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Anyone who has ever slept on an air mattress will surely have noticed (and complained) that they're nowhere near as comfortable as regular beds. They get so cold, can be noisy, and long-term use is a call for back pain.
Those who want it as a regular bed or to be more comfortable can consider adding a mattress topper on an air mattress. This eliminates the noise problem, keeps the mattress warmer, and is a barrier to protect the mattress from accidental puncturing.
This article will provide a more in-depth answer to the possibility of adding a mattress topper on an air mattress. A few tips on choosing the best mattress topper for air mattress and how to make an ordinary air bed a little more comfortable will be provided.
What are the Best Mattress Toppers for an Air Mattress?
The best mattress toppers for an air mattress are cushioning as well as coming with built-in straps or pockets to help keep the air mattress and topper together. I’ve included our top three best mattress toppers for an air mattress below.
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Saatva Mattress Topper
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Best Budget Option
Puffy Mattress Topper
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Editor’s Choice — TEMPUR® Toppers
- Removable and washable cover to keep your bed clean and neat.
- Made up of a unique TEMPUR® material that’s extra cushioning.
- Different profile options let you choose which topper is best for you.
The TEMPUR® Toppers are our Editor’s Choice for the best mattress toppers for an air mattress due to their TEMPUR® material, originally developed by NASA to soften G-force. This unique material is slow-adapting with a generous hug, and comes in two versions: TEMPUR- Cloud® and TEMPUR-Adapt®. Although I think both of these toppers would make a great addition to an air mattress, I think you may prefer TEMPUR-Adapt®’s extra inch of height and durable straps to help it stay in place.
On top of being comfortable and pressure-relieving, I think you’ll like the convenience the TEMPUR® Toppers can offer. Their covers are both dust, germ, and allergen-resistant, which is useful for sleepers who are allergy-prone. And you also don’t have to worry about getting spills on them — both covers are removable and washable.
- Allergen-resistant cover can be removed and washed for easy maintenance.
- TEMPUR® material molds to the body, enhancing your air mattress and quality of sleep.
- Straps and pockets allow the topper to stay firmly affixed to the mattress, so you don’t slip during the night.
- May be a bit expensive for some budgets.
- May cause some sleepers sensitive to heat to sleep hot.
Runner Up — Saatva Mattress Topper
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- Available in three material types to fit a variety of sleepers’ needs.
- Stitched, sturdy straps help keep the topper affixed to the air mattress.
- Cover is moisture-wicking and made up of organic cotton for a cooler sleep.
The Saatva Mattress Topper is our runner-up for the best topper for an air mattress due to its flexible material options. Saatva is available in Graphite, which I think sleepers who need a cooling effect will like; Latex, which is useful for durability and lasting a long time; and Memory Foam, which offers plush, body-hugging relief that makes any air mattress feel more comfortable. Although the cover isn’t removable like the TEMPUR® Toppers, I feel Saatva more than makes up for this in the quality of cover, made up of organic cotton with moisture-wicking properties to help sleepers from overheating.
Another key feature I think you’ll like about Saatva is its anti-slip solution. Similar to the TEMPUR® Toppers, Saatva has four elastic loops that hook around the air mattress, helping the topper stay firmly in the same position all throughout the night.
- Elastic bands keep the topper on the air mattress so you can toss and turn without worry.
- The Graphite option is helpful for hot sleepers as it has a cooling effect.
- Latex option helps keep the mattress durable and supportive under weight for a longer time.
- The cover is spot-clean only, meaning you can’t remove it or put it in the wash.
- Material options, such as the Latex, may be a bit out of budget for some sleepers.
Best Budget Option — Puffy Mattress Topper
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Check Current Price Our detailed Puffy Mattress Topper review
- Stretchable pockets and a no-slip grip bottom help keep this topper stuck to the mattress.
- The cover is hypoallergenic, making it useful for sensitive sleepers.
- The topper cover is also removable, making washing and keeping it clean easy.
The Puffy Mattress Topper is our best budget option for air mattresses due to its budget-friendly price point. Puffy is about $36 more cost-effective than TEMPUR®-Adapt, and $146 more cost-effective than Saatva Latex, yet I’ve reviewed it and found Puffy still offers the right amount of contouring that can make your air mattress more comfortable. Puffy’s two inches of memory foam are designed to cradle the body and relieve pressure, which I found made me wake up tension-free in the morning.
Along with this, I’ve tested Puffy’s unique anti-slip bottom and found it’s effective at keeping your mattress and topper together. In addition to the deep pockets that wrap around the mattress, this two-step system made sure neither I nor the topper slid off throughout the night.
- Anti-slip grip bottom and pockets help the topper from bunching up and keep it firmly to the topper for a more stable, comfortable sleep.
- Budget-friendly pricing makes this topper an affordable option for most budgets.
- The cover is both hypoallergenic and washable, making your sleeping space cleaner.
- May be a bit on the soft side for side sleepers.
- May cause some sleepers to sleep a bit hot.
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Can a topper be used on an Air Mattress?
Yes, a mattress topper can be used on an air mattress. There's no type of bed an air mattress doesn't fit in with. Mattress toppers serve two functions: sleep comfort and support, thanks to softness or firmness, and the warmth from foam, feather, or wool filling.
