Oftentimes you come home tired and stressed after a long…
Choosing the best RV Mattress?
Most people are used to having a regular and “safe” life. What do they mean by safe? Having a steady job, living in a nice home, paying bills, taxes, mortgage and just being a regular guy. The reality is that nothing is safe or granted anymore. You can do all the right things, and still get fired, lose your home because you can’t afford the mortgage and a bazillion other stuff can happen and radically disrupt the routine of your life.
That is why more and more people choose to seize the moment and live their life to the fullest. They sell their house, buy an RV and travel across the country in their home on wheels. Being able to travel wherever you want, whenever you want is an awesome lifestyle. Although we are sure that RVing brings its fair part of adventures and challenges, we wonder how comfortable is to live full-time in an RV.
A good night’s sleep is a must have after a long day. When you don’t live in a brick and mortar house, then you need to pay extra attention to the bed and mattress that you buy, especially when space is limited. That is why, we asked 39 RV bloggers to share with us
The Top Features That The Best RV Mattress Should Have
We received answers from some of the best digital nomads out there. So, without any further ado, let’s see what are the best RV mattress.
Peter & John TheRVgeeks.com
Peter & John, better known as The RVgeeks, are a couple of “Do-It-Ourselves” full-time RVers who offer RV maintenance, repair & travel tips on their popular video blog and YouTube channel. They’ve handled most of their own RV maintenance during nearly 14 years of exploring North America. They hope their experiences can help other RVers go DIY, saving time & money while experiencing the satisfaction of a job well done.
It may sound obvious, but comfort is key. While a non-RVer may look at the way we live as glorified camping… as full-timers, our RV is our home. So we expect our bed to be just as comfortable as any residential bed. We’re not “camping” but rather living in our home, the same as any owner of a sticks & bricks house, and expect the same comfort in a mattress.RV manufacturers seem bound and determined to make beds that are anything but standard queen or king size.Click To Tweet
That’s the case even in large RVs where the ample space allows for any size mattress. Despite that flexibility, RVs are notorious for having odd-size mattresses.
So the ability to order custom sizes, with the same comfort as a top quality residential mattress, is a great benefit. As mattress “comfort” is such a personal preference, the option of selecting from several different types of mattresses to match our particular idea of comfort was key to our goal of one great night’s sleep after another.
Emily and Mark Fagan Roads Less Traveled
Emily and Mark Fagan are professional photographers and freelance writers who have been traveling full-time by RV and sailboat for ten years. Their blog, Roads Less Traveled, offers hundreds of detailed articles about the RVing and sailing lifestyles and provides travel tips and beautiful photos of their favorite destinations.
As we discuss in our blog post, RVing Tips and Tricks, many RVs come with beds that are not a standard residential size. So, for those RVs, the mattress must be a custom “RV” size or it will hang over the edges of the bed platform.
For instance, a standard Queen mattress is 60” x 80” while an RV Queen is the same width but is a bit shorter at 60” x 75”. Likewise, a King mattress is 76” x 80” whereas an RV King mattress is a little narrower at 72” x 80”.
Finding an RV Queen or RV King size mattress is nearly impossible at most mattress stores unless they are located in an area that has a lot of RV visitors. Putting a residential Queen mattress on an RV Queen bed leaves 5” of mattress hanging over the foot of the bed. Putting a residential King mattress on an RV King bed can be a tight squeeze, as 2” will hang over the base on each side.
As for comfort, that depends on the sleeper! There are fewer options in the RV-specific sizes, but if the RV has a bed platform that is a standard residential mattress size, then the sky is the limit for all types of mattresses.
A foam mattress can be much heavier than an innerspring mattress, and that may make a difference for RVs that are carrying a payload that is near their capacity.
However, foam mattress doesn’t have any parts that rust, a concern if you are RVing in a humid area, as the interiors of RVs are much less climate controlled than the interiors of houses, especially for people who dry camp a lot like we do.
Mildew resistance is also very important for RVers who travel in areas prone to rain or seaside moisture. Memory foam is extremely flammable, and since all RVs come with large propane tanks that can turn the rig into a fire bomb with a single spark in the wrong place at the wrong time, this is a definite concern.Latex is considered a premium foam because it is not nearly as flammable as memory foam. Click To Tweet
Memory foam can also be very hot, an issue for many RVing women who are experiencing the hot flashes and night sweats of menopause.
Given all of these constraints, we had a latex mattress for nearly four years and we found it was not nearly as comfortable as advertised. We’ve also had a memory foam pillow top innerspring mattress and a standard non-memory foam pillowtop innerspring mattress.
Both of these were comfortable, although the springs lost their spring over time and the mattresses developed two divots where we always slept. Of course, this is a problem for folks living in houses too!
Kimberly Travaglino Fulltime Families
Kimberly Travaglino is the author of “How to Hit the Road”, a comprehensive step-by-step guide for making your family’s full-time RV dreams a reality. She and her husband are the co-founders of Fulltime Families, a company that supports risk-takers, pioneers, and enlightened families blazing their own path across the country.
