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The Best Air Mattress: Wirecutter Reviews


The SoundAsleep Dream Series mattress inflates quickly, is tall enough to easily climb onto, and it’s also pretty comfortable to sleep on (for an air mattress!).
The SoundAsleep Dream Series mattress inflates quickly, is tall enough to easily climb onto, and it’s also pretty comfortable to sleep on (for an air mattress!).

Our pick

SoundAsleep Air Mattress (Queen)

SoundAsleep Air Mattress (Twin)

The SoundAsleep Dream Series is the best air mattress we’ve tried. It offers the strongest combination of performance, a long warranty, and highly responsive and motivated customer service. At its current price of $120, it’s not the cheapest air mattress, but we think it offers the best value without compromising on warranty or customer service, and it doesn’t have any unnecessary extra features.

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The SoundAsleep inflates fully in under four minutes, which was not the fastest of the mattresses we tested, but not an inordinate wait by any means. We preferred its simple dial controls to those of mattresses with firmness settings (like the Insta-Bed Raised Mattress with NeverFlat Pump), because this gave us more control over filling and deflating the mattress to the desired firmness. The SoundAsleep’s pump also deflates the mattress quickly and the mattress comes with a woven nylon storage bag, packing down to about 14 by 14 by 13 inches.

Fully inflated, the queen-size SoundAsleep is 19 inches tall—roughly the height of the average sofa seat.
Fully inflated, the queen-size SoundAsleep is 19 inches tall—roughly the height of the average sofa seat.

The queen-size SoundAsleep inflates to 19 inches high (18 inches for the twin), which is comparable to a mattress resting on a box spring on the floor. This makes it much easier to get in and out of bed compared with lower air mattresses, some of which are only a foot high. We had no problems getting our queen-size fitted sheets to grip the mattress snugly, even though the queen-size SoundAsleep measures 58 by 78 inches (slightly smaller than a standard queen-size mattress). Like the other mattresses we tested, the SoundAsleep is made from PVC with a flocked, velvety fabric top, which keeps the sheets from slipping around and provides a homier feel than a plastic-topped air mattress would.

The SoundAsleep didn’t noticeably lose air or sink during the night (unlike at least one other mattress we tried). In fact, it even stayed comfortably firm over two consecutive nights, without needing to be topped up. The twin size was comfortable for a 150-pound single sleeper, and the queen was comfortable for a couple collectively weighing 280 pounds. As with all air mattresses, there was some creaking and jiggling, which is more noticeable with two sleepers on a larger mattress. And like all air mattresses, the SoundAsleep feels nothing like a real mattress, though the addition of a foam topper or mattress pad would add extra cushion and insulation. But everyone slept comfortably through the night, and no one reported soreness or back pain in the morning.

The SoundAsleep comes with a one-year warranty, which is the longest warranty of the mattresses we considered. If your mattress springs a leak, the inner inflation coils fail, or the pump breaks within the first year, SoundAsleep will either repair or replace your mattress. When we called SoundAsleep to ask about how its warranty works, it said that you may simply have to send a photo of your mattress, or mail the item back, depending on the nature of the defect, how long you’ve owned it, and how often you used the mattress. In most cases, SoundAsleep told us, the customer would not be responsible for shipping charges.

We have evidence that SoundAsleep may go above and beyond the terms of its warranty to keep its customers happy. Wirecutter editor Harry Sawyers’s SoundAsleep mattress developed a leak around the pump after 15 months of use, and SoundAsleep agreed to repair the mattress free of charge, even though it was out of warranty.

We aren’t the only ones who like it: the SoundAsleep is the best rated air mattress on Sleep Like the Dead and has an impressive 4.5 star (out of five) average on Amazon, across more than 10,000 reviews, a greater average over more reviews than any other mattress we considered. It also has a higher percentage of five-star reviews, and a lower percentage of one-star reviews, than any other mattress we looked at.

Long-term test notes

For the past year, a couple of our Wirecutter staffers have used two seperate SoundAsleep Dream Series mattresses for occasional guest bedding. They’ve been mostly happy with the mattresses. Courtney Schley, author of this guide, has used her mattress five to six times over the past year, and hasn’t noticed any change in performance. She says, “it still doesn’t lose any air or sink during the night.”

Senior editor Harry Sawyers says he likes that the storage bag is big enough to actually accommodate the folded mattress. But he says that the pump is very loud and that there’s a bit of guesswork to figuring out how much to inflate the mattress. “I almost always under inflate, thinking it’s full enough,” he says. One tip to avoid this issue is to fill the mattress until it will no longer inflate (it has an auto release mechanism that won’t let the mattress overinflate or explode).



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