It’s pretty standard for medium-size and large recreational vehicles (RVs) to come with a kind of bed that can sustain a mattress. However, the sleeping surfaces are smaller than traditional beds and are created for low-profile handling mattresses.
If you’re an RV owner has to shop for an RV mattress, which is designed and made for a typical RV bed without eliminating the possibility of buying a regular mattress that has a lower-than-average profile (that is going to match the RV bedding surfaces).
Many RV mattresses are made with memory foam comfort layers and include high-density support centers. Latex and innerspring beds can also work for RV.
An average RV mattress is around 6 to 8” thick, with 10” thickness being also a possibility. As the RV mattresses are smaller than the standard type, they also come for lower prices. For instance, a Queen size for RV is something between $200 and $400.
Is size the only difference between an RV mattress and a regular mattress?
Many may ask why not use a regular mattress in the RV. After all, the variety of sizes is excellent, and it’s impossible not to find one fits your needs.
However, there are a couple of differences that set the RV mattresses apart from the regular ones (aside from the size):
The RV mattresses are typically more luminous than the regular opponents. It may not look like a big deal, but when you’re driving around the country, some extra weight can ruin a whole vacation.
The RV mattresses aren’t made to the same regular size as household bedframes. Even if the names are the same, the dimensions are always going to be different (with several inches narrower or shorter for the RV mattresses).
- The design
As the mattresses should fit the RVs better, many RV mattresses present curved edges; you can also find models with custom shapes that ensure a perfect fit in your RV.
- The flexibility
On top of everything else, RV mattresses are thinner and more flexible so that you can bend them in the morning.
Please note that any of this doesn’t mean that it’s impossible to use a regular mattress in your RV. If you do, make sure you take the weight, the profile, and the size into consideration.
How to measure an RV mattress correctly?
As RVs come in an impressive variety of configurations and shapes, a standard RV mattress sizes chart is rather challenging to find. The best way is to measure your RV and figure out which size is going to make the perfect fit.
Luckily for all the campers out there, there is a universal RV mattress guide that you can consider. Where else would you be able to find a size like “queen short” (close to the regular 60by75in) or a “three-quarter queen” (48 by 75in, instead of the 60 by 80in of the household type)?
Start by measuring the mattress platform in the RV, and not the mattress you used to have (it may sag and spread after years of use). It’s fundamental for obtaining the precise mattress size measurement.
What sizes of RV mattresses can you choose from?
Without any further ado, let’s list the most common sizes for the RV mattresses. Take a good look at the numbers so that you choose right:
Twin size for the RV mattresses includes a great diversity of dimension. They may be from 28x75in to 40x80in, and you should select according to the type of bed in the RV.
You can put twin mattresses side by side or use them in bunk beds. They’re the same size as a household twin (38x75in is the standard).
Twin beds are a popular choice for the pop up’s, small campers, and most of the RVs.
A full RV mattress is as big as a double bed. It’s 54x7in, which makes 1in more extensive than the household counterpart. Many full mattresses come with fold-out couches.
Even though the RV bunk mattresses match the twins, they have particular dimensions. 28×75 to 35×75 in our standard sizes. They’re a versatile option for the family-friendly RVs.
Interestingly enough, Queen camper is as big as the domestic Queen. Therefore, it’s 60x80in. You can find it in many campers, mostly in the main bedrooms. Pop up campers typically provide queen beds on every end. They have the perfect space for a couple.
- Three quarter
Its name says it all, as the three quarter is precisely three-quarters of the size of a standard queen mattress. It’s 48x75in, and it makes an excellent choice for RVs that are longer than more extensive. They also make a reliable option for the guest rooms with just one occupant.
- Olympic Queen
It’s 66x80in for the Olympic Queen, which means it’s 6in wider than a standard queen. It’s a common option for an RV that is wider than longer. It’s great for a couple that likes to move a lot at night.
- Short Queen
The short Queen is 60x75in, which makes it 5in shorter than a standard queen. An RV that is wider than longer is an excellent fit for this size, with small motorhomes that have limited space is a popular option.
