Insta-Bed air mattress – top 5 compared to the highest-rated models in their categories – 2018 update
Over the past 5 years, we have tested and reviewed over 110 air mattresses, 12 of those coming from Insta-Bed.
What you’ll see below are the top 5 highest-rated picks from the brand, their details and ratings in five quality categories.
We’ll also compare each airbed to the top-rated counterpart, similar in type and price range.
How to find what you’re looking for…
Insta-Bed – info & ratings of Top 5
Insta-Bed air mattress – Raised, NeverFlat
The single reason for this bed not currently being in the top 10 is the fact that we tried to make our top 10 picks versatile and usually include 5 models for home use and 5 for outdoors and camping.
Among air beds for home use, it’s currently 7th highest-rated with an overall rating of 89/100, with the ratings of 91 and 90 in the air retention and comfort category.
Its main advantage is the the smart pump, which is only available in a handful of airbeds and the market and most of them have a much higher price tag. Below are the full ratings of Insta-Bed Never Flat – compared side-by-side to the currently top pick in its price range – you can see the Top 10 best air beds here.
Head-to-head comparison with the Dream Series by SoundAsleep
- Air retention 91%
- Comfort 90%
- Durability 87%
- User satisfaction 85%
- Value for money 92%
- Air retention 94%
- Comfort 95%
- Durability 94%
- User satisfaction 93%
- Value for money 94%
Who will choose the Insta-Bed Never Flat??
This Insta-bed is the will be the choice of people who were looking to get the reliability of the Never Flat without breaking the bank.
With thousands of owner reviews on Amazon, it’s one of the most popular airbeds ever made. You can see all those reviews and compare prices following the links below.
Insta Bed EZ
This is a high-end product with a price tag to match.
EZ airbeds are scarce because not many people are willing to spend the extra buck to get this kind of comfort from an air bed.
When we say “this kind of comfort,” we’re referring to the fact that it’s probably the closest you can get to the comfort of a regular mattress with an inflatable.
The reinforced vinyl consists of 42 air coils which distribute weight and reduce pressure points at the hips and shoulders. It’s mounted on a robust steel frame that automatically sets it up (no action needed on your part, you just plug it in and watch it spread).
The combo of the extra thick material, a high number of coils and the support of the frame practically eliminates that bouncy quality most airbeds have.
- Air retention 91%
- Comfort 92%
- Durability 93%
- User satisfaction 84%
- Value for money 85%
Who will choose Insta EZ?
Insta EZ will is for the people who are not looking for your run-of-the-mill air mattress, but a sleep experience similar to that of a “regular bed & are OK with spending more to get it.
Insta-Bed Raised with Insta III pump
Compared to the Never Flat models we looked at above, this is a more basic product that features a classic Insta III pump.
We wouldn’t say that this is a run-of-the-mill pump because it’s well known in the industry and even used by other brands, like Serta.
It’s a classic airbed with a significantly lower price tag compared to the models with the smart pump.
It comes in Twin and Queen size and, based on our measurements, it is true to size.
The Queen measures 78 x 60 inches in the Twin is 74 x 39 inches, both are 15 inches high. It’s important to make a note of this difference in height (compared to Never Flat Raised classic, which is 18 inches high).
We are stressing this because both Insta beds have the word “raised” in the name.
- Air retention 87%
- Comfort 85%
- Durability 87%
- User satisfaction 84%
- Value for money 90%
In terms of popularity among users, this Insta-bed is only second to the Raised Never Flat model.
It’s also the one mattress and the list that somewhat different in terms of design, both appearance and structure-wise.
While most products from the brand we looked at here feature air-coils, the construction of this one is based on dual chambers that Insta calls SecureAid.
Another major difference is the rubberized sure grip bottom designed to minimize moving and sliding and keep the bed securely in place, even on smooth surfaces like hardwood floors.
- Air retention 84%
- Comfort 87%
- Durability 87%
- User satisfaction 80%
- Value for money 87%
Insta bed Raised with headboard
You’re probably noticing a pattern by now, the top-tier of Insta-Bed air mattresses are all based on similar technologies, both in terms of the pump quality and inner structure.
Obviously, the main difference in this one is the headboard.
