You recently figured out that an air mattress suits you perfectly: it’s light, portable, and comfortable enough to sleep in. You can conveniently stash it anywhere in the mornings, or you can place it on top of a bed frame for long-term use. However, those bed frames look unsuitable, so can you even put an air mattress on them?

You can’t place an air mattress on a standard bed frame. Standard bed frames feature slats not meant to hold air mattresses, so placing an air mattress on them results in a mattress that constantly slides over. Instead, you can place an air mattress on plywood, a mattress topper, or a box spring.

This article will delve into why placing an air bed on a regular bed frame won’t work. It will also discuss the best alternatives for bed frames, whether or not it’s safe to sleep on an air mattress for a long time, and some tips on choosing an air bed.

Why You Shouldn’t Place an Air Mattress on a Bed Frame

You know most air mattresses do best when used outdoors, but you’d like to use yours indoors. However, you’d like it better if you can place your air bed on a regular bed frame, so why can’t you do so? Does placing an air mattress on a standard frame pose one too many issues to ignore?

Regular bed frames feature slats often made of wood or metal, and these possess little to no grip. So, when you place a light air bed on such a frame, you’ll experience plenty of sliding around that air mattresses are notoriously known for.

Moreover, those slats provide little support to your air bed as well. Remember, an air mattress is light and made of air, so when you place it on a frame with slats and then lay down on it, you’ll experience discomfort and may even feel the bed sink on the spaces between the slats. It’ll also expose your mattress to higher chances of puncturing and tearing.

Additionally, air beds themselves suit floors and outdoor settings. Manufacturers created air mattresses so people can use them outdoors and on floors, in places where a bed frame isn’t available. Hence, you would not need a bed frame’s support for your air bed – it’s already even high enough for you to not need a frame.

Bed Frame Alternatives for Air Mattresses

So, if you can’t put an air bed on a standard bed frame, where can you place it? Assuming you’re not okay with the already-elevated offering your air mattress provides you, you can choose to use plywood, mattress topper, box spring, or special frame as alternatives.

Use Plywood on Top of a Bed Frame

If you’re already satisfied with the height your air mattress possesses and simply wish it had a sturdier bottom, you can take a piece of plywood to support your air bed’s bottom. Alternatively, you can place this plywood on top of your regular bed frame before placing your air bed on it.

Ensure your plywood is 0.75 inches (1.91 cm) to adequately support your mattress. Then, cover the plywood with a tarp or anything else that guarantees your air bed doesn’t receive splinters from the wood. You can place the plywood on top of a bed frame before putting the air mattress on top, or simply place the air bed on the plywood while on the floor.

However, if you’re placing the plywood on a bed frame, note that this works best if your frame slats are wooden slats.

Use a Mattress Topper on the Bottom of an Air Bed

If you only want the support a bed frame offers and already possess a high-height air mattress, you can use a mattress topper as a framing alternative. By doing this, you’re giving your air bed the support it needs without needing a higher ground or a frame itself.

To use a mattress topper on an air bed, purchase a mattress topper that’s at least the same size as the bed or a bit larger for greater weight distribution. Moreover, consider how firm and dense your topper needs to be. It should be firm enough not to sag and dense enough to withstand your weight without allowing the air bed to slip.

You can opt for something like this Sure2Sleep Gel Mattress Topper. It’s best to opt for gel since it offers excellent non-slip properties alongside some cooling, but if you can’t, you can opt for cotton for comfort or memory foam for sturdiness.

Sure2Sleep Gel Swirl Memory Foam Mattress Topper Made in USA 3-inch (Queen)
  • ✅ COOL GEL SWIRL INFUSED MEMORY FOAM provides total...
  • ✅ GREAT WAY TO REJUVENATE AND OLD MATTRESS. Easy to...
  • ✅ TOTAL PRESSURE POINT RELIEF. The Sure2Sleep Cool...
  • ✅ TO PROVIDE A HEALTHIER SLEEP ENVIRONMENT, the...

Use a Box Spring

Box springs usually already contain cloth covers, so you don’t have to worry about covering them. Instead of using plywood as mentioned above, you can opt for a box spring and place your air bed there. A box spring should offer you sturdy, firm support that will prevent your air mattress from slipping around better than a standard bed frame.

You can start a do-it-yourself project for your box spring, or you can purchase one on Amazon or your local store. If you want to browse on Amazon, check out these box spring suggestions:

Can You Sleep on an Air Bed Every Night?

You can sleep on an air bed every night, but air mattresses aren’t quite recommendable for long-term use. Unless you’re very light, an air bed offers little to no support to your body. Similarly, it won’t assist your spine to a suitable position as well.

Moreover, you may experience occasional temperature regulation problems with your air mattress. This is because an air bed consists of synthetic materials that don’t disperse heat quite well. Hence, you may experience a too-warm summer or a too-cold winter when sleeping on an air mattress during those seasons, unless you place a cover or barrier between the bed and yourself.

Additionally, you may find discomfort on an air mattress over time due to its poor pressure relief properties. You may find you or your partner sinking to one side as well if you’re sleeping with someone. On the other hand, an air bed is perfect for sleeping on for its convenience, lightness, and elevatedness.

Final Thoughts

You shouldn’t place an air mattress on a bed frame, but you can use alternatives. This includes plywood, a mattress topper, or box spring. They’re fairly easy to either create or acquire, so you shouldn’t need to worry about them.

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