How To Blow Up Air Mattress Without Pump

Normally when you buy an air mattress, you’ll notice it comes with a pump. But, what happens if your pump breaks or you’ve forgotten to take it with you on your journey? There are a few ways to deal with this problem:

How to blow up air mattress without pump

Vacuum Cleaner 

A vacuum cleaner is one of the most common items found in a household, so it’s logical if your air mattress is at home or a friend’s house and you’ve got no pump – seek this out! 

Generally, vacuum cleaners have a hose. So, here’s what you’ll need to do to pump your air mattress: 

  • Keep it clean: empty the vacuum of any dirt by removing the bag or box. Then power the vacuum up for around 30 seconds just to be sure. 
  • Make it easy: try to use the smallest hose attachment you have available. It doesn’t matter if there isn’t one, you can still use the largest one, but the smaller – the better. 
  • Keep it flat: you don’t want to have a bent air mattress or folded mattress. You won’t be able to tell the success of your pumping otherwise.
  • Connect it: put the vacuum attachment onto the inflation area. This might take a bit of adjusting and artistic license but you’ll need to make it air-tight.
  • Exhausting: use the exhaust feature on the vacuum to inflate the mattress.If possible, try and use the lowest setting to avoid any unnecessary complications. 

Hair Dryer 

Another common household item is the hair dryer. Once again, if you’re ever caught in the situation of needing a pump for an air mattress and you’re found in a home environment – consider doing this:

  • Seal the Deal: It’s unlikely that your hairdryer end will be compatible with the size of your air mattress’s inflation area. If it is, then that’s amazing! If not though, you’ll need to try and find a way to seal the area. Try and create your own makeshift seal using the end of a water bottle by slicing it in half, or use paper and draft a cone. Whatever you can use – use it! 
  • Avoid hot air: blowing hot air into the mattress consistently, is likely to break the mattress or even start a fire. If you’re inflating the mattress with the hairdryer and you feel heat coming from it – turn the hairdryer off and wait for it to cool. Having said that, the newer models of hair dryers tend to have a cool setting, which is preferable to use. 
  • Get experience with the valve: It’s a difficult thing to do, trying to get the valve closed as quickly as possible after inflation – otherwise we lose all of our hard work and the crucial air that we need in the mattress. Try and “train” yourself to close the valve area as quickly as possible before you begin inflation. That way, no heavy losses!
How to blow up air mattress without pump

Try A Leaf Blower 

Okay, this might sound crazy – but when in times of desperation, you might have no choice but to go nuclear with the situation! Leaf blowers… blow air. If you can get air blown somewhere, you can redirect that air to where you need it – assuming you can create a good enough seal and you’re not disturbing anyone in the area! 

Use A Different Pump 

This might be taking a bit of creative license but if your problem is that you don’t have the pump that came with the air mattress, there are other pumps you can use. Sometimes you can find them in places like the car! You can use a foot pump, hand pump, bike pump, car tire pump or anything that can pump air! Even old bellows from fireplaces will work. 

How to blow up air mattress without pump

Back To Basics: Use Your Breath

Think of your air mattress as one massive balloon. You need to pump that sucker up but it’s going to take a long, long time. Might want to work on your cardio now, just in case!

Garbage Bag Trick

Another method that will take some time, and you’ll probably want to practice this technique before you’ll need to employ it. Effectively, you’ll want to pump the garbage bag full of air and then make a seal onto the valve of the air mattress. If connected correctly, you’ll have in essence, a very primitive version of a bag valve mask used in paramedics. You can continue pumping air into the mattress until fully inflated. 

Take The Air Mattress Fully Inflated 

If you’ve tried all these methods and you’re having trouble every time you want to go out and use an air mattress, you may wish to consider pumping the mattress at home and just taking it with you fully inflated. You’ll want to use large garbage bags to keep it safe and dry, and the logistics of it aren’t ideal – but it saves time and effort later on!

Think About Buying Better Air Mattresses 

You could invest in a self inflating mattress. They aren’t cheap, but they save all the hassle and headaches of having to deal with this sort of problem every time! 

They work by drawing air into the valve and blowing out the foam. Taking the air mattress down is just as easy – all you have to do is uncap the valve on the other side of the mattress. 

The Last Breath 

Not having your pump available for your air mattress is a real annoyance and can mean the difference between a comfortable night’s sleep and a horrible nightmare where you’re out of breath, sweaty and tired – and might still end up sleeping on the hard floor! 

We hope that some of these pointers can help you out, if you’re ever stuck in this awful situation – but it may be better to simply invest in products to avoid it!

Eric Willis
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