Are you looking to replace the cheap mattress that came with your RV?
Thanks to the numerous mattress options now available to RV owners, camping is no longer an excuse for a poor night’s sleep.
Follow along with our in-depth RV mattress guide for helpful reviews of top-rated products, specific buying considerations to keep in mind while shopping, along with step-by-step insight into cleaning or customizing a mattress for your RV.
5 Best RV Mattresses For 2018
DynastyMattress New RV King Cool Breeze 12-Inch GEL Memory Foam Mattress
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Zinus Ultima Comfort Memory Foam 8 Inch Mattress
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Zinus Deluxe Memory Foam 8 Inch RV
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Live & Sleep Resort Classic - RV Short Queen Memory Foam Mattress
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Let’s now review each mattress individually:
1. (Best King Short): DynastyMattress 10-inch CoolBreeze Gel RV Memory Foam Mattress
It’s, honestly, rare to be placing a king-sized mattress inside of an RV or other mobile living arrangement, but if you’ve got the room and are looking for maximum bed luxury while on the road, you’ll find it with DynastyMattress’ CoolBreeze technology.
The combination of memory foam and gel create a very comfortable surface on which to fall asleep. You’ll, also, enjoy the increased durability and support from one of the thicker RV mattresses that we reviewed.
- 70” x 82” x 10”
- Gel-infused memory foam
- 90 lbs.
- 30-year limited warranty
- 4-layer foam construction
- Zippered, washable cover included
- Medium firm feel
- 2.5 inches of DynastyMattress’ CoolBreeze gel memory foam combine to create comfortable support that includes state of the art cooling technology
- Washable cover includes sections of brown suede for a luxurious feel
- 4 inches of airflow foam and 3.5 inches of base foam create a solid support foundation for the upper memory foam layer
- This is the heaviest mattress that we tested, which can make installing or removing into/from your RV a serious task
- It is, also, one of the more expensive mattresses that we tested at nearly $400
- We love that this mattress includes two, free, gel, memory foam pillows
- 30-year limited warranty and a 120-day trial period allow peace of mind for your mattress investment
2. (Best Queen Short): Zinus Ultima Comfort Memory Foam 8-inch Mattress
At an incredible price, with memory foam comfort and excellent customer reviews, it really is hard to find fault with the Zinus Ultima Comfort Memory Foam Mattress.
Consider the 10-inch version if you have the space available for the additional support, durability, and comfort.
Either way, there will never be a need to settle for a poor night’s sleep just because you’re away from home with this mattress.
- 74” x 60” x 8”
- Memory foam – bio Foam
- 42.1 lbs.
- 10 yr. Limited warranty
- 3 layers of foam
- Knitted jacquard cover included
- Overall feel = medium/firm
- 3-layer foam support provides the ultimate balance of support with pressure-relieving comfort
- The use of bio foam, where natural plant oil is supplemented for some of the traditional petroleum, helps prevent the chemical smell, often, associated with foam mattresses
- Affordable price and easy shipping solutions allow for maximum convenience in receiving your new mattress
- Even with the use of bio foam, this mattress is not as environmentally friendly as those engineered with latex
- 8-inch thickness is less than many popular mattress options
- This mattress may sleep warm without any cooling gel effect.
- The use of green tea extract and activated charcoal helps keep the Zinus mattresses smelling fresh and prevents moisture from absorbing into the foam
- 10-year worry free limited warranty protects your investment against material defects or mistakes in craftsmanship
- All foam used by Zinus is CertiPUR-US® for maximum durability and performance
3. Zinus Deluxe Memory Foam Trailer Mattress
Honestly, had this mattress included a cooling gel-infused memory foam, it likely would have taken our top prize.
The Zinus Deluxe Memory Foam Trailer Mattress is incredibly comfortable and you won’t find a higher quality mattress at this price point.
- 60” x 74” x 8”
- Memory foam
- 42.1 lbs.
- 3-layer foam design
- 10-year limited warranty
- Knitted jacquard cover included
- Medium feel
- Affordability – This was the most affordable mattress that we reviewed
- 2 inches of memory foam strikes a good balance of body contouring support without causing you to sink too much
- No cooling gel affect
- Polyurethane foam is made with harsh chemicals, which can cause your mattress to have a strong chemical odor
- Zinus’ foam includes activated charcoal and green tea extract to minimize moisture and reduce odors
- Bio-foam has less petrochemical makeup than traditional foams
4. Dynasty 10-inch Cool Breeze Gel Memory Foam Mattress
This would be our top choice for individuals who want maximum comfort but tend to sleep warm.
