How does a self-inflating sleeping mat work?

The term is almost self-explanatory; a self-inflating mat inflates itself, something that can come in quite handy when you want to get to sleep quickly. However, there is more to know when it comes to inflating and deflating such a mat. If you are using a self-inflating sleeping mat for the first time or if you haven't used it for a long while, it may take some time before it is fully ready to use by itself. Below we share a handy step-by-step plan for inflating and deflating your self-inflating sleeping mat.


  • Roll out the sleeping mat and open the valve. Some mats have one-way valves, but they may also have separate adapters. The following rule applies to both versions: make sure that the opening is as large as possible when inflating the mat and that any adapters have been removed.
  • Once the valve is open, the sleeping mat will suck in air until it is full. If your mat is new, or has not been used for a long time, this process may be slower. If that is the case, you can blow in some air yourself. Funny but serious fact: do not consume any alcohol before blowing air into your sleeping mat. If there is any alcohol in your breath it may cause damage to the interior of your mat.
  • As soon as the mat is filled with air, close the valves. The mat is now ready for use.

Caution: never use a compressor or pump to inflate a self-inflating sleeping mat!

To ensure optimal sleeping comfort: don't inflate your mat fully, but leave some room for the sleeping mat to adjust to your body shape. Sweet dreams!


When your camping adventure has come to an end and the time has come to pack up again, your sleeping mat has to be deflate again. We recommend that you do this carefully by following a number of steps. For this we also have a step-by-step plan for you:

  • Make sure that the mat is clean and dry.
  • Open the valve and fold the sleeping mat in half or in three, this will push out most of the air.
  • Close the valve. If necessary, repeat the action of step 2 if the mat still contains air.
  • Roll the mat in the direction of the valve. As soon as all air has collected at the valve end, open the valve and keep rolling slowly, so that the last bit of air has exited the mat.

As soon as you see that all of the air has been taken our of your sleeping mat, close the valve and store your mat.