Looking for an air mattress? Your intended use for the product will play a major role in the features you'll need. Mattresses typically range from simple, 9-inch-deep inflatable beds appropriate for indoor or outdoor use, to sophisticated, raised mattresses that incline, like the Wenzel Insta-Flex air bed (*Est. $150). Standard-height air mattresses can be considerably more affordable, but many aren't as comfortable as raised models, which are deeper, making them the same height as a standard bed frame and mattress.
Air beds can be set up and made up like a regular bed, turning a spare room into a bedroom without investing in a standard mattress. For families who don't have a separate guest bedroom, they can also be deflated and stored in a closet when not in use. A few owners report sleeping on the thicker 22-inch models in place of a regular bed; 22 inches is about the same height as a standard bed frame and mattress, so these air beds are easier to get in and out of. Air beds come with a variety of features, depending on the model, including built-in pillows, memory-foam tops, and built-in pumps.
Smaller air beds are typically 8 to 9 inches deep and are useful for camping and traveling. Air beds designed for both indoor and outdoor use are in the same price range as standard-height air beds, but offer more versatility. The Coleman 4-in-1 Quickbed (*Est. $40 without pump) can be inflated using battery power or a car adapter (not included). These factors can enhance product convenience. Another thing to note: Air mattresses used outdoors will be more prone to punctures, so look for models made of thicker, more durable materials, such as the Aero Sport All-Terrain (*Est. $75 to $90, depending on size). Here are some other shopping tips: