Pros: Long lasting, surprisingly comfortable, convenience, initial PVC smell.
Cons: Initial PVC smell, break-in time.
So I'm graduating soon from college and I have begun to sort my things into 3 piles: Keep, throw out and sell. So far I am keeping everything... makes me think I need to reconsider the qualifications for the 3 categories. *sigh*
Currently I am debating on whether to sell my Aero Travel Bed or keep it just in case I really can't find a job and I need to crash at a friend's place. :) Anyways with the bed in mind, I was inspired to write this review...
The Aero Travel Bed
As one of the many derivatives of Imagineair's Aerobed lineup, the Travel Bed consists of an Aerobed w/patch kit, a corded "One-Minute" pump, a cotton mattress slip on cover, and a handy carrying bag. This package was available in three sizes Twin, Full, and Queen... and since I like to spread out when I crawl into bed, I bought the biggest size at my local discount chain.
Reading the sides of the box with all its eye-catching pictures and text, I chose this particular bed because of a couple reasons. First, I was a starving college student living in an unfurnished one-bedroom apartment (i.e. no bed, no couch, no nothing). But don't get me wrong... sleeping on the floor was OK but I move around a lot when I sleep and there have been several occasions where I'd wake up with carpet burns. Try explaining to your friends how you got carpet burns on your face... it's embarrassing to say the least. Second, the box was right under the sign that said 50% off... I am a sucker for deals.
After purchasing the bed and unpacking it, I noticed a very prominent odor emanating from the bed. The smell of fresh PVC filled my nostrils and reminded me of the days when I used to build plastic models when I was a kid. Not exactly as potent as the smell of plastic cement but stronger than a new car smell, I generally liked the scent but as shown above, I also noted the odor as a con for those who do not have an affinity for it. If the smell is too intense, you can just lay it out for a couple of days and everything should be peachy for even the most sensitive nose.
Now why would ImaginAir use smelly Poly Vinyl Chloride (PVC) as the material of choice?? For one thing, it's very strong and durable. How durable? Linoleum flooring, plastic pipes, and vinyl siding are all made from PVC! Another important fact about Poly Vinyl Chloride (PVC) is that it is water and fire resistant. Very important if you decide to use this bed for your next pool party BBQ... although I don't recommend throwing a party on the bed for it can only hold a maximum of 650 pounds. However, all kidding aside, this bed is not recommended for use as a flotation device and if you decide to light this baby on fire, get a gas mask unless you like inhaling the toxic chlorine gas... one good thing though, it's the fumes that prevents the bed from becoming a bonfire.
With the visions of my PVC mattress party in my eyes, it was time to inflate my bed. Unlike some of the other Aerobeds, mine came with a separate corded travel air pump. To inflate, I plugged the pump into an outlet and then attached it to the bed (an internal switch fires up the pump only when the pump is locked in place). About a minute later, the bed was fully inflated and ready to go. As advertised, the bed could not be overinflated due to the pump's internal air pressure regulator valve. When the maximum pressure is achieved, the pump just blows air out of its side vents.
Before I put on all my bedsheets and pillows, I laid on the bed just to see if was comfortable. The Aerobed at maximum pressure is similar to my conventional spring mattress while laying down but due to the lack of internal support (coil springs), a second person laying next to you will disturb you like a water bed. Of course that's not a problem for me since I live alone.
I have had this bed for about 5 months now and one thing to note about all inflatable beds is that there is a break-in period. Depending on how much the material stretches, expect to wake up the first several days with an underinflated mattress - just refill it the next night. Keep in mind that if your bed still feels soft for a week, you might have a hole in the bed (this has happened to me with my old Coleman air mattress where one of the seams surrounding the bed was improperly sealed). One thing you should also note is that ambient air temperature can also affect an air mattress.
Oh I almost forgot about the stylish blue logo mattress cover that is included in the package. It's a nice cover but too thin for my tastes but since all Aerobeds conform to the standard size conventional bed, I stole my sheets from my queen bed at home and am using them instead.
After months of use, I cannot see how this bed would fail me but just in case, it comes with a one year warranty that covers the PVC mattress and the pump. With that kind of guarantee and the overall comfort of the Aerobed, sleeping on the floor is a thing of the past.
For more information goto the Aerobed website:
**Note: the Travel Bed package is not offered on the website anymore but may be available at a retail store. For reference, this bed is most similar to the "One-Minute" Aerobed but my model does not have an attached (integrated) pump.**
The ratings on the Aerobed are derived mostly with my experience with 2 other air mattresses (from different companies) and partially from regular spring coil beds. Please keep in mind that air mattresses inherently have different characteristics compared regular spring mattresses and also water beds so when I rate such things as comfort at 5, it is in context with other air mattresses.