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If you're looking to replace a mattress in your RV that's worn out or uncomfortable, here are some tips on how to shop and where to buy the best RV mattress for your needs.
(After you decide on a mattress, be sure to also check out my Guide to Buying RV Sheets & Bedding!)
Factors to Consider When Buying a Mattress for an RV
Before deciding on a mattress for your camper or motorhome, it's important to determine what is important to you in a mattress. Here are some things to think about:
- Intended Use – Who will be sleeping on this mattress, and how often? A lightweight child is probably not going to complain about a cheap mattress used on a family camping trip just a couple of times per year. On the other hand, an adult who lives in an RV full-time is probably going to want an RV mattress of the same quality and durability that one would find in a residential mattress.
- Thickness – The thickness of a mattress contributes to its comfort as well as its cost. A thicker mattress means more materials, which increases the price but may also result in a better night's sleep.
- Weight – Something to take into consideration when buying a new mattress for a lightweight travel trailer is how much the weight of the mattress will contribute to the overall weight of the RV, an important safety consideration when towing a camper. This could actually be a good reason to choose a thinner mattress, especially for, say, an RV bunk that won't be used often.
- Firmness – This factor is somewhat subjective–a mattress that feels too firm to one person may feel too soft to another–but reading reviews can help you get an idea of the firmness of a particular mattress.
- Sleeping Position – Usually related to firmness, some mattresses are designed specifically for side sleepers, back sleepers, or tummy sleepers.
- Materials Used – Some of this comes down to preference (for example, some people like a gel memory foam mattress, while others prefer a traditional mattress with coils or a hybrid mattress which combines the two). Other considerations might include whether the mattress uses cooling technology or is made from materials which are hypo-allergenic or environmentally-friendly.
- How You'll Fit it Through the Door of the RV – Navigating a tight RV hallway with a giant, bulky mattress can be challenging! Some mattresses come rolled up in a box that may make it easier–provided the box fits through the door! It's probably a good idea to check the dimensions of the box and also measure your doorways before ordering.
- Size – RV's usually need special mattresses because standard sizes for RV mattresses are different than for a regular residential mattress. Measure the bed in your camper and then check the guide below to determine which terms to search for to help you find the size you need.
For example, “Short Queen” and “RV Queen” differ from “Standard Queen” by several inches, and “RV King” can refer to more than one size! If your bed size isn't listed, you may need to order a custom mattress (which I'll talk about later in this article). Keep in mind that you're mainly measuring to make sure you can fit on the bed and that the mattress will fit in the space. It's okay if the mattress hangs over the edge of the bed platform a bit (if you have a walk-around bed), and in fact many RV owners choose to replace their RV mattress with a regular residential mattress that is a bit longer than the original one.
Note: Some stores may use different terms to describe the same size. Be sure to check the measurements listed in the product description before you buy! The graphic below will help you understand RV mattress sizes:
Where to buy an RV mattress
Once you know what kind of mattress you're looking for, where do you buy it? Of course, you can always check at local mattress stores to see if they sell RV mattresses. This will give you the advantage of being able to test the mattress before you buy.
However, by ordering online you can get a mattress in the exact size you need and likely save money too. Additionally, if you order online the mattress will be shipped directly to your door, saving on delivery costs (if you don't have a truck) and making it easier to get through the door of your RV (since you can open the box after it's inside).
If you're looking for the cheapest RV mattress
If cost is your most important factor and you don't care as much about comfort or quality (maybe you're replacing an old mattress on a bunk that's rarely used), one good option a memory foam mattress from Amazon, where you can easily find a mattress for under $200, like this one:
An even cheaper option is this inner-spring camper mattress from the same company:
Another inexpensive option: Buy a memory foam mattress topper
Another cheap option that can prevent you from having to buy a new mattress is to simply add a memory foam mattress topper to a broken down or overly firm mattress. This is basically just a sheet of memory foam ranging in thickness from about 1.5″ to 4″ and can be purchased online for under $100.
Although you can find memory foam mattress toppers to fit some RV mattress sizes, you can also just cut a residential sized one to whatever size you need. (Tip: Use a serrated knife.)
You can also order a custom mattress topper for odd-sized mattresses if you don't want to mess with cutting one yourself.
Mattress Insider offers memory foam RV mattresses at several different price points. The cheapest RV mattress they offer is their “Sedona” memory foam mattress, but even their luxury gel memory foam mattress is more affordable than many RV mattress brands. They also offer a latex mattress with an organic cotton cover if you prefer a mattress with fewer synthetic chemicals.
I haven't personally slept on this mattress, but one thing that impresses me about Mattress Insider is that along with their 121 day trial period, they will also pay for return shipping if you decide the mattress isn't for you.
If you're looking for affordability without sacrificing quality
If you intend to spend very much time sleeping in your RV (especially if you're a full time RVer), you'd probably like to find a mattress that's going to be comfortable and last a while, even if you're on a tight budget.
A mattress that I personally love and sleep on every night myself is the Brooklyn Signature Hybrid mattress from Brooklyn Bedding, sold in RV sizes on their sister site, RVMattress.com. Since it's a hybrid, it combines the best features of both memory foam and traditional mattresses. (I wrote an in-depth review of this mattress where you can read more about my experience with it.)
