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3 Things to Consider When Buying an Inflatable Mattress

Admittedly, a blow-up queen-size mattress hardly qualifies as camping gear, but the comfort and convenience it offers certainly has a place as an extra bunk at the family cabin, a spare bed in the living room, or your personal dog house in the basement. Whatever your need, here are a few things to look for in the ever-handy balloon bed.

Twin or Queen

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If you have the space in your home and budget, spring for a queen-sized mattress. (King Koil/)

Inflatable mattress options are usually twin-sized or queen. For ease of use, portability, or even squeezing into the family tent, a twin is the way to go. But a queen-size mattress stored at your camp clubhouse or cabin will serve your guests or extended family in ultimate style.

Height

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The higher off the ground you can get, the more comfortable you'll often be. (OlarHike/)

Some mattresses are a single layer and fine for throwing out anywhere you have the floor space. But the most comfortable ones are the equivalent of a box spring and mattress, about 18 to 20 inches high, and make both sleeping in the bed and rolling out of it in the morning more comfortable.

Built-in Pump

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Some of the best large air mattresses are almost two-feet high and have an inflator built in. (Cumbor/)

Originally, air mattresses were sold with a separate pump that required making a connection to both an outlet and the mattress itself. The best modern versions feature a built-in pump that makes inflating the bed easier and also eliminates the risk of losing a vital component so that you can rest in peace rather than in pieces.

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