These days, when you need an extra bed, you’re more likely to pull out an air mattress than a sofa sleeper and for camping, the inflatable air mattress is apt to be found on most packing lists.
The problem, however, is that these days they are almost universally made with PVC, which outgasses harmful fumes long after that telltale “new mattress smell” has dissipated and can contain lead.
A few years ago, those of us who objected to breathing in toxic fumes may have had little recourse other than to forgo the luxury of an air mattress and lump it—but we now have a few options:
The Aerobed Pakmat: It’s PVC and phthalate-free and made of 100% eco-friendly materials. Uses a hand pump instead of batteries or electricity to inflate and only takes about 60 seconds plus it weighs only 5 lbs and stores right inside it’s pump case. FREE SHIPPING on Amazon.com.
The Aerobed Ecolite: Made from eco-friendlier TPU instead of PVC, the Ecolite is phthalate-free and comes with a rechargeable pump. Unlike the Pakmat, it comes in twin and queen sizes and is 40% lighter than PVC air mattresses. Personally, I’d still go for the Pakmat because I’ve had several air mattress pumps die on me over the years.
Kelty Sleep Eazy: Made of 70D nylon with a TPU laminate, and includes a standard coil for support. The PVC-free Sleep Eazy is also a breeze to inflate thanks to the 6-volt rechargeable pump, which includes both a car and wall charger for versatile use. And to ensure compact storage, the airbed comes with a Kelty Binto storage bin.
Lake Timber Top Rubberized Fabric Air Mattress: Back before PVC was so ubiquitous, air mattresses were made of rubberized fabric and were reputedly super durable, in addition to being far more eco-friendly than their PVC counterparts. This rubberized fabric air mattress is the equivalent of a twin or single air mattress at 30″ X 72″ and can also be used in the water. Comes with a repair kit and is eligible for FREE SHIPPING on Amazon.com
I also found companies in Canada, the UK and Australia that carry rubberized cotton air mattresses. I will link to them for our non-American readers and anyone who might be interested in placing an international order:
Home Hardware: The store I searched is in Toronto (but they have many locations in Canada) and they carry several rubberized cotton air mattresses that seem reasonably priced.
Amazon UK: They carry a couple different options in rubberized cotton air mattresses by a company called Highlander.
Discount Camping: This Australian store carries three different sizes of rubberized cotton air mattresses.
Happy PVC-free sleeping!
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