Difference Between Air Mattress and Self Inflatable

People who love to go camping believe that it is therapy, adventure being their medicine which is sufficient enough to satisfy their adrenaline rush. The trekkers are Coddiwomples, who enjoy the journey.


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For people like you, who enjoy every step of their journey, you need a lot of energy and freshness, which you will get only when you get a good sleep.

But during these trips, that is a bit difficult. To give you comfort, with the use of modern technology and innovative ideas, now you have products like Air Mattress and Self Inflation. Yes, choosing among them is a bit difficult cause both have their fair share of advantages and disadvantages.

Key Takeaways

  1. An air mattress is a type of mattress that needs to be inflated manually, usually with a pump or by mouth.
  2. A self-inflatable mattress, on the other hand, comes with a built-in pump that inflates the mattress automatically.
  3. While air mattresses are more affordable and portable, self-inflatable mattresses offer more convenience and are more comfortable for long-term use.

Air Mattress vs Self Inflatable

An air mattress is a portable sleeping solution which requires an external air pump to inflate and can be adjusted to different firmness levels. Self-inflating mattress is one that uses foam insulation that expands when a valve is opened and can be adjusted by manually adding or releasing air.

Air Mattress vs Self Inflatable

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Air Mattress is sometimes also referred to as Air bed. It is made up of PVC or textile-reinforced urethane plastic or rubber. It might also feature a layer of foam insulation under the air chambers. It has a wide range of sizes ranging from Twin to King Size.

Self Inflatable is a bit bulky, which takes up extra space to store sometimes. But still, it can easily be carried in their bags just by folding or rolling the latter. It is a tight shell with two layers of foam and a valve.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonAir MattressSelf Inflatable
PriceThe mattress is affordable, but you need a pump which can sometimes be costly.It is a one-time investment and is a bit expensive.
InsulationIt has Insulation padding, which keeps the user warm.It does not have insulation padding.
SpaceIt is very luggage friendly and takes up significantly less space.It is very bulky.
WeightIt is a lightweight Mattress; though you need to carry an additional pumpBulky and heavyweight.
WaterbedIt can be used as a waterbed.It cannot be used as a waterbed.

What is Air Mattress?

Air Mattress is an inflatable sleeping pad. It not only serves as an airbed during camps and treks, but it also has health benefits. Air Mattress has a tremendous buoyance level. Hence the latter can be used as a water toy or flotation device.

In some countries like the UK, it is called Lilo, which means ‘Readymade’.

Air Mattresses have multipurpose uses, which gives the user maximum optimization and makes each penny invested for it worth it. It is available in different shapes and sizes.

From Twin to King sizes, they might also have customized shapes that can be used in the cargo area of a pickup truck or SUV.

The deflated Mattress can be rolled or folded into a compact form and be stored or carried. The mattress can be inflated with the help of a manual or electric pump. One of the drawbacks one faces while using it is taking the pump as extra luggage.

But the sleeping pads are lightly weighted and have reduced thickness and size. It is backpack friendly. The mattress might have foam heat insulation, which keeps the user warm.

The health benefits one gets by using this, be it during camping or home use, is providing comfort and some measure of relief to those people who suffer from back and neck pain.

air mattress

What is Self Inflatable?

As the name says, this type of mattress is self-inflatable. It has two layers of foam which keep the user at a considerable height from the ground. When the valve is opened, air automatically fills in. This makes the air contains more than the foam content in it.

These are often way more expensive when compared to thick mattresses. One of the fundamental problems one will face while using this is tracing out the exact location of the holes, if any. This type of mattress is a bit bulky and takes up a lot of space, be it your vehicle or your backpack.

The advantage one experiences while using the latter is that you do not need to carry an extra pump or get tired by blowing in air as it is self-inflatable. They have a wide range of sizes, giving the users a wide of options to choose from to maximize their comfort level.

In addition, even if you end up having holes in the mattress, which results in the leaking of air, you won’t be sleeping on the ground as you will still be having the foam layer to sleep on.

It sometimes is used like a trampoline by the kids, which makes them prone to puncture.

self inflatable

Main Differences Between Air Mattress and Self Inflatable

  1. The Air Mattress is pocket friendly, whereas Self Inflatable is very expensive.
  2. The Air Mattress can be rolled and carried in the backpack, whereas Self Inflatable takes up a lot of space.
  3. Air Mattresses are lightweight, whereas self-inflatable are very bulky.
  4. Air mattresses are single-layer PVC and only have air compartments, whereas Self Inflatable are two layers i.e. it has a foam layer and an air compartment.
  5. Air Mattress has insulation padding, which keeps the user warm, but self-inflatable does not have insulation padding.
Difference Between Air Mattress and Self Inflatable
  1. https://www.mdpi.com/1424-8220/20/18/5317
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