$150-$300 range – March ’17 – Insta & Serta EZ beds and 2 runner-ups 8

Insta and Serta EZ beds have been dominating this price range for as far back as we can remember with the Insta having a slight edge.

serta ez bed reviewsBut, opposed to say, this time last year, the competition is much closer in ratings and Insta EZ is not so comfortable at the top as it used to be.

Currently rated at 84/10 the Coleman Cot with side tables and Insta EZ is closing in.

In spite of that, the situation is still pretty clear – Serta, Insta and the new arrival, Fox Premium, will be the choice of people looking for a bed for their homes.

The Coleman Cot will be the choice of campers who wish to put space between pesky buzzards and their sleeping surface.


Let’s not dilly-dally and present the updated ratings:

TOP 4 choices of the price range

Air Mattress
(out of 10)
Amazon ratings
& price comparison
Insta EZ
Serta EZ bed
Fox Premium
with gel memory
foam topper & pillows
Coleman Cot
with side tables

Insta-Bed EZ Bed – Queen (review)

Rating – 8.7/10

This is, in our opinion, the better of the two EZ beds. Even if we leave everything else aside, it’s the more affordable one.

The two are very similar in design, materials, pump…it’s a rat race that the Insta is winning, it’s been the preferred choice in, I believe, 10 updates to this guide now.

Let’s see what Insta is saying about their inflatable:

Insta EZ Queen Bed with Never Flat PumpThe fact sheet:

  • fully inflated size – 78 x 60 x 22, size of the frame 64 x 54 x 11.5″
  • patented internal AC pump for quick inflation and deflation
  • pre-sets of firmness levels to choose from
  • easy set up ( self-deploying)
  • quality case included




See what the users are saying about the Insta EZ and compare
prices on Amazon below

Let’s see how it compares to Serta EZ when it comes to the views of the customers:

The PROs:

  • really functional and easy to use…
  • comfortably sleeps the two of us, surprisingly stable…
  • no air leaks after 3 months of regular use… so far so good…
  • all the airbed that I used to take camping would put me on the ground by morning, I’m happy I decided to spend the extra hundred bucks…
  • needed something comfy for guests or long hours at the office…this bed is just a solid investment. Just plug it, choose your firmness and watch it inflate and unfold at the same time…
  • just watching it set up or down is entertaining…
  • one of the best buys I ever made…
  • packs pretty small and easy to handle…
  • I had my doubts before ordering it but now I love it just as much as my regular bed…
  • extremely fast delivery…
  • I bought two of these beds…I got a second one a few weeks after the first…
  • I love those little wheels on the storage case…

CONs as per the customers:

  • it’s heavier than expected, definitely only for home use…
  • I wish there were color and more size choices at this price range. Getting this air mattress in King size would be the great.

Our thoughts:

We do read the reviews very carefully, but we also do diligent research on the materials and manufacturing (hint: outsourcing).

The Insta EZ and the Serta EZ are very similar in every aspect that matters, but we are inclined to say that if we were to choose we’d go with Insta.

Four reasons for that:

  1. Insta seems to hold air better and is more stable
  2. The quality of the legs is superior in the Insta EZ
  3. I couldn’t find precise information on whether this Serta is being outsourced and if yes, where…
  4. It’s the less expensive option

Inflating and deflating the EZ beds is extremely simple:


See its Amazon ratings
& compare prices below



Serta EZ Bed review – Queen

Rating – 8.5/10


Serta EZ Bed QueenThe specifications:

  • size when inflated 78 x 60 x 22 inches (frame 64 x 54 x 11.5″)
  • quick and easy to inflate and deflate (Internal AC pump)
  • small additional pump ads air as soon as pressure drop is detected (NeverFlat)
  • convenient carry case included (rolling design)
  • the bed self-deploys, inflates and deflates (plug and play)



See what the users are saying about the Serta EZ
& compare prices on Amazon


PROs – reported by users:

