5 Ways on How to Inflate Air Mattress

Do you want to know how to inflate air mattress without a pump? If you love to go out camping or just need to have extra bedding, an air mattress is the best option. However, if you do not know how to blow up the air inside it, you might not consider using it.

But don't worry, we have you covered! We will share with you different ways how you can inflate air mattress, so you can use it anywhere or anytime you may need it.

How to inflate air mattress?

There are different ways how you can inflate air mattress manually using different available tools you have at home or do it by yourself alone. Here are five ways you can try:

1. Use an external pump

You can inflate an air mattress with a built-in pump or an internal pump that runs by electricity to make inflation faster and easier. All of our Intex air mattresses including the single size and the super queen size air mattress come with an electric air pump. If this is what you have, you do not need to use an external pump.

But for those who have the typical air mattress, you need an external pump to blow the air inside. You can use either an electric or a manual pump, whichever is more accessible or convenient for you, to inflate the mattress.

First, you need to open the valve cover, so you can insert the pump. Make sure you tightly seal the pump around the valve to prevent air from escaping out.

If you inflate air mattress with electric pump, all you need to do is to plug it in and wait for the mattress to inflate. Beware of its loud noise, though. You should consider using it during the daytime, when no one’s sleeping, to avoid any disturbances.

For those who will be using a manual pump, you may want to seek help from the more athletic ones since you will be needing a lot of physical strength (and patience) to pump it up. But if you think you can do it, choosing between the two types of manual external pumps can lessen your burden. These two are the hand pumps and foot pumps.

Use an external pump


To inflate air mattress with hand pump, you need to do an up and down motion, either standing or sitting, to blow up the air inside. When using inflate air mattress foot pump, you need to step on the pedal multiple times until the bedding has enough air.

After doing the tiring air pumping, make sure you secure the valve tightly to avoid air from escaping out and your hard work will not be in vain.

2. Inflate the air mattress using a hairdryer

An electric hairdryer is a common household item, making it a good alternative to inflate an air mattress without a pump.

You can do it by placing the hairdryer on the valve. Make sure you leave no space, even a tiny hole, that will allow the air to escape. The entire process is slower than when using an air pump, given the fact that the size of the hairdryer is bigger than the air hole of the mattress. You may need another person to help you hold the hairdryer to the valve in place to avoid consuming a lot of time inflating the bedding.

There is also another important factor you need to consider when using a hairdryer for an air mattress. Hairdryers often produce hot air since their main purpose is to dry wet hair. Most materials used in air mattresses, such as plastic and vinyl, are susceptible to heat. In this case, make sure you use cooler air to avoid your air mattress deforming when exposed to high temperatures.

3. Use other home appliances that create a direct airstream

Since there are both pros and cons of using a hairdryer to pump air mattresses, you can check other available appliances you have at home as long as it has a direct airstream. One of the best items you can use is a vacuum cleaner or shop vac.

The usual function of a vacuum cleaner is to suck the air inside to get rid of dust and dirt. But some vacuums feature air blowing.

Use other home appliances that create a direct airstream


Of course, the one you should use is the vacuum that can blow air. But if it is not possible, you can try to convert your ordinary vacuum to blow air if you want. You can do it by removing the bag and then connecting the nozzle to its hole as a replacement. In his way, the air will start to come out of the nozzle and will work as a good air mattress inflator.

Aside from using a home vacuum cleaner, you can also try a bike or tire pump. It works best especially when you are traveling or on a road trip and need to use an air bed with you. The only problem you can encounter, though, is to seal the pump nozzle to the valve of the air mattress since it is way too small. You may want to increase its width or use other materials to fit it better with your air mattress.

4. Get a garbage bag to blow up the air mattress

In a situation where you brought an air mattress for outdoor activity, it is unavoidable to encounter scenarios such as forgetting or misplacing an external pump or lacking other tools that can produce an airstream for inflation. In this case, when technology and inventions fail you, downgrading your solutions may work.

