RV Mattress Buying Guide

The allure of the open road is undeniable. Witnessing sunsets over unfamiliar horizons, making spontaneous pit stops at hidden gems, and the promise of ever-changing landscapes, RV travels offer all this and more. However, at the end of an adventurous day, as the stars come out and the RV is parked amid beautiful scenery, one factor can make or break the whole experience – a good night’s sleep! 

RV parked facing mountain view

Imagine settling down for the night, eager to recharge, only to toss and turn on an uncomfortable mattress. Your RV, which serves as your home on wheels, deserves more than just a makeshift bedding solution. It demands the comfort, durability, and precision fit of a replacement RV mattress. Whether you’re seeking the spaciousness of a queen RV mattress or looking for custom RV mattress sizes tailored to your camper’s unique layout, making an informed choice is crucial.

Understanding the nuances of an RV mattress goes beyond its dimensions. The type, the materials, the firmness, and even how it’s cared for can greatly influence your on-the-road living experience. This guide is designed to be your beacon, illuminating the path toward finding that perfect camper mattress. A mattress that doesn’t just fit your RV but also fits your dreams of peaceful nights and vibrant mornings on the road!

Why a Regular Bed Mattress Won’t Work in Your RV

A regular bed mattress cannot be doubled as an RV mattress for two main reasons: mattress thickness and shape.

Let’s look at the thickness of the mattress; a 12”-14” thick mattress won’t be appropriate for use on floating platforms, cab-over beds, bunk beds, etc. Thick mattresses are heavier (depending on the type of the mattress), which might pose a problem as well. Furthermore, the shape of your RV bed is usually not a regular one, or even if a rectangular mattress does fit, the odds are that a standard-size one won’t be the perfect match.

What Size Is a Camper Mattress?

There are no standard sizes for RV beds because it depends on the RV type, brand, and floorplan. However, the three most common camper mattress sizes are:

  • RV Short Queen (60″ x 75″/74″)
  • Three-Quarter Size (48″ x 75″)
  • RV King (72″ x 75″/80″)

Other usual camper mattress dimensions include:

  • RV Twin (38″ x 75″/80″)
  • RV Full (53″ x 75″)
  • RV Queen (60″ x 80″)
  • Olympic Queen (66″ x 80″)
  • Cal King (72″ x 84″)
  • Regular King (76″ x 80″)
  • RV Bunk (28-35″ x 75-80″)

When buying a replacement mattress, recreational vehicle, or camper, it is essential to get the size right. It’s best to measure the platform on which the RV mattress rests instead of measuring the old mattress itself to find out what RV mattress size you need. Keep in mind how snug you want the mattress to fit. Allow some space for putting on sheets and how thick the comforter or blanket will be. Many customers allow for 2″ to 3″ of RV bedding, reducing the size of the mattress where it fits in either a partially or totally enclosed space.

Irregular Shapes

Custom shape and size Countess Trailer Mattress installed on bunk beds

What if your RV mattress shape isn’t a rectangle? RV mattresses come in cut corner(s), angle sides, large radius corner(s), rounded ends, and much more! While ordering an irregular-shaped mattress in the past might have been quite cumbersome, nowadays, custom RV mattresses are more easily available, and at Replacement Mattress, we offer them at the same price as ordering a regular-size mattress. 

Mattress Thickness

While a thicker trailer mattress will provide better support, when determining the right thickness, take into consideration if there are any height restrictions. A cab over or bunk may only accommodate a 5” thick mattress while in some cases an 8” mattress can be used as well. The thickness of the motorhome mattress will also impact the type of mattress you can choose.

RV Mattress Types

While innerspring mattresses might be the most widely known, there are more (and better) choices for trailer mattresses on the market.

The Issues with Innerspring or Coil RV Mattresses

Such mattresses don’t come in a lot of variations. Customizing an innerspring motorhome mattress is expensive, and certain customizations could be nearly impossible. For example, cut-corner innerspring mattresses are very difficult to produce; while the RV manufacturing company might have made something specifically for your type of RV, such mattresses aren’t readily available for customers. Even if your RV mattress specifications are available in an RV coil mattress, you should keep some additional aspects in mind.

Firstly, a 4” thick innerspring mattress won’t have room for enough coil turns to offer adequate support, meaning that due to thickness limitations, innersprings can “float” before they fully compress, making the mattress very uncomfortable.

Secondly, a coil mattress can be cumbersome to bring into the RV, especially a queen or king-size mattress.

