How to Find a Hole in an Air Mattress (Step By Step Process)

How to Find a Hole in an Air Mattress

Waking up at 3 in the morning to pump air into your air mattress is one of the most annoying things. An air mattress is one of the great things to have when you are expecting guests. But even a tiny leak can leave your guests or sleeper flat on the floor by morning.

Knowing how to find a hole in an air mattress and how to fix it can help save you the embarrassment. Locating a tiny hole on your air mattress isn’t easy. It is like looking for a needle in the haystack. But that does not mean that it is not possible. Here are some of the two main methods that you can use to find a hole in an air mattress. They are both simple, effective, and won’t take much of your time.

1. The Soapy Water Method

The reason for using soapy water is because it will create bubbles where the air is leaking. This method will help you locate even the tiny holes that you can’t see with your eyes. It is also easy, and you probably have all that you require to use this method in your home. Use method two if your mattress has a plush-top.


Dish soap or dish washing liquid Water Spray bottle


Steps-1: Fill your spray bottle with a mixture of water and soap

air mattress hole finding process

Fill the spray bottle with warm water and then add an adequate amount of liquid dish soap that is enough to produce soapy bubbles when the water is stirred or sloshed.

If you don’t have a spray bottle, you can use a sponge or soft rag. All you need is to fill a dish/ bucket/ pail with one liter of water and then add one tablespoon of dishwashing liquid.

Step-2. Blow up your air mattress

air mattress hole finding process

Blow up your mattress in an open area with adequate lighting where you will be able to move around it with ease. Inflate it to its full capacity, but don’t over-inflate. Inflating the mattress to its full capacity will create enough pressure behind the leak and make it easy for you to find it.

Remember not to over inflate your air mattress when it has some holes as that may enlarge the holes.

Step-3. Spray or wipe around the valve

air mattress hole finding process

Most air mattress leaks form around this area, and that is why you need to start with before checking on the other parts. As you spray around the valve, look for bubbles. They will form where the air is escaping from, and that is the leak that you need to seal.

If you can see any bubbles forming, that means there is no air escaping, and start spraying the seams. If there are still no bubbles forming, continue to spray the rest of the fabric.

If you don’t have a spray bottle and you should now be having a sponge and a mixture of water and soap. Wet the sponge by dipping it on the mixture and then wipe the sponge slowly over the mattress in a straight line.

Apply pressure as you are working using your hand and watch for any bubble that may form. The bubbles indicate the leaking area.

You don’t have to worry about getting too much soap into your air mattress as you can easily wipe it off later and it will dry.

Step-4. Mark the leak with a permanent marker

air mattress hole finding process

After locating the leak or hole, you should mark it using a permanent marker. Marking the area with a pen will make it easier for you to locate it when you deflate the mattress. Avoid using a pen that will bleed over the wet surface.

To make it easier for you to mark the leaking area, you can first dry it with a towel. But you should not use a paper towel on this as it will leave some fabrics on your mattress, which will later be a problem to remove them.

step-5. Dry the mattress

air mattress hole finding process

You can either put your mattress in direct sunlight or in the wind for about two to three hours to dry. Your mattress should be 100% dry before using an adhesive patch to seal the leak.

You should also make sure your air mattress is not wet before folding and storing it. Storing it when it is still wet will encourage mold and mildew to start forming.

2. The Tissue Paper Method

The tissue paper method is safe for every type of air mattress. Just like method one above, this method is simple and will help you locate the leak on your air mattress with fewer struggles.


A roll of tissue paper


1. Take your air mattress and inflate it to its full capacity in a quiet and open room where you can easily flip it around.

2. Roll out your tissue paper and then lay it flat on the surface of your air mattress. Now apply pressure to the mattress to direct air to the area you are working on by lying on top.

3. Move the tissue all over your mattress, watching for any disturbance and listening for a faint hissing sound, which indicates the position of the leak. The paper will try to fry out of the surface of your air mattress on areas where the leak is large.

4. Use adhesive tape, felt-pen, or a marker to mark the leak for patching later on.

There are many more methods that you can use to locate a leak on your air mattress, such as listening using your ear and using your hands to feel. They work, but they will take too much of your time. The above two methods will help you save time and make it easier to locate the leak on your air mattress.

Remember not to use method one if your air mattress has a plush-top. If you do, it will take longer to dry and you may end up damaging your air mattress.

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