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How to Fix Hole in Air Mattress

Holes in air mattresses can quickly damper your camping or sleeping arrangements, causing you to lose sleep and leaving you with an uncomfortable night’s rest. According to a study conducted by Sleep Advisor, around 18% of people surveyed faced issues related to air mattress punctures or leakages. But worry not, as we have got you covered with a comprehensive guide on how to fix hole in air mattress.

How to Fix Big Hole in Air Mattress in 5 Easy Steps

Here’s what you need to do:

Step 1: Find the Hole

Sometimes, it’s pretty easy to tell when there’s a leak, but actually finding it can be quite the head-scratcher. Fortunately, you can try a few tricks to locate that pesky hole.

Your first step is to lay the mattress out flat on the ground and inflate it as you normally would. Once it’s nice and full of air, give it a good visual inspection for any damage. Scuffs, tears, or other signs of wear and tear are your first clue.

If you see them, place your hand over the area and see if you can feel the escaping air. Also, be sure to check the seams and air intake areas. These places are notorious for developing holes.

But what if you don’t see any visible damage? Don’t worry, there’s still hope. Run your hand over the entire mattress surface to see if you can feel any air escaping through a microscopic leak. If all else fails, lay on the mattress with your ear pressed against it and listen carefully for the sound of escaping air. Sometimes, it’s the tiniest of leaks that are the hardest to find. 

One more method involves using a single tissue or paper towel. Simply place the tissue on the mattress and direct air toward it from one corner. As you move the tissue around the mattress, directing air toward it, you know the air leak is nearby if it blows upward. This method can help you pinpoint the exact location of the leak so you can patch it up.

Another method you can try is the soapy water method. You’ll need a damp sponge or cloth and a gentle cleanser for this.

Apply the cleanser to the sponge and apply friction until soap bubbles appear. Then, wipe the sponge over one part of the mattress and press down, directing air toward that area. You’ll know you’ve found the hole if you see growing bubbles.

Step 2: Clean Around the Hole

Clean a small area around the leak to ensure your applied patch adheres well. You can use a diluted all-purpose cleaner and a lint-free rag. This will help remove any dirt or debris and give you a clean surface to work on. Once you’re done cleaning, use another dry, lint-free rag to dry the area completely.

In case your mattress has a suede-like flocking finish, you’ll need to remove the texture before applying the patch. You can do this by moistening the area with a rag, gently sanding it with fine-grit sandpaper, and thoroughly cleaning it. This process will help create a smooth surface for the glue to bond securely.

Step 3: Patch the Hole

There are a few options available to you for patching up that hole. 

Firstly, if your air mattress comes with a patch kit, go ahead and use that. It should have everything you need to get the job done and will include detailed instructions to guide you through the process. 

If you don’t have a patch kit handy, never fear! You can easily purchase one at mass merchandisers like Walmart or Target or online through retailers like Amazon. These kits will work just as well and should be similarly easy to follow. 

Alternatively, if you’re in a bind and need a quick fix, you can use nearly any thin, plastic material. A tarp or a piece of shower curtain liner should do the trick just fine.

You’ll need to cut a patch from a piece of plastic about half an inch bigger than the hole on all sides. Don’t skimp on the size; make sure the patch covers the hole completely.

Next, grab some adhesive. Apply it generously to the center of the patch. You want to ensure that the patch is stuck on there securely, so don’t be shy with the glue.

Press your sticky piece of plastic firmly onto the hole in the mattress. Use a circular motion to rub out any air bubbles and ensure the patch is sealed tight to the mattress. 

Step 5: Apply Pressure and Let It Settle

Give the patch enough time to properly set in place to ensure it doesn’t come off easily. To achieve this, apply pressure to the area, using a flat object such as a heavy book or box placed on top of the patched area. This will help secure the patch in place and prevent it from slipping.

Excess glue around the edges of the patch can be a potential problem. If left unchecked, it may cause the mattress to adhere to the heavy object, which could be a major hassle. So, it’s important to check for any excess glue and remove it before applying the heavy object.

After placing the heavy object, leave the mattress like that for at least 8 hours to give the patch enough time to cure. Once this time has passed, it’s time to remove the heavy object and check the patch. If everything appears in good condition, you can rest easily, knowing your air mattress is ready to use again.

Additional Tips

  • If you’re using a patch kit, follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully. Some kits require you to let the glue dry for a certain amount of time before applying the patch.
  • If you don’t have a patch kit or duct tape, you can also use a bicycle tire patch kit or a piece of rubber from an old inner tube.
  • Keep the air mattress away from sharp objects and rough surfaces to prevent future holes.
  • If you’re going camping, bring a repair kit just in case your air mattress gets punctured while you’re in the wilderness.

Frequently Asked Questions

How to fix a hole in an air mattress without a patch kit?

Find a small piece of duct or packing tape and trim it to fit the hole size. Press the tape firmly onto the hole, making sure it’s completely covered and sealed. This is how to patch an air mattress with duct tape.

If you don’t have a piece of tape, you can also try using a glue gun to seal the hole. Apply a small amount of hot glue to the hole and smooth it out with a popsicle stick or other flat object. Allow the glue to dry completely before inflating the mattress again.

Another option is to use a hair straightener to melt the vinyl of the mattress together and seal the hole. Simply heat the straightener, place it over the hole, and press down firmly for a few seconds. This method should only be used with extreme caution and requires careful attention to not burn the mattress.

How to fix a hole in an air mattress with nail polish?

Apply a thin layer of nail polish around the hole, ensuring the entire circumference is covered. If necessary, wait for the first layer to dry before applying a second or third layer. Once all layers are dry, inflate the mattress and check if the leak has been fixed.

Nail polish is an excellent fix for small holes in your air mattress. It works by sealing the puncture and preventing any further air leaks. 


Fixing a hole in an air mattress is a simple process that can save you from buying a new mattress. By following these steps and using the right tools, you can repair your mattress and get back to enjoying a comfortable night’s sleep. Remember to take precautions to prevent future punctures, and always be prepared with a repair kit when you’re on the go.