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Best inflatable airbeds and mattresses 2021

Whether you’re planning a camping trip or you have guests coming to stay, an inflatable air mattress is a handy bit of kit to have around. Here’s our pick of the best airbeds and mattresses to buy this year.

By Laura Martin | Last updated Jul 30, 2021

Woman blowing up air bed

We’ve all had a bad experience on a cheap airbed, usually where a slow puncture has had us waking up the next day practically on the floor, and it’s tempting to dismiss inflatable mattresses as uncomfortable, noisy and hardly worth the bother.

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But there are plenty of excellent airbeds out there which will not only stay pumped up the entire night, but will actually have you sleeping like a baby.

To help you in your quest for the best, we’ve researched the top products on the market and scoured the Mumsnet forums for tried-and-tested recommendations.

Here are the best airbeds and air mattresses to buy in 2021.

1. Best overall airbed: Coleman Comfort Airbed

Coleman airbed

Price: £49 | Buy now from Go Outdoors

“We’ve just bought one of the Coleman Comfort doubles and it’s much much better than an ordinary inflatable mattress." - DustyStar

This clever airbed from camping specialists Coleman has a unique dual chamber design, so that each side of the double mattress is inflated separately.

This means that you don’t have to struggle with the usual problem of being bounced about when the person you’re sharing the airbed with turns over in the night, resulting in a much better night’s sleep all round.

It’s also made from an extra-strong PVC, which is very resistant to punctures, and comes with a handy travel bag and repair kit too.

Key specs:

  • Pump included: No (available at extra cost)
  • Repair kit included: Yes
  • Sleeping area dimensions: 188 × 137 × 22cm
  • Weight: 3.5kg

2. Best budget airbed: Bestway Pavillo Airbed

Bestway Pavillo airbed

Price: £18.99 | Buy now from Amazon

At just under £20 for a double, this basic inflatable mattress from purveyors of all things inflatable, Bestway, is amazing value for money.

It doesn’t come with a pump, so you’ll need to make sure you have one already – trust us when we say that you don’t want to be blowing one of these up by yourself.

Once inflated, the sturdy coil beam construction will keep you nice and supported, and the indented surface should help you and your bedfellow avoid rolling into each other in the night. An all-round bargain!

Key specs:

  • Pump included: No (available at extra cost)
  • Repair kit included: Yes
  • Sleeping area dimensions: 190.5 × 137.2 × 21.6cm
  • Weight: 3kg

3. Best airbed for kids: Avenli Child’s Inflatable Mattress

Avenli air bed

Price: From £13.90 | Buy now from Amazon

We love this brilliant little airbed for toddlers and kids which comes in a choice of blue or pink. It has a unique design with raised sides to keep your little one from rolling off the edge.

It’s also made from a flocked, waterproof material – ideal in case of accidents. Take note though that a pump isn’t included so you’ll need to have your own.

Key specs:

  • Pump included: No
  • Repair kit included: Yes
  • Sleeping area dimensions: 152 × 89 × 17.5cm
  • Weight: 1.4kg

4. Best extra long airbed: Intex Queen Dura-Beam Series Single High Airbed

Intex Queen airbed

Price: £28 | Buy now from Amazon

Most airbeds are a little shorter than the standard mattress on your bed, so if you or your partner are on the tall side, you may need something a bit longer.

This airbed from Intex, which comes highly recommended by hundreds of happy customers, is a sizable 203cm long, which is around 15cm longer than most, giving you that little bit extra room to get comfy. 

Key specs:

  • Pump included: No
  • Repair kit included: No
  • Sleeping area dimensions: 203 × 152 × 25cm
  • Weight: 3.9kg

5. Best airbed for camping: Teal Gecko Self-Inflating Camping Mat

Teal Gecko airbed

Price: £35.99 | Buy now from Amazon

“I highly recommend self-inflating mats.” - DaisysGotSausageFeet

This nifty little self-inflating airbed is perfect for festivals and camping holidays when space is at a premium and you want to carry as little with you as possible.

