I have often heard from people that sleeping on airbeds is not good for health, reasoning that it is filled with air and molds to the shape of our body, so cannot provide enough support for the back.

My roommate has been sleeping on an airbed for last few months, but doesn't seem to have any kind of problem.

Also, I wasn't able to find any credible proof to this claim on the internet. So was wondering if it is really true!

  • You need to find a notable claim source too on this site.
    – picakhu
    Nov 12, 2012 at 22:28
  • 3
    There is a lot of research available on "alternating"/ "oscillating" air mattresses, used in hospitals, including relative pressure at points likely to get pressure sores. I wonder if a story about them has been transmogrified. That's a reason to ask for a notable claim - often we can backtrack to the source.
    – Oddthinking
    Nov 12, 2012 at 23:00
  • The sleep number bed is a glorified air mattress and I haven't seen any claims that it's unhealthy. Nov 28, 2012 at 21:11
  • My experience has been with cheap air mattresses for guests, on which generally most of my (heavy) butt is literally resting on the floor. Is this the kinb being questioned or something else?
    – StarWeaver
    Mar 28, 2016 at 9:09

1 Answer 1


According to this random person's friend's mother who is alleged to be a doctor, yes it is bad, but the general opinion of the other people on that page is that it's fine as long as it's properly inflated. Lack of cushioning causes bedsores.

Wikipedia says its light weight and possible folds can suffocate babies, though. But overall there's less to go wrong compared with a normal mattress:

Air mattresses can also improve the quality of life (and potentially provide some measure of relief) for people who suffer with back pain.[6] Having the ability to adjust the firmness of a mattress to accommodate different body shapes, sizes, and weights, can be a factor in the healing process. Additionally, air mattresses manufactured without the use of materials that may release VOCs or other toxic compounds from the manufacturing process (which can exacerbate allergies in children or other sensitive individuals) are available.[7][8][9]

"A new mattress can relieve low back pain and improve sleep quality".

"4 PVC-Free Inflatable Mattress and Guest Bed Options"

"Indoor Chemicals Linked to Respiratory and Allergic Effects in Children", California EPA, 2008.

"Indoor Residential Chemical Emissions as Risk Factors for Respiratory and Allergic Effects in Children: a Review", Indoor Air Journal, vol. 17, pp. 259–277, 2007.

Normal mattresses contain more material than inflatables, and thus could contain more harmful chemicals.

  • yet air beds are used in hospitals precisely to help people who have bedsores from being bedridden on a regular mattress for very long periods... And they work for that. As always, there's more than one side to a story.
    – jwenting
    Dec 6, 2013 at 7:09

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