In my opinion, the best mattress to provide a good night’s sleep in an RV is it’s ability to breath.
Sleeping spaces in an RV can be tight and a mattress that traps heat can keep you tossing and turning and sweating all night long.A mattress design that provides for air circulation, allows you to wake up refreshed and ready for the adventures that await you!Click To Tweet
Marc and Julie Bennett RVLove
Marc and Julie Bennett are full-time RVers and content creators who live, work and travel full-time from their motorhome while exploring North America and the world. They share their positive, inspiring messages and invaluable advice at RVLove.com where their mission is to help others hit the road and thrive too.
For us, the best mattress has to be a good quality brand that will last for at least 5 years, as we don’t just use it on occasional weekends like many RVers.
As full-timers, this is our home and we sleep on the mattress every night, which means it’s essential that it’s supportive and comfortable to ensure we get a good night’s sleep and also minimize Marc’s lower back pain.
We like a mattress that offers good all round, consistent support (not too hard yet not too soft) and has a heat dissipating memory foam topper. A good protective cover to prevent dust or allergies should be standard.
And it also has to be the right height, length, and width to properly fit on the bed in an RV (ours is a standard full-length Queen) but some RVs do require special sized mattresses.
The other consideration is weight – RVs are more limited in weight than homes, so while we do like a quality, supportive mattress, we also don’t want to carry more weight than is necessary.
Finally, the mattress needs to have some flex as you need to think about getting in through the door of your RV and maneuver it through a smaller as you get into the bedroom.In our opinion, no matter how many nights you sleep in your RV, a good quality mattress is important to fully enjoy it.Click To Tweet
Cameron is an RV Writing Enthusiast who has been camping and RVing for years. He has always loved the smell of campfire smoke and taking long hikes through some of the country’s most beautiful landscapes.
An RV mattress is your comforting sanctuary after a long day of outdoor adventuring or endless miles on the road. Because of that, it needs to be held to a standard that is befitting of those conditions. What are the top qualities of an RV mattress?
1. Comfort – It should go without saying that a bed should be comfortable. But, it goes beyond that; you don’t want to be on the road and have to toss and turn every night, trying to fall asleep and have dreams of your bed back home. An RV trip is a vacation of sorts, so the bed should reflect that level of comfort every night.
Memory foam is a great option for an RV mattress because it is lightweight, inexpensive, and can occupy very little space, which, of course, is the currency of any RV. That said…
2. SizeBecause space is at a premium in an RV, the bed's square footage is often smaller than your home mattress.Click To Tweet
You need the size to accommodate your size. If you’re a six-foot-five man, then you will want to avoid those space-cutting RV mattresses.
Keep in mind that most RV mattresses are about six inches shorter than traditional mattresses of the same size category. So, if you’re worried about fitting on a queen, you might consider going ahead with a king. And, finally…
3. Durability – An RV mattress undergoes considerable wear-and-tear; even more so than a traditional at-home mattress. Because of this, you want your RV mattress to be outfit to survive long or short trips of considerably excessive use. A good RV mattress needs to withstand the test of time while being subjective to strenuous use for potentially long periods of time.
Mark Jenney RVshare.com
Mark is the CEO at RVshare which is the largest RV rental marketplace in the United States.Anytime I'm traveling in an RV having a memory foam mattress is a must for me.Click To Tweet
Most RV mattresses are not memory foam so I always bring a nice memory foam mattress topper with me anytime I’m traveling in an RV for an extended period of time.
I like my mattress to have some support and softness at the same time and using a memory foam topper on my RV mattress helps be get a better night sleep while I’m out on the road.
Dan and Diann Bayes EccentricNomads.com
Diann and her husband Dan travel and live in an RV. They share their experiences on their site Eccentric Nomads. Before that, Diann worked in the travel and tourism industry for more than 20 years.
When you make the decision to sell everything you own including your large home and replace it with a 400 square foot RV, you learn a few things along the way. Unfortunately, some revelations come a little too late, like maybe it would have been a good idea to keep that relatively new pillow-top mattress you sold with your oversized bedroom set and put that puppy in your house on wheels.
My husband and I are not spring chickens. He’s 67 and I’m 52 and we’re known as Eccentric Nomads.The name was determined by the looks we got from friends and family when we told them I was leaving my job to see the country in our fifth wheel. Not long into our travels, this eccentric nomad’s back problem reared its ugly head.For the record, RV mattresses provided by the dealership are less than stellar. Click To Tweet
After much research and the very convincing comments from a total stranger stating a four-inch memory foam mattress topper from Walmart was more comfortable than his $4,000 mattress, I headed to the retail giant and we slapped it on top of the pitiful excuse for a mattress the dealership provided.
Is it perfect? No. But when you’ve watched the sunrise and the sunset, traveled the countryside, and enjoyed some of the most amazing sites you’ve ever seen, settling in for the evening on four inches of memory foam comfort works for me.