The gel memory foam layer is incredibly comfortable while maintaining a nice, cool feel.
We, also, love how it eliminates the need to buy a separate cooling topper, which is a common strategy for those with a memory foam mattress.
- 75” x 60” x 10”
- Gel-infused memory foam
- 55 lbs.
- 30-year limited warranty
- 4-layer design
- Zippered, washable cover included
- Medium firm feel
- 2.5” of gel-infused memory foam combines with 4” of airflow foam to help maintain a cool, comfortable feel to the mattress with maximum air exchange
- 4 lb. density foam is among the highest offered in RV mattresses
- Memory foam can lose its ability to fully rebound over time
- Cost – 2nd most expensive mattress on our list
- 30-year limited warranty provides solid peace of mind for your investment
- CertiPUR-US certified foam
5. Live And Sleep Resort Classic RV Short Queen Mattress
If you’re wanting to share in the convenience of the mattress-in-a-box revolution, then the Live & Sleep Resort Classic Memory Foam mattress is, certainly, a contender.
We have found some inconsistency, however, in the preference of users on whether they consider the mattress too firm or too soft.
- 75” x 6” x 10”
- Memory foam combined with traditional support foam
- 60.8 lbs.
- 2-layer design
- Flex knit fabric cover included
- Medium firm feel
- Air-infused memory foam helps add a cooling effect to the mattress while remaining at an affordable price
- Memory foam has been shown to relieve pressure points and reduce the amount of tossing and turning throughout the night
- Thickest base layer of high-density foam of all mattresses that we tested = increased durability and support
- Heavy at over 60 pounds
- No cooling gel infused into the foam
- Memory foam pillow is included the purchase of this mattress
- Recycled packaging used for the shipment of the mattress helps reduce the overall carbon footprint of Live and Sleep’s manufacturing process
- Foam and poly-cotton blend cove are antimicrobial and hypoallergenic
RV Mattresses – What To Look For
A good night’s sleep is essential for happy living, especially while traveling.
Surprisingly, RV mattresses are frequently overlooked by campers, who spend more time focused on the living area within their recreational vehicle.
Forgetting to ensure that your mattress is of high quality, and properly fitted for your RV’s bedroom space can result in poor sleep, sore joints, or a bad back.
Upgrading or replacing an old mattress should be one of the key considerations for creating a comfortable environment while living in your RV, regardless of whether you’re an experienced RVer or a complete beginner.
Many manufacturer-provided mattresses are hard as a rock, produced with poor quality, and may have little comfort and/or support.
Unfortunately, shopping for an RV specific mattress can be a bit intimidating when you consider the wide-ranging size constraints of most mobile living situations.
Before you begin shopping for your next RV mattress, you should be aware of a few key differences between a mattress made specifically for travel trailers & RVs and one that you might be sleeping on at home.
If you’re only used to buying mattresses for use at home, where sizes and dimensions are more standardized, you may be in for a surprise when shopping for the best possible RV mattress.
The ‘standard’ sizes for an RV mattress, often, vary slightly from those of a typical, residential mattress.
For example, many king and queen mattresses used in RVs are actually 5 inches shorter than those used elsewhere.
You may, also, need to be mindful of rounded corners, impacts to organization space, or proximity to drawers, doors, and cabinets, features which are less important for traditional, at-home mattress purchases but vital for those being placed in an RV.
Never assume that an extra mattress from a guest bedroom in your home will work within your motorhome, camper, pop-up trailer, or truck.
Minimal Height Allowances
A thick mattress complete with a bed frame and box springs is a common setup in many bedrooms across the country, however, it’s an arrangement that has little place within an RV.
If you were to place, both, a mattress and box springs onto the bed platform within your camper, you’d likely be within feet, or even inches, of the ceiling.
Unless you like slamming your head into fiberglass, you’ll need to consider this aspect when shopping for an RV mattress. Mattresses for use in an RV will need to be 10-inches or less in total thickness, with the most commonly used being around 6-8 inches.
They will, also, need to provide adequate support without the use of box springs.
What Is A Truck Mattress?
If you’ve begun shopping for your next RV mattress already, you may have noticed that there are numerous models described as truck specific.
Before hitting the purchase button, be confident in what this term is describing.
Many mattress websites that are specific to the design needs of mobile mattresses use this term to describe the popular sizes seen within the cab compartments of semi-trucks and tractor trailers.