The king size is probably one of the top sizes for the RVs. It’s 72x75in, but it can go up to 72x80in, depending on the size of your RV.
CalKing is instead a popular size for a home, but it’s rather unusual to use in an RV. It provides more length than width, which recommends it for the tall people that like cuddling with the loved one. It’s a 72x84in mattress that looks fine in a room that is slightly longer than it is more extensive.
- Eastern King
It’s less popular than other sizes and many of the new campers out there are using it already. It’s 76x80in, which makes it 4in wider than a king. It’s an excellent option for a couple that likes plenty of space at night. If your kids end up regularly sleeping in your bed, this one is your no1 option.
- Truck mattress
It’s used for the truck beds that work as campers as well, but are reliable for the RVs with odd sized beds. They can be 35×79 in up to 42x80in, which means that your kid or pet may sneak in too.
- Side note: the curved RV mattresses
Some RVs have curved mattress platforms at the bottom of the bed where you’re laying your feet. The design saves some space and helps you go around the mattress a lot easier.
You’re going to need to measure the mattress radius if your RV has a curved mattress platform. Go online and check to see how to do it correctly.
What types of mattresses are most common?
Size isn’t the only thing to decide on when selecting your RV mattress. The type of bed you’re going to use has an impact on your level of comfort, so you should scroll down for the details.
- Pillow top mattress
This type of mattress is made of an innerspring mattress, but it also features an extra layer of padding on top. The pillow top is around two inches thick, with cotton, memory foam, and latex as the most common choice for materials (there are other options too).
The pillow top mattress is a comfortable mattress that is cheaper than memory foam, and softer than the innerspring mattress.
- Innerspring mattress
Also known as the coil mattress, the innerspring mattress is an affordable and standard option. Its internal support is made of metal spring and coils, which explains its durability.
The level of comfort is, and the transmission of movement is rather low.
- Memory foam
The memory foam mattress is made with multiple layers of foam that don’t retain the body’s shape. This type of mattress alleviates the pressure points in the body and distributes the body weight efficiently and evenly, keeping you comfortable throughout the night.
Plant-based, natural materials, and synthetic memory foam are common choices for the memory foam mattresses.
- Latex mattress
This type of bed is made with latex, which can be either natural or synthetic. Different types of latex mattresses can present different levels of firmness and softness, giving you plenty of options to choose from.
If you like the eco-friendly materials, the natural latex mattress is a solid choice for you. It doesn’t come with chemical gases from the chemicals in synthetic latex, and poses a lower risk for the allergic consumer too.
A high-end mattress is made with natural Talalay and eco-friendly latex, but that’s just one example to consider.
- Gel-infused mattress
It’s an alternative to the memory foam mattress. As you can tell it by its name, it also contains gel –it can be in the upholstery layer at the top of the support system. A gel-infused mattress is going to give you comfort and ensure breathability, which is why some see it as a better version of the regular memory foam mattress.
The gel is excellent as it dissipates body heat a lot more efficiently than the memory foam, which is excellent news if you sleep hot.
- Air mattress
It’s similar to any regular air mattress, but it’s revamped, presenting a better quality and a longer lifespan. They don’t come cheap, and you may pay somewhere between $1000 and $2000 for a right air mattress.
It’s a rare type to use in an RV as you can adjust the firmness on every side, so that you and your loved one can enjoy a comfortable night, without disturbing the partner in any way.
The downside for the air mattress is that they work better with occasional use, on the cause of the air leaking problem. If you use it every single night, you may end up filling it every single day (and with the risk of waking up on the ground in the morning due to the slow leak at night).
Is the custom built RV mattress a better choice for your RV?
If you’re determined to sleep in your RV as well as in your home (or even better), you should consider getting a custom-built RV mattress to fit your particular needs and likings perfectly.
There are plenty of companies out there that design and make custom RV mattresses. They build the mattress according to your notes, shipping it in a box when it’s all down. More often than not, it’s going to come compresses, so carrying it to the RV isn’t going to be an issue. Give it a couple of days (it depends on the type of mattress) for expanding ultimately.