  • it’s really never flat…I didn’t add air in over 3 weeks of use
  • it’s fun just watching it set itself up…
  • pretty comfortable…
  • it was worth it just for seeing my friends’ faces when I plugged this baby in…
  • just as comfortable as a permanent bed…
  • I was hesitant about getting this bed because of the price, but it’s worth every penny…
  • both the main and the small pumps are very quiet…
  • perfect for a guest bed
  • very pleased with the purchase, and coming from a cautious buyer that I am, that says a lot…
  • …friendly customer service, they replaced the flawed bed I’d received with a new one in days…
  • it is just as they advertise it…
  • ok, so we did buy a special adapter for the car, but boy was it worth it…
  • it’s 500 pounds between my hubby and I, so I was afraid about the legs holding , they seemed flimsy in the images for that kind of weight, but they are very sturdy and there was no problems there
  • unzip, plug in and watch what happens…an amazing piece…
  • I am sure that, in years, this will be a collectible…it’s a classic…
  • my mother (who has a bad back) slept on it for 5 days and she loved it…

The CONs reported by customers:

  • that rubbery smell…just can’t get it out of the room for weeks…
  • mine is loosing air and I need to add air every second night…
  • too pricey…

My resume of the inflatable:

We’ve carefully examined the negative reviews, and we see no red flags there. I did come across occasional reports of air leaks but, as I said many times before, I have a very precise system to determine if the reported problems are true issues of flaws of particular items.

We did list why we lean towards the Insta EZ but the choice is likely to come down to color, the Serta EZ comes in a more gentle and lighter hue of beige, while the Insta is close to light brown.



Both Serta and Insta EZ come with convenient carry cases on wheels – and you’ll need it, the Insta and Serta EZs are listed at 56 and 55 pounds respectively

See what the users are saying about the Serta EZ on Amazon below


Fox Plush High-rise Premium

Rating – 8.4/10


Something completely different to balance out the two EZ beds we just went over – a high-end ultra tough (40-50% thicker PVC) with included gel memory-foam mattress topper and pillows (which you can but don’t have to use since they’re not attached).

As FOX say themselves, what they did here is take one of the best air mattresses out there and improved on it by adding the high-end foam topper and pillows.

The specs:

  • Extra layer of air-flow chambers on top (we’ll explain what it means in a minute)
  • The PVC used is 43% thicker than in regular air mattress
  • Optional inflating – using the built-in or an external pump
  • Sizes available: Twin XL to California King


PROs the users shared in their reviews:

  • it’s like sleeping on a cloud…
  • my main problem with my old Intex was that it would get cold at moments during the night and I had to improvise with blankets…no such issue with my new bed…
  • best night sleep I had in months…
  • I got this for the move and ended up making it my primary bed…
  • Great comfortable sleep for two adults…
  • It is everything they are saying in the ad…
  • I researched a lot and finally decided to take my chances with this bed…it was worth it, it’s everything I needed…

CONs the customers mention in their reviews:

  • odor that lingers for days, had to take it outside for a few hours…
  • squeaky noises coming from the bottom if you don’t set it up on a carpet…not loud, but still…
  • This is one heavy air mattress. I got it for camping because you can use an external pump but if this is for camping it’s only car-camping…trust me, you are not carrying this beast of an airbed yourself…

Review commentary:

Fox airbeds are known as being tough, extra thick and extra resistant to punctures, which often makes them a choice of people who have cats running around the house.

We promised to explain the “air-flow chambers” so let’s do that – what Fox is rightfully boasting about here is an extra layer of chambers on top of the structural chambers of the airbed.

These become important only if you are not using the topper because they solve one of the most frequent problems people have with airbeds – the rushes of cold air.

Since the added layer of chambers “soaks up” any temperature changes, you’ll never have that problem with this Fox.



Illustration of what the added air-flow chambers of Fox Premium do. You don’t have to understand the science behind it – for you, it means that, topper or no topper, Fox premium will feel more like a regular mattress than any airbed we know


See what the users are saying about the Fox Premium & compare
prices on Amazon below




Coleman Cot with side tables

Rating – 8.4/10

 Top Choice for Camping
campin-coleman-cot-on-frame-with-side-tablesAs we said in the beginning, Coleman COT airbed with side table  is one of our top choices for campers, and not only in this category, but overall.

The weight that Coleman lists for this bed are confusing so let’s get that out of the way – it weighs just under 40 lbs. So, it goes without saying that when we said “camping” above, we meant car-camping. Although, it can also be used for hikes and we’ll explain why in just a minute.

This Coleman is different than the EZs – it’s not only less (much less) expensive than the Serta and Insta EZ but the main differences are:

  • it’s operated by a 4D pump
  • the frame is not attached to the airbed but to the sleeve where the bed goes – for you, this means that you can use the airbed both on the cot and separately

Doesn’t seem like a big deal but it is for campers because it means you can set it up at the base with the frame and the whole shebang and then carry only the airbed on an overnight hike.

