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What To Do If Your Air Bed Keeps Losing Air Or Deflates Overnight

Air beds are inflatable mattresses, commonly made of polyvinyl chloride (PVC), textile-reinforced urethane plastic, and rubber. They allow for adjustment of firmness, so people can inflate their mattresses to suit their preferences. One of their main drawbacks is their susceptibility to naturally lose air and deflate overnight because of their design, the temperature and the pressure put on the mattress. In this article we’ll discuss what to do if your air bed keeps losing air or deflates overnight.

To prevent an air mattress from deflating overnight monitor the room temperature, do not over-exceed the maximum weight capacity of your mattress, pay attention to any forms of air loss, do not over inflate the mattress, allow the mattress material to stretch out, avoid sitting on the edge of the mattress, keep it away from kids and pets, and store it properly.  

Other reasons why an air mattress deflates overnight include wrong usage and unseen leaks. However, if the air mattress is leaking due to a worn or faulty air valve then this can easily be replaced. Read our article on how to replace an air valve on your air mattress for more information.   

If an air bed keeps losing air or deflates overnight, get one with a built in auto inflating pumpThis air bed features a built-in pump, which allows the mattress to self-inflate to capacity anytime low pressure is sensed. Image source: Amazon.

How Long Do Air Mattresses Last?

An air mattress that is occasionally used may function for years before it develops a leak. However, if the mattress serves as a daily-use bed, then this does shorten its lifespan. The mattress may last for six months before a leak develops.  

A good quality air mattress that is looked after properly can last as long as ten to fifteen years. However, most air mattresses will start to leak as they age. Air bed manufacturers recommend replacing an air mattress every 8 years, approximately. 

Make sure you read about additional tips and tricks for long-term use of your air bed as well as our tips to fix an air bed that is cold too. Additionally, you might find interest in how to lift an air bed for camping. It might be beneficial to lift your air mattress up off the ground to help it last longer too.

Air Mattress Troubleshooting – Reasons Your Air Bed Keeps Losing Air

Air mattresses require proper care so that they can last longer. They are made from materials that are quite susceptible to leaks, damage from sharp objects, punctures, and ruptures due to over-inflation. Over time, all air mattresses will gradually lose air and you will need to regularly adjust the inflation level to maintain the firmness you want. Read our article on the various ways that you can inflate an air bed

Reasons that an air bed may lose air include: room temperature, over-exceeding the maximum weight capacity of the mattress, air loss due to punctures, over inflation of the air mattress, stretching the air mattress, sitting on the edge of the mattress, improper storage and punctures from kids and pets.

Has The Mattress Been Exposed To Extreme Temperatures?

Excessive temperature variations in the bedroom can cause the air mattress to lose some pressure. During the night, the temperature tends to drop, causing the air inside the bed to condense and the mattress to deflate by the time you wake up. When the air gets low, the bed is not functioning as intended and is more prone to tears or holes. 

Your air bed can also lose pressure when it heats up. In fact, the loss of pressure is caused by the softening of the PVC if you keep your bedroom temperature too high. Therefore, check the temperature at the time you’re filling up the bed, and do your best to maintain that temperature throughout the night to stop your air mattress from losing air. 

Air bed manufacturer disclosure on temperatureHere’s what Intex, a manufacturer of air beds, says in their air bed manual. Image from Intex User Manual.

Has The Weight Limit Of The Bed Been Exceeded?

Air mattresses are designed with a specified maximum weight capacity that they can hold. Twin and King size air beds for instance are not designed to accommodate the same weights. These limits are not just for sleeping, but also for sitting on the mattress.

By overloading the bed or exceeding the manufacturer’s weight limit, the air mattress material could be stretched, resulting in a loss of air. Therefore, make yourself aware of the manufacturer’s weight limit for your bed and stick to that to stop your air mattress from losing air. 

Most air bed manufacturers will provide the maximum weight capacity of the mattress, like this one, which has a maximum combined weight of 650 lbs, for two people.  

Avoid exceeding the maximum weight capacity of the air bedAn air mattress that is designed to sleep two people will have its maximum weight capacity displayed on the packaging or manufacturer website. Image Source: Amazon.

Make sure to take a look at how to choose an air bed that holds 400 pounds or more as well to help you find the right heavy-duty mattress.

Is There A Hole Or Leak Somewhere?

Air mattresses are often made from a thin material that is susceptible to puncturing, stretching and rupturing after continual use. If you put pressure on the mattress you might hear the air escaping. 

However, leaks may not be easy to detect, particularly if the hole is very small. Watch this video tutorial on how to fix an air mattress leak to learn how to inspect and find a hole in an air mattress. You might also find interest in our step-by-step guide explaining how to fix an air bed leak. So make sure to read that as well.

The best way to minimize any chances of damage is to choose a mattress with an extra thick layer and to lay the mattress in a hazard-free area. This air mattress is manufactured with a thick PVC that makes it more durable. 

Has The Air Mattress Been Over-Inflated?

