Air mattresses were once considered temporary sleeping solutions. However, these days they are being widely used by a lot of people as advanced alternatives to the conventional and usually distressing metal spring mattresses. So if you are finding it difficult to fall asleep because of your mattress or you have been waking up with a persevering back ache, you might want to consider switching to an air mattress.
What Is An Air Mattress?
Air mattresses specifically provide support to your body where your body actually needs it by molding to its exact shape. When you sleep on a coil mattress, at times pressure points occur that meddle with the natural alignment of your spine. These pressure points are eliminated while sleeping on an air mattress. They can impede the natural curvature in the spine if it is too hard, while it can cause abnormal bends in the back by sinking in if it is too soft.
Choosing the Right Type
Inflatable Air Mattresses: Those that need to be inflated manually have been around for years. They are not only the most common but also the most inexpensive type available. At one time, people had to use their lungs to inflate a whole air mattress. Today, the inflation process has become much easier since many of the ones available on the market now have an attached electric pump.
Self Inflatable Air Mattresses: Self inflating mattresses are made of puncture resistant material with open cell foam sandwiched between it. These mattresses are heavier because of the additional layering, but it also provides sufficient insulation as well. These mattresses have an intake valve that can be opened, allowing it to inflate on its own, and can be used to adjust the air to your liking.
Sleeping Pads: Unlike typical inflatable air mattresses, sleeping pads are relatively narrower. They are typically made of foam and have a very comfortable sleeping surface. Sleeping on a pad will keep you warm because of a thermal layer that will be created beneath you. Since these pads are not heavy and thick, they can be rolled up for convenient transport. Sleeping pads perform two important functions- first, they keep you comfortable when you are sleeping on hard, uneven ground. Second, they provide an important layer of insulation between you and the ground (to cut down on conductive heat loss).
Convenient: Air mattresses can be easily moved and transported, which makes them particularly ideal for all camping trips. They can be deflated and folded up, so you can conveniently carry them along whenever you go camping. Once deflated, carrying them becomes even easier because they lose most of their weight. Another advantage of using air mattresses for camping is that you can inflate them in a matter of minutes, especially if you are using a pump.
Materials: Typically, air mattresses are made of nylon, PVC or rubber. Both PVC and rubber have elastic characteristics, so the mattresses made of these materials are durable, long-lasting, and resistant to punctures. The sleeping surface will usually have a layer of foam within them, while the more expensive ones even have a memory foam layer.
Pumps: Some mattresses have an attached pump, but a pump can also be purchased separately. Operating a manual pump can be almost as exhausting as blowing air into a mattress. Electric pumps inflate the mattress automatically. However, if you intend to use the mattress outdoors, it is better to buy a battery operated electric pump, or one you can plug into your car cigarette lighter since you will not likely find any electrical outlets while camping.
Things to Consider When Buying
For Indoor or Outdoor Use: Do you plan to use your air mattress at home or while camping? If you frequently have overnight guests, air mattresses make an excellent cost-effective, space-saving choice for an extra bed. If you plan to use your mattress outdoors, you should look for one that is more durable and rugged that can withstand wear and tear. Some are recommended exclusively for indoor use.
Size: They are available in three common sizes, queen, double, and twin size. King size is also available but takes up quite of bit of space in your tent. If you will be using it outdoors, such as while camping, then make sure the mattress you choose will fit comfortably inside your tent. When selecting an air mattress, also keep in mind how many people will be sleeping on it.
Storage: You will not need too much space to store an air mattress. When storing it after a camping trip, it should be allowed to fully dry before you pack it away, so that mildew does not form.
At one time air mattresses used to be very costly. However, today they are far more affordable, and relatively cheaper than the average coil spring mattresses. They are available in a variety of types, such as the ones mentioned, and from many different brands. Aside from their advanced and unique features, sleeping on air mattresses is comfortable and healthy too.