How to Find an Air Mattress Leak

How to Find an Air Mattress Leak
Modern air mattresses are tough, durable and long-lasting. They also generally come with patch kits that can fix most minor tears and punctures and leave your mattress almost as good as new. None of this, however, makes it any easier to find and plug a leak in your air bed. Locating an air mattress leak can take 10 seconds or half an hour or more, depending on where the leak is located. Start with the simple methods, then move on to progressively more involved techniques if you can't locate your leak.


Difficulty: Moderate

Listen and Feel

Things You’ll Need:
  • Air pump
  • Water
  • Soap
  • Spray bottle
  • Tarp
  • Bathtub
  • Pool
Step 1
Place your air mattress in a quiet room and pump it up until it is full, but not overfull.
Step 2
Lie down on the air mattress and listen for hissing. If you hear it, get off the mattress and slowly move your head over the surface of the mattress, trying to locate the source of the sound
Step 3
Run the back of your hand along the surface of the air mattress once you know about where the leak is by listening. You should feel a tiny jet of air when you are right over the spot.
Step 4
Turn the air mattress over and repeat the steps if you can't hear the leak. It may be on the bottom of your air bed.

Soap and Water

Step 1
Fill a spray bottle 2/3 full with water. Add a few drops of dish soap, close the bottle and shake it to mix the two.
Step 2
Spread a tarp on the floor or take your air mattress outside. If it has become deflated, pump it up again.
Step 3
Spray a 6-inch-square patch of the mattress with the soapy water. Look for bubbles coming out.
Step 4
Spray sections of the mattress until you find bubbles. The spot that is bubbling is the leak.


Step 1
Get in a pool with your air mattress fully inflated. If it is a child's air mattress, fill a bathtub instead.
Step 2
Dunk one corner of the air mattress under water. Look for the leak. A leak in your air mattress should release a steady stream of bubbles.
Step 3
Cover different sections of the air mattress with water until you have found the leak. You may want to bring someone else along to help hold the air mattress under while you search it for leaks.

Tips & Warnings

When you find the leak in your mattress, mark it with a permanent marker. If the mattress is wet, dry it before marking it.

Article Written By Isaiah David

Isaiah David is a freelance writer and musician living in Portland, Ore. He has over five years experience as a professional writer and has been published on various online outlets. He holds a degree in creative writing from the University of Michigan.

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