Air mattress with frame and legs – top 4 rated in 5 quality aspects – 2018 update
Air mattresses with a frame are scarce. Over the last few years we tested over 130 and reviewed 210+ airbeds. Only 11 of those came on a frame of their own.
In the guide below, you’ll see our top 4 picks. Three of these are intended for home use and one is a camping airbed.
You’ll see digest of the results in table below and more detailed reviews and ratings in 5 quality categories further down the page.
And mattresses with frame and legs – Top 4
Last updated – May 2018
Insta-Bed air mattress with frame EZ, Raised, NeverFlat
This is one of the only air mattresses with frame that made its way onto the current list of top 10 highest-rated airbeds.
Our dilemma here was whether to include it in the general category at all because EZ beds are practically a different product than your run-of-the-mill airbed. It’s the closest you can get to the experience of sleeping on a “regular” mattress with inflatables.
The most important factor here is not to the frame or the materials of the mattress, but the pump. It features a NeverFlat pump, which means that the inflating system is actually two pumps.
The roles of the two pumps are completely different – the main one is there to inflate/deflate the bed while the second one silently turns on during the night if the sensors “notice” a pressure drop.
- Air retention 90%
- Comfort 91%
- Durability 86%
- User satisfaction 82%
- Value for money 74%
Who will choose the Insta bed?
Even among the air mattresses with frame, the Insta EZ is on the high-end, both in terms of quality and price, so it will be the choice of uncompromising people who put quality and comfort above anything else.
It’s also the only bed on the list which offers color choices.
But, who better to tell you about the product than the owners. You can see their experiences the Insta EZ by following the link below.
Serta and Insta EZ are very similar products; we would go as far as saying they’re practically the same.
You’ll notice that all the quality ratings of the two beds are the same because we’ve seen no significant differences in how the two beds performed.
At the time of completing this guide, the Insta EZ had a slightly higher user satisfaction rating, which is what gave Serta the slight edge and overall ratings.
- Air retention 90%
- Comfort 91%
- Durability 86%
- User satisfaction 81%
- Value for money 74%
Who will choose the Serta?
Insta and Serta are owned by the same company and the counterpart products, like these two mattresses, rely on the same technology and similar materials slightly different designs (primarily in terms of color).
So, the choice between the two comes down to three factors:
- Serta is the better-known brand
- Slight differences in design and color
- The price
If we had to choose between the two, we would go with whichever mattress comes with a lower price tag at a given moment.
Since the prices of the two mattresses fluctuate, we can’t be specific here and you would have to compare prices yourself. You can do that by clicking on the links below.
Ivation EZ air mattress with frame
This Ivation is a budget-friendly EZ bed.
The main difference compared to the Insta and Serta in terms of quality is the pump – the one used for the Ivation is a solid classic pump but it’s not a NeverFlat.
That small difference did have an impact on its ratings, from air retention to comfort, as you can see below.
It also might be worth mentioning that it’s the only EZ bed for home use on this list that comes in both Queen and Twin size.
- Air retention 84%
- Comfort 84%
- Durability 85%
- User satisfaction 84%
- Value for money 75%
Who will choose the Ivation?
If you’re looking for a good air mattress with a frame, but the price is a concern, you’ll definitely want to take a look at this Ivation because it’s at the sweet spot between the two.
That probably has something to do with the fact that, in this ratings update, the Ivation had a higher user satisfaction rating than the Insta and Serta.
You can see what owners are saying about the Ivation EZ and compare current prices by following the links below.
Coleman Cot camping air mattress with frame and legs
The Coleman cot is one of the two air mattresses that found its way onto the current list of top 10 best are mattresses overall – you can see the full list here.
This makes it a unique product on the market – the only air mattress with a frame dedicated to camping use.
It’s versatile like no other since the cot can be used as a sleeping surface on its own. The inflatable goes into a zippered fabric sleeve that’s attached to the cot, which means that you can take it out and use it separately.
Let’s take a look at the ratings.
- Air retention 89%
- Comfort 88%
- Durability 92%
- User satisfaction 90%
- Value for money 89%
Who will choose this Coleman?
If you love camping and outdoors but you’re not a fan of the pesky buzzards that can crawl up a regular airbed, you’ll love the Coleman cot.
It’s the closest you can get to the kind of sleep comfort you have at home on a campsite.
If you’re thinking about using it both for camping and home, you can definitely do that, but let us point out the 2 main differences between the Coleman Cot and the Insta and Serta EZ.
