Last updated on 31 Aug, 2023

How Long Does an Air Mattress Take To Inflate(5-10 Min)?

– By Eric Smith

If you use an air mattress, then this question might have come to your mind that: How long does an air mattress take to inflate? You are not alone in asking this question, and let me tell you that it’s a pretty common question asked about an air mattress.

As we know, an air mattress is a perfect fit for guests, camping in the woods, hiking, or when you don’t have a comfortable sleeping system and want one in a few minutes. However, remember that not all air mattresses are the same when it comes to their inflation time.

how long does an air mattress take to inflate

In this guide, let’s quickly find how long air mattresses actually take to fully inflate. Here, will also discuss the factors that can impact your air mattress’s inflation time. And is there anything you can do to speed up this inflation process?

Let’s dive in.

How Long Does an Air Mattress Take To Inflate?

The Quick Answer: The time an air mattress takes to inflate can vary. Usually, smaller mattresses with built-in electric pumps can inflate in just 1 to 3 minutes. Whereas the larger ones, like queen or king-size, may take around 4 to 10 minutes.

If you’re using an external pump, it might add a few minutes to the process. The inflation speed also depends on factors like the airbed’s material, power source, and also altitude.

So, when you’re setting up your inflatable bed, consider these factors to estimate how long you’ll need to wait for a comfortable night’s sleep.

Factors That Can Affect an Air Mattress Inflation Time​

#1. Air Mattress Size

The size of your air mattress greatly impacts its inflation time. It makes sense now, right? A smaller inflatable bed will typically take less time to fill completely than a larger one.

It’s the same as blowing up a balloon. A small balloon takes seconds, while a big one can take minutes to inflate fully. The same applies to air mattresses.

So, if you’re in a hurry or just don’t want to spend too much time inflating, get a smaller mattress.

#2. Built-in Pump vs. External Pump

Pumps can also play a crucial role in the inflation process. There are basically two main types of pumps that we usually find with air mattresses: built-in pumps and external pumps.

1. Built-in Pumps:

These pumps are attached to the air mattress, so you don’t have to search for a separate pump. Just plug it in, press a button, and it will do the rest.

Built-in pumps are relatively faster as they’re designed particularly for the inflatable bed they come with. Plus, you don’t have to worry about losing the pump because it always stays with the air mattress.

2. External Pumps:

External pumps are like the hired guns of the inflation world. You attach them to your air mattress when you need to. They’re versatile and can work with any inflatable item, not just your air mattress.

However, it’s worth noting that external pumps may take a bit longer because they’re not tailor-made for your mattress. They have to work a bit harder to get the job done. But an external pump could be a smart choice if you have many inflatable things.

#3. Your Power Source

How you plan to power your pump also matters when it comes to inflating an air mattress.

1. Electric Power Pump:

Most pumps run on electricity. They’re pretty quick, efficient, and perfect if you have access to an electricity supply. All you have to do is just plug the pump in and wait until it’s inflating your sleeping system.

2. Battery Power Pump:

Battery-powered pumps are portable winners. They don’t tie you down to an electrical outlet, which makes them a great substitute for camping or when you don’t have an electric outlet. 

However, you need to keep in mind that they might be a bit slower and require fresh batteries in order to inflate your larger air mattresses like queen or king-size air mattresses.

#4. Air Mattress Material

The material your air mattress is made from can greatly affect the time it takes to fully inflate. Some air mattresses are made of thicker materials, while some feature more breathable material in their construction.

Furthermore, thicker materials can take more time to fully inflate as they have to hold and maintain more air. On the other hand, air mattresses with thinner materials can inflate rapidly but might not be as durable as a thicker one.

#5. Altitude & Temperature

Believe it or not, your location also matters in inflating your air mattress. If you’re in the mountains and trying to inflate your bed there, it may take much more time. This is because there’s less air pressure at higher altitudes, which makes it harder to push air into your inflatable bed.

On the other hand, temperature also plays a role here. In colder temperatures, the air inside your mattress becomes denser and makes it harder to inflate quickly. So, if you’re camping in chilly conditions, be prepared to wait a bit longer to get your sleeping system ready.

8 Tips To Inflate an Air Mattress Quickly

1. Choose the Right Pump

Picking the right pump for your air mattress can reduce the time it takes for inflation. If possible, you should look for an air mattress that comes with a built-in electric pump. A built-in electric pump is typically faster compared to any other manual electric pump in the market as they are specially designed for the air mattress itself that they come with.

2. Proper Power Supply

If you’re using an electric pump, make sure you have a continuous power supply. It’s advised to plug the pump into a wall outlet rather than an extension cord. Because the pump can maintain a consistent and faster flow of electricity. On the other hand, weak or fluctuating power sources can slow down your air mattress’s inflation process, again increasing the time.

3. Check for Blockages

Before diving into the inflation process, You want to make sure that there are no blockages in the pump or the mattress’s valve. If there’s debris or dust stuck in your inflation valve or pump, then the air mattress will take much more time than usual, even to fill a single-size air mattress. Which is why, it’s important to clean the components first before starting the inflation.

4. Use the Right Nozzle

Most air pumps come with different nozzle attachments. You need to choose the one that fits your mattress valve properly, i.e., according to the valve’s size. A properly connected nozzle can really help reduce inflation time.

5. Pre-Inflate Manually

If you’re using a manual or external pump, consider giving the mattress a head start by inflating it manually for a minute or two. This small step can make the job much easier for the pump and reduce overall inflation time.

6. Spread Out the Mattress

Consider spreading the air mattress evenly on the ground before starting the inflation process. This step promotes even air distribution and prevents air from getting trapped in certain areas, which can slow down inflation and increase time.

7. Use the Deflation Setting

Many built-in pumps have a deflation setting. If you’re storing the mattress, use this setting to quickly release the air. It’s not about inflation, but it’s a handy feature for efficiently getting the bed back to its compact size, which keeps your air mattress in good health.

8. Close the Valve Properly

Once your air mattress is fully inflated, make sure to close the valve quickly but thoroughly to stop air from escaping. A properly sealed valve keeps the air mattress firmness maintained and prevents the need for frequent reinflation.

Conclusion - How Long Does an Air Mattress Take To Inflate?

We have covered everything in this guide to tell you how long does an air mattress take to inflate. From now on, no matter what size air mattress you have, you know how many minutes you have to wait till your air mattress is inflating.

If your air mattress is taking too much time in inflation, let’s say, 15-20 minutes, consider inspecting the pump, and if it’s an air mattress with a built-in pump, contact the manufacturer and ask for a repair or replacement if possible.

About Eric Smith

eric smith - content writer

With 4+ years of experience dealing with air mattresses, Eric has gotten really good at making useful and interesting stuff for you to read. He loves helping people find the right air mattresses and fix any air mattress-related issues.