How To Inflate Air Mattress With Built In Pump Without Electricity

Couple camping on grass laying on Green airmattress

Air mattresses make tent camping more enjoyable because you don’t have to worry about sleeping on the ground. But how are you supposed to inflate an air mattress if you don’t have access to electricity? Air mattresses with a built in pump requires electricity to use, but electric outlets aren’t always available at campsites.

There are a few ways that you can inflate an air mattress with no electricity. You can use a car battery electric air pump, battery packs, or a battery-powered pump. You also have manual pump choices, such as foot pumps, if you have an air mattress that came without a pump. Any of these pumps can inflate air mattresses without the help of electricity. 

If you can be lucky enough to find a camping location that offers electric outlets on your road trip, you should have an extension cord handy. It is a common problem that camping sites with electricity only offer one outlet per campsite, so you will need to have a way to plug in more than one item at a time.

Car Battery Electric Air Pump


Tools required

  • 12V DC electric air pump
  • Car cigarette lighter


There are air pumps that can be used when they are plugged into the wall or when they are plugged into your car. This is an option that can benefit you for more than just inflating your air mattress. While you can use this tool with your car turned off, it is recommended that your vehicle is on while you use this pump.

110V AC Electric Pump and DC Power Inverter


Tools required

  • Standard plug-in pump
  • DC inverter


If you already have a standard air mattress pump or all you can find in stores, you can still use it when you go camping to pump air mattresses with ease. One of the easiest ways to do this is to plug your inverter into your car’s cigarette lighter.

The pump will then plug into the inverter, and you will be able to fill up your mattress. You will also be able to use the DC inverter to charge other devices as well.

Battery Packs


Tools required

  • Battery Pack


A battery pack gives you a place to plug your air pumps in with no electricity. You will be able to fill up your mattress in no time with the help of this separate power pack.

You can also inflate your air mattress inside your tent without the need to use an extension cord. A battery pack can be useful to you when you aren’t camping, so it wouldn’t hurt to invest in one.

Battery Powered Pump


Tools required

  • Air pump with rechargeable or replaceable battery


A battery-powered air pump is a great replacement option for an electric pump. These pumps don’t need any electricity to inflate the mattress, and you won’t need any manual power either.

They designed this type of pump to provide a means to quickly and efficiently pump up air mattresses. Intex offers several battery pump options you will be able to choose from.

Air Compressor


Tools required

  • Air compressor


If you own a portable air compressor, it will be an excellent way for you to pump some air into your mattress. When you don’t have access to typical air mattress pumps, an air compressor is the next best thing.

An air compressor pumps air quickly, but it will usually be noisy. This could cause some other people to get annoyed when you’re camping, but since the air compressor pumps quickly, it won’t take you long.

Bike Pump


Tools required

  • Bike Pump


An excellent option for a manual pump for your air mattress would be a bike pump. Bike pumps do not require any electricity at all, so you will not need to worry about having something to plug it into. You want to make sure that the bike pump fits into the air valve of your mattress.

Hair Dryer


Tools required

  • Hairdryer
  • Tape


If you have an air mattress without a pump, you will be able to inflate the mattress with the help of a hairdryer. This is one way that will benefit you most if you aren’t camping and you are just trying to fill your mattress inside your home.

You need to lay your mattress out, plug in the dryer, and create a seal between the air valve and the hairdryer. Keep the hairdryer on until the mattress is fully inflated, then turn it off and seal the air mattress.

Vacuum Cleaner

MOOSOO Vacuum Cleaner

Tools Required

  • Handheld vacuum cleaner
  • Power source
  • Tape


Another way to inflate an air mattress without a pump You probably don’t want to take your full-sized vacuum camping with you, but it is easy to pack and bring along a handheld vacuum.

You will want to make sure that the vacuum is completely emptied and has a reverse option before you pack it up and take it camping. You will need to make sure you create a seal with tape between the vacuum and the air valve for proper airflow to inflate the air mattress.

Leaf Blower


Tools required

  • Leaf blower
  • Tape


You can inflate an air mattress with a leaf blower, but this method will probably be most helpful if you are trying to raise your air mattress at home., not when you are camping.

You will need to make sure there is a reliable seal between the leaf blower and the mattress’s air valve when you start to blow the air, or nothing will get into the air mattress.

