Inflatable air mattresses have come a long way from the days when you had to blow them up with your own breath. I remember sleeping on one years ago with my wife and waking up with both of us smooshed together in the middle because half of the air had leaked out during the night.

This is not true of today's air mattresses. They are firm, reliable and reasonably priced.

When I began using air mattresses I used them exclusively for camping. When I threw an air mattress in my tent, all of a sudden my wife would go camping with me. Gone forever were the days of sleeping on the ground. Modern air mattresses are much more comfortable than the ones we slept on years ago.

After I discovered how comfortable air mattresses were, I decided to buy one for my house. Of course, I was not going to sleep on it every night, but it served as an extra bed for when I had a house full of guests.

Here is a list of some of air mattresses and the features I like about each of them:

1) Coleman Twin Single Air Bed: This is a smaller air mattress that comes with a carrying bag. It is perfect for camping because it doesn't take up much room in the tent. This air mattress is reasonably priced and has several features that make it comfortable, most notably, a soft plush top and soft, suede flocking for extra comfort. I bought each of my children one of these.

2) Guest Choice Aerobed Coreline-Queen: I really enjoy this bed. I have a great big tent, and this mattress fits in it perfectly. Sometimes in the summer we will bring sheets and our comforter to sleep with on this bed. It is just like being at home. I realize that this one is called the guest choice, but because it is not raised.

3) Pure Comfort Full Raised Flock Top Air Bed: This mattress is available in both full and queen sizes. This air mattress is a little big for use in a tent, but is perfect for use in your house for guests. What I like about this bed is that when it is fully inflated you will lie down a full three feet from the floor. This gives the user the idea that he or she is not sleeping on an air bed. It also comes with an electric pump that will inflate the bed in 3 - 5 minutes.

4) Early Riser 25" Pillowtop air Bed with remote: This bed is a little pricier than the other ones I have discussed. This air mattress is a little firmer than the other ones as well. The remote control adjusts the firmness.

5) Kelty Raised Queen Sized Air Bed: This is a bed that is designed to be in your house. It is raised for extra comfort and has a plush, flocked finish. The plush makes it easier to keep your sheets on it. It comes equipped with its own pump, for easy inflation and deflation. This bed is reasonably priced as well.

Air mattresses can be used for camping or for an extra bed when you find that your house is full of guests. They have come a long way and are quite comfortable. You would serve yourself well if you investigated these air beds for yourself!