King size air mattress – top 3 reviewed & rated – 2018 update
It’s been 5 years now since we started testing in this category and the first thing that comes to mind about the King size air mattresses is, “they’re very scarce.”
Just as a reference – of the 125 products we tested and reviewed, only 3 beds come in King size.
The good news is that the 3 models are also one of the best out there – in fact, two of them belong in the top 3 overall. In the guide below, you’ll see their ratings in 5 separate quality categories.
More importantly, you’ll see what makes them different and which to the 3 might be right for you.
Last updated – March 2018
King size air mattresses – Top 3
King size air mattress by Fox
Around the office, we call this Fox “The Hulk”, and here’s why…
It’s one of the most robust airbeds out there. Since 2013 we’ve seen a lot of changes on the market…new arrivals with a range of new technologies. We’ll be blunt and say that the lot of it is bells and whistles.
That’s not what this Fox is about. What makes it different (read: better) is good old thick material.
It’s 0.06 mm thick, which is 40% higher than the vinyl typically used for airbeds (0.04 mm). That’s reflected in the rating you see below – it’s the highest-rated product in the durability category with an unparalleled 97/100.
- Air retention 93%
- Comfort 92%
- Durability 97%
- User satisfaction 91%
- Value for money 92%
Is it right for you?
If you’re a conservative buyer primarily interested in substance (with airbeds that’s the balance between durability, air retention and comfort) Fox will meet all of your needs.
Compared to the second classic airbed that comes in King size, Fox is the “loftier” option because the rugged material is balanced by pillow-top chambers.
It might be worth mentioning that we’ve seen the King go out of stock much more frequently than other sizes.
With over 1, 000 reviews on Amazon, it’s one of the most popular beds out there.
King air mattress Bamboo
This is one of the airbeds we had in mind when we mentioned new arrivals that introduced significant changes to the industry. It’s currently the second best air mattress Overall – you can see the full list of Top 10 here.
The most substantial difference here is the use of virgin (not recycled) vinyl, layered with nylon make it sturdier without adding weight.
The more obvious difference is that includes a hypoallergenic bamboo-based topper.
This is a nice plus because, based on our stats, approximately 30% of people who buy an airbed also get a pad to make it more comfortable.
- Air retention 93%
- Comfort 92%
- Durability 96%
- User satisfaction 93%
- Value for money 91%
Who will choose it?
This mattress is unlike any other in terms of firmness. It’s made to offer a sleeping experience that’s very close to that of a regular mattress.
That’s why it will be the choice of people who prefer firmer beds.
It also might be the right choice for you if you have any back-pain issues and plan to use the bed more frequently.
You can see what people shared about it on Amazon by following the links below.
King size air mattress by Coleman – 4-in-1 EasyStay
As you can see in the pictures, this is not a classic King air bed, but can be used as one because the two the separate Twins are designed to be attached/detached with a zipper.
If there is a product you can call an industry classic, this is it.
People who have experience with buying an air bed might also know it as the “Quickbed”.
Who will choose This Coleman King?
It’s the most budget-friendly and versatile solution among King air mattresses.
It can be used both at home and for camping – as a King, 1 raised Twin or 2 low-rise Twins.
With all that in mind, it makes one great bang for your buck.
Our frequent readers will notice that there has been no significant change for a while now (no movement in the last 4 updates). The ratings did flucutuate a bit (no more than +/- 10% but we have seen no change in the list in terms of product list – no new arrivals to the top 4 and no change among them.
In-depth analysis of the King size air mattresses
The Fox Plush comes with a second valve (pinch-hole) so that you can use alternative inflation methods (like manual or battery-operated pumps).
However, the thicker vinyl makes it heavier, so you won’t be carrying this around in your backpack.
It does pack down compactly, since the pump is very efficient at letting all the air out, but it will take a significant space volume in your trunk.
To reach a stasis between toughness and comfort, Fox added what they call airflow chambers to the top of their Plush high-rise series.
These chambers stabilize and flatten the top surface while lowering the bouncy feel most airbeds have.
Another benefit of the feature is superior firmness of the edges, which is a common issue with lower-quality products. The importance of that is two-fold:
You can sit on the very edge without the bed breaking-in. More importantly – it allows you to effectively use the full surface when sleeping
The hands-free pump
The pump is what’s known in the industry as a two-way, which means that the inflation and deflation come down to simply switching between the two positions of the knob.
The one downside we’d mention here is the absence of the auto shut-off feature. This is a safety precaution included in some pumps to automatically turn them off once the bed is fully deflated.
Not a deal breaker
The safety of the auto shut-off is more important in products made of thinner vinyl because over-inflation can cause an inner chamber to pop or seem to separate.
We have seen none of that with the Fox King size air bed.
The first reason why we don’t see this as a deal-breaker is the fact that the materials are enough not to give in under that sort of pressure.
Secondly (probably more important), the pump of the Fox Plush doesn’t automatically shut off but it does stop adding air when you reach full inflation.
