An air mattress is a convenient short-term bedding solution. Whether you’re heading out on a camping trip or inviting friends into your home for an overnight stay, it’s convenient to have an air mattress around. But, how to make an air mattress more comfortable? That’s easy.
While air mattresses are usually better than sleeping on the floor, they aren’t always comfortable. Even a decent air mattress doesn’t offer the same contouring and pressure-relieving benefits of a traditional mattress, so you may end up with a few more aches and pains than usual. The type of air mattress you choose has a significant impact on your level of comfort, so it’s important to shop mindfully.
5 Steps on How to Make an Air Mattress More Comfortable
Fortunately, our team has tested many of the best air mattresses on the market and organized our top picks in a neat list to help you shop smarter. Regardless of brand, however, there are a few simple things you can do to make any air mattress more comfortable. Check them out below.
#1. Choose the proper bedding.
Whether you’re sleeping in a real bed or on an air mattress, choosing the right bedding can significantly impact your sleep experience. When using an air mattress, choose a sheet set that is appropriately sized. Place the fitted sheet on the air mattress first, tucking any extra material under the mattress to help keep it in place. In cooler weather, try flannel sheets to help keep you warm as the air inside the mattress cools overnight. In warmer weather, something breathable like bamboo or cotton may be a better choice. You might even try using a mattress cover or a mattress topper to improve your comfort.
#2. Use a mattress cover or topper.
While air mattresses may look a lot like traditional mattresses, they can feel very different. Many have slick surfaces that make it difficult to keep your sheets in place overnight, but a mattress cover can help solve this problem. Choose a mattress cover with a textured surface and, ideally, one that has straps to keep the cover in place. Alternatively, you could use a mattress encasement that zips all the way around. This option may provide an additional degree of protection against accidental punctures.
Another option is to use a mattress topper. Mattress toppers are made from a variety of different materials, and they can be used to change the feel of any mattress, including an air mattress. Down mattress toppers are very soft and provide an affordable way to make an air mattress more comfortable. If support and pressure relief are your concerns, a latex or memory foam topper might be a more suitable solution.
#3. Make it more like a “real” bed.
One of the most frustrating things about sleeping on an air mattress is having it slide around on the floor while you try to sleep. Making minor modifications to make the air mattress feel more like a “real” bed can help. Try pushing the head of the air mattress up against the wall or a piece of furniture to create the feeling of a headboard. This gives your guests something to lean on and helps keep the pillows from falling off. If you really want to improve your air mattress experience, try placing it on a box spring or invest in an air mattress stand or cot.
#4. Choose the right pillow.
You’ve gotten used to your regular bed at home and have found the perfect combination of bedding and pillows. Sleeping on an air mattress can be a very different experience, so you may need to choose a different pillow. Air mattresses don’t have the same contouring ability as traditional mattresses, so if your pillow isn’t full or supportive enough, your neck and spine may be thrown out of alignment – especially if you’re a side sleeper. Consider your preferred sleeping style and take the time to test out a few different pillows to find which one is the most comfortable.
#5. Follow the instructions to properly inflate the mattress.
Nothing is worse than waking up in the middle of the night to find your air mattress has deflated around you. If you’ve ever experienced a leaky air mattress before, you may tempted to preemptively overinflate the mattress to avoid the issue, but that might do more harm than good. When setting up your air mattress, it’s important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Every model is different.
Here are some simple tips to keep your mattress properly inflated:
- Avoid overinflating the mattress. Filling the mattress with too much air could increase the pressure on the seams, making them more likely to tear.
- Keep the mattress inflated during use. If you’re going to be sleeping on the mattress for more than one night, keep it inflated during the day. Repeatedly deflating and inflating the air mattress puts a lot of unnecessary strain on it.
- Don’t sit on the mattress. Only use the air mattress for sleeping and make sure your bodyweight is distributed evenly across the surface as much as possible. Sitting on the air mattress can speed up deflation by putting a lot of pressure in one area.
- Inflate the air mattress before using it. When you first purchase an air mattress, it’s a good idea to inflate it and let it rest for 48 hours before using it. This gives the seams time to stretch into a natural position before adding the pressure of your bodyweight.
- Keep ambient temperature in mind. Even if you’re using an air mattress indoors, the air inside the mattress will cool overnight which can lead to deflation. Placing something between the mattress and the floor can help, as can maintain a stable overnight temperature.
An air mattress may seem automatically inferior to a traditional mattress in terms of comfort, but that doesn’t have to be the case. By following the tips above, you can make your air mattress more comfortable without sacrificing the convenience and portability for which air mattresses are known.