How to Locate a Tiny Hole in an Air Mattress

An air mattress can be handy for providing guests a place to sleep. It also makes a comfortable sleeping bag support when camping. But, whether used for camping or for guest sleeping facilities, it is frustrating when you find that your air mattress is leaking air. Fixing a tiny leak like this is not difficult. Finding it can sometimes be the real challenge. The following steps will guide you through the process of finding a leaking hole in your mattress.

Step 1 – Remove the Mattress Bedding

If your leaking mattress has bedding on it, completely remove all this bedding from the mattress.

Step #2 – Search the Mattress Surface

Sometimes it is possible to determine the source of the leak with the naked eye. To do this you will need to allow plenty of space for the mattress to be examined. Therefore, if the room or area where the mattress is situated is too confined for you to spread out the mattress, move the mattress to a larger area you can spread it out, turn it over and turn it on edge. Sometimes the out of doors is the best place to do this—providing you can do it in daylight and where dust, dirt, or debris will not hide the hole that leaks air.

Step 3 – Fill the Mattress with Air

If, upon first inspection, you can not locate the source of the leak, use a air pump and fill the mattress completely with air. This will force a stronger stream of air from the hole in the mattress, one will be able to hear better.

Step #4 – Moisten the Mattress

If after careful examination you still can not find the hole in the mattress, try using the air bubble method. First, apply moisture onto the mattress surface with a soapy wet rag or sponge. You should now see bubbles made from air escaping from the leak and forming bubbles. If you are unable to find a wet cloth or sponge, try filling a spray bottle with warm water and a small amount of liquid detergent. Mix the water and detergent by shaking the bottle. Then spray the mattress with the warm soapy water, a little at a time. Now, carefully examine the mattress surface again for air bubbles escaping from the leak.

Step 5 – The Immersion Method

Immerse the mattress into a bathtub or a swimming pool and examine it for a tiny stream of air bubbles arising from the mattress. It is likely that you'll see larger bubbles arising from the mattress from the air that accompanies the mattress into the water. You may need to wait for a few seconds until these bubbles are gone, before you look for bubbles from the leak.

Step #7 – Alternative Methods

If the hiss from escaping air is loud enough, you may be able to hear it by placing your ear close to the mattress surface and listening for escaping air. Another method is to slowly move the palm of your hand over the mattress surface. Sometimes, especially if your hand is damp, you will feel the air from the leak on your skin.