There are many different types of self-inflating mattresses on the market and a few factors to consider when searching for the best option for yourself. The primary use for a self-inflating mattress will determine what kind of mattress you need to be on the lookout for - for example, a mattress for the home may allow for a bigger size than a mattress you plan to take camping.
You will also want to make sure the design and construction suit your needs and preferences. It’s important to familiarise yourself with the options available and the differences between them so that you can make the most well-informed decision.
(Important Facts, Studies, Advice, Considerations & FAQs In Conclusion)
|Active Era Premium Self-Inflating Mattress||46cm||4.6kg||Single/King||£89.99|
|Outwell Flock Superior Self-Inflating Mattress||50cm||4.9kg||Single/Double||£59.99|
|FiNeWaY Deluxe High Raised Self-Inflating Mattress||47cm||6-7kg||Double||£69.98|
|Vango Shangri-La II Self-Inflating Mattress||15cm||4.35kg||Single/Double||£168|
|Albert Austin Blow Up Bed Self-Inflating Mattress||47cm||7.4kg||Queen/Twin(Single)||£64.99|
|Tuomico Self-Inflating Mattress||40cm||5kg||Queen/Twin(Single)||£84.99|
1. Active Era Premium Self-Inflating Mattress
|• 21 air coil support columns|
• 15-gauge puncture-resistant
• Dual-layer flocked top
|• Those seeking a single or king size|
• Individuals wanting a built-in pillow
• People who prefer a manual pump option
The Active Era Premium Self-Inflating Mattress is a premium king size bed made with high quality, hard-wearing material. A powerful and easy-to-use electric pump is integrated into the mattress for full inflation in just 3 minutes. Automatic deflation will happen at the flick of a switch - for easy storage and transportation. In addition to the built-in electric air pump, this mattress also uses a conventional air valve to release air or manually inflate.
This self-inflating mattress is constructed from extra-thick 15-gauge puncture-resistant PVC and 21 enhanced air-coil support columns that provide support and allow for an even distribution of weight. In addition, this mattress has a built-in raised pillow that provides added neck and head support and is covered with a soft-touch dual-layer waterproof flocked-top layer. Manufacturers claim that this mattress can support up to 120kg.
Compact and portable, this self-inflating mattress could be a good option for those hosting guests, moving home or going camping. With thousands of positive reviews, this mattress seems popular with customers, some highlighting comfort and value for money.
2. Outwell Flock Superior Self-Inflating Mattress
|• Durable PVC material|
• Raised edges for security
• Multiuse potential
|• People wanting a single or double size|
• Those seeking comfort
• Individuals preferring a power cable for use
The Outwell Flock Superior Self-Inflating Mattress available from John Lewis & Partners is available in both a single and double and could be a good potential option for those needing a comfortable self-inflating mattress for visitors or camping. This mattress has a built-in pump and comes with a power plug.
The flocked design provides sleepers with good insulation and comfort, and the raised all-around edging offers firmness for extra stability. This mattress is made of sturdy, durable PVC material and the manufacturers claim that it is easy to pack away and store. Customers generally seem satisfied with their purchases, some people commenting on comfort and ease of storage.
3. FiNeWaY Deluxe High Raised Self-Inflating Mattress
|• 35 structured air-coils|
• Built-in pillow
• Multiuse potential
|• Those wanting a double size|
• People who prefer a manual pump option
• Individuals seeking a raised outer edge
The FiNeWaY Deluxe High Raised Air Bed Self-Inflating Mattress is available as a double and has been designed and constructed for indoor and outdoor use. A powerful and easy-to-use electric pump is built-in, and it will fully inflate the mattress in three minutes. In addition, there is a manual air valve should you wish to inflate or deflate the air mattress without the included pump.
This mattress has a bulged outer edge that prevents rolling off and is fitted with 35 structured air-coils to provide maximum support for your head and spine. In addition, the ergonomically designed integrated pillow offers further support for your head and neck.
Waterproof material ensures that the surface stays dry, and the PVC underside prevents any sliding. In addition, the material is easy to clean by wiping it down with a damp cloth. This self-inflating mattress comes with a convenient storage bag and has proved very popular with customers. Many reviews highlight comfort and that it is easy to inflate.
4. Vango Shangri-La II Self-Inflating Mattress
|• Plush sleep surface|
• Vertical walls and level top
• Multiuse potential
|• Those with a higher budget|
• Individuals seeking a single or double size
• People who prefer a thin mattress
The Vango Shangri-La II Self-Inflating Mattress is available as a single or double from John Lewis & Partners. This self-inflating mattress has vertical walls providing a flat and level top for the sleeper - maximising the available surface space. The sleep surface is made with a soft stretch fabric providing a plush sleep surface.