Including a mattress topper ensures the sleeper doesn't lay on hard or rubbery surface of the air mattresses. The topper filling acts as a comfort layer when a softer model is chosen. In addition, it shields the sleeper from all dangers of sleeping on plastic. Air mattresses are largely made from polyvinyl chloride (PVC), rubber and urethane plastics .
Phthalates – chemicals that make the air mattress pliable – are added to these plastics . However, some evidence show that phthalate emissions on plastics like PVC are risk factors for asthma and other allergy problems . Therefore, the users protect themselves by not sleeping directly on an air mattress. Unfortunately, beddings such as bedsheets or blankets may not be enough to stop the emissions from getting to the sleeper.
What is the best topper type to use on an air mattress?
There are various types of mattress toppers. They are available in different sizes, materials, and hardness. A medium-height mattress topper is ideal for an air mattress so as not to press too much air out of the mattress.
Also, a cotton or wool mattress topper will be ideal for those with an air mattress that gets too hot. This type of topper is also an excellent choice for side sleepers. Mattress toppers for side sleepers are softer as the bed needs to follow the contours of the side and cushion it.
Memory foam toppers are also great for winter use as memory foam materials are denser and tend to get hotter. On the other hand, latex foam mattress toppers make air mattresses firmer because they offer more support.
More importantly, anyone who decides on a topper should make sure that it is as light as possible. After all, the maximum load on each air bed is limited.
Tips for Combining a Topper and an Air Mattress
What looks like a concern for most people is the extra weight of the topper. However, if the air mattress can accommodate a sleeper's weight, it can take a topper's. An average mattress weighs 6.8 pounds, but there are mattress toppers that are as light as 4.5 pounds. This is nothing compared to the sleeper's weight, which can be between 130 and 250 pounds.
Before adding a mattress topper to an air mattress, users are advised to check the weight rating of the mattress. If the sum of the sleeper's weight and the mattress topper's weight doesn't reach the weight rating of the air mattress, then it's a go-ahead.
Those who want to combine an air mattress with a topper can put a floor mat or blanket under the air mattress. This helps insulate the sleeper from the cold coming from the ground. It also limits the noise emitted during night movements.
In particular, this preserves and extends the mattress topper's life. In addition, there will be a lower chance of objects puncturing the mattress from beneath or above.
Finally, another issue with adding a mattress topper on an air mattress is the topper tends to slide more. This can be quite annoying for sleepers and cause an imbalance in weight pressure on the mattress. So, it's better to hold the topper on the bed by choosing a mattress topper with straps. Alternatively, one can use a fitted bedsheet to hold the mattress and topper.
Other Ways to Make An Air Mattress More Comfortable
Asides from getting a mattress topper, there are other things to consider as an approach to having a more comfortable air mattress.
A quality air mattress is more comfortable
A mattress that is one size larger helps
No underinflating or over-inflating of the mattress
A box spring or platform for optimal height
A pillow can be added for more sleep comfort
The wall can act as a headboard to keep the beddings intact
Can you put a mattress topper on an air mattress?
A mattress topper can be combined with an air mattress. There's actually no mattress that a topper cannot be combined with. A mattress topper will make the mattress more comfortable. It often gets cold on an air mattress if the room temperature is cold. Adding a memory foam mattress on an air mattress can bring more warmth.
How can I make my air mattress more comfortable?
Using a mattress topper can make an air mattress more comfortable (cooler, warmer, softer, firmer, or safer on the skin). In addition, ensuring the mattress is not underinflated and overinflated can ensure comfort. Underinflation can cause poor balance while sleeping as the weight pressure will cause the air to run to the opposite side. An overinflated air mattress can also cause back pain. Instead, people with back pain may need to consider getting mattress toppers for lower back pain.
How can I stop my mattress topper from sliding on an air mattress?
There are several ways to keep mattress toppers from sliding, but two methods are the most effective. First, a mattress topper with straps is worn over the air mattress with straps extended over the four edges of the bed. The right fitted bedsheet can also be worn on a combined air mattress and topper so they will become one with none moving or sliding out.
Can you put a memory foam topper on an air mattress?
Memory foam is perhaps the best type of mattress topper for air mattresses. Air mattresses are said to be usually too cold for sleepers. The air inside the mattress is likely to heat up once the weather is warm and cool once it is cold. Therefore, memory foam is a good choice as it makes the sleeper feel warmer thanks to its higher density. Also, viscoelastic polyurethane (the type of foam used for memory foam mattresses) doesn't dissipate heat.
Inflatable beds are only an "emergency," temporary, or mobile sleeping solution. Nevertheless, there are situations where an air mattress is needed over a longer period. In this case, one has to come up with something to make the emergency sleeping accommodation as comfortable as possible.
A mattress topper can bring all the comfort lacking in an air mattress. It's also helpful to use all the tips provided in the article on how an air mattress can be made more comfortable.
Before you go, have you ever tried a mattress topper on an air mattress? In what other ways do you make your air mattress comfortable? Let us know in the comment section.
- Lois Zoppi (November 30, 2020). How to choose the best air mattress for everyday use. Retrieved from https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/best-air-mattress-for-everyday-use
- Dispatch (July 30, 2019). Toxicity in rubber and plastic products. Retrieved from https://wp.nyu.edu/dispatch/2019/07/30/toxicity-in-rubber-and-plastic-products/
- Jouni J.K. Jaakkola and Trudy L. Knight (Mar 31, 2008). The Role of Exposure to Phthalates from Polyvinyl Chloride Products in the Development of Asthma and Allergies: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2453150/