RosenBerryRooms is reader-supported. When you buy via links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you.

How To Blow Up An Air Mattress Without A Pump? [2024 Tips]

By: Susie
Updated On: September 29, 2023

Have you ever been all set for a campout or a surprising guest visit and discovered that your air mattress pump is nowhere to be found? It can surely put a damper on your plans.

But here’s the good news: You can still blow up an air mattress without a pump! You can have that mattress ready for use with good old-fashioned ingenuity and household items.

We’re not saying it will be as easy as flipping a switch on an electric pump. But when you’re in a pinch and need an air mattress for yourself or guests, being able to inflate it manually is more than handy. Get ready to learn how to achieve this seemingly impossible task with things already available at home.

10 Tips to Blow Up an Air Mattress Without a Pump

10 Best Tips to Blow Up an Air Mattress Without a Pump

Perhaps you’re out camping or have decided to upgrade your backseat into a bed for a long road trip. Either way, you have an air mattress but no pump in sight. But don’t let that dampen your plans because there’s more than one way to inflate that mattress.

Explore More: How To Inflate An Air Bed 2024? [Inflate Self Or With A Pump]

Lung Power

Lung Power

Using lung power is probably the first solution that comes to mind, but beware that it can get tiring. Here’s how you can do it:

  • Position yourself near the valve of the mattress.
  • Take a deep breath, put your mouth onto the hole, and begin blowing.
  • Continue this process until the mattress inflates to your preferred firmness level. It could take some time, depending on how well you can generate airflow from your lungs.
  • When you have finished inflating, quickly close off the valve to keep air from escaping.

While this method is straightforward and doesn’t require any special tools, keep in mind it requires quite a bit of stamina and probably isn’t recommended for those who aren’t physically up for it. Also, be aware of fainting due to excessive hyperventilation.

Plastic Bag Method

Plastic Bag Method

The plastic bag method is efficient and handy when you’re without a pump but still need to inflate an air mattress. It’s based on trapping and transferring air effectively via large bags.

Here’s what you need:

  • A large plastic bag (like a garbage bag)


  • Open your large plastic bag fully to capture as much air as possible.
  • Swiftly close up the opening by gathering together all its ends. By doing this quickly after trapping the air inside, it becomes pressurized.
  • Position the gathered end of the bag to the mattress’s valve and slightly open it just enough to release the pressurized air into the mattress.
  • Repeat this process until the mattress is inflated to your desired firmness.

This method is considerably faster and less physically straining than lung power, but be careful not to release it all at once as it might not inflate properly. Also, please remember to reuse or recycle your plastic bags.

Also Read: Air Bed Costs In 2024 [Are Air Mattresses Expensive?]

Vacuum Cleaner

Vacuum Cleaner

A vacuum cleaner may not be the first thing that springs to mind when considering inflating your air mattress, but you’ll be surprised by its effectiveness.

Turning this household gadget into a makeshift pump is surprisingly simple and will fill your mattress quickly and effortlessly. Here’s how:

  • Attach the hose to the exhaust port of the vacuum cleaner. This is where clean air comes out when you use the vacuum.
  • Cover or tape the attachment end of the tube to form a secure connection between the hose and the mattress’s intake valve. Ensure that there’s no leakage.
  • Turn on your vacuum cleaner, and voila! Your mattress should begin to inflate in no time.
  • Keep an eye on it, as this method can quickly inflate mattresses. Switch off as soon as it reaches your desired firmness.

This is one of those ingenious solutions that utilize a common household device creatively, turning what could’ve been frustrating into an incredibly easy task.

Hair Dryer

Hair Dryer

Yes, even a hairdryer can rescue you when manually inflating an air mattress! The key advantage is that a hairdryer works faster than physically blowing up an airbed or utilizing garbage bags.

  • Plug in your hair dryer and adjust it to ‘cool’ mode (Do NOT use hot air because it could damage your mattress).
  • Align its nozzle with your airbed’s valve for efficient airflow.
  • Turn on your hair dryer and let its robust, cool air flow fill your mat.
  • Ensure you neither fully seal off nor push the nozzle too far into the inlet valve – both steps could lead to inefficient inflation or potential damage.
  • Do not go away while inflating – monitor the process until achieving the expected firmness level.

Despite needing constant supervision during inflation, using a hairdryer can save significant time and energy compared to other methods like using lung power or a plastic bag.

Bicycle Pump

Bicycle Pump

A bicycle pump is a commonly available item that can come to your rescue when inflating an air mattress without an electric pump.

This method requires a little more effort than an automatic pump, but it’s quite reliable and fairly fast. Let’s delve into how to use a bicycle pump to inflate your mattress.

  • Ensure your bicycle pump is in good working condition.
  • Connect the pump’s nozzle tightly and securely to the valve of the air mattress.
  • Start pumping. This could require some exertion, depending on the volume of your mattress.
  • Pump until the mattress reaches your desired level of firmness.
  • Once done, quickly remove the nozzle and close up the valve immediately.

Be aware that bicycle pumps are designed for small, high-pressure tires, so inflating an air mattress with one might take longer.