If air mattresses are filled to maximum capacity, they experience excess stress on the seams. It is recommended that your air mattress only be blown to about 90 percent capacity, especially the first time it is used. Each time you overfill the mattress, the mattress becomes more likely to rupture when pressure is placed on it. 

Therefore, read through the entire instruction manual on how to properly inflate your bed to ensure that the mattress will operate at its optimum level. These air bed safety instructions from Intex, an air mattress manufacturer, offer helpful tips to ensure you use your air mattress correctly.  

Have You Been Using The Air Mattress Right After Inflating It?

Any air mattress, especially a new one, will sag pretty fast the first time it is used. The mattress appears to have lost some air, but in fact, it is simply going through a physical change. 

Its seams, cells, and other parts will need some time to properly expand and get into shape. 

Therefore, inflate the air mattress and leave it to stretch out into its natural position for a day or two without putting any weight on top of it.  

Have You Been Sitting On Your Air Mattress?

When you sit on the edge of an air bed, you are putting a high amount of pressure on a small specific section. This pressure can cause holes and tears, speeding up mattress deflation. Conversely, lying flat on the bed allows an even weight distribution so the mattress endures less direct pressure and leaks less air. 

Do Any Kids Or Pets Have Access To The Air Mattress?

Inflatable air beds might be too much of an attraction for children and pets. Some pets, particularly cats, can accidentally pierce the air mattress just by walking on it because of their claws. 

Air mattresses can also develop leaks around the seams when kids jump up and down on the bouncy mattress. Therefore, keep your pets and children away from the air bed or purchase a flocked puncture-proof model like this one that is pet-friendly. 

Has The Air Mattress Been Used, Packed, and Stored Properly?

Leaving air in your mattress throughout the day and night might also affect the firmness of your mattress during the night. The best thing to do is to only inflate your air mattress when you want to use it and keep it folded and stored away when it isn’t in use. 

Make sure you fold the air mattress with care to prolong its lifespan. If minor holes are already beginning to appear, improper folding will exacerbate them and lead to increased leakage with each use. To avoid this, follow the folding instructions in the manual then store the mattress in a clean space that is free of any hazards and sharp objects. This air mattress user manual has detailed instructions on how to fold and store an air bed properly. 

When you’re using your air bed for camping, you might be wondering if there’s a better option aside from packing and storing it all the time. Make sure to take a look at our related article, should you use an air bed or camping cot for camping for more information.

How Do You Keep An Air Mattress From Deflating At Night?

The ability to precisely control the firmness of an air mattress make it an ideal choice for people who need a supportive mattress that reduces pressure on their joints or back. Read our article on why an air bed is good for your back to learn more about the benefits of using an air mattress. This variability in the air mattress firmness makes it susceptible to gradual deflation over time, but ensuring that you use the mattress correctly this leakage will be minimal and won’t affect your overall comfort when sleeping. 

To keep an air mattress from deflating overnight ensure that the room temperature stays close to the air temperature within the air mattress. Avoid putting stress on the air mattress caused by sitting on the edge, exceeding the weight capacity of the mattress, and over inflating the mattress. Additionally, check for air loss and keep children and pets away from the air mattress to prevent punctures. 

Tip 1. Monitor the Room Temperature

Room temperatures during the night tend to be cooler than during the day. This means that the air inside your mattress will also shrink, causing the bed to deflate and stretch out of shape. To prevent this from occurring, maintain a constant temperature in your room. This will ensure a firm mattress throughout the night. An air temperature meter like this one from Amazon will help you determine if the room temperature is cooling down so that you can check the firmness of your air mattress and adjust it accordingly. 

Tip 2. Do Not Over-exceed the Maximum Weight Capacity of the Mattress

When shopping for any piece of furniture, you should consider weight limits to make the most of the product. The same applies to air beds. Each air mattress has a maximum weight capacity. When this capacity is exceeded, your air bed will sink, leak, or rupture its seals. 

Always consider the number of people who will share the bed, and contact your manufacturer or check the user manual to find the maximum weight capacity of your mattress before using it. 

Depending on the size of an air bed, it may be able to accommodate more than one person. In such cases, the weight limit is evenly distributed to two equal parts of the bed. Some models are designed to accommodate two sleepers and have a combined weight limit of 350 pounds, which means that each side of the bed can hold approximately 175 pounds, and cannot accommodate a single sleeper who weighs 350 pounds.

Use a heavy duty air bed to avoid losing air overnight due to excessive weightThe ergonomic design and raised height make this air mattress perfect for people of all ages and allows weights up to 660 lbs. Image source: Amazon.

Tip 3. Pay Attention to Any Forms of Air Loss

The most obvious reason for an air mattress losing air is a puncture.  If there is a pinhole, rip or tear try to locate it. Also, check seams. If the leak is elusive, you can feel for the leak, listen for escaping air, or run a soapy sponge along the surface, looking for bubbles to emerge where the leak is. 