Many people do not know that you can inflate an air mattress using a plastic garbage bag. It is quite easy but may require a lot of effort and work. Here's how you can do it.

First, open the garbage bag and swing it up and down with all your might to accumulate enough air. Then, seal the opening to trap the air inside. Place the garbage bag near the valve of the air mattress. Make sure that the bag's opening will fit inside the air hole before squeezing it to inflate the mattress. Continue repeating the same step until there is enough air in the air mattress.

Get a garbage bag to blow up the air mattress


For an additional tip, make sure you use a heavy-duty garbage bag so it will not pop easily during the entire process. It will also prevent you from wasting a lot of your stock garbage bags.

5. Blow the air mattress by yourself

If you think that using a garbage bag is the most old-fashioned way you can inflate air mattress manually, think again. If you are left with nothing to blow that air mattress up, you have no choice but to rely on your ability.

It may seem absurd for you to inflate an air mattress with your lung capacity. But in a situation when every solution you can think of fails, this method might be the only one left to do.

Before anything else, make sure the air hole of the mattress is cleaned or sanitized to avoid getting germs and bacteria onto your mouth. Then, put your mouth against the air hole and exhale. It will take longer than usual, depending on how hard you can breathe. You can also try to rest after a few minutes, just make sure you close the valve to avoid the air escaping.

Slowly, but surely. After your hard work, effort, and patience, you can inflate your air mattress and use it as much as you want.


1. How do you manually inflate an air mattress?

There are many ways how you can manually inflate an air mattress. First, you can use an external pump, either a hand pump or a foot pump, to inflate your air bedding. Some people also inflate air mattress with air compressor.

If there are no air pumps for you to use, you can try using other tools or appliances you have at home that have an airstream such as a hairdryer, a vacuum cleaner, or the pump used to inflate wheels. It may take longer for you to do the manual work, but all these materials are proven to inflate air mattresses and are good alternatives if your air bed is not automatic.

2. How do you inflate an air mattress with a built-in pump?

There are two types of air mattresses with a built-in pump: electric and non-electric. For an air mattress with a built-in pump, all you need is a power source, plug it in, and wait for the air mattress to inflate.

For air mattresses with a built-in pump that do not need electricity, manual pumping is the key. As mentioned, external pumps like hand pumps and foot pumps work by manual up and down motion to produce air pressure. 

3. How long does it take to inflate an air mattress by mouth?

In situations where there is no option left to inflate your air mattress with your mouth, you can try to do it. Inflating an air mattress by mouth is the most exhausting and time-consuming method. The amount of time you can spend on manual inflation of the air mattress will depend on your breathing or lung capacity, the current stamina you have, and the size of the air mattress.

Though it is a slow but sure method, you need a lot of patience to finish inflating the air bedding. You can also work with a partner and alternately do the job to save you time and energy.

4. Can you use a hand pump on an air mattress?

If you have no electric air pump to work with inflating your air mattress, you can rely on external pumps like a hand pump. A hand pump is so easy to use, however, it requires a lot of time and energy for you to blow up the air mattress. If your air mattress is bigger, you can opt for a larger hand pump to use so it will not be too hard to fill it with air.

Aside from using a hand pump, there are also available foot pumps in case you think you are more comfortable using your feet and legs for a manual pump.

5. How can I inflate my air mattress without electricity?

Air mattresses are often used outdoors since they are compact and easy to carry. Thus, it is normal for you to pump the air mattress's electric source. You can do it by using external pumps such as a hand pump or a foot pump. Aside from this, there are also other options or alternatives you can use such as a hairdryer, vacuum cleaner, wheel pump, or any other tools and materials that have a direct airstream.

If all else fails, there are also old-fashioned ways you can try to inflate your air mattress. You can either use a garbage bag to fill it with air or the last option is to inflate the mattress using your mouth and breathing capacity.