Air mattresses are handy for traveling and can be surprisingly comfortable if you choose the right one. However, you must be careful around them because they’re not as practical and comfortable once they become punctured. If you’ve recently noticed your air mattress is deflating due to a hole, you might wonder how to fix it.
To fix a hole in an air mattress, you should first locate all possible holes; there’s no point in patching up one hole if more are present. Once you find the hole(s), mark it so you don’t forget where it is. Then, you can patch it using a kit or other material, like plastic or super glue.
Knowing how to fix a hole in an air mattress can save you money, and this article will discuss the steps in greater detail. Keep reading to learn more!
1. Find the Hole
To prepare the air mattress, look for all possible holes in the air mattress. While you may think there is only one, there could be multiple.
Below is a guide on how to locate a hole (or multiple holes) in an air mattress:
- Go to a quiet area: It’s best to go somewhere quiet so that you can listen to the air mattress, as this can help locate holes.
- Inflate the air mattress: It’s important to inflate the air mattress, making locating the hole(s) easier. Ensure the mattress is fully inflated before moving to the next step.
- Listen to the air mattress: Listening to the mattress is good because you may hear whistling or hissing noises. Listen to one part of the mattress; if you don’t hear any air escaping, listen to a different part. Once you hear some air, inspect the area closely to find a hole.
- Look around for holes: Look around to see if any holes are visible. If the hole is large, it should be relatively easy to spot. You likely won’t see it through a visual inspection if it’s small. In most cases, you’ll need to try other methods.
- Use a light material to find the holes: If the other methods aren’t helpful, find a lightweight material (like a thin shirt, a piece of thin, soft plastic, or even tissue). Place it over the air mattress to locate air coming out. You can see the lightweight material physically move if there is escaping air.
- Consider using soap and water: The soap and water method is popular for finding a hole in an air mattress. Apply the solution to the air mattress and look for foam. If you notice a mattress area has lots of foam, that’s where the hole is.
You could also place your hand over the air mattress to see if you can feel air blowing against it.
2. Prepare the Air Mattress
Once you’ve found the hole(s), you’ll need to prepare the air mattress for repair.
Below are some essential tips for the preparation:
- Make sure to clean and dry the air mattress: This tip is vital to remember if you use soap and water to find the hole. The repair might not be as effective if the mattress is wet or dirty. For example, superglue is incompatible with wet surfaces, so ensure the mattress is dry before using it.
- Deflate the air mattress: If the mattress is still slightly inflated from the last step, deflate it, as it will make it easier to patch the hole.
- Keep it on an even surface: To make the process easier and more effective, keep your air mattress on a flat, even surface.
3. Check the Original Packaging
Once your air mattress is prepared, it’s ready for the next step. However, this only applies if you still have the original packaging for the mattress, so you can skip this step if you don’t.
Some air mattresses come with repair kits; you might have kept yours. If you have one, you can use it to patch up the hole. Generally, these kits come with step-by-step instructions that are simple to follow.
If you don’t have a repair kit that comes with the air mattress, consider using a DIY method to repair it. Read below to find out more!
4. Patch Up the Hole in Your Air Mattress DIY Style
There are different DIY methods to use if you need to patch a hole in your air mattress. The method you choose will depend on the materials you currently have and whether or not you need it urgently fixed. In an urgent case, you may need to use duct tape. But if you have more time, use a kit or other materials.
Below are some of the best ways to patch up a hole in an air mattress DIY style:
One helpful method is to attach a material, like plastic, over the hole by gluing it down; this will block the air from escaping, ensuring the air mattress remains inflated. Thankfully, it’s an easy solution, and you don’t need many materials.
Here’s what you’ll need:
- Soap and water to clean
- Paper towel to dry the area
- A piece of plastic, such as a shower curtain or pool liner. You can also use a bike tire repair kit.
Once you’ve got all the required materials, you can patch up the hole by following the guide below:
- Clean the air mattress using soap, water, and a cloth: This will ensure the glue and plastic cover go on smoothly and that no dirt or debris gets in the way. Unless there are a lot of holes (which is unlikely), it’s only necessary to clean the areas you’ll be patching up.
- Dry the air mattress using a paper towel: As I mentioned in a previous section, it’s crucial to ensure the area is fully dry before starting any repair, as it ensures the glue will stick properly.
- Prepare and cut your plastic material: You can place the plastic material over the hole to see how much you need to cut. Ensure the plastic material covers the entire hole. Otherwise, it won’t work.
