How to find a leak in an air mattress

From a backpack-friendly solo pad to a lavish queen-sized bed, you can choose which bed you would like to accompany you in your wilderness exploration. Despite your choice, your peaceful slumber can be disrupted with the tiniest occurrence: a leak. The first way to tell if it is leaking is that it starts to deflate, and a flattened air mattress can be unbearably uncomfortable to lie on. If you don’t repair it soon enough, even the tiniest hole can spread and become bigger. Fortunately, the leaks in air mattresses are small and can easily be repaired without needing an expert to fix them for you. However, if you have no clue how to find a leak in an air mattress or repair one, this is the ultimate guide for you:

How to Find a Leak in an Electric Air Mattress

It can be incredibly exhausting if you do not know how to find a hole in an air mattress. But you shouldn’t worry as there are some easy ways to detect signs of holes and leaks. 

Even though sometimes the hole or leak might be relatively easy to spot because of its large size, usually it is nothing more than a tiny prick that is almost invisible without a magnifying glass. Nonetheless, the sooner you can find out the extent of the damage, the easier the leak can be fixed.

First, you should make sure that your air mattress is leaking. For this, you will need to fully inflate the bed and wait a few hours to see if it has significantly deflated in this duration. You can even sit on the air mattress to check to what extent it is sinking. Here are some reliable ways to find a leak.

Check the valve

After you are absolutely certain that the air mattress has a hole and is leaking, the first place to check is the valve. You will only need to hold your hold a little distance away from the valve and feel if any air from the mattress is passing. If you felt some air was leaking via the valve, you must immediately call the company manufacturer and ask for a replacement. This is because you cannot repair the air mattress valve at home. 

Check the mattress’s bottom

The next place for finding a leak in an air mattress is at the bottom of it. People forget to check the floor to make sure there are no tiny objects left. With passing time and immense pressure from people sleeping on the air mattress, these objects can sometimes pave the way for leaks. You can check for leaks by re-inflating the air mattress and position it vertically against the way, such that you can inspect the mattress’s bottom side. 

Listen for a hissing sound

Another easy way to spot the leak is to make sure there is complete silence in the room. Next, you should keep your ears open for any hissing sounds. Move close to the air mattress because the hissing sound might be very faint. Bring your ears close to the different parts of the bed. Also, turn to the top side if you do not hear any noise on the bottom. 

Wet your hand

If you have still not been able to locate a hole or leak, you can try some other methods. For instance, you should wet the backside of your hand and gently pass it close to the mattress. You must pay attention and check for signs where the mattress feels a bit cold. Conversely, you can also wet your lips and pass around the bed, as your lips are more sensitive. 

Use soapy water

With this method, you will need to mix soap and water without forming any bubbles or foam. Grab a sponge or a cloth and wipe the mattress’s surface with the soapy solution. Do it slowly and steadily and check for any signs of bubbles forming during the process. 

inflated air mattress
An inflated air mattress. Credit:

How to Find a Leak in an Intex Air Mattress?

Finding a leak or a hole in an Intex air mattress can be incredibly frustrating. Unless your air mattress has been subjected to pet claws or sharp objects, the leak is usually in a stress point or a seam. You should always check for caps and seals and listen for a hissing sound as you force air pressure in the direction of the seal or cap. 

If you sense a hissing sound, chances are that your Intex air mattress has a leak. There are many ways you can pinpoint exactly where the leak is coming from. Still, when it comes to effectiveness, ease, and lack of mess, here are some interesting methods.

The Soap Method

The best and most effective way to spot a leak is to put on a soapy sponge on the fully-inflated air mattress surface. Look out for areas where any bubbles might be forming or growing. This just might be a sign of a leak. 

The Tissue Paper Method

Inflate your air mattress in a silent room where there is ample space to move and flip it around. Place a strand of tissue paper on the mattress surface before beginning from any corner. Be attentive to any sort of hissing sounds. Sit on the mattress to see if there is any air coming out. This way, you can locate the hole. After you detect the spot where the hissing sound is coming from, mark the spot. 

Other Methods

You can also just listen for a whistling or hissing noise from the mattress in a quiet room. This is known as the silent method. Other methods include the Bathtub Method.

The Bathtub Method

On the other hand, you can submerge your air mattress completely underwater and keep track of any bubbles that might be escaping. After the water settles down, if there is a leak, you will see a tiny stream of bubbles on the surface near the leak area. 

After locating the leak in the mattress, you should immediately mark it and continue submerging the mattress. Mostly, these mattresses have multiple issues. Keep dipping the mattress till you have adequately spotted all the weak spots. 

How to Fix a Leaky Air Mattress

Confirm the leak

Before you try to patch the leak, you need to verify if the leak is actually happening. There are many reasons why air mattresses lose air naturally over time, such as temperature changes and other elements. If you see a fully inflated mattress deflating faster than usual, there is likely a tear or a hole. 

Mark the leaky area

Once you have confirmed and identified the leak’s source, you need to mark the area. Use a sharpie marker or a pen and circle the leaky area to avoid losing it. The surface should be smooth so that the patch can stick properly. If your air mattress has a ribbed or rough surface, you might need to gently sand it a little using very-fine quality sandpaper. 

Patch the leak

After the leaky area is cleaned and dried, it is now time to patch the hole.

Here are some practical ways to fix the leak. 

  • Use a patch kit that came with the air mattress.
  • Get a bike tire patch kit.
  • Buy a patch kit of a third-party air mattress which can be bought online.
  • Use a home-made patch comprising a thin plastic material like a shower curtain.

Here is how you need to apply a patch to your leaky air mattress:

  • Deflate your air mattress entirely and seal it shut.
  • Make sure the leaky area or hole is dry and clean.
  • Adjust the air mattress accordingly such that the leaky area is completely exposed and rests on a flat surface.
  • Carefully apply the patch to the leaky spot. It should cover at least half an inch around the leak’s sides. 
  • If it is a bandage-style patch, it should be sticky enough to be directly placed on the leaky spot.
  • If it is a simple patch, you need to use a strong adhesive or glue and apply it adequately on the patch’s perimeters before using it. 
  • After applying the patch, use a flat and heavy object to place it atop the patch, and ensure the edges do not coil, 
  • Let the patch dry for 8 hours at least. 
  • Inflate the air mattress carefully and test for any further leaks. 

After these instructions, your air mattress will most likely be patched. Once the leak is repaired, you should frequently check the patch to make sure it does not peel off. If the patch seal tears off, weakens or starts leaking again, you might need to repeat the process… but now you know how to find a leak in an air mattress so it should be easier the next time around! 

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