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  • Writer's pictureLeslie

Should You Invest in an Inflatable Mattress for Your Child For Your Next International Flight?

I'm getting asked a lot by friends and family whether or not to invest in one of those inflatable air mattresses for kids designed for long-haul flights — and for good reason! We all want our toddlers and little kiddos to get some shuteye on long flights. They arrive rested and we get to sleep, too. Everyone wins! 

Ads for these mattresses have also been popping up all over my social media account (specifically Kooshy Kids and Flyaway Designs). Or is that just me? 

I admittedly haven't tried them with our kids (thinking about it for our next international flight, though), but I completely see the appeal. My littles don't like to sleep sitting upright, and unless we get one of those magically half-empty flights (and thus they get more space to sprawl out), sleeping is a challenge. So, they seem like a no-brainer, right? 

But, if you plan to take trains, ferries, taxis and the like on your trip, it's just one extra thing to lug around. So if this sounds like your upcoming trip, I'd skip 'em.

Now, if you're still on the fence (and plan to stick to one hotel or do a road trip) I did find a few sites that let you rent them (for example, this site). It could be a good idea for a shorter trip, but for a longer trip, it might be more expensive to rent than buy — so be sure to run the numbers. Here's a breakdown:

Go For It If...

  1. You bought your little one their own seat for the flight.

  2. You’re only staying at one hotel/apartment/house rental during your entire trip.

  3. Or, you’re doing a road trip and have plenty of trunk space.

Skip It If...

  1. Your baby/toddler is under two and you didn’t get them their own seat for the flight.

  2. You’re taking trains and staying at multiple locations.

  3. They mattresses are out of your budget (I've seen them range from $125 to $159).

A Few Other Things To Consider...

  1. Check the age limits and size requirements before buying (for example, your child might be too young or too tall).

  2. Look at the reviews (some companies seem more legit than others).

  3. Make sure the airline you're flying even allows them (Not all airlines are on board yet.)

What are your thoughts on these inflatable mattresses -- think they're worth it, or just another thing you don't need? 


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