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Can You Fill an Air Mattress with Water?

No, you cannot fill an air mattress with water. Filling it with water would cause it to become heavy and potentially cause damage to the mattress.

Filling an air mattress with water is not a good idea because it is not designed to hold water. If you fill water in an air mattress, it can damage the mattress as well as its pump. This may lead to the formation of leaks or bursts.

You will also have to deal with mold and have a challenge moving the heavy waterbed appropriately without damaging it. The air chambers will also be unable to do their intended function appropriately because they are filled with water and not air.

Table of Contents

Why Should You Not Fill an Air Bed with Water?

here are the common reasons that why you should not fill air bed with water.

Air Mattresses Are Not Designed to Hold water

air mattress appearance

An air mattress is tough since it has to hold the weight of a person lying on it without deflating. However, it also has weight limits. 

If you fill in water in an air mattress, you will make it too heavy and deteriorate or get damaged because it is not designed to hold water.

Risk for Flooding Your house or Room

The weight of a sleeper alongside the water pressure may be a lot for the air bed to withstand. Any form of leak will make the water come out.

The downside is that stopping the water can be challenging since it forces itself out of the mattress. It can even make the rest of your air mattress tear more and deteriorate.

When the air bed bursts, it can splash everywhere and damage your hard-earned carpets, furniture, and any other item on the ground, including clothing, books, and electronics.

Your bedding may also be at risk of getting wet, the worst is your air mattress becoming useless.

The Mattress Becomes Colder

When you add water to your air bed, it makes the mattress colder, especially during the night.

Air mattresses do not have temperature regulation devices as water beds. Once you fill in cold water, you will have to deal with cold temperatures inside the air bed as well as a cold mattress.

This can be dangerous to your health and also your loved ones who may want to use the air bed. You will have to get extra blankets to handle the cold temperatures and save yourself from respiratory diseases associated with cold.

The Risk of Smells and Mold Is High

When filling water on your air mattress and sleeping on it, you may not sense any problems in the start. After a short period, moisture can form inside the mattress. It can create an excellent ground for mold growth, mildew, and foul odors.

Meanwhile, you cannot remove all the water from air mattress, some can still trap inside, which cause moisture build-up. Once accumulated inside your mattress, your bed becomes uncomfortable and deteriorates. 

Moving the Air Bed Becomes Risky

It’s risky to moving an air mattress full of water. You should be extra careful to move something heavier and avoid tearing a hole in the mattress while moving it.
Even if you decide to drain some water from it, it still gets risky to transport the air bed. You could also damage the outer layer of the mattress and creating holes.

Alternatives to Filling an Air Bed with Water

You can use various alternatives to filling an air mattress with water. Have a look.

Use a Foam Topper

Memory Foam Mattress Topper 10cm
Foam topper is the best alternative to make your mattress more comfortable and inflate for an extended period. It is a thin layer of foam that you can place on your air bed to incorporate more cushioning and extra comfort.
A foam topper also can assist with keeping your air bed from releasing air, it helps to keep the air inside the mattress more distributed.

Get a Self-Inflating Pad

You can also use a self-inflating pad to fill an air mattress. It is designed of fabric and foam and can inflate itself when it comes into contact with air.
When inflating the air mattress, the self-inflating pad simplifies the work. You do not have to get a pump or inflate the air mattress manually; the self-inflating pad can perform the work itself.

Use a Water Bed

water bed
Waterbed is a vinyl mattress filled with water, not air. It has excellent at distributing your body weight, helping relieve pressure and minimizing back and spine pain.
Many waterbeds have temperature regulation devices, you can heat the colder water and stay warm at night.
You do not have to refill the bed with water sometime. But you need to incorporate a waterbed conditioner into the water every year.


Is it safe to fill any air mattress with water?

No, it’s generally not safe to fill standard air mattresses with water, as they are not designed for water use. Doing so can lead to damage and safety risks.

Are there air mattresses designed for water use?

Yes, some air mattresses are designed for water-related activities and are equipped to handle water pressure. These are safer options if you want to use an air mattress in water.

What are the main risks of filling an air mattress with water?

The main risks include the potential for the mattress to rupture, instability on water, and an increased risk of accidents and injuries.

Can I use an air mattress for floating on a calm river?

It’s not recommended to use a standard air mattress for floating on a river, as it may not provide the necessary stability and buoyancy. You can consider using specialized floatation devices instead.


An air mattress is designed to be filled with air, not water. Its material is not waterproof, and you may damage the mattress if you try to add water inside it. 

Luckily, there are several alternatives to filling your air bed with water. You can use a self-inflating pad, a foam topper, and a battery-powered pump to inflate the air mattress.

Author: Jessica

Jessica is a lover of both life and gardening. She loves to share his passion for both on social media. He often posts about his latest gardening projects, as well as tips and tricks for others who might be interested in starting their own gardens. She also frequently posts about the different aspects of his life that he enjoys, from spending time with friends and family to exploring new places.