The same company offers a few other mattresses in a range of thickness, firmness, and cost.
This company offers a 120-night trial period along with a generous return/exchange policy and will even cover return shipping for customers in the continental U.S.
Tochta Mattress Company
Tochta is another company that specializes in memory foam RV mattresses. I have a Tochta mattress in my RV, and I wrote a review of this mattress as well. The neat thing about this mattress is that it can be ordered in a custom shape or size, as I'll discuss in the next section.
The one downside I've found so far is that although they do offer a 100-night money-back guarantee, they don't currently pay for return shipping costs if you decide to return the mattress.
Comfort Zone Brand Mattress from Camping World
Camping World sells a line of RV mattresses from a brand called Comfort Zone. I do not have personal experience with this brand, but some of these mattresses are on the lower end of the price spectrum if you're on a tighter budget.
In addition to their memory foam mattresses I mentioned earlier in this article, Mattress Insider also offerers residential quality mattresses for RV-sized beds, such as their pocketed-coil mattress. Their prices are among the most affordable of the RV mattress brands I've looked at, and their money-back guarantee (including return shipping) makes them an attractive option as well.
Where to buy an RV mattress in an unusual shape or size
Finding a comfortable RV mattress can be challenging if you need a mattress in a non-standard size or unusual shape, such as the cut corner RV mattress shape that's common for full-sized RV bunks, or rounded corners that allow for more walking space in a tiny RV bedroom.
You might even be shopping for a mattress to replace the cushions of a U-shaped dinette booth or to fit a sleeper sofa you built yourself.
In that case, here are some options for you:
Where to order a custom RV mattress
The Tochta RV mattress company has an easy-to-use tool that lets you customize your mattress by selecting the length, width, thickness, and firmness…AND, you can even order the corner cut off at an angle, rounded, or with a notch cut out!
As soon as you enter your customizations, the tool will immediately tell you the cost–try it out here!
[irp posts=”5629″ name=”RV Sofa Bed Replacement Ideas (With Pictures)”]
Mattress Insider also offers custom cut mattresses. In addition to being able to cut out a corner or cut off an angle, they can also do beveled cuts and add a hinge (for a Murphy bed or a custom-designed sleeper sofa). They also offer attentive customer support, with real people you can talk to on the phone 7 days a week.
Don't forget to protect your new mattress!
If you're investing several hundred dollars into a new mattress, you might also want to spend a little more and get a waterproof mattress protector to prevent your mattress from being damaged by spills, kids' nighttime accidents, and unexpected RV problems like the bedroom air conditioning unit dripping onto the bed (that happened to me and created a big yellow stain on my mattress!).
How prevent condensation under your RV mattress
If you RV in cold weather or store your RV in a humid climate, condensation can be a problem in an RV, causing the bottom of a mattress to become damp and grow mold or mildew. You can prevent this by putting a HyPUR-FLO moisture protection barrier mat from Tochta under your mattress. (You can customize the size and shape of it as well).
Another product for this purpose is the Hypervent Aire-Flow Moisture Barrier from Mattress Insider. This product is sold by the linear foot and can be cut to any size or shape you need.
Where to buy bedding for an RV mattress
Where to buy a mattress pad for the bed in your RV
You can find several styles of RV sized mattress pads and mattress toppers on the Camping World website.
If you need a mattress pad for a non-standard sized mattress, you can order one custom made to fit the size and shape of your mattress from Tochta.com using their custom mattress pad builder tool.
Where to buy sheets for an RV mattress
Finding sheets that fit an RV mattress can be tricky since most home stores don't sell them.
Here are a few places to find them:
- Camping World – Camping World sells sheets to fit most RV mattresses. Your selection at a local store may be limited, but you can also order from their website. Most of their sheets are printed or embroidered with a camper-themed design.
- Etsy – Etsy probably isn't the first place you'd think to look for sheets for your RV, but there are actually quite a few sellers who specialize in making custom RV sheets, including some patterned with cute vintage campers.
- Amazon – Yep, you can get sheets for your RV on Amazon. Here's an inexpensive microfiber sheet set that comes a variety of solid colors and is available in an RV Queen size, and here are some solid-colored cotton RV sheets that come in a variety of RV mattress sizes.
- CinchFit RV Sheets – If you have an unusual mattress size, such as a cut corner bunk mattress, CinchFit RV sheets are the perfect solution. Instead of having elastic like most fitted sheets, they are secured with a draw string that you tighten to fit the sheet to the shape of the bed.
- QuickZip RV Sheets – Changing the sheets on an RV mattress that's up against a wall will never be a headache again! QuickZip sheets zip on and off the bed when they needs to be washed! (These also come in a crib sheet size and would make a great baby shower gift!)
- Tochta.com – The same company that allows you to order a mattress in a custom shape or size also has a custom sheet builder tool so you can have custom sized sheets made to fit your bed.
- MattressInsider.com – This company sells RV sheets in standard sizes as well as custom sheets to fit oddly shaped and sized beds. Their sheets come in several different color options.
Bonus Tip: If you don't want to spend the money on RV sheets, you can actually just use regular sheets you already own by using a set of elastic sheet clips to cinch up the extra fabric under each corner!
To read more about these and other options for RV sheets, mattress pads, bedding sets, and more, check out my blog post Best Places to Buy RV Bedding.