How To Find A Slow Leak/Hole In An Air Mattress

how to find a leak/Hole in an air mattress

Having an air mattress can be super practical.  It can serve as an extra bed for guests, an added comfort while camping, or a temporary fix if for whatever reason a traditional bed is not available.  However, as with any inflatable object comes the biggest dread: the air leak.

Falling asleep on a fluffy air mattress to just wake up laying on the hard floor can be a pain (literally) and cause anyone to question their “practical” purchase.  Not only that, but finding the source of the deflation can make the most patient person to lose their cool. Not to worry though, below we have laid out the steps to take if you find yourself in this utterly frustrating situation.

Step 1: Prepare Your Work Area

To find a leak/hole, you must be able to see the mattress clearly.  Remove any sheets or blankets, and make sure you are in a well-lit area.  Also, make sure you have enough space to move the mattress around, as you’ll need to maneuver it to see all sides.

Step 2: Fill It Up

Inflate your mattress with as much air as recommended by the manufacturer.  Be careful not to over-inflate as this can cause the mattress to burst! 

Step 3: Inspect the Valve

As most air mattress leaks originate from the valve, proper inspection should be done before searching for any holes.  

  • Verify that the valve plug is correctly inserted into the valve stem.
  • If your mattress has a double locking valve, ensure that the valve stem is completely pressed against the stop behind it.
  • If there is an issue with the valve, it’s unlikely it can be patched. However, if the valve plug won’t seal against the valve stem, you can temporarily fix it by inserting a thin piece of plastic.
  • If you’ve inspected the valve and you can’t find any problems, you can move onto the next step.  

Step 4: Inspect the Mattress Thoroughly

Start by carefully inspecting the top of the mattress, followed by the sides, bottom, and finally, the seams.   To do this, look closely as well as passing your hand slowly (to feel for any escaping air), around all parts of the inflated mattress.  As you move along the mattress also listen carefully for any escaping air. If you can’t find any leaks or holes in the air mattress, you can move on to the next step.

Step 5: Soap it Up

Find a towel or rag and soak with water and soap.  Take the rag and slowly move along all areas of the inflated mattress, slightly pressing.  If there is a hole, soap bubbles will form from the passing air.  

Although a little time-consuming, following the above steps should enable you to locate a leak or hole in your air mattress.  Once you have done so, follow the manufacturer’s patching instructions. Hopefully, you’ll be sleeping on a cloud of air in no time!

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