How To Inflate An Air Mattress While Camping – Best Possible Ways

An air mattress is one of the most significant sleeping assistants while camping. You need to keep the air mattress folded during the time of transportation. Some people may not find any suitable way of inflating their air mattress reaching the destination.

Many people don’t even think about the availability of the air mattress inflation process in the destination. Therefore, you have to learn the possible ways on how to inflate an air mattress while camping. However, keeping an idea in multiple ways can help you during an emergency.

If the power outlet is near the camping area, it’s suggested to go for using the electric method. Remember, all the methods may create some positive and negative impacts depending on the surroundings. Picking up a suitable method is all up to you.

15 Ways On How To Inflate An Air Mattress While Camping- Power And Without Power

Well, you’re about to dive into the main part. Inflating an air mattress is dependent on your geographical location, tool availability, and so on. A faulty air mattress is enough to ruin your camping. So, don’t move outside without a final check on the air mattress.

However, all kinds of air mattresses for camping can be covered in the following ways below. Your learning about the 15 ways of inflating an air mattress while camping begins here.

1. Using The Pump Of The Air Mattress (Battery-Operated)

how to inflate an air mattress with a built-in pump

Most advanced air mattress nowadays comes with a built-in pumping facility. You can use the air mattress pump in two versions. The battery-operated air mattress is one of them. For increasing transportation convenience, this battery option is added.

Usually, the campers don’t have easy access to electricity. Though they may find a generator rarely, it won’t serve them in the long run.

Now learn about how to inflate an air mattress with a built-in pump without electricity.


  • You need to spread the mattress to the desired place first. You are suggested to pick the best place for your tent. Never place it near the outlet of the tent.
  • Then, notice the charge level of the pump.
  • If you have enough charge to inflate an air mattress, then move on.  Pump the mattress carefully so that the air distribution is perfect.
  • And finally, turn off pumping the air mattress when you can sleep on it without any difficulty.
  • Rechargeable from anywhere, anytime.
  • Decreases the hassle of a corded version.
  • There is no need for electricity.
  • Inflates the air mattress without any trouble.
  • It’s slightly expensive.
  • Require replacing the batteries after a certain time.
  • The battery may drain rapidly after using it for a long time.

2. Using The Pump Of The Air Mattress (Electricity-Operated)

How to inflate an air mattress with a built-in pump (Electricity Operated)

An electricity-operated air mattress is more powerful and quick in inflating. This kind of air mattress requires connecting to a power outlet. Someone may camp near an electricity-available area. Therefore, they can go for a standard 120v outlet.

No hassle to recharge the battery, no need to replace it after a certain time. Despite its high price range, it’s recommended for luxurious campers for getting extreme easements.

Here you learn how to inflate an air mattress with a built-in pump.


  • Put the air mattress in a suitable location.
  • Connect the plug of the air mattress with a nearby outlet. It’s suggested to check the outlet before plugging in. Then, turn on the switch and move on.
  • Once you’re plugged in, the pump will automatically start to pump the air mattress. The process will take a few minutes.
  • Try to spread the air inside the air mattress equally by pulling its four edges.
  • If you’re welcome to take a sound sleep on the air mattress, then turn off the power.
  • Detach the plug from the outlet, fold it in general condition and you’re done.
  • No battery is needed.
  • The trouble of recharging is absent.
  • Easy to inflate the air mattress for beginners.
  • Its quick inflation helps you when you’re in a hurry.
  • Corded versions are inconvenient in tough areas.
  • It’s expensive to purchase.

3. Using An External Portable Pump (Battery-Operated)

how to inflate an air mattress with  An External Portable Pump

External portable pumps are suitable for inflating small or medium-sized air mattresses. This pump is usually portable, services over a long time, and offers a cordless facility. Its capability is dependent on the battery power.

Once its battery is out of charge, a USB or power bank can recharge it. However, its inflating capability is not quick as an electricity-operated pump. The process is elaborated step by step below.

Now learn about how to inflate an air mattress with  An External Portable Pump . 


  • Lay down the air mattress on the surface first.
  • Bring the pumping machine near the air mattress. Then, connect it to the right place.
  • After that, turn on the pump to inflate the air mattress. Remember, never start inflating the air mattress if it’s too large in comparison to the pump. Besides, you’re discouraged to start the inflation if the battery level is very low.
  • When the air mattress will be inflated perfectly, you’re free to stop.
  • Can be transported easily in any place.    
  • Pricing remains in the mid-range segment.
  • Can be used for multiple air mattresses.
  • Its batteries require replacement after a long period.
  • A small pump can’t pump a large air mattress.