You’ll also notice that there is no difference in ratings compared to the model without the headboard and, again, the one exception is value for money. It’s only natural for this bed to cost more because it comes with a headboard.
The highest-rated product of its type is the Serta Perfect Sleeper, so let’s take a look at the head-to-head comparison of the ratings.
- Air retention 91%
- Comfort 90%
- Durability 87%
- User satisfaction 80%
- Value for money 83%
Top camping model from Insta Bed – Stow and Go
The blowup mattresses we looked at so far are primarily designed for home use, and the only way you could use them for camping is if you have access to power on the site.
That comes as no surprise, and it’s no secret that Insta is primarily focused on the airbeds for home use.
The Stow and Go is one of the few exceptions to that rule.
The included pump is battery-operated and, based on our experience, holds a charge pretty well. One full charge will allow for 14 to 16 complete inflations / deflations.
It’s one of the better pumps in this price range – the speed of inflation is about 2 minutes.
Fact sheet of the Insta Stow and Go
Size – twin, inflated size (measured from the further most edges) – 74 x 39 x 8 inches
Type of pump – battery-operated, two-way (reversible), pump model name Insta I
Head-to-head with the top model of its type
Based on the profile type, the structure number of coils the best fit for comparison here is the Camping Series from SoundAsleep.
Insta-Bed – a closer look at the top picks
Top-rated Insta-Bed – Raised NeverFlat
If we had to choose one inflatable bed to call a classic, it would be this Insta-Bed.
Back when we first started reviewing airbeds, it was stable among the top 5 for home use. But a lot happened on the market since and some new products introduced improved technologies pushed this Insta-Bed out all the top 5.
When we say that we’re primarily referring to the products by SoundAsleep, a company that introduced their first product in 2013 and caused a significant shift in the industry.
It might seem odd that the head to head comparisons of Insta-Bed’s we did above were mostly which products coming from SoundAsleep. We’d like to stress here that we have no special relationship with the company that would make us favor it over Insta nor did we receive any free testing samples.
It’s just the current state of the market.
Now that we got that out of the way let’s dig a bit deeper and look into what makes this bed the superior evergreen classic that it is.
The pump used for this Insta-Bed
We did go over some of the inner workings of the pump, but let us get into the nitty-gritty of it all.
What’s better about it?
From a user standpoint, this pump type simply means that have a more reliable bed that won’t wake you up in the middle of the night because it lost air.
If we reminisce about the evolution of the technology in the airbed arena, it’s fair to say that the smart pump (call the Never Flat by Insta & Serta) is the biggest milestone of the past decade.
It’s changed the way people perceive inflatable beds – from flimsy pieces of plastic into a solid choice for frequent use.
It’s practically eliminated the main complaint owners had – deflation.
Let’s make one thing clear here – the pump is not designed to deal with significant rips or seam separation but small leaks and pinholes.
That’s still a big deal, especially if you have in mind the fact that most cases of air loss come from these small mysterious leaks.
How it works
The system consists of two pumps, and it’s the second one that makes the difference. It’s equipped with sensors to detect air loss and silently turn the unit on to keep the bed at your desired firmness.
Safety from over inflation
One more feature that you don’t typically see in this price range is the auto shut-off safety that’s built into the pump.
For the owner, this means that you don’t have to be on standby as the mattress inflates. All you need to do is choose the firmness presets from three options available (plush, medium or firm and then just turn on the unit).
Once your chosen firmness presets is reached, the safety will turn off the pump.
For the top, Insta bed uses a finish that resembles suede. It’s there for two reasons.
The first one is to make you comfortable if you’re using the bed without sheets. The second one, and more important, is to increase the friction between the sheets and the bed and lower the chances of slipping, piling or moving.
For this type of airbed our deep-pocketed fitted sheets.
The one thing that we would like to stress here is that Insta bed models are true to size, which means that if you get a Queen, standard sheets in the size will be a good fit.
We remember the time when this Insta Bed was only available in beige (tan) but, in the past few years, the company added two more color choices. Today, it comes in white and gray as well.
We’re not sure about the reasons, but there is actually a difference in price between the 3 color options.