This Vango Shangri-La II Self-Inflating Mattress is a little more expensive option; however, customers generally seem happy with their purchases. It's worth noting that some people mention that the double size is a little large when deflated and folded - this may be something to consider if you want to use this mattress for camping purposes.
5. Albert Austin Blow Up Bed Self-Inflating Mattress
|• Strong waterproof vinyl material|
• Soft flocked PVC top
• Quick inflation
|• Those seeking a queen or twin/single size|
• People who prefer a raised outer edge
• Individuals wanting a multiuse mattress
The ALBERT AUSTIN Blow Up Bed Self-Inflating Mattress is available in a queen and twin size - however, worth noting that the twin (196x97cm) measures only slightly more than a standard UK single (190x90cm). This self-inflating mattress has a powerful built-in, easy-to-use electric pump that will inflate and deflate in two minutes.
There is a raised outer edge to keep sleepers secure and prevent rolling off during the night, and the mattress itself is made from strong, durable and waterproof vinyl, with a soft flocked PVC top.
This mattress has been designed for in-home and outdoor use and might be a good potential option for those looking for an easy-to-use and store option. Customer reviews are generally positive; several people mention comfort and that this mattress is very quick and easy to inflate and deflate.
6. Tuomico Self-Inflating Mattress
|• Air coil technology|
• Quiet inflation
• Built-in power cable storage
|• Individuals seeking adjustable firmness|
• Those wanting a power cable for use
• People who prefer a raised outer edge
The Tuomico Self-Inflating Mattress is available in a queen and twin size (191x99cm), which is, once again, measures only very slightly more than a standard UK single (190x90cm). This self-inflating mattress is designed to be firm and supportive and is as comfortable as a regular bed.
When connected via the power cord, the built-in pump will automatically and quietly inflate from compressed to firm in 3-5 minutes. A clockwise turn inflates the mattress, and a counter-clockwise turn deflates it. The firmness of this mattress is adjustable by controlling the inner pressure - essentially, how much air you want to go in. In addition, there is a raised outer edge to keep sleepers secure during the night.
The power cable can be stored away in a built-in compartment to minimise damage to the cord and keep the space clutter-free. This mattress uses air coil technology for comfort, and the PVC material used is both waterproof, puncture-resistant, and flocked on top, providing a comfortable sleep surface. Customers overall seem very happy with their purchases - some highlighting comfort and that it is easy to inflate and use.
Self-Inflating Mattresses Explained
As the name suggests, self-inflating mattresses have built-in pumps that can be inflated without a manual pump or blowing into it. These mattresses are designed with a valve/multiple valves that suck air into the mattress to inflate it and release air to deflate it - most often by flicking a switch or turning a dial. Instead of using foam, fabric, or springs to create height, self-inflating mattresses use air pressure. Some require a power supply and electric cord, while others do not.
Design and construction vary between brands; however, you will often find self-inflating mattresses made of PVC or textile-reinforced urethane plastic or rubber.
Self-Inflating Mattress Materials
The majority of modern air mattresses, whether self-inflating or not, are typically made of PVC. Most of us are familiar with the term 'PVC', even if we're not quite sure what it is. PVC is the abbreviation for polyvinyl chloride and is a thermoplastic product made of 57% chlorine (from industrial grade salt) and 38% carbon (mostly from oil/gas via ethylene).
PVC is made much softer and more flexible by adding plasticisers, which is needed for many applications such as construction, the automobile industry, furniture, and artificial leather goods. The most commonly used plasticisers are phthalates and adipates. PVC is an easily available material, inexpensive, versatile, and waterproof. In addition, PVC can be thick and durable and, therefore, a good choice for a self-inflating mattress.
However, there are health and environmental concerns✓ with the manufacture, use, and disposal of PVC, particularly the harmful effects of phthalates✓, and much literature is dedicated to the study of it. Possible alternatives to PVC mattresses and a more eco-friendly choice include rubber, plastic, and thermoplastic urethane; however, these are currently less widely available.
Interesting to know...
The total global production volume of PVC✓ in 2018 amounted to 44.3 million metric tons and is estimated to grow to nearly 60 million metric tons in 2025.
Having said this, because plasticisers are so widely used, they have undergone extensive testing for possible health and environmental effects. In Europe, the safe use of plasticisers is monitored by REACH✓ , which facilitates comprehensive safety regulation. In addition, it has been well documented that PVC is one of the most recyclable polymers✓ and has the potential for sustainability✓ due to certain unique features.
Did you know?
PVC can be recycled up to 8 times✓ - depending on the application.
Flocked Surface Explained
If you’ve done a little reading about self-inflating mattresses, you’ve almost certainly come across the term “flocked top” - not something you may have heard of before. Flocking is the process whereby tiny fibre particles (called flock) are applied to an adhesive-coated surface. It can also refer to the velvety-like texture produced by the process.
