How To Patch A Hole In An Air Mattress

Air mattresses can be used in many circumstances. You can use if you haven’t had time to buy a bed when moving into a new house, for camping, as a makeshift bed for overnight guests, to name but a few. The bottom line is that, after extended use, it will eventually develop a leak of some sort.

Air mattresses typically leak along the seam, near the inflation valve stem, or elsewhere along the main body of the mattress. Unfortunately, leaks render air mattresses unusable before they can be repaired, which can be done using an air mattress repair kit or regular tire repair kits.

Here is a breakdown of the steps involved when patching a hole in an air mattress.

Step 1

Inflate your air mattress about halfway and close the valve cover so that air doesn’t escape. Start pressing down on different parts of the mattress listening for escaping air to identify the source of the leak. If you have a leak, you will hear a hissing sound as the air escapes. Once you have isolated the source of the leak, mark it using a piece of masking tape. It may be impossible to see or hear the leak if it’s too small and you will have to go to step 2.

Step 2

Use a sponge saturated with soapy water to rub parts of the mattress where you suspect a leak may be present. Force air out of the mattress to reveal the leak by applying pressure.

You can identify the source of the leak through the bubbles in the soap of the mattress. If you still don’t identify any leaks you should apply more soapy water to other parts of your mattress including where the valve stem attaches to the mattress as well as the seams. Continue doing this until you find the leak and mark it using masking tape.

Use a sponge saturated with soapy water

Step 3

Inflate your air mattress as if it has deflated significantly until about half full or slightly more and close the valve to seal in the air. Use a damp paper towel to wipe off any remaining soapy water and then use a dry paper towel to dry it off.

Step 4


To repair leaks along the seam or along the main body of the mattress, you should apply a generous amount of rubber cement from the repair kit and smooth it using a rubber-gloved hand. Just before the rubber cement dries completely, cut a patch from the repair kit to seal the leak. Apply rubber cement to the patch and secure it in place following the instructions on the package. Different manufacturers have different sets of instructions.

Step 5

It is not always possible to fix a leak along the inflation valve. If the valve has a hole, you can use cement from the patch kit to fix it. However, if it is old and cracked or partially torn from the mattress, it might be beyond repair.


If you have a hole in your air mattress, all you have to do is follow the steps discussed here to patch it up and continue enjoying your mattress. However, if the hole is too large for a patch, you should consider getting a new mattress.

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