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Can You Put An Air Mattress on a Bed Frame? 5 Best Alternatives

Have you experienced sleeping on an air mattress and wanted to update that sleeping pad to a higher standard? An airbed is an inflatable mattress or sleeping pad with air pumped inside.

It is lightweight, has reduced thickness and size, and is intended as a temporary bed for outdoor camping, spontaneous night guests, or even full-time home use.

Read this post to have a better understanding of this wondering.

Can You Use Put An Air Mattress On A Bed Frame?

The answer is yes, there are other solutions for you to upgrade your air bed to increase your experience with it.

However, it depends on the kind of bed frame you use. You may simply lay the air mattress on top of the slats of a conventional bed frame or use a piece of plywood or a bunkie board to create a sturdy base for it.

Besides, if you keep it from shifting, be sure you securely fasten it to the bed frame.

Why Is It Better To Elevate My Air Bed Off The Ground?

Due to some characteristics of an air mattress and the owner’s preferences, there are some reasons why people want to place it on a bed frame, although it was designed to be portable and convenient.

Put an air mattress on a bed frame, or say you want it to be raised higher and off the ground. Why should this be the case? The answer is that people are concerned about some health problems when sleeping on an inflatable bed for a long time.

Temperature Regulation

Unlike some hybrid latex or foam mattresses, airbeds are primarily made from synthetic materials such as vinyl. This material makes the heat your body generates through the night not dispersed. So, you might sweat a lot, which doesn’t make a good night’s sleep.

On the other hand, in winter, the air inside holds a cooler temperature, which could leave you feeling cold. So having a raised platform down below could somehow reduce this problem by creating a space where the air bed no longer directly contacts the ground or floor.

Air mattress

Avoid Insects

Among all the reasons beds were invented, avoiding sneaky invasive animals or insects should be one of those.

You worry that you can encounter some small creatures when your sleeping pad is too low and close to the ground and that freaks you out when thinking. So when you have to sleep on an airbed that is placed on the ground, you should possibly think of this problem.

Avoid Breathing Problems

As you can see, the amount of dust in the surrounding area is enormous and will not do you good when you sleep close to the floor for a long time.

When you are higher up from the floor, you won’t have to inhale as much dust as when you are lower to the ground. So, raise your mattress if you want a healthier breathing condition and, of course, good health.

Reduce chance of breathing problems

Improve Aesthetics

Sometimes sleeping on a bare air mattress down on the floor doesn’t make sense for a person who loves the aesthetics in their bedroom.

You want it to be as similar to a regular bed as possible, especially when you have guests over, putting your mattress on a bed frame is a good idea to make your sleep space look better.

Protect From Damage

Because air mattresses can move and shift, the construction may stretch and even become torn. By setting it on a bed frame, you give the air mattress a secure foundation to rest on and lower the likelihood that it will move.

Use bed frame to protect from damge

What Common Issues When Put Air Mattress On A Bed Frame?

Briefly, an airbed is primarily designed for outdoor settings, so it makes less sense to be accompanied by a bed frame.

Specifically, when fully inflated, an airbed would be pretty firm and even, so it will cause some incompatible feelings when adding a bed frame because of these component reasons:

Unsuitable Spacing Support

In most circumstances, frames have slatted designs to be more durable. Slats are usually set at a distance of 3 to 5 inches apart. Such spacing can support a memory foam or hybrid mattress well but not an air mattress.

You’ll experience discomfort from the feeling that the bed is sinking into the spaces between the slats. Moreover, slatted construction might expose your mattress to higher chances of tearing and puncturing.

Frames have slatted designs to be more durable


A lightweight air cushion slides right off the bed is something that is bound to happen. Moreover, beds are generally made of polished wood or metal frame, which means they possess little to no grip.

So if you are an active sleeper, you might experience falling off the bed at night when you put an air mattress on top of a bed frame.

Mattress Height Is Too High

An air mattress was designed to replace a bed at some point so it can be up to 20-22 inches in height. On the other hand, a standard bed frame is about 22-25 inches in height. This means when you put these two together, you might end up with a combo that’s too high for an average human.

