How To Fix A Hole In Air Mattress Without A Patch

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As the name suggests, air mattresses are a mattress filled with air rather than foam. Therefore, there are chances that it will get a leak, and at the worst time when you do not have a patch kit around.

Luckily, there are several do-it-yourself tips on how you can fix a hole in an air mattress without a patch.  

Most people are now preferring air mattresses due to their immense benefits. Air mattresses are easy to carry and can be used outdoors during camping compared to foam mattresses.

However, they also come with a challenge, especially when used outdoor. The leading cause of leaks is using them for outdoor activities.

Other causes include improper methods of pumping air into the mattresses or pumping excess air.

This article will provide you with do-it-yourself methods that effectively fix that hole in air mattresses without using a patch.

Steps To Fix A Hole In Air Mattress Without A Patch

Verify there is a leak: The first step is to ascertain whether your air mattress leaks or not. In some cases, temperature variation can sometimes cause a change in your mattress air pressure, or it was not fully pumped.

Therefore, re-inflate it and observe whether there will be any change over time. If the mattress deflates, then there is a hole that must be fixed.

Locate the leak: Locating a leak and be challenging, especially if it is very small. If the hole is not visible, you can use a soapy sponge to locate it.

Run the sponge soaked in soapy water on the surface of the mattress, the area with the hole will produce some bubbles as air tries to escape. 

N.B. make sure that the mattress is sufficiently filled with air. 

Using a marker pen or chalk, mark the area with the leak for easy identification.

Clean the area: Similar to repairing a bicycle puncture, clean the area carefully and allow it to completely dry. You can dry the surface using a clean and dry piece of cloth and let it air-dry completely. 

Sandpapering: Using sandpaper or a rough stone, gently rub over the area with the leak to expose the vinyl surface. Sandpapering ensures effective bonding between the mattress surface and the patch material used. 

N.B. It is important to deflate the air mattress before proceeding to the next step.

Ways of Fixing a Hole without a Patch

Homemade Patch Kit

If you do not have the manufacturer’s patch kit, you can make one yourself. To make a patch, you will need to have a thin rubber material such as a bicycle tube as it is made of soft and thin rubber.

After locating your patch material, cut the desired size. Make sure that the patch size fully covers the hole and extends at least an inch on either side of the hole.

Ensure that the surface of the hole is fully degreased. After cleaning the surface, apply glue on both the patch material and the surface of the mattress where the whole is.

Also, certify that the glued surface is larger than the patch material size when gluing. Before fixing the patch on the surface, make sure to allow the glue to dry for at least 1 minute to maximize compaction.

Position your patch and press it down with your hand or place a heavy substance on it for a couple of minutes. Do not re-inflate the mattress immediately; let it dry for at least an hour, or to be on the safe side, you can leave it to dry for twelve hours.

After the glue has dried, re-inflate your mattress and confirm whether the leak has stopped. You can listen with your ears or use a soapy sponge.

Using a Glue Gun

A glue gun is an effective way of sealing a leak in an air mattress. However, its effectiveness depends on the size of the leak.

For large holes, a glue gun can be less effective; hence other methods can be utilized. Additionally, it requires extreme caution when using it as it can cause more harm than good.

As always, the surface of the leak must be clean and dry. The second step is to warm up the glue gun. After the required temperature has been attained, run the glue along the leak slowly and gently, ensuring that the nozzle does not touch the surface of the mattress. Always the glue to dry before inflating the air mattress.

It is important to note that glue fumes can be toxic; hence any application must be done in a well-ventilated room.

Duct Tape 

You might not always have a glue gun or adhesive around, and that is where the duct tape comes into play. Duct tapes are very effective and simple ways of sealing small air mattress leaks.

Cut a large stripe of duct tape that will perfectly cover the leak. For large leaks, you will need to have several duct tape strips.

Place the strips directly along the leak and gently smoothen the tape to ensure it is in place. To maximize its effectiveness, you will need to place more strips that overlap each other along their border.

Duct tape is only temporary because its glue loses its grip quickly. Therefore, it is important to get stronger adhesive to fix the leak for a permanent solution.


If you have a small leak, superglue will help patch the tear. However, the leak must be two-edge for easy gluing. If it is just a small hole, you can use a knife puncture or a pair of scissors to give the hole the two edges required. This step is important if you do not want to use the homemade patch method.

Apply the glue on both sides of the tear in a stitch-like motion to have several gluing layers to maximize effectiveness. After the first layer has dried up, repeat the process until the puncture is fully covered.

On the other hand, super glue can also be used as an adhesive for the homemade patch method previously discussed.

Final Thoughts 

Although the methods mentioned above effectively fix a hole in an air mattress, the best method is to use the manufacturer’s patch. The above methods apply temporary measures; thus, it is important to patch the leak with the recommended materials.

On the other hand, air mattresses have warranties. Therefore, using other methods rather than the recommended ones could negatively affect your warranty.