I use a Therm-a-Rest NeoAir sleeping pad. This is not self inflating, so I have to breathe in to the sleeping pad to inflate it.

Are there any precautions for storing the bag to avoid gnarly bacteria / mold from growing inside the sleeping pad since I'm inflating it with such moist air? Is it enough to just store it with the valve open?


2 Answers 2


No. It's a good thought, but I have had one that I have inflated by mouth for over 10 years. I usually store it valve open partially inflated. I live in Arizona and the temp in the shed can get to over 150 degrees F some days so valve closed would cause the bubble to pop. It has never given me trouble.

I have heard that this is an issue from people who have never owned one before, and usually as a selling point for solid mattresses. But I have never heard it as an issue from someone who owned one.

  • Do you store it fully laid out? I think if it were rolled tightly, it wouldn't much matter if the valve is open.
    – Elliott B
    Oct 5, 2017 at 0:28

My understanding that the only time inflating a pad by breath is bad is when it will be used in sub-zero conditions, as the moisture can freeze inside the mattress.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.