- The pump – Coleman cot uses a rechargeable, battery-operated pump, while pumps of the EZ beds are built-in and feature the secondary “smart” pump
- The frame – while the frame of the Insta and Serta EZ is self-deploying, with Coleman cot, you manually set it up. The set up is easy and the frames locks safely into place (there are no bars or screws to add, you just pull on the edges).
The bottom line is that if you are looking for a mattress with the versatility to be used both at home and on the campsite, the choice is pretty easy.
Finally, it’s the most budget-friendly bed on this list. You can see the experiences of the owners and compare prices by following one of the two links below.
FAQs and reference info on the top “air mattress with frame and legs” picks
In the rest of the guide we’ll do two things – an in-depth analysis of the features and quality aspects of the framed air mattresses (pointing out the main advantages and shortcomings) & offer responses to some of the most commonly asked questions about the beds.
With the newly collected info, we have even more data to analyze the influence of specific quality aspects to this type of inflatables.
How much difference does a Never Flat pump make?
Based on the pool of data we gathered for this guide, we would say that owners of EZ beds with a Never Flat pump would never go back to anything else.
If you just think about it – one of the main complaints people used to have about airbeds are the air leaks.
The “smart” pump (or the Serta in Insta call it, NeverFlat) solved the problem. The technology is probably the biggest milestone in the industry in the past few decades.
After all, it’s this technology that allowed the inflatable beds to become a mainstream sleep solution among temporary beds. The classic version of the featured in the top 5 of the last updates in both Queen and Twin Size – you can see the the guide on queen air mattresses here and the complete guide on twin air mattresses here.
What’s it all about?
A smart pump is designed to address two things:
- Pinholes or seam leaks that are big enough for your bed to lose air and you to wake up on a half-deflated mattres
- Stretching of the vinyl – it’s the nature of vinyl as a material to stretch. The first issue here is the initial stretching (which you’ll see with most airbeds). This one is not the big deal because it only takes a few nights for the vinyl to fully set.
It might become a problem if you’re using your bed in environment with significant temperature fluctuations. For example, you might inflate the bed in a guest room before you even turn on the heat. In this case, once temperature changes (grows) it will feel like the airbed has lost air. Most of the time, this can be attributed to the vinyl stretching at higher temperatures.
It allows you to set up the bed and not give it in more thought because, if it does leak, the secondary pump will silently kick in and top it off back to your firmness preset. That’s why we mentioned that the Serta and Insta EZ are in the category of their own and, in our opinion, are worth every extra dollar.
If you’re getting an airbed for, say, a guest room, one of the thoughts that might be on your mind is the appearance.
It’s another quality aspect where the EZs cannot be compared to any other inflatable – they look like they belong on the cover of an interior design magazine.
If you take a look at the pictures, your first impression might be that the frame is difficult to set up.
That’s not the case with any of the products we listed, especially the EZ beds.
All the three EZs are designed to automatically set up. This means that you don’t have to do anything; you just take the airbed out of the carry case, plug it in and watch it unfold.
As it inflates, the legs and frame of the air mattress will expands and automatically lock into place.
It’s not just easy, it’s impressive to watch. The same goes for setting them down. In the initial guide, this was just a bit more than an opinion we shared. For this update, we have more impression and user opinion to base statemennts like this on. They only confirmed our initial impressions.
A typical air mattress comes with a plastic carry bag and the quality of those is nothing to write home about.
The air mattresses with a frame come with a carry case that’s a whole different story.
When packed, it looks like a medium-sized wheeled suitcase.
We’re only mentioning versatility so that we can address that of the Coleman Cot.
If your needs dictate so, it can be used to sleep 4 adults…maybe even a kid or two.
If this is your scenario, the kids would have to go on the airbed. The capacity of 600 pounds listed for the Coleman cot also applies to the inflatable itself.
The cot is sturdy and durable but we don’t see it is an option for sleeping more than two adults because there is a metal bar that separates the two halves of the bed.
The frames of the air mattresses
We didn’t see any significant differences in the quality of the steel used for the frames or legs of the 4 air mattresses we mentioned.
One difference is the set up – Coleman is the only bed here that doesn’t automatically set up, which is only natural because you do need access to power for that.
What we see as the more important quality aspect here is that all the frames lock into place and don’t feel unstable or clunky (and we have seen that with some of the competing products).
We believe that we haven’t addressed the main quality aspects of an air mattress with frame and legs so let us move on to the frequently asked questions about the specific models.
FAQs about the Insta EZ
Is there an option to separate the mattress from the frame?