Its unique design comprises of thermal insulation and a pillow, giving you a comfortable resting place, fully protected from the bumpy, hard ground beneath.

Also attached are snap fasteners at the sides which means that another mattress can be connected if required.

Key specs:

  • Pump included: Foot pump
  • Repair kit included: Yes
  • Sleeping Area Dimensions: 200 × 70 × 8cm
  • Weight: 0.9kg

6. Best raised airbed: Active Era Luxury King Size Elevated Air Mattress

Active Era air bed

Price: £109.99 | Buy now from Amazon

“It stays firm, and is easy to inflate and deflate” - FrogspawnOfSanta

An elevated airbed is a great idea if the advancing years mean that it’s not quite as easy as it once was for you or your guests to get up and down from the ground.

This luxurious, ergonomically designed mattress from Active Era has a height of 56cm making it as high as many normal beds, and much easier to get onto or off than a standard airbed. What’s more, it has a clever internal inflation pump which just needs to be plugged in and will blow up your bed in less than three minutes, so you don’t need to have a separate device.

Be warned, however, that its size does mean that it’s larger and heavier than other airbeds, so it may not be ideal if you’re short on space or have far to walk to get to your campsite during camping trips.

Key specs:

  • Pump included: Internal electric pump
  • Repair kit included: Yes
  • Sleeping area dimensions: 203 × 152 × 56cm
  • Weight: 5kg

7. Best self-inflating airbed: EZ Bed Durable Automatic Inflatable Bed With Storage Case

EZ inflatable bed

Price: £199.99 | Buy now from JML

This unique airbed takes inflatable mattresses to the next level. Packed away neatly in a compact wheeled case, all you have to do to assemble it is open the box and it will unfold itself and self-inflate for you in under two minutes.

Once you or your guests have enjoyed the finest of night’s sleep, simply reverse the pump and the whole thing will deflate and pack itself away again. Magic!

Key specs:

  • Pump included: Internal electric pump
  • Repair kit included: Yes
  • Sleeping area dimensions: 193 × 132 × 63cm
  • Weight: 19kg

8. Best lightweight airbed: Trekology Inflatable Sleeping Pad

Trekology airbed

Price: £27.99 | Buy now from Amazon

Unlike some of our recommendations, this compact airbed from Trekology is at the other end of the scale when it comes to weight, coming in at a barely noticeable 450g and making it the perfect mattress for a festival or camping trip where you need to travel light.

Its clever cellular design keeps you fully supported and insulated 5cm off the ground, and the heavy-duty nylon fabric is both waterproof and robust enough to keep you warm and dry in all but the coldest of conditions.

Key specs:

  • Pump included: No (can be inflated by mouth)
  • Repair kit included: No
  • Sleeping area dimensions: 203 × 152 × 56cm
  • Weight: 5kg

9. Best ready bed: ReadyBed Single Inflatable Camping Air Bed and Sleeping Bag

Argos ready bed

Price: £40 | Buy now from Argos

“A vote for the ready beds at Argos here. I put my two-year-old into it. He was fine and never fell out - the sleeping bag bit on the top zips up and keeps him in!” - MrClaypole

Argos have a brilliant selection of ready beds for adults and kids, which are inflatable mattresses with bedding included – ideal for camping or sleepovers.

You can find children’s ready beds featuring all their favourite characters, but we like this age-proof single ready bed which will outlast their growth spurts and still keep them cosy long after they’ve gone off Peppa Pig and Paw Patrol.

Key specs:

  • Pump included: No
  • Repair kit included: Yes
  • Sleeping area dimensions: 178 × 75 × 20cm
  • Weight: 3kg

10. Best airbed for the car: Inflatable Car Back Seat Mattress

Car air mattress

Price: From £33 | Buy now from Amazon

If you want to make the most of the space in the back of your car then this ingenious airbed is designed to fit perfectly in the space.

Curved to accommodate the interiors of almost any car, it features inflatable supports which sit in the footwells to keep the whole thing stable, turning your vehicle into a cosy and comfortable resting place within minutes.

You’ll need to buy a separate pump, so make sure to buy one that connects to your car’s lighter socket.

Key specs:

  • Pump included: No
  • Repair kit included: Yes
  • Sleeping area dimensions: 135 × 82 × 42cm
  • Weight: 2.2kg

What should I look for when buying an air mattress?

The main considerations when buying an airbed are:

Size – As with any mattress, you can usually choose between a single or a double size – take note that a double airbed will probably be a bit shorter and narrower than a normal double mattress. King size airbeds are available, as are queen ones like this model from Intex.

How to inflate it – Some airbeds come with a hand pump, foot pump or electric pump included and some don’t, so if you don’t already own a pump then check if you need to buy one separately. Foot pumps and hand pumps obviously require physical effort to inflate the airbed whereas electric pumps take the effort out of it, but do require power. Most electric pumps require mains electricity but some can be connected to USB sockets, car cigarette lighters and there are even some that are battery-powered. Consider where you will be using your air mattress and whether you will have access to power.

Weight – If you’re keeping your mattress at home for occasional use then the weight doesn’t matter much, but if you plan on taking it with you camping then you may need to carry it and the weight could be crucial. This extra lightweight inflatable airbed from Trekology weighs just 450g, making it one of the lightest air mattresses you can buy.

Where you’ll be using it- There are various types of airbed to choose from depending on the purpose you need it for. If you’re looking for an occasional bed for guests then a standard inflatable air mattress like this one from Coleman should fit the bill perfectly. A lighter, narrower self-inflating mattress may be more appropriate if you’re camping or at a festival where space is at a premium and ease of use is particularly important.

Bedding – Make sure you have considered what bedding you will use on your airbed. A sleeping bag on its own will suffice but if you are using a duvet or blankets then put a sheet over the mattress as the surface can make you sweat.

What is the lifespan of an air mattress?

With care, your airbed should last you around five to seven years. In an ideal world, no airbed would ever get a puncture and they would all have an infinite lifespan. Alas, we do not live in such a world, and inevitably inflatable air mattresses are susceptible to wear and tear like everything else. However, rest assured that all of the airbeds in this article have been tried and tested by hundreds of customers and come highly recommended.

Make sure that your mattress is made from tough heavy-duty PVC or nylon and it should withstand several uses without damage. But, in the event that it does get punctured, you’ll find that almost every airbed comes with a puncture repair kit for you to patch it up quickly and easily.

Do air mattresses deflate overnight?

Some air mattresses are known to deflate overnight because, as the external temperature drops, so too does the temperature of the air inside the mattress, causing it to contract and take up less space. This means that the mattress will feel less full.

Good airbeds counter this by using highly insulating materials which will retain heat and maintain the plumpness of the mattress.

All of the air mattresses on our list have a great track record in staying inflated for the whole night, and just require a small top-up of air if they are to be used again and again.

What is the best airbed on the market?

We recommend the Coleman Comfort Airbed as the best airbed on the market right now thanks to its dual chamber design which inflates each side of the mattress separately, reducing motion when your bed partner gets up or moves about.

What is the best airbed to buy for camping?

The highly convenient self-inflating mattress from Teal Gecko is the best air bed to buy for camping. Its compact and lightweight design makes it highly portable and its foot pump means it inflates quickly and conveniently.

How we chose our recommendations

Because we know that there’s nothing like a real recommendation from a real parent, we first headed to the Mumsnet forums to find out which airbeds discerning Mumsnet users had bought for their families.

We then did some research across the wider web, looking at which airbeds had won accolades or been featured in ‘best buy’ lists across websites and print media, and what customers' reviews said about them. Having collated all that information, we picked the airbeds we thought would make the best buys in several interest categories.

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