The purpose of flocking can be for aesthetics, colour, appearance or feel, or more functional reasons such as insulation or anti-slip. For example, many self-inflating mattresses have a “flocked top” surface, sometimes the top and the bottom. This surface provides comfort and ease of movement, reduced sound, insulation, and anti-slip on a floor surface.
Benefits Of A Self-Inflating Mattress
Regardless of whether you need a self-inflating mattress for indoor or outdoor use, there are certain benefits that this mattress type has over others - and depending on your needs and preferences, it might be a good option for you.
Whether you prefer a soft, medium-firm, or firm mattress, a self-inflating mattress might be able to accommodate your specific preference. Results of one systematic review✓ suggest that a custom-inflated (self-adjusted) mattress may be optimal for promoting sleep comfort, quality, and spinal alignment in adults with and without back pain.
Different sleeping positions are usually best suited to varying firmness levels, which can be adjusted accordingly with a self-inflating mattress. A medium (somewhere between a soft and medium-firm) firmness is typically best for side sleepers, a medium to slightly firm for back sleepers, and a medium-firm for front sleepers.
For those who would like the option of an inflatable portable multiuse mattress - a self-inflating mattress could be a great option. Durable materials and easy-to-use design can make them a great choice for use as an extra bed at home - especially for those with limited space - or as an option to take camping.
When compared to regular mattresses, self-inflating mattresses make for a budget-friendly purchase - which may be an ideal solution for a temporary bedding arrangement.
Ease Of Use
One of the biggest appeals of a self-inflating mattress is its convenience and ease of use. They are designed and constructed to be easy to set up, inflate, deflate, and store. In addition, you will never have to worry about misplacing or storing an extra pump.
Self-Inflating Mattress Considerations
The reason for which you need a self-inflating mattress will largely determine which specific features you need to be on the lookout for; however, there may be a few additional considerations mentioned below that can further guide you to make the best choice.
- Size: a self-inflating mattress that needs to fit into a tent will generally need to be a bit smaller than one intended for home use. However, if you are limited for space at home, be sure to get your measurements correct before purchasing. Some self-inflating mattresses are only available in one size, whilst others have different sizes to choose from.
- Weight capacity: this will depend on the mattress itself, and customers should always check the specifications before purchasing. If the self-inflating mattress is for a couple, combined weight should be considered.
- Height: a higher mattress may make getting in and out of bed a little easier; however, a higher mattress will require a longer inflation time and be a bit heavier to move when needed.
- Materials: as with all bedding, the quality of materials used will affect the durability and lifespan of a self-inflating mattress. A thicker PVC is more likely to resist punctures and feel supportive, and a flock-top can provide comfort and optimal waterproofing. Higher quality materials often come at a higher price.
- Raised edges: this may or may not be a concern, depending on who will be using the mattress - anyone with a tendency to roll off may find raised edges helpful.
- Noise: self-inflating mattresses can sometimes make a noise when people move around - which way or may not disturb some. Depending on the pump, the inflation process may also result in some noise.
- Power supply: some self-inflating mattresses must be plugged in and might be better for home use. Others do not require a power source and may be more suitable for outdoor use.
- Ease of transport: once again, depending on the primary use of the mattress, transporting may or may not be a factor to consider. A self-inflating mattress that needs to be moved and carried should ideally be more lightweight and compact than one solely for use at home in a guest bedroom.
Tips To Reduce Overnight Deflating
One of the most frequent complaints from people using self-inflating mattresses is that they tend to deflate during the night. Whilst you will invariably have to top up the air from time to time, you don't want to have to do this every day or ever wake up on the floor. Below are a few tips to help you keep your mattress optimally inflated.
- Opt for a good quality material that can handle some wear and tear.
- Always check for sharp objects near the bed and on the floor.
- Check for punctures regularly - a small hole/leak is easier to patch up than a large one.
- Use the correct bedding - a good sheet or mattress topper can provide an additional layer of protection for your self-inflating mattress.
Frequently Asked Questions
How does a self-inflating air mattress work?
Self-inflating mattresses have built-in pumps designed with valves that suck air into the mattress to inflate it and release air to deflate it without using a manual pump - some require a power supply and electric cord whilst others do not.
How to inflate a self-inflating air mattress?
Some self-inflating mattresses require a power source and a plugin of an electrical cord, followed by turning a dial or switch to 'inflate'. Others do not require a power source and can automatically inflate when turned to the 'inflate' switch/setting.
What is the best self-inflating mattress?
The best self-inflating mattress for you will be determined primarily by the reason you need the mattress. The importance of size, height, weight, and ease of use will vary accordingly.