When you have overnight visitors or are camping, an air bed comes in useful.

While air mattresses are handy and comfy, inflating them presents a challenge.

There are many types of air pumps for air beds, each with its own way of inflation.

In this post, we’ll go through how to inflate an air bed and the many varieties of airbeds.

Use the built-in pump to inflate a contemporary air bed.

In order to inflate the air mattress, no further equipment is required.

External pumps, such as electric pumps or manual foot pumps, may be used to inflate an air bed without an internal pump.

If there isn’t an electric plug nearby, you may inflate an air bed using a vacuum in reverse, a low-heat hair dryer, or a waste bag.

Air mattresses may be modified to fit a person’s firmness preferences, making them a practical method to offer a comfortable resting place for unexpected visitors.

Read this post to learn whether air beds are helpful for your back and how to choose the right one for you.

For additional information, see our thorough guide to air bed advantages.

For more information on Murphy beds vs. daybeds, sofa beds, and futons, see our ultimate list of guest bed options and our comparison guide to Murphy beds vs. daybeds, sofa beds, and futons.

Using a Built-In Pump to Inflate an Air Bed

Getting an air mattress with a built-in pump is one of the simplest and most convenient methods to fill an air bed.

A built-in pump is an internal pump that is built into the air mattress and may be powered by either batteries or electricity.

You won’t have to fight to get any external equipment into the valve, and you won’t have strained leg muscles from manually pumping up the air mattress.

To use an air mattress with a built-in pump, place it on a level surface, plug the power cable into an outlet, set the settings to inflate, and turn on the pump.

When you get your air bed, search for the built-in pump in one of the mattress’s side walls.

When you turn on the switch, the pump will begin to inflate the mattress whether it is powered by an outlet or batteries.

Some internal pumps allow you to alter the mattress’s inflation level, allowing you to customize the hardness of the bed to your preferences.

Step 1: Place The Mattress On A Level Surface.

To begin, remove the air bed from its box and place it where you wish to sleep.

Before setting out the air mattress on the floor, clear the area where you will be using it and make sure there are no sharp items.

This will prevent the air mattress from deflating in the middle of the night and safeguard it from harm.

Step 2: Disconnect The Power Cord

To use the built-in pump, search for it at the end of the mattress.

You’ll see that the power cable is kept separate from the pump in its own container.

Remove the power cable and connect it to a power outlet.

If the power cable is too short to reach the socket, use an extension cord.

However, since power may not always be available, particularly while camping, you might consider adopting a battery-operated air mattress.

The disadvantage is that you’ll have to constantly purchasing fresh batteries or make sure they’re completely charged before each usage.

Step 3: Set the Inflate Controls

Choose the inflate option on the exterior of the pump after it is connected in.

Fill the mattress with enough air to make it comfortable to sleep on, but don’t overdo it.

After you’ve done using the air bed, press the deflate button to reverse the pump and remove all of the air from the mattress.

Unplug the pump and replace the power cable in its container after the deflation operation is complete.

Finally, roll up the mattress gently and store it in the storage bag or box that came with it.

Related: How To Move A Memory Foam Mattress?

Using a Foot Pump to Inflate an Air Bed

A foot pump is a hand pump that consists of a foot pedal that is connected to a hose and nozzle.

This sort of pump is convenient since it does not need power to operate, but it is exhausting because you must constantly pump your foot on the pedal to drive air into the mattress.

until you have the stiffness you want Foot pumps are particularly useful for camping since they allow you to inflate your mattress while still inside your tent.

More tips for making air mattresses more comfortable may be found in our post on comfy truck camping beds.

To use a foot pump to inflate an air mattress, first open the valve cover on the mattress, then put the pump nozzle into the valve opening, stomp on the foot pump to compress it, and lastly screw the protective cap back on the valve opening after the mattress is completely filled.

Step 1: Remove The Valve Cover.

To begin, find the air valve on the mattress’s side and remove the protective cap.

The valve opening is the hole in the mattress that will be attached to the pump to enable air to enter.

