How to Inflate an Air Mattress With a Built-in Pump Without Electricity?

Published
by Max S
How To Inflate Air Mattress With Built in Pump Without Electricity

There’s a load of situations you can find yourself in without electricity. The main culprit in this situation is camping. So, how to inflate an air mattress with a built-in pump without electricity?

Let’s face it, an air mattress is sooo much better than sleeping on a floor sheet or cold hard ground.

However, if your campsite doesn’t have access to electricity, how will you inflate an air mattress?

Or, maybe the time has finally come for the air mattress to make a reappearance but you’ve broken the power cord.

Either way, knowing how to deal with this problem is a potential back and neck saver. Imagine camping in a remote place with no electricity or being in the middle of a power outage, and your built-in pump won’t work!

This complete guide will teach you ways to inflate your air mattress with a built-in pump without electricity.

Inflating Using an Alternative Power Source and Batteries

Portable power sources are widely available and here are some useful ones you may have not noticed

  • car cigarette lighter plug
  • portable batteries
  • power bank

These power sources may be used by electric air pumps. Air mattresses with built-in pumps usually have a manual override or extra valve for manual pumping. Before starting, look for this on your mattress.

inflated air bed with 3 images showing different sources for air pump
Source: Walmart.

Method 1: Using your Car Plug

If you have an air pump with a 12V DC power supply designed to be used in a car cigarette lighter, you’re in luck! If you don’t have one, it’s wise to buy one if you have an air mattress.

Electric air pump with connector
Image Source: Amazon.

Although you can inflate your mattress without turning on your car, it is always a good idea to do so while it is running. If you use an electric air pump when your vehicle is turned off, it may cause your car battery to run flat.

To start inflating:

  • Locate the manual valve of the air mattress.
  • Plug the 12V DC power supply in the car cigarette lighter socket.
  • If available, use the small end nozzle to fit the mattress’ valve opening. If no nozzle is compatible, use the smallest and secure the nozzle using duct tape so that the air can be sealed.
  • Start the air pump and inflate the mattress until your desired firmness is achieved.

Method 2: Using a Battery Operated Pump

There are portable air pumps available that are battery operated or rechargeable. If you already have one, you can use this when you don’t have access to electricity.

Air pump with 3 connectors
This battery-powered air pump runs on Type C batteries. Image Source: Amazon.

To start inflating:

  • Locate the manual valve of the air mattress.
  • Use the small end nozzle if available so that it can fit into the mattress’ valve opening. If no nozzle is compatible, use the smallest and secure the nozzle using duct tape so that the air can be sealed.
  • Start the battery-powered air pump and inflate the mattress until your desired firmness is achieved.

Method 3: Using a Portable Hair Dryer on Low Heat

Hairdryers can also blast air into your mattress as an alternative to a pump. Some portable hair dryers run solely on batteries or rechargeable batteries.

Note: For this method, make sure to use cool air for inflating your mattress. Too much heat will compress your mattress’s plastic or vinyl material, causing damage.

Blue air mattress with blower

To start inflating:

  • Locate the manual valve of the air mattress.
  • Use the smallest hairdryer nozzle available. Secure the nozzle using duct tape so that the air can be sealed.
  • Start the battery-powered hairdryer and inflate the mattress until it gets the firmness you prefer.

Method 4: Using a Portable Vacuum Cleaner

If you have a battery-operated vacuum, you can use its reverse function so that it blows air instead of sucking air into your mattress.

Note: Make sure to use a clean vacuum and remove the dust bag first to avoid blowing dirt in your air mattress.

To start inflating:

  • Locate the manual valve of the air mattress.
  • Set your vacuum cleaner in reverse function, and remove the dust bag.
  • Use the smallest vacuum nozzle available. Secure the nozzle using duct tape so that the air can be sealed.
  • Start the vacuum and inflate the mattress up to your desired firmness.

Method 5: Using a Leaf Blower

Leaf blowers are usually battery-operated or rechargeable since it’s meant to be used outside. You can use this just like you use a hairdryer if you happen to have one.

Green Leaf blower
This cordless leaf blower runs on lithium batteries. Image Source: Amazon.

To start inflating:

  • Locate the manual valve of the air mattress.
  • Secure the nozzle using duct tape so that the air can be sealed.
  • Start the leaf blower and inflate the mattress up to your desired firmness.

Inflating Manually

If you don’t have access to any alternative power source, going manual is the way. This is tiring for sure, but we have no other choice.

Method 1: Using a Foot Pump

A foot pump is feasible because it does not require power to operate. Foot pumps are handy for camping because they are portable and can be used without electricity.

Yellow pump for mattress
Foot pump used for air mattresses and inflatable pools. Image Source: Amazon.

To start inflating:

  • Locate the manual valve of the air mattress.
  • Use the smallest nozzle available.
  • Start the pumping using your foot and inflate the mattress to your desired firmness.

Method 2: Using a Bike Pump

A bike pump can be an alternative to a foot pump for your air mattress. Bike pumps don’t require electricity, so you won’t have to worry about finding a place to plug them in. However, this would take much time as bike pumps are designed for small volume pumping like bike tires.

To start inflating:

  • Locate the manual valve of the air mattress.
  • Make sure that the end nozzle is at the opening of the valve. Use duct tape for sealing of air as necessary.
  • Start pumping and inflate the mattress up to your desired firmness.

Method 3: If All Else Fails, Use Your Breath

I’m sorry to leave you with no choice if you’re at this section. It will be exhausting to blow air using your breath, that’s for sure. But it will be helpful if you have a companion that can take turns with you. Good luck!

Takeaway

Air mattresses with built-in pumps have a manual override or extra valve for manual pumping. This can be used when you don’t have access to an electrical source. Alternatively, you can use pumps compatible with a car plug, a battery-operated pump, a portable hairdryer, a portable vacuum, and a leaf blower. You can also do manual pumping using a foot pump, bike pump, or using your own air.

Photo of author

AUTHOR

Max S

Chief Editor here at The Sleep Checklist. Suffered from a seemingly infinite knot in my thoracic area (between the spine and shoulder blade) due to my lifelong side sleeping habits. With my girlfriend, we look to provide the most relevant and best mattress advice.