What To Do If An Air Bed Has A Lump – Step by Step Guidelines
Air mattresses have their fans and their critics, but no one can dispute the fact that they are more portable and handy than normal beds. One downside of using an air bed is that it can develop lumps which can develop into weaknesses in the mattress and cause it to deflate over time. In this article, we’ll discuss what to do if an air bed has a lump and provide you with steps to fix it.
If an air bed has a lump, fix it by first locating the lumpy area, then opening the air valve. Start to deflate the air bed and apply pressure to the lump as the mattress deflates, to smooth out the bulging area. Once completely deflated, slowly re-inflate it and check if the lump is gone or reduced. Be sure not to over-inflate the air bed.
Air mattresses are also incredibly comfortable because their firmness level can be adjusted and customized, as explained in our article about air bed benefits. You do, however, need to be careful not to over-inflate your air bed as this may cause excessive strain in certain areas which could result in an uncomfortable lump. This article covers ways to avoid a lump in an air bed, and techniques to reduce them if they do occur.
When you over-inflate the mattress lumps and bubbles occur, which are hard and cause discomfort. By releasing some of the air you can usually get rid of, or reduce a lump. However, continuous over-inflation can cause a seam to tear inside the mattress, which is typically irreversible. Read our article on air mattress dangers to avoid damaging your air mattress by over-inflating it.
Why Does My Mattress Have A Bubble?
The development of an air mattress bubble can be caused by a number of factors ranging from manufacturing flaws to incorrect usage.
An air mattress may have a bubble because of over-inflation, poor quality due to inferior factory bonding processes, or weak seams that can’t handle the strain of inflation. Do not exceed the air bed’s maximum weight capacity as this could also cause a lump or bubble.
If your air mattress has a factory defect then you can return it, provided the retailer has a favorable return policy. Read our article on how to return an air bed for helpful information about returning an air bed to major retailers in the US.
Now we take a closer look at the possible reasons for an air bubble or lump to develop.
Inferior Factory Bonding
When a brand new mattress begins to swell after only a few uses this is usually a sure indicator that the manufacturing process was flawed. Improper seam bonding during the manufacturing process is the most common cause of bulges in new mattresses. Air mattress seams should endure the strain of inflation and be flexible enough to support the weight of a sleeping person without splitting open or tearing. This presentation from Csiro.au, explains how the bonding and joining technology for seams works.
One of the most common reasons for bubble development is over-inflating your air mattress. Airbed seams are vulnerable to stretching or rupturing when the mattress is over inflated because this is the area where two pieces of PVC fabric are joined together. This excessive strain on the air mattress material causes it to warp and stretch up to a point where it loses its elasticity and can no longer retain its original structure. The stretched areas on the mattress will then bulge into uncomfortable lumps when the air bed is inflated. Intex, a manufacturer of air beds states in bold letters in their safety guide, “do not over inflate”.
Exceeding the Maximum Load Capacity
Checking and adhering to the weight limit of your air bed will prevent unnecessary damage to the mattress. Read our air mattress weight limits comprehensive guide to learn more adhering to these weight limits and prolonging the useful lifespan of your air bed. Placing too much weight on your inflatable mattress could cause punctures and ruptures in the mattress materials.
Even the best air beds are only designed to last for roughly 1-2 years of continuous usage, or up to eight years of occasional use. This air bed can withstand up to 2 months of continuous use with minimal softening (softening can lead to an air bed that has a lump). Bear in mind that bubbles can develop after using your inflatable mattress for a long period. Because airbed seams deteriorate with time, you may want to fix or replace your airbed. If you are considering repairing your air bed then our article on how to replace an air bed bladder has helpful tips and instructions on how to do this.
Air Mattresses of Poor Quality
An air mattress that is cheaply made and offered at a low price, often ends up being a disappointing purchase. Rather than falling for these deceptive offers, it is advised that you buy your air mattress from a reputable store that has trusted ratings and a good return policy. Here's an example of an air bed that has thousands of 5-star ratings and a five-year warranty on production defects.
How To Fix A Bulge In An Air Mattress
If your air bed has a lump, it doesn’t have to mean purchasing a new air mattress, in most instances the issue can be resolved quickly and easily at home.
To fix a bulge in an air mattress, first prepare the mattress by removing all the bedding. Next, start deflating the mattress, and apply pressure to the affected area whilst the mattress is deflating. Finally, inflate the mattress to see if the lump has disappeared or been reduced. Repeat these steps until the lump is completely gone.
Here are some simple instructions to follow to reduce or eliminate the lump:
Step 1. Prepare Your Air Mattress By Removing Bedding
The first step in repairing an air mattress bubble is to prepare your mattress by removing all loose sheets, mattress pads, pillows, and any other loose accessories. Large bubbles are noticeable and should be easy to spot. However, you may need to spend some time checking the mattress for smaller bubbles. If your mattress has an electric internal pump, it is advised that you unhook it from the outlet.
Step 2. Begin Deflating the Mattress
Attempting to repair an air mattress bubble when the bed is fully inflated could result in accidental punctures or tears in the fabric, so you will need to switch the built-in pump to deflate or open the air valve and connect an external pump like this, to deflate the air bed first.
Step 3. Apply Pressure on the Lump During Deflation
While the air mattress is deflating you should apply moderate pressure to the bulging area to attempt to smooth it out. Do not apply direct pressure on the lump, but rather massage the lump edges outwards towards the surrounding fabric so that the lump becomes less pronounced.
