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Air Mattress vs. Memory Foam: Dive Into Which Mattress Reigns Supreme

air mattress vs memory foam

Whether you’re going camping or looking to fill out a guest room, are you sizing up an air mattress vs. memory foam? Most memory foam mattresses generally include multiple layers of varying types of foam, while an air mattress is just that, a durable mattress that you can inflate with air. This article will provide a look at the unique differences between the two in addition to a few product suggestions as well.

What is a Memory Foam Mattress?

Built with a polyurethane foam that’s also known as viscoelastic foam, memory foam mattresses are a fan favorite for many people. You’re bound to come across a number of reasons for this, but they also aren’t the first choice for everyone.

The viscoelastic foam has the ability to mold to the shape of your body, which is a big selling point for this type of mattress. Thankfully, there are many different types of memory foam mattresses to choose from. Each has its own qualities that cater to different preferences in sleeping comfort.

The benefits of memory foam

Although you’re bound to find varying sentiments from people online, many sleepers feel like the benefits are clear as day. You’d be surprised at how many consumers cherish silence while they sleep, and this means no traditional spring beds. This is where memory foam comes in, as it can easily conform to the body, and they can retain their comfort for a long time.

Common benefits associated with memory foam mattresses include:

  • Relief on various pressure points throughout the body
  • Known for its longevity and durability with repeated use
  • Experience motion isolation, making it perfect for those who toss and turn
  • Superior in support and comfort for most body types

Once again, there are many consumers who would disagree with these, but that’s based on their personal experience. Indeed, memory foam may not always be the right choice, but there’s a reason it’s so popular among a broad demographic of sleepers.

Are there any downsides?

As mentioned earlier, memory foam mattresses aren’t for everyone. For example, they’re known to retain body heat, and some types of foam can actually be quite firm. This is why it’s crucial to do your research, as memory foam isn’t a one-size-fits-all mattress.

Here are a few well-known downsides related to memory foam mattresses:

  • Heat retention
  • Not the greatest option for heavier individuals
  • Many of them come with an initial off-gassing odor
  • Some come with a layer of thinly shredded fiberglass, which can be bad for your health

These downsides aren’t a guarantee with every mattress, but they’re angles you’ll want to explore before making a purchase. Some are known to release unpleasant odors through a process called off-gassing. This is normal with memory foam mattresses, and the scent people speak of should dissipate in due time. Even though you’ll find many different people who enjoy memory foam, it’s best suited for a specific demographic of sleepers.

Who are memory foam mattresses best for?

If you want to ensure you’re making the right decision, consider who memory foam mattresses are best suited for. While you can find a variety of soft to firm memory foam mattresses, even the most firm options may not be suitable for some people.

The target audience for this type of mattress includes those who are back sleepers, side sleepers, or couples looking for ample comfort. Tossing and turning on a spring mattress can wake your partner during the night, and a memory foam mattress is a great way to mitigate that. Other helpful considerations for this topic include any allergies or health conditions that may be exacerbated by memory foam.

How Does an Air Mattress Work?

With a simple design that anyone can learn to use, an air bed is made from a durable material that you can inflate with air. Its biggest selling points include affordability, durability, adjustable firmness, and portability. They aren’t generally meant to be a full mattress replacement, but they can work well for guest rooms, camping, or general emergencies.

Advantages of air mattresses

A few of the advantages were mentioned earlier, but air mattresses can be much more than that. In the same vein, these types of mattresses aren’t perfect by any means and include their fair share of downsides. Below are a few of the advantages associated with adjustable air beds.

  • Lightweight and easy to move
  • Can be broken down for easier portability
  • You can store it out of sight without taking up too much space
  • Firmness levels can be customized depending on how much air is in the mattress

It all sounds great on paper, but air mattresses tend to excel when used in the right circumstances. Although they may be affordable, you don’t want to part with your money until you review the potential downsides as well.

Limitations to consider

While many air mattresses are quite affordable, you want to make sure you get quality materials. This is especially true if you plan on taking the bed into the outdoors. You also want to consider that if the material of the air bed is damaged, you might have to deal with an air leak.

Here are a few well-known limitations that come with owning an air bed:

  • Although durable in its own right, air beds are less durable than memory foam
  • Potential for air leaks from small to large damages
  • Comfort issues in the long term

There’s nothing wrong with buying an air mattress for camping, but if you think it’ll be suitable for the next five years in your room, you might be in for a rude awakening. Nevertheless, an air bed is better than nothing, but you can also improve the experience by adding a sleeping pad underneath. This helps to protect the outer material and any bedding you may have wrapped around it.

Who are adjustable air beds best suited for?

Many people keep air mattresses at home in case they have friends or family over, but air beds are known to deliver the best service in outdoor environments. No one wants to sleep on hard, uneven ground, and an air bed is a quick fix to this issue in the outdoors. Overall, air beds serve their purpose on more than one occasion for avid campers and travelers.

Even if you don’t expect to have company over often, having an extra bed on hand never hurts. Due to the portability of an air bed, you can prop them up anywhere you have space throughout the house. If you think you fall in this demographic, you’re bound to get your money’s worth out of a quality air mattress. For a more concise look at how memory foam vs air mattresses stack up against each other, take a look at the comparison chart below.