Step 2: Insert The Nozzle Of The Pump Into The Valve.

Place the nozzle of the pump into the hole or valve opening.

The material surrounding the valve should establish a tight seal with the pump.

Otherwise, the air will escape, making inflating the air mattress more difficult.

If the pump is loose, consider wrapping it with duct tape to create a tight seal with the valve.

Step 3: Begin Pumping.

Step on the pedal repeatedly to drive air into the mattress after the nozzle is linked to the valve opening, until you achieve your desired firmness.

Step 4: Replace The Protective Cap.

Remove the pump and replace the valve cover to retain the air inside after you’ve reached your desired inflation level.

Air mattresses with one-way valves will automatically retain air within, but mattresses with simple air holes (and no valves) will deflate as soon as the pump is unplugged.

To prevent your mattresses against deflation, replace the caps on all of them.

Using an External Electric Pump to Inflate an Air Bed

An external electric air pump is included with most current air mattresses.

An electrical supply is required for an external electric pump.

Electric pumps are fantastic for inflating air mattresses at home, but they aren’t suitable for camping.

However, since they are often rather loud, you may want to avoid using them when others are asleep.

To use an external electric pump to inflate an air mattress, first place the pump nozzle into the open air valve, then connect the power cable into an electrical outlet and turn the power on.

Step 1: Place the Pump Nozzle into the Valve.

To begin, find the air valve on the mattress’s side.

Then, without removing the protective cover, put the pump’s nozzle into the air valve, making a tight seal to keep the air within.

Step 2: Connect the Power Cord to a Power Outlet

Connect the power cable to a power source.

The power supply is usually a regular 120V outlet.

If the power cable isn’t long enough to reach the electrical socket, use an extension cord.

Step 3: Turn on the Electricity

Turn the power switch on after the power wire is inserted into the socket.

The mattress should begin to expand right away.

Remove the nozzle and rapidly shut the valve cap to prevent the air mattress from collapsing once it is firm enough to support your weight.

How to Fill an Air Mattress Without a Pump

If you have an air bed without a pump, you may fill the mattress using ordinary home objects that can blast air in the same manner that normal pumps do.

Because most air mattresses are composed of plastic or vinyl, which may melt or distort when exposed to extreme heat, choose a cold air setting if feasible.

You may inflate an air bed without a pump by using a vacuum in reverse, a low-heat hairdryer, or, if there is no electricity, a trash bag.

Use a Reverse Vacuum

A vacuum with a reverse option, such as this 2-in-1 vacuum, may blast air rather than sucking it up.

Simply remove the internal dust bag and hold the narrow cleaning nozzle against the air mattress’ inflation valve using an equipment like this.

Secure the nozzle to the valve using duct tape to form a tight seal.

Vacuum the mattress until it is completely inflated.

Use A Low-heat Hair Dryer.

Hair dryers are almost as effective as electric pumps.

They need power, although there are cordless hair dryers that work on batteries and utilize cold air, such as this one.

In any case, set the hair dryer to a low setting to avoid deforming the plastic and vinyl in your air mattress.

To inflate the mattress, place the hair dryer’s exit nozzle against the open valve of the air bed.

To make a tight seal, wrap duct tape over the hair dryer and the valve.

Continue to use the hairdryer until the mattress is completely inflated, then switch it off and close the air intake.

If You Don’t Have Access To Electricity, Use A Garbage Bag.

You may use a waste bag to inflate an air mattress if you don’t have any other choices.

Swing a heavy-duty waste bag about to collect lots of air, then gather the bag’s open end to trap the air within.

Next, wrap the open end of the bag around the air bed’s valve and press to push the air out and into the mattress.

Repeat until the air bed is completely inflated.