Too high for normal person

Five Bed Frame Alternatives For Air Mattresses

Knowing the drawback of a bed frame supporting an air mattress, you still want to elevate the airbed from the ground. There are a few solutions for this matter as the alternative items for a regular bed frame that we list below.

1. Plywood

By putting a sheet of plywood under the airbed, you are only adding 1-2 inches at best for the height of the bed, but it will ease the possibility of getting too cold or too warm during the night when sleeping on an air mattress.

Or, if you already have a wood or metal bed frame, you can add the plywood sheet to make the surface more uniform and solve the slats or sliding problems.

Just make sure you choose the right size of plywood for your airbed, and it’s better if the plywood is wrapped in waterproof fabric, such as a tarp, so that it will not soak the moisture from the air.

2. Mattress Topper

Adding a topper on top of the airbed is also an affordable way to elevate your air bed by a little, but it can increase the quality of the bed. It ensures that you don’t sleep on the air mattress’s characteristic rough and cold rubbery surface.

The air mattress surface can feel generally uncomfortable in cheaper solutions, and a mattress topper can easily eliminate those issues.

Mattress topper

3. Wood Pallets

Wood pallets are the best DIY resource that you can get to elevate the air beds from the ground. It offers some great benefits such as:

  • Affordability: One wooden pallet of 40×48 costs no more than 25. A stack of four to six pallets varied by your wish can ideally raise the airbed height. And its way much cheaper than buying a bed frame.
  • Sturdiness: A stack of wooden pallets can support a heavy hybrid mattress with sleepers, so holding a lighter inflatable mattress wouldn’t be a big deal.

Remember that those wooden pallets are excess materials from raw wood production. Therefore, they can have a good grip, but it also has friction which can cause scratches or holes in the mattress.

So, it’s better to place a layer of fabric or a mattress topper on those pallets and then have the air mattress on the top.

4. Box Spring

Most traditional mattresses need a box spring to maintain their support, let alone air mattresses with less support than regular mattresses. A box spring serves two essential but important functions that can help you go along with an airbed:

  • Foundation: They offer a sturdy and firm foundation for your airbed that will prevent your airbed from sliding better than a regular bed frame. Having a box spring’s support also increases the longevity of your mattress by reducing tear, shock, and wear.
  • Better Height: They elevate the mattress off the floor, which is essential for an air mattress that is restricted to bed frames’ use.

5. Rug

A thick fabric rug below the air mattress can eliminate the contact between your bed and the floor. In addition, the soft materials will help to protect the bottom of your airbed from tears and punctures, and their firm grip will reduce the chances of sliding.

You can use a thick rug or build a stack of rugs 15-20 inches wider to have the best effect of elevating your mattress and also boosting the comfort of your sleep.

Of course, keeping the rugs clean will require more effort because the fabric materials make them dirty quickly.


Final words

Can you use a bed frame for an air mattress? Of course, it is and you also know that instead of a bed frame, you can now use one of several alternatives to increase the comfort of sleeping on this mattress.

To the best of our knowledge, we have provided everything you need to know when choosing to use an air bed instead of a normal one.

Have you decided which item to go for? If not, find out more about this topic in other relevant posts on our page!


How to maintain your air mattress?

One scenario of an air mattress getting worse is getting leaky and losing the air over time, and when it has released too much air, it can get punctured more easily. So make sure you inflate the airbed regularly to keep your airbed in good condition and ensure a comfortable night’s sleep for the long term.

Should I put a blanket under an air mattress?

It’s not a good solution; a blanket usually generates heat that can damage your plastic air mattress. Instead, using the blanket to cover yourself rather than putting it under the airbed is better.

Is it better to have a higher or lower bed frame?

A lower bed gives a more aesthetic appearance with a feeling of minimalism, while a taller bed looks more complementary in a room with a high ceiling. Again, it’s all about your taste in decorating style. If you are more spontaneous and up with trends, you should go for a lower bed frame.

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David Elkie

David Elkie

David Elkie is the CEO at Banner Mattress. He has been in the writing and editing business for the mattress, bedding accessories and décor industries for over 20 years.