Home Improvement Magazine

Why Do Air Mattresses Deflate Overnight? Tips to Prevent

By Richard Morse @insidebedroom

My air mattress keeps deflating - Why? It's a good question: why do air mattresses deflate overnight? The obvious and only answer is because of a leak. Leaks can be patched up, but it's the reason for this air leak that you have to identify before you can stop it.

Why Do Air Mattresses Deflate Overnight? Tips to Prevent

According to an old saying, prevention is better than cure, and this is certainly true of air bed leaks. It doesn't matter how well you patch up a leak, it is still patched up. Your air mattress is better with no patches at all and the following advice should help you to avoid a leak in your air mattress.

Table of Contents

Reasons Why Air Mattresses Deflate Overnight

The most obvious reason for an air mattress losing air is a puncture. However, what about an air mattress losing air but no hole can be found? Here are the most common reasons why an air mattress keeps deflating night after night and some tips on how to prevent it from happening.

1. A Puncture or Hole

A puncture or hole in the body of your air mattress should be obvious. If you put pressure on the mattress you might hear the air escaping. However, if you cannot find the puncture, you might believe that your air mattress is deflating with no hole! The fact is that punctures may not be easy to detect, particularly if the hole is very small.

Inside Bedroom has published a post on how to find a hole in an air mattress which should enable you to find even a very tiny hole invisible to the eye. Holes can be caused by sharp objects, a pet's claws, particularly a cat, or children playing on your bouncy air bed when yo8u are not there to stop them!

How to Prevent: Keep sharp objects, such as needles and pins, well away from your bed. Make sure that pets are not allowed in your bedroom. This is important from a hygiene point of view - so ensure that your children understand this! Click Here to find how to repair an air mattress leak.

2. You Have a Leak Around the Pump

Your air mattress may deflate overnight due to a leak in the area of the pump. The pump can stress the connection between the pump and the bed, leading to a weakening in that area and a small air loss. Even a very tiny air loss can grow into a sizeable leak that results in your air mattress losing air.

How to Prevent: Be careful when inflating the bed. Be aware that lateral or downward pressure on the pump can stress the connection and potentially lead to a small puncture.

3. You Have a Leak Somewhere in the Seams of the Air Bed

This is serious. You can glue a patch over a pinhole in the main body of the mattress, but that is not so easy with a seam. The surface of a seam is not flat: it is not so easy to attach a patch to it that sticks well. Not only that, but seams are subject to a lot of stretching and patches tend not to remain in place.

How to Prevent: This is difficult to prevent. The best way is to use the bed as a bed and not for sitting on, children and pets playing on, or as a temporary storage surface.

4. Stretching of the PVC Through Overheating

Most air beds are made using PVC which is easy to stretch as it warms up. If your air bed is situated in front of a window, then sunlight can heat it up and cause the plastic to stretch when pressure is applied: i.e. you lie on it. A softer PVC also means that your cat's claws will find it easier to penetrate it, causing a small puncture which leads to your air mattress losing air slowly over a period of time.

Your bed can also lose pressure when it heats up and give the impression that is has a leak. In fact, the loss of pressure is caused by the softening of the PVC if you keep your bedroom temperature too high. Some people place their heater too close to their bed and wonder why their air bed seems to be leaking!

How to Prevent: If you prefer a warm bedroom, inflate your mattress some hours before you go to bed. Then, just before retiring, top up the pressure to your preferred hardness level. Also, once again, keep pets out of your bedroom. Also keep heaters well away from the air mattress.

5. Stretching of the PVC Through Misuse

If you have children, then your air bed might be too much of an attraction for them. An inflated air bed is a trampoline to many young children, and it's not unknown for them to play on an inflated air mattress. In fact, some children will learn how to inflate it and do so when you are not around. Not only will a pre-inflated air bed appear to have lost pressure through a leak, but the PVC cover could become permanently distended.

How to Prevent: You could tell your children to stay out of your bedroom, but it would be more effective to fit a lock. Even a bolt at the top of the door would be enough to prevent your kids getting into to your bedroom - or what they regard as their playroom!

This is similar to the issue above. The PVC could be stretched, resulting in a loss of pressure, by overloading the bed. Air beds have weight limits, and Twin and King size air beds are not designed to accommodate the same weights. This applies to sleeping or sitting, and two heavy people sitting on a Twin size bed may exceed the manufacturer's weight limit. This could lead to a slow leakage of air. This, along with previous two issues, is a common cause of an air mattress losing air but no hole.

How to Prevent: Manufacturers have specified weight limits for their air beds. Make yourself aware of the manufacturer's weight limit for your bed and stick to that. These limits are not just for sleeping, but also sitting on it. You cannot complain if a mattress designed to support 225 lb weight starts leaking with two people of 210 lb sitting on it.

Miscellaneous Tips to Prevent Air Mattresses Deflate Overnight

The above tips will help you reduce the likelihood of your air mattress losing air. Here are two other ways how to keep an air mattress from deflating. If you have tried all the above methods, but your air mattress keeps deflating, then the following two tips might help.

a) Careful Handling in Storage

Careful handling of an air mattress is essential, yet many people ignore this. Many people use an air mattress as an emergency bed for occasional visitors. When it is not in use, and is being stored away till next required, it is essential that you fold it as recommended by the manufacturer.

Continual folding can stretch the material and increase the likelihood of the fabric weakening and tearing or puncturing when inflated. The folding instructions provided are important. If there are none, then rolling the mattress up would be a good way to store it. This would be easier with a single or twin size than a queen size mattress!

b) Lie Flat On the Bed

Lying flat on your air bed is one way of helping prevent your air mattress losing air but no hole appearing. If you continually sit on the ends or sides so that your total body weight is pressing down on a small area, then tears and holes may eventually develop. With your body weight spread over a larger area, you may help to keep an air mattress from deflating 'for no apparent reason'.

Why Do Air Mattresses Deflate Overnight: Conclusion

Air mattresses deflate overnight because they are not being used properly. The main reason why an air mattress keeps deflating is the way it is being used. A close second are excessive temperature variations in the bedroom. If you follow the tips above, you should avoid your air mattress losing air, but no hole apparently having formed. Go through them one by one if your air mattress keeps deflating.

If your air mattress deflates overnight, then perhaps the bedroom temperature was too high at bedtime and you failed to inflate the mattress back to your desired pressure or hardness. Not only would the PVC cover have stretched while you slept, but the bed would lose pressure when the air cooled and contracted. The result may seem to be the air mattress deflating - no hole apparent because it is all down to temperature.


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