Balloon Pump

Balloon Pump

A balloon pump may not seem like an obvious choice for inflating your air mattress, but it can work if you’re in a pinch or want to try something different. Especially those large ones used by professional balloon artists could work wonders! Here’s how you can use this method.

  • First and foremost, check that the nozzle of the balloon pump fits correctly into the valve of the air mattress.
  • Once fitted correctly, start pumping at a steady rhythm.
  • The key is patience, as balloon pumps have relatively small capacities and could take some time for larger mattresses.
  • After reaching the desired firmness, remove the balloon pump nozzle from the valve instantly, then secure it shut.

This method requires more time than others due to the lower capacity of most balloon pumps. It’s best suited for smaller mattresses or when only minor inflations are needed.

Read More: How To Fix An Air Bed Keeps Losing Air Or Deflates 2024

Compressed Air Canister

Compressed Air Canister

A compressed air canister is another efficient method for inflating your air mattress. Yes, the same one you often use for cleaning off dust from electronics can double as a pump.

  • Get your hands on a clean and fully loaded compressed air canister.
  • Attach its nozzle to the air mattress valve (some use duct tape to secure it tightly).
  • Release the pressurized gas into the mattress until it expands to your comfort level.
  • Although this process can be done quickly, remember that compressed air canisters may get cold after continuous use – so handle with care.

While this method is quite effective, it does cost more than others, and it may damage your air mattress if the pressure is too high. Please proceed with caution.

Hand Fan

Hand Fan

If you are ever in a situation where you cannot find an appropriate tool to inflate your air mattress, look around for a hand fan.

This might sound funny initially, but doesn’t a hand fan move enough air to create a breeze? Here is how you can put that breeze-production capability to good use.

  • Open up the valve of the mattress and hold it open.
  • Bring your hand fan as close as possible.
  • Swiftly move the fan back and forth so that sizable gusts of wind are blown into the valve opening.
  • Continue this process until your air bed inflates adequately.

While this method can be time-consuming and requires effort and patience, remember: no pain, no gain – Pulling off such an unconventional solution could make for an interesting story! Be prepared that each inflation session could be closer to a gym workout.

Also Read: Air Bed Alternatives 2024 [These 14 Things Replace Air Beds]

Electric Leaf Blower

Electric Leaf Blower

Can’t immediately locate your mattress pump? Never fear! A surprising but effective tool— the electric leaf blower, can swoop in to save the day.

This high-power housekeeping tool doesn’t just serve you in maintaining your backyard anymore. Here’s how you can deploy it to inflate your air mattress:

  • Ensure that the leaf blower is clean and working perfectly.
  • Fix the nozzle of the leaf blower near or within the valve of the air mattress.
  • Power up the leaf blower on a low setting to send a powerful gush of air into the mattress.
  • Monitor closely, as with so much energy, it could inflate quicker than expected.
  • Once you’ve reached the desired firmness, swiftly turn off the leaf blower and tightly seal the mattress valve.

Water Bottle Squeeze

Water Bottle Squeeze

Pull out some water bottles when all else fails and maybe when you want a fun DIY experience. Yes, water bottles! The key here is creating a manual pump using raw physics essence—air pressure! Let’s find out how:

  • First, you need any plastic bottle that fits tightly into the valve of your mattress.
  • Cut off the top part of this bottle initially, being careful to avoid sharp edges.
  • Insert the bottom part of the bottle with the cut end outside into the air mattress valve and ensure a tight fit.
  • Now squeeze the middle part of the bottle and quickly restart its shape. You’ll notice that the mattress starts inflating slowly!
  • Keep repeating these steps till you reach desirable firmness, then quickly pull out the bottle, sealing up the valve immediately.

This method surely takes time and effort, but it’s also gratifying knowing you’ve created something useful from dairy products!

Also Read About Queen Air Mattress Dimensions 2024 [Twin, Full, Queen & King]

FAQs about blowing up an air mattress without a pump

Can I inflate an air mattress with a hair dryer?

You can, but ensure the dryer is set to cool, as heat can damage your air mattress.

What precautions should I take while inflating an air mattress by mouth?

While inflating by mouth isn’t harmful, taking breaks is important to avoid hyperventilation or lightheadedness.

Can workout pumps be used for inflating mattresses?

Yes, pumps for inflatables like balance balls can be used as long as the nozzle fits in the valve.

Is it bad if I over-inflate my air mattress?

Yes! Over-inflating can cause damage to the internal structure of the air mattress and make it uncomfortable to sleep on.


Inflating an air mattress without a pump doesn’t have to be daunting. With resourcefulness and creative thinking, you can transform various household items into tools that do the job effectively.

Breathe easy knowing you’re well-equipped next time you need to inflate an air mattress without the traditional pump!

No longer will you have sleepless nights due to a deflated mattress or scramble during unexpected guests’ stayovers.

You now know how to turn ordinary objects into effective solutions, ensuring a good night’s sleep anywhere and anytime!

Copyright © RosenBerryRooms.Com 2022. All Rights Reserved.
magnifiercross linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram