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Alternating Pressure Mattress Repair Tips

How To Repair an Alternating Pressure Mattress At Home

If your alternating air mattress system is no longer maintaining air pressure (i.e. sinking, collapsing, bottoming out, no longer functioning), there are a variety of root causes that may be responsible. The below troubleshooting guide should be used to identify or narrow down the potential source of the problem in the system.

Alternating Mattress Systems can be broken down into 2 component systems:

alternating pressure mattress repair

1. Mattress (Air cells, tubing, cover.)

2. Pump (Air compressor unit, power cord.)

It is important to isolate the complaint to either one of these components to facilitate effective complaint device return and replacement. Trying a new or different pump on the system is the quickest way to identify the defective component system. 

Should switching the pump resolve the issue, return the original pump  for evaluation.  If the replacement pump does not correct the issue, continue to follow the troubleshooting steps below to isolate or resolve sources of air loss on the mattress.

Before you Begin

Make sure you Secure the CPR valves at the head of the mattress. If the CPR valve is open or loose the mattress cannot establish air pressure and will not inflate.

Medical Air Mattress Repair CPR Tag


  1. Inspect the tubing along the length of the mattress.
  2. Look for any disconnected or loose tubes and secure them back into place.

    repair alternating pressure mattress

Check the tubing for any cuts and tears.

repair alternating pressure mattress

Make sure to check the tubing in the mattress tail for tears. The mattress tail runs from the pump to the mattress and is largely covered by a fabric sheath. The sheath may hide tears in the tubing. Slide or roll the sheath down to inspect the entire length of the white tubing.

repair alternating pressure mattress

Make sure that the quick-connect plug is not loose.  This can be done by pushing the quick-connect down onto the tubing.




repair alternating pressure mattress at home


 Inspect the quick-connect plug for damage. Both white posts should be at equal heights, as in the above picture. The below picture is damaged.

repair alternating pressure mattress at home
  1. Check the Red/Yellow valves to see if they are broken or cracked. The pictures below show the proper orientation for each valve – the orientation is important as the Red/Yellow valves are one-way valves (only allow air-flow in one direction, from yellow to red) and improper orientation will prevent air flow to the cells positioned downstream of the valve.

    repair alternating pressure mattress
    alternating pressure mattress repair


alternating pressure mattress
repairing alternating pressure mattress


Should the issue be found during the pre-inflation steps, a replacement part(s) will be sent or will need to be purchased, based on the warranty.

Inflation Checks:

  1. Once the connections have been checked, and no source(s) for leaking could be detected, connect the mattress to the pump.
  2. Turn on the pump. Set the weight/comfort setting to 400lb and/or Max and set the pump to Static mode. Allow the mattress 20-30 minutes to inflate.
  3. If the mattress does not inflate, the low pressure light is on, or applying weight to the inflated mattress results in the mattress bottoming out, skip to step 5.
  4. Lower the weight setting to approximately 160lbs and/or about ¼ of the way up the dial and set the pump to Alternating mode. Allow 15 minutes for the mattress to readjust to this setting. Place weight on the mattress.
  5. If the mattress maintains air pressure and the Low Pressure Light stays off, the issue was most likely resolved during the pre-inflation steps. The mattress system is considered operational.
  6. If the mattress does not maintain air pressure, continue to step 5.

#5 Inspect Air Cells For Damage

air cell in alternating mattress


  1. Small/pinhole/non-obvious leaks can be detected applying soapy water along the seam and tubing of the air cells. A leak will be indicated by seeing a large quantity of bubbles forming rapidly. Leaks can also be detected by applying water to the back of your hand. By running the back of your hand along the tubing and seals, a leak will be indicated by feeling a sudden cold sensation from the air leaking out.

Should an issue be found with one of the air cells, replacement air cell(s) will be sent or will need to be purchased (based on the warranty).

If the mattress continues to not inflate, despite following this troubleshooting guide, the mattress may need to be replaced.

If you have followed all the tips above and cannot repair your existing mattress you can find a reliable replacement mattress at


heal bedsores

Sheets on an Alternating Pressure Mattress?

