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Can Air Mattresses Get Bed Bugs?

Bed bugs are blood-thirsty and biting insects that are very difficult to eradicate. Their tiny size and ability to hide in crevices and folds make them even harder to spot. Besides, Starving a whole colony to death isn’t easy as it may take even up to 400 days.

Some people claim to find temporary relief from bedbugs on air mattresses. Unfortunately, mattresses, bed frames, and other beddings are bed bug’s favorite dwellings

Therefore, can air mattresses get bed bugs?

Well, it’s possible. But, there is more to it. Read on to find out why.

Why Air Mattress is not as Hospitable for Bed Bugs as Foam Beds

Naturally, bed bugs find foam mattresses very friendly than inflatable mattresses. Here is why:


Many if not all inflatable mattresses are of PVC or Vinyl material. The materials feature thin plastic films. Unlike the foam mattress that bed bugs bore or drill holes to hide in easily, vinyl and PVC are foolproof to puncture. For that reason, the insects find it challenging to make their dwelling place there.

Vast Air Space

The regular mattress is spongy. So, it’s not only soft but also porous. That means it’s easy for bed bugs to hide in the foam layer. On the other hand, an inflatable mattress has nothing but air inside.

Accordingly, even if the insect finds a way to get inside, there are limited places where it can hide.

Slippery Sides (for Models with Plain Flat Sides)

All around, the air mattress has slippery sides. But remember, bed bugs do not have wings. That means they crawl to move from one place to the next. The slippery sides of the air mattress prove a real challenge.

Easy to Clean Regularly

When deflated, the inflatable mattress is easy to clean. Its non-porous nature and extended flat surfaces make it trouble-free to clean. It can easily fit bathtub. The regular mattress, on the other hand, is bulky and challenging to clean.

However, as pointed out earlier, air mattresses aren’t foolproof safe from bed bugs attack.

Why It’s Possible to Find Bed Bugs on Air Mattress

Flocked Top

Although bed bugs can’t gnaw holes into air mattresses, most have flocked tops. Owing to such design, the flocking thus somehow gives them a hiding place. Besides, they can also lay and hide eggs in the congregated regions.

Large Seams

Besides flocked sides or top, air mattress seams can also harbor breeding places for the insects.

Not All Inflatable Beds Have Flat Slippery Sides. 

Some models have soft fiber-like materials that make it easy for bed bugs to climb right to the top. Also, any crease or fold on the mattress is a potential hiding place for bed bugs or eggs.

So you see, though it isn’t their primary target, air mattresses can get bed bugs. Therefore have you checked your inflatable mattress/ bed for signs of bed bug infestation?

Sings of Bed Bugs Infestation

Most often, the insects hide in crevices, holes, or seam folds during the day. But if you sit on your bed and become inactive for long, they come out from their hiding places and bite. However, they have saliva that soothes, and hence it isn’t easy to feel them biting you.

So if you spot any of the following, then possibly you have bed bugs;

Bite Marks

One of the most obvious signs of the insects is bite marks. Bed bug bites closely resemble those of mosquitoes. Therefore check on your back or sides for mosquitoes like welts. Most people either sleep on their backs or sides. Hence those are the prime places to check for their marks.

Dark/ Tiny Blood Spots

Take a closer look at the folds or seam on the air mattress. If you see tiny dark spots along those seam lines, you likely have bed bugs. The spots represent either dried blood or their fecal excretions.

Bed Bug Shells and Eggs

The presents of white eggs and bed bug shells are a sure sign of their presence. Even if you haven’t spotted the insects, they are sure to be hiding somewhere.

Musty Smell 

Sometimes heavy infestation of bed bugs in a room produces an unpleasant smell in the air.

How to Prevent Bed Bug Infestation On the Air Mattress

Bed bugs are stubborn insects that are hard to exterminate once they attack. So the best move is to stay on alert and prevent their entry in the first case. Here are a few tips to help you;

Invest in Zippered Covers

One of the best ways of keeping off bed bugs from invading your inflatable is investing in a mattress zippered cover. Particularly choose the plastic cover. For best results, as soon as you buy the inflated mattress, encase.

Such material is slippery and won’t allow bed bugs to crawl up. The zip finally seals any possible entry. After that, take caution that no foreign substance punctures the mattress.

Don’t Use a Bare Memory Foam Pillow

Having zippered the mattress, don’t use a bare memory foam pillow. Instead, encase it in a plastic cover.  As with the real inflatable mattress, cover it on the first day of purchase.

Change Sheets Regularly and Wash

Another crucial step is to keep your beddings clean. Hence you should change your bed sheet often. Wash the bed sheets and the deflated mattress in a big container or bathtub.

After washing, dry them completely in the sun before reusing them. But if the flocked top material allows, you can vacuum it often.

Inspect any Furniture You Buy Before Incorporating it Into your Bedroom (or House) 

Bed bugs don’t fly. So in most cases, they cling to bags, furniture, and people’s clothes for transportation. Therefore before you bring any furniture to your house, inspect it thoroughly for any signs of bedbugs.

What If they Have Already Invaded Your Air Mattress?

Getting rid of the insects is painstaking. Other people resort to throwing away their infested mattresses and investing in new ones. Yet others try out many DIY methods.

However, the surest way is to seek help from professional pest control personnel.

Though, you can also try freezing the deflated air mattress as the University of Minnesota suggests. But the items would have to stay in the freezer for four days!


So can air mattresses get bed bugs? The truth is it’s possible. However, they bed bugs more common on a memory foam mattress. Accordingly, you need to take caution and prevent their entry into your house.

Be keen on every hotel and public transport you aboard. In addition, when buying used furniture or suitcases, check for the presence of the irritating insects.

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