Others apply the above term to mattresses that will work in the beds of pickup trucks or similar truck build outs & campers.
Remember To Consider Wheel Wells
If you’re shopping for a more comfortable mattress to be used when car camping (sleeping inside of your vehicle), remember to consider the wheel well impact on your allowable width.
This applies whether you’re planning to put the mattress in the bed of a truck or inside a SUV or hatchback that has foldable, rear seats.
If you have a custom built shelf platform within your vehicle that elevates the surface where your mattress will lay to be above the interior wheel wells, you might be able to get a wider mattress better suited to couples sleeping together.
Although, this strategy will make height more of a concern.
Without the added height of a shelf or platform, your maximum mattress width will be the distance between the wheel wells, not the advertised cargo space width that is shown with your vehicle.
Common RV Mattress Sizes
- King Short (also referred to as King RV)
- 72” x 75”
- Queen Short
- 60” x 75”
- 53” x 75”
- 28” x 75”
- 34” x 75”
- 38” x 75”
*Note: While these are the most common sizes, many more exist. The exact dimensions of your RV’s bed, sofa sleeper, or table-bed conversion will depend on the make and model of your camper.
Measuring The Space Available For Your RV Mattress
Obviously, before you can shop for a better mattress for your RV, truck, or campervan, you’ll need to determine what size you’re looking for.
The best way to ensure that you end up with a mattress that, perfectly, fits its intended space is to measure the plywood platform on which it will lay, not the mattress itself.
Measuring an old mattress that you are replacing will, likely, work in most cases, but keep in mind that, due to the change in foam’s shape over time and the fact that they are man-made, there will be a greater chance for inconsistency.
Material Options For Your RV Mattress
Standard, polyurethane foam is the most popular option used in today’s RV mattresses.
Offering respectable comfort at an economical price, traditional foam is a great bedding option for casual campers or spare beds in an RV that don’t see consistent use.
Gaining popularity in recent years for its unmatched comfort and ability to eliminate pressure points while sleeping is memory foam.
The term ‘memory foam’ is, typically, used to describe a polyurethane foam that has been infused with additional chemical compounds that inherently change the way that the foam feels and reacts.
You’re probably familiar with the well-known retention capabilities of memory foam, as it is commonly on display in mattress commercials, where an employee’s handprint remains visible in the foam for several seconds after it is removed.
Memory foam does come at a higher price point and so it may make more sense for your RV mattress if you are a frequent camper, have sensitive joint or spine issues, or someone who plans to spend an extended period of time on the road.
Gel-infused Memory Foam
Do you plan to camp frequently in areas with hot climates?
Or, perhaps you just tend to sleep hot?
Consider a mattress that has been infused with gel beads, which can combine the comfort of memory foam with the cooling effect of laying on gel.
Air Supported Mattresses
Chamber mattresses are great options for couples with drastically different firmness preferences for their mattress, which can make selecting a foam mattress a challenge.
Many high-end air mattresses allow complete customizable support via separate air chambers on either half of the mattress.
Durability can be a concern with some air mattresses, however, the biggest concern is their tendency to leak air throughout the night or condense, especially in cold environments.
A long-time staple in the construction of mattresses, latex foam has traditionally been associated with providing some of the best support available for a good night’s sleep.
It is, also, among the most environmentally friendly mattress options for placing into your home away from home.
Unlike the foams mentioned above, latex is a naturally occurring, milky substance harvested from rubber trees.
Latex foam is, also, more durable than polyurethane and memory foams, and it doesn’t contain the common chemical smell of many other foam mattresses.
Coils Vs. Memory Foam: What’s The Difference?
Ahh, the great mattress material debate!
Just about every mattress that has been produced over the previous 5 decades has been constructed with one of the above options as the main element of support.
Knowing your personal sleep preferences will help in deciding which is best for you.
- Complete body-contouring support, foam adapts to your body position
- Maximum pressure point relief
- Minimal motion transfer – your partner doesn’t feel it when you move
- They are highly heat-reactive, which means the foam continues to soften as you lay on it and they, often, feel hot or sticky to many sleepers
- You may not like the sinking feeling of laying on memory foam
- Changing positions can be a challenge as the foam takes time to rebound
- Consistent and firm support
- Strong rebound which aids in sitting up or changing positions while on the mattress
- Better airflow for a cooler feel
- Lack of responsive support can result in pressure points for side sleepers
- Less durable than foam counterparts as springs are prone to breaking or losing their full rebound capabilities
- Motion transfer – your partner tends to feel it when you move
Why don’t you see coils in RV mattresses?