Step 4. Inflate Your Mattress Once More
The final step is to re-inflate your air mattress once you've removed the bubble. Activate the built-in pump or connect an external electric pump like this one, to the air valve to inflate the mattress once more. Read our article on how to inflate an air bed to learn about the various ways to inflate an air mattress if you don't have an electric pump. When the mattress has reached the desired hardness, stop inflating and check for any lingering bubbles, then repeat Steps 2-4 if required.
Step 5. Seal the Air Valve
After you've attained your preferred firmness or softness, immediately reconnect your air mattress' air valve cap, letting very little air escape. Inspect the valve seal to ensure that no air is escaping. If you discover that the seal has a leak then read our article on how to fix an air bed leak for steps on replacing an air valve that you can purchase from Amazon.
How to Prevent Lumps In Air Beds
Proper care and use of your air mattress will reduce the chances of lumps developing, and will actually prolong the lifespan of your air bed.
To prevent lumps from developing in an air bed, make sure that there is enough space for the air bed and remove any sharp objects from the area. Allow the air mattress to naturally stretch out, and to adjust to the ambient temperature. Invest in an air mattress with a built-in dual air pump to maintain firmness automatically, and deflate the air bed when not in use.
Making sure that there is enough space to fit the air bed comfortably and that the maximum weight isn’t exceeded, will prevent unnecessary wear and tear that could lead to lumps. Read our article on how to choose an air bed that can support over 400 pounds if you think that you may need a heavy-duty air mattress.
Here are some tips on how to stop your mattress from developing bubbles and from getting damaged:
1. Inspect the Area Around the Air Mattress Before You Inflate It
When using your air bed for camping it is important to thoroughly inspect the ground for bumpy stones and sharp pine needles that could damage your mattress. We recommend using a ground mat like this under your air mattress on floor surfaces that are slightly uneven, and an air bed with a frame like this for rockier and uneven ground.
You also need to measure the area where the air mattress will be placed to make sure it will fit. Read our article on air bed dimensions to learn more about the measurements of various mattress sizes.
2. Allow the Mattress to Stretch Naturally
As stated in the Intex owner manual, the intrinsic properties of airbeds cause them to steadily expand during use. This allows the material to respond to being inflated and deflated on a regular basis. During the first few nights of sleeping on your brand-new inflatable mattress, the material gradually stretches and will expand to its maximum yield so that you sleep more comfortably.
To avoid substantial deflation, inflate the bed completely without sleeping on it and allow it to stand for 2-3 days. This step goes hand-in-hand with airing out the air mattress before using it, which dissipates unpleasant manufacturing aromas and smells. During this time, avoid putting any additional weight on the mattress so that it can spread out naturally.
3. Invest in a Dual-Pump System Air Mattress
The addition of a second pump to many of the top-tier air mattress models is one of the best improvements to modern air beds. The second pumps are silent and compensate for any air leakage by automatically inflating the mattress during the night to keep it at a particular level of inflation. This Insta-Bed Raised Air Mattress with Never-Flat Pump ensures that the air mattress won’t sag during the night due to air loss. Our article on how to fix a deflating air bed explains why this natural air loss occurs and how to prevent or reduce it.
4. Allow the Temperature of Your Air Bed to Match That of the Room
Room temperature fluctuations can cause an air mattress to lose air which could place strain on certain areas and lead to lumps. With each change in ambient temperature, a small amount of air leaks from the mattress. Things that appear to be innocuous, such as turning off the heating in a room where an airbed is placed, can result in some air loss.
Place a small heater like this near (but not too close to) the mattress to prevent the air in your mattress from becoming cold and contracting. Another method is to inflate your bed several hours before sleep so that it can adjust to the temperature in the room before use.
5. Deflate the Air Mattress Overnight
If you are going on a camping trip that necessitates sleeping on an airbed for several nights, we recommend that you release some air out of the mattress every morning after sleeping on it, or that you completely deflate the mattress and re-inflate it when needed. This will ensure that less pressure is applied to the seams and fabric, allowing your mattress to maintain its elasticity. It is always best to store your deflated air mattress in its storage bag to protect it from dust and punctures. This air bed comes with a waterproof bag for storage.
You might also be interested in learning how long do air beds last. Make sure to read our related article to find out.
Can an Air Mattress Burst?
An air bed with a single chamber that is manufactured from inferior materials can burst if it is over inflated.
Unfortunately, an air bed can burst, especially if it's a cheap mattress with a single air chamber that's been stored near a flammable aerosol. According to Intex, an air bed manufacturer, explosive bursting is less common than small air leaks, and they list safety tips about how to properly use an air mattress on their website.
Air Bed Lump Prevention & Quick Fixes
Overinflation is the most common cause of air mattress lumps, so ensure that you monitor the firmness of the air mattress during the inflation process to prevent this from happening.
If an air mattress has been overinflated, immediately open the air valve to release some air from the mattress, or completely deflate the mattress to allow the material to regain its shape.
Extra Air Should Be Released
Simply release the extra air from your air mattress to reduce the strain on the fabric and the seams. This air mattress has an external valve that is easy to open and a 3-minute quick-inflate or deflate function.
Completely Deflate the Air Mattress
If your air mattress material has stretched due to overinflation, then completely deflating it allows the material to shrink back to its original shape and size. First, remove all bedding from the air bed and then deflate it.
Summary on the Causes of Lumps in Air beds
|Cause of Lumps in Air Beds||How To Fix It||How To Prevent It|
Poor Quality Mattress
|Try deflating the mattress while applying light pressure to the affected area||Buy a quality air mattress from a reputable retailer|
|Deflate the mattress and inflate again||Avoid constant over inflation, and monitor the firmness of your mattress while inflating it|
Exceeding the Maximum Weight Capacity
|Deflate the air mattress and allow it to regain its original shape and size||Avoid exceeding the weight limits that are stipulated in the owner’s manual|