9 Ways to Make an Air Mattress More Comfortable

Written by: Andjela Kastratovic
Updated: 10/02/2023

There’s a lot to like about air mattresses. They’re convenient and budget-friendly, whether for camping adventures or as a bed for your guest room. 

But let’s face it: sleeping on an air mattress can often feel uncomfortable. Is there a way to improve the comfort? 

This guide will show you how to make an air mattress more comfortable. 

Let’s get into it! 

How to Make an Air Mattress More Comfortable

Sleeping on an uncomfortable mattress can have a negative impact on your sleep and on your health. Don’t know how to increase comfort? Here are 9 tested ways to make a comfortable air mattress. 

Adjust the Firmness

First, try adjusting the firmness until you have a properly inflated air mattress. You don’t want it to be too firm or soft, and here’s how to find that perfect middle. 

If your air bed feels as firm as a rock, it’s likely overinflated. Too much air equals too much stiffness, which can lead to discomfort in the shoulders and hips. On the other hand, if you sink into it too much, it’s likely you don’t have enough air in the bed, and you won’t get the proper support. 

Also, know that temperature can impact an inflatable mattress. The air inside the bed expands when it’s warm and cools down later on. This means your air bed can feel firm initially but gradually lose shape as the air cools down, and you’ll have to adjust it again. 

The best way to figure out whether your air mattress is properly inflated is to test it out. Try different modes and determine what works for you. 

Inspect the Mattress for Leaks

If you fall asleep on a fully inflated air mattress and wake up on the floor in the middle of deflated material, it’s probably leaking air somewhere. 

Many air mattresses develop leaks over time. It could either be caused by damage or use. The good news is that many leaks and small punctures are easy to find and seal. 

If you’re looking for a leak in your air bed, remove the bedding first and make sure you have enough space to maneuver. Inflate the air bed and start inspecting it. 

Check out the area around the valve, because this is the most likely culprit. Then, check the seams and edges. You can try the dish soap or garden hose method if you don’t find anything there. 

Once you find the leak in your bed, you can patch it up! Make sure to choose whatever method suits the leak the most. Some are good with an adhesive patch or even just duct tape, but others require a patch kit. 

Add a Mattress Topper

Adding a mattress topper to your air mattress is a budget-friendly upgrade that can make all the difference. 

Most air mattresses have a top layer with a rubbery feel to it, even when you add sheets and other bedding on top. But a topper can give you that extra cushion of comfort, support, and pressure relief.

Mattress toppers aren’t just for air beds. A mattress topper can work wonders on a normal bed, too. The best part? You get to choose from a variety of materials and thicknesses. What you go for depends on your preferences. 

You can go for a memory foam mattress topper if you need more relief for your pressure points or a latex topper if you’re looking for more bounce. And if you’d prefer a slimmer option, you can also get a mattress pad for a better sleeping experience. A nice foam pad can make a huge difference.

Place It on a Soft Surface

For an easy comfort upgrade, consider where you place your air mattress. 

The vinyl bottom layer of your mattress may not work best with hard surfaces like hardwood floors. If you want to get a great night’s sleep, you should avoid these firm surfaces.

So, here’s a simple fix if you want to sleep comfortably: put your air mattress on a softer surface, like a mat or a plush rug. Not only will this prevent sliding and squeaking as you shift during the night, but it also helps insulate your bed from the cold floor, maintaining the temperature. 

So, remember, the surface beneath your air mattress can play a significant role in ensuring your comfort all night.

Raise the Mattress Off the Ground

And that’s also why one of the best tricks to make your air bed more comfortable is to raise it off the ground. Placing your air mattress on a box spring or cot is a game-changer.

Why? Well, it’s all about that extra height. Getting in and out of bed becomes easy when you have a tall air mattress. Plus, it offers a luxury feel.

So, if you want to improve your sleep quality on a camping trip or accommodate older overnight guests in your guest room, consider giving your air mattress a lift with a box spring or cot.

Box springs are usually used for a real bed, and they offer support and breathability. However, you don’t need a full bed frame. A regular mattress stand, like those for camping, can get the job done.

It’s a simple tweak that can do a lot for you. 

Your Pillow Matters

Remember to consider the importance of the proper pillow for your inflatable mattress. A well-chosen pillow does wonders for your comfort. It aligns your spine, reduces back pain, and prevents neck strains, ensuring a better night’s sleep. 

Even a high-quality air mattress can be uncomfortable if you don’t have the right pillow. So, invest in a quality pillow with proper filling for extra comfort and support on your air mattress. 

