Have you ever needed an air mattress for a better sleep? Perhaps you enjoy camping but want something comfortable in your tent on which to sleep, or maybe you need an air mattress or three for guests at your house. If any of this is true, then consider buying a Coleman air mattress. Coleman is a trusted name in outdoor equipment, but even if you don’t plan on using an air mattress outdoors, a Coleman air mattress will serve your needs more than adequately.
Coleman claims its air mattresses are easy to use, easy to store, comfortable and supportive. They also say they fit wherever a standard bed fits, with some sizes that fit well on top of camping cots. They also fit inside tents and are great for camping under the stars as well. But do these air mattresses live up to the hype?
Who is Coleman?
The Coleman company is named for W.C. Coleman, who founded the company around the turn of the last century. He suffered from poor vision but found himself able to read by a bright, steady white light in the window of a drugstore.
Because of that, he set about to create similar lamps since most lamps at the time were dim and smoky. He leased those lamps to shopkeepers and performed maintenance himself. If the lamps failed, the shopkeepers didn’t have to pay.
By WWII, Coleman was producing products for the U.S. military. They wanted small stoves the size of a quart of milk, which could burn any fuel and operate in temperatures as cold as 60 degrees below zero. Coleman delivered, and after the war ended, his business was booming.
However, not all was roses. In the 1950s, demand for Coleman’s military products dropped off a cliff. In response, the company shifted its focus to recreational activities and developed an extensive line of camping equipment. Through the 1960s, they expanded their product lines to include sleeping bags, tents, heaters, ice chests and insulated jugs.
Today, Coleman is one of the leading names in outdoor equipment, working to make the outdoors accessible to everyone. Their line of air mattresses contributes significantly to that goal.
Coleman Air Mattresses
Coleman air mattresses come in pretty much every size you can imagine:
- Soft plush top with comfort coils for added support
- AirTight system and Double Lock valve help prevent leaks
- Integrated Wrap 'N' Roll storage system for easy cleanup and storage
There is also something called a “double/single high” mattress, which is two single-high twin mattresses that can be clipped together and stacked for one double-high twin bed, or laid side-by-side for one single-high king bed.
Most Coleman air mattresses aren’t just a simple, inflatable cushion. Many of them have support coils built in for better overall stability and comfort. Some also come with a “pillow stop” at the head of the mattress, so your pillow doesn’t fall off in the middle of the night. In other words, you can find a Coleman air mattress for pretty much anything you need.
Materials and accessories
A Coleman air mattress is generally made of puncture-resistant vinyl. Many also have a flocked rayon top for additional comfort, which is especially useful if you’re not using a sleeping bag or a bottom sheet on the mattress. Coleman also advertises them to be “leak-proof,” meaning the bed isn’t supposed to lose any air overnight.
Some Coleman air mattresses come with convenient built-in pumps. Others require an exterior pump that either comes with the mattress or that you can buy separately. All mattresses requiring an exterior pump include a double-lock valve. With this feature, you don’t lose tons of air when you release the pump.
Coleman also sells some of their air mattresses with storage bags attached to them. All you do is fold them lengthwise, roll them up, and then wrap the drawstring bag around it. It is a handy feature when your storage space or carry capacity is limited.
You can buy a Coleman air mattress direct from their website. If you hit a sale, you can find various sizes for even less. The most expensive Coleman air mattress is their queen-sized, SupportRest™ Elite Quilted Top Double-High Airbed. The standard price for that one is less than two hundred bucks, but you might be able to get it for much less when it’s on sale.
How We Reviewed
We compiled the information on Coleman air mattresses from both Coleman’s website and Amazon, and the lists of pros and cons from reviews on those two sites as well. We used Intex's and Sound Asleep's websites for information on competing brands, and Amazon reviews for comparisons to Coleman air mattresses.
How Does the Coleman Air Mattress Compare to Other Brands
It’s easy to say that a Coleman air mattress is fantastic. However, how does it stack up against other brands? Is it really the best?
Intex has an extensive line of air mattresses. In fact, they divide their air mattresses into four categories: In-home, outdoor, Dura-Beam®, and PremAire®. While Coleman certainly has a variety of mattresses, Intex does outshine Coleman in this area. Intex boasts of having comfort and support levels rivaling that of standard mattresses as well.
They have four in-home mattresses - two of those mattresses have built-in pillows to give your neck extra support, like some of Coleman's mattresses. However, they're cheaper, and they only come in one height. There's no king option.
There are also five outdoor mattresses, ranging in price from under thirty bucks, as well as three different types of sleeping mats. Those are thin, narrow air cushions that are very good for small tents and limited carrying capacity. Their outdoor mattresses likewise only come in one height, with no king-size option.
Dura-Beam® and PremAire® mattresses
It sounds like Intex doesn't have much in the way of air mattresses. Not so fast. Their Dura-Beam® and PremAire® mattresses are where they shine, mainly indoors. Dura-Beam® mattresses come in a variety of heights, ranging from 10 inches for a single-high mattress to 20 inches for their double-high air beds. That makes them higher than Coleman. Some people might find the extra couple of inches make it easier to get up. They cost anywhere from $$ for a single-high twin mattress to $$$ for a double-high queen bed with a foam top.
Intex only has three PremAire® mattresses, but they're pillow-top air mattresses designed to be used as beds. These range from less than a hundred bucks for a twin.
The primary difference between Intex and Coleman seems to be quality. Intex mattresses are more prone to leaking during the night, with people complaining on Amazon of waking up on the ground after only a few hours. Some of the early leaks appeared around the built-in pumps. Overall, it seems that Intex, for all its variety, is sub-par when compared to Coleman.
Sound Asleep is another air mattress manufacturer with several lines of mattresses. They have single-high mattresses in both twin and queen sizes, which are explicitly designed for occasional outdoor use. They also have double-high mattresses with support systems similar to Coleman's mattresses, and mattresses built-in air pumps as well.
Sound Asleep makes it very clear that their mattresses–even their bigger, thicker air beds–are not intended for everyday use in place of a regular bed. They make it clear that, if you do use their mattresses that way, you can void the warranty on them. Despite that, they're a little more expensive than Coleman's mattresses, ranging in price from $$ for a single-high, outdoor twin mattress to a whopping $$$ for their queen-size CloudNine Series bed.
In general, it seems that the quality of Sound Asleep's mattresses is slightly better than Coleman. Many people on Amazon are thoroughly satisfied with the comfort level, durability, and ease of use of these mattresses. Their main drawbacks, compared to Coleman, seem to be price, manufacturing defects and a smaller selection.
Pros and Cons of Coleman Air Mattresses
Even though Coleman is known for quality outdoor products, the Coleman air mattress is not perfect. It has its strengths, but it also has some weaknesses.
Our Verdict on the Coleman Air Mattress
Coleman is a high-quality, well-known outdoor brand, and their air mattresses are no exception. They’re constructed to be comfortable, supporting, and durable. As such, they’re appropriate to use on hiking and camping trips as well as at home as a guest or temporary bed. No product is ever going to be perfect, and ultimately you have to decide for yourself. However, you’ll make a solid choice if you choose to buy a Coleman air mattress.