7 Foolproof Tips on How to Keep an Air Mattress From Deflating

An air mattress is an invaluable tool for the average backpacker. It is lightweight, easy to set up and cheaper than the regular spring-loaded alternatives. Still, you need to know how to keep an air mattress from deflating if you want to enjoy all the benefits while camping.

All air mattresses deflate at some point. So after buying your new mattress, you’ll have to ready yourself for the inevitable. All pressurized containers leak air no matter how airtight they are made out to seem. Gas molecules are microscopic and can pass through the material walls.

Luckily, there are concrete measures you can follow today to keep your air mattress from deflating. But first, you must understand the ins and outs of your airbed and why they are prone to leaking air.

What Is an Air Mattress

An air mattress is just like your regular sleeping mat. But instead of foam filling the interior space, it is packed full of air. A soft material encloses the cavity and gives you a solid yet comfortable surface to lie on.

Like a tire, you will need to inflate your air mattress. You also need to know how to keep it from deflating. The air gives the mat an upright shape allowing you to sleep on top comfortably.

Why Do Air Mattresses Deflate Overnight

Air Mattresses

Your air mattress will lose air because of differences in temperature and pressure. When you lie down, your body weight compresses the air inside and forces some of it to leak. This effect is magnified if you have weakened seams.

Also, since it gets pretty cold at night, the air inside condenses, and the mattress will collapse to an extent. When it gets hot, your airbed expands because the air inside similarly occupies more space. Additionally, the fabric tends to stretch when exposed to higher temperatures.

These changes are normal, and you need not worry about losing out on a good night’s sleep. You can still mitigate the degree of air seeping out from your brand-new mattress. If your mat is airtight, there are higher chances of it bursting.

Therefore, the loss is justified; but you need to meter how much air is released.

Tips on How to Keep Air Mattress From Deflating

All air mattresses will deflate to a degree. However, it would help if you watched out for extreme losses that compromise your mattress quality ad overall comfort. Here are some tips you can implement and figure out how to keep an air mattress from deflating.

1. Avoid Physical Injury

Avoid Physical Injury

Your air mattress is designed to hold in as much air as possible. The space inside is pressurized and maintains your mat’s shape and rigidity.

Consequently, any physical injury compromises the shape and structural integrity of your air mattress. Holes and scratches let out precious air, which should be secured inside your sleeping mat.

Now some mattresses are designed to handle a lot more stress than others. For instance, a proper outdoor mat is destined to withstand most sharp rocks and projectiles poking onto its surface. Because you’ll be sleeping on the ground, they are adequately designed to withstand the stresses.

Cheaper models won’t last long if you subject them to the same pressures. You can, nevertheless, avoid physical injury if you handle your equipment with care.

Avoiding sharp objects like knives and scissors is one way to keep an air mattress from deflating. Reduce the risk of physical injury by eliminating potential threats to your mat’s structural integrity.

2. Do Not Over-Inflate the Mattress

When your car tire runs out of air, you only need to pump in some more. The same applies to your mattress.

Mattress manufacturers have specified standard air pressure figures. The fabric enclosing the air chamber is meant to withstand a specific air pressure. Some heavy-duty air mattresses hold a lot more air than others.

It doesn’t matter whether you like your mattress to be firmer than usual. You need to follow your manufacturer’s guidelines on inflation. If you happen to rapture a seam, you will eventually compromise on the material strength and reliability.

3. Deflate Your Mattress When Storing

Deflate Your Mattress When Storing

As a general rule, you only inflate your mattress when you are about to use it. Keeping your mat pressurized when not in use places the fabric under unnecessary strain. The seams will eventually weaken, and your mattress won’t last as long as you intended.

If you aren’t using the mat, take out the air inside correctly store it as advised by your manufacturer. Carefully fold the airbed to avoid small air pockets from developing inside the fabric. If there aren’t any folding instructions, you are better off rolling it before storage.

4. Watch Out for Rising Temperature

High temperatures cause the air trapped inside your mattress to expand. As it swells, the internal pressure rises and pushes the fabric outside. This puts unnecessary strain on your seams.