- Place glue onto the back side of the plastic material: You can use many adhesives, including superglue. Be sure to put enough on the plastic so it can stick properly. You can also apply the glue to the mattress, but it might not be necessary.
- Put the plastic material over the hole: Place the plastic over the hole and press down, ensuring it covers the entire area. Smooth over a few times using your hands, pushing down as hard as possible.
- Give it time to sit: You want to avoid inflating the air mattress right away. Wait a few hours to ensure the plastic and glue properly bind to the air mattress.
- Test the mattress: You can wait a few hours to test the mattress. Alternatively, wait until the following day. Test it by inflating and lying on the mattress. If no air comes out, you’ve fixed the issue! If you notice the cover isn’t working, you may need to try it again.
If you notice the plastic cover seems to be working, but there’s still air coming out of the mattress, another hole might be present. Alternatively, there could be an issue with the valve. Inspect the mattress to see if you can find what the problem is.
Next, consider using a patch kit to repair your air mattress. Kits generally come with everything you need, including:
- Material to cover the hole
You can purchase air mattress repair kits in most stores that sell mattresses, such as outdoor activity stores. You can also buy them online.
For example, you can find this Pool Above Heavy Duty Vinyl Repair Patch Kit on Amazon. It works to repair holes in many inflatable products, including air mattresses, and comes with heavy-duty adhesive and vinyl patches. It also comes with an applicator, so you won’t need to make any other purchases.
Each repair kit will come with instructions, but the method is likely similar to the one in the last section. Before using a kit, clean the area surrounding the hole, as it will give you a clean base to start with.
If you don’t have the time to buy a repair kit or find all the DIY materials you need, consider a temporary solution to tide you over for the next few days. One of the best and most useful temporary solutions is using duct tape to cover the hole.
Below is a brief guide on how to cover a hole in an air mattress with duct tape:
- Clean the area using a damp cloth: Ensure you get rid of any dirt, so the duct tape goes on easily. Allow it to dry before continuing.
- Place super glue over the hole: Putting some superglue over the hole will make the duct tape method more effective.
- Put the duct tape over the super glue: Once the super glue is on, carefully stick the duct tape over it. Ensure it’s smooth and that no wrinkles are visible on the tape.
- Test it to make sure it’s working: Once the super glue and duct tape are securely in place, inflate the mattress to see if the air is still escaping.
If you don’t have superglue, it’s OK to avoid using it. Be sure to use enough duct tape. For example, you might need to layer a few pieces of duct tape over each other to ensure the air doesn’t escape. Beware that this solution won’t last for long, so you’ll need a more permanent solution once you have the time.
When a tear is tiny, gluing it back together might be enough to fix it. However, it won’t work when the tear is large or when a chunk is missing from the air mattress.
If you believe the hole is small enough, follow the steps below to fix the issue:
- Ensure the mattress is deflated.
- Clean the area.
- Place glue carefully into the affected area, pushing both sides into each other to ensure they stick back together.
- Hold everything in place for a few minutes. It’s not enough to hold it all together for a second and let go; give the glue time to dry by holding the two sides together for at least a minute.
- Test the mattress by inflating and lying on it to see if any air comes out.
- Retry if it doesn’t work the first time. If it continues not to work, consider a different method.
Should You Repair an Air Mattress With Multiple Holes?
You should repair a mattress with multiple holes, as long as there aren’t too many. For example, if there are so many punctures that you can’t locate each one, it’s better to buy a new air mattress. Moreover, if there are too many holes, it will be more challenging to ensure each one is patched correctly.
Patching too many holes will also be time-consuming, so it might not be worth the time if you can quickly buy a new mattress. It also isn’t worth it if the mattress is cheap; in that case, either buy another cheap one or consider spending more on a higher-quality air mattress.
Generally, 1-3 holes should be OK to patch up. It will be more complex and time-consuming if there are more than this.
You can’t fix air mattress holes with stickers because they won’t be strong enough to hold in the air. Additionally, the adhesive on stickers is generally too weak and will likely peel off the air mattress quickly. Instead, use materials like plastic shower curtains or superglue repair kits to patch holes.
It’s a nuisance to have a hole in an air mattress, but thankfully, there are different home remedies you can try to fix this kind of problem.
Here are some you can try:
- Repair kit from an outdoor activity store or online store
- Plastic material and superglue
- Super glue on its own for tiny holes and cuts
- Duct tape as a temporary solution
Always be sure to clean and deflate an air mattress before repairing holes. Additionally, do it on a flat surface to ensure you can apply the materials smoothly.
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