My wife and I are planning on moving abroad to West Africa in two years. We just got married in the U.S. and need to get a new mattress. We'd like to take our mattress with us to West Africa because we doubt we'll be able to buy a good one there. What should we consider when buying a mattress prior to the move. In particular, what qualities qualify or disqualify a mattress for shipping via sea freight to destinations abroad?
For example, I've imagined that an air bed (e.g., Sleep Number) may fare better, because of its ability to pack down, but that's only a theory; it also may be more easily damaged in transit, or its pumps may have a tendency to break and be difficult to find parts for. Note, while this at first appears to be a subjective question, I'm most interested in answers that objectively address issues like what mattresses pack up tighter, pack up lighter, fit under an airplane, sit in customs for significant durations, pass through customs easier or endure travel in a sea container.