How to Deflate an Air Mattress: A Comprehensive Guide

Air mattresses are versatile, comfortable, and convenient temporary bedding solutions, whether you have guests staying over or you’re enjoying a camping trip. However, deflating and storing them correctly is as essential as inflating them to ensure their longevity and usability. This comprehensive guide will walk you through the steps to deflate an air mattress properly, along with some tips for maintenance and storage.

Understanding Your Air Mattress

Before diving into the deflation process, it’s essential to understand the type of air mattress you have. Air mattresses come with different types of valves and features:

Simple Valve Air Mattresses: These are basic air mattresses with a simple valve mechanism.

Built-in Pump Air Mattresses: These come with an integrated electric or manual pump.

Double Lock Valve Air Mattresses: These have a two-step valve system for extra security.

Tools You Might Need

Depending on the type of air mattress, you might need:

  • A manual or electric pump (for mattresses with built-in pumps).
  • A vacuum cleaner with a hose attachment (optional for quick deflation).

How to Deflate an Air Mattress by manual or electric pump

Step-by-Step Guide to Deflating Your Air Mattress

Step 1: Clear the Area

Before you begin, ensure the area around the mattress is clear of sharp objects and debris that could puncture it. It is also a good idea to move the mattress to a spacious area with enough room to work.

Step 2: Remove Bedding

Remove any bedding, pillows, or accessories from the air mattress. This will make it easier to handle and ensure that nothing gets damaged during the deflation process.

Step 3: Locate the Valve

Find the valve on your air mattress. The valve’s location can vary depending on the mattress model, but it is usually found at the foot or side of the mattress. For mattresses with built-in pumps, you will also find the pump mechanism here.

Step 4: Open the Valve

Simple valve mattresses:

  • Unscrew or unseal the valve to let the air start escaping. It would help to open the valve to allow the air to flow smoothly.
  • Apply gentle pressure on the mattress to help push the air out.

Double lock valve mattresses:

  • Open the first cap to let the air out. This will start a slow deflation.
  • Open the second cap (if available) to increase the airflow and speed up deflation.

Mattresses with built-in pumps:

  • Switch the pump to the deflation setting. If your pump does not have this setting, you might need to use the inflation setting but in reverse, which can sometimes act as a deflator.
  • Turn on the pump and let it do the work. Ensure you monitor the process to prevent overheating the pump.

Step 5: Apply Pressure to Speed Up Deflation

Once the valve is open, apply gentle pressure to the mattress to help expel the air. You can do this by:

  • Rolling or folding the mattress towards the valve end.
  • Pressing down on the mattress with your hands or knees.

Step 6: Ensure All Air is Expelled

To ensure that all the air is out of the mattress:

  • Lay the mattress flat and press down from the opposite end of the valve.
  • Repeat the rolling or folding process a few times until no more air is heard escaping.

Step 7: Close the Valve

Close the valve once the mattress is deflated to prevent air from re-entering. This will make it easier to fold and store the mattress.

Step 8: Fold and Store

Folding your air mattress properly is crucial for maintaining its shape and extending its life. Follow these steps:

  • Fold the mattress lengthwise, aligning the edges neatly.
  • Roll the mattress from one end to the other, applying even pressure to push out any remaining air pockets.
  • Use straps or ties to secure the rolled mattress once rolled.
  • Store the mattress in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight and sharp objects. If available, use the original storage bag.

How to Deflate an Air Mattress by vacuum pump

Tips for Maintaining Your Air Mattress

Regular Cleaning: Wipe down the mattress with a damp cloth to remove dirt and debris after each use.

Inspect for Leaks: Periodically check for leaks by inflating the mattress and listening for hissing sounds. You can also use soapy water to identify leaks by looking for bubbles.

Proper Storage: To protect the mattress from dust and damage, store it in its carrying case or a storage bag.

Avoid Over-Inflation: Do not over-inflate the mattress, as it can stress the seams and lead to leaks.

Protect from Sharp Objects: To avoid punctures, always place the mattress on a clean, flat surface.

Common Issues and Troubleshooting

Slow Deflation

If your air mattress deflates slowly, check for obstructions in the valve. Ensure the valve is fully open and free of debris.

Stuck Valve

For stuck valves, use a little silicone spray or soapy water to lubricate the valve mechanism. Be gentle to avoid damaging the valve.

Persistent Leaks

If you discover a persistent leak, you can use an air mattress repair kit to patch it up. Clean and dry the area around the leak, apply the patch according to the instructions, and let it cure before using the mattress again.

Pump Malfunctions

For built-in pump issues, consult the manufacturer’s manual for troubleshooting tips. Sometimes, resetting the pump by unplugging it for a few minutes can resolve minor issues.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q1 How long does it take to deflate an air mattress?

A: It typically takes 5-10 minutes, depending on the mattress size and deflation method.

Q2: Can I use a vacuum cleaner to deflate my air mattress?

A: Yes, a vacuum cleaner with a hose attachment can be used to expedite deflation.

Q3 What if my air mattress doesn’t fully deflate?

A: Ensure the valve is entirely open and re-fold the mattress to push out any remaining air.

Q4 How do I find and fix leaks in my air mattress?

A: Inflate the mattress and listen for hissing sounds, or use soapy water to spot bubbles indicating leaks. Patch as needed.

Q5 Is it okay to roll my air mattress instead of folding it?

A: Rolling is acceptable, but ensure all air is expelled and the mattress is stored correctly to prevent damage.


Deflating an air mattress might seem straightforward, but doing it correctly ensures that your mattress remains in good condition for future use. Following the steps outlined in this guide, you can efficiently deflate and store your air mattress, keeping it ready for the next time you need it. Remember, proper maintenance and storage are vital to extending the life of your air mattress. Whether you have a simple valve mattress or one with a built-in pump, these steps will help you easily manage your mattress. Happy deflating!

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