How to Fix a Hole in an Air Mattress with Super Glue?

Thanks to increasingly more comfortable air mattress technology, camping and getting a good night’s sleep often go hand in hand. However, despite how careful you are, even the most rugged air mattresses get the occasional hole.  

We understand what limited space you have when you’re out in the wilderness. So, we’ll teach you how to fix a hole in an air mattress with super glue. Before you know it, waking up in the middle of the night because of a deflated mattress will be a thing of the past.


First Things First: Identifying the Leak

Unless your air mattress had an encounter with some prickly bushes, it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to find the hole quickly. That’s because air mattresses often get pesky little spots that are slow to leak.

Hence, that’s why you don’t usually realize that your mattress has a hole until halfway through the night.

Luckily, identifying these small holes isn’t as challenging as it might seem.

To find the hole (or holes) in your air mattress, stand the mattress up on one end. Make sure it has enough air so that all its corners are full.

Then, fill a spray bottle with soap and water. Give it a good shake before beginning to spray the water onto the mattress. Don’t go overboard here—the trick is to watch where the spray falls.

With an erasable marker in hand, look for bubbles to form on the mattress. Then, circle the spot where that happens since it indicates that air is leaking from that area.

Leak in air mattress

Get Your Super Glue Ready

Now that you’ve found the holes, let’s look at how to fix a hole in an air mattress with super glue.

Start by deflating your mattress. Squeezing out all the air is essential to make your glue job effective since you don’t want air trying to seep out of the mattress as the glue dries.

Set your mattress on a flat surface and rub it down the spot you marked with a wet towel, making sure you keep an eye on the hole’s location. It can be easy to miss, especially if you’re performing the repair in a groggy state under the glow of a dim camp light!

Then, squeeze some of the super glue into the hole. We recommend being generous with the amount you apply—you’ll be able to tell when it’s enough.

The Waiting Game

We hate to be the bearer of bad news, but it’s best to let the super glue dry for a few hours to make your air mattress repair as effective as possible.

So, if you’re considering embarking on a midnight repair, make sure there’s a hammock nearby that you can hop into while you wait.

How to Check If Your Super Glue Strategy Worked

After you’ve let at least three hours pass, it’s safe to try filling your mattress with air again.

To do so, go through the following three steps.

Step 1: Listen for Leaks

If the holes in your air mattress are large enough, you’ll probably be able to hear the air leaking out of them as you pump your mattress with air. 

The issue is that many people don’t catch holes in their mattresses this way because there are often noises going on around them. We’re looking at you, cicadas!

So, fill your mattress with air and then give it a good listen in as quiet of an environment as you can manage. If you don’t hear the faint whistling sound of air where you patched up the holes, that’s a good initial indication that your super glue job worked.

Step 2: Feel for Air

There’s nothing like a physical test to check if your super glue job closed your air mattress’ holes. 

So, hover your hand over the areas where you put the super glue. 

If you don’t feel any air coming out of them, that’s yet another indication that you’re on the right track for getting a good night’s sleep.

Step 3: Leave Your Mattress Inflated

If you’re performing this super glue job at night, go ahead and hop in that hammock to take a snooze. If you’re doing it during the day, now is a perfect time to go on a hike.

The longer you’re able to leave your air mattress inflated before you use it again after applying super glue, the greater the chance is that you won’t have to worry about another unexpected encounter with the ground in the middle of the night.

So, if your mattress stays inflated the entire day, you can consider the problem solved.

camping mattress

What to Do When Super Glue Isn’t Enough

Super glue is often an excellent solution for fixing mattresses with small holes. However, it’s not very effective at tackling larger tears. 

So, if your super glued mattress holes continue to leak after you test them, you’ll likely need to use an air mattress repair kit. 

The good news is that these kits are usually small, making them an excellent item to store in your glove box or even in the storage bag with your air mattress. 

They come with large patches that you can adhere to the mattress. It’ll simultaneously be a talking point for a story to tell with your camping buddies and give you peace of mind knowing your bottom shouldn’t meet the floor while you sleep.

And if it does, we’re out of repair advice—it sounds like it’s time for you to get a new air mattress!

Wrap Up

Knowing how to fix a hole in an air mattress with super glue is a valuable skill when you’re camping or in an area with limited resources.

Super glue is effective at tapping small holes. Just as wonderful, it’s a pocket-friendly tool that will fit into even the fullest backpack.

Now that you know how to use super glue to fix an air mattress hole, the only thing we have left to say is, sweet dreams!

Andrew Mullen

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