Here are 10 tips on how to make an air mattress more comfortable. Air beds or mattresses are generally intended for use as an emergency bed for overnight guests or for camping. They are rarely used as the main bed in a household. Some people find them to be uncomfortable, but tolerate this because they are ‘only airbeds.’
This need not be the case, however. There are things you can do to make an air mattress more comfortable. Some of these are very simple while others take a little more work. Here is my list of 10 actions you can take to make an airbed or air mattress more comfortable. Many of them relate to maintaining an even mattress temperature to prevent fluctuations in hardness/softness.
Table of Contents
- 1. Make Sure it is Properly Inflated
- 2. Make Sure Sheets and Bed Covers Are Evenly Spread
- 3. Place the Air Mattress on a Soft Surface
- 4. Raise the Mattress of the Ground
- 5. Use a Topper on Your Bed
- 6. Use a Headboard – Or the Wall
- 7. Set It Up as a Proper Bed
- 8. Use Sheets When Camping
- 9. Use a Proper Pillow
- 10. Pack Away Your Air Mattress Properly
1. Make Sure it is Properly Inflated
An air mattress should be inflated to the recommended pressure if there is one. If not, inflate it until it feels comfortable. However, in spite of that, your mattress will become softer overnight for a number of reasons. The main reasons are stretching of the material and temperature fluctuations. There may also be minor leakages at the valve and pump. Practically all new air mattresses will become softer over the first 3-5 days of use.
As the mattress material stretches, the internal volume will increase, so reducing the pressure. Additionally, there is the temperature effect. Air expands as temperature increases, so your mattress might feel harder as it warms up when you lie on it. It will lose pressure when it cools down, so may need a top-up of air to maintain a comfortable pressure. Room temperature also has an effect – your mattress will get softer in a warm room and then harden up again when it is cold.
Your body pressure can also force air out of the mattress – if it didn’t, it could burst or come apart at the seams. Unless your mattress is fitted with a second pump that maintains the correct pressure automatically, you should reinflate your mattress regularly to keep it at the most comfortable pressure for you.
2. Make Sure Sheets and Bed Covers Are Evenly Spread
Like any mattress, your airbed or mattress will feel uncomfortable if your sheets are creased or crumpled. Make sure they are spread out tightly, not only for comfort, but also to protect the mattress from external air temperature fluctuations while giving ride to fluctuations in hardness of the bed (see above.)
3. Place the Air Mattress on a Soft Surface
Unlike memory foam mattresses, even the best air mattress does not like hard surfaces. Lay your mattress on a soft mat or carpet. Not only does this prevent the mattress sliding about, but it also helps maintain pressure by preventing a cold floor from drawing heat from the bed.
4. Raise the Mattress of the Ground
Even better would be to raise the mattress off the ground. This helps maintain a cooler mattress in summer and warmer in winter. A mattress stand is designed for this – or you could build your own if you are handy with wood. A box spring can also be used as a stand. By elevating the mattress, you not only help maintain and even temperature but the raised bed also makes it easier to get in and out of bed.
5. Use a Topper on Your Bed
Latex, cluster fiber, and microfiber mattress toppers are placed on top of the mattress, under the sheet, to make the sleeping surface more comfortable, particularly if the mattress is too soft or too hard for you. Mattress toppers are good if you have back pain, and they may also remedy some of the problems caused by an old worn, or sagging mattress. They also reduce the transfer of heat from your body to the air inside the mattress. Average thicknesses for toppers are around 2” – 4”. Many toppers come in the form of egg-crate foam or quilted pads.
6. Use a Headboard – Or the Wall
Many people find it uncomfortable to sleep on a bed with no headboard. Lack of a headboard can not only lead to an innate sense of insecurity, but can also lead to loss of the pillow overnight! Because of their construction, most air mattresses cannot be fitted with a headboard. However, if you construct a mattress stand you can also fit a headboard to it. Failing that, use the wall! Simply push the air bed up to a convenient wall and that can act as a headboard.
7. Set It Up as a Proper Bed
Air beds or air mattresses often seem uncomfortable just because they are not ‘real beds.’ While it is true that they are generally used only occasionally, there is no reason for you not to make it up like a ‘proper’ bed. Use sheets, perhaps a comforter and plumped up pillows. All of this adds to the relaxing experience of lying in a comfortable bed and promotes sleep. Refresh bed linen that has not been used for some time by rinsing in fabric softener then tumble drying.
8. Use Sheets When Camping
Although sheets are recommended, many don’t take these when camping. You should, because camping can be an uncomfortable experience if you are used to a lovely, well made, warm bed at home. Take a sheet to cover the mattress surface or topper if you are using one, and also take at least one warm blanket. A sleeping bag is fine, but sheets and blankets add to the experience and you will feel a lot more comfortable with them.
9. Use a Proper Pillow
Even if you decide not to use proper bedding on your air mattress, you should consider using a proper pillow. A pillow helps align your spine properly when sleeping, thus enabling you to avoid backaches and neck strains. Get the best pillows you can because quality definitely counts. Not only will you sleep better, but pillows are more comfortable than any other way of raising your head. Sure, some mattresses come with pillows but there is nothing to beat a good quality properly filled pillow.
10. Pack Away Your Air Mattress Properly
It is important that you air mattress is packed away properly. Never just fold it roughly and stick in a cupboard, likely to end up lying beneath a pile of other items not needed for a while. You must pack it away in such a way as to avoid small holes or torn seams, or even damage to the pumping system.
Once you are ready, and have completed the bulk of deflation, gently press down on the mattress along its length toward the air vent. Run your hands down the length to remove as much air as you can. Then fold the mattress neatly. Alternatively roll it up and tie with some ribbon – string can cut into the fabric or seams. Store it on a shelf or somewhere safe where no other items can be placed on top or fall onto it. It’s not just leaks that are the problem, but uneven inflation due to creases in the mattress material or stretched areas due to localized pressure.
How to Make an Air Mattress More Comfortable: Conclusion
These are the main ways to make an air mattress more comfortable. Any single one of them will improve the comfort of your mattress or airbed. Apply as many of these as you can, and if you use even just half of them, your comfort when using your mattress will be improved considerably. Some of these relate to the hardness or softness of the bed, some to material comfort and yet others are partially psychological. To finish, before you go to bed have a warm relaxing drink – or a glass of good wine. You are sure to sleep better!
Continue Reading: Air Mattress Pros and Cons »