Julie and Alan Frost TheAussieBushman.com
Julie and Alan Frost are currently traveling around Australia. Julie writes a travel blog documenting their crazy adventures, posting photos of the amazing places they have visited and telling amusing stories of the trials and tribulations peculiar to life on the road.Being well rested is critical to my husband and I having the best adventures in our off road expedition RV.Click To Tweet
We sleep like babies every night on a 5” thick pure latex rubber mattress custom shaped to fit our side access bed.
We chose this material because it is cool in hot conditions, firm when sitting on a solid bed platform and because Latex rubber does not dent and squish causing the other sleeper to roll into the center or out of bed.
Our mattress is the optimal thickness since it is not overly heavy, a necessary consideration when trying to tuck bed linen from only one side of a queen size bed.
Having a premium quality mattress is about 70% of the secret to a good camp sleep; the rest is how you set yourself up. Your RV has got to be dead level or head up if the level is not possible, the bed of a suitable length to accommodate long-legged husbands and make sure the midnight bathroom tripper sleeps the outer edge to ensure an uninterrupted slumber for the other!
Things like a warm campfire, a good glass of red wine and an early turn-in also make for a wonderfully restorative night’s sleep while you’re on the road.
John Huggins LivingtheRVDream.com
John retired in 2004 and later he and his wife sold their house, bought their motorhome and hit the road.I believe the best features of an RV mattress are exact fit to the original and high quality materials.Click To Tweet
Also, it should preferably be US made and sourced.
Robert & Jessica Meinhofer ExploringTheLocalLife.com
Robert and Jessica are living full-time in their RV while they experience local life throughout the south-eastern United States.
At the end of the day, whether you RV on occasion or Full-Time it, all roads lead to your mattress.
So what qualities should you look for in an RV mattress?
Beyond that it needs to be:
Durable – In the confined space of an RV, the mattress is going to get scraped, bumped and folded. It will likely get more dirt and spills than the norm for the amount of actual sleep that will happen on the mattress. Your mattress becomes another piece of furniture for dining, play, and work.
Lightweight – Weight is always a factor when RV’ing it so you have to look for a comfortable, durable mattress that is lightweight. You can’t have an RV with 3 beds sporting big mattresses and not start to impact your maximum payload! Not to mention it can be tough trying to fit mattresses through smaller than normal doors and tight RV spaces!
Cost-Effective – You can expect that an RV mattress will have a shorter than normal useful life than in a traditional home. It will experience greater temperature extremes, and be more exposed to the environment. As a result, you will have to replace it sooner, so shop around for a good deal.
Be sure to find an RV mattress that’s comfortable for you, can stand up to rough treatment, is RV friendly, and won’t break the bank!
Heather Ledeboer FaithTakesFlight.com
Heather is an adventuresome, internal processing, book reading, travel loving, introvert. She and her husband sold their 5 bedroom home and a large percentage of what their family owned, stored the rest and purchased a 5th wheel RV to travel in full-time.
Living in an RV inherently comes with sacrifices. However, this is our home. Just because it is small, we don’t want it to feel like an exercise in self-deprivation. I want my RV bed to replicate the kind of good night sleep that I would enjoy in a S&B (sticks and bricks). Therefore comfort is of primary importance.
Second to comfort is weight. Making a bed is never fun, but in an RV there is often restricted space as a large part of your bed may be right up against a wall or tucked within a slide-out. Having a mattress that is not heavy makes the process of lifting up the corners easier when I need to put on clean sheets.Also, many RVs have storage under the master bed requiring you to lift up the bed to access this storage area.Click To Tweet
If the mattress isn’t heavy, it is much easier to gain access to this storage with ease. A final benefit to mattresses that are not heavy is that they help keep the overall weight of your rig down.
Finding the right mattress has made all the difference in making our RV truly feel like a home.
Chris & Cherie Technomadia.com
Cherie & Chris have been full-time RVers since 2006 while working remotely as technology advisors. They blog about their adventures at Technomadia.
As full-time RVers, our RV is our home.Which means our mattress should be just as comfortable as the one we previously had in our house.Click To Tweet
To maximize your options, we recommend selecting a RV floorplan that includes a standard sized bed so that you can purchase any mattress that suits you best.
Otherwise, you’re stuck with limited options for ‘RV Mattresses’ or having something custom made.
Our RV uses a standard queen, and we spent the last year trying out internet-ordered mattresses that came with 100-day trials. This allowed us to try out a variety of mattresses with easy returns no matter where we were parked.
Fran has lived in a 155 SF tiny home for a few years. He believes in simplifying possessions to better enjoy the non-material things and experiences in life.The top features an RV mattress should have are comfort, size, and quality. Click To Tweet
There is nothing worse than a trip ruined because if bad sleep. A mattress is one of those vital possessions that is worth considering quality over price.