Always check the valve area first, as the valves and faulty pumps are  common sources of leaks. Once you find the puncture or the source of the leak, make sure to patch or seal the puncture, fix the leaking valve correctly, or order a replacement. We’ve written an article on how to troubleshoot air mattress leaks that you can refer to.

Use soapy water to determine if there is a leak on the air bedSpray the surface of the air mattress with soapy water to locate the source of the leak. The leak will reveal itself with soap bubbles. Image source: WikiHow.

Tip 4. Do Not Over Inflate the Mattress

Air mattresses that are filled to their full capacity experience stress on the seams. Therefore, inflate your mattress to a moderate pressure to about 90 percent capacity. Make sure you don’t over-inflate the mattress to maintain its optimal level of performance. 

The best way to minimize any chances of damage and deflation is to choose a mattress with a built-in pump like this one. This user manual for a Coleman air bed with built-in pump has detailed instructions on how to correctly inflate an air mattress safely. 

Do not exceed 90% inflation in order to fix an air bed that deflates overnightThis air bed features a built-in pump, which ensures the air mattress is inflated to 90% at all times and doesn’t overinflate. Image source: Amazon.

Tip 5. Allow the Air Mattress Materials to Stretch Out 

When buying a new air mattress, the seams, cells, and other components of the bed will need some time to stretch out into their natural shape. Inflate your air bed and leave it to stand for about 48 hours before putting any form of weight on top of it. This will allow the PVC material to expand and promote a comfortable sleeping surface.   

Tip 6. Avoid Sitting on the Edge of the Air Mattress

One of the easiest ways to prevent your air mattress from losing air is to avoid sitting on the edge of the mattress for extended periods of time. Instead of putting too much pressure on a specific area, you should lay flat on your inflatable mattress to ensure an even weight distribution across the surface of the mattress. 

Tip 7. Keep the Air Mattress Away From Kids and Pets

Holes can be caused by sharp objects, a pet’s claws, or children playing on your bouncy air bed. Keep sharp objects, pets, and kids away from your air bed, lock the door of your bedroom, or pack the air bed and store it away when not needed. 

Both air beds and waterbeds are susceptible to puncturing from sharp objects and special care must be taken to place these types of mattresses far away from furniture with sharp corners or on wooden floors that may have splinters of sharp nails. We recommend you read our article on air beds versus waterbeds to learn more about the care and maintenance that is required with these types of adjustable sleep surfaces. 

Children and pets can puncture an air bed, use a gate to keep them awayBaby gates allow you to keep your air mattress away from kids and pets when you are not around. Image Source: Amazon.

Tip 8. Fold and Store the Air Mattress Properly With Care

After you have finished using the air bed, you should deflate it to draw all of the air out of the mattress. Once the deflation process is finished, carefully roll the mattress up and place it in the storage bag or box that it came with for safe keeping. Over time, the stretching of the bed’s materials during the folding process will increase the likelihood of the development of tears. Therefore,  follow the folding instructions that are in the user manual to maintain your air mattress for as long as possible. This air mattress comes with a storage bag to protect the mattress from dust and accidental punctures when it is stored away. 

Below is a summary of problems and solutions to prevent your air mattress from deflating over time:

Problem Solution Example Products That Can Help Price
Extreme Temperatures Keep the pressure of your air mattress at the same level as your room temperature by using a temperature monitor in your room Smartro SC92 Professional Indoor Outdoor Thermometer  ~$30
Exceeded Weight Limit Consider the number of people who will share the bed, and contact your manufacturer or check the user manual to find the maximum weight capacity of your mattress before using it.    
Hole or Leak Find a hole or leak using soapy water and try to fix it.If there is a hole, patch it using the repair kit that typically comes with an air mattress.If the air mattress leaks through the valve, consider replacing it with a new one. Tear-Aid Vinyl Repair KitAir Release Valve for Rechargeable Pump Beds ~$10~&15
Over Inflated Air Mattress Inflate your mattress to a moderate pressure to about 90 percent capacity or opt for a self-inflating air mattress with a built-in pump. Follow the instructions provided in the manual to determine when your air mattress is fully inflated. EZ Self-Inflating Air Bed with Built-In Frame, Pump, and Wheeled Case ~$230
Using the Mattress Right After Inflation Let the air bed sit for about 48 hours before using it to allow the material to stretch into its natural position. N/A  
Sitting on the Air Mattress Avoid sitting on your air mattress as this will put too much pressure on a small area. Always lay flat for your weight to be equally distributed along the surface of the mattress. N/A  
Allowing Kids and Pets Near an Air Mattress Keep the air mattress away from your kids and pets as they may damage the bed using claws or toys.Lock your bedroom or use baby gates to prevent your kids and pets from accessing the bedroom. Regalo Easy Step 38.5-Inch Extra Wide Walk Thru Baby Gate ~$45
Improper Usage, Folding, and Storage Make sure the area is free from any hazards and sharp objects, then carefully fold or roll up the air mattress and store it in a dry area to increase its longevity. Buy an air mattress that includes a storage bag.  Coleman Air Mattress | SupportRest Double High Air Bed, Twin with bag ~$50