How to Find a Hole in Air Mattress

Is your air mattress going flat as soon as you inflate it? If so, it may have a puncture or a hole somewhere that you need to find and fix.

Although it may look simple, finding a hole in an air mattress can be a difficult task. While holes may sometimes be large and easy to spot, they are often the size of a pinhead and barely visible to the naked eye.

There are several ways to find a hole in your air mattress and in this article we will mention some of them and show you how to inspect your mattress in detail. Last updated May 11, 2020 @ 7:42 pm

Inspect Your Mattress Visually or Try to Hear Where the Air Exits the Hole

First of all, you should inspect your mattress visually. Inflate it and check the entire mattress starting from the places where the leaks are most likely to occur such as seams and edges, pump area, etc.

If the hole is on the larger side, you may be able to spot it quickly, but if it is a tiny one, you can try to listen carefully and hear where the air is coming out from.

Move the mattress somewhere quiet, put some pressure on your mattress with your hands and you will be able to hear the hissing sound where the air exits the hole.

Use Your Hands to Find a Hole in Your Air Mattress

Another option is to move wet hands slowly over the surface of your air mattress while someone is pressing on the mattress to force the air out.

Hold your hands some 1/4 to 1/2 inch above the air mattress and make sure you cover the entire surface of the mattress. The dampness of your hands will allow you to feel the air easier as it hits your skin.

Use a Piece of Paper

You can also use a piece of tissue paper, foil or some other thin paper to detect the leak. Ask someone to press the mattress for you while you are moving the piece of paper slowly over the entire surface of your air mattress, including its sides, bottom, edges and seams.

As soon as you cross over the hole, the air from the leak will hit and move the thin piece of paper. That’s how you will find the hole and the source of leak.

Use the Soapy Water

One of the most effective ways to find a hole in an air mattress is to use the soapy water.

Inflate the air mattress to its full capacity as the more air pressure there is, the easier it will be for you to find the leak and the hole. However, make sure you don’t inflate the mattress too much as this can make the existing hole even larger.

Fill the bowl with enough water to submerge the sponge or a clean white cloth you will use and add a good amount of a dish soap or shampoo. Stir the water to produce soapy bubbles and dip the sponge into the soapy water.

Have someone press the mattress for you to force the air out while you are wiping the wet sponge slowly over the surface of the mattress. Watch carefully for any bubbles as the escaping air will cause the bubbles to form on the surface of the mattress.

Cover the entire surface of the mattress, including the top, bottom, sides, edges and seams, but before you perform this method read the label on your mattress and make sure you can actually do this.

After you find the holes, leave your mattress to dry. You can bring it outside or leave it in a well ventilated room.

Submerge Your Air Mattress

Before you do this, you will have to check the label of your air mattress. Some manufacturers don’t recommend submerging an air mattress as this can make its materials become saturated and its seams may begin to deteriorate. So make sure you can actually do this, before you submerge your air mattress.

For this you don’t need to inflate your mattress completely as it will be difficult for your to submerge a fully inflated mattress into a bathtub or a pool.

Submerge the mattress, press it and watch for bubbles. Escaping air will cause bubbles to form around the hole in your mattress. Here again you can ask someone to help you and press the mattress while you are looking for bubbles. Make sure you inspect the whole surface of the mattress.

Once you are done, leave the mattress to dry completely before you proceed to patch the holes.

Mark the Holes

As soon as you find the holes in your air mattress, you should mark them so you can easily find them later when you decide to fix them.

To mark the holes, you can use a permanent marker. Permanent marker is also less likely to bleed when you use it on a wet surface.


If your air mattress deflates within a few hours after you fully inflate it, then it may have a puncture or a hole.

To patch a hole, you will need to find it first. Larger holes are easier to find while detecting the tiny ones will require some special methods. There are several effective methods that can help you find a hole in your air mattress. We mentioned them above and we hope they will be helpful to you.

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