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Air Beds - They Offer The Ultimate In Adjustability, But Not All Air Beds Are Created Equal
You Can See All The Different Components That Go Into An Air Bed -- And The Quality Of These Components Makes All The Difference In The Comfort Of The Bed
Certainly, the drawing card with an air bed is that two people with completely different comfort needs can sleep on the same bed. Because larger sized air beds, such as queens and kings, typically have dual air bladders on either side of the bed, each user can "tweak" their side, to make it slightly firmer or softer.
Many air bed models are embellished with other layers of "comfort" material (foam or fiber material) which have added comfort or therapeutic value. These comfort layers are typically situated above the air chambers and directly beneath the sleeper.
Most Air Beds Don't Make The Grade
The simple fact of the matter is that most Air Beds, even pricier leading brand models, are notorious for not being comfortable. The reason for this is that while the underlying principle behind these beds is sound, meaning there is a full range of adjustability from soft to firm provided by controlling the amount of pressure in the air bladders, most manufacturers seem to skimp on the supportive "complementary" layers above the air bladders, which are required to enhance and embellish the bed to make it comfortable.
It would seem that a manufacturer working with such a sophisticated underlying support structure would have the comfort layers on the top of the air bed down to a science! But this is just not the case. It is safe to say that even larger, well established air bed manufacturers seem to focus more on the technicalities and gimmicks surrounding their product rather than the comfort and aesthetic qualities that really matter.
The Important Things To Look For When Shopping For An Air Bed - To Make Sure You Get A Truly Comfortable Air Bed, Not A Pretender
A decent air bed can vary widely in price, from around $1000 for a basic, entry level model, to over $3,600 for the leading brands top of the line model. The top of the line model features a layer of memory foam, and some other support foam layers that are designed to add some cushion and aesthetic qualities to the bed.
One good piece of advice...don't get too caught up in the technical jargon involving the air bladders. Generally, the more baffles and zones, the more problems you may have down the road, since each seam and edge has to be adhered to another. Because air bladder construction technology is fairly sophisticated though, leaks and flaws are rarely, if ever, a problem.
Stay with more simplistically designed air bladders, mainly because it is difficult to feel the difference between a very complex air bladder and a simpler one since there are usually layers of material on top of them.
I recommend a bed that has at least a layer of good quality support foam (2.2lb high density foam), and even better if you can get a memory foam layer or a layer of natural latex, which gives the air bed a much plusher, more luxurious and fuller feel, and also provides some good pressure point reduction and weight distribution qualities.
Look for vulcanized fabric backed rubber air bladders, NOT nylon, PVC, or urethane, since I have heard that these materials get rock hard at higher settings, and do not breathe as well. Also, at lower settings, vulcanized rubber bladders will not feel mushy or bottom out.
The pump and digital remote system should be simplistic and easy to use, and I recommend hard wired remote controls, not wireless, otherwise you will lose them, and have to change batteries, etc. You definitely want a UL rated pump, and always use a surge protector with it, since the pumps are fairly sophisticated electronic devices, much like a computer. Also, a decent air bed should offer a nice quilted top, with a fill material that resists packing down, such as HollofilŽ or FiberfilŽ, two proprietary synthetic materials that are made from a coil shaped fiber that springs back and will offer a long lifespan.
Air beds are pretty complex, and with all the different components and options to choose from, it can get pretty confusing. So if you are interested in an adjustable air bed, it is really important to educate yourself first so that you ensure you get the comfort and quality you are looking for. Our sponsor, Habitat Furnishings, really provides a lot of in-depth information on air beds -- the most detailed information I ran across on the internet. They have put together a couple of really nice videos that go into detail on the components of an air bed, and why they chose certain ones over others. As far as the air bed they offer, they spent a great deal of time putting together an air bed that offers the quality of components of the highest priced air beds, including memory foam and latex, at about the price of a middle of the line air bed offered by the leading brand. It really is amazing to compare the price -- while they offer the kinds of components that the competition offers on its $3000+ air bed, they charge only slightly more than the competitors middle of the line air bed. If you are interested in an air bed, I hope you will check them out -- Habitat Furnishings Air Beds.