Heavy Duty Air Mattress
“Heavy duty” is a phrase bandied about by marketers all the time. They bank on the fact that consumers don't understand what the words mean, so they'll believe any claims of heavy duty they hear or see. But the fact is, heavy duty doesn't simply mean a product is made from strong materials. It means the product can withstand repeated usage at its maximum limits. Air mattresses are no exception.
An air mattress made of the toughest vinyl and strongest valves can still break down after just a few uses if it is not constructed properly. A truly heavy duty air mattress is one that will retain the air, its shape, even after repeated use at the top end of its listed weight limit.
Which Are The Best Heavy Duty Air Mattresses?
The best heavy duty air mattresses are used in hospitals and nursing homes. For example, one hospital supply company offers a technologically advanced, low air-loss mattress for use in Bariatrics. The very nature of Bariatrics requires mattresses to have a high weight limit that can be put to maximum stress for extended periods of time. This particular bed has some specific features that are important to their use.
First, there's a pressure monitored pump which regularly adjusts firmness up or down, in order to prevent the patient from developing bed sores. The pump has an incredibly fast recovery time, even under weight, and the mattress construction prevents bottoming out if the power ever fails. Inside the mattress are 20 separate air chambers fed by nine air hoses; a system that prevents air loss while keeping the patient comfortable. Both the pump and mattress carry an 18 month warranty. That is heavy duty.
Assuming you don't need such a dynamic bed in your home, a heavy duty air mattress for your guests to sleep on should be able to withstand normal use for more than just a night or two. Generally speaking, the more expensive a mattress is, the more heavy duty it will be. But price aside, there are other things to look for:
Multiple air chambers - The more chambers, the better the weight distribution.
High weight limit - the higher the limit, the stronger the construction of the mattress tends to be.
Valves - either butterfly valves or another type that prevents air from leaking back out after you remove the pump. The valve is the single biggest culprit when it comes to air loss.
Since so many manufacturers use the heavy duty designation so loosely, you may have to try a few portable air mattresses before you find one that lives up to the billing. But when you do find one, you'll know it. It will stand out as being the one that takes the stress and strain of heavy use and always comes back for more.
You can help the durability of your heavy duty mattress by deflating it during long periods of disuse, preventing children from jumping on it, keeping it out of direct sunlight, and being careful around it with sharp objects. No matter how heavy duty, it is still just an air mattress.