Comfort and a good nights sleep is worth much more than that fancy coffee maker, you really don’t need. We’re often traveling with our tiny house, so it’s critical we get good sleep. A high-quality mattress with a focus on “no motion transfer” reduces the movement of the bed while the home is in motion. There are some bumpy roads out there, but with the right mattress you can keep on snoozing.
Size is also important. Do not try and skimp on size to save precious inches in your RV. Sleep is too vital for you or you and your partner to be crammed like sardines when it comes time to rest. With limited space, we like to maximize storage options. With a thinner profile, this allows for under-the-bed storage without needing a ladder to go to bed.
Finally quality is important. You will not be using all your appliances or entertainment every day but you will be using your mattress. You want to look forward to the mattress after a long travel day, not dread a back ache in the morning!
We like a good adventure in our tiny home. When compared to a “normal home,” our mattress likely takes more of a beating. That’s why it’s crucial to get a mattress that can handle our nomad lifestyle.
Logan Akio Johnston Outdoorsy.co
Logan helps RV owners to become entrepreneurs with the Outdoorsy.co platform, which offers an industry-first “person to person” $1M insurance policy that covers recreational vehicles and tow vehicles for all qualified domestic and international travelers.RV Owners definitely want to invest in their mattress Click To Tweet
Especially if they want to earn extra income from renting out their vehicle on Outdoorsy.co.
Foam mattresses tend to insulate better and last longer than air or spring mattresses. You’ll want a top cover that’s breathable, though.
Just be sure to measure your bed before you buy it, since a lot of RV beds are a few inches shorter than normal beds to save space.
Deb & Jeff Spencer RollingRecess.com
Deb is a full-time RV’er with her husband of 23 years. When she and her husband Jeff are not competing in trail runs, you may find them working the Dometic booth at RV Rallies and Shows.
Out in the Arizona desert, we are roughing it in RV’ing terms. Dusty. Solar powered. Isolated. And above all…comfortable!
Jeff and I have lived in our Fifth wheel for a year and a half now and it still feels like a spacious apartment on wheels. And with all the comforts of home, why settle for a terrible RV mattress?
Here are some tips for getting your perfect RV mattress.
Choosing a good mattress starts with choosing an RV. Rounded wall hugging bed layouts or enclosed head and feet will limit your mattress choices to specific RV suppliers. Typically they don’t offer quality…IMHO.
Be aware of weight restrictions. RV mattresses are lightweight and flimsy. If you are tight on weight limits make sure your new mattress doesn’t contribute to the problem.
After choosing an RV that accommodates a traditional mattress, make sure the mattress will fit through the RV door and around corners. Something that has give will help.
If it fits, go with what you know.If you loved a brand of mattress in your sticks-n-bricks, you will love it in your RV too.Click To Tweet
This is your home after all! Don’t compromise sleep comfort with a crappy mattress.
Valerie and Jessi HappyCamperWives.com
Valerie and Jessi are full-time RV andLGBTt travel bloggers. They are lesbian adventurers roaming the United States in a t@b teardrop camper trailer, living minimally, meeting interesting people, and learning about the meaning of life.
The thing we look for while choosing the perfect rv mattress is comfort first and foremost.We live full time in our RV and it's important to get a good nights rest.Click To Tweet
We also want something that’s easily made up because we live in a small teardrop that converts to a bedroom at night and a living room by day.
Finally, we need an RV mattress that feels like home. If you can’t hang out, watch tv, or read comfortably from it, it’s not worth having.
Alan Sills RVAcrossAmerica.net
Alan is an educator, author, and full-time RV’er. He created RV Across America for RV’ers and for those even thinking about the RV lifestyle. On his blog, articles range from how to select RV insurance, to getting a good nights sleep, to earning a living on the road!Priority #1 - it needs to fit the platform provided by the RV manufacturer. Click To Tweet
That is, many RV’s have a “short queen” (74″) and to get a full queen mattress may/may not work – you need to check for available space in the bedroom if you wish to replace a short queen mattress with a regular queen.
A few companies (notably Aerolite) have even more custom shapes to the mattress that comes with the trailer, and that can make finding a good replacement much more difficult.
Next consideration – weight. Many RV mattresses sit on a platform that can be raised to reveal under-bed storage. If the mattress is too heavy, lifting the platform may become impossible and therefore take away valuable storage space.
Third – comfort – bearing in mind if you camp where it gets cold (or even chilly), a mattress like a Tempurpedic may become rock-hard in lower temperatures. In other words, the temperature in your RV bedroom likely varies MUCH more than a “sticks and bricks” bedroom.
If the mattress responds to those temperature changes by becoming too soft or too hard – it is not a desirable mattress to have.
For me, I opted for an air mattress this allows me to control how hard/soft I want my mattress and it can be adjusted to account for temperature changes. You do have to remember to let air out however when you’re traveling IF you plan to climb to a higher altitude!
