How to Patch an Air Mattress? 4 Tried & Tested Methods

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Written by:

Max Stevens
How To Patch An Air Mattress

How to Patch an Air Mattress? 4 Tried & Tested Methods

Accidental tears and leaks can happen even to the most expensive air mattress. Learning how to patch an air mattress is now only a wallet saver, but relieves back and neck pain too.

Whether your air mattress was accidentally poked during a camping trip or at home, you should know how to patch it.

Sleeping in a deflated air mattress is a massive no-go, causing back pains and discomfort. If it’s rapidly deflating, it won’t be long until you’re sleeping on the floor.  

This complete guide will teach you two ways to quickly patch a hole in your air mattress. One uses a patch kit, and the other is a D.I.Y. process. To prepare for the different methods, the following items will be used:

materials needed for patching air mattress

  • Air pump
  • Store-bought or manufacturer-provided patch kit
  • Marker with bright colour
  • Old shower curtain or inner bike tire
  • Rubber-friendly adhesive
  • Waterproof duct tape
  • Super glue

Preparations Before Patching

The following steps are essential for the successful patching of an air mattress. Preparation is half the battle!

Step 1: Locate the hole

arrows pointing to holes on mattress

Before you can patch the mattress hole, you need to find where the hole is. Our guide on how to find a hole in an air mattress covers 6 tried-and-tested methods to locate this so we won’t go into too much depth here.

One of the methods consists of feeling or listening around the mattress’s surface area while applying pressure on the mattress.

This forces air out of the hole, making it easier to locate.

Once you’ve felt air flowing, mark the spot with a noticeable marker.

Step 2: Deflate the mattress completely.

It is easier to repair an air mattress when it is completely deflated. This results in a flatter work surface and a smoother patch application. Another thing is if there’s any air inside, the patch or adhesive may not form a tight seal, and you’ll have to fix the hole again.

Step 3: Clean the patch area around the hole.

To get a tight seal, the area around the leak must be squeaky clean. No dust or grease should be left to ensure that the glue used will stick.

Note: If the leak is located in the velvet-like surface of the mattress, sand away the fuzzy coating first with a piece of fine sandpaper.

Clean the area thoroughly with a lint-free microfiber cloth and a few drops of all-purpose cleanser until smooth. After that, use another microfiber cloth with isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol to clean the area. Air-dry the area.

Now that you’re prepared to patch your air mattress let’s get to it.

How to Patch the Air Mattress Hole Using a Patch Kit

Patch kits often come with the air mattress when initially purchased. However, you can find patch kits online or in most home and sports stores if you don’t have one.

These patch kits contain adhesive patches that can be cut to the size you need. Make sure the kit can be used on vinyl, rubber, or both by reading the label carefully. Carefully follow the methods below or the instructions on the package.

Warning: While many air mattress manufacturers provide or sell a patch kit, using a different brand of patch kit or attempting a D.I.Y. repair may void the warranty. Some mattress manufacturers like Intex encourage customers to return their mattresses to them for repairs within the period of warranty.

Step 1: Cut the patch.

Use a large enough patch to cover the punctured or damaged area completely. Allow 1-inch leeway on all sides of the hole. If the hole is large, cut a patch twice its size.

To prevent the edges from catching on bed covers, it is best to incut the patch into a round or oval shape.

Image source: Weldtite Cure-c-Cure Amazon

Extra Step (for patches with separate adhesive):

Some mattress patches on the market come with a separate glue tubes instead of an adhesive side. For these patches, apply the adhesive evenly to the damaged area, extending at least an inch or two beyond where the patch will be placed.

Step 2: Place the patch.

patching leak of air mattress

Remove the protective covering of the patch and place it over the puncture, sticky side down – just like a plaster.

Step 3: Cure the adhesive.

Smooth the patch using your fingers or a coin to remove any air bubbles. Place two to five kg of books or weights over the patch to keep it in place. Allow the patch and glue to cure for 24 to 48 hours for a strong repair.

Step 4: Test the seal.

The next step is to test the seal once the patch has been applied and has had time to adhere. This will ensure that the leak is fixed and that your air mattress will not deflate the next time you use it.

You’ll need to inflate your air mattress now to test everything. These are the quicks steps:

  1. Place it on the ground and press down on it to force to the patched area.
  2. Any air flowing should be felt or heard.
  3. If the hole in the air mattress does not appear to be leaking air, it has been repaired.

If air still escapes from the patch, there are two things to do. Are you sure that the hole you patched is the only existing hole?

  • If yes: Deflate the air mattress entirely and remove the patch. Repeat all the steps, including preparatory steps for cleaning.
  • If no: Inspect again closely and look for other holes. You may want to try different methods in finding a hole in your mattress.

How to Patch the Air Mattress Hole Without a Patch Kit

You can make a D.I.Y. patch if you don’t have a patch kit or save up on cash. While some are only temporary, other methods can outlast repairs using a store-bought patch kit.

And, remember, that doing this method may void your warranty. If you are still within the warranty period, reach out to your manufacturer if the terms cover the damage.

Method #1: Patch from Shower Curtain or Inner Bike Tire

Make a patch from an old curtain shower or an inner bike tire (the soft one). It’s similar to the steps above when fixing a hole using a store-bought patch kit.

For the adhesive, use strong rubber-friendly glue-like Copydex. You may check the labels for precaution or ask your nearest hardware store for more glue recommendations.

Method #2: Patch using Duct Tape

duct tape for patching leak

Yup, this is pretty straightforward! Once you’ve found the hole, secure it by putting duct tape over the hole.

This may or may not be effective depending on the quality of the duct tape. But it’s worth a shot if you have duct tape lying around.

Method #3: Patch using Super Glue

super glue for patching air mattress

A few drops of super glue can be used to temporarily seal small rips and punctures. It won’t last forever, but it might last you a few nights.


There are many ways to patch a hole in an air mattress. The most effective way is using a store-bought patch kit or a patch kit with an air mattress. There are ways to D.I.Y. a patch: shower curtain, duct tape, and super glue methods.

Written by:

Max Stevens