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Old 08-18-2013, 11:55 AM   #1
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Our kids are grown and gone, and we are reclaiming rooms for our own. However, they still seem to like us enough to come back & visit, and are only mildly annoyed they can't sleep in "their" old rooms.

I'm realizing that at Christmas we may have issues if both of them bring their significant others home, and I'm thinking an Aerobed would fit nicely in my newly repurposed sewing room.

Are Aerobeds only for people you don't want to visit you again? Anyone own one? I searched the forum first, and see references to them, but none recently that really addressed whether or not it's cruel to do that to a guest.

I also see there are huge price variations. For example, I could spent $250+ on one that sits about as tall as a real mattress setup or $99 for one that looks like it's for camping.

Suggestions and experience are most appreciated. TIA.

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Old 08-18-2013, 12:05 PM   #2
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We have aerobeds that we pull out for guests, and they keep returning, so they aren't too bad to sleep on. We also have used them rarely when letting special visitors use the real beds, and they are just fine, actually. (Those fold out furniture beds are what are really uncomfortable, if that is your aim.)

We have had dogs put tiny un-findable holes in some air beds, so watch out for pets.

edit: in thinking about it, we use the fancy camping ones indoors, and they are just fine.

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Old 08-18-2013, 12:38 PM   #3
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We have two inflatable air beds which wil unfold and re-close depending on the blower's direction. One is for guests at the house, one is at the Mancave.

The beds by themselves are barely ok to sleep on, if, only a sheet is on the bed. The vinyl surface does not breathe thus tend to geat sweaty.

The solution is memory foam matress pad. Snuggle in, sleep like a baby. Mucho comfortable.
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Old 08-18-2013, 12:49 PM   #4
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Big fan of aerobeds, have had a queen size version for over ten years and it still gets used. They are comfortable to sleep on but a little tough getting up and off of for us old farts.
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Old 08-18-2013, 12:51 PM   #5
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My boyfriend and I have never had problems sleeping on air mattresses. In our first apartment a couple years ago, the only furniture we had was an air mattress and a blanket, it was plenty comfortable.

I never knew there was some stigma against them. We sleep on them camping, or when we are visiting relatives around the country. Height never seemed to make much of a difference.

And I'm sure the food and love that usually comes with visiting parents would outweigh any negatives they might have about the air mattress anyhow :P
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Old 08-18-2013, 01:05 PM   #6
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I've bought a couple before, in fact I used one for a few days on a recent trip. I would go for a cheaper one as even the more expensive ones tend to get holes and punctures over time, the cheaper ones you can just replace every 2-3 years. They are reasonably comfortable to sleep on if you cover them with good sheets and bedding. I would not be offended or consider it cruel if I were a guest in someone's home and that was what they offered as my accommodations. But, I am pretty low maintenance that way.

The taller versions are typically more expensive but easier to climb in and out of. If your kids will only be visiting for a few days or a week at a time the lower 'camping' style ones should be fine, I would think, unless they have any health issues (bad knees or backs) that would make climbing in and out of a lower aerobed difficult.

Alternatively if you want a more permanent solution and if there is space in your newly re-purposed rooms, you can get a futon frame that is a sofa most times but can slide out to become a comfortable guest bed. I have a friend that I visit occasionally in NorCal and they have one of these; I sleep like the dead on it. Target has quite a few that are reasonably priced ($200-$300) and they should last quite a bit longer than most aerobeds.
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Old 08-18-2013, 01:14 PM   #7
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Before buying, best to take a good look at what's available. I just peeked at the Walmart website for Aerobeds, and lt looks as if there are dozens of sizes and styles listed... from Twin to King and one two or three levels.
We've used Aero and other brands for years, and so far Aerobed has been the best overall... the only brand that hasn't eventually leaked.
First... home or camping? Home beds have built-in high speed pumps that inflate in a much shorter time than the battery or rechargeable pumps normally used for camping.
We finally settled on a two level Aerobed twin, as even with high quality beds, there is some "bounce" when two people are using the larger beds. (Found a twin at Kohl's for $39.95).
Air bed sheets are fitted to bind in at the first level, and this helps keep them tight... (a problem with regular sheets) As mentioned, a foam pad is a good idea, although we haven't found too much of a problem with the flocked surface of the bed.
One seemingly unimportant thing about the Aero, which we didn't find with some of the other brands we've used, is that the storage bag is big enough to fit the rolled up bag into, for storage. Some of the others required a struggle to re-roll to fit.
Another nice feature is the built in pump, which is inflate/deflate able with a flip of the switch... This means that a middle of the night pressure change is very easy... not so with beds that have a separate air pump.
Comfort is a matter of individual taste... certainly not as comfortable as a regular bed, but for us it opens up a room, that would have been wasted 90% of the time. Our kids don't seem to mind. We're gettin' a bit too old and creaky for air beds.
DO note the difference between air beds and Aerobeds.
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Old 08-18-2013, 01:44 PM   #8
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We've used them for years and like them. Like another poster said, there are many versions. We use ones that have a canvas like feel to them - not the plasticky feel. In respect to support, firmness etc. they are very good.

We also put a mattress pad over it & we think that makes a world of a difference in comfort.

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Old 08-18-2013, 02:30 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by timo2 View Post
edit: in thinking about it, we use the fancy camping ones indoors, and they are just fine.
When I moved out of my wife's apartment and into my own in 2007 I had no bed, so I bought 2 high quality REI camping mats, and put one on the other. When I had a guest, we each used just one.

