The fear of over-inflating your air mattress is very real because of the lack of information provided by air bed manufacturers about inflation limits. Without knowing how much air can be safely put into the airbed, the consumer is left to use trial and error, and the fear of permanently damaging the airbed will remain.
This article discusses what can happen if you add too much air to your inflatable bed and the things you can do to avoid having an issue.
To begin with, many airbeds that come with built-in electric air pumps also have automatic shut-off valves, which protect against over inflation. So what happens when too much air has been added to an air bed? Over-inflation can cause problems because it stretches the PVC vinyl material that holds the bed together. Once that occurs, it will be difficult for the air bed to maintain its’ correct shape and form.
Hole in the seams
Another potential issue is the likelihood the air mattress will develop a hole in the seams that stitch together the vinyl materials. Once that happens, you’ll need to find the hole, and use an air mattress repair kit or an air bed patch if you want to continue using the bed.
Lastly, there can be a violent rupture of the airbed, which permanently damages the mattress. All of these possibilities can be avoided with a little attention to how you take care of your air mattress.
So what should you do if you have an airbed that doesn’t have a fancy shut-off mechanism?
Avoid to full firmness
The first thing I would do when inflating a new air mattress would be to NOT fill it up to full firmness upon your initial use of the bed. I would fill it up until there is a little firmness in the airbed, and most of the creases in the bed have disappeared. Then let it sit for a while, and add a little more air. Repeat the process until you get the bed to a reasonable level of firmness, but not over-inflated.
So, what have you just done? You’ve gently stretched the bed seams and allowed them to slowly expand to acceptable levels, as opposed to overstretching and damaging them.
What you don’t want to do is put so much air into the airbed such that all the creases/wrinkles in the mattress are gone and the bed is super smooth. If you do, you’re asking for trouble. You can definitely make the air mattress firm and get a comfortable night’s sleep without putting too much air into the air chambers of the bed.
So, if you have an air bed with a built-in pump, you are likely to have some built-in protections that will help keep the bed from being damaged because of too much air.
Even if you do have this kind of safety guard, you still shouldn’t overfill the bed because it damages the airbed seams over time. If you have a regular air bed, just put enough air into it to get a firm, comfortable night of rest, without overextending it.