Suggestions for temporary mattresses?
December 5, 2006 8:49 AM   Subscribe

Inflatable mattress or other temporary bed suggestions? My 6'2" brother is coming to visit and will be sleeping on the floor of my teeny apartment for the holidays, and I'd like to keep him from having to sleep directly on the carpet (I have a loveseat rather than a couch, otherwise that would be fine). What's the most comfortable solution you've found for temporary beds?

Also, I'm hosting Christmas dinner and the surrounding festivities, so it does need to be something I can fold/roll up and stick in the closet during the day.
posted by occhiblu to Home & Garden (24 answers total)
I have a couple of friends with AeroBeds for guests, and from what I've heard they're pretty comfortable.
posted by amro at 8:53 AM on December 5, 2006

I bought a queens size air mattress for $60 (including electric pump) at a camping store, for visitors. Everyone who's slept on it says it's great including my 6 foot 70 year old step father.
posted by doctor_negative at 8:56 AM on December 5, 2006

I would also second the Aerobed. I have slept on one many times, and although it could never replace a mattress, it does a pretty good job.
posted by savagecorp at 8:56 AM on December 5, 2006

I've slept on an Aerobed and it was fine. I think you would be ok with any brand of inflatable mattress that self-inflates and has a big plug to release air out, so filling it up and squishing it down won't take too long.
posted by rmless at 8:56 AM on December 5, 2006

I slept on a $30 Coleman air mattress for a whole year, and it was just as comfortable as any bed I've ever slept on.
posted by blue_beetle at 8:57 AM on December 5, 2006

I always use a self-inflating camping mattress when I'm sleeping on somebody's floor, something along the lines of this. Just make sure you get one that is wide enough (some are very, very narrow). I find them more comfortable than AeroBeds, but I like ridiculously firm mattresses anyway.
posted by nixxon at 8:58 AM on December 5, 2006

I'd borrow someone's aerobed. People seem happy with ours, but it does take up a lot of space in our closet.
posted by Amizu at 8:59 AM on December 5, 2006

When I left my last apartment, I ditched my old bed. I slept on this folding camp cot for a month until I finally found a new bed I liked. You may want to add a foam pad for extra cushion, but I liked the firmness of the cot by itself. I am also 6'2" and found quite adequate.
posted by mauglir at 8:59 AM on December 5, 2006

Throwing in my support for AeroBeds. I'm as tall as your brother and I slept on one this weekend. They're very comfortable, they inflate/deflate/roll up quickly, and the firmness is easily adjusted.

I've found that cheaper mattresses tend to lose air through the night, but that could just be my (and my back's) bad luck.
posted by JohnFredra at 9:00 AM on December 5, 2006

I've put many a guest on my AeroBed and they've all loved it. In fact, when my parents stayed with me for an extended period of time, I put my AeroBed on top of the box springs for my bed and then I slept on my mattress on the floor. (They've got lots of back/joint problems). They enjoyed the AeroBed so much they wanted to get one to replace their regular mattress at home.
posted by wallaby at 9:01 AM on December 5, 2006

Another Aerobed fan here! I slept one one for a week, and it was pretty decent. Just one suggestion - put one of those lightly padded mattress covers over it, under the sheets, to help with insulation. It doesnt need extra comfort, but the mattress cover helps to keep the sleeper warm.
posted by Joh at 9:02 AM on December 5, 2006

nth for aerobed. We slept on one every night for two months after we moved into our new place before we got our "real" bed. The aerobed is better than some regular beds I've slept on.
posted by somanyamys at 9:04 AM on December 5, 2006

I've got a couple of the more upmarket Aerobeds (with the pads). My parents, who both have back problems, give them a thumbs-up, even after sleeping on them for up to a week.
posted by thomas j wise at 9:21 AM on December 5, 2006

We use a cheapo High Point queen size air mattress we got at KMart for guests. It cost less than $30, and has served us well for 3 years and takes only about a shoebox's space in the closet. We put a down comforter over it, as the air inside does tend to get pretty chilly from the floor.
posted by M.C. Lo-Carb! at 9:34 AM on December 5, 2006

I suspect all of those air mattresses lose pressure over time, it is a question of rate.. I'd start with a cheap one, it's in my nature :P

I don't like them too well, the deep rolling ridges don't feel right. After a few nights it starts to bug me. Nothing that would stop me from doing something important though.. If they made one with more and smaller ridges, it would be much better. Also a lot more expensive..

