Why Do Air Mattresses Deflate Overnight? 5 Tips to Prevent

Air mattresses are a fantastic, lightweight, comfortable sleeping option for guests coming to stay in your home and for camping trips. I love how quickly they inflate when my kids have friends for sleepovers! They are easy to store and light enough for almost anyone to carry.

The biggest issue is that they often deflate overnight. Whether it’s a partial deflate or they go as flat as a pancake, it’s uncomfortable, makes for a lousy night’s sleep, and can lead to back or neck discomfort the following day.

If you suffer from back pain but do not have access to a traditional mattress, mattress toppers can be placed over an air mattress to provide extra comfort; find out more about the best mattress toppers for back pain here.

This complete guide will explain why air mattresses possibly deflate overnight and give you some practical tips to prevent this from happening.

Why do Air Mattresses Deflate?

Air mattresses can deflate for several reasons, but not to worry; I will give you a few tips below on how to prevent each of them to ensure the longevity of your air mattress.

Causes of deflation can include:

  • The temperature of the air inside the mattress or the environment it has been in.
  • Incorrect inflation of the mattress.
  • Users must allow the mattress to be adequately broken in or settled before use.
  • Accidental punctures.
  • General wear and tear on the bed is often caused by uneven weight distribution.

5 Tips on Preventing an Air Mattress From Deflating Overnight

Follow the following five tips to prevent your air mattress from deflating:

1. Correct Inflation

Correct Inflation

If you have recently purchased your air mattress, setting it up may take a few times before you can adequately feel how much air needs to go into it.

Every air mattress will come with a recommended firmness level in the instructions pack; the manufacturer will have set this, which is different depending on the model. Many pumps available today have a pressure gauge built-in with an adjustable desired firmness setting.

It is surprisingly more common to over-inflate an air mattress rather than under-inflated! Overinflation can stretch the material, which can be damaging; it can also cause the mattress to burst.

It is also essential to understand that all mattresses need breaking in; this includes air mattresses. Air mattresses need to be inflated and deflated around three times before you will achieve optimum comfort.

2. Regular Inspections

Most people only use their air mattresses occasionally; they get inflated, slept on, deflated, and stored away until needed again. It can be a good idea to check your air mattress every few months for punctures or signs of any general wear and tear that can be dealt with before the mattress is needed.

The best way to inspect your air mattress is to insulate it and listen carefully for any escaping air. If you notice a puncture, deal with it immediately to reduce the risk of further damage. It would help if you did this before and after each use.

Every manufacturer includes a patch kit within the original box. Suppose you do not have the original packaging or have already used the kit. In that case, you can order a replacement patch repair kit (like this one from Amazon) at a reasonable price.

3. Accidental Punctures

Accidents happen; however, you can reduce the risk of accidental punctures simply by keeping your air mattress away from rough surfaces and sharp objects. Anything from a door handle to a handful of debris on the ground can be hazardous to an air mattress.

Ensure you have plenty of space around you before inflating your air mattress; also, take care of any furniture edges the bed could come into contact with.

If you are using the mattress outdoors, consider purchasing a ground cover, such as a protective tarp, which can create an additional barrier between the mattress and the floor.

4. Temperature Control

Air mattresses can be susceptible to temperature changes, especially when there are sudden fluctuations in the temperature of the space in which it has been placed.

Between the hours of 03:00 hrs and 06:00 hrs, the temperature drops, so it can be expected that during this time, the air inside a mattress contracts, leading to deflation. This can be more exaggerated if the mattress is outdoors, but it can occasionally happen within the home.

There are benefits to sleeping in a cold room, though less for your air mattress. Check out these pros and cons of sleeping in a cold room.

To reduce the likelihood of your mattress deflating, consider purchasing an insulation layer or camping pad to lay on top of the mattress to keep in the heat.

Another handy tip is to inflate the mattress in a shaded area instead of in direct sunlight – the heat from the sun can expand the air inside the mattress, which can cause overinflation, which can cause irreversible damage to the mattress.

5. Weight Distribution

Uneven weight distribution is one of the more common reasons air mattresses deflate overnight. Many people are used to sleeping on certain sides of the bed. Doing this with an air mattress can cause excessive stress to a specific area, leading to deflating over time.

You may also want to set rules for children to access the air mattress. To them, it’s nothing more than a comfortable trampoline, and they unknowingly damage the mattress by jumping on it, which can strain the seams and valves.

An excellent way to help with weight distribution is by using a mattress topper on your air mattress, as it can help disperse weight, which protects the bed from excessive wear and tear. Some great mattress topper choices include feather mattress toppers, hypoallergenic mattress toppers, gel mattress toppers, and organic mattress toppers.

How Do You Know When An Air Mattress Has Deflated?

You should know an air mattress is deflating when you start to notice the following:

1. Visual Inspections

Visual Inspections

You may notice that your air mattress has deflated just by looking at it. Is there a decrease in height, or does the mattress have a wrinkled appearance?

There should be no signs of sagging when an air mattress is fully inflated and it should feel relatively firm to touch.

2. Overall Comfort

Once your air mattress begins to deflate, it will instantly become less supportive and notably less comfortable. You may be awoken by the feeling of sinking into the mattress, which can increase pressure on specific areas of the body, which could be uncomfortable or even painful.

An air mattress should provide good, firm support, which is acceptable for short-term use.

3. Audible Leaks

Audible Leaks

The most common way people discover their air mattress deflates overnight is when they wake up to the faint sound of hissing or whistling. This may be coming from the valve or a leak somewhere else in the mattress.

The best way to prevent this from disturbing your sleep is to listen closely for any hissing while inflating the mattress to deal with the problem before you go to sleep.


To summarize, these are the key takeaways to prevent your air mattress from deflating:

  • Your air mattress requires regular maintenance and should be checked before and after each use.
  • Properly inflate the air mattress as per the manufacturer’s instructions – try not to overinflate.
  • Ensure the air mattress is placed on a clean floor in an area free of sharp objects or rough surfaces.
  • Be aware of temperature fluctuations during the night and ways to prevent your air mattress from getting too cold.
  • Educate other users about weight distribution and use mattress toppers to aid with this.
  • Allow the air mattress time to be ‘broken in’ for maximum comfort.

Understanding how to properly care for your air mattress will reduce the risk of it deflating overnight, leading to an uncomfortable night’s sleep, back pain, and damage to the mattress itself.

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!