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Can You Put an Air Mattress on a Bed Frame?

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Written by: Alex Savy
Read 7 minLast updated on April 3, 2021

Air mattresses can be a good way to quickly create a sleeping place for late-night guests or even yourself if you don’t currently have a regular bed.

Some people even sleep on an airbed regularly, and if this sounds like you, you might be wondering:

Can I put an air mattress on a bed frame to resemble a regular bed?

The short answer is: not really. Airbeds are mostly designed for floor sleeping.

Although if you still want to raise your air mattress off the ground, we prepared a few solutions that might help you to do it, right below.

Why Putting an Air Mattress on a Bed Frame Generally Isn’t A Good Idea?

But first, let’s get the objections out of the way.

There are several reasons why using a standard bed frame for an air mattress won’t work:

  • Slats. Even the sturdiest bed frame, in most cases, will have a slatted construction. Generally, slats are spaced apart at 3-5 inches from each other. Such spacing may work for supporting a hybrid or a memory foam mattress but is totally for supporting the airbed. Slats create an uneven structure for the airbed, and you can feel them if your mattress is low-profile, which isn’t comfortable.
  • Sliding. Another issue with the bed frames is that they’re generally made of polished metal or wood. Even the regular mattress might slide off the frame if it’s not secured, not to mention the lightweight airbed. So if you’re an active sleeper, placing an air mattress on your bed frame might result in falling off the bed at night.
  • Mattress height. Some top-rated air mattresses for long-term use might have up to 20-22 inches in height. Standard bed height is about 22-25 inches (1), which means that if you put a high-profile air mattress on a bed frame, you might end up with a combo that’s too high for an average human.
  • Increased risks of tears. Finally, both because of the slatted design and the sharp edges, your air bed is much more prone to tears and punctures if you place it on a bed frame.

However, if you still want to use a bed frame for an air mattress, these tips will make your experience much easier:

  • Secure the mattress with Velcro tape. Strong Velcro tape will prevent the mattress from sliding and protect it from possible punctures. Glue one side of the Velcro tape to the bottom of your airbed (make sure you do it in several places for a tighter grip), and attach the other side to your bed frame or box spring. 
  • Position the bed frame against the wall. Or in the corner. This will leave your mattress with less room to move around the bed frame and ensure a comfortable shut-eye if you’re an active sleeper.
  • Choose the Pragma platform. Pragma platform is a bed frame made specifically for air mattresses, and it will work for you if you plan to use an airbed for a long time. Pragma platform comes with a mesh support system instead of parallel slats, and it doesn’t have sharp edges which can tear or puncture your airbed. Plus, it’s foldable, so you can put it away for storage along with your air mattress when you don’t need it.

How to Raise an Air Mattress of the Floor Without a Bed Frame?

If you still need to elevate the airbed from the ground, you can do it without a bed frame, and we will give you several ways on how to do that and get a comfortable result.

Wood Pallets

Wood pallets are the best ‘do-it-yourself’ way to elevate the air mattress off the ground. Here’s why:

  • They’re cheap. One 40’’x48’’ wooden pallet costs about $10-25 on average, and you might need only four to elevate your airbed, which is much cheaper than buying a bed frame.
  • They’re customizable. You can vary the height of your DIY bed frame made of wooden pallets depending on your comfort, which allows you to pair pallets with airbeds of any height.
  • They’re sturdy. A stack of wooden pellets can hold a heavy hybrid mattress with sleepers on it, so they will easily hold a lighter inflatable mattress.

Note that wooden pallets are made of unfinished wood, which has a good grip but can still puncture your airbed, so be sure to place a layer of thick fabric or a mattress topper above it, if you’re using this method.

Plywood

Another way of raising the air mattress off the floor is by putting a sheet of plywood under it. 

Of course, it will only raise it for 1-2 inches at best, but if you have a high-profile inflatable bed, this should make it much more comfortable to get in and out. Plus, even the slightest elevation from the floor makes the chances of getting a puncture in the bottom of your airbed much less prominent.

So, the only thing you need to do is to measure the sheet of plywood according to your mattress size and place it under it. However, we also recommend that you wrap the plywood into a waterproof fabric, such as a tarp: it will prevent it from soaking the moisture of the air, which may result in timber rot or bending.

Rug

Another option you can use to eliminate the contact between your air mattress and the floor is a rug. The soft materials of the rug will protect the bottom of your airbed from punctures and their good grip will eliminate any chances of sliding. 

Cut the rug equally to your mattress size, or 15-20 inches wider to create a comfortable spot for your feet, and place it under your mattress.

After that, you will only have to vacuum the rug thoroughly and regularly to prevent dust and debris buildup, which can be a potential cause of punctures, and you’re all set.

Bunkie Board

Bunkie board is a 1’’ or 2’’ slatted surface, which is used for enforcing your bed frame and creating an even surface for your regular mattress. However, you can use it for raising your airbed off the floor as well. That’s because bunkie boards usually have wide slats with small spacing or are encased in a thick fabric, which also helps to distribute the weight.

Note, though, that bunkie boards mostly come in Twin or Twin XL sizes, so they will work best for the airbeds of the same size.

Box Spring

If your mattress isn’t that high, you can use a box spring instead of a standard bed frame. Box springs have a flat surface, and they are sturdy enough to support a heavy mattress, so your airbed should be fine. 

However, if you’re concerned that the springs will poke through the airbed, you can prevent it by putting a thin sheet of plywood or a layer of thick fabric on it.

F.A.Q.

How far can I raise the air mattress off the floor?

Most people feel comfortable on a bed that is 22-25 inches high. This height allows you to sit on the edge with your feet firmly standing on the floor, which helps you get up easily. So, if you plan to combine an airbed with a bed frame, try to reach this height with the methods we’ve described for you above.

Conclusion

Even though air mattresses and standard bed frames don’t go well together, now you know a few methods how to raise an airbed to prevent it from tears and punctures. All of them are equally efficient, so choose the one you like according to your needs and the tools you have by your side.

Have you thought about elevating the air mattress from the floor before? Which method seems more suitable for you? Let us know in the comments!

References:

  1. Holly Meehleis (2018, December 6) The Standard Height of a Bed and Mattress From the Floor. Retrieved from https://homeguides.sfgate.com/standard-height-bed-mattress-floor-97238.html 

1 comments

  1. I have taken air mattresses, put them on top of plastic totes. Not only do they make for a sturdy base but you can have tons of storage underneath the bed.

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