Fact sheet of the Coleman Cot:

  • Steel frame supports up to 600 pounds
  • The Cot and the airbed can be used separately – the cot is attached to the sleeve and not the airbed
  • Comes with two side tables for drinks, phones and other personal items
  • The side tables also detachable
  • Pump is powered by 4D batteries
  • quality carry case included

The PROs – excerpts and quotes from our featured testers:

  • Best sleep I ever got on a camping trip was on this Coleman I’m never going back to the flimsy low-rise camping pads or mats. This feels like home in the woods..
  • I’ve had the bed for a year now and I have no complaints really, nothing that would stop me from buying it again…
  • Great customer support…
  • I have severe back problems (3 discs fused), and I sleep way better on this inflatable than on my overpaid memory foam mattress
  • easy to handle and move around…
  • we didn’t add air for 2 weeks and it’s still just as firm…
  • I was one of the brand-religious people when it comes to air mattresses. I always went with some of the best Aerobeds before you guys send me this Coleman and I took it for a test drive along the rigors of the North Rim and I am a witness to just how well-made this airbed is. Minimal loose of air over the 7 days and no sinking to the middle, which was a common problem with me and airbeds.
  • exceeded my expectations from an air bed…
  • I am impressed by the sturdy edges, none of that air bed-feel to it, if I was to lay down and didn’t know I am not sure I would guess it’s an air mattress…
  • best value for money on the market, and I’ve owned 5 air bed so far…
  • best inflatable bed I ever had, and I’ve been camping every few months for 15 years now…
  • why would you pay 3 times as much for a regular mattress when this Coleman is just as comfortable…

The CONs as reported by the users:

  • the plastic makes annoying crackling noises if you use the airbed without the sleeve and place the sleeping bag directly on the PVC
  • It’s advertised as leak-proof but mine lost air the first night. Sent it back a week ago and I’m still waiting for a replacement to see if the one I got was a dud or it’s a quality issue

Review resume of the Coleman Cot airbed

The website initially started with the intention of being a source of information on camping airbeds. That exclusivity didn’t last very long but to date, thousands of campers go to us for information best camping airbeds and we pay extra attention to the beds we recommend in categories related to camping.


Because it’s not the same if an airbed “betrays” you in the comfort of your home or somewhere along the Appalachian trail, except of course, there’s bears in your home.


Photo credit: Komo News

Bottom line – if we say an air mattress is the best choice for camping we better know what we’re talking about.

And we do when we say that the Coleman Cot is one great airbed.




Click below to see its Amazon ratings & compare prices


We only have one airbed in the that we feel merits an honorable mention, for two reasons:

  • it’s been in and out of the TOP 4 in this category over the past year
  • it’s so different than the beds we talked about (especially the materials) that we thought it’d be a waste not to list it here

Since the price went down, it doesn’t even belong in this price range but the one below, but what we’ve seen over the years is that people interested in the kind of quality found in this price range were very interested in the SS-58RF.

That’s why we’re giving it the only honorable mention spot.

SimplySleeper SS-58RF Raised 18″

Rating – 8.3/10

This inflatable bed is a classic and has been one of the industry standards for years. Completely different design approach compared to the previous choices, this bed will appeal more to those who ignore the “sparkles” and just want substance and quality.

Nothing innovative about the bed at first glance, but a few years back, when it first hit the market, it established a new standard of internal chamber design for durability and comfort.

Let’s dig into what the company and the users are saying:

SimplySleeper SS-58RF RaisedWhat SimplyGlobo is saying about their inflatable:

  • DurmothaneTM (high quality PVC), breathable laminate technology
  • best materials on the marketplace
  • size when inflated: 72 x 54 18″
  • Oval coil internal chamber construction for even weight distribution
  • puncture resistant and still soft to the skin because of the plush finish
  • Automated inflation and deflation in 3 minutes
  • Click the link below to go to Amazon and check out other reviews and customer opinion:

So, a lot of bold claims there, but let’s see if it passes the real world test.

Experiences of the users with this inflatable:

The PROs:

  • we already had 2 inflatable beds before we got this…this is by far the best and I am pretty sure it will last, I can see how well it’s made…
  • works just as advertised…
  • zero leaks after 6 months of use…we added a bit of air once every few days…
  • well worth the price, which was my main dilemma when getting it…
  • just as high and firm as a regular mattress…
  • sturdy edges, no sinking to the middle of the bed that we used to have with our old Coleman…
  • just perfect…don’t have much else to add..
  • the edges of the bed do not collapse, you can sit on it as you would sit on a sofa…
  • I love how fast it deflates and how easy it is to store…

The CONs:

  • I don’t get it why they don’t make these in at least a few colors…
  • mine deflated the first night…I sent it back and waiting for the new one to arrive…
  • I wasn’t aware of the 30 day return time-frame…

My review resume:

The three layers of heavy gauge PVC, the patented Durmothane and the nylon-encased PVC practically guarantees the durability and longevity of the SS-58RF.

Otherwise, they would not be backing it up with a full 1 year warranty.


See what the users are saying about the SS-58RF on Amazon below


Final thoughts:

When compiling this guide I had the idea of mixing it up a little, being fair to the inflatables that have been an authority and industry standards for years, but also sprinkle in some exciting new arrivals.

I think that I managed to get the balance just right.

Bottom line – any pick from this list is a good choice. I’ve taken my time to assure this.

Take care and sleep tight,

The following two tabs change content below.

James Menta

Camping Gear Reviewer at BestAirMattressGuide.com
Three things you need to know about James - he holds a degree in Materials Technology from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, he is a zealot for the great outdoors and he can never find his glasses.       In brief intermissions between looking for his glasses, he is the Editor-in-chief of BestAirMattressGuide.com.

8 thoughts on “$150-$300 range – March ’17 – Insta & Serta EZ beds and 2 runner-ups

  1. Reply Lee Tokrud Oct 28,2015 5:19 am

    Hi James. Appreciate the air mattress info. I have purchased and used 5 mattresses costing from $800.00 to over $2000.00, discounted sale prices, over the last 14 years. All of them have caused many sleepless and uncomfortable nights. I am thinking seriously of an air mattress. However, I would prefer a mattress that can be supported by a standard box spring (an oxymoron because modern beds utilize a platform). Also, I would like to use standard fitted sheet/regular sheet combinations. I would be happy to use a topper. Do you know of such an animal and if so can it be purchased in Canada? This would be a queen size bed. Hope you can help. Regards, Lee T.

    • Reply James Dec 18,2015 11:54 am

      Hi Lee,

      Thanks for reaching out, my fellow insomniac…I personally suffer from back pain issues and sleep apnoea. I don’t have the money, but if I did, this would be my choice for life:


      I think its by far the best air mattress out there (although there are models out there that cost twice as much). I never had a chance to sleep on one, but I’ve talked to people that have and I’ve heard stories you (literally) wouldn’t believe. Stories about sleep problems being solved…

      best of luck in finding your sleep oasis

  2. Reply angela Aug 5,2015 2:29 am

    Hi James,

    thank you so much for your research. You’ve made my search for a decent AND comfortable airbed so much easier!

    Thank you,

    • Reply James N Sep 21,2015 10:00 am

      Hi Angela,

      Thanks for making my day with your comment. I’ll do my best to keep up the good works in reviewing these inflatables.

      Best of luck

  3. Reply Dallas Jun 30,2015 3:18 pm

    Hi James thanks for this awesome site. So helpful. Can you tell me your experience on the “smell” issue some people have mentioned. Is it really bad on any of them? Thank you, Dallas

    • Reply James Menta Jun 30,2015 3:55 pm

      Hi Dallas,

      Thanks for your kindness. In my life, I have never come across an air mattress that has the smell issue so pronounced that it becomes a real problem. The worst case scenario – you leave it out for a day or two and just like that, the smell is gone, especially if you have one with a flocked top.

      My best,


  4. Reply Denise Jul 24,2014 2:03 pm

    Think this is a wonderful sight to help people such as myself who are looking for a good comfortable bed for the extra guests we may enjoy visiting us during the year.
    It certainly takes the hard work out of choosing wisely a purchase such as this.
    Many thanks.

    • Reply James Menta Jul 24,2014 11:19 pm

      Thanks for that Denise. I enjoy doing what I do here since it’s kind of an outlet for my passion. I can’t really talk about this stuff around the house anymore without getting the frustrated “uggghs” and “oh-my-Gods”, so I do it here. It’s win-win and a match made in heaven 🙂

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