Step-by-Step Guide to Inflate Air Mattress With Built-in Pump

If you’ve found yourself on my step-by-step guide to inflating an air mattress with a built-in pump, the chances are you’ve already invested your hard-earned money on a new bed to take camping or put in your temporary sleeping accommodation.

Air mattresses are a brilliant and convenient way to sleep if you’re traveling, decorating, or putting up guests for the weekend.

The fun part comes when it is time to inflate them because even the ones with a built-in pump can require some special instructions. Let’s face it-the little booklets you get in the box aren’t always the most straightforward to understand.

So, in this guide, I will explain how to safely inflate an air mattress with a built-in pump, whether you have access to power or not. So, no matter where you plan to inflate your air bed, you’ll have it blown up and ready for use in no time.

Let’s jump straight in.

How To Inflate an Air Mattress With a Built-In Pump – A Step-by-Step Guide?

The actual inflation process of an air mattress with a built-in pump is pretty straightforward. Just follow the simple steps below to have your air bed blown up in no time.



Before you plug in your air mattress, ensure it’s in a large enough space to expand and not near anything that could puncture it. You should also ensure nothing in the way that could be knocked over as the mattress increases in size.

Locate the Cord

Next, you’ll need to find the valve and the power cord to plug it into the main power source. The cable is usually wrapped away near the pump. Once you’ve got it, unravel the cord and plug it into the nearest socket. Sometimes, you may need an extension lead to reach if the cable is too short.

Switch the Control to Inflate

Switch the Control to Inflate

You’ll see the control panel has a couple of options on it. Switch the control or button to “Inflate,” stand back, and watch the mattress begin to increase in size. In most cases, this only takes a few minutes.

Check Your Mattress

Once your mattress is around 90% of its total capacity, you can unplug the cord and wrap it back up. You should give your mattress the once over and check it has no tears or leaks. If there’s a leak, you might be able to hear air escaping when you lie or sit on the mattress.

Cover and Protect

Cover and Protect

Once your mattress is inflated and you’ve ensured there’s no air leaking or damage, you can add bedding or any other accessories, such as mattress toppers, to increase comfort. Adding toppers and sheets can help to protect your air mattress from wear and tear.

Inflating an Air Mattress with a Built-in Pump Without Electricity

If you’ve taken your air mattress camping or for napping in the back of a truck, you might not have access to a power source to connect it to.

In this case, you’ll need to find an alternative method to inflate your air bed.

Thankfully, there are a few options available.

Manual Foot Pump

Manual Foot Pump

Although it might take a lot longer, it’s still a good option if you find yourself without power, so keeping a manual foot pump in the trunk of your car is always a wise move. These can be connected to the manual valve of your air mattress. Then, you can manually inflate the bed using your foot (and some cardio and stamina).

Cigarette Lighter

If you have an air mattress with a 12V DC connector for inflating, you can easily connect this to your truck or car’s built-in cigarette lighter. However, if you don’t have one, you can purchase adapters, which I’d always advise having anyway in emergencies.

Battery Operated Pump

Battery Operated Pump

Another option is a battery-operated pump, which will do the job much quicker than the foot pump. The great thing about these is that they’re compact, affordable, and portable, so you don’t need to worry about locating an electrical source.

You can find more practical and some more unusual ways to pump up your bed in this guide to inflating your air mattress without a pump.

Frequently Asked Questions About

Let’s see what other air bed owners are asking when it comes to putting up their air bed for the night.

How Do You Use A Built-in Air Pump on an Air Mattress?

Once you have plugged the cord into the main power source, turn the switch to inflate, stand back, and allow the mattress to expand to around 90% capacity.

How Long Does an Air Mattress Take to Inflate?

The time depends on the size and brand of your air mattress, but generally speaking, it takes between three and five minutes to inflate an air bed.

Can I Use a Manual Pump for an Air Mattress with a Built-in Pump?

Although air mattresses with a built-in pump should be used as the manual instructs, it is possible to use a manual pump on particular air mattresses. However, it’s essential to read the safety instructions of both products before attempting a manual inflation.

Can I Adjust The Firmness of an Air Mattress with a Built-in Pump?

Some air mattresses have varied firmness options. However, one simple way to adjust the firmness to your liking is simply to turn off the power when it reaches your desired level of comfort.

The Takeaway

So there we have it; there are many ways to inflate your air mattress, especially when it has a built-in pump. Simply connect, plug, and go.

However, if you ever come unstuck and find yourself at a loss for power, there are still plenty of ways to get your mattress to full comfort using other simple and affordable measures.

Always thoroughly read the instruction manuals on the air mattress and any separate pumps you have purchased before inflating, and be careful not to overinflate. Remember, air mattresses should only be inflated to around 90% of their total capacity.

Sarah Wagner

I'm Sarah Wagner, and I founded Sweet Island Dreams in 2022. It's a blog dedicated to helping people mental vacation virtually anytime they want. By providing information about the best sleep of your life, I help people drift away to paradise without ever having to leave their bed!