It’s so frustrating when you blow up an air mattress for the guest room or on vacation only to find that there’s a hole in it… somewhere. Though finding a hole in an air mattress can be tedious, it can be done. 

If you can’t spot it with the naked eye or by listening for it, a little bit of soap can help you find that spot. It doesn’t end there, though — then it’s time to fix it! Ahead, you’ll find all kinds of tips and tricks for how to fix a leaky air mattress, whether it’s a small hole, a ripped seam, or a leaky gasket. Of course, some fixes are easier than others, but we’ll help you through them! So keep reading to learn how to find a hole in an air mattress and how to patch an air mattress.

How To Fix A Hole In An Air Mattress

To patch an air mattress, you’ll need to have the following materials handy:

  • Air mattress patch kit (either from the manufacturer, another brand, or even a tire patch kit)
  • Soap and water
  • Towel
  • Material to function as a patch (like a shower curtain or duct tape)
  • Adhesive (like super glue)
  • Something heavy

1. Find the leak

Okay, so the first thing to figure out is how to find a leak in an air mattress. You can do this a few different ways if you don’t already know where it is. First, with the mattress inflated, try spotting it by listening for leaking air. You might be able to find it this way. If you can’t, your next option is to try putting some soapy water on the mattress and looking for bubbles. If air is coming out, it should make the soap bubble.

2. Wipe down the leaky area

Once you’ve found the hole, deflate the mattress. Using your soap and water, clean the area around the leak so that your adhesive will stick. Wipe it dry with the towel.

3. Seal the leak with a patch

If your air mattress came with a patch kit, follow the instructions on the kit to fix the hole. The same goes if you have another brand’s air mattress repair kit. 

If you’re using a DIY patch

If you’re fashioning your own patch, first, find a material similar to the air mattress — like a shower curtain. Then, cut a piece bigger than the leak; you’ll want at least half an inch extra around the leak. Next, apply adhesive on the patch and put it over the hole. Set something heavy on top of it to ensure the glue really adheres. You can also use duct tape as a patch and follow the same process minus the super glue. The duct tape may not hold quite as well, but it works in a pinch.

If the leak is on the seam

If your air mattress has a leak on the seam, it’ll be a little trickier to patch. First, you can try pinching the seam closed and gluing it with super glue. Then, if that doesn’t work, you can try folding the seam over to close and gluing it that way. If neither of those works, it might be worth reaching out to the manufacturer for further assistance.

If the leak is on the gasket

If the leak is coming from the air mattress’s gasket, there may not be much you can do. This is one you may have to contact the manufacturer for.

What To Keep In Mind When Fixing A Hole In An Air Mattress

  • Make sure the mattress is clean: We already mentioned this, but the best way to get your patch to stick is to put it on a very clean surface. So don’t skip this step!
  • Air mattresses always leak: We know you don’t want to hear this, but a leak in an air mattress is almost inevitable at some point. Being prepared is the best way to handle it. 
  • Don’t be afraid to contact the manufacturer: Most air mattresses will either come with an air mattress repair kit or instructions for what to do in case of a leak. Take advantage of these resources and customer service when a problem comes up.
  • You may need to patch a hole more than once: There’s a chance your patch won’t hold forever. Actually, it most likely won’t, but that’s okay! If it starts to leak again, you can either remove the patch and re-patch it following the provided instructions or patch over it. Patching over the patch probably won’t hold as well, though.

FAQs

How do you find a leak in an air mattress?

One way to find a leak in an air mattress is to inflate it and carefully listen for air leaking out. Depending on the size of the hole, you might be able to spot it this way. Another way to do this is to wipe soapy water on an inflated mattress. Escaping air will cause bubbles where there’s a leak.

What happens if I don’t have an air mattress repair kit?

You can easily make a patch of your own if you don’t have a patch kit. For example, you can use something like a shower curtain as a patch with some adhesive. As long as your patch is big enough to cover the hole with room around it to spare and won’t let any air out, it doesn’t matter too much what it’s made of. Of course, unless you’re trying to use a material that lets the air through. 

How do you fix a hole in an air mattress with duct tape?

Duct tape definitely works as a patch! First, cut your duct tape to be large enough to cover the hole with a half-inch at least surrounding the hole, so there’s enough tape to grip the air mattress. Then, after ensuring the bed is completely clean and deflated, stick the duct tape over the hole and put something heavy on top of it for a while, so it’s really stuck.

Can you use super glue to patch an air mattress? 

You absolutely can. You can patch an air mattress with the patch of your choice — like a piece of a shower curtain — and use super glue as the adhesive. Just double-check the superglue you’re using to make sure it’ll stick to the surfaces you’re using. Again, though, it shouldn’t be an issue, considering super glue pretty much sticks to everything!