What other options do you have for bedding in an RV?
Many RV owners are only thinking about two things when deciding on the RV bedding: should I get a mattress or a topper?
The topper is an individual padding layer that is thick enough for offering some cushioning for the sleep surface. As it’s thicker than a mattress pad or a mattress protector, it’s going to provide better comfort for your sleep. Don’t forget that the mattress pads and the protectors are designed instead for protecting the mattress from stains (expanding its durability), and not so much for offering support or comfort.
You can very well use a topper for your RV if it comes with pull-out sofas, rending you with not enough space for an RV mattress. The topper is also an option to keep in mind for an RV with built-in beds that have thin/ extremely firm/pricey or challenging to replace mattresses.
An RV with bunk beds may also be too small for providing room for anything larger than an RV twin or an RV Bunk size mattress.
Some RV owners are fortunate so they may accommodate an RV mattress of many sizes (and even all of them).
How should you choose your RV mattress?
Now that you know a thing or two about the types, the sizes, the materials used on RV mattress, it’s not going to hurt to go over a list of tips to keep in mind when shopping for your RV mattress:
- What kind of RV do you own?
You’re not going to have any problems finding an RV mattress if you own a large RV’s (Class A and Class B motorhomes) or a fifth wheel trailer. When your RV is instead on a smaller side, even a topper is going to do it.
- How much space do you have for your sleeping zone?
If your RV comes with a built-in bed with a mattress that isn’t easy to replace or it’s too pricey to succeed, a topper seems like the more affordable choice. A topper is also a good option for the pull-out sofas, as they don’t offer enough space for fitting an RV mattress. Nothing larger than an RV twin or an RV bunk isn’t going to fit in an RV with a bunk bed. The fifth wheels and the larger motorhomes could make an exception.
- What size do you need for the RV mattress?
As you remember, you may choose from a high number of sizes for your RV mattress. However, you should measure the sleeping quarters accurate so that you find out the best size for your RV. Don’t forget that some RV mattresses sizes vary in dimensions. Anyone owning a bunk bed in their RV may face quite the challenge when looking for the perfect size for their RV, as opposed to the owners of traditional RVs.
- What thickness do you need on the mattress?
Most RV mattresses are 5 to 6 in thick, with the majority not being thicker than 10inches. If it’s thicker than 10in, it may not fit into the RV’s sleeping quarter, no matter how much space you have inside.
- Which level of firmness would you like?
More often than not, the RV mattresses sit on the firmer side. However, the innerspring and the soft foam mattresses are logical choices for anyone liking the soft surfaces.
- How generous is your wallet?
With the RV mattresses being more affordable than the standard mattresses (even less than $500), it makes sense that you can get the right quality mattress for less than you’d expect. Some models come for as less as $150, but that doesn’t eliminate the fact that some may see it as a significant investment, still (it depends on the size of your wallet).
- Is camping with your RV a plan for the future?
Even if the most majority of the RV mattresses are a good fit for camping, some don’t. It’s the case of the innerspring mattresses that don’t do well when exposed to the elements, wearing out a lot sooner than other types of mattresses. It’s the metal springs that alter the durability as it’s prone to rust. If you’re planning to go camping a lot with your RV, you should look into a foam mattress as it’s more durable and capable of handling the rough conditions of camping.
- Does the mattress come with a warranty?
The RV mattresses typically come with product warranties, but they’re not as long as the regular mattresses present. It’s because of the type of use that they’re going to handle. Most RV mattresses come with a warranty from 5 to 10 years, but higher priced models present 20 to 25 years of warranty. Don’t be surprised when your RV mattress doesn’t come with no warranty at all-beggars cannot be choosers, as it’s typically the cheapest models that have no warranty.
One last thing before you go shopping
If you’re owning an RV and need a mattress, you should be meticulous and don’t rush into it. The last thing you want is to be in the middle of nowhere only to realize that your mattress is a lousy option.