Sleep on a Layer of Pressurized Air

Welcome to All Sensors “Put the Pressure on Us” blog. This blog brings out pressure sensor aspects in a variety of applications inspired by headlines, consumer and industry requirements, market research, government activities and you. In this blog we’ll discuss air pressure in mattresses and air beds.

Sleep on a Layer of Pressurized Air

Air mattresses and air beds use air pressure to provide an adjustable comfort level to users.  An air mattress can be easily stored in a small amount of space when it is deflated and brought back into service by “simply” inflating it.

For users that do not want to use lung power for the inflation process, how much pressure should be applied? Most manufacturers seem to recommend something around 1 psi maximum. For measurement purposes, a 5 psi pressure sensor can easily handle this range.

The pump can be built in or external to the mattress or bed. One inflator pump supplier offers a high-volume, low-pressure inflation with a pump pressure of 52 psi and pump volume of 3047 cubic feet/minute. With 1 psi as a max setting, the mattress can be filled quickly and its rating easily exceeded.

However, with this low level of internal pressure, barometric pressure can impact the feel and comfort level and even the life of an air mattress. One manufacturer recommends, “Partially deflate your mattress when leaving it inflated during the day, especially when in a car or tent on a hot day. (Barometric pressure and significant changes in weather and temperature will affect your air mattress’s inflation and possibly damage it.)

Air beds that have a dial setting where the user can determine his or her ideal comfort level may have an inappropriate setting if the weather changes significantly.

According to its website, “Comfortaire designed the first air bed over 28 years ago.” One of their beds even has a psi reading to determine the right comfort level.

With air pressure providing the desired comfort level, the old saying of “sleep tight” may need to be rephrased to “sleep at your ideal pressure.”


Figure courtesy of Comfortaire.

What do you think/Comments?
Do you have a pressure sensing question? Let me know and I’ll address it in an upcoming blog.
-Han Mai, Senior Marketing Specialist, All Sensors Corporation (