This is one of the more commonly asked questions about the EZ beds. Unlike the Coleman cot, the mattress of all the EZs (Insta, Serta and Ivation) is fixed and cannot be detached from the frame.
This also answers the question about pairing it with a futon. To be honest, we’re not sure why , but we did receive a few questions about the possibility of using the beds with one half supported by the frame and legs and the other half rested on a futon platform.
The fixed designed doesn’t allow anything of the sort. It’s one of our top picks from the brand, too, you can see the full guide on Insta-bed models here.
The height of the mattress
We measured the height of the inflatable parts only and it’s approximately 9 ½ inches, while the overall height when fully inflated is 22 inches.
It’s true to size?
This is a quick question not only because some of the air mattresses we looked at were simply smaller than the list dimensions but, more importantly, it’s about being true to size when it comes to the sleeping surface itself.
Let us explain that one – because the design of any inflatable bed has more less prominent arches on the sides, some companies opt in to list the dimensions of the further-most points of the bed.
What this means for the buyer is that the actual slip sleeping surface is slightly smaller.
That’s not the case with any of the beds we listed and the dimensions and the fact sheet are the actual dimensions of the sleeping surface.
Terms of the warranty
This Insta is covered by a standard one year manufacturer’s warranty on defects in craftsmanship like leaking seams.
Is it easy to move around?
The whole set (air mattress, frame and legs) packs down to the size of a medium suitcase and weighs approximately 55 LBS. The wheels on the carry case make it easy to move around.
What kind of sheets to use?
Since we mentioned that it is true to size and the only available in Queen, we would recommend fitted queen-size sheets. The depth of the pockets should be a bit higher than the 9 ½ inches of the mattress to compensate for the arched sides.
Don’t make the mistake of choosing sheets that are not deep enough.
Other air mattresses do have indentations (ribs) on the sides for the elastic band to grip. If you look at the pictures, these mattresses are one-piece, so “shallow” pockets won’t have anything to grip.
Can I use it for everyday sleep?
None of these are designed to be the main bed and, typically, the company will stress so in the instructions manual. For everyday use, you would need something sturdier – you can see our guide on the most durable and heavy-duty air mattresses here.
The plug-in is a standard 120 V AC and to use it with any other power source (like a car outlet), your only option will be a converter.
If you do decide to use a converter, do make sure that the power (wattage) of the converter/inverter is high enough. Otherwise, you’re risking damaging or even “burning” the pump.
If you’re asking us, we would not invest in this kind of a high-end product and then expose it to the elements.
That’s one of the reasons that we included the Coleman cot in this list – the design is similar & the Coleman is meant to be used on the outdoors. It’s also significantly cheaper.
Cord length and placement
We measured the cord of this Insta to be about 5 feet, so make sure to they take that into account when thinking about where you’d place the bed.
With classic airbeds this might not be a big factor, but with EZs it’s something to think about, for two reasons.
One – it is heavier and harder to move once set up, so we would advise setting the bed up in the room where it will be for the night.
Two – to make full use of the smart pump, you need to keep it plugged in through the night.
Getting an elegant eye candy mattress and then using extension cords all around it kind of beats the purpose.
The noise of the secondary pump
The secondary pump “engages” only occasionally and when it does, it’s practically silent.
If you are awake when it does its job you might hear low humming, but unless you’re an extremely light sleeper, we can’t see the sound waking you up.
The bottom end of the legs
One of the questions that kept popping up is whether the legs can damage hardwood floors.
The sturdy plastic used for the finish of the legs has no sharp edges and we’ve seen no complaints from owners about their floor being scratched.
That goes even for the users who burdened the mattress to its maximum capacity (500 LBS).
Edge support and weight distribution
Another common issue with the classic inflatable is the edges not being sturdy enough to sit on.
The combination of the sturdy frame and the multilayered pineal with chambered inner design is what makes an EZ bed different.
The edges are definitely sturdy enough to sit on, more so than with any other air mattress we know.
The risk of over-inflation
At this price point, it’s only natural that issues like this are addressed, which is the case with this Insta.
Important part of the pump design is the auto shut-off safety, which turns it off the moment the bed is inflated.
FAQs about the Serta air mattress with frame EZ
We already mentioned it a few times – the two EZs coming from Insta and Serta are very similar and most of the questions and answers above also apply to the Serta.
We only have a handful of FAQs specific to this bed.
Exact dimensions of the frame
We measured the frame for the queen-size to be 64 inches long, 54 inches wide and approximately 11 ½ inches high.
