How to Find the Best Air Mattress: Avoiding Common Problems

When you’re on the hunt for the best air mattress, it can be difficult to sort through all of the reviews; especially when one person sings its praises and another thinks it’s the air mattress from hell. We’ve read many reviews here at AirBeds4Less, and we encourage our customers to review on our website. After reading their reviews and reviews on other sites, we have distilled the most common problems into this awesome list:

  1. Leaking
  2. Uncomfortable
  3. Short Warranty

If you can prevent these problems, then you’ll have a good experience with your purchase. Now we’ll tell you what qualifications to look for in an air mattress that should prevent these problems.


Leaking is probably the biggest complaint and rightly so: the air mattress is useless if it can’t hold air. Just as a general note, keep sharp objects away from the air mattress. This might seem like just common sense, but you would be surprised how often it still happens. If you’re camping, put a tarp down and don’t wear shoes in the tent. (This minimizes the amount of puncture-like-items you track into the tent.) Sometimes these sharp objects show up in the guise of a furry animal. Don’t let your golden retriever on the bed. Don’t let your cat on the bed (even though its claws are retractable, they have punctured many a mattress before.) Our parting advice: vacuum the area you’ll be using before you inflate the mattress.

Now let’s talk about other things that cause leaks. One many people don’t know about is a slow leak can develop through a two-way pump. Those pumps are nice because they inflate and deflate the air mattress for you. The problem presented with this design, however, is it means the pump can never close up 100% tight. This slight opening sometimes results into a slow leak, which is difficult to find and fix. If you’re considering purchasing an air mattress with a two-way pump, run the opposite direction if other reviewers report slow leaking issues later on down the road.

As we mentioned all the possible ways to puncture an air mattress, keep in mind the need for thick vinyl. Most air mattresses sit at about 18 gauge vinyl, which gets the job done; however, thicker is better. It does make the air mattress heavier, but it’s worth it. Looking for an air mattress topper further protects it against punctures.


This is a more subjective criteria because everybody prefers a different level of firmness. With that being said, most everybody agrees that a topper makes any air mattress more comfortable. It also helps keep you warm by acting as a barrier between you and the cool air in the air mattress. Look for an air mattress with a topper, or look to find one you can add to an air mattress you’ve purchased.

Looking for thicker vinyl is a must again. It works to help keep the air mattress firm and the overall construction of the air mattress is much stronger. If you have a sturdy air mattress you can fill it with more air and it should be firmer than other air mattresses. It’s easy to make an air mattress plush but difficult to make it firm if the air mattress has poor construction.

Short Warranty

This again might seem like common sense, but expired warranties sneak up on people. It’s important to educate yourself on the warranty your air mattress carries before you purchase it. Internet etiquette dictates opening the air mattress right away upon receiving it. This way, you can determine if there are any defects and get it fixed within the warranty limit.

Of course the best air mattresses offer a longer warranty to their customers, and this often speaks to the quality of the air mattress you’re purchasing. You can think of it as a reflection of the trust the manufacturer has in the product.

Read Reviews

As you continue your search, be sure to read reviews left by other customers, taking excessively glowing reviews and highly negative ones into perspective. Having a set criteria helps narrow down the best air mattresses from the no-so-best air mattresses.

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