Self-Inflating Mattress Won’t Inflate? (No Worries – Quick Fix)

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A self-inflating mattress is not meant to be inflated using an air compressor. If your self-inflating air mattress doesn’t entirely self-inflate at any time, then there could be an air leak! Have no worries; fixing it is quick and easy, and you will be sleeping on your mat again in a matter of no time.

Air leaks occur mainly on the valve, seam, and body of the mattress. Until the mattress is fixed, any leak renders it unusable.

But how do you fix an air leak on a self-inflating mattress?

First, find the leak by pressing down on the mattress while listening for leaking air. If the leak is too tiny, spray or massage the mat with soapy water. Pinpoint the leaky area with a masking tape or marker pen. Then clean the area and let it dry. Lastly, deflate the mat before applying a kit and a strong sealant to the rip.

How To Find Air Leaks In A Valve, Seam, And Body?

You must first find the source of the leak before attempting to repair it. Apply pressure on the mat to force air out and listen for a low hissing sound starting at the valve and the seam where leaks are most likely to occur to the body.

If you can’t hear a hiss, wet your palm or arm and pass it from the valve, seam, and body of the mat bottom to top an inch or two away from the mattress. You should feel a cold blast of air where the leak is.

If it doesn’t reveal the leak, the rip may be hidden. Submerge the mattress in water and spray or rub soapy water using a sponge on the suspected leaky areas. While exerting pressure on the mattress to push air out of the leak, examine where bubbles are created.

Remove the mat from the water and mark the rip with a masking tape or marker pen. Then clean the leaky area and its surrounding with a cleaner. This will aid in the repair’s adherence.

For the valve, please remove it from the body and be cautious not to rip the body and check for the presence of solid particles and wash them away. Before commencing the repairs, allow it to dry and then deflate the mat.

How To Fix A Valve In A Self Inflating Mattress?

Ensure the plug of the valve is entirely placed into the stem. If the valve plug doesn’t seal against the valve stem, you can insert a small piece of plastic as a temporary repair to ensure it is tightened.

Then, carefully replace the whole valve. Inflate the mat and check to see if any air is escaping through the valve. If the valve is tight the leak is most likely in another section of the mattress.

If the valve has a hole rather than a fracture, a cement repair kit may assist. It’s possible that the valve isn’t repairable if it’s broken and old or partially pulled away from the mattress. You can try to repair it, but the odds of success are slimmer because the valve is made of a different material that is tough to repair.

Pro Tip: It is not always possible to repair a leaking valve. Some valves may require total replacement, while others may require minor adjustments. If it doesn’t work, seek expert assistance.

How To Repair A Seam In A Self Inflating Mattress?

To fix a leaky seam follow the following steps:

  • Start applying a sealant to the rip area, such as rubber cement.
  • Allow it some few minutes to dry.
  • Once the adhesive is dry, cut a patch from the patch kit to fit over the leak.
  • Apply the adhesive on the patch.
  • Secure the patch on the seam as per the manufacturer’s instructions provided in the kit.

Pro Tip: The mattress may not be repairable if the hole is too large for a patch.

Therm-a-Rest MondoKing 3D Self-Inflating Foam Camping Mattress, TwinLock Valve, XX-Large – 80 x 30 Inches

How To Repair A Hole In A Self Inflating Mattress?

From the mattress’ manufacturer’s instructions, choose the appropriate method of repair. Some individuals will utilize a mix of these four ways to be specific, and the size of the puncture will also play a role.

Using a kit and a strong sealant, repair the hole. You may buy one of these patch repair kits from several sleeping mat manufacturers. They usually consist of a liquid adhesive and a patch, or they may comprise peel-and-stick adhesive patches. You don’t have to purchase a patch that matches your mat’s brand. The hole can be covered using:-

Seam Grip: Apply it around the hole and the surrounding region like 2-5 cm.

Pro Tip: Mix a few droplets of water with the Seam Grip before applying it to the hole. It will cure more quickly.

Self-adhesive patch: Cut a patch larger than the hole and place it over the hole, then firmly press it down on the mattress to ensure a good connection.

Tip: If you’re still unsure, try applying some Seam Grip to help it stay put. You may combine two patches, overlaying them if necessary.

A patch with adhesive: Cut a patch that is bigger than the hole. Apply adhesive to the area around the hole and around the patch, then press down hard to ensure the patch attaches correctly and covers all glue. You may also need to put another coat of sealant over the current repair and let it cure again.

Tenacious Tape: Cut a patch with rounded edges that will cover the repair area in all directions by at least 0.5″. Over the hole, apply the Tenacious Tape repair. Press to remove any bubbles and ensure the edges are leveled. Unlike the other sealants, a tenacious tape doesn’t need time for curing, hence is best if you need to use the mat right away after repair.

Pro Tip: It is recommended to apply Seam Grip first, then place the Tape over the Seam Grip. Remember to cover all of the Seam Grip with your Tape.

When determining if the leak has been repaired, inflate your pad and inspect it for leaks. If none emerge, inflate the pad overnight and examine it in the morning to ensure no slow leak. You can as well sleep on the mat and check if it deflates.

Don’t have a patch? You’ll want to read this guide instead: How To Fix A Hole In An Air Mattress Without A Patch.

Why Does A Self Inflating Mattress Keep Deflating?

There are a variety of reasons why your air mattress deflates:

Presence of Holes: Self-inflating mattresses have a thin material that is prone to puncturing and straining. Sharp objects and air mattresses do not mix. If you want the mat to last, discourage pets from sleeping or walking on it.

Temperature Drop: a mattress that appears to have lost its firmness over the night. If it’s not flat but not as full as it was, it’s likely due to a loss of air pressure. The air inside your mattress might condense in cold temperature. Maintain a warm environment.

If you inflate your mattress by mouth, the air entering it is warm, and when it cools to room temperature, the air pressure may drop. In addition, if a filled mattress warms up, it expands the air inside, increasing pressure and straining the seams, hence might cause a rupture. This is why it is recommended to deflate your mattress when you are not using it.

Improper Use: Read the manufacturer’s instructions to ensure proper care and help the mat last longer.

Deflate the mat when you’re not using it. When storing the item, make sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions and keep the area clean and tidy.


Self-inflating mattresses can last us many years. To do this, we must ensure proper care and maintenance. However, there is nothing you can do to stop your mattress from leaking permanently. No matter how expensive or durable the mattress is, it will ultimately leak.

Always check for leaks and fix them as soon as possible. It’s advisable to keep a repair kit with your camping supplies. Short-term treatments that aren’t suggested for them should be avoided. When in doubt, we should always seek advice from manufacturers or people who have used them before.