Best Air Beds

Best Air Beds UK (2024)

Last updated: 31.10.2023 Reading time: 12 Min.

Looking for a budget-friendly guest bed for your next get-together?

Or do you need extra comfort for a camping trip away? 🏕️

We’re bursting with excitement to tell you all about the best air beds in the UK.

Inflatable beds are practical, portable and can be stored easily.

Even better, they’re much more cost-efficient than sofa beds or trundles.

Dive into our best air mattress reviews below to find out more. 👇

Man sleeping on an air bed
Sleep Hero Favourite

Dreams Bestway Fortech Air Bed

The Bestway Fortech Air Bed inflates in 5 minutes with a built-in electric pump.
  • Polyester fabric and PVC
  • 46 cm (19 inches)
  • Built-in electric pump

Tell me more about the Bestway Fortech Air Bed

The Bestway Fortech Air Bed offers a good balance between quality and affordability. 

This air mattress is made with dense polyester fabric and durable PVC that allows you to sleep comfortably on a bed that lasts.

The Bestway Fortech Air Bed features a built-in 220 - 240V electric pump that inflates the bed in 5 minutes.

It inflates and deflates the bed automatically so that you can relax without any fuss. 

96% of reviewers recommend this high-quality air bed, with customers raving about its comfort, supportive feel and exceptional durability. 

Reasons to buy

Extra deep 

Excellent customer reviews 

Storage bag included 

Reasons to avoid

Only a 6-month guarantee


Pro Action Flocked Air Bed

The Pro Action Flocked Air Bed is a best-seller and one of the most affordable airbeds.

The coil beam structure of the Pro Action Flocked Air Bed aims to offer a sturdier and more supportive sleeping surface.

The Pro Action Flocked Air Bed is the best-selling air bed on Argos and one of the most affordable. 💸

It is ideal for indoor and outdoor use.

The PVC mattress has a coil beam structure, which gives the mattress enhanced support. 💪

The air mattress can be inflated and deflated in just 180 seconds and comes with a double lock valve that prevents air leaks.

Pro Action Flocked Air Bed
The Pro Action Air Bed has a double lock valve to prevent air leaks. 

While the air bed comes with a repair kit, no pump is included. 👎

The Pro Action Flocked Air Bed comes with a 1-year guarantee.

87% of customers recommend this air bed, although there are some complaints about it not staying inflated. 


  Pro Action Flocked Air Bed
Composition: PVC mattress and cover
Storage: None
Depth: 22 cm (8.7 inches)
Pump: Not included
Guarantee: 1 year
What makes this air bed special? The cost of the Pro Action Flocked Air Bed is very low, and it is suitable for indoor and outdoor use.
Luxury Option

Intex PremAire Raised Air Bed with Pump

The Intex Queen Air Bed is as luxurious and comfortable as air beds come.
  • PVC mattress and canvas
  • 46 cm (18.1 inches)
  • Built-in electric pump

The Intex Queen PremAire Raised Air Bed is the top-selling luxury air bed on Argos.

Designed to be soft yet tough, the air bed features a cosy flocked top and puncture-resistant surface.

The PVC mattress and canvas have a 243 kg (536 lbs) weight limit so that couples can sleep easily, too.

The Intex Queen also comes with a 2-in-1 built-in pump that can inflate and deflate the mattress in just 270 seconds.

While the Intex Queen PremAire Raised Air Bed doesn't have a trial period, it does come with a 1-year guarantee.

This air mattress is recommended by 91% of customers, who found it to be a comfortable and practical solution for their guests. 

Reasons to buy

Built-in pump & storage bag included

1-year guarantee

Extra deep design 

Reasons to avoid

Slightly expensive


Intex Classic Downy Airbed

The Intex Classic Downy Airbed is a comfortable mid-range air bed.
  • PVC & velour
  • 22 cm (8.7 inches)
  • Storage bag included

Tell me more about the Intex Classic Downy Airbed

The Intex Classic Downy Airbed is durable, comfortable, and made using PVC with a velour topper.

