What happens if you over inflate an air mattress?
It’s pretty simple: the material can deform, rupture or even explode.
Table of Contents
What happens if you over inflate an air mattress? Introduction
The more air you pump into an air mattress, the higher the pressure inside it.
This higher air pressure will lead to more and more stress on the seams until one fails and air comes out.
This could happen with a violent bang or, more quietly, with a seam that tears slowly and silently lets all the air out.
In all likelihood, your air mattress will deform or bulge significantly before it actually rips.
The higher the quality of materials, the more pressure your air bed will be able to withstand. More info on What material is an air mattress made of?
How do I know if my air mattress is full?
Your air mattress is full when it is as soft or as firm as you want it to be.
You don’t want to underinflate the air bed so much as to feel the floor through the mattress.
On the other hand, you also don’t want to overinflate the mattress, as it may be too hard and bouncy to be comfortable.
Develop a feel for your inflation level by filling it until the material is entirely taut and nicely stretched everywhere.
Don’t overfill beyond this point. Remember, it will feel firmer anyway once you lie down on it and your weight adds to the air pressure.
Keep an eye out for stretch marks or bulges of any kind when filling up the mattress.
How your pump can help you tell if the air mattress is full
Air mattresses are available with built-in pumps that will automatically pump to a specified setting and switch off by themselves.
These usually come in three settings: soft (plush), medium, and firm. This eliminates the guesswork and makes it easier for the user to set up.
If you are doing it manually with a foot pump, you can develop a feel for the resistance you are getting from the manual pump.
As you approach total volume capacity, it will become harder with every pump stroke to add more air, which is when you know that the mattress is full.
Obviously, this doesn’t apply to an electric pump since you wouldn’t feel any resistance as the pump is doing all the work for you.
You can still carefully observe and check the mattress for tautness.
Pay attention to the sound of the electric pump, as it may start to emit a high-pitched whine when it starts having difficulty adding more air. That’s your pump telling you that the mattress is full.
Use your common sense
If you’ve just bought a new air mattress and you’re wondering how is enough or how much is too much, always err on the safe side.
It is better to underinflate, try it out, then inflate a little more if it doesn’t feel quite right. It is never good to overinflate an air mattress, so avoid it at all times.
As described above, inflating an air bed until the material is just taut is a good starting point.
Try it out, and if it’s too hard for your liking, let out some air until it feels the way you want it to be.
If it’s not quite firm enough for you, add a little more air.
After using your air mattress a couple of times, you’ll know exactly how to set it up just to your liking, but it does take some time to get the hang of it. So don’t worry, you’ll get there eventually.
Also, it is quite normal to have to top up an air mattress in the morning. To learn more about this, read our other post Why do air mattresses deflate overnight?
What happens if you over inflate an air mattress? Conclusion
Do be careful not to over inflate your air mattress, or you could risk deforming or rupturing it.
If you’ve ever heard of the German term “Fingerspitzengefühl”, you’ll know it comes in handy when blowing up an air mattress.
It means you have to listen to your senses and follow your intuition. In this case, quite literally, the translation of “finger tips feeling” is correct.
An air mattress is complete when it is as plush or as hard as you like it to be.
If you’re not very good at this stuff and prefer to have a dial that you can set and forget about.
Shop around for an air mattress with a built-in pump that does all the work for you and doesn’t leave you guessing. Compare heavy-duty air mattresses here.