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Can You Put an Air Mattress on a Bed Frame? Reasons, Benefits, & FAQ

air mattress inside a room

An air mattress is an excellent addition to any home, especially if you have guests often. Not only is it comfortable and convenient, but it can be stored easily when not in use. However, if you are wondering whether you can place one on a regular bed frame, we advise against it.

Several reasons prevent an air mattress from being put on a bed frame. Our primary focus in this article is the alternative means of elevating an air mattress. Still, we look at the issues associated with placing it on a bed frame and how to maneuver around it. Enjoy the read!

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Why Air Mattresses Don’t Require a Regular Bed Frame

Air mattresses 1 are designed for outdoor use, but most people still use them indoors. Since they use air pressure, they don’t need an elevated frame but are rather placed on the floor. Meanwhile, some people design bed frames for their air mattresses when they are planning for a multi-night solution or when worried about allergies that arise from dust.

Generally, it isn’t a good idea to use an inflatable mattress on a regular bed frame. The following reasons explain why:


Bed frames often have wooden or metallic slats. Since these materials have little to no grip, an air mattress is very likely to slide right off the bed when placed on them. Sliding is a common issue with regular mattresses, which are even heavier than air mattresses, meaning the effect will be substantial.

The sliding effect also makes it easier to roll off the bed at night as you toss and turn. Since it can be frustrating and may cause the mattress to be damaged, you can prevent it from happening by placing non-slipping material under the mattress to increase friction. Just ensure it isn’t so rough that it can puncture the mattress.

duct tape on air mattress
Image By: Semiglass, Shutterstock

Risk of Tears and Punctures

When an air mattress is placed on a bed frame, there is an increased risk of tears and punctures. The bed frame can cause the air mattress to rub against the frame, which can cause the material to rupture.

Additionally, the bed frame can also put pressure on the air mattress, which can cause the mattress to puncture. To avoid these issues, it is important to use a mattress protector or a bed frame that is specifically designed for air mattresses. Better still, avoid putting an air mattress on a bed frame completely!

Too-High Bed

An air mattress is simply an inflatable mattress, which is usually made from PVC or any other related synthetic materials. They are commonly used for camping, as they are easy to carry and inflate quickly. This also means they are designed to be used without a frame.

A bed frame addition would result in a taller structure, perhaps twice the standard bed size. This also presents more challenges, which include discomfort as you sleep, difficulty getting to bed, difficulty setting up, and the possibility of being noisy.


Slats are common with bed frames 2. In most cases, they are fixed at intervals of 3 to 5 inches, which may be just enough distance for memory foam or hybrid mattresses to operate in; air mattresses would require less distance between slats. If your mattress isn’t thick enough, there are chances you will feel the slats hurting your body when you sleep.

Male worker's hand in glove assembling bed, connecting slats to bed frame
Image By: Vladeep, Shutterstock

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Bed Frame Alternatives for an Air Mattress

Even after setting it up, you might feel the need to elevate your already-raised air bed to enjoy the benefits of added height. Some of the alternatives to bed frames include plywood, box spring, mattress topper, and special air bed frames.


If you’re looking for a bed frame alternative for an air mattress, consider using plywood. This material is strong and sturdy, and it can be easily cut to size. Plus, it’s relatively inexpensive and available when compared to other bed frame alternatives.

We recommend a 3/4-inch thickness for the best comfort. Be sure to cut the plywood to fit the exact proportions of your air mattress to avoid sliding. Also, ensure you cover it with an impermeable sheet, like a tarp, to prevent splinters from pricking and splitting the air mattress. After that, you can set it on top of the bed frame before following with your mattress.


A futon is a type of bed that is traditionally made from a thick cotton mattress and a wooden frame. The mattress can be folded up and stored away during the day, which makes it a popular choice for people who live in small apartments or who want to have an extra bed on hand for guests.

Moreover, they can be a great addition to air beds, thanks to their flexibility of use. Futons are typically much cheaper than traditional beds, and they are easy to set up and take down.

green futon on the floor
Image By: Ground Picture, Shutterstock

Box Spring

A box spring is a type of foundation that is typically used in conjunction with an innerspring mattress. The box spring consists of a wood frame that is covered in fabric and then filled with springs. The springs provide support for the mattress and help to absorb any impact from movement on the bed.

Box springs are typically used on beds that have a frame, but they can also be used on their own. Some people prefer to use box springs to support air mattresses because they offer well-distributed support and more comfort than an air mattress alone. Others find that box springs can make a bed feel too firm. If you are considering using a box spring, be sure to talk to your air mattress retailer to see if it is the right option for you.

Wood Pallets

Wood pallets are a great option for your air mattress because they’re strong and sturdy, and they can easily be stacked and stored when not in use. In addition, they are cheaply available, with a 40”x48” pallet typically retailing at $10–25. Only four pieces are enough to elevate an air mattress!

Besides their ease of finding, wood pallets provide a firm surface for the mattress. They are also excellent options for camping or other situations where a bed frame is not available. Just make sure to sand and paint them before using them and be sure to stack them securely so they don’t topple over.

Mattress Topper

Perhaps your air mattress is already high, but you still need the support a bed frame offers. In that case, you should use a mattress topper as an alternative since it can offer support without increasing the ground.

To use it on your air bed, you must purchase a topper of a similar or bigger size as your mattress to achieve an even weight distribution. You should also consider the topper’s firmness to ensure it doesn’t sag- it should be dense enough to withstand your weight without slipping the air bed.

If you can’t afford or don’t wish to buy a mattress topper, you can settle for cotton or memory foam as they also offer comfort and sturdiness.

white fiber mattress bed topper
Image By: Digital Painting, Shutterstock

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Benefits of Raising an Air Mattress

Air mattress risers play an integral role in the quality of sleep and comfort we have at night. While investing in them can cost a fortune, the additional costs are worth it because of the following reasons:

1. Raising an air mattress can improve your sleeping experience

If you’ve ever slept on an air mattress, you know that it can be quite comfortable. But what you may not know is that raising your air mattress can improve your sleeping experience.

Air mattress raisers aid in reducing back pain that results from sleeping on the floor while improving air circulation under and around your bed. What happens essentially is that when you lift your upper body (head and shoulder), you take the pressure off your lower back. This contributes to a comfortable night’s sleep and less back pain in the morning.

2. Protects the mattress from dust and debris

Another reason for elevating an air mattress is to protect it from dust and debris. When the mattress is not in use, it can be stored in a bag or a box. This way, it will not be exposed to the elements, which can cause it to become dirty or even damaged.

3. Makes it easier to get in and out of bed

An air mattress is a great way to get a good night’s sleep, but it can be a pain to get in and out of bed if it is lying on the floor. If you have a hard time getting in and out of bed, raising the mattress can make it easier, especially for pregnant women, disabled or sick people.

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It’s possible to put an air mattress on a bed frame, but it may not be an effective option. You may feel the slats on your body, the bed can become too high, or you may struggle with a sliding bed at night.

As an alternative, you can use plywood, box spring, futon, wood pallets, or mattress toppers to enjoy the benefits of a raised bed. You will experience a difference in the quality of sleep, ease of getting into and out of bed, as well as keeping the air mattress in good condition.

Featured Image Credit: Maria Studio, Shutterstock


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