Greg Gerber RV Daily Report
Greg is the editor of RV Daily Report. He has been a full-time RVer since March 2014 living and working out of his motorhome as he travels the nation reporting on the RV industry.The best RV mattresses are constructed in a way that they can be used daily for years without sagging, lumping or condensing down in size.Click To Tweet
They have enough support to make the mattress firm, but remain soft enough to ensure a great night’s sleep without a sore back in the morning.
They have enough support to make the mattress firm, but remain soft enough to ensure a great night’s sleep without a sore back in the morning.
More importantly, the best RV mattresses are constructed to standard sizes that allow owners to buy sheets and blankets at regular prices anywhere rather than having to order custom-made bedding to fit a non-standard mattress.
Michelle Schroeder-Gardner Making Sense of Cents
Michelle is the founder and writer at Making Sense of Cents. On her blog, she helps readers learn how to make extra money, save money, learn about living in an RV, and reach their dream life. Michelle and her husband sold their house in 2015 and currently travel full-time in an RV with their two dogs.The very top feature of an RV mattress should be comfort. I shouldn't wake up feeling any pains.Click To Tweet
Instead, I should wake up feeling great and ready for the day, just like how I would with a bed in a “normal” home.
Another feature is that the mattress should use up the bedroom space in a good way, such as to still be useable when the RV slides are in.
Esther and Jacob Local Adventurer
Esther and Jacob are the founders of Local Adventurer, which is one of the top 50 travel blogs in the world.Just like home, an RV mattress needs to fit your style, whether that's firm or soft.Click To Tweet
You also want to keep weather in mind. If you only plan on being in warmer weather, you can look for something that is cool, but if you plan on traveling everywhere, you’ll want to find a good year round mattress.
We prefer a softer mattress and something that is light so we can save on every pound!
Alex Pelling and Lisa Gant 2People1Life.com
Alex andLisa aka 2people1life have spent 5 years driving and shipping an RV around the planet. in line with the local cultures and traditions they have taken part in a wedding ceremony in each country they visited. They are avid supporters of RV style travel.
We have traveled over 65 countries in an RV.Traveling the globe in an RV is like taking your home to every corner of the worldClick To Tweet
The average person spends 7 hours a night asleep, so it makes total sense that you should invest in a decent mattress. It should be supportive; it should suit how you sleep but most of all it should be comfortable.
Travel is exhausting, everything is new, nothing is mundane, there is very little you can do on autopilot when you travel. Where is the bathroom? What is the cultural norm for what I should wear? Why is this guy trying to sell me stuff? How much is a taxi? What should I leave as a tip? Damn this hotel bed is uncomfortable!
These are just a few of the reasons we chose to drive around the world in an RV.
You can escape all these new experiences and chill out in a familiar environment, your home. Most of all you can relax knowing that each night when you get your head down for some much-needed sleep it will be comfortable and clean.
Shari Voigt USA RV Nomads
Shari is a travel blogger, website developer, and marketing consultant. She and her husband, Gerald, are full-time RVers criss-crossing the USA for work and pleasure. Her favorite things about the RV lifestyle are the opportunities to continually explore new places and make new friends along the way.
We travel in our RV full time so a good RV mattress is vital. The mattress that came with our used motorhome was terrible – no support whatsoever. We replaced it with a standard queen size mattress that had been in our guest room. That was fine while it was on a box spring, but once there was only a board beneath it, it was like sleeping on a rock.A year ago, we bought a replacement mattress at a furniture store, opting for a combination coil and memory foam. Click To Tweet
It’s much more comfortable and lightweight, but the memory foam retains heat. It’s good, but we could have done better.
Top features that I believe the best RV mattress should have are:
Comfort – not too hard, not too soft, and not too hot
Lightweight – If your mattress is too heavy, it’s difficult to lift it and can break the mechanism in your bed’s hydraulic lift. (Ask me how I know.)
Correct size for the space – Ours happens to be a standard queen, but many RV’s are designed for a shorter queen size mattress. Also, consider the height of the mattress – too high and you’ll be uncomfortably close to the overhead cabinet.
Michael Fisher-Vallen NomadMotorLodge.com
Michael is the owner of New Mexico- and Maryland-based Nomad Mobile Motor Lodge. He has taken a cue from the manufacturer of the vintage Airstream trailers that he restores and rents on Outdoorsy.co.
At the time our trailers were built (from the early 1950s to mid-1960s), Airstream used dense foam rubber mattresses, which were versatile and exceptionally long-lasting.
In this spirit, when we’re restoring an Airstream, we have mattresses custom-fabricated using three inches of firm foam, then two to three inches of memory foam glued over top of the firm material.It’s then encased in batting and covered with a custom-fit, removable mattress cover. Click To Tweet
We’ve found that the investment in good mattresses for our rental fleet pays dividends in positive customer feedback, and of course, many very restful nights of sleep.
Keith and Tia Sims – SoulfulRVFamily.com
Tia and her husband Keith Sims live and travel in an RV with their 3 young boys. The whole family loves the space and flexibility that RV travels gives the family.
