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What Is An Air Bed
Air Beds also known as adjustable air mattresses have been around for a long time with little change to the basic design up until recently. Apparently the first airbed was designed and manufactured in Reading, Massachusetts by Pneumatic Mattress and Cushion in 1889 with practically no change over the past 120 years. If people have been content to sleep on the same design for years without seeking improvements, there must be a good reason for it.
Air beds are normally used as portable, compact bedding solutions where there is a lack of space. With recent developments in technology, air beds have grown in popularity as guest beds and even permanent bed use. So don’t just think of the humble air bed as only a way to sleep while camping anymore.
Air beds rely on air channels as the foundation of the bed. These air channels create the support for the body when sleeping on them unlike traditional mattresses which are built on a coil or foam inner core. Many people who find traditional bedding uncomfortable to sleep on seek air beds as a alternative mattress.
High end, high quality permanent adjustable air beds are even able to target different zones on the bed. By this I mean if you prefer a softer and less firm mattress then your partner, but he/she can’t sleep on your desired settings. These multi zone air beds can allow the user to set the settings to individuals liking on either side of the bed.
Before investing in an air mattress you may want to review the pros and cons of this type of bedding option:
The Pros Of Air Beds
What Makes An Air Mattress Awesome
- An air mattress can be deflated and stored in a very small space when not in use, which is one of the most important reasons why most people who have a lack of space buy them. Which makes them a great choice for a temporary guest room bed.
- Another common pro is the quick and easy way of setting it up, particularly with newer models with a built-in pump.
- Air mattresses are the most common camping sleeping arrangement. This may have something to do with the comfort level.
- The firmness of the mattress can be customized to the exact firmness preferred by the user by controlling the amount of air. Particularly important for people who have trouble sleeping in general.
- Some manufacturers produce airbeds with superior quality materials and construction of the basic air bladder system, as well as comfort layers, zoning options and split options for people who would like an air mattress for daily use instead of a conventional foam or spring mattress.
- Some air mattresses have component systems with the advantage of replacing individual layers and components separately instead of investing in a complete new mattress.
- Apart from anything else, some people have found that an air mattress with a support system is absolute perfection for them and are happy to pay a high price for it.
- The fact that the firmness of an airbed can be adjusted is a huge benefit for individuals with back problems as well as other types of joint or body pains. People in pain find that some nights the bed feels too soft and becomes extremely uncomfortable while other nights it may be too firm causing pressure point pain. The pressure in an airbed can easily be adapted by adding air for a firmer surface or, alternatively, when it feels too firm the mattress can be deflated to soften the surface. This adaptability offers body contouring for better pain relief.
- Air core technology is used in air mattresses to provide support. These support layers add to the comfort of the layers above and as they are adjustable, can improve the comfort of the surface of the air mattress.
- Airbeds are not subject to the same degree as conventional beds to mites and dust which makes them infinitely better for people suffering from asthma and other breathing problems.
The Cons Of Air Mattresses
- An air mattress can become extremely difficult to fold back into its original shape in order to fit back into its packaging. Some airbeds come with pages of precautions in the manufacturer’s instructions on how to fold and store the mattress safely and compactly enough to fit into its original package. But it’s always a mission.
- There are important differences in passive support and active support when it comes to mattresses. Mattress materials such as foam, spring or horse hair offer greater active support. Active support resists compression which stops a person from sinking into the mattress which makes them more adaptive and resilient.
- Air mattresses support is more passive and less resilient which can affect ease of movement and does adapt well to different sleeping positions which may result in uncomfortable pressure points.
- Air mattresses can be dangerous, unpredictable and unreliable, especially if used infrequently. Electric pumps can fail and shutoff valves can become damaged. Over inflated air mattresses have been known to explode, causing severe damage to property and people. Certain areas may become perforated from remaining folded for long periods of time, causing leakages. Holes can appear as a result of outdoors sleeping etc. It’s important you know how to repair a hole in a air mattress before going camping.
- Even though an air mattress has been inflated to just the right firmness, it can depressurize during the night causing it to droop uncomfortably in places. Although some modern air beds have increased the technology to stop the leak of air during the night.
- Lack of air flow and breath-ability can cause night sweats as air mattresses are unable to naturally absorb moisture released by the body while asleep, making it difficult to have a good night’s sleep.
Should You Buy An Air Bed?
Depending on what you are using it for, an air mattress may be ideal for dealing with space limitations or for use as extra sleeping arrangements for visitors. However, when used in place of a conventional bed, it seems that an air mattress competes with other mattresses with more variability that can do the job just as effectively and sometimes at a much lower cost.But with the improvement in recent times, air beds are starting to become a popular choice as a semi permanent bed.
An air mattress may have many individual degrees of adjust-ability and support zones on each side, however it requires manual adjustment, whereas with conventional bedding materials this adjust-ability is automatic. Mold issues, durability, middle dividers and noise are all issues that affect the choice of air beds and manufacturers are constantly researching ways to improve their products.