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Reviews and General Information on Air Mattresses
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Built-In vs External Air Bed Pump

If you’re currently looking for an air bed and it’s your first time, you may be a bit confused over which type of pump will suit you best. Basically, you will find two different pumps on the market. These are external and built-in.

I have decided to give you some of the benefits (and negatives) for both.
Hopefully, by the time you’ve finished reading this section of my website you will know exactly which sort of pump to choose and it will cut-down the amount of time you spend searching for the best air mattresses.

External Pumps

External Air Mattress Pump

These have been around since airbeds were made available, and are actually still a very popular choice.

I have many customers that still prefer this method of adding air to their mattresses (although I do also have a few that don’t), and here’s why.


  • If you’re on a limited budget an external pump airbed will cost you far less than those that use the latest in pump technology.
  • Should you have a problem with your pump (and it can happen) it’s much easier to get a replacement, and in some cases it doesn’t really matter what type you buy.
  • You can choose the level of inflation you need. If you prefer a softer air mattress you simply add less air.
  • These days, there are models of airbed that come with double-lock valves which mean you don’t lose air the minute you remove the pump.


  • Maybe you’re not the sort of person that enjoys a good workout? Of course, there are electric pumps, but some external pumps (especially with the cheaper models) can mean you’re out of breath once you’ve finished (and your leg muscles won’t thank you for it either).
  • Because the pump you have with your air bed is separate, it’s very easy for it to get lost amongst all the other gadgets you have in your garage or basement, especially if you only use your mattress once or twice a year.

If you decide to opt for an air mattress that needs an external pump, make sure to check my selection of the best external air pumps.

Built In Pumps

Internal Air Mattress Pump

For obvious reasons, this type of pump for your air mattress came to the market much later than external pumps. But, as we all know technology is always on the move and it was only a matter of time before manufacturers started to look at ways in which they could make blowing up a mattress like this much easier. However, as with everything there are pluses and negatives.


  • Choosing an air mattress that has a built-in air pump can make life much easier. You don’t have to struggle with fitting anything into the valve, and you won’t end up with sore leg muscles.
  • This type of pump will also make inflating your air bed far quicker simply because it’s either battery or electrically powered.
  • As with external pumps, some models like this will allow you to choose the level of comfort you want. However, unlike manual pumps this is automatic. You will find a few reviews on my website from manufacturers that have added “plush, medium or firm” to their pumps and this can be done with the turn of a dial.
  • Losing your pump is impossible (unless you lose your air bed). So you won’t have to dig about in your basement or garage looking for it.
  • On the more expensive models, leaks are less likely because of the way the valves work.


  • You should be prepared to find a little more money in your budget for an airbed like this. Advanced technology is used to produce them and that has to be passed on to the consumer.
  • It can be more difficult to deal with pump problems in this type of mattress because it’s not just a case of popping down to the local hardware store for another.

So, having read through the information above I hope you have some idea of which type of pump you would like with your air bed.
Now it’s time for the best part – choosing one! Enjoy!

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