The most important component of an air bed is air-filled core, or chamber, or sometimes called air bladder, which provides support and also allows softness/firmness versatility. There is one chamber in small size mattresses and option to get two chambers with bigger sizes, which is desirable for couples. Chamber is typically made of vulcanized rubber, with sealed seems to prevent leaks. In order to provide even support on the whole surface of mattress, chamber is divided into smaller canals that evenly fill with air. Each chamber is connected to an electric pump, which usually sits hidden under the bed. By changing the setting on the remote the pump adjust pressure in the air chamber and mattress will either get softer or firmer. Two chambers require two separate pumps connected to two electric outlets. Two-chamber design offers great customization of each side independently and also guarantees low motion transfer.
Electric pumps are operated with wired or wireless remote controls that have small lcd displays showing current or desirable setting. There are several pump and remote options available, offering quitter, faster operation and additional settings. Typically you wouldn’t adjust the firmness setting every night, but once you find the optimal firmness you would keep it for longer period of time. There could be a small amount of air loss over time, so it is recommended to check your setting periodically and adjust it if necessary.
Reinforced edge of air beds is provided by foam panels, made from high density furniture grade polyurethane foam, that creates foam encasing perimeter around the mattress.
Top padding layers, just like in innerspring mattress, provide comfort and overall feel of the mattress. They are made from polyurethane or premium materials like memory foam, gel foams or latex. The layers come in different thicknesses and shapes and are stacked in certain order to provide a particular feel.
On the very top of the mattress are quilting and ticking layers providing final finish and breathability. Kind of like an insulation layer. High-end products will incorporate natural fibers like aloe, silk or cashmere in these top layers. By federal law, all mattresses must be treated with fire retardant materials.
Air beds come with specific matching foundations, but can be used with any solid, non-giving foundations. They are popular mattresses to be combined with adjustable, movable bases to provide the ultimate versatility and customization.