3 Things to Consider When Buying an Inflatable Mattress

A large air mattress isn’t something you’ll need for every camping trip, but when you do, you’ll be glad you own one

Admittedly, a blow-up queen-size mattress hardly qualifies as camping gear, but the comfort and convenience it offers certainly has a place as an extra bunk at the family cabin, a spare bed in the living room, or your personal dog house in the basement. Whatever your need, here are a few things to look for in the ever-handy balloon bed.

Twin or Queen

King Koil Queen Air Mattress
If you have the space in your home and budget, spring for a queen-sized mattress.King Koil

Inflatable mattress options are usually twin-sized or queen. For ease of use, portability, or even squeezing into the family tent, a twin is the way to go. But a queen-size mattress stored at your camp clubhouse or cabin will serve your guests or extended family in ultimate style.

Height

OlarHike Queen Air Mattress
The higher off the ground you can get, the more comfortable you'll often be.OlarHike

Some mattresses are a single layer and fine for throwing out anywhere you have the floor space. But the most comfortable ones are the equivalent of a box spring and mattress, about 18 to 20 inches high, and make both sleeping in the bed and rolling out of it in the morning more comfortable.

Built-in Pump

Cumbor Queen Air Mattress
Some of the best large air mattresses are almost two-feet high and have an inflator built in.Cumbor

Originally, air mattresses were sold with a separate pump that required making a connection to both an outlet and the mattress itself. The best modern versions feature a built-in pump that makes inflating the bed easier and also eliminates the risk of losing a vital component so that you can rest in peace rather than in pieces.