Most comfortable air mattress

by | air mattress, picks

Our picks for the most comfortable air mattress are based on first-hand experiences from both our in-house testing, that of our featured testers and statistical analysis of over 40,000 owner experiences from 6 separate sources.

It’s envisioned to separate the wheat from the chaff and spare you what will likely be days of research.

So far, we have analyzed over 130 products in this category. In this guide, we narrow it all down to 8 products with highest comfort ratings.

cloud nine - voted most comfortable air mattress

Most comfortable air mattress – top 8

 
Air mattress
 
Info
 
Comfort rating
& quick links
 
cloud 9

Cloud 9
 

‣ Sizes available: 1
‣ Height: 19 "
‣ Warranty: 1 year
‣ Price range: $$$
 
9.6

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lazery sleep

Lazery Sleep
 

‣ Sizes available: 2
‣ Height: 19 "
‣ Warranty: 1 year
‣ Price range: $$
 
9.4

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dream series

Dream Series
 

‣ Sizes available: 2
‣ Height: 19 "
‣ Warranty: 1 year
‣ Price range: $$
 
9.4

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coleman cot

Coleman Cot
 

‣ Sizes available: 2
‣ Height: 23.5 "
‣ Warranty: not listed
‣ Price range: $$
 
9.3

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coleman supportrest

Coleman SupportRest
 

‣ Sizes available: 2
‣ Height: 18 "
‣ Warranty: not listed
‣ Price range: $
 
9.4

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air mattress bamboo topper

Bamboo Topper
 

‣ Sizes available: 4
‣ Height: 19 "
‣ Warranty: 1 year
‣ Price range: $$
 
9.2

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king koil

King Koil
 

‣ Sizes available: 3
‣ Height: 20 "
‣ Warranty: 1 year
‣ Price range: $$
 
9.2

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comfort anywhere

Comfort Anywhere
 

‣ Sizes available: 1
‣ Height: 18 "
‣ Warranty: not listed
‣ Price range: $$
 
9.2

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Most comfortable air mattress overall

Cloud 9 by SoundAsleep

The Cloud 9 has been dominating the comfort category for 8 updates now, which is an equivalent of 16 months since we update bi-monthly.

It’s fair to say that the company behind it (SoundAsleep) changed the landscape of the industry a few years ago by introducing their staple model, the Dream Series (which also made it to this list, you’ll see it as our 3rd pick).

They built on that success by taking the time to design a product that includes pretty much every feature that makes an air mattress comfortable.

One feature that stand out is the pump.

poyet motte winter bed blanket blue
kava kava extract bottle

The smart pump is a game-changer

In concept terms, this kind of pump is not revolutionary, there a few major manufacturers that use similar technology, but we found the smart pump of the cloud nine to be more efficient, quieter and overall more seamless.

In our stats, we have seen a very low air leak incidence %s. More importantly, even if there is a pinhole leak, you would never notice it because of the smart pump equipped with pressure-drop sensors. It turns on automatically when the sensors are triggered.

  • Current comfort rating 96%
  • Owner satisfaction 95%

What makes it more comfortable?

Comfort is a more intricate category with inflatables than regular mattresses.

It goes beyond how well the bed feels, and it’s more about the balance between core support, air retention and weight distribution of the top layer.

This kind of comfort comes with a slightly higher price tag but, in our opinion, it’s worth every cent. The owners of Cloud 9 seem to agree with us since the owner satisfaction is an unparalleled 95%.

The small percentage of new owners who are not satisfied with the Cloud 9 can always claim the 1-year warranty – something you don’t commonly see in the industry.

Runner-up – Lazery Sleep

In terms of design, the Lazery Sleep is pretty similar to the two models from SoundAsleep.

The appearance similarities are not where it ends, we’ve also seen similar stats in a few other categories – from the thickness of the vinyl, the performance of the support core to the warranty terms.

We gave the Cloud 9 a slight edge because of the smart pump & the way the top layer distributes weight.

