How to Find a Hole in an Air Mattress: Tips and Recommendations

An air mattress, which is slightly more expensive than a regular matt, can be added to your camping gear to increase sleep quality and support the spine. It provides more comfort than any standard rollup matt.

It can be easily compressed for storage. You will need to be extra careful when handling this item.

A mattress that is used regularly can develop invisible holes. A mattress that can’t be patched is no better than a bedsheet. It’s crucial to locate the air mattress’s damage early on to avoid the hole from further exacerbating.

Let’s look at how we can restore this item to its former glory. Below, we will show you nine methods how to find a hole in an air mattress.

How to prepare your workspace for successful puncture searching

An airbed inside in a clean working space to find a hole

So, how to find a hole in an air mattress? We recommend conducting the investigation in an enclosed area. Place that is free from sharp objects and wind. For those who are looking for a place to campervan, or a trailer, they can be found in the backcountry.

The inside of a large tent can be used to create a space in the wilderness. It is important that you have enough space to move around in the tent.

Clear the mattress from bedding and sheets. Then start to fill up the mattress with air to its utmost capacity using a pump. Do not go over this limit. You could damage the mattress and blow it out further.

After you have cleaned your workspace and prepared for the next step, it is time to start looking.

Common locations for air mattress leaks


Before you try any repairs, check the air mattress for leaks in these common areas. You should first inspect the mattress from a bird’s eye view to identify any holes.

If you don’t find any, conduct a physical exam and check for a leak mattress surface and valve area. This will most likely reveal a crack in the mattress. Valves and seams are usually the first areas on an air mattress to deteriorate.

This will save you time and help eliminate the need to do further research.

There are several methods how to find a hole in an air mattress.

So, how to find a hole in an air mattress? All the methods described below are efficient and require very little equipment. We do not want to inflict more damage on an already fragile air mattress.

The first methods don’t require much equipment. These methods will only use sound and touch. Inflate the mattress. Ensure that your air mattress is fully inflated before you can begin.

Then, we will move on to secondary methods where you might also need soapy water and tissues.

Remember to make sure that the air mattress is fully filled before inspecting it for any cracks.

Method 1. Visual inspection for subtle air.

Visual inspection for subtle air

You can find an easy way to make a hole through an air mattress. The same technique is used to check the seams and valves. Apply pressure downwards to the mattress. To visually inspect and spot the mattress, either stand or lie down.

This method is very simple. Look at one corner of the mattress. Next, look across the mattress laterally until the hole in an air mattress is found.

Method 2. For air leakages, test your hands.

For air leakages, test your hands

Another way to check your air mattresses is by feeling for holes. Apply some pressure downwards on the mattress to try to get rid of the air.

With one hand, move around the room in a diagonal direction to locate the airbed leak. Warm water is good to soak your hands in, as this will make any air-borne spores more apparent.

Method 3. Listen out for whistling sounds, escaping air, or hissing sounds.


If there are no other disturbances around, you can hear air escaping being pushed from an air bed.

Inflate the mattress and then put your ear to the mattress surface to hear the hissing sound of moving air. As you move closer to the hole, you will hear louder leak sounds.

After you have climbed onto the top of the mattress air leak, the hissing sound will be heard and you can feel the air rush against your ear.

Method 4. You can usually find leaks in your air mattress with dish soap or soapy water


If those simple inspection methods don’t find any holes, then you might need to use soapy water in a spray bottle. Next, we’ll apply dish soap to the inflatable bed.

A spray bottle or sponge is an efficient way to do this. The dish soap bubbles will expand due to the air leak, which can be used to identify the hole. You can spray dish soap around the valve to find the air leak, and then continue moving away.

You should be able to see the tiny bits of soapy liquid that have been expelled from the air escaping at eye level.

Method 5.

Submersion in a tub is the best way for you to check the leakage of your air mattress.


Water submersion is a fast and effective way to identify leaks within your air mattress. A tub containing water and your air mattress is all you need.

