How to Take Care of Your Air Mattress Long-Term
Mind Your Surroundings
Before you blow it up, make sure you set your air mattress somewhere that’s free of potential popping hazards. A spare thumbtack or sharp stone can wreak havoc on your inflatable bed. If you’re indoors, try to vacuum or sweep before laying the deflated mattress out. If you’re outside, make sure to clear away any sharp sticks or stones. Excessive heat can also damage your air bed, so be sure to give yourself plenty of distance from space heaters, heat vents, or campfires.
Inspect Your Mattress
When you get the air mattress out from storage, spread it out on a safe surface and inspect it. Keep an eye out for holes, tears, or creepy crawly insects that might have found a new home in the folds. Look for any signs of mold that may have grown if the mattress was wet or stored in a humid environment. Take a whiff and see if you smell mildew or any other smells that seem out of place, and try to find the source. Once you’re sure your air mattress is in good condition, it’s time to inflate.
Inflate to the Proper Capacity
While it’s important to keep your inflatable mattress away from sharp objects, it’s just as important to fill it with the right amount of air. An underinflated mattress creates uneven weight distribution that can wear on the material and make it easier to puncture. Likewise, over-inflating your mattress will put stress on the seams and could cause a blowout. It’s normal for your mattress to lose some air throughout the night, but pumping it up as needed will keep the air chambers from bubbling or wearing out. Always use an air pump to avoid moisture and bacteria buildup inside your mattress’s air chambers. Ideal inflation will fill to firmness without removing visible creases and wrinkles in the plastic.
Good bedding is a must for making your air mattress more comfortable, but it will also prolong its life. Pads and blankets can help to protect against sharp objects and other hazards, like pet claws, while also keeping the vinyl from wearing too thin. Investing in good air mattress sheets will prevent dust and dead skin cells from building up, and protect against nighttime sweat. If you know children will be sleeping on your air bed, choose a waterproof mattress protector to prevent damage due to accidents. For more on dressing your air bed, check out our guide to Air Mattress Sheets.
Keep It Clean
While you can’t always control how dirty your guests or camping trips get your air mattress, periodic cleaning will help get rid of dirt, residue, and bacteria. Clean your mattress while it’s inflated by using a cloth and a simple solution made from a few drops of dish soap in water. Avoid brushes with coarse bristles or caustic chemicals like bleach and ammonia, and make sure you rinse thoroughly with clean water afterward. Towel dry the mattress before deflating, and lay it out to air-dry for as long as you can — overnight if possible — to make sure it’s absolutely dry before you put it away
Store It Right
One of the most important ways to keep your air mattress in great condition is proper storage. Every time you put your air mattress away, make sure to inspect it for holes or places where the plastic may be distressed. If your air bed has been exposed to water at all, make sure it’s totally dry, and free of dirt and dust. Once it’s ready for storage, lay your air mattress flat on the ground, fold it neatly, and place it snugly in a sturdy container. Keep your air mattress stored in a well-organized space where it will be easy to find and protected from sharp objects, excessive heat, and excessive cold. Check out our Air Mattress Storage Guide for step by step guidelines for storing your inflatable bed.
Check on It Now and Then
Even if you hardly use your air mattress, preserving its integrity long-term means checking up on it. Periodically inflate your air mattress throughout the year to make sure it still holds air and is free from mildew or pests. If your mattress has a leak, vinyl patch repair kits are an easy, affordable, and reliable alternative to throwing it out. After you check it, deflate and store your mattress like you did before so that it will be accessible and in prime condition for whenever family or friends decide to drop by.