The Best Air Mattress For Seniors: Comfortable, Supportive and Easy to Use

By: Scott Grant, ATP, CRTS®

Older adults who travel or stay at other people’s homes may find themselves on an air mattress on the floor of a guest room. Here are the best air mattresses for seniors and older adults based on comfort, support, and ease of use.

Income Disclosure: I recommend products based on my personal experience working with seniors. I may earn a commission on items purchased from links in this guide. Learn More.

For those times you find yourself in a guest room at the kid’s house or in need of a temporary bedding situation, you should invest in a quality air mattress. You know that sleep is important as we age. One way of improving your sleep quality is to ensure you or your senior loved one is sleeping on a comfortable, relaxing mattress that supports and enhances your quality sleep.

My Recommended Air Mattresses for Older Adults

Here are my top recommended air mattresses for older adults based on comfort, ease of use, and pressure relieving capabilities. You can read more about these important features in the next section.

SoundAsleep Air Mattress with ComfortCoil Technology – Best Overall

The SoundAsleep Air Mattress with ComfortCoil Technology has gained notoriety for ticking many of the most important boxes seniors would look at while buying an air mattress. For starters, the air mattress provides excellent support in the long term. The mattress will reliably support throughout the night without deflating.

Another notable feature of this air mattress is its sophisticated ultra-quiet motor. The internal motor allows users to set the inflation and firmness level to their liking. On the other hand, it runs quietly throughout, which reduces noise distractions that can wake up light sleepers.

The dual-chambered air mattress is available in Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, and King. Its ComfortCoil Technology greatly improves comfort, while the SureGrip bottom ensures the mattress remains stable without slipping as you sleep.


Coleman Air Mattress with Built-in Pump

The Coleman Air Mattress has every feature you want in your air mattress while still being fairly priced. This air mattress is well equipped, from a built-in 120V pump to a soft plush cover and quick release valve.

The only notable downside to this mattress is its noisier pump. If you or your senior loved one can sleep through a noisy air pump, this is a good choice.


Insta-Bed Raised Air Mattress

The amount of support an air mattress can yield influences the comfort levels as well. The Insta-Bed Raised Air Mattress has two pumps that allow users to pump the mattress to a precise firm level for that excellent support (and comfort). The silent pumps also run the neverFLAT pump system that keeps the mattress inflated through the night. The pumps can inflate the mattress in under 4 minutes. Additionally, the 18” raised height mattress has circular coils that create a firm sleeping surface that is also supportive and comfortable.


Simmons Beautyrest Silver Queen Air Mattress

This reinforced air mattress has cross-sectional oval beams that align, reinforce, and supports your spine and lumbar as you sleep. Its three-zone support technology allows seniors to adjust the mattress to their specific needs for added comfort. Additionally, the mattress is made using extra-thick vinyl, which improves its airtightness. Other features include a built pump, a stabilized base, dust mite resistance, and raised edge support.


Drive Medical’s Med Aire Low Air Loss Mattress with Alternating Pressure

For our last recommendation, we’ve chosen Alternating Pressure Air Mattresses. The Med Aire Mattress with Alternating Pressure is a mattress designed specifically to cater to the elderly who are bedridden or spend a lot of time in bed. As mentioned above, an APAM mattress like this one is designed to negate bedsores without compromising comfort.

It comes with 20 air bladders that are 8” deep. The bladders are easy to remove and replace, and they come with a CPR valve that makes rapid deflation possible when needed. You can operate this mattress on static mode where the pressure stays constant or alternating mode where the bladders alternate from high pressure to low air loss, thereby redistributing pressure. Its pillow function allows the air bladders and head to function in static mode for more comfort.

Finally, it also comes with a nylon cover that is fluid-resistant, vapor permeable, and quilted.

RELATED: Sleep Tips for Seniors & the Elderly

What To Look For In An Air Mattress For Seniors

If you are shopping for yourself or at your local retail store, make sure the mattress you choose has these features to make it as senior-friendly as possible.

Quality Of The Mattress

Some of the elements that you should consider when determining the quality of the air mattress include the air pressure of the mattress, the quality of the sleeping surface, and the mattress thickness.

Air Pressure Of The Mattress

While it’s normal for an air mattress to require a top-up of air before going to bed, it should not deflate considerably to the point it does not provide support as you sleep. As such, the ability of the mattress to maintain pressure is an essential consideration.

Quality Sleeping Surface

For the most part, air mattresses do not offer the same kind of support as traditional mattresses. That’s why the elderly are advised to use alternating air pressure mattresses if they want to sleep on an air mattress for more than a night or two.

However, if you choose to use a traditional air mattress, go for a chambered air mattress or an air mattress with built-in air coils. Such structures reduce cratering into the mattress significantly and improve the overall support the air mattress delivers.

Mattress Thickness

When looking for an air mattress, you should stay away from low risers. These are mattresses that inflate to 6 to 12 inches high. They are more compact and easier to move, hence better suited for camping.

High-risers, on the other hand, inflate to 18 to 20 inches. The greater thickness provides ample air cushioning, which is important for seniors with mobility issues. They are also easier to get on and off of.

RELATED: What is the Best Sleeping Position for Older Adults

Self-Inflating Feature

Of all the features that an air mattress for seniors must have, the self-inflating feature must be top on the list. Luckily, powered pumps have almost become a standard feature in the air mattress market. Most air mattresses come with a built-in electric pump that plugs into an outlet or is battery-powered.

Plug-in air pumps are the best option for seniors as they tend to offer more inflating and deflating power. They are also faster in their operation and will inflate the mattress much quicker than the battery-powered option. However, they are notoriously loud and can be heavy for a senior to move around without help.

The alternative is a battery-powered pump, which is lighter and easier to use. Moreover, the lightness of battery-operated pumps bodes well for portability. Such pumps are inherently light and, therefore, easy for the elderly to move.

Their most significant demerit is the limited power. A battery-operated air pump might struggle to inflate the mattress to the firmness required to provide seniors users with ample support. Consequently, if they sleep on a mattress with limited support, they might wake up feeling unrested and suffering from bedsores.

Finally, there are mattresses with manual pumps. Seniors investing in air mattresses should stay away from manual pumps. Pumping your mattress manually is a slow, back-breaking process. However, if you are up to the task of inflating your mattresses manually, you’ll potentially benefit from a firmer sleeping surface.

Pressure Monitoring And Adjusting

This feature will come in handy for seniors looking for a mattress that does not compromise their comfort and support. The air pressure sensor monitors the mattress conditions and switches on the pump to maintain minimum air pressure in the mattress. In doing this, the mattress remains firm and supportive throughout the night. However, this feature is most common in premium offerings.

Alternating Air Pressure

Alternating air pressure is the main feature of the Alternating Pressure Air Mattresses, commonly found in hospital beds. Such mattresses have been found to reduce pressure points, which, in turn, reduces ulcers and bedsores. Such a mattress is a good choice for bedridden seniors or seniors who spend considerable time in bed.

Bedsores occur when there is pressure against the skin, limiting blood flow to that particular part or region of the skin. Seniors with limited movement might be unable to toss and turn as they sleep to relieve parts of the skin under high pressure.

Air mattresses with the alternating air pressure feature work by inflating and deflating specific air cells, reducing pressure on the body, and preventing bedsores. Some studies have shown air mattresses with alternating air pressure to be more comfortable and effective at preventing sores.


Conclusion

You should use an air mattress with an abundance of caution. While the air mattress we’ve listed above will support you just fine, there are a lot of elements that affect your sleep. If you want a mattress to sleep on every night, consult your doctor before investing in an air mattress.

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