The top features that an RV mattress needs to have are as follows.
1. Memory form.
2. Ditch those rounded corners. We like to use the same type of sheets that we have in our home. Keep it simple and the same.
3. Since people are using their RV’s more and more for longer trips, please whatever you do make them comfortable.
Malcolm McNeill HolidayCampervan.com
Malcolm is the manager of the motorhome rental site HolidayCampervan.com. Based in the UK, HolidayCampervan.com compares the market of motorhomes, RV’s and campervans around the world to provide the best vehicle rental offers available on your smartphone, tablet or pc.
As everyone knows, sleep is very important, both from a health perspective, but can also improve productivity and concentration, the key to the average traveling RV driver. Driving long distances without proper sleep may cause accidents, so for a relaxing sleep, the RV needs to be fit for purpose with a good quality mattress.
The mattress has to be the right length and breadth to fit your body, be it a twin, king or queen size, or for the longer frame, the California King!
A modern day memory foam mattress will mold to your body in minutes, evenly distributing the body weight and ensuring a better night’s sleep. By periodically adjusting the mattress, flipping it or adding additional padding you will ensure even wear and tear and provide a longer mattress life.Keeping your mattress warm and dry is essential, so avoid leaving nearby windows open in wet weather.Click To Tweet
Depending on the size of your vehicle, you may not have the luxury of a mattress, making do with rolling down the RV couches.
Finally, if you are going to hire a motorhome, just ensure that the mattress is clean before accepting the vehicle – and don’t be afraid to shout!
Veronica and Denny RVoutlawz.com
Veronica and Denny are full-time RV nomads working corporate jobs remotely and offroading since November 2013If I had to custom make a perfect RV mattress I would make sure it had a memory foam top pad.Click To Tweet
I would use heat/cool resistant fabrics, where it wouldn’t force the change in temperature throughout the RV.
As well as an electric heated and cooling pad to be able to use when needed. Not too thick or high since some of these (for example mine) are used in lofts with little heights.
And if we could to get extra fancy, I would add the ability to raise the header or have that option to be higher in the head section (some use the bed as an entertainment recliner as well). We watch TV laying in our loft bed as well.
Paul Kortman HomeAlongTheWay.com
Paul and his family sold their house and move in an RV 3 years ago. Since then, they have lived in Thailand, Portugal, Bulgaria, South Africa and other countries.
We have a bit of a different perspective as we live full time in our 1997 37′ Class A Motorhome with four kids and 2 dogs.
Our requirements for an RV mattress are that it was comfortable, that it would last for multiple years and that it would fold away. We use it like a futon mattress but we set it on the floor. We found that the IKEA PS Mattresses met our requirements.
The memory foam in the Murbo version makes a world of difference, we tried without it and we found the mattress to be too thin and we were sleeping on the floor.However, with the extra layer of memory foam we never feel like the mattress is too small. Click To Tweet
Theresa Hewston LifeRidingShotgun.com
Theresa blogs at Life Riding Shotgun, a family travel blog about an adventurous family of four, who packed up minimal belongings, ditched their jobs, house, and cars, and set out on the road trip of a lifetime. Since 2014, they’ve been traveling the USA, even some foreign countries, in their 5th wheel RV on a permanent vacation with no end in sight.
As fulltime RVers, having a comfortable bed is extremely important. We’ve heard many complaints from other RVers about how uncomfortable RV mattresses are. We’ve even experienced it ourselves.
Growing up camping with my parents, then owning several different RVs as an adult prepared me to expect a really uncomfortable sleeping experience in an RV. I was destined to change that in our current RV, which we’ve lived and traveled in full-time for almost 3 years now.
RV mattresses are typically thin with little support. They can even be awkward sizes that standard sheets won’t fit. If I could develop the best RV mattress, I would make it just like a house mattress: standard sizes with a pillow top for added comfort.
We still have the RV mattresses that came with our RV, but we’ve dressed them up a bit to make them extremely comfortable. Our master bedroom is a standard king size mattress. We added a 4-inch thick gel memory foam mattress pad with a down alternative pillow top. We cover the mattress with standard king microfiber sheets and a heated blanket.
In the kids’ bunkhouse, which has two standard twin size beds, the RV mattresses were extremely thin and unsupportive. We actually kept their twin mattresses from our house and put them in the bunks. We laid the RV twin mattresses on top like a pillow top. Standard twin sheets fit snugly, and we added a heated blanket for them as well.
We sleep better than ever in our RV. Our beds are so comfortable. It is possible to have comfortable beds in an RV.
Robert Richardson OffgridSurvival.com
Robert, founder of Off Grid Survival, one of the top emergency preparedness/survival websites in the world, is a preparedness and survival training expert with over 20 years of real-world experience. He travels about half of the year in an Off Grid RV.I'm a big fan of memory foam mattresses for a couple of reasons. Click To Tweet
First, RV bed sizes can be a little weird, so I usually go with memory foam because most of these beds can be cut down if needed.
