How to Find Hole in Air Mattress

Air Mattresses

So, you just had a fun camping trip and are excited to finally get a good night’s sleep in your air mattress. You lay down, close your eyes, and slowly start to sink…wait, what’s that hissing sound? You quickly realize your air mattress has a hole, leaving you feeling defeated and frustrated.

But don’t worry, you don’t have to throw away your beloved air mattress just yet. In this blog post, we’ll guide you through finding the hole in your air mattress and fixing it like a pro. We know how important a good night’s sleep is, especially when you’re out enjoying nature, and we’re here to help you get back to that comfortable, restful sleep you deserve.

From quick fixes to more permanent solutions, we’ve got you covered. We’ll provide detailed instructions and helpful tips so that you can rest easy and feel confident in your ability to fix your air mattress. So, let’s get started on how to find a hole in an air mattress.

6 Ways to Find Hole in Air Mattress

1. Inspect The Valves

When it comes to deflating an air mattress, don’t jump to conclusions and assume there’s a hole in the mattress itself immediately. Take a moment to check the valves first, as this step could save you a ton of time and trouble.

Ensure that each valve plug is securely pushed inside the valve stem to prevent air from escaping. Some valves can also have a double locking mechanism, which means the valve will lock once it’s pushed inside the mattress and add a second layer of protection when the valve plug is inserted into the stem.

To ensure proper placement, verify that the stem is pushed inside the mattress. Next, inspect the base of the stem to check for any tears causing a leak. If any damage or tears are visible, it’s unlikely the valve can be repaired.

If, on the other hand, the valve plug is securely inserted in the stem and the stem is appropriately pushed into the mattress, it’s time to move on and search for a possible hole in the mattress itself. 

2. Check Along The Seams

One of the most effective methods is to use your ears to listen for the sound of escaping air. This entails gently maneuvering the mattress as you listen closely to the telltale hissing sound.

However, this process can take a lot of patience and may not always yield a positive result. To make things easier, gently push down on the inflated mattress as you crawl around it. This can help you to locate where the leak might be located.

Leaks in air mattresses can come from anywhere in the material. Still, they are more likely to occur around the seams and fabric.

Find that your area is too noisy or you can’t trust your hearing. You can use tissue or a small piece of plastic to help you detect the leak by observing where it flutters or moves as the air escapes.

Run a tissue paper over the seams of your mattress and observe if it darts up when it goes over a leak. Another method is to wet the back of your hand and hover over the mattress.

If there’s a leak, the air passing out will make the water on your hand feel cool. However, this method is less reliable for detecting tiny leaks. In such cases, you can estimate the gravity of the leak by how quickly the mattress deflates.

Once you’ve located the leak, circle it with a marker or cover it with a piece of duct tape. If you cannot find the leak, you might need to adopt a more scientific approach. 

3. Water Test Method

You might have looked at your mattress before and not noticed any visible signs of damage, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a problem. This is where the water test comes in. 

All you need is a spray bottle or bucket filled with soapy water. Spray the water onto the surface of your mattress, making sure to cover the whole thing. Then, keep your eyes peeled for any bubbles forming. If you see bubbles, there’s a hole in your mattress. 

This method works so well because the air escaping from the hole causes the soap solution to bubble up. So, even if the hole is really small, you’ll be able to spot it easily. 

You can easily identify the problem by examining the potential causes. For instance, sharp objects and wear and tear are the common culprits behind such deflation. So, it’s wise to check those particular spots first before anything else.

To fix the issue, you need to look more deeply at your mattress and find any holes that might be causing the leakage. It’s essential to carry out a thorough inspection of the mattress to identify all the damages properly. Once you’ve located the hole, you can fix it promptly to enjoy your peaceful sleep.

4. Dish Soap Method

Fill a spray bottle with some water and add a little dish soap. Give it a gentle shake and spray this solution all over your inflatable. The dish soap helps make the solution thicker and stickier, which makes it easier to identify the hole. Pay close attention to areas more prone to wear and tear, like the seams and the valve.

Once you’ve sprayed the solution on the surface, give it a few minutes to settle. You should notice small bubbles forming around the damaged area. This is your cue to mark the spot and dry the surface thoroughly. Use a patch kit to seal the leak from the inside, and your floatie will be as good as new.

Not only is the dish soap method a cost-effective way to extend the life of your pool floaties, but it’s also an environmentally friendly solution. Plus, it’s easy enough to do yourself without the need for any expert knowledge or equipment.

5. Use Candle Flame

Grab yourself a candle and light it up. Hold the flame close to the surface of the mattress and watch for any flickering or inward bending of the flame. This is a sure sign of a nearby leak. It’s important to be cautious when using this method, as open flames can be hazardous. Make sure to keep the flame at a safe distance from the mattress and never leave it unattended.

Try using a flashlight if the candle method doesn’t appeal to you. Turn off the lights and shine the flashlight along the surface of the mattress.

Look for any areas where light shines through or where bubbles are forming. These are clear signs of a leak. This method is much safer than an open flame and is equally effective at pinpointing small holes.

6. Drown the mattress

You may need to submerge the mattress, but before you do so, it’s crucial to ensure that your mattress can tolerate water without causing damage to the seams.

Start by releasing half of the air from the mattress by opening the valve. Then, slowly lower the mattress into a bathtub or swimming pool, bit by bit. Begin with the valve area and gently compress the mattress to try and force out any trapped air. Keep a close eye out for bubbles – if you notice any, you’ve found your leak.

If you cannot spot any air coming out from the valve area, continue to dunk the mattress in stages until you pinpoint the hole’s location. By placing the mattress in a pool, you’ll easily spot even the tiniest of bubbles.


Once you’ve located the leak, it’s time for the patch-up job. Various options are available, from DIY patches to store-bought repair kits. No matter which method you choose, make sure to follow the instructions carefully and allow sufficient drying time. With a little patience and know-how, your air mattress will be back to full functionality in no time.