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How to plug an air mattress without the actual plug

Updated February 21, 2017

Inflating an air bed can be a challenging task, especially if you're inflating it manually. All air beds have a plug that you insert or screw into the air hole to prevent air from leaking out. Sometimes the plug can be misplaced, rendering the mattress useless. Knowing how to plug an air bed without the plug can come in very handy.

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  1. Whittle the dowel or straight stick into a gradual point. The end should be a conical shape.

  2. Blunt the sharp end of the stick by cutting off the point and rounding it. Leaving the end sharp can be dangerous when you insert the stick into the air bed.

  3. Wrap a few layers of duct tape around the stick.

  4. Test the plug by firmly inserting it into the hole. The wooden plug should go in smoothly and provide a tight fit. If it doesn't, remove the duct tape and shape it so that it fits snugly.

  5. Inflate the air bed and quickly insert the plug.

  6. Put duct tape over the end of the plug on the outside of the air bed to prevent the plug from popping out.

  7. Tip

    Place the plugged end of the air bed against a wall for additional support.


    When whittling the stick, always cut away from your body with smooth, firm strokes.

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Things You'll Need

  • Dowel or straight stick
  • Sharp knife
  • Duct tape


About the Author

Patrick Hutchison has been doing freelance work since 2008. He has worked as a physical therapy aide and as a writer for various websites including Destination Guides and several travel-related companies. Hutchison has a Bachelor of Arts in history and anthropology from the University of Washington.

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