Several factors can cause temperatures to rise. If your mattress is under direct sunlight, then it’s going to heat up a lot faster. Also, in-house or camping heaters are notorious for raising the air temperature and expanding the mattress material.

As the fabric expands, the pressure inside it reduces, and your mat feels deflated. To avoid this, keep the camping heaters away from your mattress. Also, you’d do well to inflate the mat well before retiring to bed. Then just before hitting the hay, you can top up the air pressure inside.

5. Get an Appropriate Camping Mattress

A king-sized air bed can hold a lot more weight. If you are camping with your partner, make sure to get the larger air bed. Excessive weight will wear out your mattress and deflate it faster. Check out the maximum allowed weight before making a purchase.

Different air mattresses are used in various environments. Most cheap mats are only meant for your home. They have lighter materials and won’t withstand too much pressure.

On the other hand, a dedicated camping mattress will withstand just about anything in the wild – rocks, thorns, bushes; you name it. They are made from heavy-duty material that is meant to last. Also, they don’t deflate as much as regular air beds.

6. Do Not Sit or Jump on Your Mattress

Unwarranted shocks weaken your mattress’ fabric. The air mattress is ideally suited for sleeping. Your body weight is evenly distributed on the mattress fabric as you lie flat on top of it.

Children love to play, and your air mattress will hardly go unnoticed. It is a thing of beauty, and once inflated, you kids will use it as a miniature trampoline. It might seem like some harmless fun until the fabric becomes overstretched and distended.

Some kids are pretty clever and will quickly figure out how to inflate your nifty bed. Regulate how much access your kids have to your air mattress.

Air mattresses are meant for sleeping. Sitting on it only piles pressure on one spot. The fabric in this region distends and weakens, eventually leading to a loss of pressure.

In a nutshell, use your mattress correctly. This also applies to how much weight you are allowed to pile onto the mat. A Twin and Kind sized air bed have different weight limits, and it’s a straightforward affair sticking to these limitations.

7. Automatic Pump

Automatic Pump

The simplest way to keep the pressure up inside an air mattress is to invest in an automatic pump. An automated pump will sense when the pressure inside has dropped and immediately engage a corrective mechanism.

All air mattresses will eventually deflate at some point. Even if you know how to keep an air mattress from deflating, it is a necessary evil.

The automatic pump is a fantastic mechanism if you don’t want the hassle of having to constantly re-inflate your pump. The automatic sensors will know when to boost pressure.

The Takeaway

An air mattress is necessary if you’re hitting the wild outdoors. You can find different air beds to suit your camping needs. However, you need to know how to keep air mattress from deflating, especially at night when you’re resting.

Your air bed is easy to haul around. You only need to deflate the mattress, fold it as intended and tuck it neatly inside your backpack. Depending on the manufacturer, you can even roll it to prevent air pockets from getting stuck inside the fabric.

Once at the campsite, unroll the bed, inflate it and voila! Your air mattress is ready for use. Before getting comfortable, keep in mind the guidelines on how to keep air mattress from deflating. Do not compromise its structural rigidity, and where possible, invest in an automatic pump.


1. Can you stop an air mattress from deflating at night?

Air mattresses are subjected to the forces of nature. Variances in temperature and pressure consequently affect your air mattress. The material of your mat will expand when heated and lose pressure once this happens. Even if there isn’t a puncture or leaking seam, a temperature change is enough to deflate an air mattress.

2. How do you fix a leaking air mattress?

The first step to fixing a leaking air mattress is locating the leak. Find and ascertain the puncture because air mattresses will still deflate even without a hole. You can use dishwashing soap and foam to locate the breakpoint. Clean it and dry the area surrounding the leak. Afterward, apply a patch to seal off the leak.

3. How do you find a leak in an air mattress?

If it is big enough, you will hear air slowly seeping outside. However, most leaks are hard to notice. Therefore, get some dishwashing soap, create a lather and spread the same all over the mattress. Once the bed is fully inflated, apply the soap with a sponge and watch for air bubbles.

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