This puts the combined height of the whole mattress at 22 inches.
Best practices when it comes to storing
To maximize the longevity of the plastic parts, we would advise storing it at room temperatures. Avoid attics or basements where temperatures and humidity fluctuate.
This will have an impact on the longevity of both the vinyl and the plastic parts of the frame and legs.
What can I do if only want to replace the mattress?
We’ve seen a few cases of people whose mattress sprung a leak outside the warranty period. The seller of this Serta does offer replacement mattresses. For this, you would have to contact them directly.
Measured dimensions of the carry case
The dimensions of the carry case are 19 x 17 x 38 inches (as per our measurements).
Specifics of the smart pumps
This following section is not specific to the pumps of the two mattresses above, but we think it’s important to mention it.
In case you need to choose the power inverter on converter, the best practice is to adjust your choice to the specs listed. You can find these printed either on the pump unit or on the label attached to the cord.
In case the specifics are not listed with your mattress, we can give you a general outline of power specs that this kind of pumps (usually made overseas) adhere to.
- 60 HZ
- 1.1 A
- 130 Watts
- Max PCSI – 0.5
Let us stress one more time that the specs listed are general and we provide them for reference purposes.
These kinds of products have to meet the standards outlined in the UL catalog for household and commercial furnishings, STD 962.
FAQs about the third top air mattress with frame – Ivation
Can the pump be used without electricity?
Much like the previously mentioned models, the Ivation air mattress with frame features a built-in pump that runs on standard power and cannot be used with a battery-operated, a leg or manual pump.
Is the pump “smart”?
Since the two EZ models we mentioned above are the most popular airbeds of the type, people tend to assume that this Ivation also comes with the smart pump, which is not the case.
It only includes the primary pump that inflates and deflates the mattress.
The Ivation is a bit lighter and the whole set weighs just over 50 pounds in queen-size and approximately 41 for the Twin.
The duffel case measures 26 x 16 x 21 “ (Queen) and 24 x 14 x 20 “ (Twin).
Height and size of the Queen and Twin
The length of the Queen and Twin is 78 and 77 respectively; the queen-size is 61 inches wide one between measures 40.
The heights are 24 and 22 “.
Is the mattress removable?
No, the inflatable is fixed to the frame and cannot be removed.
Does it include a repair kit?
Yes there is a small patch kit that comes with the package but, based on what we’ve seen; it has a very low percentile of air leak development.
FAQs about the Coleman cot air mattress with legs
Can this air mattress with legs puncture a tent?
The answer to this depends on the quality of your tent surface and how much you burden the air mattress. The plastic parts are rounded and there are no sharp edges, but it’s still possible.
If you’re using the mattress to its maximum capacity (600 LBS) is probably smart to add a layer of fabric to the plastic parts. It’s five minutes work and might save you a big headache in the long run.
Sleeping arrangements when used only as cot?
There are no prominent bars protruding from the bottom of the frame, but that doesn’t mean that you can use the whole surface of the cot if you’re sleeping alone.
In queen-size, there is a top to bottom metal bar at the middle, so even if you sleep alone, you’ll only be using half of the surface.
Is the pump included?
Unlike some other Coleman models, the cot air mattress with legs does include a battery-operated pump (4D).
Materials of the Cot and sleeve
The fabric used for the top of the cot resembles canvas and feels pretty durable, while the zippered sleeve is softer and made of cotton.
The cutouts on the top and of the sleeve make it easier to fit the inflatable in.
The side tables
The side tables are a nice touch, but they’re optional and can be detached from the frame if you feel like you don’t need them.
Is the frame high enough for things to be stored underneath?
The frame sits to 22 inches and, since the crows bars only the top, bottom and middle, there’s plenty of space to store things underneath the frame.
This makes all the difference because the bed does take up significant space in a tent.
Weight of the Queen and Twin
The weight for two sizes is about 40 & 30, for the Queen and Twin respectively. It’s also one of the top 10 best camping air mattresses as per last update.
Summary and updates
To make sure we stay on top of things and always provide relevant data and ratings, we aim to update our guides every 3 to 4 months, depending on how much new info we pool.
Typically, we re-test the products once a year, unless we see a significant change in the user satisfaction %s, which can trigger an immediate re-testing of the airbeds.
For you, this means that the ratings of information provided are always fresh and relevant.
With any questions, experiences or simply thoughts, please do feel free to reach out either in the comment section below or by directly emailing us through our contact page.
We respond to all inquiries within 24 hours.
The Sleep Studies Team