This Is How To Find A Hole In An Air Mattress

How To Find A Hole In An Airmattress
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​When you suspect a hole in your air mattress, finding it can be a challenging task. Sometimes the leak may be significant enough that it’s easy to pinpoint.

However, there are times that it is invisible to the naked eye that it is impossible to spot. There are a lot of ways to find a leak or a hole in your air mattress.

Unless you exposed your air mattress to pet claws or sharp things, you might spot the hole in its stress points. So, before you consider the methods below, you may assess the seals and caps of the bed. A broken seal or cap may leak some air in your air mattress.

To check for a leak in your mattress’ seal or cap, you have to listen for a hissing or whistling sound. It may be a sign of an air leak. Repairing an air leak may be a simple procedure to do. But, finding the leak or the hole itself can be a troublesome task to fulfil.

So, at the start of every camping season, you need to check the condition of your air mattress. You may begin by inflating it and lying on it overnight.

See how airtight​​​​ your mattress is. If ever you’ll notice that some air has lost, look for an air leak. Here are the way on how to find a hole in an air mattress.

Inspecting The Valve Of The Air Mattress

If you think that the valve is the primary cause of the problem, then you may utilize these steps to see if your air mattress has a hole.


What You Will Need

  • Air Mattress
  • Plug of the air mattress
  • A good sense of touch/feel
  • A thin plastic

Step 1: Inspecting The Valve

The first thing you have to do is to begin checking the valve of the mattress. Make sure that you completely insert the plug of the valve into the system.

In the case of a double-locking valve, you need to ensure that you press it against the stopper at the back.

Step 2: Check If The Valve Has Damage

If the valve stem is the problem, you may not be able to fix the mattress. The valve stem has different materials. Since the valve may have a unique shape and it goes in and out the mattress, it can also get patched.

Step 3: In Line The Plug With A Thin Plastic

If it doesn't close against the plug, then you may consider lining the plug stem with a thin plastic. It may work for an emergency fix.

If the plug entire sits into the valve stem, then you may consider a hole in the mattress. Also, if it entirely sits against the stopper, you may also start looking for an air leak.

Applying Pressure To The Mattress

For you not to wet the fabric of your mattress, you may use this method first before resorting to a more complicated approach. All you have to do is to simply put pressure to the air bed.


What You Will Need

  • Air Mattress
  • An excellent sense of hearing
  • A small amount of water in a cup
  • Toilet tissue, thin plastic, or a duct tape

Step 1: Observe For Air Leak

If you can find out the source of the air leak without getting the air mattress wet, then you can just patch it. Also, you won’t have to proceed to other methods to pinpoint an air leak.

What you need to do is to inflate the bed. Then, you have to apply pressure to the mattress. Then, you need to listen to a sound coming out from the mattress seams or fabric.

Step 2: Putting Your Wet Forearm To The Mattress

Another easy way to spot an air leak is to make put some water on your forearm until it gets wet. Next, you need to put it gently over the mattress.

The air coming out of the bed will heighten the evaporation rate from your forearm. Thus, it will make your forearm feel cold.

Step 3: Spotting A Hole Using A Tissue/Plastic/Duct Tape

Another quick way to search for a leak or a hole is to use toilet tissue, duct tape, thin plastic, etc. You need to perform this while you are in an unmoving spot. Gently draw the plastic over the mattress.

When the plastic goes over the hole, it will become affected by the air leak. After locating the hole, you need to encircle it with a marker.

Read more about ​Choose The Best Air Mattress For Camping (Updated 2017)​​​

Trying The Bubble Soap Hole Finder

If the extent of the problem is too much to handle, you may use the bubble soap method. The bubble soap leak finder is an efficient approach. However, it may be messy to apply because you will need some water and soap to use this strategy.


What You Will Need

  • Air Mattress
  • Dish Soap
  • Water
  • Sponge

Step 1: Check Out The Air Leak Using The Bubble Soap

​If the air leak is just too small to notice using the methods above, you may try the bubble soap leak finder. What you must do is to obtain a sponge.

Then, prepare a soapy water. Dip the sponge in the solution and put it on the surface of the air bed. You have to observe if bubbles are forming.

You see, utilizing a soapy water to search for a leak is a convenient method. It will allow you to spot the leak in the fabric of the mattress.

Step 2: Drying The Air Bed

Try to wipe the valve of the mattress first. Then, you may follow the seams and the fabric. When you spot the hole in the air bed, you may rinse it properly. Also, try to wipe off the soap and dry the area. Lastly, mark the hole.

Step 3: Marking The Hole

However, if the area is still damp, you may choose to use a felt pen, indelible marker, a duct tape, or a crayon.

After doing so put the air mattress outside and leave it for an hour or so. Remember that the seams are the hardest to dry.

Immersing The Air Mattress In A Tub

Lastly, you may utilize this approach when all of the other methods fail. The last thing you have to do is to submerge your air bed in a bathtub or a sink filled with water.


What You Will Need

  • Air Mattress
  • A Bathtub filled with water

Step 1: Submerging The Air Bed On The Bathtub

If the bubble soap approach still doesn’t work, you will need to dip your mattress in a bathtub or a huge sink. Start with the valve of the bed. Try to fill the bed with air partially.

Then, close the lid and dip the plug in the sink. Apply some pressure while you submerge it. Try to force some air out of the valve.

Step 2: Assessing The Mattress For Some Bubbles

If you sealed the valve system tightly, dip the sections of the mattress. With the lid airtight, you may put some pressure to allow the air out of the hole.

Try to observe if bubbles are coming out of the fabric. And since it is the part of the mattress that requires more drying time, you may wait for it to dry overnight completely.

Step 3: Important Note Not To Ruin The Air Mattress

However, take note that some manufacturers do not allow the dipping of their air mattresses. When you do this test, you will completely submerge the mattress to the water.

When you dip the air bed into the water, it may destroy or separate the coating from the fabric of the mattress.

Step 4: Air Drying The Air Bed

But still, it all depends on how long you have allowed the fabric to be in contact with the water. Some mattresses may tolerate getting wet for a few hours.

If you think that this is necessary to find out the hole in your bed, then you may just air dry the mattress after.


An air mattress is easy to store, and it is flexible since you can bring it in your travels. However, even the smallest leak will disrupt the tightness of the air mattress.

Thus, you need to find the leak as soon as possible. Although some manufacturers have suggested a few methods to search for a leak, you may still follow the methods mentioned above. You may start off by inspecting the valves first.

Then, if you still cannot see the hole or the leak, you may proceed with the other ways.

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