Best RV Mattresses of 2018 & Buying Guide
There’s nothing as thrilling as the open road—but even the most adventurous travelers have to call it a night eventually! While some are happy to use whatever mattress fits in their RV, most campers realize they need the same comfort on the road as they would at home…especially if their RV is their home.
Recharging from your wanderlust isn’t easy, though. When you find a mattress that fits your bunk or bed, you’re faced with another dilemma: is it comfortable? Will it net you some quality sleep…or leave you tossing and turning, too sore and exhausted for tomorrow’s adventure?
Our buyer’s guide will answer some common questions about shopping for an RV mattress, and evaluate a few of the best models on today’s market.
Brentwood Home Bamboo 13
Zinus Sleep Master Deluxe
Serenia Sleep 6
InnerSpace RV Mattress
Why do I need a special mattress for my RV?
Most RV’s don’t accommodate full-length mattresses, because they’re short on space; others have pre-built bunks that will only fit shorter beds. Additionally, certain bunks or lofts have limited height, so some mattresses might be too thick to fit in these spots, while the thinnest options probably won’t be as comfortable. It’s a conundrum, to say the least!
If you use your RV for short trips and vacations, you don’t have to be as finicky; a few nights on a less-than-ideal bed won’t affect most of us too much. But if you plan on doing a longer RV-cation—or if you’re looking to live in it full-time—you need to choose a mattress that suits your needs and space.
Some larger RVs do have room for standard beds, so you might not need a special mattress, after all—in fact, you could move your current one in, if it will fit and is still in good shape. However, most RVs have strange mattress length requirements, so measure your bunk/bed before you decide.
For reference, RV-sized mattresses have the following dimensions:
- Short Queen: 60” wide, 75” long (5” shorter than standard).
- Short King: 72” wide, 75” long (standard is 76” width, 80” length).
- Narrow King: 80” long, 72” wide (4” less than standard).
There are also short twins and fulls, usually seen in double bunks or kids’ areas. Three-quarter queens are 48” wide and 75” long. You’ll find many variations in width, length, and thickness in the RV world, because every vehicle is built differently—but, generally speaking, short queens are the standard for “master bedrooms,” and short or standard twins are the typical size for bunks.
Besides length or thickness, are RV mattresses that different from normal ones?
In terms of basic construction, no: manufacturers use the same materials and processes as their standard mattresses. However, you might notice fewer features (cooling gels, intricate ticking, etc.) on some companies’ RV models, since that’s not going to be one of its broadest sellers.
Memory foam is the most common material for RV mattresses: they’re comfortable, lightweight, and pretty inexpensive overall. They also come in lower thicknesses (6” to 10”) than many innerspring or hybrid models.
Latex is another option, although it is heavier—but the one-time struggle of getting it inside might be worth it. Latex retains less heat than memory foam, and provides a firmer support than memory foam overall.
Does price matter when it comes to mattresses like these?
How much you should spend comes down to the same factors as if you were buying a regular mattress: what you can comfortably afford, what type of mattress you need for a good night’s sleep, and how often you’ll be using it overall; even in traditional homes, some people sit to watch television, read, or work in their beds, which requires a more durable mattress.
That said, most RV mattresses shouldn’t cost you much more than traditional models—they just might be harder to find.
I live in my RV full-time. Do I need to look for specific features?
Overall, full-timers will have twice the work in front of them as someone buying a traditional mattress, or those buying an RV mattress for occasional use: you have to find a mattress that will not only fit your RV itself, but also your lifestyle, unique needs, and preferences. Consider the same factors you would if you were purchasing a mattress for a house.
Do you sleep hot?
If you tend to overheat easily or wake up in a pool of sweat, steer clear of memory foam. Even gel infusions and perforated designs can only do so much—and because RV mattresses tend to be thinner, the compression and density will be greater when you lie down…which means more heat will be trapped inside. Instead, look for latex foam, some polyurethane foams, hybrids, or innerspring models.
Do you sleep on your back, stomach, side, or a combination?
Most back and stomach sleepers need a medium to firm mattress, while side sleepers need something softer to conform to their shoulders and hips, so their spine aligns properly.
How does your partner sleep?
