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Nothing will ruin your RV vacation (or make fulltime RVing miserable) faster than sleeping on an uncomfortable RV mattress.
The first night is normally an adjustment time. Tossing and turning can be expected because your internal clock, sense of normal routine, and even change in diet affect how you sleep.
If lack of sleep continues much beyond a day or two though, the likely culprit to your discomfort is the mattress you’re sleeping on.
It’s common knowledge that the RV manufacturers are extremely concerned about keeping construction costs as low as possible.
Sadly — especially on RVs in the lower price range — one of the most common corners to be cut is the quality of the mattress.
My Experience With Camper Mattresses
Years ago, a bottom of the barrel 24-foot travel trailer I owned had an RV mattress that would be better suited as a box spring. There was no real padding and the springs were very evident.
On the other hand, my current motorhome has a 10-inch thick memory foam mattress that provides good support with no pressure point contact issues.
I’ve learned that the key to good sleep when you’re traveling is this:
When shopping for an RV, go lay on the bed first!
Which RV Mattress Size Do You Need?
All other RV mattresses are custom sizes — they’re just not quite the same as household mattresses.
Here’s how to determine if your current mattress is a standard queen-size mattress or a custom-size camper mattress:
- Take good measurements of your current camper mattress.
- Compare those measurements to this standard mattress size chart.
Where To Find Replacement RV Mattresses
To replace a standard queen-sized mattress, you can easily go shopping for a replacement mattress — just as you would when shopping for a mattress for your house. Your options are many and varied.
But if you want to replace or upgrade a custom-sized camper mattress, you can’t just go down to the nearest mattress store and find something that will work inside your RV.
Instead, you’ll have to order an RV mattress from a custom mattress manufacturer like these:
How To Find A Specific RV Mattress
There are many more standard mattress manufacturers and custom mattress manufactures than the ones listed here. This is just a small sample:
Replacement Memory Foam Mattresses:
Air Support Mattresses:
Which Type Of RV Mattress Is Best?
Finding the perfect mattress is a very individual thing.
As long as you choose a name-brand manufacturer, then you can expect good quality and a satisfactory lifespan from the mattress.
As to which type of mattress (innerspring, memory foam) is best for you, your best option is to go to a mattress store near you and try them out yourself. It’s not until you lay down on one that you can truly understand the differences.
TIP: If you purchase from a manufacturer who offers a money-back guarantee on comfort, then you will have the option to try something else if it doesn’t work for you.
What If You Can’t Afford A New RV Mattress?
You can spend anywhere from hundreds of dollars to thousands of dollars on a replacement camper mattress.
If your budget is limited, you still have some options that can greatly improve your comfort level –even with a sub-standard camper mattress. The answer is a mattress topper!
A memory foam mattress topper is a great, cost-effective fix for an uncomfortable RV mattress.
I recommend a minimum thickness of 3 inches. And if you can find a 4-inch thick memory foam mattress topper, that would be even better.
Avoid the cheap egg crate foam pads — because they offer no support, and they break down rapidly.
You can expect to spend about $100 for a good memory foam queen-sized mattress topper.
TIP: If your RV has a custom-sized mattress, it’s likely to be smaller than the standard equivalent size. You could cut down a memory foam mattress topper with an electric meat carving knife — it will make a nice clean cut with no jagged edges.
Thankfully, most RV manufacturers have gotten the message over the years and they’ve upgraded their mattress choices to at least satisfactory levels.
As you can see, even if your RV came with an unacceptable mattress, you have lots of options in order to make your night’s rest as comfortable and relaxing as your own bed at home.
More RV Mattress Reviews & Shopping Tips
- An RV’ers Experience Buying A Replacement Mattress
- Read This Before You Buy A Memory Foam RV Mattress
- Your Guide To Buying A Replacement Camper Mattress
- RV Mattress Sizes Explained + Shopping Tips
I’ve been involved in RVing for over 50 years — including camping, building, repairing, and even selling RVs and motorhomes. I’ve owned, used, and repaired almost every class and style of RV ever made. I do all of my own repair work. My other interests include cooking, living with an aging dog, and dealing with diabetic issues. If you can combine a grease monkey with a computer geek, throw in a touch of information nut and organization freak, combined with a little bit of storyteller… you’ve got a good idea of who I am. To date, I've shared my RV knowledge in over 300 articles here at The Fun Times Guide!