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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: Airbeds provide personalized, adjustable support which tends to result in above average comfort and pain relief. Longevity / lifespan overall is good. Airbeds are lighter in weight than other bed types making them relatively easy to move and handle.
THE BAD: Unlike other bed types, airbeds are mechanical – meaning more can conceivably go wrong with them. Their operation is not silent due to air pumps. Warranty coverage is below average. Assembly is required.
THE BEDS: Airbeds use air for support as opposed to springs or foam. The comfort layer can consist of fiberfill, regular foam, memory foam, latex or a combination thereof. Firmness and support can be adjusted by adding / removing air from the mattress using an electric pump. Each side of the bed can have its own setting.
THE COMPETITION: See how airbed mattresses compare to other bed types in the mattress type comparison.
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 section 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. The various airbed brands tend to 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). At least 25% of owners report the need to replace at least one part of their 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 a nine-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 which helps longevity.|
|Affordability||c-||Prices are $400-$7,000+ depending on model and mattress size. Mattress thickness, comfort layer material, and technology level tend to determine price.|
|Less pain / pressure points||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 / reducing the amount of air in the mattress. A bed with dual chambers can have separate firmness adjustment for each side, allowing each person to have their own firmness or comfort level. At least 30% of airbed consumers say that firmness adjustability is a strong advantage of the beds. 6% of owners, however, are disappointed by the effectiveness of their bed's adjustability.|
|Motion isolation||b-||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 most 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 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 beds with a minimal comfort 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.)|
|Reputation of airbed manufacturers||B-||Airbed manufacturers as a group have a somewhat above-average reputation. The "B-" rating is an average based on a combination of metrics including but not necessarily limited to Better Business Bureau ratings and stability of ratings, number of BBB complaints / business size ratio, years in business, product ratings, and customer service ratings.|
The table below rates and compares many of the more popular air bed mattress brands. Click on a mattress for a full ratings report based on actual consumer experiences.
|Owner Satisfaction (Sample Size)||Price||Distinctive Advantage Or Trait||BBB Rating||SLTD Rating||In Business Since||Sold in Stores and or Online||Retailer(s)||Return Policy Length / Fees||Warranty|
|good availability||A+||B||1987||stores, online||Sleep Number Bed stores / sleep
|100 days / original & return shipping||25 yr, 2 yr non prorated|
|original air bed co.||A+||B+||1981||online, some stores||various retailers / comfortaire
|60 days / none||20 yr, 2-4 yr non prorated|
|value potential||A+||B+||1975||online, some stores||samsclub.com, various other retailers||90+ days / none (Sam's)||10-25 yr, 2 yr non prorated|
|generous return policy||A||B+||2001||online||habitat
|365 days / $75||20 yr, 3 yr non prorated|
|self adjusting; no pumps, motors or electricity||A+||NA||1994||online||natural
|30 days; none||20 yr, 10 yr non prorated|
|available in stores||A+||C||1998||stores, online||Denver Mattress / Furniture Row||30 days / NA||10 yr, 2 yr on pump & bladder|
|FDA registered mfg facility||no rating||NA||1973||online||personal
|60 days / none. several models excluded||20 yr, 3 yr non prorated|
|above average warranty||A-||C||2005||online, Houston, Tx store||dreamnumber
|90 days; none||20 yr, 5 yr non prorated|
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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