How to Find & Fix an Air Mattress Leak

If you suspect that your air mattress has sprung a leak, you’ve come to the right place. This guide will explain exactly how to find and fix an air mattress leak.

Related Article: Best Air Mattress for Everyday Use

Common Leaks

The most common areas where leaks occur are around the valve and on the bottom of the mattress where it could be punctured by debris on the floor.

Next, the seams are the most obvious place to look as these will sometimes stretch and separate over time.

How to Find the Leak


Option 1 – Replace the Whole Mattress

This may sound crazy at first but most quality air mattresses come with a 1 year warrantee which will be void if you try to repair any leaks yourself. If you’re inside the warrantee period, contact the manufacturer and ask if the mattress can be replaced.

If successful, you’ll get an entirely new mattress which has never been slept on!

Option 2 – Listen

Obvious as it seems, you really should start with this.

Fully inflate the air mattress in a quiet room so that you can really listen for the faintest hissing sound.

Hold your ear close to the mattress as you increase pressure in the surrounding area. If you can, ask someone to help listen out.

Option 3 – Look

Systematically lay a thin piece of tissue paper over sections of the mattress and look out for minor disturbances.

Option 4 – Dish Soap & Water

This seems to be the go-to solution for many troubled air mattress owners, but take head… It’s REALLY messy.

Simply dip a cloth in a bowl of soapy water and wipe down the mattress. Make sure to leave a thin film of soap on the surface and look out for growing bubbles.

You can also use a spray bottle to apply the solution.

Pay particular attention to the seams and make sure the soapy layer covers the entire area you’re inspecting.

After each “test area,” you can follow up with a dry towel to keep the mess to a minimum.

This works for slightly larger holes but, if they’re too tiny, you might just find yourself wiping down the mattress for a whole hour and not find a single bubble. Be really sure you’ve done steps 2 and 3 really well before moving onto this step.

Option 5 – Submerging

This is very extreme and should only be attempted if you’re really trying to resuscitate a dying mattress with no other option to live.

Place the inflated mattress, bit-by-bit in a filled up bathtub or a kiddie’s pool and check for a small stream of bubbles rising to the surface of the water.

The downside is that you could get moisture inside the mattress which will almost certainly result in mould over time… the kind that you can never get out!

How to Fix an Air Mattress Leak

fix air mattress leak

Firstly Congratulations! You’ve successfully completed the hardest part of the process. In fact, you’re already further than most people get in their whole air mattress lifetime.

You should be getting an award, but you aren’t quite done soldier!

The next phase will challenge you in ways you’ve never been… Just kidding.

Step 1 – Mark the Hole

With a decent marker, circle the hole and make a mental note of where it is.

One more thing… the Biggest Mistake people make is assuming that they’ve found the only hole! This is usually not the case. It takes more than one tiny puncture to make an air mattress noticeably deflate, so unless you’ve found a pretty big hole, you’re probably looking for more than one.

Step 2 – Ensure the Air mattress is Completely Dry

If you’ve used one of the wet methods above, you may need to lay it out in the sun to let it dry out 100%. Don’t skip this step!

Step 3 – Deflate the Air Mattress

If you don’t deflate the mattress, you’ll be fighting the escaping air while you’re trying to stop the leak. Not fun.

Step 4 – Find the Repair Kit

You may have been given a repair kit along with your original purchase. If so you’re in luck.

If not, simply order a Repair Kit at There are hundreds of high quality repair kits that will include all the bits you need to complete the repair.

Step 5 – Apply the Glue (If Included)

If your kit includes a tube of adhesive, you’ll need to apply it to the glue around the hole and wait for it to become a little tacky. This takes about a minute and should feel sticky to the touch, as opposed to gluey and slimy.

Make sure to apply the glue to an area larger than the corresponding patch (in Step 5)

Step 6 – Apply the Patching Material

Next, you’ll apply the repair material. This could be a small sticker or tape of clear material, possibly pre-cut into little circles or rectangles.

Alternatively, if you’ve pre-applied the adhesive, you’ll have a rubbery patch which sticks over the glue.

The patch should be smaller than the area where you applied the adhesive so that all the sides are completely glued down.

Take the back of a tablespoon to firmly push down the patch and ensure proper contact between patch and the adhesive.

Step 7 – Leave it to Dry

This takes about 15 minutes (the accompanying instructions will advise) to dry.

Step 8 – Moment of Truth

This is the moment where you find out once and for all whether you truly are a Surgeon of Air Mattresses

As you inflate the mattress and pray that your efforts have paid off, you’ll imagine your victory and how you’re going to celebrate.

Nothing left to do now but test it out by actually using it. With your full weight, you can lay down straight away and make sure that you don’t hear any air escaping from the patched areas.

Alternatively, you can pack it away with the confidence of a Movie Star walking away from an explosion in slow motion without even looking back.

However you choose to live your life is up to you, but I’m very glad that this article could be of some service in helping you find and fix your Air Mattress leak.


Here’s a demonstration video of how the Soapy Solution works.