortable. See the mattresses and sex comparison for how airbeds compare to other mattress types on this issue.|
|Lightweight||b||Since the mattresses consist of air to a significant degree, they are usually lighter in weight than other bed types. At least 10% of owner reviews report that the low weight is a plus because it makes moving the bed and tucking in linens easier. Some owners, however, believe that their airbed is low quality because it is lightweight.|
|Warranties||d+||Most airbed warranties are 20 years in length, but only the first few years are non-prorated. This means that after the first few years, owners will often need to pay at least 20% of repair costs. Other mattress types usually have superior warranty coverage. (See mattress warranties: what you should know.)|
|Better Business Bureau Ratings||a||Airbed manufacturers tend to have high BBB ratings. Currently, none have a rating below A-. Several manufacturers are BBB accredited which means that the company meets high BBB standards, which include a commitment to make a good faith effort to resolve any consumer complaints.|
Below are leading airbed brands. Click on a mattress for more detailed research findings based on actual consumer experiences.
|Sleep Number||Comfortaire||Innomax (Dual Digital)|
|Component quality & design||c||B+||B|
|No Middle Problem||d||c+||c+|
|Comfort & Less pain||b+||b+||b|
|No sleeping hot||c+||b-||b|
|Retailers||Sleep Number Bed Stores||Comfortaire direct, Relax the Back, additional retailers||Samsclub.com, Air Beds Unlimited, Airbeds.com, some additional retailers|
Also see the mattress comparison for how these brands compare to non-airbed mattresses including innerspring, memory foam, latex, futon and water.
The airbeds below are not included in Part 1 above because their sample sizes are too small to have a fair comparison. Click where available on an airbed for more detailed ratings.
|Owner satisfaction / sample size||Price (queen)||BBB rating||Warranty||Retailer(s)||Return policy||Comment|
|Boyd / Personal Touch||100% / 1||$1100-
|A-||10 yrs – 5 yrs full, 5 yrs prorated||Sears, Airbeds.com & limited number of other retailers||depends on retailer||Boyd Specialty Sleep in business since 1977|
|Classic Sleep Products||NA||$750-
|A||20 yr limited||Airbeds.com & limited number of other retailers||depends on retailer||Classic Brands in business since 1971|
|A+||20 yrs, 3 yrs non-prorated||Airbeds.com & limited number of other retailers||depends on retailer||Made by American National Manufacturing; in business 30 years|
|MountainAir||67% / 9||$1500-
|A+||10 yrs; 2 years on air pump & bladder||Denver Mattress / Furniture Row||30 days||Denver Mattress in business since 1995|
|Dream Number||70% / 10||$800-
|20 yrs, 5 yrs non-prorated||Dream number
|90 days; return shipping free||In business since 2005; above-average warranty.|
|Habitat Furnishings – Ascend & Arise||85% / 22||$1900-
|20 yrs prorated||Habitat furnish-
|365 days; $75 return fee||Habitat Furnishings in business since 2001; beds made by U.S. WaterMattress|
|Natural Form||74% / 44||$1000-
|20 yrs, 10 yrs non-prorated||Natural
|30 days; return shipping free||In business since 1994; beds use no pumps, motors or electricity|
|Personal Comfort||100% / 2||$1225-
|No rating||20 yrs, 3 yrs non-prorated||
|60 days; return shipping free; several models excluded||Since 1973|
Our ratings are based on 2,000+ consumer reviews of permanent-use air beds, especially reviews of 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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