Inflatable furniture is a type of furniture composed primarily of heavy-duty plastic blown up with air. Sofas, beds, and chairs are the most popular types of inflatable furniture, though almost any furniture can be made in inflatable form. In most cases, inflatable furniture is not meant to be permanent. When not in use, it can be easily deflated and folded flat. This makes it highly portable and easy to store.
Economy — both of space and of price — is one of the main drivers behind inflatable furniture sales. Most of the time, inflatable furniture is the most inexpensive furniture option available. It is also portable, which means it can be used only when necessary, and kept compactly out of sight at all other times.
Inflatable furniture is usually purchased as a flat piece of plastic. In order to bring the furniture to life, the owner must locate its nozzle, then fill it up with air. Breath usually works, but depending on the size of the item, a bicycle or other pump is typically used.
Most blow-up furniture is made of highly durable polyvinyl plastic. This kind of plastic is tough enough to resist tearing and ripping, but flexible enough to change shapes and bend with changing air pressure. Vendors sell inflatable furniture in many different colors and patterns. Sometimes, covers can be purchased to make the inflatable pieces look more like traditional furniture, or to add a more finished look to a room incorporating blow-up plastic elements.
Temporary living situations, such as college dorm rooms, provide one of the biggest markets for inflatable furniture. The furniture is also popular for occasional use activities, like camping and picnicking. In these kinds of situations, it may be desirable to have some furniture options, but purchasing large, permanent pieces may not be practical. With an inflatable sofa or inflatable chairs, the furniture can be ready when it is needed, then deflated and neatly packed away when it is not.
There are many different types of inflatable furniture. Blow-up furniture is typically considered to be low-budget, although more mainstream furniture designers have, on occasion, introduced inflatable pieces as elements of style and sophistication. Most of the time, high-end inflatable furniture comes with some kind of a twist. It may be made of all recycled materials, for instance, or it may be illuminated with chic lanterns or electrical bulbs. Inflatable items of this variety may not be low-cost at all, though they usually impart the same portability and impermanence of more mainstream pieces.