Air coils of the Insta Bed
One of the main reasons behind Insta standing tall in an ever-changing market is the stability of their beds, both in terms of flatness of the top surface and sideways movement.
To achieve that, the company relies on their system of air coils. These not only play the role of stabilizers but also lower the strain “suffered” by the seams.
Using the NeverFlat pump with a car inverter
The ratings of inverters (DC to AC) are based on how much power they can put out (measured in watts).
To use a car inverter without damaging the circuitry of the pump you have to make sure that the power rating of the inverter meets or exceeds the requirements listed on the pump label.
If you can’t find the specifications on the body of the pump look for a sticker attached to the power cable.
Let’s explained that on an example
The pump that comes with the classic Raised and EZ bed model from Insta-bed has a power specification of 130 Watts. The power inverter would have to exceed that number to be safely used.
A closer look at the Insta Bed EZ
This is the 14th quarterly rating update of the Insta bed EZ.
It’s currently rated at 88 out of 100. The category that is bringing the rating down a peg is “value for money” – this is only natural because the Insta EZ is not your run-of-the-mill air bed.
Stability, Support and Ease of Use
One of the biggest advantages of Insta EZ lies in the extraordinary support provided by its robust bed frame and the aforementioned proprietary NeverFlat technology.
The frame unfolds automatically, so all you have to do is plug the bed in and flip the switch to inflate it. Many customers have wondered about the possibility of deploying separate parts of the frame but the current design doesn’t offer this possibility.
We also don’t see it happening anytime soon.
The weight of the mattress is 48.9 lbs, which translates to around 22 kg. This makes it a cumbersome option for camping and outdoor activities, but provides a stable surface and mitigates the usual problem of the bed moving through the night.
The frame construction is sturdy and can withstand up to 500 lbs of pressure, which means the mattress can accommodate 2 adults without any threat to its structural integrity.
Frame dimensions and height
The dimensions of the frame are 64″ x 54″ x 9.5″.
Total height is 22″. You won’t have any difficulties with getting in and out of bed, which is especially convenient for senior citizens.
All of these features guarantee a stable sleeping surface and the level of support uncharacteristic for an inflatable bed. The EZ is made to mimic the “regular bed,” and the design does its job very well, especially after you add some bedding on top of it.
Insta EZ is intended for indoor use so, it’s not recommended for camping (although, you CAN technically use it if you don’t mind the weight and have access to power).
The frame features a solid steel construction, which doesn’t wobble or make squeaking sounds, which tends to be an issue with similar beds of sub-par quality.
The mattress itself is made of heavy-duty PVC, and it’s very resistant to medium-level stressors like pet claws and similar outside influences. It comes with a dedicated repair kit and the rolling case for easy and secure storage.
To maximize the longevity of your air bed, you should heed the following recommendations:
- The company doesn’t recommend this product for everyday use. Based on the experiences we’ve seen, it’s sturdy enough to replace your regular bed, but its lifespan will be considerably shorter if you opt for this route.
- You should choose a storage location devoid of temperature fluctuations and extreme temperatures. These factors can stress the material and lead to potential failure. You should also avoid humid environments and inflating the mattress in freezing temperatures.
- In order to prolong the lifespan of your pump, you should only use high-quality alkaline batteries. Also, avoid leaving batteries in the pump for too long since it can result in corrosion and potential damage
- Insta-bed doesn’t recommend the use of heated blankets with its airbeds.
The company offers a full 1-year warranty for all product defects in workmanship and materials. The warranty, however, doesn’t cover holes and other damage caused by misuse, normal wear and tear, neglect, unauthorized disassembly, natural disaster, and similar occurrences.
Comfort and Pump
The bed features an integrated NeverFlat pump system.
In case you didn’t read the analysis that we went over when talking about the Insta-bed Raised (the classic model), let’s reiterate.
This, basically, translates to 2 separate pumps working to provide the optimal comfort. The main pump allows you to select your desired comfort level, which will adjust the overall firmness of the sleeping surface.
Forget about sore muscles, back and neck pain, and stiff joints. With Insta EZ, you’ll be able to customize the overall comfort of your bed according to your particular needs and have a refreshing sleep every single night.