Self inflating camp cushions don't have the same ridges, which is a big improvement, but it seems that they are always much narrower than a single bed.
posted by Chuckles at 9:54 AM on December 5, 2006

I'm happy with Aerobed too. But nthing the suggestion to pad the thing well between sleeper & matress and provide extra covers. The air inside the mattress can be cold enough at night to make the sleeper miserable, even if they are not usually prone to getting cold.
posted by desuetude at 10:03 AM on December 5, 2006

I've slept very comfortably on the cheapest vinyl inflatable mattress I could find at the local huntin' and fishin' superstore.

Those Thermarest pads for backpackers are nice if you're a backpacker, but A) considerably more expensive, and B) nowhere near as comfortable as a cheap inflatable.
posted by adamrice at 10:25 AM on December 5, 2006

Here's a thirtheenth for Aerobed. I had to sleep on one for several months, and it was fine. And agreement that they're cold -- I slept on a comforter and under a thick duvet (a sleeping bag would also do the trick). Get the Queen sized, otherwise he'll stick off the ends.
posted by The corpse in the library at 10:36 AM on December 5, 2006

I 14th the Aerobed. We've had a Queen-size one for over two years, and it's only gotten one hole, and the official patch kit worked great on it. I had lost the one that it came with, so I had to call the Aerobed company, and the girl was very sweet and sent me the patch for free.

The other advantage to the aerobed is how portable it is - you can take it with you to other destinations, if you need to.

Be sure to get the kind that plugs into a socket and inflates itself by you pushing a button. My dad got a cheap knock-off, and it's a pain to inflate.
posted by Sprout the Vulgarian at 12:03 PM on December 5, 2006

Don't worry too much about the height factor for someone sleeping on an inflatable mattress. When you're so close to the floor, a small sleeping surface isn't too much of a problem (provided the blankets and sheets can accommodate all of you). If you have bare wood floors and a mattress with a vinyl-like surface, you can prevent disturbing squeaky sounds by putting fabric or a rug underneath.

The cheapest inflatables have no pump; for those, you need a vacuum cleaner whose hose can be hooked up the the exhaust. (I found that the hair dryer method just didn't work.) If the funnel/adapter is the wrong size, you can make one with aluminum foil, or connect the vacuum cleaner nozzle to the opening with duct tape.
posted by wryly at 12:08 PM on December 5, 2006

For their spare room, my parents have an inflatable bed, one that sits at the height of a regular bed on a collapsible support, that I sleep on when I visit. Usually I find it as comfortable to sleep on as any other bed, but the last couple times I've visited (as recently as last night) I've found that if I get restless and start rolling around the squeak of the plastic wakes me. Maybe if they're inflated to some optimal level this doesn't happen, but it's difficult to find the spot between filling it enough to get the roll out and filling it too much. Otherwise, they're a great alternative to investing in a real bed if you only need something temporary. I had a friend who was visiting the country for a couple semesters, so he purchased three at Walmart, threw them on the floor of the bedrooms in his short-lease apartment and had his family sleep on those for six months. He liked them so much he fought to stuff two of them into his two allowed bags of luggage when he returned to South America.
posted by TimTypeZed at 1:10 PM on December 5, 2006

I slept on a $25 inflatable bed from Target for a year. I called it my "Select Comfort" bed because I could inflate or deflate it to my desired level of firmness.

Make sure you get a pump that will both inflate, and suck the air out of the mattress.
posted by donajo at 2:51 PM on December 5, 2006

I bought a 4ft 6 wide inflatable bed for guests at Costco (UK) which is identical to this one. It's very comfortable (I've slept on it). Also, as it has the raised headrest bit, I found that I needed to buy a fitted sheet for a 5ft bed, not a 4ft 6 bed, so it'd fit properly, the kind of sheets that have elastic on the corners, not flat sheets.
posted by essexjan at 4:33 PM on December 5, 2006

Response by poster: Thanks, all. I'll check out all the links and recommendations and see what makes the most practical sense (I'm not sure there's any way in hell I can get a queen-size mattress to fit in the living room, for example!).
posted by occhiblu at 9:18 AM on December 6, 2006

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