Easy Tips To Fix Your Air Mattress With Duct Tape

duct tape air leaks

Caught in a fix by an unexpected leak? No worries, you can patch your air mattress with duct tape until you can get your hands on a more permanent solution!

A leak in an air mattress can be fixed with duct tape. One must first locate the hole, then clean the area of debris and finally, properly apply the duct tape to seal the tear in the mattress.

Not sure if duct tape is up to the job? No worries. Just follow our instructions and you will be able to sleep on that bed tonight. 

You Can Seal A Leak In An Air Mattress With Duct Tape

Okay, let’s be realistic for a moment. Duct tape is not a permanent solution when an air mattress develops a leak and neither can it fix a major rip in the fabric. Large holes need a patch or something larger. But if your problem is more of a tear so tiny you cannot see it – but you can see that the air mattress is clearly sagging – then duct tape is your best friend. It will plug the problem, so to speak, until you can have the mattress fixed with a permanent patch. 

Here are the steps you need to follow.

  1. Find the leak or leaks.
  2. Give the area a proper cleaning. 
  3. Apply the duct tape.
  4. Test the air mattress.

How To Find Leaks In An Air Mattress

bubbles showing air leaks

When leaks are tiny, they are next to impossible to spot. If you can see one or several then you are very lucky! But most people have to rely on other ways to find the leak – or leaks. Let’s look at each option and discuss where you are most likely to find these troublesome holes. 

Listen For Escaping Air

There are two main ways to find air leaks. But the first place you should focus on are the vertical sides at the foot and the head of the mattress. The seams of an air mattress also tend to spring leaks more than any other area of the bed. 

The first way to find air escaping is to listen for that fttttt-sound. Get your ear close to the mattress and move around. You can sometimes even feel the air escaping with your hand but this is not always as effective as listening. Cannot find the leak? Move on to the next option.

How To Use Soapy Water To Find An Air Mattress

The soapy water solution is a great way to find tiny leaks that are harder to find. But first, you have to mix equal parts water and dishwashing liquid. Once you have your solution, make sure that the mattress is tightly inflated. You need some bubbles and a saggy mattress will not produce any. After you have inflated the mattress, use a sponge to smear the solution over a small part of the mattress and check for bubbles. Repeat this grid-by-grid approach until you find the leak or leaks. 

Never assume that there is just one leak! As you find them, mark their location with a marker pen so that you do not lose their position again.

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How To Properly Clean And Prepare The Area

cleaning cloths for mattress

Cleaning the area around the leak is important. Especially if you used the soapy solution to find the leaks. Any soap residue or debris will interfere with the effectiveness of the duct tape – and you might find yourself in a saggy situation at 3 AM in the morning. Eek. 

Grab clean water and a couple of clean cloths. Start by using one of the cloths to just wipe the area dry of the soapy solution or to clear off dust and debris. One thing to avoid is rubbing the affected area too hard. In some cases, this can cause the tear to become bigger (that is rare but it can happen). 

Use a second clean and dry cloth to dab the area to get rid of any remaining moisture from the water. One that absolutely ruins duct tape is water. For this reason, allow the mattress to air dry for an hour or two after you have wiped it dry. This may sound like overkill but rather play it safe and allow the mattress to sit for a while. 

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How To Apply The Duct Tape Over An Air Leak

Once the area is clean and dry, you are ready to tape that leak shut! Once again, make sure to inflate the air mattress as full as you can. The process is pretty simple going forward. Take a sharp pair of scissors and cut large pieces of duct tape. Apply the first piece directly over the leak and you can even add a second. But add additional pieces of duct tape around the borders of the first one. This keeps it in place and also better seals the area. 

Test The Mattress To See If The Leaks Are Sealed

This part is essential. You do not want to leave things until tonight and only find out early in the morning that your duct tape was not effective. The test is as simple as resting on the air mattress for an hour or two. Grab a good book or watch a movie. If the air mattress is still fully inflated, then you are good to go. But if the bed shows any sagging, you might want to re-do the whole repair job or get a more permanent patch. 

A Quick Summary On How To Use Duct Tape To Fix Air Leaks On Mattresses

  • Duct tape is a great choice if your mattress has a tiny air leak or leaks.
  • Larger tears in the mattress require a patch (duct tape is not suitable for more extensive damage). 
  • The leaks can be located by listening for escaping air or applying a soapy solution and looking for air bubbles. 
  • Once the leaks are located on the air mattress, the area needs to be thoroughly cleaned of all debris and moisture and allowed to air dry for a few hours. 
  • A seal can be created by placing several pieces of duct tape over the leak and the first piece of duct tape.
  • It is a good idea to lie down on the bed for an hour or so. This test will determine whether your sealing was effective or not.