What Is an Adjustable Air Bed?
Adjustable air beds are mattresses that use air as their main support system, rather than memory foam, springs, latex, water or any combination of those materials. Although most air beds do come with comfort layers of foam, latex or both.
Air beds have one or more chambers of air and their firmness can be adjusted by adding or removing the amount of air in those chambers via electric controls. The more air in the chamber, the firmer the bed becomes. The less air in the chamber, the softer it becomes. Depending on size and model, some air beds will have separate air chambers and controls for each side of the bed, so each partner can adjust the pressure on their half to their preference.
Thanks to their adjustability, air beds are great at providing the right amount of support, relieving pressure points and associated pain, as well as conforming to the body of a sleeper. They may also last as long, or even longer than traditional mattresses, because their parts can be replaced when broken or worn down.
- Adjustable firmness so you get the exact comfort level you want at any given time.
- Multiple air chambers and separate controls for each side of the bed (on some models) so each partner’s needs are met.
- Great support, pain-relief and conforming.
- Excellent motion isolation.
- Very long-lasting, since they use air as the primary support system.
- Air beds tend to be significantly more expensive than your average innerspring, memory foam, latex and hybrid mattresses.
- There are a limited number of air bed options on the market as compared to other types of mattresses.
- Malfunctions such as remote control breakdown and air loss overnight can occur.
- A period of trial and error is required to find the right firmness settings for you.
Adjustable Air Bed vs. Innerspring/Hybrid/Memory Mattress
The main differentiator between air beds and other varieties of mattress is their adjustability. Many mattress companies that make innerspring, memory foam, latex or hybrid mattresses will allow you to choose between different levels of firmness and comfort, but only air beds give you the ability to adjust it however you want, whenever you want. That customizability makes them great for all sleep types, whether they are on the heavier side or like to sleep on their back or stomach and so like an extremely firm bed, or they are lightweight side sleepers and like a little more give. Most adjustable air beds come with a comfort layer of memory foam or latex, which adds a degree of support and body-conforming.
Some airbeds also have two or even six chambers (3 on each side for shoulders, lumbar and legs) with separate controls for each side of the bed, which makes them excellent for partners who have different sleep styles and preferences. Very few traditional mattresses offer different firmness levels on each half of the mattress and they certainly can’t be adjusted with a remote control.
The price must also be taken into consideration. High-quality air beds can carry a very high price tag. In many cases, much higher than your typical luxury mattress in the innerspring, memory foam, or hybrid category. You can find great value in an air bed, with the Solaire listed above, for example. It’s a very high-quality air bed priced significantly lower than many others on the market.
Is an Adjustable Air Bed Right for Me?
The price of adjustable air beds can be prohibitive for some, but if you’re looking for luxurious comfort that will last you for a long time, an air bed could be a great choice. If you are someone who is wary of technology, you may not want to go through the initial set up and experimentation process of finding the right settings for you. But that adjustability is the major selling point with air beds. It makes them excellent for anyone who likes to change up their firmness/comfort levels, as well as anyone who tends to experience neck, back, shoulder or hip pain caused by common mattress pressure points. With an air bed, you’ll have the ability to try out different levels of support to see what settings help alleviate that pain.
Adjustable air beds are also fantastic for couples as they offer great motion isolation and individualized comfort for partners. Separate air chambers on each side of the bed allow each partner to have their sleep needs and preferences met.