Air mattresses are versatile and provide mobility, making them ideal for outdoor experiences, but one has to make sure they don’t get punctured. The best way to protect your air mattress from deflating is to raise it off the floor where there could be sharp objects.

To raise your air mattress off the floor, you need to determine how high you want the mattress raised, find a frame of the desired size, and place a stable platform like plywood on it. Finally, set the mattress on the platform and fix it in position if required.

This article will walk you through each step of this process, including how to:

  • Find the perfect length to raise the air mattress
  • Get the ideal frame for the mattress
  • Discover the best platforms to protect the mattress’s underside

1. Be Clear as to Why You’re Raising Your Mattress

There are different ways to raise an air mattress and determine the best one for yourself; you must be clear on why you’re raising the mattress in the first place. Generally speaking, people wish to get their air mattress off the ground for one of the following two reasons:

  • You’re going to place the mattress outdoors and want to protect it from thorns and other sharp objects.
  • Your mattress doesn’t look or feel nice lying on the floor in your room.

With the first reason, you should focus on the platform’s sturdiness, while the second reason warrants the need for a taller frame. Knowing this early on will help you make the right decision.

2. Find Out the Appropriate Height for the Elevation

If you’re raising the mattress outdoors on a camping trip or even in your own backyard, you must be careful not to raise the mattress too high. Because of the exposure to elements, you add instability to the overall structure by placing the mattress on too high a pedestal. Therefore, it is advisable to keep the height of your mattress frame lower than 12 inches (30.48 cm) in any outdoor setting.

If you want to raise the mattress in your bedroom or studio apartment, the end-goal, as well as the environment, are different. To elevate for aesthetics, you should invest in a mattress frame around 20 inches (50.8 cm) in height. That is because a typical bed frame is 25 inches (63.5 cm) high. If your air mattress is 5 inches (12.7 cm) tall, it will reach the size of a bed on a 20-inch frame.

If you wish to be more precise, you can subtract the height of the mattress and the platform (selected in the next stage) from 25 inches, and you will have the exact frame size that will raise your mattress to the same level as a typical bed.

3. Get the Right Air Mattress Frame

This step is the most crucial to having a bed-height air mattress. Anything that lifts your mattress from underneath can technically be used as a frame. Some people use box springs for this purpose even though they do not fit the definition. Others use futon frames for their air mattresses. Here are some of the frames we find appropriate for air mattresses.

AmazonBasics Foldable Metal Platform

This metal frame for air mattresses is by far our favorite because of its utility, versatility, and value for money proposition. For starters, it doesn’t require tools to assemble, making it easy to set up. Furthermore, it comes in a variety of sizes ranging from Twin bed equivalent to California King. You also have the height options, albeit only two: 14 inches (35.56 cm) tall or 18 inches (45.72 cm). Depending on your air mattress’s thickness, you can select the appropriate frame.

Most importantly, it is produced by Amazon, which makes it more reliable than purchasing from brands you do not know about. As a steel frame, it eliminates the need for a protective platform, especially when set up indoors. You can unfold and assemble the frame and place the mattress directly on top to get the right height.

Finally, it has over 42,000 reviews and ratings with a global average rating of 4.8 out of 5 stars. Its ease of installation and ease of assembly are both rated at 4.9 out of 5 stars, and its durability stands at an impressive 4.7 out of 5 stars. It is a best-seller in its category for a reason!

Check the price on Amazon!

SmartBase Zero Assembly Mattress Foundation

With more experience than Amazon Basics and better specialization, SmartBase provides a foundation for your air mattress that stands at 14 inches. Options for breadth include Narrow twin, twin, and Twin XL among the lower-end and Queen, king, and California king on the higher end.

This product, therefore, gives you more options to select from, albeit at a higher cost. We recommend that you only buy from SmartBase if the size you’re looking for isn’t available from Amazon Basics.

Smartbase’s zero assembly foundation brings the same benefits of a steel frame and no assembly but with a higher number of reviews. Boasting 74,900+ reviews and ratings, the product has a 4.7 out of 5 stars average rating. Its ease of assembly and installation are both rated at 4.8 stars, with durability having a 4.5-star rating.

Check the price on Amazon!

4. Select a Platform to Place the Mattress On

Many air mattress frames come with a built-in platform to carry the mattress. Still, nothing brings as much comfort and security as a platform selected specifically to lend stability to your new bed.

Platform selection is so crucial that many campers can eliminate the frame by opting for a thick enough platform. It is worth noting that platform selection is more important for outdoor elevation as opposed to living room mattresses. Any flat platform that can carry your body weight and protect against sharp objects can be used to protect your air mattress. Here are some of the common ones to consider:

  • Plywood – This will protect your air mattress from small thorns and glass shards etc., when outdoors. It will raise the mattress by 1 to 4 inches (2.54 to 10.16 cm) depending on the plywood block’s thickness.
  • Wood planks – Placing a series of wood planks to shiplap a bed frame before raising an air mattress on it isn’t uncommon for indoors.
  • Metal sheet – This has a higher protective ability than plywood but might be harder to procure on short notice.

Once you have decided on the option to go with, you can buy the platform from your local hardware store or an online retailer. Here are the best ones available on Amazon.

Continental Mattress Wooden Board

This mattress support option makes sure that your air mattress’s foundation doesn’t bite into the mattress’s underside. Featuring flat wooden slats, this platform raises your air mattress by another 1.5 inches (3.81 cm). Available in twin size, this product is excellent for an average mattress. If yours is larger, the continental mattress store provides larger options as well.

With over 460 reviews and ratings, this mattress support stands at an average of 4 out of 5 stars. Its highest specific rating is for its thickness and ease of installation, both of which are rated at 4.2 stars.

DMI Foldable Bunkie Board

This support option, unlike wooden slats, comes with no spacing and hence more stability. If your air mattress is thin, you might want a no-gap bunkie board. As it is simply constructed as a series of panels that must only be unfolded to use, there is no complicated assembly involved. With that said, this board is not as thick as the wooden slats discussed earlier.

Therefore, make sure you do not use this as your protective platform outdoors. It has over one thousand reviews and ratings, so you have case studies to go off of before making your buying decision. The bunkie board’s collective ranking stands at 3.8 stars out of 5, with only 3.5 stars for sturdiness. As mentioned earlier, this is more of a stability solution than a protective one.

5. Place the Platform on the Frame

Whether you’ve constructed your own frame or bought one from Amazon, you will need to place your protective platform on top to keep your mattress stable. Some frames will allow the platform to fit in place. Others might require adhesive measures to maintain the overall structure in place.

6. Place the Mattress on the Platform

Now that you have the right sized frame and a platform on top of it, you can raise your mattress by placing it on top of the structure. Whether you inflate the mattress before or after placing it on the frame doesn’t impact the outcome. However, if you’re camping outdoors, it is best to place the deflated mattress on the platform and then pump it. Doing so will keep sharp objects from damaging the mattress before it is raised.

You might also want to read: Where to Store an Extra Mattress in a Small Space

Final Thoughts

Air mattresses are easy to move and quite affordable. However, they can get damaged easily if not cared for appropriately. Whether you wish to protect your mattress while camping outdoors or want it to look like a bed indoors, you need to raise the mattress off the floor. Here’s a recap of the post showing how you can do that:

  • Decide the height you want the mattress to be at
  • Find a foundation that meets your height requirements
  • Add a platform like a bunkie board to add stability
  • Place your air mattress on it

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