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How To Patch An Air Mattress With Duct Tape (5 Best Tips)

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Airbeds are amazing and can be used in a wide variety of situations from camping to unexpected guests.

But the nature of the material they are made from often makes them susceptible to punctures and tears.

If you have ever had the misfortune of sleeping on an air bed that is leaking air you will know what a miserable night’s sleep you endured.

No need to panic though as a quick bit of duct tape could easily solve your problem! 

How To Patch An Air Mattress With Duct Tape

Airbeds are a great option for camping or even those occasional overnight guests.

They are affordable, comfortable and most can be easily packed away when not in use. 

However, due to their design, they can often be the victims of punctures, tears, and even tiny holes.

All of which will put a quick end to a comfortable and restful night’s sleep.

The good thing is that you can easily fix these problems, even if you don’t have a patch kit.

Intrigued?  Read on to find out more.

Patching An Air Mattress With Duct Tape

Let’s be clear that duct tape patching is not a permanent solution if your air mattress develops a leak.

It is also not going to be of much help if you have a major tear.

But if your problem is a small tear or a few pinholes punctures then duct tape may well be your solution.

There are a few steps that you will need to follow as well as some essential equipment.

  1. Firstly, gather the equipment needed
  2. Find the leak or leaks
  3. Give the area a proper cleaning
  4. Apply your duct tape patch
  5. Finally, test out your handy work

What You Need To Get The Patching Done

First of all, you will need to collect together some essential equipment to ensure that your patching goes smoothly.

To Find The Hole

  • Towel
  • Soapy water
  • Sponge or Spray bottle
  • Mild cleaning solution
  • Sandpaper or wire brush

To Fix The Hole

  • Duct tape
  • Patience
  • Scissors

How To Find a Leak In an Air Mattress

Finding a leak in an air mattress can be tricky.

It may be very obvious that there is some sort of leak but the actual location of it may be harder to find than you think.

There are a few different ways in which you can locate the leak in your air mattress.

Listen For Escaping Air

The seams of air mattresses tend to be where most leaks occur so this is the best place to start.

When the mattress is fully inflated get your ear close to the seams and move around – you may be able to hear the sound of air escaping.

Use Soapy Water

This is a great way to find those tiny leaks.

Firstly, mix equal parts of water and wash up liquid.

Then make sure your mattress is fully inflated. Next, use a sponge to rub the solution over the mattress a small section at a time and check for bubbles.

Repeat these steps for the entire air mattress.

Cleaning And Preparation of The Area

This step is very important, especially if you used the soapy water method to find your hole.

As any soap residue left on the material will prevent the duct tape from forming a tight seal and air will continue to escape.

Clean water and some clean cloths are all you will need.

Start by wiping down the area with a cloth to ensure that it is dry of the soapy water solution or dust if it has been packed away.

Try to avoid rubbing the area too much as this may make the hole or tear bigger.

Use another cloth to make sure that all moisture has been removed and then let the air mattress air dry for an hour or so.

Better to be safe than sorry.

Applying Your Duct Tape Patch

Once the area has dried out completely you are ready to get this bad boy sealed up and ready for its next use.

Inflate the mattress fully and then cut large strips of duct tape.

Apply the first piece over the hole or tear, you can add another piece if you feel one will not be sufficient.

If you are adding additional pieces of duct tape it is best to add them to the edges of the first one.

This will help to keep it in place and create a better seal.

Testing Out Your Handy Work

This is an essential step in the process of repairing your air mattress leak.

You don’t want to leave it until you are all tucked up in bed getting comfortable for the night and then realize that your bed is going down and your patching has not done its job. 

A quick easy way to test out your handy work is to simply rest on the bed for an hour or two – grab your favorite book or binge-watch some Netflix.

If your mattress is still fully inflated then you are an expert handy person and you can look forward to a good night’s sleep.

But if the bed starts to sag you might want to have another go at your patching or look at getting a more permanent fix.


There you have it a quick fix for a hole or tear in an air mattress using duct tape.

This type of fix is not permanent as the adhesive nature of duct tape is not strong enough to adhere to the vinyl for extended use.

But it will provide you with a quick fix if you are caught without a patch repair kit.

Enjoy a comfortable night’s sleep again and worry about a more permanent fix the next day.

Patching An Air Mattress With Duct Tape FAQs

Can You Use Duct Tape To Fix An Air Mattress?

Yes, you can repair a small hole or tear in an air mattress with duct tape.

It is not a permanent fix and it will not work for larger tears.

What Can I Use To Patch An Air Mattress?

You can use any thin plastic material to patch your air mattress.

When you are making your own patch ensure that it is big enough to completely cover the area that is leaking and even overlaps to make sure that there is a good airtight seal.

Will Gorilla Tape Fix A Hole In An Air Mattress?

Gorilla waterproof patch and seal tape can be used on vinyl in the same way that duct tape can.

There is the potential that Gorilla tape may damage the air mattress when it is removed.

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