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Quick and Easy Air Mattress Repair

Updated on January 14, 2012
Air Mattress Repair
Air Mattress Repair

Air mattresses are great for camping or having on hand for extra overnight guests. In some cases, air mattresses serve as a replacement for an actual bed. They are fairly comfortable and easy to move around. However, they become a pain in the rear when the air leaks out. Unless the hole is rather large, it seems like the air in the bed is vanishing without reason. There is a simple, albeit unconventional, method to locating the small pinhole that is allowing the air to escape. Once you find the hole in an air mattress, repairing it is as simple as repairing a bicycle inner tube.

Tools and Materials Necessary for Air Mattress Repair

2-quarts water

Spouse or helper

Marker or pen




Bicycle tire repair kit

Plastic wrap


Find Hole in Air Mattress

Open the air plug on the air mattress and allow the air to escape completely. Most air mattresses have a pump that reverses to draw the air out as well as pumping the air mattress full. The mattress should be flat on the floor.

Pour 2-quarts of water into the air plug with a pitcher. No, you're not turning your air mattress into a water bed. Water seeks out an escape route, no matter how small the escape route. Just ask anybody who messes with plumber's tape and faucet threads.

Close the air plug, and lift the end of the mattress just to distribute the water evenly. Lay the mattress flat.

Start at one corner and gently tap the comfort recesses of the air mattress with the palm of your hand. The majority of pin holes in an air mattress are where the comfort recesses have a seam. Continue tapping each recess until you feel water. If it doesn’t happen on one side of the air mattress, flip it over and try the opposite side. You will find the pin hole area.

Mark the area where the water seeps through with a marker or pen. Place a large bucket on the floor next to the air plug. Open the air plug and have your spouse or helper lift the opposite end of the mattress while you hold the open plug over the bucket. Drain the water completely out of the air mattress.

Fill the air mattress with air with the air pump. Once the air mattress is full, close the air plug. Ask your spouse to lay across the bed near the hole area. Now though it is tempting, this is not the time to play with your spouse on the bed.

Place your ear next to the hole area and listen for the small hiss of air. Move your finger along the seam until the hissing stops. Mark this area again with a marker or pen. This is where you need to place the patch for the air mattress.

Open the air plug and release all of the air out of the air mattress.

Air Mattress Repair

Purchase a bicycle tire repair kit. The kit comes with a small bottle of rubber cement, several rubber patches and a small flat scraper.

Clean the area around the pin hole on the air mattress with a cloth. Most likely the hole is on the fabric side of the air mattress. It is not necessary to scrape the area with the scraper.

Cut a piece of the longer rubber patch with a pair of scissors. The piece of patch should be 2-inches long and at least 3/4-inches wide. This gives enough coverage on the outside of the pin hole as well as the hole itself.

Spread a thin layer of rubber cement onto the patch area of the air mattress. The cement should cover the size of the patch and a little over. You can apply the cement a bit thicker in the area directly over the pin hole.

Allow the rubber cement to air dry for one minute. Peel the backing off the adhesive side of the rubber patch. Place the rubber patch onto the air mattress over the pin hole. Starting from the middle, press down on the patch and slide your finger to each side. This squeezes out any air bubble between the patch and the air mattress.

Place some plastic wrap over the patch, and lay a couple of heavy books on top of the patch and plastic wrap. The plastic wrap helps keep the patch cement from adhering to the books.

Allow the patch to remain undisturbed for one hour. Remove the books and the plastic wrap. Fill the air mattress with air. Ask your spouse to lay across the mattress while you listen for air. Now you can play with your spouse on the air mattress. Plus, you didn't have to use a single piece of duct tape.


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    • profile image

      Eddie 3 years ago

      Very valid, pithy, sunitccc, and on point. WD.

    • kenwrites profile image

      Ken Crawford 6 years ago from Yreka, California

      Thanks sabrani44,

      Unfortunately, I just had to do this a few hours before posting the Hub. LOL.. And no duct tape, which says a lot since I still have a lot of West Virginia in

    • sabrani44 profile image

      sabrani44 6 years ago

      Great hub, very informative!