Very few RV mattresses contain a traditional inner coil construction, and there are a few key reasons why.
Coil supported mattress are, typically, too thick for use in most RV’s and other camping rigs.
Additionally, their lack of durability (consider the vibrations that everything within your camper experiences while barreling down the road at 60 mph) makes them a poor choice for life on the road.
Finally, just as with an air mattress, you cannot customize the size or shape of a coil mattress like you can with foam alternatives.
RV Mattress Accessories
Forego the cost and effort of a full replacement, or simply add a layer of comfort to your new mattress, with a mattress topper.
These mattress pads are, typically, between 2 – 4 inches thick and designed to lay directly on top of a thicker, supporting mattress.
Toppers are our favorite way to add comfort to a mattress without breaking the bank.
Get creative with material options to finalize any shortcoming with your main mattress. Love the support of your latex mattress but wish it had a softer feel? Consider adding a foam mattress topper to complement the existing support.
Love the comfort of your memory foam mattress but wish it slept cooler? Check out a topper that features gel-infused layers to add a cooling effect to your, already, comfortable mattress!
Extend the life of your mattress with a simple, protective cover that wraps, or zippers, around its circumference.
Look for a waterproof material that, not only protects against dust mites and bed bugs but can save your mattress from bed wetting or animal accidents.
A nice duvet, or comforter, is a great way to add warmth and style to your new RV mattress, particularly if you spend a lot of time camping in cold weather.
Duvet inserts are most often filled with natural down, goose feathers. Newer alternatives may include synthetic down, which handles moisture significantly better.
Cleaning Your RV Mattress
The most comfortable mattress in the world won’t be much fun to sleep on if it smells like mold and mildew.
As with most things in life, a little bit of love goes a long way towards making your mattress last, and quality mattresses are, certainly, not cheap.
Giving your RV mattress a basic cleaning after a long season of use, or extended storage time is a great way to extend its life and keep it looking and feeling fresh.
Cleaning Your Mattress Cover
We’ve already mentioned that one of the best ways to keep your mattress clean throughout its use is to enclose it within a waterproof, hypoallergenic mattress protector.
Not only do these covers prevent serious stains, but they are easy to clean.
Simply launder them according to their instructions if they are in need of rejuvenation.
Cleaning The Main Mattress
The overall size and denseness of a quality mattress can make the concept of a thorough cleaning a bit intimidating. In reality, though, it’s quite an easy process.
Just remember that all you’re really trying to do is remove any excess dust/dirt/skin cells from the surface, while also eliminating any trapped moisture from within.
Finally, a good mattress cleaning should leave the mattress with a fresh scent, making it an inviting spot to lay your head each night. Here are some basic steps we’d recommend:
- Begin by pulling off your bed sheets and mattress cover. Now is a great time to throw those in the washing machine while you work on the mattress.
- You’ll want to vacuum the entire mattress surface to remove any dust mites, food crumbs (I guess those late night snack sessions really do add up), or bugs.
- Next, it’s time to focus on any necessary spot cleaning. There are numerous cleaning solutions to help with this but here are a couple of our healthy favorites:
- 1 teaspoon liquid dish soap with 8 oz of warm water in a spray bottle
- Hydrogen peroxide solutions, mixed with water and soap, can help aid in stain removal
- Plant-based, enzyme reactive stain sprays like this formula by Good Life Solutions
- Always blot with a dry cloth or paper towel after any scrubbing or work with a damp cloth during spot cleaning.
- Finally, it’s time to deodorize the mattress and pull out any lingering moisture. Baking soda is the old standby for getting the job done here. Simply sprinkle an even layer over the entirety of your mattress and let it sit for a minimum of 1 hr, preferably 2-3.
- Adding 7-10 drops of essential oils, like these from ArtNaturals, to 1 cup of baking soda is a great way to leave your mattress smelling refreshed
- Use a vacuum to suck up all remaining baking soda.
- Remember to protect your mattress from future stains with a quality cover.
- Replace your newly cleaned sheets and enjoy many nights of peaceful sleep on your freshly, rejuvenated mattress.
Cleaning Tips To Remember
- Never soak your entire mattress with liquid of any kind in an attempt to clean it. You can ruin the interior structure, and the absorbent nature of most foam would make it, almost, impossible to dry out, a perfect recipe for future mold and mildew growth.
