Self Inflating Pillow How Do They Work

It’s natural to wonder self inflating pillow how do they work, and this article will discuss how the structure plays a role in the self-inflating mechanism. You can also find out how to make your own self-inflating pillow as you go. Overall, a self-inflating pillow’s convenient size and functionality make it a versatile product that anyone can get curious about how it works. 

Self-inflating pillows are popular for camping or traveling because they don’t take up as much space as your traditional pillow to get adequate sleep. But because it is self-inflating, it is still effortless on your part when it comes to using and packing it afterward. Below should help you understand this mechanism, and you can use the knowledge to select the best self-inflating pillow in the market. 


How Do Self Inflating Pillows Work?

In general, one can simplify the mechanism of self-inflating pillows by allowing air to draw inside them. This happens when the user releases the valve, which means opening it will deflate the pillow conversely. However, you’ll understand self-inflating pillows more if you know the materials behind them. 

Self-inflating pillows and pads typically have an open cell construction. They do the inflation for you because air will come in from the holes, and then you’ll prevent air from escaping when you lie on the pillow by closing the tube. These products are also convenient for traveling because they compress completely when folded yet expand well once you unfold them. 


Can You Make A Self Inflating Pillow?

Self-inflating pillows are readily available in the market, but you can also make one yourself if needed. The materials are relatively easy to find and making it is quite straightforward. So what will you need to make a self-inflating pillow?


What you need and how to make one

Prepare a ziplock bag, memory foam, foil, cloth, and iron. You’ll be keeping the pillow secured using a strap, and removing it will expand the memory foam and inflate the pillow. To make the pillow itself, start stuffing the ziplock bag with foam.

Don’t forget to poke holes in the bag itself, as this will make deflating the pillow possible. Next is to seal the bag and remove the ziplock before adding foam to the opposite side. You will then seal the plastic by ironing the bag. 

Use a foil sleeve to protect your iron, and then cut out the ziplock. You can make a pillowcase using a pattern as a guide and then place the bag you made inside. Finally, close the pillow with an outside seam.


Open Cell Vs Closed Cell Foam

When learning about self-inflating pillows, you will hear about their use of open cell structure. It will be useful for you to understand the difference between open cell foam and closed cell foam, not only when selecting or making a self-inflating pillow, but when choosing a pillow in general as well. You can also apply this knowledge when selecting the best mattress and body pillow for optimal sleeping posture


Open cell foam

Open cell foam is ideal for sleep products because of its cushiony-soft structure from air filling its spaces. This is common for self-inflating pillows, as explained earlier, and most pillow manufacturers also use this because it stays cool throughout the night. The resulting soft and cool pillow using open cell is comfortable, and the materials needed won’t even cost much. 

However, because open cell foam is less dense, you have to check the quality of the product you’re getting. The density can affect the foam’s durability, which means you want to aim for specific pounds per cubic foot, depending on the product. Remember that it should absorb impact well. 


Closed cell foam

Closed cell foam is not ideal for memory and polyfoams like its open cell counterpart. However, it would be useful for insulation because its density is perfect for regulating temperature and resisting damage. Therefore, closed-cell foam is what you’ll typically use for insulating walls and not on mattresses and pillows.

Otherwise, its structure will resist airflow and create a stiff feel, which are characteristics that you don’t want your pillows or mattress to have. Overall, closed cell foam is what you need for insulation, but not for bed products to give you support and comfort. It resists water degradation and even prevents mold growth. 



Gone are the days where we have to leave pillows and sacrifice good sleep when we’re out and about. You can always sleep well thanks to inflatable pillows, but self inflating pillow how do they work? These pillows typically use an open cell construction, which means releasing the valve will draw air inside it without the need of us intervening and blowing air inside. 

By understanding this mechanism, one can also make their own self-inflating pillow using household items. You will need a ziplock bag, foam, foil, iron, and cloth. It’s useful to have your own self-inflating pillow because they can differentiate between good sleep and aching back when we’re traveling. 

Overall, this article should help you understand how self-inflating pillows can draw air inside themselves and why open cell foam is ideal for pillows and other bed products. Remember that the softness and breathability of open cell foam are what you need for comfort and support, but the structure of closed cell foam is what you’ll use for insulating walls.