Pump aside, the design of the top with Lazery is akin to that of the Dream Series. The internal coils run top to bottom.

lazery sleep - rated as second most comfortable air mattress
  • Current comfort rating 94%
  • Owner satisfaction 93%

We feel that the side-to-side top chambers create a slightly more cradling for the sleeper.

On the other hand, there is the fact that Lazery costs a bit less and comes with a remote control with 7 firmness settings compared to the 3 of the Cloud 9.

Dream Series

SoundAsleep Dream Series is a product we keep mentioning, and with a good reason.

As we said, it’s the airbed that re-vamped the competition in the industry.

When it hit the market in 2013, it did so with a bang. It quickly became by far the most popular among new owners. Looking back to those days, we weren’t sure how well it would stand the test of time.

We have no doubts about that now, the consistency of high comfort ratings (among others) resulted in this bed steadily holding one of the top spots pretty much every quality category that matters.

dream series airbed
  • Current comfort rating 94%
  • Owner satisfaction 93%

Who will choose it?

The main difference between this bed and the upgraded Cloud 9 is the pump. This one comes one classic built-in vs. two pumps on Cloud 9 (the main one and the smart for pressure retention).

This would make it more of a difference if the number of air retention issues was significantly higher – this would compromise the overall quality.

Bottom line – the decision will come down to whether you think the smart pump of the Cloud 9 adds enough value to justify the higher price tag.

Comfortable air mattress for outdoors & camping – our 2 picks

Among top camping air mattresses, we have a tie between two Coleman models. Both rated at 93/100 in comfort.

Among the classic high-rise designs, we’re choosing the Coleman SupportRest. This airbed type is where the competition was the closest and subjectivity played a role – we’re giving the minor advantage to the time-tested classic.

Coleman Cot

The difference between the two is obvious. The cot is pretty much the closest you can get to the stable, yet snug feel of your home bed on a camping site, but it’s also bulkier and takes up more and more space in the trunk.

However, the inflatable part detaches from the cot, and the two can be used separately – you can decide whether to pack the whole thing for a camping trip or the inflatable part only.

The versatility is also a significant factor should you decide to take the inflatable out on the camping site carry it on a day-hike.

Coleman SupportRest

Among the classic high-rise designs, we’re choosing the Coleman SupportRest. This airbed type is where the competition was the closest and subjectivity played a role – we’re giving the minor advantage to the time-tested classic.

coleman cot - voted most comfortable for camping
  • Current comfort rating 93%
  • Owner satisfaction 90%
coleman supportrest
  • Current comfort rating 93%
  • Owner satisfaction 90%

A choice for those who prefer firmness and support

Comfort means different things to different people. It’s a cliche, but we don’t shy away from it, because it’s true. Including this model might be counter-intuitive because those who didn’t like it described it as too firm.

That’s precisely the reason why we decided to list it as an option for those whose sweet spot of comfort is different, like people with back pain problems.

It might be confusing so let’s take a moment to explain. The firmness comes from the sturdy layering of the vinyl (strengthened by a layer of nylon).

The included topper balances well with the firmness and keeps the spine of the sleeper aligned.

bamboo cover air mattress
  • Current comfort rating 92%
  • Owner satisfaction 93%

King Koil

We said it a few times; the industry has seen some significant changes over the last few years. The good news is that the changes are for the better.

This comfy airbed is a part of that new wave of products we keep mentioning.

It’s earned its place for 3 reasons:

  • Consistently high ratings over the past year
  • The percentage of owners who have nothing but praise for it
  • Being the only product here comes in California King

If we’re talking about popularity patterns and bank for your buck, it’s following the footsteps of the highly acclaimed Sound Asleep Dream Series.

king coil bed

It’s fair to say that it’s a “young” product. Our stats include what we call a “maturity adjustment factor.” We have it in place so that only time-tested, proven products make it to our list of recommendations.

Based on everything we’ve seen so far, this competitively-priced bed has “arrived,” and it’s here to stay.

Comfort Anywhere

by Aerobed

If you’re not a fan of the look and feel of classic models, this headboard design might catch your eye.

It’s equipped a with powerful internal pump operated by and corded remote.