- Don’t forget the surfaces surrounding the mattress or the plywood support on which it lays. We recommend moving the mattress at least once every other season in order to wipe down these surfaces which seldom get a chance to receive airflow.
Custom-Sized RV Mattresses
You may have noticed by now that the queen short, or RV queen, is the most common mattress size for mobile users in motorhomes, travel trailers, and 5th wheels.
While the 60” x 75” bed frame size in campers is popular, it is far from being the only option.
More and more RV’s, especially the popular airstreams, pop-up trailers, trucks, and van conversions are requiring custom fit mattresses due to their unique interior dimension constraints.
What factors could prevent a standard, residential, or RV mattress, from fitting in your space?
- Height Considerations – If you own a pop-up trailer, truck bed conversion, or a campervan with an elevated platform bed, you may not be able to use a mattress more than 4 – 5 inches thick due to the reduced ceiling height. Don’t learn this lesson the hard way by slamming your head into the ceiling when you try to sit up in the middle of the night.
- Nearby Furniture Positioning – Tightly spaced furniture is, usually, a necessity for life in an RV. A shorter mattress with unique dimensions may be needed so that bathroom or wardrobe doors can still open properly.
- Weight – Your RV living space has been engineered for minimum weight. While larger, standard residential mattresses are more comfortable, they also come at a significant weight penalty. In a world where every ounce matters, a lighter mattress may be the way to go.
How Do I Fit A Custom-Sized Mattress Into My RV?
Thankfully, as RV travel continues to grow in popularity, there are more options than ever for mattress shoppers with motorhome, travel trailer, pop-up, and 5th class mattress specifications.
Here are some of our recommended options for obtaining the right fit for your RV bed if a standard size won’t work.
Cutting A Foam Mattress To Size
This is a great option for frugal, do-it-yourself types who would like to repurpose an existing mattress for use within their RV.
It’s also a suitable solution for folks who were able to get a good deal on a quality mattress, only to find that it didn’t fit within their intended camper space.
*Important: This strategy will only work with foam mattresses. You will not be able to cut or reshape a coil-supported or chamber-style air mattress.
- Remove the zippered cover that gives the mattress its finished look, revealing the actual foam inside
- Measure precisely (measure twice, cut once!) the frame dimensions where the mattress will lay within your motorhome, camper, truck, or van.
- Based on these measurements, create your cut line on the foam. Black Sharpie makes easy to follow marks on most foam. A yardstick or other long, straight edge will help in creating a clean line to follow.
- Grab a long, serrated blade or electric knife (works best) to cut the foam along the line you have already drawn.
- You may need to purchase a different mattress cover to properly house the newly sized foam.
Purchasing A Custom-Sized RV Mattress Online
If you’re not up to the task of measuring and cutting the inner foam comprising your ill-fitting mattress, consider having a custom-sized one built for you.
This is, also, a great way to customize, not just the length and width of your mattress, but the desired thickness as well.
Additional RV Mattress Shopping Tips
Exchanges Are Never As Easy As They Sound
Many mattress manufacturers tout a trial period for sleeping on their mattresses, typically anywhere from 60-120 days, where you can receive a full refund if you sleep on it and don’t like it.
On its face, this seems like a highly marketable perk, considering it’s often difficult to know exactly how you’re going to sleep on a given mattress until, well, you actually sleep on it for several nights.
The catch, however, comes with the hassle and cost of how you go about returning said mattress.
The rise of online mattress shopping, where you can’t just drop it off at the local store, creates some unique challenges in trying to ship back a mattress.
Often, you’ll be forced to learn the magic of fitting a mattress back into a box. While numerous YouTube videos and online articles can guide you into purchasing vacuum sealed mattress bags, compressing, sealing, and rolling your mattress, nothing makes the process easy.
Plus, there are numerous instances where the shipping expense for returning such a large package, essentially, makes the offer of the return no longer cost-effective.
There are some mattress companies, like Purple, that will send a team to retrieve your mattress for donation if it didn’t work out, which is a convenient perk.
Ultimately, make sure to confirm the specific process of a potential return BEFORE you purchase your next RV mattress, especially if it’s from an online retailer.
Getting Your Mattress Through The Door
It may be a good idea to confirm the width of your camper’s entrance and bedroom doors before deciding on a mattress.
This will allow you to analyze whether the box your mattress is being shipped in will fit through the space.
If not, you may want to ensure that your mattress is a lightweight foam material, which will be easy to compress in and around the tight areas between the door and bedroom.