What material is an air mattress made of?

Megan Smith
 min read

What material is an air mattress made of? Air mattresses are usually made of PVC (polyvinyl chloride).

What material is an air mattress made of?However, there are other materials, perhaps more durable, that we find, such as rubber, rubber composites, and TPU (thermoplastic polyurethane).

While these are higher quality and tend to last longer than PVC, they are also more expensive, so they are at the higher end of the air mattress market.

After reading this post, be sure to check out the best air mattresses for plus-size individuals available on the market right now.

What material is an air mattress made of? Introduction

Air mattresses use inflatable materials like polyvinyl chloride, more commonly known as PVC.

PVC is more known for its use in ductwork, but the PVC in airbeds is not stiff like the one used for pipes.

Vinyl air beds use a much thinner, softer, and more malleable PVC.

When you start exploring the higher end of the inflatable beds market, you may also come across materials like rubber, rubber composites, or thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU).

While most air mattresses are PVC, those made of rubber or TPU are often more durable.

However, as with any product, how long your air mattress will actually last is more a function of how often you use it, how you use it, and how well you look after it.

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A closer look at PVC, the most common material of air mattresses

PVC is among the 3 most frequently utilized plastic polymers, and we can find it pretty much anywhere.

It was extensively used in air mattress production, but manufacturers are gradually beginning to explore alternative options.

It’s essential to keep in mind that both glamorous and cheap designs include PVC.

Advantages of PVC in air mattresses

PVC is friendly to your wallet

Using PVC in air mattress production keeps the expenses really low, so we shouldn’t really doubt why it’s so common.

Manufacturers are constantly reinventing ways to cut costs, and PVC helped them do that.

And for this reason, low price doesn’t mean low-quality.

PVC is waterproof

A PVC surface is thoroughly water-resistant, which significantly benefits air mattresses.

You can spill anything on it, and all you have to do is clean it with a kitchen cloth.

If you have a patient at home, this gives an entirely new dimension.

PVC does not need much upkeep

Another great feature of PVC is that it does not require a great deal of upkeep.

No frequent washing is necessary, and thus you don’t need to wait for it to dry.

Use the cloth right from the start and give it a good rub when you want to clean your air mattress.

It’s another general advantage “plastic” mattresses hold over traditional ones.

Potential dangers of PVC in air mattresses

PVC may increase the likelihood of cancer

PVC is a plastic polymer that’s considered unfriendly to the environment.

Long story short, it is claimed that the compound has carcinogenic effects, meaning it can increase the possibility of developing cancer.

To be clear, there are no reported cases of PVC air mattresses causing cancer; it’s one of the many materials in our everyday lives that may be harmful.

PVC contains phthalates which may be harmful

Plastic in its normal state isn’t very flexible or comfortable to sleep on.

Certain chemicals called plasticizers must be added to make air mattresses flexible and soft.

The plasticizers are also known as phthalates, pronounced as “thal-ates.”

We know you’re not reading this in science class, so we won’t go into the details here. So Google is your friend if you’re keen to know more.

The point is that there is a possibility of inhaling these – ever noticed the funny smell an air mattress gives off?

These phthalates are believed to be harmful, although scientific research is inconclusive.

It’s not easy to confirm since phthalates are not a single chemical but a group of them.

They don’t all have the same effect on us, nor do they all behave the same way.

Environmentally-friendly PVC exists too

So what can you do, as a consumer, to protect yourself?

Pay attention to product labels and look for mention of the phthalates DHEP or DiBP or their synonyms.

You should specifically keep an eye out for eco-friendly PVC, which is free of phthalates.

You may wonder how this is possible. Remember that plasticizers must to added to PVC to make it flexible and soft.

The difference lies in the compounds used to make natural plastic more elastic and soft.

If you’re worried about this phthalates stuff, look for a product that is “phthalates-free” or “eco-friendly,” and you’re good to go.

What material is an air mattress made of? Conclusion

What material is an air mattress made of? If you’re in the market for an air mattress, it’s not unreasonable to ask this question.

While air mattresses may be manufactured from various materials, the most common is PVC, also known as polyvinyl chloride.

The more durable the material, the more expensive the air mattress.

Given that there are numerous choices out there, you’ll be able to find an air mattress made from a material that meets needs, wants, and budget.

About Megan Smith

Megan has been fighting overweight and her plus size since her teenage years. After trying all types of remedies without success, she started doing her own research. Megan founded Plus Size Zeal to share her findings. She also developed various detailed buying guides for plus-size people in order to make their lives easier and more comfortable. Read More