Comfort Away from Home: Choosing an Air Mattress
It's not really great sleeping inside a vehicle. The space is limited, so you'll probably wake up with back pains, muscle cramps, and probably even a stiff neck. Plus, it can get really cold or hot depending on your A/C's temperature. Aside from the inconvenience, it's also dangerous because you might end up getting suffocated. Good thing there's an air mattress you can place on your truck bed to throw all your sleeping worries to the wind. Whether you're camping out or staring at the stars, an air mattress will give you the bed-like comfort you need in a portable and easy-to-store form. You can simply take it out, inflate it, place it on the truck bed, and you're done. Not sure which air mattress to get? Check out our tips below to help you find the best one for your truck.
What are the things to consider when choosing an air mattress?
It's the first thing you have to consider because an air mattress that won't fit your truck bed is basically useless. Check and measure the dimensions of your truck bed to figure out which size to get. Most trucks have mid-size beds that can accommodate small to regular-sized air mattresses. Bigger trucks mean bigger beds, so you need to get a large mattress to cover up the entire space. Make sure the air mattress fits the truck bed snugly so that you won't roll off and hit the hard metal bed while you're sleeping.
Vinyl or fabric-let your body decide. Both types provide comfort, but a fabric air mattress feels more like a real bed compared to vinyl. Because it's covered in cloth, you don't have to put a sheet over it anymore before using it. However, the fabric may gather dust over time, especially when stored for longer periods or used in a polluted area. Vinyl, on the other hand, is more commonly used because it's easy to clean and resistant to dust. You can just wipe off the surface with a clean rag before and after using it to remove all traces of dirt. On the downside, it can provide less comfort because the material is a bit stiff and makes noises at the slightest movement.
Get an air mattress with a built-in rechargeable pump so that you can easily inflate and deflate it. If a built-in pump's not available, leak-proof valves will suffice. Also, look for a mattress with cutouts on either side. This feature will allow the mattress to fit over your truck's wheel wells. Make sure the air mattress is also puncture-resistant.
What is the cost of an air mattress?
Air mattresses don't come cheap, but they're well worth the investment because you can use it for a long period of time. For the budget-conscious, you can purchase a vinyl air mattress for less than $100. Cloth air mattresses are more expensive; they cost around $200-$250.
A Complete Guide to Your Truck's Air Mattress
The back of your pickup truck is the perfect place for rest and relaxation. This is especially true when you have a firm and comfy mattress covering it. So to ensure you get the most out of your truck's air mattress, here's a complete guide to maintaining and installing your new air mattress.
Inflating the air mattress
Difficulty level: Easy
Tools you'll need:
- Air pump (manual or electric)
- Air mattress
Step 1: Before pumping in air into your air mattress, be sure that the pump's nozzle has the right shape and size as its valve. If these are not compatible, you won't be able to get in as much air into the mattress.
Step 2: Prep your air mattress for pumping. Do not lay out your mattress inside your pickup truck while inflating it. You won't be able to estimate its firmness and it can even get stuck at the back of the truck if you're not careful. So to be on the safe side, carefully unroll your mattress on flat ground that is covered by either a blanket or a large plastic tarp. This will ensure that debris, such as rocks or sticks, will not pierce your air mattress while you are inflating it.
Step 3: Now that your mattress is ready, connect your air pump's nozzle to its valve. Make sure that the nozzle is tightly secured to efficiently pump air in.
Step 4: If you're using an electric air pump, simply plug the power supply to the outlet and turn the unit on. For manual pumps, position the pump in whichever way you're comfortable and step on the foot pedal pump repeatedly to inflate the air mattress.
Step 5: Once the air mattress is firm enough, remove the nozzle from the valve and quickly seal it with the cap. Be careful not to let too much air escape.
Step 6: Gently put your air mattress at the back of your pickup truck.
Cleaning the air mattress
Difficulty level: Easy
Tools you'll need:
- Vacuum cleaner and brush attachment
- Rubbing alcohol
- Clean rag
Step 1: It is usually easier to clean your mattress while it is still fully inflated. So don't deflate it before cleaning. Also remember to place it on top of clean tarp or blanket.
Step 2: Insert the brush attachment to your vacuum cleaner before you begin. Vacuum any dust or debris found on the surface of your mattress. Flip the mattress and do the same on the other side.
Step 3: Wet the clean rag with rubbing alcohol until moist. Using the soaked rag, gently wipe down its surface. If there are any stained areas, gently scrub them until it lightens. Flip the mattress again to clean the other side.
Step 4: Rinse the rag in water and squeeze it until dry. Wipe both sides of the mattress using the rag to get rid of the alcohol smell.
Step 5: Once you're satisfied with how clean your mattress is, install it on the back of your truck or deflate and store it for future use.