How to Repair a Vinyl Air Bed

Vinyl air mattresses are perfect for camping or for creating an instant guest room for overnight visitors. Air mattresses are easy to transport and easy to set up, making them popular on the shelves of stores ranging from Bed Bath & Beyond to Target and Wal-Mart. With prices ranging from approximately $20 to several hundred, knowing how to repair your vinyl air mattress will ensure years of enjoyment.

Step 1

Locate the hole in your air mattress. This could be accomplished by holding a partially inflated mattress under water; however, depending on the size of your mattress, this may not be practical. Instead, have someone else apply pressure to the air bed while you feel with your hands for a leak. When you find the area that requires repair, mark it with a pen or marker.

Step 2

Clean the area that requires repair using a few drops of dishwashing liquid on a clean, damp washcloth (or paper towel). This will optimize adhesion to your vinyl air mattress. Rinse your cloth and wipe the area again, repeating the process until the air mattress looks clean. Use a second washcloth to rinse the area and then towel dry. The vinyl should be completely dry before proceeding.

Step 3

Apply the repair compound to the damaged area, smoothing it as much as possible. Dampen your fingertip to smooth the compound into a thin layer that extends approximately 1/2 inch from the repair area. Allow 10 to 15 minutes for the compound to air-dry. You can also use a hair dryer, held 12 to 18 inches from the area, to speed up the drying process. You will likely need to apply between 2 and 5 layers to properly fill in the damaged area. Take care to smooth each layer so that the repaired area will ultimately be level with the rest of your vinyl air mattress.

Step 4

Apply the finishing layer. Products that match the color of your air mattress include a colored application, which should be applied as a thin layer. Allow it to dry thoroughly before applying a second coat. Some kits may also include grain paper to give your repaired area a similar look to the rest of your vinyl. Most air mattresses are smooth, however, so you will not likely need to use this.

About the Author

Caryn Anderson combines extensive behind-the-scenes writing experience with her passion for all things food, fashion, garden and travel. Bitten by the travel bug at the age of 15 after a trip to Europe, Anderson fostered her love of style and fashion while living in New York City and earning her degree at New York University.