Air mattresses have some huge advantages for Airbnb hosts. They allow you to host more guests (which typically translates to more money) without using up the space of a normal bed.
Kate’s and I host three Airbnbs and our experience with air mattresses in our short term rentals has been very up and down. We used an air mattress for about two and a half years and went through several of them.
We found some good air mattresses and some bad, so if you’re looking to buy one, you’ll want to put some thought and research into it. Most air mattresses won’t hold up to the constant usage from your guests.
Durability should be your top concern when making a decision. But a built in air pump is another must for me. Because if your mattress loses air while your guests are using it, they need to be able to re-inflate it easily.
Related Article: We share the booking rate percentage numbers from our three Airbnbs.
We’ve Gone Through Four Air Mattresses
I’ll start out by saying we no longer keep an air mattress in any of our Airbnbs, but we used them for a few years.
It was the same story (almost) every time.
We’d buy an air mattress and it would do its job for a time, then after a few months it would start leaking too much air. We never found any holes in our air mattresses, but they would slowly leak more and more air over time.
Related: Best sheets to use in your Airbnb.
Our fourth and last air mattress lasted longer than any of the others and we actually replaced it with a regular bed before it got to the point where it was losing too much air.
There are quality air mattresses out there and I believe our last one was one of them. It lasted twelve months without any sign of increased leaking.
But based on my experience, I would never expect an air mattress to last for more than two years in a busy Airbnb. And often you’ll be replacing it in six months or less.
Best Low Cost: Intex Dura-Beam Standard Pillow
- Reasonably durable
- Has built in pump
- Comes in twin, Queen and full sizes
- Weight capacity 300 lbs (136 kg)
I’ve never actually used this air mattress in an Airbnb. However, I have used several like it, and I would expect this mattress to last around 6 months with regular use.
You shouldn’t expect the mattress to be ultra durable. It will almost certainly begin losing too much air after a time. But if you want a way to allow more guests to stay in your rental for under $30, this is the best you can get.
It will be comfortable for your guests and it has a built in pump, which is about all you can ask for from a $30 mattress.
Best Overall: King Koil Queen Air Mattress
You’re going to see me recommend the King Koil mattresses a lot in this article. We’ve never put one in our Airbnbs, but we have used them a lot personally.
Kate and I have had our King Koil Queen air mattress for over two years now and it has been used several dozen times by us, our friends and our families.
As far as we can tell it holds as just as well today as it did when we got it more than two years ago. And it will hold air for at least two weeks without needing to be refilled.
It’s the most comfortable air mattress I’ve ever slept on and it’s very tall, so it’s easy to get in and out of. And like every mattress I’m recommending, it has a built in air pump.
It has a 1 year warranty when you buy from amazon, which is very rare for an air mattress. If we ever use another air mattress in our Airbnbs, this is what I’ll be buying.
Most Durable: Intex Comfort Plush Bed Height
Honestly, I believe the King Koil air mattress is just as durable as this Intex Comfort Plush mattress, but we actually kept the Comfort Plush in one of our Airbnbs for a year.
The mattress was used regularly over the course of that year and it never showed signs of excessive air leakage. So I can say from experience that this mattress can last more than a year without problems.
This mattress has a lot of the same features of the King Koil. It is tall, which makes it very easy for your guests to get in and out of bed. It has a built in pump so they can easily re-inflate if there happens to be a problem. And it has a 600lb (272kg) capacity which should be more than sufficient for two guests to sleep on.
The big difference is the lack of a warranty. Since the prices of the two are very close, I recommend going with the King Koil for the 1 year warranty. But this Intex Comfort Plush has proven that it can handle the high usage of an Airbnb for at least a year.
Best Mattress At Every Size
Like I said earlier, you’ll see me recommending the King Koil mattress a lot in this article. I’m recommending it over others online for two reasons:
- We’ve used one dozens of times over two years and it’s still going strong
- It comes with a 1-year warranty
I can suggest the mattress with confidence because it has proven itself to me in real life, and it backs that up with a 1 year warranty.
Best King: King Koil California King
The brand puts out three sizes, and the biggest is the California King. No, I haven’t tried every air mattress in existence, so I don’t really know if this one is the best out there.
But I know from experience that it’s a very high quality air mattress, and that’s why I’m recommending it.
Best Queen: King Koil Queen
The King Koil brand also puts out a Queen sized air mattress, and this is the size Kate and I own.
I’ve slept on this bed probably 6 or 7 times. My friends have slept on the bed another half a dozen times, and our families have slept on it more than a dozen times.
We’ve had it for more than two years and it holds air just as well as it did when new. This is the best air mattress we’ve come across and it will do great in an Airbnb.
Best full: N/A
Long story short, I haven’t found any full sized air mattresses that I can recommend. That’s mostly because not many air mattresses come in full size.
Best twin: King Koil Twin
King Koil also puts out a twin bed and I feel confident that the quality of the twin is just as great as the Queen.
It’s just a high quality air mattress at an affordable price.
Our Worst Air Mattress
We’ve bought a few different Intex air mattresses. They seem to be the leading brand out there. We’ve had great results from their Comfort Plush mattress, but before we found that one, we bought another Intex mattress TWICE and both times it was useless in less than 6 months.
Menards had a great deal on an Intex Dura-Beam Queen Mattress (I think it was around $40 at the time) and we bought one.
I think it was the second guests to sleep on the mattress found themselves laying on the hard floor in the middle of the night because the mattress had deflated so much.
We thought we just had bad luck and bought another one (same exact mattress).
Pretty much the same thing happened. I think it lasted a bit longer the second time around, but within a few months we had guests calling us because the bed deflated in the middle of the night.
Needless to say we never bought another one.
Kate and I have gone through a lot of air mattresses in our Airbnbs, and ultimately we’ve only found two that can hold up to the high usage.
Both of these have held up to high usage, and I recommend the King Koil mattress higher because it also comes with a 1-year warranty.