The air bed folds compactly and comes with a storage bag to make travelling and transport as easy as can be.

The Intex extra-wide 2-in-1 nozzle ensures that inflating and deflating your air mattress takes no time at all.  

Its ridged design prevents people and bedding from slipping. 

Unfortunately, some customers report holes and deflation issues, so it's best to check the mattress before going camping. 

This air bed has an average rating of 4.3/5 stars on Amazon, with most agreeing it is a comfortable choice and excellent value for money. 

Reasons to buy

Great customer reviews overall 

Suitable for indoor/outdoor use

Great option for couples 

30-day returns 

Reasons to avoid

Pump isn't included 

Some customers experience deflating issues 

How we chose the best air beds

There are many factors to consider when selecting the best air mattress. 🤔

air bed in room
We considered how functional the airbeds were for indoor and outdoor use.

Not only should your air mattress be comfortable to sleep on, but you’ll want to ensure it’s easy to set up and can be stored away easily.

When choosing the best air bed, we considered:

  • Comfort levels & suitability
  • Functionality (is it easy to inflate/deflate?)
  • Size and depth
  • How easy is it to store (does it include a storage bag?)
  • Durability and if it includes a warranty
  • Whether it’s suitable for outdoor/indoor use
  • Whether it is good value for money

A decent inflatable air mattress should last the long haul, and you shouldn’t experience any deflating during the night.

We chose inflatable beds that met these expectations and were flexible in terms of suitability.

What is an air mattress?

An air mattress is a bed that can be inflated and deflated.

Typically, inflatable beds are made with durable PVC and include a manual or electric pump.

The pump fills the mattress with air to create a temporary cushioning sleep surface. 😴

Woman camping on an air bed
Air beds are highly portable.

Air mattresses are also known as air beds or blow-up beds.

According to CNN [1], the first air mattress was invented in 1889 for Atlantic steamships.

The appeal was that they could be stored away easily and used as a life raft in an emergency. 🚣‍♀️

Air beds, like the Intex Classic, are still very popular today and are generally used for guest accommodation, sleeping on the go, and camping.

Take a look below:

Who are air mattresses suitable for?

Air beds are convenient and can be an excellent temporary sleeping arrangement for guests and travellers.

We recommend air beds to:

  • Those who need temporary sleeping arrangements
  • Those on a tight budget
  • Those with limited space
  • Those looking for fuss-free & easy set-up
  • Travellers/campers/festival-goers who need a portable bed
  • Those who may need to sleep in their car/van temporarily

Generally, air beds are a budget-friendly, short-term sleeping solution.

air bed in car
Air beds are a portable and convenient alternative to a mattress.

Air beds are useful if you don't have space for a guest room or sofa bed or if you need a cheap, temporary mattress.

We wouldn’t recommend air mattresses as a permanent solution for sleep.

If you need a mattress for everyday use, we suggest looking at some affordable options.

The Simbatex Foam mattress and Emma Original are excellent budget-friendly options that don't compromise on quality.

They also include flexible finance options and risk-free sleep trials. ⌛

Best air beds for camping

The best air mattress for camping should be durable, portable, and convenient.

You’ll also want to ensure it’s lightweight and comes with a bag, so it’s easy to transport or can be stored easily in your backpack when hiking.

camping with an inflatable mattress
Some inflatable beds are designed for outdoor use.

For those who need an inflatable mattress for camping or festivals, you should ensure it's made of a material suitable for different weather conditions and has soil protection. ☔

The air bed will need a manual or battery-operated pump as it’s unlikely you’ll be near a power outlet.

The Intex Classic Downy Airbed is our top choice for camping:


Alternatively, check out our article on the best camp beds, which has the top UK sleeping bags, camp beds and self-inflating mats.

Best air beds for couples

Choosing the right air bed for couples requires careful consideration.

couple sitting on air mattress
A blow-up bed for couples should be spacious and supportive.