Memory Foam Mattress VS. Air Mattress

Balanced support for most body typesAbility to contour to your body shape
Consistent support for various sleep positionsAlleviates pressure points
Offers a sense of weightlessness when 
Adjustable firmness levels
Customization and adjustability of locationPerfect for guest accommodations
Go-to solution for travelers and campersTends to be a much more affordable option

Aside from comfort and support, there are other angles to these mattresses that you’ll want to compare. From a bird’s eye view, each mattress serves a unique purpose. By stacking up important details side by side, you’ll have an easier time deciding which mattress is right for you.

Comparison CategoryAir BedMemory Foam Mattress
Temperature RegulationMay be at risk of higher heat retentionOffer cooling technologies such as gel-infused foams and open-cell foams.
Motion IsolationMore motion transfer, but still better than spring bedsExcellent motion isolation
NoiseNoise is generally guaranteed with air mattresses between the pump and materialsVirtually free of any noise
DurabilityLess durable due to the potential for a puncture or air leakMore durable due to the multi-layer foam structure
MaintenanceRequires consistent cleaning of internal parts and vacuuming of outer material Minimal upkeep
Price RangeMuch more affordable optionCan vary greatly from affordable to costly depending on a variety of factors

It’s evident that each mattress serves a target market, but they also trump each other in a few areas. To ensure you get the most out of whichever mattress you choose, it starts by working with a brand that upholds quality standards.

MLILY Memory Foam Mattresses

If you need help figuring out where to start on your mattress journey, we’re an excellent place to start. MLILY has a long list of beds available in any size you can think of. With the high demand for memory foam mattresses, we felt it was important to offer a few solutions that cater to different sleeping needs. The table below provides a few highlights about some of the best memory foam mattresses that we have available.

Mattress Type Features

  • Mprove 2.0 CBD-infused
  • Medium firmness
  • 15″ foam
  • Cool temperature regulation
  • WellFlex 2.0 Cooling knit fabric cover
  • Medium firmness
  • Premium foams
  • Medium temperature regulation
  • Works well with adjustable bases
  • Harmony+ Super soft and cozy cover
  • Medium-firm
  • Highly breathable
  • Cool temperature regulation
  • Affordable

These are just a few examples of the memory foam mattresses we have on hand. Each of our mattresses caters to the needs of all kinds of sleepers, giving you a universal selection to choose from. Aside from memory foam, we offer many other mattress types that come with unique features of their own.

Other Types of MLILY Mattresses

We take pride in our selection of mattresses, as we firmly believe that our selection offers something that’s suitable for everyone. Listing everything in-house would be impossible, so we slimmed it down to some of our most popular mattresses.


With the aim of delivering a blend of comfort and support, our hybrid mattresses are an excellent solution for those who like soft mattresses but need bodily support. You can get a look at a few options we have on hand in the list below.

  • Onyx Max Hybrid Plush
  • Onyx Pro Hybrid Medium
  • Fusion Luxe

For individuals who care more about temperature than anything else, consider taking a look at our Powercool Sleep System mattresses. We have multiple options to choose from, alongside every standard bed size you can think of.

Powercool Sleep System

One of the biggest selling points of the Powercool Sleep System is the adjustable base with multiple cooling fans. This ensures that you and your bed remain cool at all hours of the night. Take a look at the list below for some of the mattresses we have in stock that carry this particular feature.

  • PowerCool Firm Sleep System
  • PowerCool Medium Sleep System

Essentially, both carry the same cooling features, but they differ in how firm they are. Shopping for a new mattress can cause some headaches as it can be a hard decision to make. To get the most out of your time and money, it’s always helpful to base your decision on the facts.

Making your decision

There’s a formula you can use to make the best decision possible when shopping online for a new mattress. Whether you like a firmer mattress for spinal support or prefer the best mix of price and comfort, we have something suitable. Below, you can find a few testimonials from our customers that span a variety of mattress types.

“Firm enough yet plush enough to provide a good night’s sleep for 2 over 250 lb adults. The edges should be firmer to make it easier to get in and out.” (Purchased PowerCool Medium Sleep System)

“Extremely happy with my Mlily Harmony Chill Mattress purchase. I love this mattress!! It stays cool throughout the night, and I wake up feeling refreshed and pain-free. If you are looking for a cool and comfortable mattress, this is the one for you.” (Purchased Harmony Chill 3.0)

“The mattress came in a box, which we brought into the room before opening it. Several layers of plastic hold it tightly. Once opened, it was not that heavy to put in place on the bed. Ours had no smell whatsoever and seemed fully expanded within a few hours. It feels firm, yet soft.” (Purchased WellFlex 2.0)

The positive reviews on our mattresses are endless, and we continue to deliver a satisfactory experience to every customer. Below, you’ll find a brief list containing a few other considerations you should take into account before buying a new mattress.

  • Your personal preferences
  • Budget constraints
  • Warranty and return policies
  • Short and long-term needs

All of these little details are important, as you’ll be dealing with your new mattress for years to come. The hints and tips in this article are meant to guide you to a mattress that fits your body type and sleeping needs.

Final Thoughts

Based on consumer reviews, preferences, and manufacturing details, memory foam mattresses are many consumer’s top choices. From price to durability, comfort, and more, memory foam offers more benefits than air mattresses in almost every way.

While an air mattress serves well for accommodating house guests or outdoor use, memory foam reigns supreme when it comes to your bedroom. While some may admire the high-density comfort of an air mattress compared to memory foam, the hassle of nightly deflation is a drawback only some are willing to endure.

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