The versatility of the second valve
The primary pump is intended for home use and, as we mentioned above, the secondary valve can be used with a manual or leg pump.
It does include an air release switch that you simply open to fully deflate the bed if you don’t have access to power.
The importance of being true to size
The issue of size with inflatable beds is a long-standing.
The problem here is that some of the brands don’t list dimensions of the actual sleeping surface, but the size of the outer points of the bed.
This might not sound like a big deal but it can be with some products with curved sides.
The more blatant example of the issue will be a company simply listing misleading dimensions.
That’s why we have special respect for Fox.
Over the years in the industry, we’ve seen it all and we stand behind our words when we say that Fox is a reliable and trustworthy seller, especially when it comes to accurately describing their products.
For a person getting, let’s say, a Queen-size bed this might not be so much of an issue and the few inches are not a deal-breaker.
However if you want to get yourself King air bed, the last you want is being misled and not getting the size you expect.
Fitting the sheets
If you take a look at the pictures you’ll see three levels or side-rims.
Your choice of sheets will depend on how firm of a grip you’re aiming for. Standard King-size sheets will grab onto the first side “rib”.
What we’ve seen with that set up is that most standard sheets will have some “leftover space” and they might move, fold or bundle-up underneath you.
The ideal solution here is to get customized bottom sheets for the size – these will cover the whole surface and the elastic band will be tucked underneath the mattress.
We are stressing the words “customized” because we haven’t found bottom sheets in a size that will accommodate the height of this bed. Even the thickest regular mattresses are not as high, which means that the sheets will not be deep enough.
The warranty terms for this Fox cover you for 90 days in case of any malfunction, ranging from the developing air leaks to potential malfunctions of the pump.
The difference in comfort
The airflow chambers on the top resemble the comfort of an egg-crate pad. They’re just plush enough for your shoulders and hips to slightly sink in and your spine to align.
On the other hand, the robust construction is sturdy enough to avoid sinking into the body of the mattress and creating a curve that would pressure your spine.
FAQs about the Fox King air mattress
Is there a way to replace the pump?
Since it’s built-in, there is no way to replace it. The good news here is that the incidence of pump failure within the warranty period is very low (according to our statistics – under 2%).
Controlling the firmness
Since there are no firmness pre-sets, you can choose the firmness that works for you simply by turning the pump on and off until it feels just right.
Getting in and out of the bed
One of the most common complaints about airbeds is the structure not being sturdy enough to easily get in and out.
This is non-issue with Fox because the thicker material makes it stiffer and the bed is higher than most inflatables.
Battery-operated pump as an option
If you can find a battery-operated pump with a nozzle that that fits (or can be rigged to fit) the pinch-hole valve, you can make it work.
If your concern is storage (which it might be for campers), it’s relevant to mention that we measured this mattress to be approximately 3×3 inches big when folded into a cube.
For pet owners
A while back we compiled the guide on inflatable beds that would be solid choices for pet owners and can take the abuse of the claws. This Fox was one of our top picks in that category.
However, the fact that cats and dogs are not friends of vinyl still stands and it’s probably wise to protect your mattress with a topper and/or side skirt, especially if you’re a dog owner.
Current and power specifics
The pump is designed to be used with 110 V current (60 Hz frequency), which is the standard power of a US outlet.
If you want to use it abroad, you’ll need a power adapter or inverter.
Do bear in mind the specifics printed on the pump when choosing an adapter, because you can go wrong and pair it with an inverter that’s not “strong” enough.
This might damage the circuitry of the motor if it overheats.
Stay close if you’re using an inverter
In this scenario, make sure to stay close and follow what’s happening. If inflation gets too slow, it might be a sign that you’re over-burdening the motor.
If the pump starts warming up, it’s smart to shut it off and revisit the specs of the inverter.
Remotes and corded wands
Some of the questions that we’ve received since we first reviewed this Fox mention remotes and wands, so let us take a moment to clarify that.
This particular Fox model does not include any type of remote or a wand, the motor the pump is built-in and the cord it is fixed.
Most likely source of confusion here is that Fox makes a range of airbeds and some of them do come with a wand but, as far as we know, none of them features a wireless remote.
Raised King size air bed with Bamboo Topper
We mentioned it briefly, but let’s get into a more detailed analysis of this mattress.
The company behind it
It’s safe to say that the company making this bed employs some of the most experienced people in the industry.
They have been running the website airmattress.com for decades but, up to 2015, they didn’t have a product of their own and only sold other brands.
As soon as we heard that they’re designing a bed, we knew that we’re going to see something special.
We were right.
Pretty much every aspect of this inflatable is unique, from the Virgin vinyl strengthened by nylon to the topper.
What it does for people with back pain
If 10 people with back pain ask us about whether an inflatable bed is a good idea for them, we would say “no” to 9.
The one exception would be the person asking about this King air mattress.
If you have any back pain issues, firmness of your mattress is crucial and this is the firmest inflatable we know.
Warranty like no other
The terms of the warranty are second to none.
