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Repairing an Air Mattress

Repairing an Air Mattress

Air mattresses are a convenient extra bed for guests or for use when camping, but they do sometimes spring a leak. This is a guide about repairing an air mattress.



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Here are questions related to Repairing an Air Mattress.

Question: Finding Leaks in an Air Mattress

I have an air mattress and have got patches, but how do I find the leak?

By Leona from Lawrenceville, GA

Most Recent Answer

By Lelia Jo Cordell03/16/2011

My advice is similar to Foxrun41's. Make a small basin of soapy water. Wipe it over your air matress and look for bubbles. When you see them, mark the spot with a pen or marker. Dry the air matress thoroughly and patch where you marked. Best to you!

Question: Having an Air Mattress Repaired

I have an Ozark Trail air mattress that will not hold air. Is there someplace I can take to have it checked out? I live in Wisconsin, the closest city would be Marshfield, Wisconsin. I could also go to Rapids or Eau Claire.

The mattress is a queen size with a frame.

By Karen

Most Recent Answer

By Patricia Taylor06/08/2011

We have had Ozark Trail air matresses before and they used to come with a patch kit. If ours started leaking, my husband would take it outside and put it section by section into a large plastic storage tote of water with a little dish soap in it (it needs to be at least partially blown up for this). Squeeze each section while it's being held underwater. If you see bubbles coming from it anywhere, there's your leak. Just patch it with the patch kit. If you don't have a patch kit, you can buy a bicycle tire patch kit. Of course you shouldn't dip the area where the batteries insert if it has batteries. Some of the self-inflating matresses have batteries in a small compartment in the mattress. If you don't want to bother with that, maybe you are friends with a tire changer at the tire sales businesses such as Big O Tires, A1 Tires, or Les Schwab Tires, etc. They could do the same thing but it would cost a lot more.

Pat T in Ocala

Question: Repairing an Air Mattress

I have an Aerobed with a hole in the seam. I do have the repair kit, but this will not stick to the "material" side. The leak is not on the bottom that has vinyl

By Diane from St. Joseph, MO

Most Recent Answer

By rc18b10/02/2013

Goop is perfect for air mattress's and the only answer for seam leeks no patch needed and flexible but strong and way better than patch kits.

Question: Repairing an Air Mattress

We have an air mattress with a leak somewhere. Where do we get repair kits? I have already used the one that was included when we purchased it.

By Judy

Most Recent Answer

By GuyB05/07/2012

Try using a waterbed patch. You can buy them at most stores like Wal-Mart, K-Mart.......wherever you can find water filler kits. Waterbed patches are a "cold" adhesive patch.

Question: Repairing a Built-in Fast Fill Electric Pump (Intex)

My air mattress is leaking air, but I can't find a hole anywhere! I think it may be the built-in pump. I can hear a hard piece sliding around inside my air bed, and thinking maybe the pump broke off inside? My mattress will fill up and hold air, but it leaks rapidly. I have to add air every hour to keep from sinking to the floor by morning.

Has anyone had this issue or know how to fix it? Please advise!

By Nicole

Most Recent Answer

By deanstockwell00101/04/2014

I have the very same issue. My airbed is fine when I go to sleep. But it deflates and I end up like a hotdog in a bun, with the mattress around me and I'm on the floor.

Question: Replacement Caps for Your Air Mattress

Where can you purchase a replacement cap for an Ozark Trail twin elevated air mattress?

By Katya R.

Most Recent Answer

By Sandi05/03/2013

I would google the company but here is another idea. I once sealed a waterbed with a medicine bottle screw on cap. Sometimes, the easiest solutions are right in your own home. Try spice, meds, soda caps or other things around the house. Good luck.

Question: Repairing an Air Mattress

Can an air mattress be repaired when the ribs have come undone, and it inflates with a big bubble?

By Becky

Question: Patching a Leak in an Air Mattress

I have a Coleman airbed with built in pump. How do I find a leak and patch it?

By Sharon

Most Recent Answer

By Dena Roberts06/11/2013

It's the same method as a bicycle tube... fill the air mattress with air. Spread a thin layer of liquid soap all over the mattress. Immerse the mattress in water. Press down on the mattress and watch for the bubbles coming through the soap. You can just immerse it in water, but I found the soap made it easier to find the leak. I put the mattress into a kiddie pool full of water... worked really well. I found the hole in just a few minutes.

Question: Repairing a Leak in an Air Mattress

There's a tiny hole in my air mattress and I don't have a patch. Is there anything else I can use to patch the hole?

