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Prevent Bed Sores With These Alternating Pressure Mattresses

Are you or a loved one suffering from debilitating bed sores? If so, you would benefit greatly from an alternating pressure mattress. These mattresses are specifically designed for bed-ridden patients and can be very effective at preventing bed sores.

These air mattresses are not like the kind you find in big-box stores. These models contain individual air tubes that inflate and deflate automatically on a set schedule to alleviate constant contact from the bed on your skin. This?change in the pressure on your body improves blood flow as pressure is applied and released.

Along with preventing or even treating bed sores, alternating pressure mattresses can provide comfort to patients with burns, fibromyalgia, multiple sclerosis, Lou Gehrig’s disease and other conditions that cause chronic pain.

At one time, pressure relief mattresses could only be found in hospitals. Now, you can find air mattresses with special pumps that alternate pressure to prevent bedsores. Unlike an everyday air mattress, these models are low air loss as well so they stay firm and solid for maximum comfort.

Our guide will help you find the best alternating pressure mattress for your needs and budget.

Weight Capacity
More Information
298 pounds
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VIVE LEPAE1683 mattress
300 pounds
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VIVE 8" Mattress
400 pounds
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Drive Medical Med Aire
300 pounds
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Our 4 Favorite Pressure Relieving Mattress Models

There are many pressure-relieving mattresses on the market, but these four models are our favorites. Durable, portable (mostly) and comfortable, these models come from respected brands and are backed by positive reviews from customers.

1. MARNUR Med Aire

MARNUR Med Aire pressure relieving mattressThe MARNUR Med Aire mattress is designed to relieve ulcer pain and treat bed sores. This mattress contains 130 air cells that alternate pressure on different parts of the body. The pump system automatically inflates and deflates through consistent cyclic air flow.

Unlike other mattresses, this model has a quiet motor to allow for a restful night of sleep. It also has ten pressure settings, so you can make adjustments based on your comfort level.

The pump comes with built-in hanging hooks to mount the pump to the bed. This makes it easy for bed-ridden patients to control the pump and adjust the settings to their comfort levels.

The Med Aire mattress is made with a high-quality PVC material and can support up to 298 pounds. It can easily be placed on top of an existing mattress.

The great thing about this mattress is that you can deflate it, roll it up, and take it with you when you travel. If you or a loved one needs extra support and will be moving from one location to another, this mattress offers the portability you need to prevent bedsores anywhere.


  • Easy to inflate
  • Multiple pressure levels for personalized comfort
  • Can support up to 298 pounds
  • Made with medical-grade material
  • Easily portable
  • Quiet motor
  • Fits on top of an existing mattress


  • Not ideal for twin size mattresses

The MARNUR Med Aire can fit on top of most mattresses with ease, but it isn’t a good fit for twin size beds.

Aside from this minor issue, the Med Aire from MARNUR is durable, easy to use and made with high quality, medical-grade material. The fact that it’s portable makes it a good fit for just about any family.

Click here to view pricing and availability of the MARNUR Med Aire.


VIVE LEPAE1683 air mattress for bed soresLike the previous model, the VIVE LEPAE1683 mattress is easily portable, and the settings can be adjusted to your comfort level. It also boasts 130 air cells that alternatively inflate and deflate for maximum comfort.

One thing that sets the LEPAE1683 model apart is that each cell is heat sealed to prevent leaks.

The alternating pressure helps promote circulation, prevent bedsores and allow for even weight distribution. The quiet pump offers multiple levels of pressure and each cycle lasts six minutes.

The LEPAE1683 can support up to 300 pounds and is made of waterproof vinyl. It can easily be placed on top of an existing mattress for convenience and portability. VIVE also includes a patch kit to keep the mattress leak-free.


  • Adjustable pressure levels for personalized comfort
  • Quiet pump prevents sleep disruption
  • Can support up to 300 pounds
  • Each cycle lasts six minutes
  • Air cells are heat sealed to prevent leaks
  • Fits over existing mattresses
  • Portable
  • Easy to inflate
  • Durable


  • Must be aired out for two days

The LEPAE1683 does give off a chemical smell (which is common with all mattresses of this kind), and you’ll need to air out the mattress for two days to eliminate that smell. The airing out step is inconvenient, but not a deal-breaker by any means.

We like the LEPAE1683 because it’s easy to inflate, gives you a lot of control over the pressure level and can support up to 300 pounds of weight.

Click here to view pricing and availability of the VIVE LEPAE1683 airflow mattress.

3. VIVE 8″ Mattress

Vive bedsore air padThe VIVE 8″ alternating pressure mattress features a different design than our previous models. Instead of air cells, this mattress has 16 air chambers that alternate to allow for even weight distribution and alleviate pressure points.

The three air chambers at the top of the mattress remain static to create a pillow. This model also allows you to turn off the alternating pressure feature so that it can be used as a regular air mattress.

The pump is quiet and comes with hooks that allow it to be attached to the bed. The variable pressure settings allow you to adjust the frequency of the inflation and deflation to your personal comfort level.

VIVE’s 8″ mattress comes with a waterproof vinyl cover that protects the air cells. The breathable cover also helps keep the user cool.

This model can support up to 400 pounds of weight, so it’s an excellent option for heavier users.


  • Unique air chamber design
  • Static and variable pressure settings
  • Quiet motor
  • Can support up to 400 pounds
  • Comes with a waterproof vinyl cover
  • Can adjust the softness and firmness of the mattress


  • Not designed for use on existing mattresses

The VIVE 8″ mattress is really designed to be its own mattress (it’s 8″ thick). It is not ideal for use on top of an existing mattress.

Aside from this, the 8″ mattress is durable, well-designed, versatile and very supportive. The 400-pound weight capacity is another major bonus.

Click here to view pricing and availability of the VIVE 8″ mattress.

4. Drive Medical Med Aire

Drive Medical med aire mattress for pressure soresThe Drive Medical Med Aire pressure sore mattress fits over most existing mattresses and is highly portable.

This model features 130 individual air cells that inflate and deflate to alleviate pressure and prevent bedsores.

The quiet pump produces 4 LPM of air flow and pressure with 5-minute cycle times. The pump has variable pressure settings, so you can adjust to your comfort level. Like other models on our list, this one has brackets that allow you to easily mount the pump to the bed.

The mattress is made with heavy-gauge vinyl for added durability, and the bubble pad design allows for greater therapeutic treatment. Drive Medical’s Med Aire can support up to 300 pounds.


  • Bubble design is therapeutic
  • Produces 4 LPM of consistent air flow
  • Fits over existing mattresses
  • Highly portable
  • Durable


  • Lower weight capacity

The Med Aire mattress only has a weight capacity of 300 pounds. While not too low, it is still lower than other models on our list.

Still, this model comes from a well-respected brand in the industry and is highly durable. Consistent air flow and portability make this mattress a good buy for most bedridden patients.

Click here to view pricing and availability of the Drive Medical Med Aire mattress.

About the author

Tim Brewer

Tim is a professional caregiver who has helped hundreds of seniors gain back their freedom and independence. He has been actively helping the senior community for 20+ years.

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