4. Using An External Portable Pump (Electricity-Operated)

how to inflate an air mattress with an electric pump
in this section, you’ll learn- how to inflate an air mattress with an electric pump?

The external portable pumps don’t only come with battery-operated versions. Some people need to inflate multiple air mattresses reaching the camp area. So, they need a powerful electric pump for external use.

An electricity-operated external pump is faster and more comfortable than the battery-operated one. If there is no stable power source near the camping area, then this option requires a mini generator. Go through the process to apply it in real life.


  • First, spread the air mattress on the surface. Notice that all the edges of the air mattress are in a stable condition after spreading.
  • Connect the pump with a stable power unit. Perhaps, no scope of finding an electrical outlet will come forward in case you’re in the dense forest. Hence, connect it with a mini generator.
  • Then, attach the pump with the valve of the air mattress. It will simply start to inflate.
  • Once your air mattress is inflated, you can disconnect the pump. Besides, detach it from the generator and put it aside. Your air mattress is ready now to enjoy.
  • Easy inflation within a short time.   
  • An alternative option of an electrical outlet exists.
  • Effortless, minimum set up.
  • Costs less than several conventional methods.
  • Convenient for inflating multiple air mattresses at a time.
  • No hassle of recharging batteries.
  • The absence of an electrical source disallows this method to run.     
  • Carrying a generator as an alternative to a power outlet socket is troubling.

5. Applying A Hairdryer

how to inflate an air mattress with  A Hairdryer

A typical hair dryer can inflate an air mattress perfectly. It may sound like an odd method but it’s really helpful. All the hairdryers blow air following the same principle of the conventional pumps.

The cordless or corded version – which kind of hair dryer do you need? You need to select it depending on your camping location. Here are some easy steps to apply a hairdryer for the mentioned purpose.

Let's learn- how to inflate an air mattress with  A Hairdryer? 


  • Place the air mattress in a fixed position.
  • Then, connect the hairdryer with a power socket. In case you have a battery-operated one, you’re free to skip this step.
  • Now, connect the hairdryer with the air mattress. This part requires sealing the hairdryer and the plug’s connection. Use tape to make it secured.
  • Start to fill the mattress appropriately. Stop the hairdryer sometimes and restart in case the air mattress is large-sized.
  • The result is almost near the electric pump.    
  • Easy to transport a hairdryer.
  • Availability of both corded and cordless versions.
  • Doesn’t cost a lot.
  • Hard sealing is required.
  • Costs some physical effort.
  • The hairdryer may get damaged due to overuse

6. Going For A Car Socket Pump

how to inflate an air mattress with  A Car Socket Pump

Car socket pumps are a regular item and easily findable. Anyone can transport it to the camping destination without any trouble. It requires no additional battery and multiple air mattresses to be inflated.

This kind of pump gets connected with the car’s auxiliary power and then services. So, you need to camp near a vehicle to use a car socket pump. You get the complete guideline of its use here.

 Here you learn how to inflate an air mattress with  A Car Socket Pump. 


  • Connect the one edge of the pump with the vehicle. It’s recommended to get connected with a car’s 12 VDC auxiliary power socket. You may have heard it before as “cigarette lighter”.
  • Uncover the valve cover of the air mattress. Then, insert another edge of the pump carefully.
  • Start passing the air to the air mattress through the pump. The pump contributes here as a middle assistant.
  • Detach two edges of the pump after inflating successfully. And then, you’re permitted to enjoy a sound sleep.
  • The supply of huge power.   
  • No necessity to purchase an extra battery.
  • Less costly and user-friendly.
  • Requires staying in a small radius of the vehicle.   
  • Transportation problem of an inflated air mattress in case the camp is far away from the vehicle.

7. Hand Pumping To Inflate

how to inflate an air mattress with a hand pump

Are you curious! How to inflate an air mattress with a hand pump?

Yes! Air mattresses can be inflated by a hand pump. Though it will cost a long time, it’s safer than other electricity-based processes. The application of a hand pump is also found at cycle’s tier and football pumping. Hand pump users need to put some force as it doesn’t need a battery or power.

As the size of the air mattress is large, it takes a long time to be inflated. Even, the result may vary depending on its versatile designs.

It's time to learn how to inflate an air mattress with a hand pump.


