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Air Mattresses

Air mattresses are convenient to use in many situations, including camping and as emergency beds for extra guests. They are compact when deflated for storage or travel and most are sturdy enough to withstand a great deal of wear and tear. High-end air mattresses offer alternatives to standard bedding.

Air Mattress Components

Today's temporary and portable air mattresses boast newer materials and easier inflation options. The type of material will vary, but typically includes velour, nylon, or vinyl. They are durable under most conditions, and a large number of them are puncture resistant.

1. Surface flocking in an Air Mattress

This increases comfort; velour or any surface with a grip will keep pads, sheets, and sleeping bags in place, eliminating slippage.

2. Air Mattress Interiors

These are also called bladders, may be comprised of urethane or PVC. Urethane can be combustible, while PVC does not support flames. Bladder depth should be no less than seven inches to provide proper support without dropping at pressure points. The interior construction will range from single- to multi-chambered models.

3. Pumps for Air Mattresses

These are operated by hand, foot, electric, or battery power, and are easy to use. Some have remote control options. Pumps are available as a part of the air mattress package, as a separate purchase, or as a unit built into the air mattress.

Styles and Features of Air Mattresses

Temporary and long-term use air mattresses boast a wide variety of basic and extended features. Size ranges are twin, standard, queen, and king. Child-sized mattresses are also available with raised edges for safety.

Low-end air mattresses are plastic and offer no amenities. Heavier-duty mattresses of all sizes are designed for longer-term use. As a better grade comes with a higher price, more expensive air mattresses will offer options that include:

  • Additional padding and/or foam, usually of higher quality
  • Sturdy and soft railing around the edge
  • Attached inflatable pillows
  • Pumping mechanisms
  • I-beam or wave beam technology.

Other factors to consider include:

  • Total weight capacity
  • Inflation/deflation times
  • Range of comfort adjustments.

Carrying cases and repair kits may also be essential, depending on use.

Air Mattress Benefits

The prime benefit of most air mattresses is portability and convenience. They can be put into service quickly for extra guests, are useful as extra bedding when camping, or even as a quick fix for first-time apartment dwellers.

Raised air mattresses, with their multiple inflatable platforms, approximate the height of a bed. These are useful as a temporary replacement for standard mattresses. Platform height varies, and the layers, which represent box spring and mattress units, inflate with separate pumping systems.

Multiple-zone air mattresses are in the premium category and many are popular as permanent alternatives. They can be dual-zoned with adjustment capabilities for each vertical half, or with additional chambers for various horizontal and vertical adjustments.

Health claims include relief from back, neck, and hip discomfort; post-surgical support; and allergen reduction.