An Overview Of How To Inflate An Air Mattress

MethodProductPrice
Air mattress with integrated pumpSleepLux Queen Air Mattress with Built-in AC Pump~$60
Pump powered externallyColeman QuickPump~$25
Foot pump by handIntex Bellows Foot Pump Series~$15
Reverse-functioning vacuumBrigii Mini Vacuum, Air Duster and Hand Pump 3 in 1, Small Cordless Handheld Vacuum~$40
Cool setting on hair dryerInfinitipro By Conair Mighty Mini Compact Lightweight Hair Dryer~$20

If your air bed valve breaks or you want to prolong the life of your air bed, check out our guide to air bed valve replacement.

Also, troubleshooting what to do if your air bed loses air or deflates overnight can be of interest to you, so be sure to look into it.

Related: How To Clean Mattress With Baking Soda?

How Long Should an Air Bed Be Inflated?

An air mattress should be inflated to a pressure that is comfortable for you.

When employing battery-operated or electrical pumps, an air mattress may be filled in minutes; however, manual pumps might take significantly longer.

By adding or removing air from an air mattress, the hardness may be altered significantly.

It’s intended to feel like a genuine mattress, however actual mattresses come in a variety of textures.

When you’re lying on an air mattress, there shouldn’t be any significant sagging.

Fill an air mattress to the hardness of your regular bedroom mattress.

The air mattress should be inflated more if more than one person is sleeping on it.

Do not fill the air mattress more than 90% of the way since this can cause harm.

To keep the air mattress firm, re-inflate it as required.

Check your air bed for sagging on a regular basis, and have a pump handy to re-inflate the mattress as required, since they tend to deflate with time.

This handbook offers advice on how to care for your air mattress from Intex, an air mattress manufacturer.

The firmer the air bed is, the more it is inflated.

You may also need to pump up the mattress several hours before going to bed, since this will enable the air mattress to acclimatize to the room’s temperature.

Tip 1: Think About How Many People Will Be Sharing The Bed.

As a general rule, the firmer your air mattress should be, the heavier you are.

Because it bears greater weight, an air mattress is more prone to sink when shared by two people.

So, if you want more support and comfort, you’ll need a greater amount of inflation to maintain the mattress firm when sleeping two people.

However, when you displace the air, the mattress will feel a bit firmer, and any more weight might cause the air mattress to rupture.

If you want to be sure you’re using the proper air mattress for your requirements, check out our complete guide on air mattress weight limits.

Tip 2: Think About The Firmness Of Your Regular Bed.

Firmness is sometimes described as very subjective, since what one person finds comfortable may be unpleasant for another.

The firmer your bed is, the longer you inflate it.

So begin by considering your present mattress.

Consider if it’s the correct hardness for you or whether something softer or firmer would be preferable.

Then, by pumping air in or out, change the hardness of your air mattress to get a comfortable mattress with pressure point alleviation and perfect spine alignment.

Tips and tactics for adjusting the hardness of an air mattress may be found in our post on putting a mattress topper on an air mattress.

Tip 3: Don’t Inflate The Air Bed Too Much

A mattress that is too firm is just as dangerous as one that is under-inflated. 

If you inflate an air mattress too much, the surplus air will travel to the center. 

When you lie down, the air will flow to the sides, putting stress on the seams and perhaps ripping them. 

As a result, it is suggested that you only inflate your air mattress to around 90% full the first time you use it since each time you overfill the mattress, the mattress is more prone to rupture. 

If this is the case, be sure to read our step-by-step tutorial on how to remedy an air bed leak to learn how to fix it.

Related: How To Make A Firm Mattress Softer & More Comfortable?

How To Blow Up An Air Mattress Videos Suggestions From Youtube

How To Inflate an Air Mattress – Howcast
How to Inflate an Airbed Without a Pump – DaveHax
how to inflate air mattress without pump – simple random
Raised Bed Air Mattress 🌼(Air Bed Inflatable) Vicooda Video Review – Ervin Reviews

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Written by Bob Matsuoka
Bob Matsuoka is a blogger and founder of RVing Beginner blog. He has been blogging for over five years, writing about his own family’s RV adventures, tips for people who are interested in buying an RV or taking their family on an adventure by RV.