Inflatable Mattress:
Uses and Benefits

Although the inflatable mattress used to be associated with squeaking, being uncomfortable, and losing air easily, it has come a long way since its inception. An inflatable air mattress is an innovative type of bed that is ideal for camping or for use as temporary bedding because it can be rolled up, stored, and carried easily. There are also air mattresses designed for permanent use.

Air mattresses are typically made out of PVC plastic or vinyl, but some newer models are made out of rubber or textile-reinforced urethane plastic.

You can inflate an air bed by blowing into a valve or by using an electric or foot-powered pump.

In this day and age, most air beds come with a built-in electric pump, but if you’re planning to take your inflatable bed on camping trips, an air mattress with a manual pump is ideal because you can inflate it even when electricity isn’t available.

It is also advisable to purchase a patch kit for your inflatable mattress, so you can repair it easily if it gets damaged while you’re on the road. It's no fun being stuck in the middle of the backcountry with a deflated mattress and interrupted sleep!

Elevated air beds offer a similar sleeping experience to traditional mattresses because they allow users to sleep further away from the floor. Elevated air beds are not appropriate for full-time use, however, because they do not have a solid foundation like standard beds do.

Tips for Buying an Inflatable Mattress

Air beds range in size from twin to king. When shopping for an air mattress, make sure you choose one that allows you to get a good night’s sleep. Look for an air bed with the following characteristics:

  • Simple to set up
  • Inflates quickly and easily
  • Easy to fold up and store
  • Doesn’t take up a lot of storage space
  • Comfortable
  • Allows air volume to be adjusted
Infants, especially those under eight months of age, should not sleep on air mattresses because they are too soft and pose the risk of suffocation. It’s also best to avoid vinyl air beds because they release VOCs, which are potentially dangerous to health and can exacerbate allergies in children and other sensitive people. Air mattresses made without materials that release VOCs are available.

Benefits of Inflatable Air Beds

In addition to portability and ease of storage, inflatable air mattresses can sometimes help relieve back pain. Contrary to popular belief, the best type of mattress for your back is not one that is hard.

Rather, the best mattress for your back is one that conforms comfortably to your body shape and keeps your spine aligned throughout the night, like an air mattress does. Air beds are also waterproof.

Related Information

Mattress Toppers
Overview of Mattress Types
Advantages of a Natural Latex Mattress

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