The Best Inflatable Bed

The Hammacher Schlemmer Institute's tests reveal the one Inflatable Bed that can, in its opinion, be called The Best. The Institute forwards its recommendation to Hammacher Schlemmer's buyers so they can procure the product for The Hammacher Schlemmer catalog, web site, and retail store. The Inflatable Bed that is currently The Best can be found here.

The Best Inflatable Bed

Overall Results

Candidate

  • Model B
  • Model A
  • Model K
  • Model D
  • Model C
  • Model H
  • Model G
  • Model F
  • Model E
  • Model J
  • Model I

AirRet.

  • DQ

EaseOfUse

  • DQ

Features

  • DQ

Comfort

  • DQ
  • DQ
  • DQ
  • DQ
  • DQ
  • DQ
  • DQ

Ranking

  • DQ
  • DQ
  • DQ
  • DQ
  • DQ
  • DQ
  • DQ

Preliminary Testing and Evaluation

Before undertaking testing, The Hammacher Schlemmer Institute surveyed consumers to learn which attributes are most critical when purchasing an Inflatable Bed. They responded that Comfort is by far their most important concern, followed by Air Retention, Ease of Use, and Features. These attribute rankings were applied to the data collected for this test.

Inflatable Bed Expectations


Respondents were also asked which features matter most in an Inflatable Bed. Based on their answers, The Best model must be at least 18” high, be easy to inflate/deflate, and be very comfortable.

The Hammacher Schlemmer Institute then researched the marketplace from a reasonably wide range of competing product and obtained Inflatable Beds that possess these desired attributes and features. Prior to testing, the Institute eliminated from consideration any models that did not have a required attribute or feature or if it had an obvious quality issue. Conversely, if a sample offered a unique benefit that distinguished it from other models, The Institute, at its discretion, may have included it in testing even though it may have been lacking a critical feature or attribute.

Testing Methodology

Testing involved evaluations by Institute analysts and a consumer panel. Each Inflatable Bed was rated for its Air Retention, Ease of Use, Features and Comfort. Each bed was first tested for its Air Retention, Ease of Use and Features. Those beds scoring the lowest were knocked out of contention. The remaining units were then put through rigorous testing with our panel, who tested for Comfort.

Air Retention

Analysts inflated each model with its supplied air pump, measured the height of each and then strategically placed six 50-lb. bags of rice on the bed, and left them for 48 hours. The bags were removed and each bed was measured after removing the bags. Each model was rated on how much air loss they experienced on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 indicating the least amount of air loss.

Candidate

  • Model B
  • Model A
  • Model K
  • Model D
  • Model C
  • Model H
  • Model G
  • Model F
  • Model E
  • Model J
  • Model I

HeightLost

  • DQ

Ranking

  • DQ

Ease of Use

For each Inflatable Bed, analysts determined how easy it was to:

Analysts also took into consideration the inflation time and deflation time, as well as had panelists assess the ease of getting into and out of each bed.

Analysts assigned a score each step, with lower scores indicating a process was very difficult and higher scores indicating it was very simple. After testing, analysts calculated an average ease-of-use score for each Inflatable Bed.

Candidate

  • Model B
  • Model A
  • Model K
  • Model D
  • Model C
  • Model H
  • Model G
  • Model F
  • Model E
  • Model J
  • Model I

In/Out

  • N/A
  • N/A
  • N/A
  • N/A
  • N/A
  • N/A
  • DQ

Instructions

  • N/A
  • DQ

Inflating

  • DQ

Deflate

  • DQ

EaseInflate

  • N/A
  • N/A
  • N/A
  • N/A
  • N/A
  • N/A
  • DQ

EaseDeflate

  • N/A
  • N/A
  • N/A
  • N/A
  • N/A
  • N/A
  • DQ

Candidate

  • Model B
  • Model A
  • Model K
  • Model D
  • Model C
  • Model H
  • Model G
  • Model F
  • Model E
  • Model J
  • Model I

Rolling

  • N/A
  • N/A
  • N/A
  • N/A
  • N/A
  • N/A
  • DQ

Storage

  • N/A
  • N/A
  • N/A
  • N/A
  • N/A
  • N/A
  • DQ

Ranking

  • DQ

Features

Institute analysts inspected each sample to determine whether it had any of the following features, which made an Inflatable Bed easier or more effective to use:

Analysts awarded points for each feature that a model had, weighted according to how important that feature was to consumers. After testing, they calculated an average features score for each sample.

