Air mattresses are an affordable, space-saving solution that comes in handy when having guests over. You store them away and forget about them until the day your friend wants to crash at your place, and all you have is an uncomfortable, Scandinavian-style armchair to offer them to sleep on.
Then, you remember you have an inflatable mattress, and suddenly, you are the best host. Sadly, however, most air mattresses will experience a puncture at some point in its life. It’s unavoidable, like taxes.
So instead of avoiding your taxes, you need to learn how to do them. There are a few simple steps in fixing an air mattress puncture, giving you a functional mattress once again.
As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. The links below may be affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy for more information.
Fixing an air mattress with duct tape is relatively simple. First, fully inflate the mattress to locate the leak. Then, properly clean the area and leave it to dry.
Afterward, apply some duct tape directly onto the puncture, then add a tape border to secure that piece. If possible, before using the duct tape, you can apply some superglue to the hole first.
However, most DIY solutions are less successful than proper puncture repair kits. And ultimately, some mattresses are so old and punctured they may not be salvageable.
Preparations Before Fixing the Air Mattress
Okay, so the mattress has become almost unusable, and you can no longer pretend it is a bed. It’s annoying for you to fix, but it’s even more annoying for your guest to be provided with a bed that disappears by morning.
We have all been there. Here are some steps you need to take before fixing the mattress:
Locate the leak
Inflate the mattress fully, and close the valve as usual. Then listen carefully for the sound of leaking air, and mark it with some tape or pen. Be mindful that there may be more than one leak.
Alternatively, you can use some soapy water to locate the leak. Some punctures are so tiny that they may not make a noise when air escapes. Mix equal parts soap and dishwashing detergent, and rub over the inflated mattress in sections.
Use a sponge to spread the mixture around. Look out for bubbling, as this will indicate air is escaping.
Clean and scrub
You may need to roughen up the texture of the air mattress so that the glue or tape can fully adhere to it. Sand the spot gently with sandpaper to add some texture.
Then, use a clean cloth to wipe down the affected area/s. Then, use a second, clean, and dry cloth to remove any moisture.
Wait for the mattress to dry fully, as even a tiny amount of water will inhibit the duct tape from sticking. Drying time may take over an hour.
How to Fix an Airbed With Duct Tape
Most of us have some duct tape lying around the house somewhere, and it may be the most helpful item you have to help fix the leak. However, duct tape will loosen over time and is not a long-term fix.
Instead, it is an excellent temporary solution that may last a couple of nights if you’re in a pinch.
What you will need:
Once you have inflated the mattress, located the puncture, and cleaned the area, you can move on to fixing the leak.
Using a sharp pair of scissors, cut large pieces of duct tape. Then, apply the first piece directly over the leak and add pieces around the border. This will keep the critical piece of tape in place.
Top tip: If you have any superglue in the house, you can add this first. Put a drop or two of superglue on the hole, instantly place the duct tape over it, and try to flatten it out.
Or, if you’re using epoxy glue, spread some over the hole and allow it to dry completely. Then, cut a strip of duct tape and press it firmly over the puncture.
To test out your fix, inflate the mattress and lie on it. Ideally, you should lie on it for an hour or two because leaks can be very slow. So grab some popcorn, and put on a movie.
Listen out for any air escaping; if you hear some, you may need to redo this method or try another. Or, once you get off the mattress, assess whether or not it has sagged. If it has, re-tape the bed or try another solution.
Duct tape is a valuable tool to have on hand for a variety of home fixes. Follow the link below if you need to buy some more duct tape:
Check out the link below to buy some epoxy glue.
How to Patch a Hole in an Air Mattress Using a Nail Polish
This method can be effective and cheap if you already have all the necessary parts in your house. However, it does require the following:
- First, clean and gently sand the area around the hole.
- Degrease the area to remove contaminants using nail polish remover or rubbing alcohol, and leave to dry thoroughly.
- Apply a drop of nail polish onto the hole.
- Then, turn on a UV light (the kind you would use to do your nails) and set it above the nail polish for 10-15 seconds.
- Repeat steps 2 – 4 if needed.
How to Fix Large Puncture in Air Mattress Using Nail Polish
If the puncture is too large for the above method to work, you can use nail polish and some shower curtains to patch it. However, it requires you to cut a small section of your shower curtain, so only try this method if you don’t mind minor vandalism to your home goods.
Although you can cut it somewhere, that is not noticeable!
Follow these steps:
- Clean, sand, and degrease the area as before.
- Cut a small piece of shower curtain that is big enough to cover the hole with a little extra around the sides.
- Place the piece of shower curtain over the hole, and cover it with a generous layer of nail polish. Alternatively, you can apply a thick layer of glue to stick the shower curtain down.
- Use the UV light to cure the nail polish patch for 15 – 20 seconds.
However, this method is only a temporary fix, and large punctures are difficult to patch without a proper patch kit. You can find patch kits on amazon, such as the one linked below:
What if none of the methods work?
If the mattress seems beyond repair, consider purchasing a new mattress. Or, if you’ve lost your trust in air mattresses, invest in a fold-out sofa bed.
Check out some of the links below to buy a new air mattress:
The process of patching a mattress with duct tape is not super complicated. In fact, fixing a puncture with tape is the easiest and fastest method. However, duct tape won’t hold forever.
It’s a suitable method if you’re in a pinch and need a quick fix. However, long term, you should buy a proper mattress repair kit or replace the mattress entirely.
But, hopefully, the duct tape is good enough to give you or your guest a good night’s sleep!
Last update on 2023-12-01 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API