How to patch the fabric side of an air mattress

Commodities now come in many and various shapes and sizes, and air mattresses are no exception to this innovation burst. With options ranging from color to comfort level, they’ve quickly become a great alternative to traditional bedding arrangements for their affordability and uncomplicated setup. 

However, with time or with the wrong conditions, an air mattress can become a sore thumb when it keeps deflating through the night while being used as accustomed, to the point where inflating it every other night becomes tedious and even futile. And causes range as wide as many a mattress, from an improper inflation method that leaves the seams too strained and prone to leak, to a pesky pin or pointy object left astray underneath it, a hole might appear in your mattress in no time. This being said, any mattress can also be subject to accidents by pets, puncturing objects or other common causes that might directly affect the inflatability of the item.

For all these and many more causes of deflation, there’s an easy way to counter and not have to replace the whole piece. Instead, with a couple of quick actions and handy tools, you will be enjoying your nap in no time. So here are some practical steps and nifty tips on how to patch the fabric side of an air mattress painlessly and effortlessly.

Locate the culprit

First and foremost, before we do any patching, we need to know where to patch. Get physical by inflating the mattress and looking out for the whole or puncture. Using your hand to catch the air as it goes out is one way to do this, also if you have a good ear you might notice the hissing sound right away when you apply pressure to the mattress. Another way of finding the air scape is to spray very soapy water onto the surface of the mattress as the air will cause bubbles to build up right where our little assailant resides. 

If you decide to soak your mattress, the best next step is to mark your whole site with a marker, a tailor’s chalk or pencil, and then leave the piece to dry completely before you proceed with the next action on how to patch the fabric side of an air mattress. 

Arrange the area 

Once you have the leak all rounded up, it is time to get busy by prepping the site of crime. Most mattresses come with a fabric side that is fuzzy and mainly fabricated from rubber covered in suede. Regardless of the material used to manufacture your model, you will need to wipe down and also sand down the area so the repairs go smoothly, no pun intended. You can first clean the mattress if you choose to, being careful not to wipe the mark for the leak. 

Once the surface is clean and dry, take a superfine or soft sandpaper to hack away at the flocked portion, and once the rubber is uncovered, proceed to wipe it clean with alcohol or acetone. This will remove any oils and remains from the sanding that might interrupt the installation of the patch. As you can see, the road on how to patch the fabric side of an air mattress is pretty straight forward. 

Choose your weapon

From here on, there are several creative stances we can take to address the problem. From simple to not so simple, continue reading for a complete list of methods you can use to never hear any more hissing in your air mattress ever again and how to patch the fabric side of an air mattress. Until the next hole, that is. 

Good Ole Gray 

When it comes to how to patch the fabric side of an air mattress, the easiest and most simple way undoubtedly is to use Duct Tape. With a piece large enough to cover where the scape is, one application will suffice to get rid of the issue. On that same note, this is not as permanent a fix as some of the next methods and you might need to replace the tape or secure a different way of fixing the dribble in the future.  

Glue it down

The runner up for best patching method is undeniably to glue the surface of the leak into submission. Super glue, a hot glue gun, bicycle tire’s glue, vinyl adhesive, marine goop glue. You name it. Pick the strongest glue you surely have lying around at home and get to work on the airbed. 

If the leak is small or the size of a pinhole, a few layers of any glue of your choosing should do a great job at containing all the air in. If you go with hot glue, be careful not to make any new holes and never use it for holes bigger in size. 

DIY patch kit

If you want a stronger solution or the hole is not so subtle and you ran out of patch kits or your mattress simply didn’t have one, the best course of action will be to patch the site down. Aid yourself with a piece of shower curtain, pool liner or even a portion of inner bike tire big enough to cover and spread beyond the leak. Once the material is procured, glue it down to the deflated mattress and apply pressure with your hands or a flat and heavy surface that will hold it down and secure the seal on the zone. 

Gel Nail Polish 

If all else fails and you have gel nail polish around, you can fortunately use it instead of glue to repair any air scapes. Get your gel kit out and also procure a patch from any materials mentioned in the previous step. Once your airbed is prepped, use the gel polish on the DIY patch obtained and then set it atop the issue area. Clear shower curtain is best for this step as the UV light required to set the gel polish will go right through it when the piece is curing. Once done it will hold off tightly but alas, is not the same as a proper patch and glue. 

If after trying these methods the mattress keeps deflating or has many more holes, it might be a good idea to dispose of it and get a new one after all.