Best air mattress 2022: top options for guests & staycations

Perfect for guests, sleepovers, camping and more, discover the best air mattress you can buy in 2022

Couple lying on air mattress
(Image credit: Coleman)

The best air mattresses are handy to have for a number of reasons. Because they fold down nicely when deflated, they're easy to store, and so they're great to have in reserve for when you have more guests than beds. If you've just moved house and are waiting for your proper beds to arrive, they make a great stopgap. And they're perfect for kids' parties and teen sleepovers. 

If you're going camping, the best air mattresses make a pleasant alternative to sleeping on a thin mat. That said, they can weigh quite a lot, so if you're going on a long hike first, you may want to compromise on comfort to get an air mattress that's on the lighter side. Although this guide is for air mattresses for your home, we also have a dedicated best camping bed (opens in new tab) guide for specific camping options.

In the article below, we round up the best air mattresses for all these purposes and more, at a range of budgets. We'll give you the facts and figures you need to choose between them, as well as pointing to any special features such whether they're waterproof and if they include an integrated pump. P.S. If you're looking for a proper bed set-up, take a look at the best mattress (opens in new tab) for our top options. 

Best air mattress 2022

Why you can trust T3 Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.

Active Era air mattress

(Image credit: Active Era)

1. Active Era Air Mattress

The best air mattress overall

Specifications

Integrated pump: Yes
Size: King
Dimensions: 203 x 152 x 48cm
Weight: 6.65kg
Other sizes available?: Single, Double
Max load: 120 kg (Single), 250kg (Double), 295kg (King)

Reasons to buy

+
Auto-inflates in 3 mins
+
Structured support
+
Integrated pillow

Reasons to avoid

-
Pump requires mains power

For all-round quality and value, the Active Era Air Mattress is our pick as the best air mattress available today. Why? Well, for a start, it's very supportive. Most air mattresses don't actually give you a good night's sleep because, while they're more comfortable than lying on the ground, they tend to be a bit saggy and uneven in places. The Active Era Air Mattress, however, is fitted with 35 structured air-coils, which means it provides great support for your body, neck and spine. The 48cm depth isn't too shabby either.

This air mattress also boasts an integrated easy-to-use electric pump that fully inflates the air mattress in just three minutes. Anyone who's struggled to inflate an air mattress with a manual pump, or just by putting your mouth to the valve and blowing it up with your lungs, will appreciate the effort that saves. (Note, though, that the pump is mains powered, which may make things tricky if you're on a campsite without a generator, portable battery pack or car outlet adapter.)

Best of all, the Active Era Air Mattress is tough and durable, thanks to an extra-thick, waterproof, flocked top layer, fashioned from a five-gauge puncture-resistant material. And you don't even need a pillow, as there's an 8cm raised-pillow shape built into the mattress for head and neck support during the night. 

Coleman Extra Durable Airbed Single

(Image credit: Mark Mayne)
The best air mattress for camping

Specifications

Integrated pump: No
Size: Double
Dimensions: 198 x 137 x 22cm
Weight: 2.8kg
Other sizes available?: Single, Raised double
Max load: 148 kg (Single), 270kg (Double), 295kg (Raised double)

Reasons to buy

+
Puncture resistance
+
Minimal leakage
+
Generous depth

Reasons to avoid

-
No integrated pump

If you're looking for the best camping bed (opens in new tab), there are many types to choose from, but an air mattress is the most comfortable, and the Coleman Extra Durable Airbed comes as our top recommendation.

Being out in the wilds raises the likelihood of sharp sticks, stones or even curious animals snagging an air mattress, so this comes with suitably tough puncture-resistance. But with a soft-touch brushed polyester surface, it's nice and soft, and doesn't make too much noise when you roll about on it at night. Plus, with a generous 22cm depth, it's not that far off sleeping on a 'real' mattress, comfort-wise. (If you want more than that, the Raised Double version is a whopping 47cm thick.)

Elsewhere, the double-lock valve system means leakage isn't a concern. We love how the cover is attached (so you can't lose it), and comes with a handle for easy transportation. And the mattress as a whole is easy to fold up and pack away. On the downside, you will need a hand-pump to inflate it. For more details, see our full Coleman Extra Durable Airbed review (opens in new tab).

Woman in pyjamas sitting on Englander air mattress

(Image credit: Englander)

3. Englander Air Mattress

The best air mattress that feels like a traditional bed

Specifications

Integrated pump: Yes
Size: Twin
Dimensions: 193 x 106.7 x 50.8cm
Weight: 5.81kg
Other sizes available?: Queen, Cal King
Max load: 136kg (Twin), 272kg (Queen), 363kg (Cal King)

Reasons to buy

+
Comfortable and supportive
+
Waterproof
+
Impressive depth

Reasons to avoid

-
Pump requires mains power

Want the space-saving convenience of an air mattress, but the comfort and feel of a traditional bed? The Englander Air Mattress comes closest. This luxurious air bed offers an incredible 50.8cm depth. The soft microfiber material is moisture-wicking and will keep you cool through the night. And the reinforced coil beam construction provides an impressive amount of support for your head, neck, shoulders and back.

It's a practical and convenient choice, too. The built-in pump fully inflates and deflates your air mattress in under two minutes at the press of a button. (You will need a mains power source, portable battery pack or car outlet adapter to use this, though). This air mattress is also waterproof, and comes with a handy carrying case. And if you opt for the Cal King version, it will support a load of up to 800lbs (363kg).

