How to Repair an Air Mattress

Well, this blog post is all about how to fix a leak. To find a leak, check out our previous article by clicking here. Just as a gentle reminder to keep your bed safe by banning pets from the bed and not using any sharp objects around it. Be sure to vacuum the area where you’ll use the air mattress. Of course these precautions only apply if you don’t have a leak yet, and if you’re reading this then you already have one.

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Hopefully you’ve marked the leak with a marker or post-it note so you can find the leak quickly. Move your air mattress out into an open area where you have room to work, and gather all the materials that you’ll need to fix it. We recommend some of the following items:

  • Water with a little dish soap or a multipurpose cleaner
  • A cloth towel (try to avoid paper towels)
  • Repair patch kit
  • Vinyl Glue
  • Fine sandpaper or even a nail file
  • A 10 pound or heavier weight

Of course there are many ways to make a patch repair kit, and with each kit different items are included. If you bought an Intex air mattress, then you received just the patch. For the Fox Airbed brand, they offer two patches and a small tube of glue. If you want to buy your own patches, AirBeds4Less.com offers a Vinyl Repair Kit with 6 Intex Stick-On Repair Patches. These patches have a self-adhesive, so you don’t have to handle glue separately.

Leaks are actually similar to a famous real estate mantra: location, location, location. How you handle the leak depends on where it is on the air mattress. If your leak is on the bottom of the air mattress, like most leaks are, then the fix is usually simpler. However, if your leak is on the top where the flocking is, then there is an extra step involved; although, it’s nothing too tricky:

  1. Keep your air mattress deflated during this process; it helps for moving it around as you patch the leak.
  2. Note: This is an extra step for an air mattress with a leak on the top of the air mattress. Dab the leak and the surrounding area with a wet cloth. You can do this with the wet cloth or a spray bottle filled with water. Once this is done, take the sandpaper (or nail file) and remove the flocking around the leak. Remove enough flocking to match the size of the patch with which you’ll be covering the spot.
  3. For top leaks and any other leaks, you can now start cleaning around the leak. Grab your soapy water or multipurpose cleaner and gently remove any fibers or dirt.
  4. Once the area is clean, then dry the area with a cloth towel. (Avoid paper towels since they leave behind little fibers when you use them.)
  5. If you use glue to stick the patch on, apply a generous amount over the leak.
  6. Place the patch over the glue and hold it in place for at least 10 seconds.
  7. Take the 10 pound weight and place it over the patch. Keep it there for at least six to eight hours. This should really secure the patch before you inflate it again.

After waiting for the patch to adhere, inflate the air mattress again to test out how well the air mattress works with the repair patch.

How to Find a Leak in an Air Mattress

Many people have difficulty locating a leak in an air mattress. Leaks don’t have to be very big to cause your air mattress to slowly deflate during the night. Air mattresses are durable, but to a point. Very literally a point, because they can take a lot of weight, but a sharp point is often their undoing.

Before you set up your air mattress, vacuum the area where it will be set-up. This will hopefully get rid of any unseen needles or staples or other sharp objects. Although you love your pet dearly, don’t let them on the air mattress. Their claws can puncture an air mattress as they walk across it, even if it has sheets on it already. The likelihood goes down, but you don’t want to mess with fate. If you think your lovely cat is excluded, then you’re wrong. Just because they have retractable claws doesn’t mean they won’t un-retract them and cause some damage to the air bed.

  1. Get in an open area that allows you to move around. This helps to maneuver the air mattress much easier.
  2. Then pump up that air mattress as full as it will get, and then go a little longer than you think the air mattress might need (only about 30 seconds though.)
  3. Take this time now to visually inspect your air mattress. Start on the bottom of the air mattress, since that’s more likely where the hole is. Keep in mind, even if the hole is very small, it’s still possible to see it. It’s just more difficult.
  4. If you’re still having trouble, moisten your hand or lick your lips, and move your hand or lips a few inches away from the air mattress. The moisture helps your skin to be sensitive, and increases the likelihood you’ll feel the air flow.
  5. Once you’ve found the leak, make sure you mark it with a sharpie or a post-it note. Don’t use a pen that could give your air mattress another puncture.

There are many tips out there about how to find leaks in an air mattress. One example is the soapy water method. This is a messy way to try and find a leak and works only on larger holes. Since bigger leaks are easier to find anyway, it’s best to avoid such a method.

Also, never follow any method that requires you to fill your air mattress with water. This will just damage your air mattress, and the moisture will cause mold to grow inside.

Watch this video for additional instructions.