How To Find A Hole In An Air Mattress - Four Different Methods You Can Use

We have all been there before, when you put up an air mattress while camping or for a friend to sleep on, only to find that it is slowly deflating. It is so frustrating, especially when you cannot seem to find the hole.

While some holes or tears are easy to spot, others are so small that they are difficult to see at a glance. If you cannot find the hole the air is escaping from, you will be unable to resolve the issue. Given that the air mattress requires air in order for it to remain sturdy and comfortable, this is less than ideal.

However, there are some easy steps you can take in order to locate the hole in an air mattress. In this article, we have covered the different steps you can take to locate the hole, and seal it, instead of throwing it away.

Method 1 - Listening For Escaping Air

The first method that can help to locate punctures is listening for escaping air. While this may seem like an obvious option, sometimes the obvious is overlooked.

To use this method, you will want to inflate your air mattress fully. When it comes to punctures, while they can be located anywhere, they are often found on the bottom of the mattress. This is because the bottom of the air mattress is placed on the ground and is at more risk of being damaged.

Place your air mattress on its side and listen to each section of the air mattress. If the puncture is significant, you will be able to hear the escaping air and correctly locate it. However, if the hole is particularly small, this method may not work as well.

Method 2 - Soap and Water

Dish soap, water, sponge for finding a hole in airmattress

This is one of the more popular methods when trying to find a puncture or hole in an air mattress. To begin with, you will need the following.

  • Bowl of warm water
  • Dish soap (must be bleach free)
  • Sponge

Next, fill the bowl with warm water and add a good amount of dish soap to it. Mix this together until it is soapy. You will then want to place your sponge into the water until it is saturated. Squeeze the excess water back into the bowl.

Your air mattress should already be filled with air and be ready to test. Take the sponge and start to wipe it over the air mattress in small sections. You should not have too much excess liquid, but there should be enough to ensure each area is covered well. As you are doing this, for each section, you will want to press down on the air mattress. This will encourage more air to escape from the hole present, making it easier to locate.

You will be able to locate the hole because it will cause the soapy mixture to bubble on the surface of the air mattress. It is important to take your time and be thorough with this method for the best results.

Once you have located the puncture wipe down the area and seal it well to fix the issue. While this is a great method, you should always take care if the air mattress you own has material on the top of the mattress and the soapy water could potentially damage this.

Method 3 - Tissue Paper

The tissue paper method is fairly time consuming. However, it can be useful to carry out. To use this method, you will want to ensure your mattress has been blown up fully in order to find the puncture.

You will then want to take a small amount of tissue paper and place it over the area of the mattress you are investigating. Once placed gently press down the mattress, to help encourage more air to escape.

Continue to do this over each section of the mattress until the tissue paper moves. If the tissue paper moves, then this is a sign that you have located the hole in the air mattress.

Once located, you can go ahead and seal the hole. If you feel as though there are more small holes in the mattress, you can continue using this technique until you find the other locations too.

Method 4 - Baby Powder

Use baby powder to locate a whole in air mattress

The final method you can use to locate a hole in an air mattress is the baby powder method. Out of all the methods featured, this is our least favorite. While it is successful in helping to find the hole, it is rather messy, and can be difficult to remove from the mattress if it has a material topper.

To use this method sprinkle baby powder over each section of the mattress, and spread it out evenly. Slowly apply pressure to the air mattress, to encourage more air to be released.

When you notice a disturbance in the baby powder, this is a sign that you have located the hole. Wipe away the remainder of the baby powder and seal the hole thoroughly.


We hope this article has helped you find out the best ways to locate a hole in an air mattress. As you can see, these tips are easy to follow, though some create less mess than others.

Whichever method you choose, with time and patience, you should successfully locate the hole within the mattress. Once located, the hole will be able to be covered over and sealed correctly, to prevent more air from escaping.

While this is quite time consuming, it is certainly worth trying. Just because there is a hole in an air mattress, this can be resolved fairly easily and does not always require needing to purchase a new mattress.

Always remember to clean the area of the mattress if using dish soap or baby powder before sealing over the hole.