Whether planning a camping trip or setting up a guest room, your air bed should be designed to accommodate two people. 👯

Key criteria to look out for when choosing an inflatable mattress for couples:

  • Size: Choose a double or king-size air bed to ensure ample space for both individuals to sleep comfortably.
  • Weight capacity: Check the weight limit of the air bed. It should be able to accommodate the combined weight of both individuals.
  • Durability and stability: Look for an air bed that uses high-quality, puncture-resistant material and has a strong internal structure to prevent sagging and ensure that movements from one person don't disturb the other.

If couples use the blow-up mattress frequently, we recommend investing in a good-quality option.

Our favourite air beds for couples:

Are air beds comfortable?

A good quality blow-up air bed can provide a reasonable amount of comfort overnight. ✅️

But we wouldn’t recommend them for long-term use.

Air mattresses cannot offer adequate support for the spine, and you’ll likely experience back or joint pain over time.

Men with aching joints and back
Long-term use of an air bed can harm the body.

If you’re looking for a permanent mattress, you’ll first want to understand the kind of mattress you need to meet your requirements.

Luckily, we can help you with that in our guide on how to choose a mattress.

You can also improve the comfort of your air bed with a few additional accessories.

A supportive pillow

Buying the best air mattress for guests is fruitless if you don't also have suitable pillows.

Consider adjustable pillows, like the Kally pillow or the Nectar Adjustable pillow.

These can be tailored to accommodate each individual's sleeping position, making them an excellent choice for guests. 🛠️


A cosy duvet

The duvet plays a crucial role in your overall comfort and temperature during sleep.

We highly recommend the Night Owl duvet for guest use.

This duvet's unique feature is that it doesn't require a cover, simplifying the setup process of a temporary bed.


washable duvet graphic
A coverless duvet is fully washable.

It is also machine-washable and has a versatile 10.5 tog rating, making it suitable for all seasons.

A comfy mattress topper

If your air bed leans towards the firmer side, a mattress topper can act as an additional layer of comfort. ☁️

It secures over the bed and provides a softer, more cushioned feel for optimal nightly support.

Mattress toppers may be pricey, so we suggest exploring budget-friendly options without compromising on quality.

Our favourite budget-friendly mattress toppers:

How to use an air bed

You should first check the instruction manual included with your air bed.

If you no longer have the instruction manual for your air bed, you can check online with the manufacturer and see if a digital guide is available. 💻

Alternatively, follow the steps below:

1. Open the valve cover

This typically looks like a plastic plug on the side of your air mattress.

Remove the cap, and you should see a hole where the air pump needs to be inserted.

If your air bed has a built-in pump, you can skip to step 3.

2. Insert the air pump

Once you have located and opened the valve, you can insert the pump's nozzle into the opening.

The nozzle should be tightly sealed in the valve so no air can escape. 💨

3. Switch on the pump (skip this step for manual pumps)

You should plug your pump into a nearby power outlet and switch it on.

The pump should start self-inflating the air bed.

4. Start pumping (skip this step for electric pumps)

If you use a manual hand or foot pump, you can start pumping up the mattress.

Hand pumps require an “up-and-down” motion on the long piston, whilst foot pumps work by stepping on the pedal.

5. Stop pumping at 90% capacity

Air mattresses can become damaged when overinflated. ✋️

Therefore, most manufacturers recommend inflating your mattress at 90% capacity.

This also means your air mattress won’t feel too firm and should be more comfortable.

To check if your inflatable mattress is at 90% capacity, it should feel firm to the touch with a little give.

Some air pumps will also make a slightly different noise to alert you that the bed is at near full capacity.

6. Screw the nozzle back on

Finally, screw the nozzle back on before any air escapes.

You can now dress your bed with soft sheets and snuggly pillows to make it comfier.

Electric pump vs manual pump

You can use an electric or manual pump with your air mattress.

But which one is better?

Depending on your requirements, there are pros and cons to manual and electric pumps.

Manual pump

A manual pump can come as either a foot or a hand pump. 🖐🦶

Hand pumps have a bigger air capacity to pump up the bed faster.

manual foot pump
A manual pump requires your own hands or feet to work.