  • Fit your air mattress on the ground taking a convenient position. Then set the hand pump within a user-friendly distance.
  • Connect the nozzle of the hand pump with the air mattress now.
  • Take a position before starting to pump. Hold the hand on the pump and set your feet to hold the pump firmly.
  • When you’re ready, start moving the pump up and down. The air mattress will start to fill slowly then.
  • Give your body some interval in case that’s a large air mattress. After finishing this job, detach the hand pump and put it back to enjoy the bed.
  • Eliminate the necessity of a battery pack.   
  • No use of electricity.
  • Any technical term isn’t applicable.
  • Needs no extra equipment to make the inflation successful.
  • Grabs the valuable time of the user.   
  • Make the people physically distressed.

8. Foot Pumping To Inflate

how to inflate an air mattress with a foot pump

Foot pumps work on the same concept as a regular hand pump. The user pushes at the right place and the foot pump works- that’s the principle of its working. There is no necessity of using the upper body while using a foot pump. Medical science tells us that the muscles of the legs are more efficient than the hands.

So, anyone with healthy legs can use this pump more effectively than a hand pump. However, it also takes a long time to inflate the air mattress. You should know how to inflate an air mattress with a foot pump. That’s depicted below with some easy steps.

Let's know about how to inflate an air mattress with a foot pump. 


  • Put the air mattress on the ground. Spread it equally by pulling the edges of the air mattress.
  • Set the foot pump near the air mattress. Then, adjoin the pump with it.
  • Simply start to pump using your feet. Don’t rush to pump the air mattress. Otherwise, tiredness will grab you.
  • When it’s finished, disassemble the connection of the pump. And that’s the end of this process.
  • Don’t provide any stress to the hand. 
  • Faster than some manual processes.
  • Only require to purchase the foot pump, no additional tool.
  • Good for small air mattresses.
  • Time killing method.    
  • Inappropriate for a large air mattress.

9. Utilizing The Breathing Capability – The Oldest Method

how to inflate an air mattress by utilizing breathing capability

If the question is about tool-less air mattress inflation, then the human lungs are the only option. It may sound like a weird idea but think about an emergency. Your pumping tool may get disabled after reaching the camping area.

Then, you only have this option for spending the night on an air mattress. As there are some respiratory issues, this method isn’t required for regular application. Follow the steps to use your lungs during an emergency condition.

 Now learn about how to inflate an air mattress by utilizing breathing capability.  


  • Place the air mattress on the ground. Take a seat aside and take a convenient position.
  • Celan the one-way valve of the air mattress. Then, put your mouth here.
  • Inhale the air through the nose. And exhale it inside the air mattress the mouth. Keep repeating this process.
  • When you remove the mouth for a while, keep the way sealed by your finger.
  • Works as a savior in emergency cases.  
  • Consume no electricity.
  • Require no equipment.
  • So much time killing method.   
  • The lungs may get tired.
  • Need to start again if the air blows away somehow.

10. Using A Garbage Bag

Using a garbage bag to inflate an air mattress also sounds odd like other unpopular methods. Well, that’s also difficult like other non-electrical methods but easier than using the breathing process.

So, do you need a huge number of trash bags to perform it? No, only one trash bag is enough but keeping more as a backup is appreciable.

You can follow the steps to learn how to inflate an air mattress using a garbage bag.


  • Open the garbage bag after placing the air mattress nicely. Then, shake the bag in the air to gather the air inside of it.
  • Cockle the bag’s mouth following the valve size of the air mattress.
  • Place the garbage bag in a suitable place to insert air into the air mattress.
  • Simply push the garbage bag and try to transfer the air. Stay attentive so that the air may not leak.
  • Keep repeating this process until the air mattress is ready to use.
  • Requires only a garbage bag, nothing else.   
  • Easier than the breathing process.
  • It’s completely safe.
  • Wastes your time.
  • Looks funny somehow.

If you still have difficulty understanding and want to inflate the mattress or anything else in one or two breathes, can watch this video.

11. Picking A Vacuum Set Up

how to inflate an air mattress with a vacuum

A vacuum is part of daily usage. So, anyone can manage it without any hassle. The vacuum will blow the air and it will fill the air mattress up- that’s the process. All the typical vacuum needs to be plugged into a power outlet.

However, you can go for a portable vacuum too. Don’t put any garbage inside the trash collector before starting the main job.

Now, you'll be enlightened on how to inflate an air mattress with a vacuum.


  • Position your air mattress and open its plug.
  • Ensure flawless sealing between the vacuum and the plug. Use a tape binding to prevent air from blowing away.
  • Turn on the vacuum after giving a final check to the nozzle attachment. Collect air from the air now.
  • Once you activate the vacuum, it will take a few moments to inflate the air mattress.
  • And finally, detach the sealing and other connections to end the inflation process.
  • Easy to use, no technical difficulty.   
  • Time-saving for busy campers.
  • Both cordless and corded options.
  • Can be applied using the home appliance (vacuum).
  • Need a power source.
  • It’s not a cheap arrangement at all.