Candidate

  • Model B
  • Model A
  • Model K
  • Model D
  • Model C
  • Model H
  • Model G
  • Model F
  • Model E
  • Model J
  • Model I

Pump

  • DQ

BuiltPillow

  • DQ

PillowTop

  • DQ

Bag

  • DQ

Queen

  • DQ

Reclines

  • DQ

Candidate

  • Model B
  • Model A
  • Model K
  • Model D
  • Model C
  • Model H
  • Model G
  • Model F
  • Model E
  • Model J
  • Model I

Storage

  • DQ

Remote

  • DQ

FoamTop

  • DQ

HeadBoard

  • DQ

Repair

  • DQ

NeverFlat

  • DQ

Candidate

  • Model B
  • Model A
  • Model K
  • Model D
  • Model C
  • Model H
  • Model G
  • Model F
  • Model E
  • Model J
  • Model I

Ranking

  • DQ

Comfort

Comfort was panelist tested. Panelists laid in each bed for an extended period of time and assessed the following:

Analysts then took the average of the scores and determined a final Comfort score.

Candidate

  • Model B
  • Model A
  • Model K
  • Model D
  • Model C
  • Model H
  • Model G
  • Model F
  • Model E
  • Model J
  • Model I

Soft/Firm

  • DQ
  • DQ
  • DQ
  • DQ
  • DQ
  • DQ
  • DQ

Surface

  • DQ
  • DQ
  • DQ
  • DQ
  • DQ
  • DQ
  • DQ

Ranking

  • DQ
  • DQ
  • DQ
  • DQ
  • DQ
  • DQ
  • DQ

What to Look For in an Inflatable Bed

The Hammacher Schlemmer Institute recommends that you consider these features when shopping for an Inflatable Bed to ensure you will be completely satisfied with its performance:

Intended as temporary bedding, inflatable beds are built for quick inflation and deflation. Better models include built-in air pumps that automatically inflate and deflate when either a valve is turned or a button is pushed. Better models provide automatic inflation when they detect a decrease in air pressure. Because inflatable beds have built-in frames, they sit lower to the ground than standard beds, requiring more effort to get in and out of bed, thus beds built to be higher off the ground provide easier access and exit. Because they are inflatable, their rigidity isn’t the same as typical beds, which use tension to keep sheets in-place; inflatable beds keep sheets from slipping with textured tops that provide friction. As inflatable beds are temporary considerations, their comfort is ameliorated with soft foam or pillow top covers. Storage bags and protective sheeting are also convenient considerations.

Before Use

As with any product, customers must read and follow the product's user guide, marking and labeling prior to use.

About Inflatable Beds

Intended as temporary bedding, inflatable beds are built for quick inflation and deflation. Better models include built-in air pumps that automatically inflate and deflate when either a valve is turned or a button is pushed. Better models provide automatic inflation when they detect a decrease in air pressure. Because inflatable beds have built-in frames, they sit lower to the ground than standard beds, requiring more effort to get in and out of bed, thus beds built to be higher off the ground provide easier access and exit. Because they are inflatable, their rigidity isn't the same as typical beds, which use tension to keep sheets in-place; inflatable beds keep sheets from slipping with textured tops that provide friction. As inflatable beds are temporary considerations, their comfort is ameliorated with soft foam or pillow top covers. Storage bags and protective sheeting are also convenient considerations.

About the Hammacher Schlemmer Institute

The Hammacher Schlemmer Institute was founded in 1983 as an independent, not-for-profit corporation to provide independent testing and consulting services for Hammacher Schlemmer. The Hammacher Schlemmer Institute was founded in 1983 as an independent, not-for-profit corporation to provide independent testing and consulting services for Hammacher Schlemmer. Although funded by Hammacher Schlemmer, the Institute functions independently of Hammacher Schlemmer. The Institute consults Hammacher Schlemmer and fulfills its mission statement without regard to product prices, brand names, margins, or other commercial considerations. Decisions on specific products to test, the types of test to perform and how to interpret the results lie exclusively with the Institute's research staff. In addition, the Institute's status as a separate entity from Hammacher Schlemmer prevents access to sensitive information, such as inventory levels or product cost, which might influence testing decisions. The Institute's independence assures products are researched, evaluated, and rated objectively without commercial bias.

The Institute consults Hammacher Schlemmer and fulfills its mission statement without regard to product prices, brand names, margins, or other commercial considerations.