And Your Bedding Also Matters

It’s not just the pillows! Choosing the right bedding to make your air mattress more comfortable would be best. 

In warmer weather, breathable bed sheets and covers prevent overheating, while in cooler months, they provide insulation. Opt for a fitted sheet, a comforter, and the perfect pillow to make your air mattress feel like a regular bed. 

Even if you’re camping, don’t just opt for a comfortable sleeping bag and nothing else. Put on some bed sheets and bed covers to create a more comfortable sleep.

Use a Wall

Creating a cozy setting for your air mattress can be as simple as using a wall or headboard. While an inflatable mattress has no built-in headboard, you can mimic its comfort by positioning it next to a wall or creating a DIY headboard. This prevents your pillow from sliding off at night, making sleep more comfortable. 

Pack Your Mattress Properly

Ensuring your inflatable mattress stays comfortable begins with proper storage. 

Avoid hasty folding and stuffing in a cupboard, which can lead to damage. After deflating, gently press along the mattress’s length toward the air vent, exerting even pressure. Fold it neatly and return it to its original box for added protection. 

Alternatively, use ribbons or strings to secure it. Store your air mattress on a shelf or in a safe place, keeping it ready for the next time you need it. 

Sleeping on an Air Mattress: Pros and Cons

Before you sleep on an air mattress long-term, you should know its pros and cons. 


  • Air mattresses are a budget-friendly option.
  • An air mattress is an excellent option for unexpected guests.
  • It’s also easily portable, so people often choose it for camping trips.
  • You can adjust the firmness with the built-in pump.
  • When not in use, you can deflate an air mattress and store it, saving space.
  • They’re less likely to accumulate allergens than traditional mattresses.


  • Air mattresses don’t give enough support, which can lead to back pain over time.
  • It’s not as comfortable as a traditional bed.
  • They lack breathability, so hot sleepers won’t like them.
  • You need to inflate the theme every time you go to bed.
  • They last less time than regular beds.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Much Weight Can an Air Mattress Hold?

An air mattress’s weight depends on its size, design, and materials. On average, most Twin-sized air mattresses can support around 300–350 pounds, while a larger Queen-size air mattress can handle up to 500 pounds. 

However, checking the manufacturer’s guidelines for your specific air bed is crucial, as exceeding weight limits can lead to leaks or damage, and then you’ll have to get a new air mattress. To ensure you stay safe and comfortable, aim to keep under the weight limit for your air mattress. 

Why Do Air Mattresses Deflate Overnight?

There are various reasons why. The most common ones are temperature changes and the natural permeability of the mattress material. When the air inside cools down, it can contract, causing a pressure drop. 

Also, an air bed might develop small holes and punctures over time, slowly deflating. If you want your air mattress to stay firm, you can keep it at a stable temperature and inspect it regularly for leaks. 

Are Air Mattresses Good for Your Back?

Air mattresses are convenient but can’t support your back well. They lack the firmness your body needs for spinal alignment, which can lead to discomfort or back pain. 

While air mattresses serve their purpose for temporary use, they may not be the best choice for your long-term back health. If you suffer from back pain, investing in a high-quality mattress with good support is best. 

Can You Use a Mattress Topper on an Air Bed?

Using a mattress topper on an air bed can add an extra layer of comfort and insulation, making your air mattress more comfortable. This combination can help alleviate some of the typical discomforts associated with air beds, making your sleep experience more enjoyable. Look for memory foam, latex, or other comfortable materials. 

Final Thoughts

Now you know all about how to make an air mattress more comfortable.

Remember that the key to a cozier air mattress lies in inflating it just right and adding plush toppers and some nice bedding. The key to comfort is using the proper foundation, like a carpet or a box spring. 

Whether you sleep on it in the great outdoors or while hosting guests, put these tricks to work. Your back will thank you. You’ll sleep better and feel more rested in the morning. 

We wish you a good night’s sleep!

Reviews written by:

Andjela Kastratovic - Co-editor

Anđela is a content writer by the day and an Illustrator by night. She loves anything creative, but sleep takes the cake – that’s why she enjoys writing for Anatomy of Sleep so much!

While in high school, she got accepted for her dream job – a ‘professional sleeper’. Her job was to test new mattresses from a local mattress brand and write reports on the quality of sleep. Ever since then, she’s been in love with reviewing mattresses and putting her compelling research into ultimate buyer’s guides. While not exploring the latest brands, she likes to illustrate and spend time with her dog and friends.