Sheets with an Alternating Pressure or Low Air Mattress? (opinion)

medical mattress sheets

We get asked this question often and we wanted to address it first hand. Can you use sheets on an alternating pressure mattress? This is often debated by wound care nurses and after much research we are sorry to say that there is not a clear answer. We can however educate you on why they may have that opinion.  Our experience was some care takers got confused and may not have known the difference between a true low air loss blower and an alternating pressure mattress system.

The true low air loss blower is designed to wick away moisture from the skin. In this instance keeping the skin dry and using the special low sheer cover is critical in the treatment of decubitus ulcers. If a blower based low air mattress is being used to heal a bedsore,  the answer would be using a sheet is not necessary.  Why? This may add unnecessary layers to the mattress restricting the flow of air to the patient.  If however the mattress was being used for prevention and basic healing it may not be as important.

The alternating pressure mattress uses a compressor pump. This system depends less on the  low air loss therapy and more on the pressure relief of the mattress. The compressor pumps circulate air (low air output) under the cover to prevent heat buildup.  This would place less emphasis on the direct airflow from the mattress and more emphasis on the alternating pressure cycles. The alternating pressure cycles allow for blood flow to reach the skin healing and preventing pressure ulcers. We have seen more home heath and nursing homes using sheets in these situations with an under pad for patients that may be incontinent.

Our research tells us sheets are not necessary with a true low air loss or blower based pump system.  When using alternating pressure mattress systems it is up to the care taker or the policy of the care facility.

We have found a few companies that sells sheets and replacement covers for these types mattress systems .


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Hospital Bed Packages

hospital bed package hospital bed package

We now offer hospital bed packages that include hospital bed, alternating pressure mattress, side rails, and headboards. These ultimate packages are perfect for the family that has a loved one coming home from hospital or nursing care facility with everything needed to make patient  comfortable with pressure relief and protected from bed sores.

Each package is broken down by patient necessity to take the guess work out of what package is best for each situation.

The Prime Series is designed if you are recovering from a bedsore, medicare removed your current system, you are developing ulcers or bruising, or are having issues with heat and moisture on your skin.

The Deluxe Prime Series with Stage 4 Hospital Air Mattress is for patients that have stages 1-4 bedsore(s). Currently have a severe pressure ulcer, are experiencing chronic pain due to pressure,  are looking for a comparable mattress similar to the products in nursing homes and hospitals.

The Prime Care 42″ with Full Electric Bed Package is the best of the best in hospital beds and true low air loss therapy systems. This mattress system comes with an extra wide mattress, supreme in comfort, heals stages 1-4 bedsores, long-term care solution, If you suffer from reoccurring bedsores, MS, fibromyalgia, burns, cancer, diabetes.

These packages are designed for taking the guesswork out of what is needed and offering a simple solution for setting up home care healing for yourself or loved one.

Bedsore Prevention and Healing

Best medical air mattress to prevent and heal bedsores

If you are looking for an alternating pressure air mattress for home care to prevent bed sores this is a fantastic value. The Med-Aire Plus 8” Alternating Pressure Mattress is at the top of it’s class for value and efficiency in bedsore prevention. This bed is comprised of 20 individual air cells that alternate on a selected cycle to provide pressure relief and movement. 9 of the cells have laser holes for airflow keep cool an fight against moisture that breaks down the skin. The Med-Aire Plus 8″Alternating Pressure Mattress has an accurate and adjustable pressure monitoring system that includes an advanced pump with a built in microprocessor that monitors and maintains consistent pressure disbursement while stimulating blood flow and circulation.

This alternating pressure mattress remains inflated for up to 24 hours in the event of a power outage. The mattress also has an additional 2” cell that remains inflated along the base of the mattress at all times to offer additional protection while the mattress is in an elevated position. This mattress is approved by Medicare and is guaranteed to heal and protect the patient from existing and future bedsores, pressure wounds, and decubitus ulcers.

If you are needing an alternating pressure mattress for home care after leaving the hospital or are in need of an alternating pressure mattress at home due to being in bed for long hours and do not want to develop a painful bedsore, this is a great solution for you.