How to Find a Leak in an Air Mattress

In recent years, air mattresses have been getting a lot of positive attention. Their convenient and portable nature makes them the number one choice for guest beds or even permanent beds. As with any inflatable product, if they spring a leak they seem useless.

Rather than tossing the air bed in the trash, air bed owners are searching the Internet for ways of fixing or repairing their air mattress. If you have ever tried to patch or repair an inflatable air bed, you probably gave up if you couldn't locate the leak. Well, you are not alone, most do. Here are a few steps that should help you spot the leak, making it possible to patch or repair it.

Deflating Mattress

1. Inflate and Inflate Some More:

The first step to finding a leak in your air mattress is to get as much air into the air mattress as possible. If your air bed has a built-in pump, let it run a little longer than you normally would for maximum inflation. Slightly over-inflating the air bed may open up the smaller leaks but should not damage the air bed while you're searching for the hole.

2. Pucker Up:

This step might sound crazy, but it works well on any size leak. Simply pucker up as if you are going to give a big, wet kiss to a loved one. Since lips are sensitive to cold air, make sure you lick your lips so there is moisture on them. Then, put your lips close to the air bed (bottom first, most leaks occur on the bottom) and start going back and forth trying to feel for cold air from the leak. Listen closely because, at this distance, you can usually hear the larger punctures.

3. Grab Your Spectacles:

While you are going back and forth feeling for the cold air, keep your eyes on any small imperfections of the vinyl. Often times the puncture can be seen, so any pin-size speck (usually black in color) could be a small puncture.

4. Rinse and Repeat:

Continue this on the sides and the top of the air mattress as well. Areas to focus on are the pump, valve, and seams.

Note: If you are still having a difficult time finding the punctured area then try these tips:

  • Make sure that air is not leaking through the cap or air valve. If it's a twist cap, twist it tight and make sure it's not cross-threaded.
  • Look for manufacture defects. Common defects are found in the seams, bulging chambers, or cracked vinyl near the built-in pump.

Gimmicks to Avoid

  • Do NOT resort to the soap and water trick. It's messy and only works on the larger holes that can be heard or felt.
  • Do NOT ever put water into the bed. This will grow mold and make the bed very unhealthy to sleep on or even be around.