Small Space Solution: The Best Air Mattresses for an Instant Guest Bed

Small Space Solution: The Best Air Mattresses for an Instant Guest Bed

Nancy Mitchell
Sep 21, 2017

Look, we get it—not everybody has room for a guest bed. But living in a small space doesn't have to mean that overnight guests are uncomfortable. When I started doing research for this post I was surprised at how far air mattresses have come—a far cry from the saggy ones I remember from my college days, where you were like as not to wake up in the middle of the night with your bum touching the floor. These days there are all kinds of options, in all kinds of price ranges, that look like a quite comfortable—and maybe even luxurious—place to spend the night.


If you're only looking to spend a few dollars on an air mattress, you could do worse than this one, which gets decent reviews, and will take up less space in your closet than flashier options that sit higher off the ground. Note that the pump is not included, so that'll be an additional expense if you don't already have one.

At 13" tall, this mattress is a little higher off the ground than your standard airbed, but at a price that won't break the bank. The built-in pump is a nice feature.

This bed's 16" height makes it easier to get in and out of, and the price is hard to beat.

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This airbed is a great mid-priced option. It inflates to an impressive 20 inches tall, and its design means that a fitted sheet will stay put. A built-in pump makes it easy to inflate.

This queen-sized mattress is, according to one reviewer, "better than many standard beds". It sits 22 inches off the floor (just a few inches shorter than my own bed, which I just measured).

"Sleep Restoration" seems like a pretty lofty claim for an inflatable mattress, but this one gets rave reviews, both for its ease of setup and comfort while sleeping.

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This air mattress comes recommended by Arlyn, our Design Editor, and is also a favorite with reviewers on Amazon. It can be inflated at the flip of a switch thanks to the built-in pump.

This air mattress comes with a fitted sheet that incorporates a bed skirt. This means that you can be sure the sheet will stay put during the night, and once it's on, the air mattress looks just like a real bed. Another selling point is the included bag, which is, according to reviews, actually large enough to put the folded mattress in without struggling.

This bed, which comes recommended by Andrew, our Audience Development Manager, has some pretty neat features. Once the mattress is inflated to your choice of plush, medium, or firm settings, a secondary pump, outfitted with a sensor, will automatically turn on to maintain the mattress's firmness throughout the night.

If you've got a little cash to spend on an airbed, and you frequently have overnight guests, consider this guy, which is really the Cadillac of air mattresses. Like the Neverflat, it has pre-set firmness settings, and an auxillary pump which automatically kicks in to keep the mattress at a consistent firmness throughout the night. It also has some of the best reviews I've ever seen for an air mattress—people are really, really happy with this thing.

Edited from a post that originally appeared 8.27.2012. - NM

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