By J.C. from Nashville, TN

Question: Patching a Hole in an Air Mattress

There is a hole in the top side of my air mattress (fuzzy part). Is there a way to patch this hole?

By Janell

Question: Air Mattress Inflated Unevenly

My queen size inflatable mattress had one chamber inflated more than others. Why, and how do I fix? Should I deflate and start over?

By lizzijit

Question: Repairing an Air Mattress That Leaks

I have a Coleman air mattress with built in air pump. The air mattress stayed inflated for 3 months then started to leak. There is no hole. I believe it is leaking around the air pump that is built in. How do I find out for sure where the leak is and how would I repair it?

By George

Question: Repairing a Hole in an Air Mattress

What do I use for a hole in an air mattress?

By BV from OK

Most Recent Answer

By Brent02/15/2014

Use a patch meant for bicycle tire tubes.

Question: Fixing an Air Mattress Leak

I have found a leak all around the built in motor on my air mattress. Is there anyway to fix it or should I just buy a new one?

By Daniel G from Cathedral City, CA


Thrifty Fun has been around so long that many of our pages have been reset several times. Archives are older versions of the page and the feedback that was provided then.

Archive: Repairing an Air Mattress

Does anyone know how to patch a full size inflatable bed mattress successfully? Duct tape has slowed the leak, but the mattress has a flocked or velvet vinyl top, and air is seeping from under the layers of duct tape.

Marieve from Charlottesville, VA

Bicycle Patch Kit

Try a bicycle patch kit.

By Glinda (05/15/2006)

Kiddy Pool Patch Kit

I used a patch for the kiddy blow up pools on a water bed & it is still holding a year later. Should work on air also.

By Randa (05/15/2006)

Seal All

there is a product called "seal all" and it works good, even on waterbed mattresses. last time I got it it was in a red/yellow tube. (05/25/2006)

By Diamondee

Krazy Glue

Just try drops of Krazy Glue or whatever it's called. That contact cement. I've used it to patch a water bed in the past, so if it works for water it should work for air. Just do a drop, let it dry and do another one. That should fix it. (05/25/2006)

By galthomas

Duct Tape

I wonder if you can work a piece of duck tape through the split to the inside of the mattress and flatten it down, then stick another piece on the outside. It may last a bit longer that way. (05/26/2006)

By alice_ridden

Archive: Finding Leaks In An Air Mattress

Can anyone tell me how to find leaks in air mattress beds?


RE: Find Leaks In An Air Mattress

There's a couple of ways, one is to inflate the mattress and just feel around to see if you can find the leak. Another is to use baby powder after you've inflated it, the air escaping will blow the powder up. It's messy but does work. The first method usually works best. Most air mattresses leak along the seams or around the hole where you inflate it. I would check that hole and make sure the valve is completely intact. Sometimes on cheaper beds that valve wears out or stretches out over time. I worked for a sporting goods store for many years and have come across this many times! (08/24/2005)

By Madelynnsmama

RE: Finding Leaks In An Air Mattress

For fixing it. If the leak is along a seam then I'd use duct tape, they even make colored tapes now if you wanted to match the mattress. If it's something in the valve area. I'd probably just get a new mattressm most of them are on sale this time of year. In factm I just got a twin size one for my daughter for $7 on clearance at a chain store!

If you do end up getting a new one, the old "flat" has lots of uses. I cut the vinyl off of one to make the bottoms of dog beds for our labs. I also have an old one in the back of the Suburban to protect the carpeting! (08/24/2005)

By Madelynnsmama

RE: Finding Leaks In An Air Mattress

You could make a soap water mixture and spray where you think it might be leaking. It'll make bubbles where the air escapes. (08/24/2005)

RE: Finding Leaks In An Air Mattress

Another thought is using an incense. Get the stick format and wave the smoke from the incense around the area of choice. Smoke is great for air leak detection. (06/14/2006)

By Jon

RE: Finding Leaks In An Air Mattress

I've discovered a much better way of detecting leaks in air mattresses, that does not involve getting anything wet, or making a mess. Get a thin sheet of tissue paper, the kind you use for wrapping gifts. Make sure the room is relatively quiet and the mattress is full. Lay the tissue paper on the mattress and let it rest. If the hole is under the paper, it will make a very audible hissing noise. If you don't hear any hissing after a few seconds, move the paper to cover another area.

