Memory Foam vs. Air Mattress Bed: What's the difference

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Difference between Memory Foam Bed and Air Mattress Bed

There comes a day when people realize that some beds are better than others. People with specific health concerns or who liken themselves to the heroine in “the princess and the pea” story are far more likely to be particular about the bed they choose to sleep on regularly. There are so many different types of beds out there that the endless selections can make someone who is shopping become a bit frustrated with all the choices that they have. Two of the choices that many people look for are memory foam beds and air mattresses. However, like other beds, these two beds have many differences: the way in which they support the body, the durability of these two beds, and the price.

Support Of The Body

Memory foam beds are made of foam that is designed to cradle the body. They basically conform to the body’s shape and the person is going to feel like they are being cradled almost. As far as support goes, those who like soft beds that are going to mold to their body shape are going to love these beds since they will do just this. Those with bad backs are going to find that the support is minimal, thus it may not be the best choice for them. An air mattress is going to use air in order to support the body. The lower priced air beds are less comfortable due the tough plastic feel but the more costly brands add permanent padding on top. The sleep number bed is a good example of a high quality air mattress with many air chambers inside the mattress and with prices rivaling a foam mattress. The good thing about this is that the mattress can usually be adjusted to meet the needs of those sleeping in it. Therefore, they can make it softer or firmer, which means that people get the best of both worlds.


Memory foam mattresses are very durable in many aspects. They are not going to have springs which may become loose over time and may even poke a person while they are sleeping. However, a common drawback seems to be that people may find that the memory will fade – so to speak – and they have to flip the bed over time as the bed becomes molded to their shape and it may prove to be a bit painful over time. An air mattress is basically made from rubberized plastic and will have a durable layer of thickness on top to prevent the bed from becoming punctured. However, it can still happen. So in terms of durability, the memory foam mattress is the winner.


When comparing the price of the two, people re going to find that the air mattress can be significantly cheaper. These beds can cost more than $3,000 but usually cost between $200 and $60. However, the memory foam mattress can cost upwards of $2000 or as little as $400. Therefore, for those who are on a budget, the air mattress may be the best bet.


There are many beds to choose from when a person is deciding on which to get, and each has its own benefits and drawbacks. The memory foam mattress and air bed are two totally different beds with many aspect to consider.

  • Foam mattresses are known for molding to the body and for retaining their original shape when not being used.
  • Air beds can be softened or hardened depending on what the person wants in a bed.
  • Memory foam mattresses are a bit more durable in most cases.
  • Air beds can become punctured if a person is not careful.
  • Air beds are often cheaper than memory foam mattresses, costing as low as $60 at many retail outlets. The high quality lines can rival the cost of a memory foam mattress and retail at more than $3,000.
  • Foam mattresses come in many forms and comfort levels. Prices can run between about $200 and $5,000+.


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