It is nothing like as comfortable or as all purpose useful as a real bed, but overall not bad. I began to be embarrassed by the obvious impermanence of my arrangements, I bought a good bed. Nevertheless I keep these REI mats for guests. Now that I have carpets, the mat plus the carpet and pad is pretty good.

When I get my hip fixed I may buy a vehicle with space in the rear and throw these in for fishing trips.

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Old 08-18-2013, 03:27 PM   #10
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I think the higher(taller) air mattresses in larger sizes are quite comfortable. I would not hesitate a moment before offering these to guests younger than about 75-80.

I had an extra regular (innerspring) mattress set on hand, because my house came with a king sized bed and I already had a queen sized bed. So, the latter is what I have for guests. However, if I ever have any reason to get rid of the regular mattress, or any need for the space in my guest bedroom, I would get rid of it and buy a nice high queen sized air mattress and electric pump instead.

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Old 08-18-2013, 03:43 PM   #11
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We've used Aerobeds for years, for the younger generation and their guests. Some use sleeping bags on top, others mattress pads, sheets & blankets, but everyone does alright and it is always better than the alternative of sleeping bag on the floor. Very handy. We got "full" sizes, thinking the twins were too narrow.
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Old 08-18-2013, 03:47 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by W2R View Post
I think the higher(taller) air mattresses in larger sizes are quite comfortable. I would not hesitate a moment before offering these to guests younger than about 75-80.

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Old 08-18-2013, 04:26 PM   #13
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DW and I sleep on one when we visit our DD, SIL, and grandkids in London. I have no idea how much it cost or make, but it sits up at regular height and is as comfortable as our home bed. About ever 3rd night we have to run the blower to reinflate it to our tastes. I'd MUCH sooner sleep on it than any sofa bed I've ever slept on, although we bought one for our kids a few years ago and they seem much improved from the ones of several decades ago...remember those horrid bars across the middle? Ugh.
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Old 08-18-2013, 05:39 PM   #14
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Our son has a sofa/inflatable bed. I had not seen one like that until he purchased it for his small apartment. It's like the old pull out beds but an inflatable mattress. We've slept on it a couple of times as has our daughter and husband. We all find it comfortable. I can find out the brand if you are interested. It is much more expensive than a fold up inflatable mattress but it is a piece of furniture.
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Old 08-18-2013, 05:55 PM   #15
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DW didn't like that we seemed to fall into the middle too easily, plus it bounced when you (I) turned over. We use the futon sofa bed and leave the air bed to others.

You might consider a Murphy bed. Certainly more cost, but it folds against the wall and uses a normal mattress. DW has one in her "sewing" room that my parents use.
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Old 08-18-2013, 06:09 PM   #16
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We have several Aerobeds and find them quite comfortable. However, I would only recommend them if you have a Costco that you can buy one from. They sell them online if you don't have a local store, for $130.00. I've seen virtually identical beds at places like Walmart and Target for over $200.00.

More importantly, I had one spring a leak several years after I bought it, and Costco still took it back no questions asked. I doubt many other retailers would refund my money after several years of use. And eventually, they will spring a leak.

Costco is almost universally the lowest price on just about everything, and also has the most generous return policy. I don't really understand why people shop anywhere else.

And if you don't have one near your home...move.
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Old 08-18-2013, 08:49 PM   #17
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DW and I have one as our guest bed (queen sized, purchased by my parents). I've spent three nights on it when I was moving, and we've had in-laws and friends sleep on it probably a dozen times. No complaints from any of them. Not saying I would use it as my daily mattress, but they're pretty darn good.
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Old 08-18-2013, 10:54 PM   #18
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I slept on one for about 10 days when we moved last year. It was quite comfortable, but I was happy when my real bed finally arrived.
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Old 08-19-2013, 01:36 PM   #19
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I know a bit about this! I bought a $60 air mattress from Amazon. I slept on it fine for a week, but I am young and even I think it was a bit awkward, you don't quite sink into it as you do a normal bed. I had a memory foam mattress pad on my normal bed, so I improved the air mattress by doing what another posted had suggested, and I put my memory foam mattress pad on it. This was just as comfortable as my normal bed, I could have slept in it everyday except for what happened next...

About two weeks later I had bought a futon ($60 from Craigslist) so that I could save space by combining my bed and seating area. I pulled the memory foam pad off the air mattress was very wet and the bottom of the pad was mildewy. This was the result of my warming the mattress pad while the floor was cooling the air mattress - the temperature difference caused condensation to form. I immediately threw these items outside on a tarp hoping they would dry out. Thankfully, they did. I sprayed some cleaner on the mattress pad to be safe, rinsed it, let it dry again, and then put it over my futon. I had the most comfortable couch in I have ever been on (sincerely), and an equally comfortable sleeping surface.

Since I don't like to sleep on the air mattress without the memory foam pad, I no longer use it. I also am now back to a normal bed and the memory foam pad followed me to it.

To recap:
  • Air mattresses are probably ok if you need to have 100% of your space back
  • A memory foam mattress pad will make most surfaces very comfortable to sleep on
  • Teaming a foam pad with an air mattress is a bad idea, but maybe you can get away with it for a night or two
  • You can make a futon comfortable with a foam pad and be able to fold it after use so that there isn't a huge amount of space wasted.
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Old 08-19-2013, 01:51 PM   #20
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I sleep on them all the time visiting family. They are ok. That said, the tall one are substantially better. Also, they are noisy / shake a lot when rolling over. It is not a bad idea to go for a pair of twins versus a queen.

A good futon in a queen size is a step up vs the tall aero queen. But not as flexible.

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