Yet, they can be more hardwearing on your back as you have to bend over to use them.

Manual pumps require more effort but are more convenient for campers and travellers as they don’t need a power outlet.

Battery and car charger pumps are also available for those on the go.

Manual pumps are cheaper than electric pumps, and you have more control over how much you inflate your air mattress to your required firmness.

You can find great budget-friendly foot pump options on Amazon.


Electric pump

With electric pumps, you plug the pump into a power source and automatically let the mattress fill with air.

electric pump
An electric pump relies on electricity to work.

The Deeplee electric pump has an inflating and deflating option for a fuss-free set up.


Electric pumps usually work much faster than manual pumps, and you can have the inflatable mattress up in less than 5 minutes. ⏳️

However, electric pumps are more expensive and can only be used with a nearby power outlet.

Therefore we’d recommend electric pumps for those who need an air bed for the home.

Air mattress sizes

Air mattresses are typically available in standard UK sizes.

uk mattress sizes
You can find single, double, and king-size air beds online.

This includes:

  • Single air bed - 90 x 190 cm (3’ x 6’3”)
  • Air bed double - 135 x 190 cm (4’6” x 6’3”)
  • King size air bed - 150 x 200 cm (5’ x 6’6”)
  • Air bed super king size - 180 x 200 cm (6’ x 6’6”)

We recommend double or king-size air beds for those who need to sleep more than one person. 💰

The Pro Action is the best double air bed for those on a budget.

Take a closer look:

How much do air mattresses cost?

Inflatable air mattresses are a budget-friendly option to put your guests up for the night.

Unlike sofa beds and trundles, air mattresses are highly affordable.

Typically, an air bed costs anywhere between £20 - £150.

people with coins
Air beds come in different price brackets.

How much you spend depends on your budget and how often your blow-up mattress will be used.

We'll dive into the key differences between luxury and cheap air beds below. 👇

Luxury air beds vs cheap air beds

Inflatable beds come in a wide range of prices, so it's important to consider how much you want to spend before investing in an air mattress. 💰

This largely depends on your individual budget and how much the air bed will be used.

Luxury air beds

Luxury air beds can cost anywhere between £70 - £250.

They usually include built-in pumps with customisable firmness settings, allowing users to adjust the bed's firmness according to their personal comfort preferences.

Many luxury air beds also boast elevated designs and a headboard that mimics the feel and look of traditional beds.

High-quality materials are usually used in their construction, offering better puncture and leak resistance.

happy woman with a heart
Luxury air mattresses are made with higher-quality materials.

Their construction also tends to incorporate more complex internal structures for improved support and stability, such as multi-layered air coils or padded toppers.

Luxury air beds are also likely to come with longer warranties and better customer support. 👑

If you're going to be using your inflatable bed more often, it's better to invest in a higher-quality option.

Cheap air beds

Low-end air beds usually cost around £20 - £50.

They might not have a built-in pump or sophisticated internal support structures, but they should still be capable of providing a decent level of comfort. 👍

Their design is often simpler, with basic inflation and deflation mechanisms, and they may not be as durable or resistant to leaks and punctures.

Cheap air beds are typically lower to the ground, and they may not include a flocked or padded top layer.

people holding stars
Customer reviews will help you determine if your blow-up mattress is good value for money.

The warranty period for these products might be limited, so it's important to read reviews and check the product's reliability before you make a purchase. 🤞

We recommend a cheap air mattress for budget buyers who need a temporary bed that will not be used often.

Take a look at our favourite budget-friendly and luxury air beds:

Air mattress discount codes

Many retailers have air mattress discount codes so that you can get significant savings on your guest bed.

The Bestway Foretech air bed by Dreams is often on a great deal:


Piggybank on mattress
You can get air bed discount codes online.

With a voucher code, you can save as much as 50% off some of the most popular air beds in the UK. 🏷️

Bookmark our discounts page for all the latest deals before you hit checkout.