Flip the mattress over and try the other side. Then stand the mattress up on its edges and cover the edge with the paper, moving and rotating until you have covered the whole mattress. For the corners, just hold the paper in place in a way that tightly covers the corner. I had an expensive air mattress with built-in pump and velvet top with a hole it it, so we didn't want to use water or soap on half of the mattress, and none of the other methods worked. Tissue paper made the tiny hole quite obvious even on the corner of the mattress. One small patch later (patch kit came with the mattress) and the mattress works perfectly, no need to get an expensive replacement. (11/16/2007)

By Brian

RE: Finding Leaks In An Air Mattress

Just fill an ordinary spray bottle with a few drops of dish soap and some water, and spray. Inflate it, and bubbles will appear. I found several in mine that way. (02/18/2008)

RE: Finding Leaks In An Air Mattress

Nothing worked except to fill the mattress with water. Actually, I didn't even get the mattress full of water before I found the leak. (08/22/2008)

By Shane Clark

RE: Finding Leaks In An Air Mattress

Brian, tissue paper, worked great! found the whole no water, no soap, no mess. Awesome! (09/16/2008)

By Mary Ellen

RE: Finding Leaks In An Air Mattress

I usually air up the mattress, then I turn off everything that makes a loud sound. Once it's quiet, I follow the hissing sound that the mattress makes when air is seeping out of it. Usually that sound leads me to the hole. (11/14/2008)

By Herm0sa

RE: Finding Leaks In An Air Mattress

Fill around 1/2 gallon of water into deflated mattress. Next, with water still inside, fill mattress completely with air, and plug it up.

Next, move mattress to a very dry area and wipe down outside of mattress with a towel. Next, rotate the mattress, and shake it, so the water inside hits every part of mattress.

Next, completely examine outside of mattress for wet spots. There's your hole! :) (12/01/2008)

RE: Finding Leaks In An Air Mattress

Brian's method worked awesome! I didn't have tissue paper so I used foil and I found the leak super quick without any mess whatsoever. Thank you! (12/30/2008)

By cjb

RE: Finding Leaks In An Air Mattress

I just did a search to get some help with problem. I saw tons of post about water and powder and I did not want to get into all of that. Then I saw the one about the tissue paper. Worked like a charm. It took me less than a minute to find the leak. I patched it and now we are back in business. Thanks! (01/08/2009)

Archive: Repairing an Air Mattress

How do I repair a leak in a Coleman air mattress?

Shelby from Rio Rancho, NM

RE: Repairing an Air Mattress

Put crazy glue around the leak, then put duct tape on the circle. You are combining 2 wonderful products into one solution. Once you have one circle and tape, keep doing that for a lot of coverage. I did it and it worked. (07/03/2007)

By gr_alli

RE: Repairing an Air Mattress

Buy an .88 cent bottle of Elmer's glue. It works wonders and holds better than anything I've found. Just apply a small amount and work it into the leak. It takes persistence and a few applications but the seal is amazing. (11/17/2007)

By Lisa

RE: Repairing an Air Mattress

Go to the hardware store and get a vinyl patch kit, air mattresses are made of vinyl like a swimming pool. That should hold. (12/13/2007)

By John

RE: Repairing an Air Mattress

I repaired a tear in the flocked velvet portion of the vinyl air mattress with Elmer's Probond Polyurethane Ultimate Glue. Just wet (water) the area to about 3/8 in. outside the tear area with a few drops of water and rub it in so that water also gets under tear. Apply a few drops of Polyurethane Glue and rub it into the area forcing it through the tear or hole and let it set for 24 hrs to fully cure. Repeat if desired expanding area 1/4 inch. This is a great glue for those around the house repairs as it bonds to just about everything although it does expand upon curing, but is sandable. Follow manufacturers safety directions. (01/13/2008)

By patchy

RE: Repairing an Air Mattress

Cabela's sells a patch kit. Google them. (06/02/2008)


RE: Repairing an Air Mattress

I also have a Coleman air mattress that has had minut leaks. I would fully inflate it at bedtime, and by morning it would be about half-deflated.

While the soapy water technique may work, it's messy and you have to remove the traces of soap before you can patch. I recommend fully inflating the mattress, then checking the entire surface with: water moistened hand, sound, a piece of wrapping tissue, anything that will alert your senses to the leak. Generally, start with the valve and then the seams (however, both leaks I've repaired have been in "field" areas). Some sites recommend using a bathtub to check for leaks, but this is unwieldy for the larger mattresses and you probably run the risk of creating new tears or punctures in wrestling it through the bathroom.

