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Air mattress- The carry around mattress

Whoever invented the air mattress must have been obsessed with the idea of sleeping in the cloud. He or she would have been daydreaming one fine morning and while looking at the changing shapes of the clouds, an idea would have struck: Why don’t I fill air in my bed? The rest, as they say, is history.

What are Air mattresses made of?

Air! as simple as that. But of course you need something to trap this volatile stuff. That’s why we use an inflatable bladder which is usually made of Polyvinyl chloride (PVC).  But modern air mattresses are using textile-reinforced urethane plastic which is more elastic and less brittle than Polyvinyl chloride (PVC). Rubber air mattresses are also available in India.

air mattress

How to fill the air inside the mattress?

Well, if you are a contender in the world’s strongest man competition, you can blow the air in with your mouth. If you are a normal human being, there are some different ways to inflate an air bed

  • Using mechanical pumps – Hand pumps or foot pumps are available which will get the job done with a little effort. They can easily be carried around if you are going camping with your air mattress.
  • Using and air compressor – If you have an air compressor at home, you have to just connect it to the air mattress and it will fill up in a matter of seconds
  • Using an electric pump – You can always fill up your mattress with the help of an electric pump. Only thing is that you should have access to electrical power supply. If so this is the easiest method.
  • Use mattresses with a built-in pump – Some modern air mattresses are equipped with built-in pumps. All you have to do is plug it in or unscrew the cap and press the inflate button. It will be filled before you change to your pajamas.

Not what you were looking for? Return to Types of Mattresses

What are the different types of air mattresses?

According to the use there are three main types of air mattresses. They are

  • Camping air mattress – If you love camping and sleeping in the woods, there are air mattresses to fulfil your wish. These are weightless and easily portable. Some of them are double high and can have a thickness up to 25 inches to protect from spiders and crawlers in the forest floor.
  • Temporary home use Air mattresses – These are only suitable for home use. If you don’t want to waste the space in your small apartment for a guest bed, you can go for this one. After the guest leaves, you can deflate, roll the bed up and store it in a convenient space.
  • Full-time permanent use air mattresses – If you want to use the mattress every day, you should buy this type. These are more comfortable and less portable compared to the other two types.

If you are concerned about size, air mattresses are available in all sizes like twin, full, queen and king. The modern air mattresses can adjust the air pressure to make it softer or firmer. Some even have pillows built into them.

Futons are a versatile home accessory. Read about Futon mattresses here.

Where can you buy Air mattresses?

Normal air mattresses and camping mattresses are available in almost all furniture stores in India. If you are looking for a specific size or a high-end one, you may have to visit a brand outlet or big stores like IKEA or Walmart. You can also find what you are looking for on popular online shopping sites like Amazon.

How much does an air mattress cost?

Air beds are much cheaper compared to other types of mattresses and they are available from Rs 1000 onwards.

What are the benefits of using an air mattress?

Air mattresses have many pros compared to other types and they are detailed below.

Portability

The greatest advantage of an air bed is that it can be deflated and can be taken anywhere. They are best suited for camping. As camping air mattresses are available in many different sizes, they fit into any type of tents. Even there are mattresses that you can use inside your SUV.

Weightless

 As air fills up more than 95 percent of the space inside the air mattress it is of lower weight. It can hence be moved easily.

Variable Firmness

Many people prefer air mattresses because you can easily customize the firmness of the bed. Some people want a softer mattress on some nights and a firm one on others. This can easily be achieved by regulating the air pressure. This is a unique feature of the air mattresses.  

This also allows you to be a good host by giving your guest a personalized bed for the night.

Back Pain

Though air mattresses are not recommended by doctors for those with back ache, it is suitable for a comfortable sleep. For those with intermittent back pains, the firmness of the air mattress can be adjusted to accommodate their varying needs.

No Sagging

Sagging is the biggest problem for all types of mattresses. After years of use, the firmness of a particular part of the bed gives away and the sleeper feels like lying on a hammock. But the air mattress always appears as good as new. If you feel like there is a sagging, just inflate it a little more.

Durability

The PVC made air mattresses are highly durable. Where a normal mattress lasts for 7 or so years, air mattresses last for more than 15 years. For a built-in pump type air bed, the pump usually fails before the bed. But it can easily be replaced.

No insect infestation

Mattresses are usually the favorite dwelling place for ticks, mites and bed bugs. But as the air mattresses are made of plastic or rubber, there is absolutely no threat from this little nuisances.

If you hate to sleep on a bug infested bed, you should surely prefer an air mattress

What are the cons of using an air mattress?

It can get hot

Because of the plastic material used for making air beds, it won’t breathe well. This makes it difficult to regulate body temperature while sleeping. Moreover, the air inside the mattress can get hot and will give you a sweaty sleep.

Problems with the pumps

You have to depend on a pump if you want to use an air mattress. If you are using a mechanical pump, you have to expend some energy on it. If it is an electric pump, it can create noise which is not so pleasing on sleeping hours.  The built pumps in the mattress can give away causing more problems.

If you are going camping with an air mattress, you have an additional load of the pump to carry around in your back pack.

Motion transfer

Another problem with air mattresses is motion transfer. If you sleep with a partner, this can be difficult as each movement from their part will rock you. So it is better to avoid air mattresses if you are a light sleeper.

Less comfort

Air mattresses are not great if you give preference to comfort. Though you can sleep on it once in a while, it would not  be very easy to make it your permanent bed unless you go for costly and well-upholstered air beds.

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