Difference Between Air Mattress and Water Mattress
By Claire Miles - October 30, 2022

Air and water mattresses have characteristics that contribute to or detract from their sleeping comfort and overall attractiveness. Even after a whole night’s sleep, a comfortable bed might be the difference between waking up rested or tired. The main difference between an air bed and a waterbed is that both are inflated with air or water. But there is more.

Table Summary

Air MattressWater Mattress
Inflated with airFilled with water
Portable and inexpensiveStationary and relatively expensive


An air-inflated mattress is constructed of textile-reinforced urethane plastic or rubber. The mattress is filled with air and is often used for sleeping on the floor or ground. It is typically inflated by pumping air into a valve using an electric or manual pump or breathing air directly into the valve. The mattress may be deflated, rolled, or folded for storage when not in use. Most contemporary air mattresses include an adjustable air pump that quickly and conveniently fills the mattress with enough air to achieve the desired hardness by just pressing a button. Better quality air mattresses, like ordinary mattresses, may be utilized on a platform.

A waterbed is a vinyl mattress filled with water. They are classified into two types: hard-sided and soft-sided. The mattress of a hard-sided waterbed is contained within a rectangular wooden frame that rests on a wooden deck on a platform. A soft-sided waterbed encases the mattress in a rectangular frame of foam, which is then encased in a fabric casing and stands on a platform.

Air Mattress VS Water Mattress

Air mattresses are both affordable and portable. Air mattresses are often not exceptionally long-lasting, but water beds can last for many years with careful care. On the other hand, water mattresses are often costly and can only be utilized when the floor is physically capable of supporting the heavy weight of water without collapsing or needing to be relocated periodically. Furthermore, many water beds require reinforced platforms to handle their weight.