"The Idiots Guide to Buying a Replacement RV Mattress"

shop for rv mattress"Ahhh!!! You have got to be kidding me!!" That's probably what you said after calling several local mattress retailers who told you they don't carry rv mattress sizes. Have no fear! This revealing guide will arm you with the knowledge you need to shop for the perfect rv mattress. Feel free to skip ahead if you already know something!



measure rv mattress

1) Determine Your RV Mattress Size


Note: Already know how to measure your rv mattress? Click here to go to Step 2.

The first step to buying a replacement RV mattress is to figure out what size you need to order. Most people will measure the mattress. However, the most accurate measurement will come from taking the measurements of the surface the mattress will lie on (usually plywood in the case of RV's). If you measure the RV mattress instead of the surface it lies on, it may lead you to believe that you need a custom size.

There are two reasons why we don't recommend measuring the mattress. The first being that your rv mattress may not be the same size as it was when the RV was built. This can be due to fluctuations in temperature during off-season storage (especially you folks in Arizona!) or from exposure to UV light if the RV was kept uncovered during storage. Secondly, RV mattresses are made by both humans and machines. If you take 10 out of stock, you can get a slight variation in size.

Determine the correct mattress height to order

If you have the existing mattress, measure the height before you decide to get rid of it.
As a general rule, the thicker the mattress, the more comfort layers and support layers, and consequently, the more comfortable the mattress. With that being said, the majority of RV's can only take mattresses between around 5 to 10" thick. If you have the existing mattress

Measuring for a rectangular shaped mattress:

Obtaining the dimensions for a rectangular shaped mattress is easy. Simply measure the length and width of the plywood surface using a tape measure. Round those dimensions to the nearest inch.

99% of motorhomes, travel trailers, fifth wheels, buses, pop-ups, and campers will use one of the sizes listed below.

Below are the most common dimensions for rv mattresses which are in the shape of a rectangle. If you're mattress has a cut corner, a radius (rounded) corner, a curved edge, or it's an odd shape, click here.

Here are the most common rectangular sizes:

  • Three Quarter Size : 48" x 75"
  • RV Full: 53" x 75"
  • Short Queen : 60" x 75" (most common short queen size)
  • Short Queen: 60" x 74"
  • RV Queen : 60" x 80"
  • Olympic Queen : 66" x 80"
  • RV King: 72" x 75"
  • RV King: 72" x 80"
  • Cal King: 72" x 84"
  • Eastern King: 76" x 80
  • RV Bunk: 28" x 75"
  • RV Bunk: 30" x 75"
  • RV Bunk: 30" x 80"
  • RV Bunk: 34" x 75"
  • RV Bunk: 35" x 79"
  • RV Twin : 38" x 75"
  • RV Twin : 38" x 80
  • RV Bunk: 42" x 80"

There are many other sizes available, but these are the most popular.

Custom Sizes and Shapes

There are numerous RV makes and models which require mattresses

Custom sizes include anything from odd rectangle sizes, to mattresses with cut or rounded corners (some airstream rv's for example). Don't worry though, custom sizes don't have to be expensive if you find the right custom rv mattress supplier.

2) Choose an RV Mattress Type

What follows is a description of the 4 most common types of RV mattresses to help you narrow down your selection.

Foam RV Mattress

Foam RV Mattress

This is the most common RV mattress type because of the price point. If you only use your RV a few months out of the year, this is probably your best option. Price ranges for these generally range between $150-$350.

Standard foam RV mattresses are approximately 5-6 inches in thickness. The most important thing to consider is the density of the foam. Foam densities range between 1-2 lbs per cubic foot. The 1.8-2 lb densities tend to be more durable. They also can withstand more body weight and they tend to have less manufacturer defects.

Foams in the 1-1.5 lb category tend to break down quicker and they can't withstand as much body weight over a long period of time. This density range also tends to develop ruts and depressions in the mattress leaving you feeling like you're stuck in a ditch.

Another thing to ask is if the foam is 100% Petroleum based. Some suppliers offer soy based rv mattresses that are more eco-friendly.

Click here to purchase a Foam RV Mattress

Memory Foam RV Mattress
Memory Foam RV Mattress

This option is great if you live out of your RV or you just want a really comfortable replacement rv mattress. Price ranges for these a $399-$799.

Memory foam rv mattresses generally tend to be around 8". They are usually constructed with memory foam on top of a high density urethane base. Just like the foam rv mattresses, it's important to look at density. Memory foam rv mattress densities generally range between 2.5 - 5.3 lbs. We find the best density to be approximately 4 lbs. Any higher than this and the foam doesn't breath very well causing some people to sweat. On the opposite side of the scale, foam in the 2.5-3 lb category doesn't tend to be durable and it quickly looses it's elasticity.

Other things to consider: Some models come with removable zip off covers that are machine washable. Just like foam rv mattresses, memory foam rv mattresses can also be soy based or petroleum based.

