3 ways to inflate an air mattress featured image

3 Ways to Inflate an Air Mattress

Are you thinking of having friends or relations over? Getting ready to go on that amazing camping trip and still want a good night's sleep with more than just a sleeping bag? If so, then one thing that will be most helpful to you is an air bed. They are easy to set up, easy to inflate and deflate and provide adequate comfort, portability, and support. You must learn how to inflate your air bed to make your work so much easier and faster.

Many airbeds come with a built-in air pump, while others come with an electric pump or a hand pump. Knowing how to operate these machines is very important. Here are three methods you can apply when inflating air into your inflatable air mattress:

1. Inflating with a pump:​

​When inflating your airbed with a pump, follow these steps to make it easier and successful.

  • Firstly, open the valve cover: Inflatable air mattresses have a one-way valve, a 2-in-1 valve, or a small hole that is located on either side of the bed. The first thing to do is to remove the valve cover so that you can be able to pump air into the air bed. For mattresses that have a built-in pump, you should just flip the switch that is attached to the side.
  • Insert the pump after opening the valve: The next step to inflate the mattress is to insert the pump into the valve opening. Ensure that the pump has made a tight seal around the valve. If it is not tightly sealed, then there is a high chance that air may escape around the pump. This will make it very hard to inflate the mattress. If the seal is not tight, you can try using a duct tape to tie around the pump so it can keep the pump sealed to the valve opening. Another option to ensure there is a tight seal by melting a little plastic around the pump. The melted plastic makes it thicker and it seals it tightly.
  • For the automatic pumps, just switch it on: The air beds that come with an electric pump are easier to operate. All you have to do after removing the valve cover is to switch on the pump. Make sure that the pump is plugged in or has battery power before turning it on.
  • Start pumping if you are using a manual pump: For manual pump users, the next step is to start pumping. The manual pump is not as effective and fast as the electric pump, but it will also serve the purpose. There are two types of manual pumps for air mattresses;
  • Hand pumps: These are usually large. They are standing pumps operated with an "up-and-down" motion.
  • Foot pumps: Foot pumps have a foot pedal attached to a hose and nozzle. You can step on the pedal repeatedly in order to force air into the mattress until it is fully inflated.
  • Close the lid once the bed is fully inflated: Once the air bed is fully inflated, you should proceed to remove the pump and then screw the valve back onto the air mattress. Your job is done after this step. If the air mattresses have holes in it then it will immediately begin to deflate, so you have to close the valve as soon as you remove the pump.

2. Inflating without a pump:

In the absence of a pump, you can still inflate your air mattress using other options which we are going to consider.

bicycle image
  • Use a bike or tire pump: Yes, you can actually use your tire or bike pump to inflate your air mattress. The standard bike pump can be used in pumping air into your airbed. However, in order to do this, you will have to make sure that you get a suitable adapter nozzle or you can try to increase the width of the pump’s existing nozzle. This prevents any air leakage while you are inflating.
  • You can use a garbage bag: Some people do not actually know that it is possible for them to inflate their airbed using their trash bags. First, open the plastic bag and swing it in an up and down motion. The up and down motion is to ensure that it catches a lot of air. You can then gather up the open end of the bag so as to trap the air inside. Bring the plastic bag up to the air hole of the mattress and hold the open end of the bag around the nozzle. You should now proceed to squeeze bag to force out the air and direct it into the mattress. This is a very slow process and the procedure needs to be repeated several times before the air mattress is fully inflated.
  • Inflate it with your breath: This is by far the most tedious and least convenient method of inflating your air mattress. This method can only be applied if you have run out of other options. It should be your last resort. You should sanitize the mattress air hole using soap or any other sanitizer. You can then put your mouth on the valve opening and repeatedly exhale until the mattress is fully inflated. It usually takes a lot of time.

3. Use Home Appliances:

Some home appliances can also be used to pump air into an air mattress. Let us look at the different appliances and ways we can use them for inflation.

vacuum cleaner image
  • A vacuum cleaner: Any machine that can be used to blow air can also be used to inflate an air mattress. The vacuum cleaners we have at home have blowing functions and this function makes them useful when inflating an air mattress. The process of inflating an air mattress using a vacuum cleaner is similar to that of a normal pump. Attach the nozzle of the vacuum into the hole and air will shoot out into the mattress. Other similar tools (e.g., snow blowers or leaf blowers) are specifically made for blowing.
  • Hair Dryer: Using this device is not as straightforward as the others. There are certain precautions you need to adopt in order to use this appliance. You have to ensure that the option is set to blow cold air or else the hot air will melt the air mattress and cause permanent damage. You also have to use a duct tape to hold the vacuum tight to the valve.


There are several ways you can inflate your air mattress. These methods are very easy and straightforward. Some methods are more efficient than others, but they all serve one purpose. All the methods are convenient since you can find all the tools right in your backyard. Remember, though, always use to cold air to inflate your airbed so as not to risk the destruction of your mattress.

Leave a Comment: