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How To Find A Hole In An Air Mattress: [STEP BY STEP GUIDE]

How To Find A Hole In An Air Mattress: [STEP BY STEP GUIDE]

Air mattresses are known for their convenience, affordability, mobility, and easy installation. They are especially great for small apartments, or when you have a restricted budget or space. However, air mattresses are vulnerable to leaks and punctures. Even the tiniest leak can flatten the mattress in no time.

Before you find a hole in an air mattress, make sure to clear off extra bedding and inflate the mattress to its optimum strength. First, inspect the valve for any leakage. Next, holes in an air mattress can be located using soap and water, plastic wrap, dry tissue, baby powder, or through audial inspection, flipping the mattress or even full submersion of the mattress as the last resort.

Whether you are using an air mattress for sleeping temporarily or permanently, it is important to learn how to fix a hole in an air mattress. Searching for leaks in an air mattress can be challenging to the naked eye so here's an easy step-by-step guide on how to locate leaks in an air mattress.

camping air mattress

How To Find A Hole In An Air Mattress

Most air mattresses will lose some amount of air during the day due to temperature changes, but they would still have enough air in them to support you. However, if you notice a significant loss of air within a few hours, there might be some hidden puncture that would require immediate fixing.

Before you start inspecting a hole, make sure that the air mattress is not overloaded, or try reducing the temperature changes to stop it from deflating.

Note: Here Steps 1 to 4 are compulsory, while you can use any of the methods in Step 5 to find a hole in an air mattress:

Step 1: Remove the bed sheet or any extra bedding from the air mattress.

Step 2: Move the air mattress to a large space where you can easily flip or turn to maneuver the mattress and check for any leaks.

Step 3: Use an air pump to inflate the mattress to the fullest. Do not try to overinflate, or else it may result in larger holes, split seams, or even cause a tear in the air mattress.

Step 4: Once the mattress has been inflated, inspect the valve:

  • Make sure that the valve plug completely fits into the valve stem and that it can be smoothly pressed against the stop behind it.
  • If the valve plug has a problem, it won't seal against the valve stem. Damaged valves may be difficult to fix.
  • If the valve plug fits neatly, you may proceed to the next check.

Step 5: The following are some methods to find a hole in an air mattress:

How To Find A Hole In An Air Mattress Using Soap Water

Using soap + water is an effective method for locating tiny holes in an air mattress. Make a mix of bleach-free dish soap and warm water and transfer it into a spray bottle. You may also use a sponge or a wet rag instead and saturate it with the soap-water mix. Spray the soap water on the valve first, and then systematically spray the mix all over the mattress. If you are using a sponge, wipe off the soaked sponge section-by-section on the mattress.

If there are any leaks, the escaping air will form a lump of foam around the hole. The bubbles or foam thus indicate a leak on the mattress. Once located, wipe the foam with a cloth and mark the area.

How To Find A Hole In An Air Mattress Using Plastic Wrap Method

Spray water over the mattress until the entire surface is visibly wet. Remove any excess water. Next, rip off a large sheet of plastic wrap and place it over the wet area of the mattress. The plastic film will easily cling to the wet surface. If there are any holes in the mattress, a big air bubble will be created under the plastic wrap. Once the area is located, remove the plastic wrap, wipe off the mattress, and mark the hole for repair.

How To Find A Hole In An Air Mattress Using Submersion Method

This method should be used only as a last resort. Submersion of a damaged air mattress may trap water inside the mattress which may be difficult to remove later. This may eventually create molds and release a foul odor.

Since air mattresses are quite large and heavy, you would need a big bathroom or a pool for partial or full submersion. In the submersion method, just dip the mattress into the pool and observe for any bubbles. After some time, remove the mattress from the pool and slowly flip it. If there is a pooling of water inside the mattress, this might also confirm the presence of a leak.

How To Find A Hole In An Air Mattress Aluminum Foil

To find a hole in an air mattress with aluminum foil, you need to first inflate the mattress to its optimum strength and then transfer it to a space or room where there are no other sources of wind. Move around the mattress and carefully listen to any hissing sound. As soon as you notice it, place a piece of aluminum foil over the identified area. If you see the foil moving, you have identified the source of leakage.

How To Find A Hole In A Mattress With Garden Hose Method

For this method, you would need to place the mattress on a flat, large surface, preferably on a table or a deck. Use a garden hose with a sprayer and saturate the air mattress with water, section-by-section. While you are spraying, quickly look for bubbles. The formation of bubbles is an indicator of a hole in the mattress. Only low water pressure is recommended for this method.

Brushing Your Palm Over The Mattress

To spot the leakage, you can simply brush your palm against the mattress. For this method, first, wet your hands with water and then slowly go section-by-section to feel any subtle sensation of escaping air. If you feel a cool breeze, you might have located the spot.

air mattress gray

How To Find A Hole In An Air Mattress Without Using Water

Flip Your Air Mattress

Since an air mattress is prone to getting contact with sharp objects, most leaks are likely to be located under the mattress. You can even use a magnifying glass to locate tiny holes under, at the sides, or corners of an air mattress.

Audial Inspection

Place the air mattress in a quiet area. Slowly walk around the mattress and pay attention to any hissing sound. You may also lightly squish the mattress for easier detection of the hissing sound.

Using Dry Tissue

Place a layer of dry tissue on the surface of the mattress. Lightly squish the mattress with your hands. If you hear any hissing sound or if the tissue starts moving, you have identified the punctured area.

Baby Powder

Though this is a very messy method, you can use it to find a hole in an air mattress. For this, you would need to scatter some baby powder all over the inflated mattress and then gently squish it from the sides. The area with holes will have a powdery cloud over it.

How To Find A Tiny Hole In An Air Mattress

Since leaks with tiny holes happen very gradually, they are often hard to spot. You can use either the soap water method or the submersion method to find slow or tiny holes in an air mattress. Escaping bubbles from the holes will indicate air coming out from the hole in the mattress.

Once you have identified the hole in an air mattress, mark it with a permanent marker. The affected area needs to be cleaned and air-dried. You may use the patch kit that came with a mattress or homemade patches using thin plastic material to fix the leak. Read the manufacturer's details thoroughly before you start fixing holes in an air mattress.