When we say that we‘re not referring to the 1 year coverage of defects (like air leaks or pump malfunctions) because you can see those with other brands.
But it’s very rare to see a “satisfaction-guarantee” coverage.
This means that you can try this king size air bed out for 60 days and return it even if there are no defects and you simply feel it’s not right for you. The company even pays for the shipping of the returns. In terms of warranty, that’s pretty much as good as it gets.
Materials volatility, off-gassing and odor
The nylon encasing of the vinyl is primarily there to increase the durability, but that’s not to what the story ends.
The secondary advantage of the atypical material is the lower volatility.
To put it simply – according to our stats the % of people who reported an initial odor coming from this mattress is lower compared to similar models made of regular of vinyl.
Less movement means better air retention
As opposed to what most people think, pinholes and punctures are not the most frequent sources of air leaks.
It’s the leaking that comes from split seams and connections, especially around the pump.
The physics behind it goes back to the very nature of vinyl as a material.
It’s malleable and stretchy, which is why it’s the most commonly used “fabric” in the airbed industry.
The downside is that the stretching under pressure pulls the seams and can separate them.
That’s why inflatables made of thicker or sturdier vinyl are less prone to mysterious air-loss, even when there is no obvious pinhole.
A creative approach
Most brands address the issue of strengthening the vinyl by making it thicker or adding more plasticizers.
With this King air bed, the approach to lowering the number of air leaks is different.
It’s based on combining non-recycled PVC with nylon – the result is a unique material that doesn’t stretch as much.
FAQs about this King size air bed
Should you be using sheets with the topper?
The topper is made for this specific product and fits just right, so sheets are not a must.
What’s important to stress here is that the bamboo-fibers can be washed in the machine and still retain shape and loft.
To maximize its lifespan, choose the cold to mild temperature setting on your machine & a gentle cycle.
If you prefer to use it without a topper, standard King-size sheets will be a good fit.
Does it slide or move?
If you place it on the smooth surface like polished hardwood floor, it might be a good idea to use an area rug. This will prevent movement and sliding.
The pump is a two-way and can deflate the King air bed in 4-5 minutes. For smaller versions it takes even less.
Is it safe to raise it on a platform?
Platforms are a risk and can puncture the fabric.
If you want to raise it, it is possible, but we would advise using some sort of protection between the platform and body of the mattress (like a layer of plywood and canvas fabric).
Using heated or cooling pads
If you’re sleeping in an especially cold or warm room, you might have the option to pair this King air mattress with a cooling or heated pad.
It’s smart to use a layer of protection between the pad and the mattress (like a blanket or cover), especially for heating.
Specifics of the motor (pump)
The pump is meant to be used with a standard US outlet with the voltage of 110 V and the current of 15 Amps.
We’re only providing this information for people who are considering using the mattress with an alternative outlet (abroad or car) because the power specifics should determine the choice of the converter/inverter.
Deflated and packed into a carry bag (that comes included) it’s similar to the size of a medium sleeping bag (rolled).
Coleman EasyStay King size air mattress
There are a few features developed by Coleman that deserve a more in-depth analysis and explanation because they are specific and trademarked by the brand.
Retention of air
Coleman is one of the few brands the factory tests each unit that goes out from their facilities to make sure it’s leak-free.
This has a direct impact to lowering “on-arrival” issues.
The valve is dual-sealed
The dual-sealed valve of this Coleman is trademarked as DoubleLock.
“Dual” means that one seal of the valve is your classic barrier that keeps the air in and the other prevents any air loss that can come in those brief moments when you detach the pump.
The support system that comes with this King air bed is the same that Coleman uses in their more expensive products.
The trademarked name for the support is ComfortStrong coils.
What you typically see in this price range are designs based on beams and this Coleman is one of the few exceptions to that rule.
Even the packing system is trademarked (Wrap ‘N’ Roll). Below is a brief explanation of how it works.
Typically, to pack a camping airbed, you roll/fold it or then place it into a carry bag or backpack. This usually requires an extra set of hands.
What’s different about this Coleman is that the bag is attached to the sides and as you fold and roll it you simply wrap the other and of the bag around and tighten the drawstrings on the sides.
Is the pump included?
No, the pump for this Coleman is sold separately. The good news is that the brand makes a wide range of both electric and battery-operated pumps with standardized nozzles to work with all their products.
The maximum weight for this Coleman can be a bit confusing, so let’s take a moment here to clarify it.
One Twin supports up to 300 pounds, which means that if you set it up as a King size air mattress it can accommodate up to 600 LBS.
Summary, conclusions and updates
As per our regular schedule, each of our guides is updated ever 3-4 month basis to ensure that the information is relevant and up-to-date.
We might deviate from that schedule if we notice any changes in user satisfaction with a specific product and decide to revisit its ratings.
Finally, feel free to reach out to us with any questions about the aforementioned King air mattresses (or any other for that matter).
You can either email us or share your thoughts and dilemmas in the comment section below – you’ll hear from us within 24 hours.
Stay smart & choose wisely,
The Sleep Studies Team