Second, they are a lot easier to get in and out of the RV, because you can easily fold them and wrap them around corners.
But one warning about these types of mattresses: they do outgas VOCs, so you might need to let them sit outside of the RV for a couple of days or the smell can be a bit overwhelming in that small of a space.
Janet Groene Solo Woman RV
Janet is an RV blogger and the author of Living Aboard Your RV.
The RV traveler’s mattress needs are unique, starting with the fact that it usually sits on a hard surface, not a box spring. It should be light-weight, easy to handle because it should be flipped and aired regularly, and a material, such as open cell foam, that breathes for good ventilation.
The cover should be durable but breathable, rather than vinyl, and it should have formed corners that grip sheets firmly.I go to a foam specialist, not a mattress store, where I can order the exact size, thickness, and firmness I need.Click To Tweet
A custom foam mattress can also please both partners, constructed firmer on one side, softer on the other. Then have to upholstered with the fabric of choice.
Dawn Gondeck Random Bits of Trial and Error
Dawn is a full-time RVer, dreamer, and blogger with over 30 years of camping experience.
1. Comfort. Comfort is key. Everyone dreads staying in a camper/RV that does not have comfortable sleeping. A good nights’ rest is paramount to good health for those weekend getaways, longer vacations, as well as full-time travelers.
2. Standard Universal Sizes for Mattresses/Bedding.The RV companies sometimes build unconventional bed sizes to fit into certain spaces.Click To Tweet
It is frustrating to locate comfortable odd-sized mattresses/toppers, and then find the proper fitting bedding without extensive cost and exhaustive searching.
3. Choice. Some people prefer sleep number mattresses while others opt for luxurious memory foam or the innerspring mattresses. There should be choices based on personal preference and budget.
Silvana and her husband have done several long term RV tours as brand ambassadors for various companies. Recently, they spent six months living in an RV and promoting a charity that runs camps for foster kids.
The mattress, obviously, should be comfortable. We had one that folded at the bottom third and then we could move the slide out in and out. The fabric tore after a few months so we got it replaced with another style.A mattress needs to be long enough for the tallest person using the bed.Click To Tweet
We tried some RV’s that had mattresses that were angled on one corner. That would have been my side and my husband would have gotten the longer section. But it meant he would have had to stay on the far side of the bed if he wanted to keep his feet on the mattress.
We spent 19 months living in an RV that had a cheap mattress. We put a foam pad on top from Costco and it was perfect t. Mattresses also need to be in a frame rear doesn’t move. One mattress we had kept sliding off the wood platform. It needed a lip to hold it in place.
Jeremy Davis Jrrny.com
Jeremy is the VP, Marketing & Content at Jrrny.com. They are a social travel platform where people easily share and discover travel experiences around the globe.
I spent 3 months living in an RV while producing video content for clients.The best qualities in an RV mattress for me is MEMORY FOAM!Click To Tweet
Soft enough to feel like you just melt into the mattress but not too soft to where it hurts your back.
I like my travel mattresses to be easily movable to provide for extra storage or work space and memory foam mattresses always do the trick.
Laura Nunemaker VeganRV.com
Laura and her partner Kevin are two vegans that have been living and working full-time in an RV since September 2016.
When we moved into our 2003 Winnebago Adventurer full-time in September, it still had the original mattress. Both of us started having back pain so we knew would have to upgrade. After doing a bunch of research online, we decided to try the Purple mattress.
We’ve had it for almost two months and love it. It’s the comfort of a Tempurpedic but it doesn’t get hot like one. But it does muffle the movement of your partner pretty well. This mattress is also not as heavy as a Tempurpedic which is an important consideration in an RV.
It came rolled up and shrinkwrapped, so it was pretty easy to get into the rig, easier than getting the old one out! This mattress also did not outgas a bad chemical smell; we were able to sleep on it right away. If you have a smaller RV specific mattress, this might not work for you.
But if your rig can take a normal sized Queen or King, it’s awesome.So here were our top considerations when considering RV mattressesClick To Tweet
1) comfort – support, movement, heat
2) weight – not too heavy, always a concern in an RV
3) will it fit – we take a Queen mattress, but, still have to get it in the rig
Jessica Norah Independent Travel Cats
Laurence & Jessica Norah are a popular travel blogging couple who blog at both Independent Travel Cats and Finding the Universe.
Laurence and I have both spent some time traveling and sleeping in RVs during our many travels as travel bloggers. The RV mattress is very important and you want it to be comfortable after a long day of driving, traveling, and exploring.
The two main things we look for are good support (e.g., coils or inner springs that provide enough support for the spine) and enough padding to be comfortable to lie on for a full night.
In terms of padding, it can vary greatly from person to person how firm or soft they like their mattress, but our personal preference is for a thicker mattress with a bit of a pillow top.