Family playing on an Enterplex air mattress

(Image credit: Enterplex)

4. Enerplex Air Mattress

The best air mattress for families

Specifications

Integrated pump: Yes
Size: Twin
Dimensions: ‎203.2 x 152.4 x 40.64 cm
Weight: 8.69kg
Other sizes available?: Queen
Max load: 136kg (Twin), 272kg (Queen)

Reasons to buy

+
Comfy flocking design
+
Non-slip bottom
+
Versatile

Reasons to avoid

-
Pump needs plugging in

Looking for an air mattress for both adults and children to enjoy, both indoors and out? Then here's our top choice. The Enerplex Air Mattress works well as a floor mattress at home, a portable bed for travelling, and a camping mattress for trips away. 

This inflatable mattress is constructed from puncture-resistant PVC and protected with welded seams, so leaking is minimal. It's topped with a flocking design that provides a high level of comfort, and has a generous depth of over 40cm, letting you drape your arms over the sides comfortably.

Its sturdy coil beam construction offers a high level of spinal support. An anti-slip bottom prevents the air mattress from moving about, even on wood or tile floors. And the built-in pump inflates and deflates the mattress in under two minutes. That needs plugging in, though, so if you're away from home you'll need to bring a portable battery pack or car outlet adapter.

Shrunks toddler travel bed

(Image credit: Shrunks)

5. The Shrunks Toddler Travel Bed

The best air mattress for small children

Specifications

Integrated pump: No
Size: One size
Dimensions: 121.9 x 17.8 x 10.2cm
Weight: 272g
Other sizes available?: No
Max load: 136kg

Reasons to buy

+
Protective guard-rails
+
Light and portable

Reasons to avoid

-
Not suitable for under-twos
-
Needs to be inflated manually

Winner of a Family Choice award, the Shrunks Toddler Travel Bed does exactly what it says on the label. Weighing just 272g, it's a very convenient way to provide your little one with a bed away from home when travelling. 

It's very safe, too, with its inflatable guard rails preventing them from falling out of bed. Not to mention that it's phthalates, BPA and lead-free. And despite being inflatable, it doesn't suffer from annoying squeaks. This air mattress comes with a manual pump, carry bag and repair kit. Note, though, that it's only suitable for two-year-olds and above.

Intex air mattress with headboard

(Image credit: Intex)

6. Intex Dura-Beam Air Mattress

The best air mattress with a headboard

Specifications

Integrated pump: Yes
Size: Queen
Dimensions: 236 x 152 x 86cm
Weight: 10.64kg
Other sizes available?: No
Max load: 273kg

Reasons to buy

+
Headboard good for sitting
+
Headboard acts a pillow stopper
+
86cm depth

Reasons to avoid

-
Not suited for outdoor use

Want your air mattress to be more like a proper bed? Well, how about one with a headboard! It's not just for show, either: it can used as a back support when sitting, and as a pillow stopper when sleeping. Any restless sleepers who routinely find their pillows end up on the floor during the night will see the use in that.

More generally, the pillow topped surface of this air mattress gives it a cushioned feel for high-quality comfort, while an incredible 86cm depth adds to the sense of luxury. It supports a load of up to 600 lbs (273kg). And the in-built pump will inflate the mattress within five minutes. As ever, this pump requires mains power, but as this isn't really suitable for camping, that's not really going to be an issue.

Best camping beds_Robens Prima Vapour 60

(Image credit: Robens)

7. Robens PrimaVapour 60 Airbed

The best lightweight air mattress for camping

Specifications

Integrated pump: No
Size: Single
Dimensions: 190 x 55 x 6cm
Weight: 425g
Other sizes available?: No
Max load: Not stated

Reasons to buy

+
Lightweight
+
Compact and easy to store
+
Good insulation

Reasons to avoid

-
You sacrifice comfort for lightness

If a normal air mattress is too heavy for your camping needs, you may find this alternative option preferable. The Robens PrimaVapour 60 Airbed weighs just 575g, which will significantly lighten your backpack load on a long hike. There's a payoff, in that this is more of a mat than a standard mattress, with a depth of only 6cm. But numerous air pockets for stability and comfort, and three-season PrimaLoft insulation protecting you from cold ground, you'll still sleep well.

Sea To Summit Ether Light XT Extreme

(Image credit: Mark Mayne)
The best lightweight air mattress for serious campers

Specifications

Integrated pump: No
Size: Various
Dimensions: 183 x 55 x 10cm
Weight: 1.05kg
Other sizes available?: Various
Max load: Not stated

Reasons to buy

+
Lightweight
+
Fits your body shape
+
Great insulation

Reasons to avoid

-
No good for hot nights

Designed for mountaineering and trekking, the Sea To Summit Ether Light XT Extreme doesn't go for maximum comfort, with just a 10cm depth. But it's still pretty comfortable for a camping bed, due to its premium materials and Air Sprung Cell design that allows each cell to deform to your body shape. And compared to most of the air mattresses on this list, it's very lightweight, at just over 1kg, and much easier to carry.

As you'd expect given the target audience, it's very warm and thick, making it perfect for cold and harsh conditions. The rubberised tab system makes it easy to inflate and deflate, using the optional pump sacks. And overall, this provides a good ratio of comfort to weight. For more details, see our full Sea To Summit Ether Light XT Extreme review (opens in new tab).

Tom May is a freelance writer and author of the book, Great Ted Talks: Creativity. He has been editor of Professional Photography magazine, associate editor at Creative Bloq, and deputy editor at net magazine. He has also worked for a wide range of mainstream titles including Radio Times, NME, Heat, Company and Bella.

With contributions from