Once you've found the leak, use the recommended patch kit if you have it. Since the Coleman bed is constructed of PVC, and the holes were pin-sized, I didn't even use any patching. I used a Q-tip to thoroughly clean the area (about 5/8 inch circle) with purple PVC primer, then with the other end of the Q-tip, pressed PVC cement into the pin-hole two or three times. If bubbles are escaping through the cement, hold your finger over the hole for a few seconds.

Don't know if this would be effective for rips or tears, but it's been effective for the tiny leaks I described, and the repairs are almost invisible. (11/06/2008)

By D_Redding

RE: Repairing an Air Mattress

I didn't even realize my air mattress had a hole till I was blowing it up for company. My cat, upon inspecting this strange new giant blue thing, was giving it the once over and found the hole. I fixed that one and sent kitty around again and he found another one. Third time passed inspection. Bike tire patches work well on the smooth part, the fuzzy top is a little trickier. (11/13/2008)

By Hole

RE: Repairing an Air Mattress

I just repaired 2 Coleman Air mattress using a product called McNett Aquaseal. I found this in a hiking shop rather than at a camping store. The repair was so good I have to look hard to see where I repaired it. As the product is slow to set, 8 to 12 hours, after about 3 hours I grated chalk over this and after about 8 hours washed it with a cloth. No patches and barely visible this stuff is good. (01/10/2009)

By Tony S.

RE: Repairing an Air Mattress

I became somewhat on an expert on these fine examples of "made in China" quality bedding. I have owned a few as they help my back problem heal fast. The usual leaks are around the 3rd recess in and 4th down, just get a towel and turkey baster, pour water in that recess/ dimple, and it will be there or close, on the seam where they vulcanize the inner baffles to the surface.

Pour some water in that dimple I described or the ones around it, and you will see a seam leaking from the bubble flow. Mark it with a marker pen and then remove water with the baster, then towel dry. I have a old bed I cut patches from, as its best to use same material, purchase some "3M Vinyl" cement in a tube, spread on patch then apply patch ( after deflating mattress) place a small board under area, place a weight on patch and leave 24 hours, and its ready to go again. If the Chinese space suits are made by same folk who make the Coleman air mattresses then I think we shall see a lot of dead Chinese astronauts a float in deep space next few years. (01/23/2009)

By Jack H.

RE: Repairing an Air Mattress

Rubber cement and Duct tape (trust me). It works no leaks ever. Just put rubber cement on the hole and on the duct tape press together firmly (While Mattress is deflated will work better), and presto good as new. (01/27/2009)

By Dan

RE: Repairing an Coleman Air Bed

I just had a leak in the side of a Coleman air bed (Queen Size). Inside the box there was a small piece of clear patch material with instructions printed in red on the paper backing. The hole I found by inflating the bed and resting on it, running my hand around the side of the of the bed. It was a lucky find, I guess, but I did not want to go to the trouble of soapy water painted on with a paint brush, etc. I found the leak and circled it with a Red Sharpie Pen. I cut a piece of patch material and placed over the hole. Now I have to wait 20 minutes before re-inflating the air bed. I love this air bed it is the only thing that really helps my sciatica/back pain. (06/23/2009)

By braveharp

Archive: Repairing an Air Mattress

How can I find a leak in an air mattress?


Archive: Finding Leaks in an Air Mattress

How to find a leak in a air mattress with tissue paper?


Archive: Repairing an Air Mattress

I have a fairly cheap air mattress. The one I have has a leaking valve, the large plastic outlet valve. The valve cover turns and instead of locking, keeps turning and the air escapes from this loose fitting.


Archive: Repairing an Air Mattress

I am using an air mattress for a bed until they can solve a medical issue. I will blow the air mattress up each evening, and in the morning it is softer. I assumed it was a leak. Is this normal that the mattress will lose a little air each day? Any help would be appreciated.


Archive: Repairing an Air Mattress

I have an Aero mattress and had a hole in it. I had a bicycle patch on it and it seemed to work, but now my mattress seems to have a slow leak. I tried the soapy water in my spray bottle, but didn't see any bubbles. I can still see the slit under the plastic patch.


Archive: Finding Leaks in an Air Mattress

How do I find a slow leak in an air mattress?


Archive: Finding Leaks in an Air Mattress

What's the easiest way to check for pin holes in a air mattress?


Archive: Repairing an Air Mattress

I have an air mattress with a hole and am trying to use vinyl cement to fix, well patch the hole. The cement I have is not in it's package so I had to use the this other glue, but it doesn't work.