If you sleep on your back, but your partner sleeps on his or her side, a very firm or soft mattress is going to leave one of you sore come morning. Consider a compromise with medium-firm models, which will provide both of you with adequate support and pressure relief.
Will this mattress need to be moved frequently?
Perhaps your bunk has storage underneath, or is actually a pullout Murphy or sofa bed. If so, a lighter weight mattress will be the easiest option to lift and reposition as needed.
Do you have any back or joint problems?
It’s imperative that you choose a mattress with adequate support. Most people with back problems need firmer mattresses, such as innersprings; those with sore knees might prefer the comfort of memory foam. Latex and hybrids are good middle-ground choices, as well.
Best RV Mattresses Reviews
1.Brentwood Home Bamboo 13” Mattress, RV Queen Review
At just over 50 lbs. (and shipped in a compressed roll), the Brentwood Home Bamboo RV mattress will be pretty easy in terms of set-up—but how will it sleep?
This memory foam mattress is affordable for any home, but especially so for an RV (where multiple bunks often need to be outfitted at once). Even better is the fact this model comes in multiple sizes and thicknesses, so you can deck out every low-headroom loft and oddly shaped corner of your home on wheels.
2.Serenia Sleep 6” RV Mattress, Short Full Review
At under $200, the Serenia Sleep sounds too good to be true…and for some buyers, it will be. The design features only one layer, a solid 6” core of high-density foam. We expect it will sleep rather warmly overall, but might work well in guest bunks or kids’ beds, if nothing else.
We don’t recommend the Serenia to those living in their RV full-time, or even folks who plan on traveling for a while (a summer road trip, for example): the solid 6” of foam just can’t sleep most people comfortably for that long, and you’ll probably find yourself replacing the whole thing pretty soon. But, for buyers who only plan on using their RV a few times a year, this budget-friendly bed might be perfect.
3.InnerSpace RV Mattress Review
This three-quarter mattress looks pretty odd—kind of like a square pancake, if we’re being honest—but it comes at an excellent price for such a uniquely shaped bed. The company also sells twin, full, and queen models in standard lengths, as well as a short queen and narrow king.
If you’ve got a wonky space and serious cash shortage, this model from InnerSpace might provide a sound solution to both problems—otherwise, skip this one. We can’t see it being comfortable for any weight or sleeping position for more than a few nights, so don’t hit the Buy button if you’re thinking of transitioning to full-time RV life relatively soon.
4.DynastyMattress 10” CoolBreeze Gel Memory Foam Mattress, Queen Short Review
If you’ve got the headroom in your RV’s bunk or loft, consider the 10” CoolBreeze from DynastyMattress. It boasts 4 specialized layers for contouring comfort and support, along with a medium-firmness that should suit all sleeping positions well.
Other than its tendency to overheat (even with ventilation and gel, memory foam retains a decent amount of body heat), the perhaps ironically-named CoolBreeze is a great choice. We will concede that it seems to sleep cooler than other memory foam models—just not as much so as hybrids or innersprings. It offers optimized pressure relief and support, to keep your spine and joints happy come morning.
5.Zinus Sleep Master Deluxe Spring 10” Pillow Top, Short Queen Review
There’s a reason innersprings still exist, and that’s because they distribute weight in an even way memory foam can’t do. What’s more, innersprings sleep much cooler than foam (memory, latex, or polyurethane) because they aren’t as dense. Unfortunately, they can’t relieve pressure points or contour to your body the way foam can—which is where hybrids, like the Zinus Sleep Master Deluxe, come into play
Excellent support, unbeatable pressure relief, and superb motion isolation: can one mattress really deliver it all? In the case of this hybrid, we think the answer is yes. It will feel on the firmer side overall, but should prove comfortable for every sleeping position; side sleepers could add an additional pillow top or mattress pad, if desired, since this model’s definitely under most shoppers’ budgets.
The RV life isn’t for everyone, but for those who love the idea of packing up and heading out—whether it’s for a few weeks, months, or the rest of their lives—it’s pure heaven on wheels. When you wake up to a new and beautiful sight every day, the last thing you want is an aching back or groggy head; picking the best mattress for your RV is every bit as important as choosing one for a standard house. We hope our buyer’s guide has been informative and helpful in your search for the best mattress to outfit your RV.