Garbage Bag


Tools required

  • Garbage bag


If you have no other options to inflate an air mattress, but you aren’t ready to breathe into your mattress for thirty minutes, you can use a garbage bag to get the job done. All you need to do is open the bag, fill it with air by swinging it around for a minute, then trap the air by clamping the bag shut.

Place the bag up to the plug and wrap it around to create a tight seal. Push the air out of the bag and into the air mattress. Repeat this process to where your air mattress is fully inflated and comfortable. This will take longer than the other methods, but it works great in a pinch.

Hand Pumps


Tools required

  • Hand pump


One of the most common ways to inflate your air mattress without access to an electric air pump or a built in pump is using a hand pump. This will take you a decent amount of time, but it is an excellent option if you are in a pinch.

Using a hand pump will require some serious work, especially if you have a larger air bed to fill.

Foot Pumps


Tools required

  • Foot pump


A foot pump is a cost-efficient, manual pump that allows you to pump to inflate an air mattress. All you need to hook the foot pump used to inflate your mattress into the mattress air valve and bounce your foot until you reach your desired fullness.

This is an excellent method to consider when you are going camping because you will be able to inflate your mattress inside your tent with ease.

Your Breath


Tools required

  • None!


If you have no access to any of the other ways to inflate an air mattress, you can’t go wrong with a few breaths.

This method will work best if you are inflating a twin size mattress because a full size will take way too much time and breaths to fill. The smaller the mattress, the easier it will be to breathe into.

Borrow a Pump

Friends The Complete Series

Tools required

  • None!


If you are in desperate need to fill up your air mattress, but you don’t have any pump or other item to help you, you can ask someone else who is camping near you if you can borrow their air pump.

Make sure you ask politely and ensure that you return their pump to them as soon as you are finished. People who are camping are usually amicable and willing to help you out with no question.


Why is my air mattress deflating quickly after I use one of these methods?

Air mattresses can deflate for multiple reasons, and it most likely has nothing to do with the method or items you used to fill it up. The air mattress design, along with the outside temperature and the pressure of you lying on the air mattress, can contribute to deflation.

Can I prevent deflation?

If you want to prevent deflation of your air mattress, you may need to consider pumping the mattress up several hours before you plan ongoing to bed. This will allow the air mattress to adjust and become content with the temperature outside.

Can any of these methods result in an over-inflated air mattress?

As long as you are careful with the pumps you are using, you will ensure your air mattresses are not getting overfilled. If you over inflate an air mattress, all the excess air will move towards the middle. When you lay down, that air will move towards the sides, which could cause the seams to rip.

Couple camping on grass laying on Green airmattress

Does my car have to be on when I use an air pump to fill my air mattress?

You might not think that you would need to leave your car running while using an electric pump to fill your air mattresses. However, it is highly recommended to leave your vehicle running for the duration you use the electric pump. This puts less stress on your car battery than using the electric pump with the car turned off.

How can I deflate my air mattress?

If you are not using a pump, you are probably wondering what the best way to deflate your air mattress is. If you have access to a power source, you can use a vacuum cleaner to deflate your air mattress. You need to open the plug to let the air out, then put the vacuum up to the plug and begin suctioning the air out.

Can I buy an air mattress that doesn’t even need a pump?

The answer to this question is yes; you can. There are mattresses out there that are self-inflating and don’t need a pump at all. This will give you a lightweight and portable option for your tent when you are camping. They are most commonly made from foam that sucks in natural air and expands inside the tent to become a comfy mattress.

Wrapping Up

Adventurer on the beach in sleeping bag laying on air mattress

If you are trying to figure out a way to fill your air mattress without using a pump or electricity, you have several options at your disposal. These methods will allow you to inflate your mattress to the proper fullness in a simple and easy way.

Each of these methods provides you with a simple way to inflate your air mattress when you’re in a pinch and either doesn’t have electricity, don’t have a pump, or your pump broke on your trip.

You could always look specifically for a campsite that offers electricity, but electricity is not commonly provided to campsites with just tents. It is not impossible to find one, but it can be difficult.

If you frequently camping, invest in one or two air pumps that don’t need electricity to fill up your air bed. This will ensure that you always have the ability to fill your mattress, even if where you are camping doesn’t have any access to electric outlets.