The primary pump inflates the EZ bed in less than 2 minutes, depending on your preferred firmness setting. It usually deflates it in around 20 seconds.
The pump also features an auto shut-off safety, do you won’t have to worry about over inflation as long as you have your comfort level set.
The secondary pump comes with dedicated sensors, which monitor the overall quantity of air within the mattress at all times. Every comfort setting comes with a predetermined air level, and the secondary pump is “in charge” of maintaining it throughout the night.
It engages automatically, refills your bed with air, and shuts off without you even noticing. The noise level is surprisingly low and will never wake you up in the middle of the night.
Apart from customizable firmness, Insta EZ also provides sleepers with minimal motion transfer. This is great news for restless sleepers who tend to toss and turn a lot throughout the night, waking their partners up in the process.
Updates to the review
As we mentioned at the beginning, we typically update the reviews on quarterly basis. What might be important to mention here is that the ratings of this Insta have not significantly fluctuated since we first reviewed it.
As we are currently considering going back to the all concept of separating the home use and outdoor models, it’s very likely that this bed will find its place back in the top 10 where it lived for a long time.
FAQs about the Insta-bed with headboard
The headboard of the bed also deflates, and the total deflated weight is approximately 14.8 pounds.
In terms of size, the headboard model is not significantly bigger than the classic, which means that it’s just as easily stored.
Sturdiness of the headboard
Bear in mind that the headboard is no different in terms of rigidity compared to the rest of the bed. We are mentioning this because we received a couple of questions about it.
People ask whether they can lean against the inflated headboard like they would with their regular mattress. You might be able to do that if the bed is placed against a wall, but it’s not advisable to exert that kind of pressure on the chambers.
The headboard is there to stop the pillows from slipping over the edge of the bed.
Using fitted sheets
The body of the mattress and the headboard are attached to it each other to about two about half of the mattress height.
This means that you can’t tuck in fitted sheets the same that’s in the headboard area as the rest of the mattress.
That’s why flat sheets are probably the better choice for this mattress. The good news here is that the flocking creates enough friction for the sheets not to slip or more.
Fixing and repairing an Insta-bed
Should you find a leak, patching and Insta bed is pretty much the same as any other air mattress. It arrives with an included patch kit and instructions.
The difference between Insta and Serta
This is probably one of the most commonly asked questions we received over the past few years.
It doesn’t come as a surprise since the products from the two brands are similar. So similar in fact, that if somebody said that they are the same, we would have a hard time arguing the point.
So let’s clarify this mystery of the airbed industry once and for all.
Instant and Serta are owned by the same company, which is Serta Simmons Bedding LLC.
So what separates the two?
If you compare the counterpart models from the two brands, you’ll notice that Serta is almost always the slightly more expensive product.
We don’t have the information nor do we want to go into the intricacies of the inner workings of the company, but we can look at the facts.
One of those facts is that Serta has an unparalleled warranty, not only compared to Insta-bed, but to any brand out there. Some of the new arrivals do come with solid warranties. We still feel that the full 1-year manufacturer’s warranty of Serta airbeds is second to none.
On the other hand, Insta bed is the brand with more products in their portfolio for outdoor use (such as Insta-bed Stow-n-Go we mentioned and analyzed above).
These similarities also have an obvious impact on our ratings, since the counterpart products of the two brands usually have very “close ratings.”
This is an advantage for Insta-bed
If you’re not familiar with the industry, you’ll find that Serta is the more recognizable name and one of the most well-trusted brands in the mattress arena.
That means that being associated with Serta can only be a good thing for Insta-bed as a brand.
As far as we’re concerned, we like both brands and consider them top-tier of the industry, especially when it comes to trustworthiness of the customer support.
Updates and summary
We typically update our guides on quarterly basis, which is also the case with this one.
That doesn’t mean that we update the ratings of each airbed – our statistical model is based on gathering data and if we don’t have enough of new information for a specific bed, this update might happen once every 6 months or yearly.
What this means for this guide is the ratings of the more popular beds, like the Classic raised or EZ, are updated every six months, while the less popular models “wait” until we share enough new info for an update to make sense.
If you have any dilemmas, questions or any thoughts at all about the information we presented, please do share them in the comment section at the end of this page.