Another thing to look for in a mattress is finding one that will fit well into your RV as well as one that is of a comfortable size. We personally prefer one that is at least a double, but preferably a queen or king sized mattress. The bigger the mattress the better in our opinion to give us plenty of space. especially when traveling in hot summer temperatures.Also with the mattress being in an RV, you'll want one that is possible to easily remove and have cleaned as needed.Click To Tweet
Nina and Paul Wheelingit.us
Nina and Paul have been traveling and living full-time with their 12 paws in their 40-foot RV since 2010.
My top features in an RV mattress would be:
1. Customizable Comfort -> Everyone has different preferences as to how firm (or soft) they like their mattress to be so having the option to customize that when you order is a top feature.
2. Customizable Size -> Many RV’s have unique bed sizes or shapes, so having the ability to meet that need is key.
3. Cool To Sleep On -> I think it’s important for an RV mattress to sleep somewhat “cool”. Many RVs have small bedrooms and (sometimes) limited air-flow so a mattress that traps heat can be stifling, especially in summer.
4. Lightweight -> Many RVers use the space beneath their beds as storage, so it’s a plus to have a mattress that does not weigh too much to raise up.Also, it's nice to have a mattress that somewhat light just for general weight purposes. Click To Tweet
We all want to stay safely below the carrying limits of our RVs and every piece of equipment we add to our roaming homes contributes to that.
5. Reasonably Priced -> I think most folks are willing to spend some money on a good mattress, as long as the costs are reasonable.
Zoe Macfarlane JUCY RV Rentals
Zoe works for JUCY RV Rentals. They rent and sell mini RVs for awesome American, New Zealand and Australian road trips. The campervans they create are custom make.
Comfort and size are always key for us and it’s working out a balance between the two that can be the challenge.We have two mattresses in our mini RVs – one inside the van and one in the Penthouse.Click To Tweet
The Penthouse is a pop-top unit that we purchase from Italy and the mattress quality and pod length is why we get it from our specific manufacturer, despite cheaper models being available.
Our Penthouse beds are 6’8” in length so we can cater to most people and they are made of memory foam so they offer superb comfort – in fact, I’ve had better nights’ sleep up top than I have in some hotels when traveling.
Inside the van, we are a little more limited as the interior converts from normal car seats, to the lounge area, dining area and the bedroom. In the last couple of years, we increased the thickness of the mattress squabs to enhance comfort and we’re always looking at new ways to improve that against accessibility.
Sarah and Dylan Party Like It’s 1995
Sarah and Dylan, left San Francisco, and started traveling the country (mostly below the snow belt) visiting cities and towns trying to find the best fit. They are traveling in our GMC Canyon pulling a Lance 1995 Travel Trailer.
A top feature for an RV mattress is the word mattress. Anyone can deduct the word UPGRADE when transitioning from a 1.5 inch therm-a-rest to a 60×80 inch mattress. Now, we are not trying to intentionally set the bar low, we absolutely love our full queen Serta Innerspring Mattress but sometimes origin is an important perspective when summarizing preferences.
So…we are full timing in a2017 Lance 1995 travel trailer. About six months ago, we sold almost everything we had in San Francisco and packed our lives into a 200 square foot home on wheels. A large reason we choose Lance was for the bed size.
Our camper has a true residential size 60×80 inch queen size mattress meaning our sheets fit AND my 6+ foot husband fit. We found that many campers will advertise the bedroom has a queen bed but that doesn’t mean it is a true residential size queen bed but rather a “short queen” which is a 60×75 inch mattress.
For anyone over six feet, a mattress less than 80 inches long will lead to back pain caused by their feet hanging off the edge of the bed each night… the last thing you want after another day of living the adventurous life on the road.Make sure to check the size of the mattress before you buy!Click To Tweet
RV manufacturers are constantly looking for places to cut weight and inches and many will do so on their mattress install. Also, on top of a simple transition from our house mattress (one of not so many when deciding to full time on the road), having a 60×80 inch mattress allows owners to very easily replace the mattress if needed or bring along their own which was a plus for us regarding resale value.
Bill & Kayla The Wandering RV
When it comes to sleeping in an RV, the mattress makes all the difference!
To give you an idea, when we sold our first RV, the lady we sold it to thought the mattress we had was a box spring and that we removed the actual mattress. Thing is, it WAS the real mattress – it was just that uncomfortable.
Sure, you can get a mattress topper, but then you have to cut it to size or order one special made.
At that point, you may as well just get a full mattress and save yourself the hassle. A mattress topper can only go so far.
When it comes to mattresses, I like something firm and supportive. I’m also a premium, invest in quality, kind of guy, so I want something long-lasting a durable.
One of my biggest pet peeves with our old mattress was that you couldn’t flip it to make it last longer. So the ability to be flipped helps as well.
Finally, I like to feel nice and cool at night, so a gel mattress is great too.
Thank you so much to all the RV bloggers who contributed to this expert roundup! This is a team effort, a post with 40 authors. We are so grateful to you for sharing with us your insights.
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