Click here to Purchase a Memory Foam RV Mattress

Latex RV Mattress

Just like the memory foam rv mattress, the latex rv mattress is an excellent choice for those who spend a lot of time in their RV or who wish to have something very comfortable. It's also perfect if your looking for the most eco-friendly rv mattress available. They generally range in price between $599-$999.

Latex rv mattresses are usually constructed so that the top layer is latex and the bottom support layer is urethane foam. Unlike memory foam and urethane foam rv mattresses, latex rv mattresses don't measure using density. The most important thing to ask is if the latex being used is natural, synthetic, or a blend. Obviously, if you are going to pay the price for latex, you want to make sure it's natural. Synthetic latex and blended latex tends to break down and discolor when exposed to heat and UV light.

Natural latex is collected from rubber trees just like maple syrup comes from maple trees. It's naturally hypo-allergenic, dust-mite resistant, and anti-bacterial. If your someone who has latex allergies, for obvious reasons, we suggest not purchasing a latex rv mattress.

MattressInsider.com sells Latex RV Mattresses. We are currently updating the product page so it's not available for purchase online. If you have questions or wish to place an order for this mattress type, call 888-488-1468.

RV Air Mattress

This is another high end option for your RV. The prices range between $1100-2000.

RV Air mattresses use the same concept as your blow up mattress you pull out for your guests except it's taken to the extreme. The idea is that by using 2 air chambers, you can adjust the firmness of each side of your mattress. This is appealing for two people who have different comfort preferences. Layers of urethane, memory foam, or latex are put on top of the mattress and act as comfort layers.

Generally, we don't recommend purchasing an RV Air mattress for a few reasons. The biggest problem is with air leakage. There is nothing more irritating then setting your optimal air pressure only to wake up at 3am to a deflated or saggy mattress. We get calls all the time from people who have this issue. When you call the manufacturer for service, you discover that it's too costly and time consuming to have it repaired. Usually you're the one who gets to do the repairing. Generally the assembly (it usually arrives in 3 boxes full of parts) can be difficult, especially for those who are disabled or elderly. Recently there was a class action lawsuit between a major airbed manufacturer (who will remain nameless) and it's customers surrounding a problem with mold developing between the foam comfort layers and the air chambers. Supposedly, the manufacturer has developed a foam that is resistant to mold, but it's still in the infant stages.

3) The Most Important Things to Discuss with any RV Mattress Supplier Before You Buy

The Return Policy Scam
What happens if you don't like it? Can you return it? Unfortunately...99% of rv mattress return policies are completely useless and I'll tell you why. Most RV mattresses come compressed and rolled in the factory so that they can be shipped via UPS/Fedex. This avoids the oversize charges. The mattress arrives looking like a piece of rolled up carpet (about 1" in thickness) and it expands out to anywhere between 5-8 inches in thickness once it's opened. Once you unpack it, despite what any mattress salesman tells you, it's IMPOSSIBLE to get them back into that box.

To return it, you'll end up needing to buy a flat pack mattress box (approx $40 including shipping) and you'll need to use a freight carrier (as it's now too big to be shipped UPS or Fedex). Generally freight charges range between $300-$800 for a typical queen rv mattress. Upon discovering this, you'll find it's more cost effective to just keep the mattress.

Fortunately, MattressInsider.com has found a way to offer a 100 day money back guarantee and to get around this issue. Within the first 30 days, if you don't like it, you can donate it to any non-for-profit (church, charity, etc), fax us a copy of the receipt, and you'll get a no questions asked 100% refund. After the 30 days, if you still decide you don't wish to keep it, we'll ship you a custom made mattress bag that will enable you to use an ordinary vacuum cleaner to recompress your mattress. This gives you the ability to ship via UPS/Fedex and avoid using a freight carrier. Details about this policy can be found on the product pages.

Cost Including Shipping and Handling
Know what your paying upfront. Often times RV mattress suppliers will quote a low price in the beginning, and after you register at checkout, they will hit you with a bill for shipping and handling.

Density Scam
Unfortunately, any retailer can lie about the density of their product and get away with it. The only way to determine the density of your mattress on your own is to cut out a cubic foot block and put it on a scale. As I'm sure you can guess, no one is going to destroy their mattress just to verify the density. There is an online retailer based in California that claims to sell a 5.3 lb density memory foam rv mattress. Upon careful inspection we discovered that the foam was actually only 2.5 lbs. Make sure you go for an RV mattress supplier you can trust. Ask lots of questions and do your best to make sure you get straight answers. We suggest typing the name of the supplier into Google with the word "complaint" after their company name. If you find lots of complaints about that retailer, obviously, you'll want to stay away from them.

4) Place Your Order!
Once you've decided your size and the type of mattress you wish to order, type in the keywords "replacement rv mattress" and start shopping! Feel free to give us a shot while your at it! We offer most of the common mattresses listed on here and we even do custom sizes and cut corner rv mattresses! We would be more than happy to answer any questions you might have or help you place an order. Thanks for reading!

Looking for an RV Mattress Topper? Consider our RV Memory Foam Mattress Topper

Note: This article is copy-write protected. Reproduction of any part of this article is strictly prohibited without express written consent from Mattress Insider LLC.