12. Engaging A Leaf Blower

how to inflate an air mattress with a Leaf Blower

If you can use a vacuum to inflate an air mattress, then why not a leaf blower? It’s also effective, time-saving, and user-friendly. But, it’s not a decent move to go camping with a leaf blower. 

If you don’t find any other way or if you have a defective vacuum, then you can use a leaf blower.

Now your turn is knowing about the using process of a leaf blower.


  • Keep the air mattress in a convenient position.
  • Seal between the leaf blower and the mattress’s air valve carefully. You can use a piece of tape to prevent air blowing.
  • Connect the leaf blower with a power source. If it’s battery-operated, then move on.
  • Now, collect air from your surroundings by using the leaf blower.
  • And finally, release the air inside the air mattress. Perhaps, you’ll need to repeat it several times to successfully end the inflation.
  • Doesn’t require any critical physical effort.
  • This process saves time.
  • Doesn’t hamper the air mattress.
  • Hassle of transportation.  
  • Difficult to find a power outlet.

13. Using The Bike Pump

using the bike pump to inflate an air mattress

An air mattress can be inflated nicely with the help of a bike pump. But, you need to put some effort into sealing between the pump nozzle and the mattress valve. Using a bike pump is difficult to perform by one person.

One person should pump up the nozzle and one should hold it up to the air mattress valve. If you can manage it somehow on your own, that’s fine.

The exact process of using the bike pump to inflate an air mattress is pictured here.


  • Place the air mattress on the ground and uncover the protection.
  • Make a seal between the connection of the pump and the air mattress. Tape is the suggested tool if you have it at that moment.
  • Hold the nozzle up the valve of the air mattress. Someone can help you to do that.
  • Start to push the air inside the air mattress. Keep it going until the mattress is ready for your power nap.
  • It’s not a very arduous process.
  • This process doesn’t kill time.
  • A bike pump can easily be transported.
  • No electricity or battery is required.
  • People rarely bring a bike pump without bringing a bike.
  • Inconvenient to pump without a helping hand.
  • Need some effort in sealing.

14. Going For An Air Compressor

air compressor to inflate an air mattress

An Air compressor is an effective way of filling the air mattress with air. Naturally, nobody will roam around the camping site holding an air compressor. But, what if you are eager to go camping and you only find this option near you?

Using an air compressor isn’t highly difficult for beginners.

Therefore, you should learn how to use an air compressor to inflate an air mattress.


  • Spread the air mattress on the land and open its plug.
  • Check the oil level by following the indicator. Maybe you’re lucky if you find it well.
  • Now, set a convenient PSI. It’s the rate of the applied pressure per square unit in pounds. Test it before connecting to the air mattress.
  • Now, connect the air hose with the air mattress and keep the air passing.
  • Finally, the air mattress will inflate after a few moments.
  • Fast and accurate air mattress filling.
  • Doesn’t cost a huge amount of money.
  • Saves valuable moments from wasting.
  • Difficult to set the exact PSI. 
  • Nobody wants to camp with an air compressor.

15. Borrowing A Pump

Are you camping in a place near the township? Do you have difficulty in using the breathing process due to lung issues? Then you can borrow a pump from the natives.

This mission is dependent on your approach to the natives. Once you get a pump, your trouble instantly disappears.

 For borrowing a pump, You can move with the following steps.


  • Find a dense area where many houses can be seen.
  • Move towards the place and cordially talk to them.
  • After expressing everything, they must help you. If they can’t borrow you a pump, they must provide you away.
  • You can create new connections. 
  • The air mattress will finally inflate.
  • There is a chance of robbery in case it’s a bad area.    
  • Not applicable for introverted people.


Dealing with an air mattress isn’t as tough as rocket science. Inflating an air mattress is super easy even for a beginner. You have good knowledge now on how to inflate an air mattress while camping. It must already be your confession that you can inflate an air mattress on your own.

Electric or non-electric way – which is the perfect one? Well, we have mentioned earlier that you must go for the electric way if you have both options. Electric methods are easy to use, time-saving and most importantly it saves your time. Moreover, the hassle of using your body parts decreases here.

But, there are also some negative aspects of electric options. Your air mattress may be extremely damaged due to an electric malfunction. And that’s enough to ruin your camping. However, picking up a universal way is recommended in case you’re in a critical place.

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