The Verdict: 5 out of 5 Stars
Two weeks ago, I moved from Boston to Washington, D.C. Unfortunately, the moving process was not altogether seamless. Very quickly, I realized that Amtrak does not allow its passengers to bring mattresses on board — at least not on the Northeast Regional.
This was dispiriting news. Having shelled out $900 at Sleepy’s for a mattress eight months ago, I was not keen on doing so again just because I moved to a new city. At least not right away.
So, I decided to get an air mattress. It was only temporary, I reasoned. Even if it would be an uncomfortable permanent arrangement, at least it would get the job done for a little while. After that, well, I supposed that it would still be good to own an air mattress. Surely, friends will visit, and — respectable host that I am — I will need to offer them some place to sleep.
I went online to do some cost-benefit analysis — that is, to weight the price and customer reviews of various models. The best option seemed to be the “Intex Comfort Plush Elevated Dura-Beam Airbed, Bed Height 22″, Queen.” The vast majority of the 1,600-plus reviewers gave it five out of five stars, and it was on sale for $60. Comparable airbeds seemed to routinely cost more than a hundred dollars, so I decided to give it a shot.
And I did. At first I was worried that I would have to order a pump just to inflate the mattress. This fear was unfounded. When the bed arrived in the mail, I unpacked the bed from its nice little box and discovered that the pump was internal. All I had to do was plug the bed in, and it would inflate. After inflation, which was quite quick, I packed the plug away in the built-in cubby at the the bed’s base. My new sleeping arrangement was all ready to use.
I slept on the mattress that night, and it was glorious. I cannot remember a better night’s sleep my entire life. Getting up the next morning was surprisingly difficult — not because the bed was uncomfortable, but because I found myself unwilling to cede the most pleasurable contentment I had just experienced.
Since getting the air mattress, the warmth and satisfaction of my nighttime routine has been repeated over and over. Every morning I wake up and silently wonder: Why does anyone pay a thousand dollars for a mattress? When an alternative like this is available for comparative pennies, it seems unreasonable for traditional beds to cost as much as they do.
I understand that not everyone is ready to make the drastic jump away from a regular mattress. But as I told myself before, there are actually a lot of reasons to own an air mattress. They are perfect for hosting visitors, for going camping and for sneaking an extra guest in any hotel room. After all, this bed is portable — the Intex Comfort Plush Elevated Dura-Beam Airbed comes with a carry-on bag. So, yes, you can bring it on board the Northeast Regional or any other plane, train or automobile.
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