Ever had your air mattress gradually deflate through the night, becoming uncomfortable and unsupportive sometime in the middle of the night?
By morning, you are straining your back on a flat mattress.
Luckily, most air mattress leaks are easy and cheap to fix. This page will show you exactly how to do that. You won’t have to call a pro or spend more than a few bucks.
Whether it is a pinhole leak or a sizable hole, here are a few pointers on how to find a hole in an air mattress and patch it.
Air mattresses do not stay inflated indefinitely. They will always, gradually, let air out with time.
New mattresses deflate much faster the first night as the materials stretch and settle in place. This is normal and isn't a problem.
As long as there is no leak, the air mattress should be able to stay fully inflated through the night.
But if it deflates just a few hours after you have inflated it, there could be a hole somewhere.
Inflate the mattress to full capacity. It will make it easier to find the leak by listening to the hissing sound of air escaping.
The first place to check is the air valve. It might be faulty and is letting air out. Hold your hand over the valve and feel for any escaping air. Try wetting your hand in the water. It will be easier to sense whether there is pressure escaping from the valve.
Another technique is to dip the air valve into a cup of soapy water. If the valve is leaking, you'll see bubbles that'll tell you exactly where the leak is.
If your air valve is leaking, you’ll most likely need a new one. Contact the manufacturer for a replacement or check their website. If your mattress is still under warranty, they might give you a new one free of charge.
If the valve is okay, then the leak could be in the airbed material.
Making sure the mattress is inflated, press down different areas of the airbed and listen for a hiss. You’ll have to put your ear close to the mattress to detect one.
If you suspect a leak somewhere, you can use soapy water to confirm it. Apply a thin film of soapy water on the spot and see if bubbles form.
Do not stop if you find one leak. Keep going and make sure there aren’t any other leaks. When you find a leak, circle it with a marker. This will help you identify it when you deflate the mattress.
Completely deflate the mattress before you start repairing the leak. Don’t attempt to patch it when the mattress still has aired. The escaping air will keep the patch from adhering to the mattress.
The easiest way to repair a leak in an airbed is using a patch kit.
If you are lucky, your air mattress came with a patch kit.
If it doesn’t have one, you can get a cheap patch kit in most outdoor and camping stores.
It’ll contain several patches, glue, and sandpaper. Depending on the material used in your airbed, you may have to get special patches made specifically for that air mattress.
Clean the area around the hole and dry it completely. For flocked air mattresses, you may also need to sand the area around lightly.
Cut out a patch that will sufficiently cover the whole. The patch should be at least twice as big as the leak area. This ensures the leak is completely sealed.
If it’s a sticky patch, just press it down firmly on the leak and leave it to dry. If you are using glue, apply it both on the patch and the leak area. Note that different glues come with different application instructions.
For instance, if you are using gorilla glue, apply a little moisture to the leak. The moisture helps activate the glue more quickly.
Press the glued patch firmly onto the glued leak area. For some glues, you just need to place the patch on top of the leak and press down lightly as the glue spreads under the patch. Here is a video explaining the process when you are using Gorilla glue.
Depending on the glue used, you’ll have to wait anywhere between a few minutes to 12 hours for the glue to dry.
If the leak is along a seam, first apply a generous amount of rubber cement from the patch kit along with the seam leak. Wait for it to dry then add a patch on top of the leak area.
After you finish repairing the air mattress leak, inflate it again and check whether the leak has been properly sealed.
Monitor the mattress over the next several uses and note whether it deflates more than usual.
Then make sure you take proper care of the mattress.
If it’s an indoor mattress, do not use it outside or go with it camping.
If it’s for your kids, teach them to be careful in how they use it. They should avoid playing on it with sharp objects or jumping up and down on it.
Always check where you are placing the mattress. A lot of leaks are caused by setting up the mattress on a sharp object. Even a plastic toy can cause a leak as the mattress and your weight presses down on it. Clear the floor before inflating the mattress.
For camping mattresses, look for those airbeds that come with a frame to protect the mattress from sharp objects on the ground.
I hope this guide helps you sleep better, tonight.
If you have questions about patching or fixing your air mattress, leave them below and we'll answer them right away.
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