aero and air mattress questions
May 13, 2005 6:12 PM   Subscribe

So are the vaunted Aero beds as wonderful and more comfortable than regular air mattresses as (some) people say they are? The reviews are decidedly tilted in one direction (omgbestairmattressEVAR!) or the other (leakyleakyBAD!). I was hoping to get some more constructive feedback, or find out if there was a less costly alternative. Thanks.
posted by calistasm to Shopping (18 answers total)
My best freind used to have one back when me and pips used to crash at his place in chelsea. It was pretty comfortable. I've got no complaints.
posted by jonmc at 6:22 PM on May 13, 2005

I own one and guests like it and report sleeping well. It is also fun to "ride" as you fill it with air! It loses a little air overnight, but not much, and it's quick to fluff up if you choose to. I do know a friend who had one and it was punctured by a housecat, so if you have cats with claws, you may want to get something cheaper.
posted by xo at 6:40 PM on May 13, 2005

I hate the Aero bed. Even when it's fully pumped it's inferior to sleeping on carpet, and when it starts (inevitably) leaking air you'd be more comfortable sleeping directly on a hardwood floor. Everyone who has tried mine has agreed (even if it took a little coaxing to get them to fess up).
posted by nixxon at 7:09 PM on May 13, 2005

I like the two I've tried. Never had them leak.
posted by fatllama at 7:26 PM on May 13, 2005

My experience has been that they're perfectly comfortable for one person, but generally not firm enough for two.
posted by Caviar at 7:29 PM on May 13, 2005

I have one that's about four years old, also have slept on a couple of newer models. No complaints. Minimal air leakage.

Have slept on a couple of very cheapo or old air mattresses. They kinda sucked in comparions. Find an Aerobed on sale or on craigslist or something to cut down the price. One of those haters might sell you theirs, cheap.

On preview -- agree about not being firm enough for two.
posted by desuetude at 7:31 PM on May 13, 2005

Aero beds rock. We have a double Aero mattress for guests who crash and no one has ever complained. Aero inflates quickly and easily, and is the best alternative to having a guest bedroom. Having slept on it myself on occasion, I think Aero is supportive and far superior to a pull-out couch and most guest beds I've been subjected to.
posted by remlapm at 7:34 PM on May 13, 2005

I love sleeping on them on the porch at my aunts beach house. no complaints.
posted by Mach5 at 7:46 PM on May 13, 2005

The Aero bed I have is great! It's a more portable variant of the old school Aero bed, so we can use it camping in our tent without having to worry about having household AC power at hand. It has an independent pump that is rechargeable that has held a charge for months now. It inflates in exactly one minute and holds air for two people overnight+. Very comfy and very convenient. Only thing I see that could use improvement is that the pump cannot be used in reverse to deflate the bed. It's not too big an issue because the bag that comes with it that's used for storage is oversized so you don't have to fuss with getting it exactly so small.
posted by sublivious at 8:28 PM on May 13, 2005

If we're talking those fold-up, storable air beds from Walmart and the like, I think they suck, though not quite as much as sucking as a hardwood floor. The thing was improved a few orders of magnitude by placing a sheet of plywood under it, because the understrapping sucked.

Nothing beats a real mattress with springs 'n things.
posted by five fresh fish at 8:53 PM on May 13, 2005

I had an air bed, it leaked (very slowly) but was pretty comfortable. I now have a good conventional mattress and box spring with a 5 inch thick slab of memory foam on top of it. It's superior in every way, softer and more supportive.
posted by doctor_negative at 10:05 PM on May 13, 2005

I like them because they seem pretty well-built and they're convenient. I also liked how it felt, but I like a softer bed.

Also, they're TODAY'S SPECIAL VALUE on QVC. (My girlfriend likes to watch QVC...)
posted by theFlyingSquirrel at 10:10 PM on May 13, 2005

We've had a couple of different generations of these as extra crash beds, and as backup mattresses for occasional guest use, they're _great_. We have one or the other set of grandparents over just about every weekend, and they're all totally fine sleeping on that thing. On the other hand, you'd never, ever just replace your normal mattress with one of these.

They're in exactly the same class of bedding as a good sofa bed--a lot better than nothing (for most folks), but nowhere near as good as a real mattress/boxspring set. (As a matter of fact, it's a great replacement for the wafer-thin mattress on a sofa bed...just open out the couch, and then blow up an aero bed on top.) The older one we had did definitely leak slowly over night, but not so much that it was a huge problem, and the newer one we've got seems to hold the air in just fine.
posted by LairBob at 11:30 PM on May 13, 2005

We have an AeroBed Deluxe somethingorother that my parents gave us when they added a guest room and we moved to an apartment w/out one. I agree completely with LairBob - better than a sofa bed, not even close to a real bed. In our case, it's much more comfortable that our terrifyingly uncomfortable old battered couch so nobody complains -- the alternative is too dreadful to consider.

Jeff and I have slept on this same air mattress when it was in use at my parent's house and my main complaint about it is that it's FREEZING. If the house is cold (and in the winter, my parents house is always cold), the air in the air mattress gets cold, and there's no chance of creating that warm little pocket of sleeping comfort, since there's always more cold air circulating underneath you to steal the warmth away. So if you provide an air mattress for your guests in the winter, make sure you turn the heat up in the house and give the guests extra blankets to put underneath themselves.

I didn't notice any loss of air, although with two people, the mattress was less firm. This was okay with us, though, since it forced us to sleep closer which is probably what kept us alive on that cold, cold night.
posted by jennyb at 12:49 PM on May 14, 2005

Might be worth noting that an uncomfortable mattress is just the ticket to ensuring one's company doesn't overstay their welcome. :-)
posted by five fresh fish at 1:31 PM on May 14, 2005

I bought one for my dad, and found he preferred sleeping on the floor. It's way too bouncy for my liking.
posted by Electrin at 5:05 PM on May 14, 2005

maybe what's causing the discrepancy is that some people are thinking "aero bed" means generic air-mattress, and others are directly responding to the brand name, so people going on about how great they are are comparing them to other air mattresses, and people saying they suck are just saying air mattresses in general suck?
posted by mdn at 5:15 PM on May 14, 2005

The November 2004 issue of Consumer Reports (available in any local library) had a short article (p. 8) on inflatable beds. They tested a Simmons (didn't like the external electric pump); and noted that the basic Aero Aerobed was covered in vinyl (possibly more difficult to keep sheets in place).

The Aero Deluxe was the bed the testers liked least. The article concluded that the better choices are the basic Aerobed ($180) and the Pillowtop ($200). Some testers liked the Simmons best; a lot did not, at all.
posted by WestCoaster at 5:16 PM on May 14, 2005

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