At first glance, one might expect a higher price tag, which is not the case. It’s conservatively priced product from a reputable company.

It also might seem more intricate to operate (inflate/deflate). Again, that’s not the case, especially deflation part. It features what’s known in the industry as a Woosh valve that deflates it in mere seconds.

comfort anywhere 18 inches high
  • Current comfort rating 90%
  • Owner satisfaction 85%

Recognizing long-term comfort without trying the bed out

If you’re in the market for a comfy air mattress, there are some basics you need to be aware of. After all, it’s not likely you’ll be trying it out in a store. And even if you do, a bed that feels snug and cozy is not necessarily the one who will stay that way in the long term.

So, the remaining part of this guide is dedicated to reference information about recognizing long term comfort and value. We’ll go over some reference information you’ll nee to arm yourself with to choose smart in case none of our choices caught your eye.

Air-coils vs. beams

Based on how the core is put together, one can crudely group all the models into two groups – those based on beams and those based on chambers.

It’s the evolution of the latter made of the difference. A chambered core is not new per se; it has been around for long. However, it did significantly change for the better.

It happened in a few aspects that improve on the comfort:

  • A higher number of chambers that to her better weight distribution and keep the sleeper more comfortable
  • Better craftsmanship and materials that resulted in lower numbers of air leaks
The 3 Ss of Comfort – sliding, swaying and sinking

From a layman’s perspective, improving the comfort would probably be limited to making the surface cozier and softer by adding a layer of foam.

We have seen this in the industry, but in the long term, it doesn’t do much if you don’t address the structural integrity.

The 3 Ss we mentioned above (sliding, swaying, sinking) all refer to the structural component of comfort.

Sliding used to be a common issue – the bed not staying in place because the bottom surface is too slippery. In other words, it’s the lack of friction between the bottom layer of the vinyl and the floor.

In modern products, sliding is addressed by using different kinds of material for the bottom – materials with higher friction that keep the bed and place. Different brands have different names for these materials (sure-grip, non-slip, etc.) but most of the time, it’s all based on the rubberized bottoms.

Sinking is probably the paramount among the 3 Ss. Based on the polls that we’ve conducted over the years, it’s the one comfort aspect commonly mentioned is a difference between an inflatable and a classic mattress.

The term is pretty self-explanatory and has everything to do with spine alignment and sinking of the hip and shoulder area.

Apart from the direct connection to structural integrity, sinking is closely related to the ability of your bed to maintain your preferred firmness. Even if everything else perfectly crafted, if the bed loses air, you or your guests are unlikely to sleep comfortably.

Apart from the improvements in the materials used, companies addressed the issue is by introducing smart pumps.

To be precise, these mattresses have a two-part inflation system. The main and the secondary pump that silently adds air through the night. Most of the models in our reviews of best air mattresses tick all of these boxes.

Type of vinyl as a comfort factor

With the new arrivals and an increasingly competitive market, we’ve also seen improvements in the kind of materials used.

Back in the day, the materials were similar to that of the beach Lilo, only thicker. Those days are gone.

Today, it’s hard to find the company or a product that hasn’t improved in this area.

You can see straightforward approaches (like merely making the material thicker) to more elegant solutions, like multi-layer materials.

All of these have a significant impact on the 3 comfort aspects we analyzed.

Toppers and pillow-tops

This is probably the most straightforward approach. In our opinion, just slapping a topper or a pillow-top layer on a bed doesn’t do much on its own if the overall comfort isn’t there.

It is, however, a nice finishing touch to everything we talked about thus far.

Summary and an ivitation to our giveaway

If there’s one takeaway, it would be not to take the labels at face-value. It’s only natural that no company will say their product is not comfortable.

Taking part in our giveaway

We are currently running a yearly giveaway of $1000 sleep products for our contributors. All you have to do to take part is contact us and share your thoughts.

If you’re already have something in mind, share away. Alternatively, if you want to some point in the future, just bookmark this page and get back to us.

Don’t be a stranger

If you still have questions or dillemas, you can do it either in the comment section at the bottom of this page or by directly emailing us.

We strive to respond a day.

The Sleep Studies team