We’ve all been in this situation: you’re getting ready for a good night’s sleep when you hear a telltale hissing sound. A puncture in an air mattress is extremely annoying but very common. I’ve been there myself a bunch of times!
Luckily, there are easy ways to fix a hole in an air mattress without a patch kit, using materials you should be able to find at home. Even just duct tape and scissors will do the trick.
So whether you’re out on a camping trip and find a puncture (a situation I’ve been in more than once! or you’re at home preparing a bed for a guest, here are a few easy ways to fix it.
How to Fix a Hole in an Air Mattress With no Patch Kit?
Here are four ways to fix any air mattress, even if you don’t have a patch kit at home.
First, though, you need to locate the hole! To do this, inflate your air mattress, then lie down on it. You should be able to hear a hissing sound – this is the escaping air.
Once you’ve located the leak, I suggest you draw a circle around it. That way, you’ll easily be able to find it again. Those holes can be hard to spot, especially if your eyesight isn’t great!
Now that we’ve got that out of the way, I’ll show you can fix it without an air mattress repair kit.
Use Duct Tape
For this, you’ll need:
- A roll of duct tape
- Hot, soapy water and a cloth
- A towel
Using duct tape to patch an air mattress is perfect for emergencies (like if you’re camping and sprung a leak in your air mattress overnight). It won’t hold forever, but it works as a temporary solution.
Here’s how to do it:
- Make sure your mattress is clean. Please wipe it with warm, soapy water (you can use dish soap) and a soft cloth. Then, you need to ensure it’s completely dry with a towel.
- Cut the duct tape to size and attach. You should only need a small piece. Place it over the air mattress hole and smooth it out.
- Test out the results. Inflate the air bed to compensate for the lost air, and lay down on the bed again. If you hear that hissing sound, it means there’s probably a small hole somewhere else, and you can repeat the process.
That’s all you need to do. Super easy and great for last-minute emergencies – my dad used to swear by bringing a roll of duct tape whenever we went on camping trips for this reason!
You can also use Flex Tape if you have any lying around at home, and this will hold really well.
Use an Old Shower Curtain
This may sound weird, but the material of a shower curtain actually works as a temporary patch for an air mattress! It’s strong and waterproof, which is what you need.
Here’s what you need:
Here’s what you need to do:
- Deflate your air mattress. This task is easier to do if your air mattress is deflated, so make sure all the air is out.
- Clean your air mattress. Clean the air mattress with warm, soapy water and a soft cloth, and thoroughly dry with a towel.
- Cut the shower curtain to size. Cut a patch at least an inch larger (on all sides) than the hole itself.
- Apply adhesive to the patch. It’s tricky to do with strong glue, so you’ll need a steady hand.
- Attach the patch to the air mattress. Carefully place it over the hole and smooth out the air bubbles.
- Weigh it down. Add a heavy object to weigh down the patch and the air mattress, and leave overnight to attach fully.
It’s probably the most time-consuming option, but the material of a shower curtain suits this purpose. Strange, but true!
Use Super Glue
Smaller holes can be fixed with super glue. It won’t last long, but it’s good in emergencies and ideal for small holes in the seams or edges.
All you need for this is a superglue tube, a soft cloth, and soapy water for cleaning.
Here’s how to do it:
- Deflate the air mattress. Make sure it’s completely deflated before you begin.
- Clean your air mattress. Make sure the area is fully cleaned and dry before you continue.
- Apply the glue to the hole. You should only need a few drops to seal the hole completely.
- Leave to dry. You’ll need to leave it overnight to become completely solid.
- Test it out. Inflate the air mattress and test it out. You may need a few more drops of glue if you can still hear the hissing sound.
It’s, admittedly, a trickier option. It’s surprisingly easy to accidentally superglue your own fingers together. But if you have steady hands, it could work.
I live in a crafty house, so we always have this stuff lying around. If you do, too, this could work! You’ll need:
And here’s what you need to do:
- Deflate the air mattress. It’s easier to do with a deflated mattress, so go ahead and do that first, ensuring no air bubbles are left. (Again you may need to lie down on it to squeeze the air out gently. Otherwise, you’ll be waiting a while.)
- Clean the air mattress. Clean the area around the leak with warm, soapy water and a cloth, and make sure it is thoroughly dry with no soap bubbles remaining.
- Put the glue gun on its lowest setting. You may need to wait for a moment for it to heat up.
- Apply a few drops of glue to the hole. Make sure it completely seals over the hole, with no gaps anywhere.
- Leave to dry. You’ll need to leave it for a few hours until it solidifies. If you test it too soon, the glue will be sticky and pliable, and you’ll be back to square one.
- Test it out. Inflate the air mattress again, and listen out for the hissing sound – you may need to add more hot glue if the leak continues.
Just make sure you don’t use a super hot glue gun. It could damage the material, making the problem way worse!
Frequently Asked Questions
Before you go, here are some more tips and frequently asked questions about air bed punctures.
Do I need to buy a patch kit from the manufacturer of my air bed?
No, any air mattress patch kit will work fine. You should find one that closely matches the color of your air mattress, but that’s a personal choice – it won’t make any difference to the way the patch kit works.
My most recent air mattress purchases have included a patch kit for free, which is super helpful.
Are air mattresses made from vinyl or PVC?
An inflatable mattress is usually made from plastic or vinyl. It is tough and strong enough to hold air, so can be excellent for camping trips!
What’s the lifespan of an air mattress?
Air mattresses tend to last around eight years with occasional use. If you use it frequently, you may find it starts to degrade more quickly. Or, if you use it very sparingly, it could last a decade or more.
You can increase the longevity of your air mattress by folding and storing it properly, which is more time-consuming than just stuffing it into a bag but totally worth the effort.
Do all air mattresses leak?
Eventually, yes. You may notice that your air mattress leaks overnight. It’s normal: the material will degrade over time, creating micro holes that are hard to detect but let out tiny amounts of air.
It isn’t too much of a problem, as you can inflate the air bed again. Still, eventually, you’ll need to replace it – but air mattress repair can keep it going for a little longer. You can keep a mattress going for a pretty long time before needing to replace it.
To Sum up
If you don’t have a patch kit, you can use everyday materials found at home to fix a small hole in an air mattress. These fixes may not hold for long, and you may need to either invest in a repair kit or eventually buy a new air mattress.
Still, I hope these tips on fixing a hole in an air mattress have helped you if you’re in a pinch! It’s stressful but not the end of the world, and I firmly believe in fixing what you already own before buying new.