Alternatively, sign up for our newsletter for all the top deals year-round.

Should you buy an air bed?

Air mattresses are an excellent cost-effective way to provide guests with a comfortable place to kip overnight.

They’re highly convenient for campers and travellers who require additional comfort when on the go. 🧳

That being said, inflatable beds should not be a permanent solution for your sleep and will not provide the great night’s sleep you’ll get from an actual mattress.

Here is a reminder of the best inflatable mattress UK:

Frequently asked questions

  • Why do air mattresses have bumps?

    Lumps and bumps usually form in an air mattress when over-inflated

    You should deflate the mattress and put pressure on the bump as it deflates. 

    Afterwards, inflate the mattress again to see if the pump has disappeared. 

    Repeat the steps until the bump has completely disappeared.

    If your air bed has a bump every time you inflate it, this could mean there is a fault. 

    You should contact the manufacturer and follow their guidance on resolving the issue.

  • Are air mattresses recyclable?

    Many air beds are non-recyclable. 

    This is because they are usually made from PVC, which leaks dioxins when the material breaks down. 

    You should contact your local waste management facility to see if a local recycling centre accepts PVC products.

    Of course, you should always consider the environmental risks when buying a new product. 

    Consider a floor mattress or self-inflating sleeping mat if you need a temporary spare bed.

    Some sleeping mats are made with natural ingredients such as kapok, which is much more sustainable.

  • Can you sleep on an air mattress with a bubble?

    You can sleep on an air mattress with a lump or bubble, but it may be uncomfortable. 

    Bubbles are caused by over-inflation. 

    If you continually over-inflate your air bed, you risk damaging the material inside.

  • Are air mattresses good for everyday use?

    No, we wouldn’t recommend an inflatable air mattress for everyday use, but as a temporary sleeping arrangement only.

    You might consider a sofa bed for a longer-term sleeping solution that saves space in the home. 

    Alternatively, if you need to replace your mattress, then our best mattress article can guide you on the top mattresses in the UK.

  • Can air beds be repaired?

    Many people have experienced the frustration of sleeping on a blow-up air bed that immediately goes flat.

    The good news is that you can repair your air bed before replacing it. 

    Follow these steps:

          1. Purchase an air bed repair kit.

    1. Locate the hole or tear in your air bed (you may have to submerge it in water and look for bubbles). 

    2. Wipe the area to remove any dust.

    3. Gently rub sandpaper on the area to roughen the spot so the patch will hold better.

    4. Add strong adhesive, like super glue, around the hole and/or the patch. 

    5. Place the patch over the hole.

    6. Press it down for a few minutes to ensure it adheres to the area.

    7. Once the glue has dried, you can inflate the air bed and check that it's working.

    For best results, put something heavy on the patch overnight to ensure it sticks and the glue has dried. 

  • How do you inflate an air bed?

    You can inflate an air bed using an electric or manual pump

    See this article's section on Electric pump vs manual pump for a more detailed guide on how these different types of pumps work. 

  • Where can I buy an air mattress?

    You might be wondering where to buy air beds. 

    Air mattresses can be purchased both in-store and online

    If you’re in a hurry, you should check brick-and-mortar retailers such as Argos and Tesco for self-inflating mattresses.

    Otherwise, we recommend searching online, where you have a wider selection and can make better comparisons.

    Check the following both in-store and online:

    • Air bed Argos
    • Air bed Amazon 
    • Tesco air bed 
    • Asda air bed 
    • Aldi air bed k
    • Go Outdoors air bed
    • The Range air bed 
    • Lidl air bed 
    • Sainsbury's air bed 
    • John Lewis air bed
    • Costco air bed 

    Some retailers also offer an online order service where you can collect in-store at a later date.

  • References


Holly Matthews

Senior Content Writer

Holly has been a content writer at Sleep Hero UK since 2021. With an MA degree in literature and previous experience working at a leading UK bed retailer, she is committed to using her skills to guide others towards making better sleep choices.

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