Before applying this method, ensure that you have read the manual on your air mattress. The mattress should be waterproofed and not warp or become damaged by the water submersion. Place a partially filled mattress on top of a tub with water.

The goal is to make sure that the mattress is submerged as much as possible. This includes seams, valves, and seams. Air bubbles can be formed by water and the escaping air from a hole. These bubbles indicate where the hole is.

Method 6. You can use tissue or liftoff to locate the leak site.


The tissue method makes it easy to find the hole. Place some tissue paper or another light paper on sections of the air mattress.

You can then manually push air outwards by adding weight to the mattress. If the piece of tissue paper is on the hole, a sudden updraft will propel it upwards. To make this work, the room must be quiet and free from air movement.

Method 7. Weighing down is done using weights.

The weighing of the inflatable mattress is a tedious method to find its hole. It involves placing a newspaper weight or a large book on a section and then watching it deflate.

If the mattress falls apart quickly, the hole is usually in the vicinity of the weight. This method requires patience and repetition. I don’t think you will be able to achieve immediate success.

Be careful not to use too much weight as the escaping air may overwhelm the air bed and cause it to rip.

Method 8. You can use a garden hose to find an air mattress leak.

Similar to the bathtub soak, you can spray water on top of the mattress with a gardenhose. This will help to find a leak. If water touches the hole, air bubbles will develop. It is important to only allow water to flow very slowly.

It is easy to misinterpret the bubbles of the moving water with the bubbles caused by the mattress. If this is giving you problems, you can swap the hose water for a bucket.

Use a spoon, bucket, or spoon to pour the water. Keep an eye out for the formation of bubbles.

Method 9. Baby powder, messy, but very effective.

Baby powder is used to cover an air mattress with powdered baby powder. The air creates clouds in the area as it shoots out from the hole.

You can slowly add more air to the mattress to make it easier to identify the cloud formation. This is possibly the most unpleasant and messy of all. You have been warned.

So, you’ve found an air-leaking leak. Now what?!

So you have utilized one of the above methods on how to find the leak in an air mattress. The next step is to follow the instructions. Mark the leak location with a small piece or permanent marker once you’ve found it.

You must be careful not to puncture again the air mattress using the metal end. Then let the mattress air dry and then completely deflate it.

The last step to fix a mattress is to patch it. You need to consider a small seal that sticks to it surface.

All decent outdoor and hardware shops can sell air mattresses repair kits. I’ve used a tire patching kit for my bicycle. No matter which patch you choose, simply stick it on the hole.

It keeps the seal intact. To check if the problem has subsided, fill up your air mattress.

There are some things to be aware of when looking for holes in your mattress’ air.

  • Avoid using any acidic material or corrosive substances on inflatable air mattresses.
  • It is not a good idea to try to substitute soap with another product, such as a moisturizer or something sticky. They can cause problems. You may be left with a sticky, slippery, or irritated air mattress following your investigation.
  • The best solutions are the ones that address the problem clearly and effectively.

According to camping purists, the idea of camping without an actual bed is what nature intended. My spine tends toward disagreeing.

After a long night of sleep, I find that it is easier to go on a full day camping. If you are willing to pay a bit more for an air mattress, then we strongly recommend it. We wish you many happy camping trips with it.

If you haven’t already, check out these tips to help you locate a hole within an air mattress. We have your back.


Conclusion: Some Tips How to Find a Hole in an Air Mattress

  • It is possible to put the mattress against the wall after it has been inflated. This will make it easier to find the site of puncture rather instead of lying on it or bent over it. You can easily turn it around to examine the opposite side.
  • The base of the mattress for protrusions or other foreign objects that may have punctured the reverse of the mattress.
  • If your mattress is covered in flocked and bottom, you should use the bubble method or rub off the flock using fine sandpaper.
  • Be sure to draw a circle around the puncture once you have found it. You may not be able to locate it again.
  • Make sure to check your warranty for repair. Some warranties from manufacturers are not valid in the event that you do not utilize a puncture kit that is approved by the manufacturer. Inform the seller about the leak in an air mattress and seek guidance.

Leave a Comment