A great air bed will last a very long time
What size air mattress bed should you get?
An air bed is available in all the standard bed sizes, full, queen and king. Although you may think it's best just to get the largest you can you need to keep in mind that the weight of the bed increases quickly as it gets larger. Choose an air mattress bed that fits your needs, generally a full size is adequate for one night stay overs for one person.
Check the weight rating of the air mattress bed
All air beds are rated for maximum weight. As the rating goes up so does the weight of the air mattress bed (and the price). Never exceed the maximum rating of the air mattress or it can burst. The best air mattress bed units are made of heavy vinyl. Keep in mind that when children are going to use it they will jump up and down on it. Choose one that exceeds their weight by about double. If pets are around look for one labeled puncture proof or 21 gauge vinyl.
How does the air mattress bed inflate
Some use a manual pump while others have an electric pump. Obviously the electric ones will cost more but are much more convenient and easier to use. Generally the manual ones are really camping air mattresses. You can save money here by going for the manual inflation variety, the key consideration here is if you'll be deflating during the day (to save space) and reinflating at night.
The best air mattress bed units are actually adustable air mattresses and come with an electric inflation system and a remote control. These are more expensive but can be very comfortable.
What is a raised air mattress?
Keep in mind that a raised air mattress will require deeper sheets.
Should there be a covering on the air mattress bed?
Higher quality air mattress bed units will hav a velvet, or other material flocking on top for extra comfort. This will make a big difference during the summer months as it'll keep perspiration off of you.
Here's an example of a great air mattress bed that does everything right, available on Amazon.
Here's a great article detailing the features you should look for if you're looking for an air mattress for daily use.
How much does a good bed cost?
That'll depend on the size and features, not too mention if it's on sale or not. I suggest reading air mattress reviews on sites like ConsumerSearch and ConsumerReports. They feature unbiased air mattress reviews from users just like yourself and often times have the lowest prices listed right in the air mattress review. You will, of course, find other useful links right here on this page too.