Spring quality comparison

Foam RV Mattress

Foam mattresses represent several advantages when intended for use in an RV. First of all, the process of customizing them is simple and cost-effective. No matter what shape, size, or thickness you need, a foam mattress can be manufactured to fit your RV. In addition, it’s shipped compressed and rolled, which means that it can be easily brought into your camper. A high-quality foam mattress is what you should be looking for; such mattresses are very resilient and will keep their shape and supportive features for a longer period.

What does high-quality mean in a foam mattress?

Look for a minimum of 1.8 density foam (density and durability go hand in hand); anything under 1.8 will deteriorate faster and not be as supportive. Even if the mattress is for children, it isn’t recommended to buy a lower-density foam mattress, as it will mean a big shift in quality.

With regards to the feel of the foam mattress (softness/firmness), look at the Indentation Force Deflection (otherwise known as Indentation Load Deflection – IFD or ILD for short); this should have a value between 23-26; a higher IFD means a harder mattress, while a lower IFD is characteristic of a softer mattress, which will bottom out in a short period of time.

Memory Foam RV Mattress

A memory foam mattress is the best option for a plusher feel. Of course, it’s essential to be aware that no memory foam mattress is made entirely out of memory foam; all “memory foam mattresses” have a support layer (of foam or coil) over which a layer of memory foam is laminated.

What is the difference between memory foam and support foam?

8 inch memory foam mattress

Memory foam is a topper foam that creates a plusher and/or contouring feel. You depend on support foam to hold your body up and offer your back proper support. So, when shopping for memory foam RV mattresses, you should consider the quality of the memory foam layer and the support layer. In this regard, the aspects discussed above regarding foam or coil mattresses also apply to the support layer. However, it’s important to note that it’s not advisable to go for a 5” thick memory foam RV mattress, as the support layer should be at least 4” thick in the first place to provide adequate support (leaving 1” thick memory foam, which won’t provide the plush feeling you would expect from a memory foam mattress).

Look for Quality Memory Foam

When it comes to memory foam, look for a density of 2-4 pounds, as it indicates good quality. As memory foam works differently than support foam, buying a higher-density memory foam is not advisable as it will have a harder feel. Where layer thickness is concerned, look for RV mattresses with at least 2” of memory foam; anything over 3” will provide a sinking feel to the sleeper (of course, some of you might like it that way). If the mattress has multiple comfort pads, the total thickness of the pads should add up to 2” as well. You also might have heard of convoluted memory foam, which has an “egg crate” look. Convoluted memory foam is used to create a plusher feel, which is possible due to the air trapped between the domes/bumps.

RV Mattress Covers

How is the RV mattress cover made? Well, the outside of the RV mattress should be constructed to stand up. We recommend that an RV mattress be made using old-fashioned, heavy-duty manufacturing techniques, where the mattress is covered in a durable damask fabric, and all the seams are sewn and reinforced with a tape edge. This manufacturing method has stood the test of time and will stand up better than a simple zip-on, zip-off cover.

Purchasing Your Replacement Mattress

Specialized RV mattress online stores like Replacement Mattress are the safest bet to find something of quality that fits perfectly in your camper! At Replacement Mattress, all our mattresses are made in the USA. It’s important to purchase an RV mattress made in the US because such mattresses meet standards more consistently than mattresses manufactured in another country. For example, foam RV mattresses will meet CertiPUR-US standards, while mattresses from other countries are less likely to meet the necessary quality criteria.

Shipping

Where shipping is concerned, lead time might be one of the more important aspects you will be interested in, especially if you have an RV trip planned and need the mattress to arrive before your departure date. Please note that custom-size mattresses can take 5-7 business days to ship, while lead time for customized mattresses can take up to 7-14 days, so plan accordingly.

How is the mattress packaged for shipment?

Coil mattresses cannot be compressed (otherwise, the coils will be damaged), which makes them more difficult to ship. Thus, they can be shipped only via LTL carriers, which involves higher costs than delivery through courier services.

Princess RV mattress installed

On the other hand, foam mattresses and memory foam mattresses are put in a heavy plastic bag, compressed, rolled, and slipped into another plastic sleeve for shipping. Due to this method, it is possible to ship foam RV mattresses via FedEx and UPS, which comes with additional benefits: it’s more economical and involves shorter transit times.

Warranty

Please note that a warranty does not cover the sagging of the mattress but should cover manufacturer defects. While mattresses destined for the home environment have a 6-to-8-year warranty, trailer mattresses should have at least a 5-year non-prorated warranty. If there is any defect during the first five years, the RV mattress will be replaced at no cost. Most people trade class (upgrade or downgrade) or give up RVing altogether in 4 to 6 years; thus, any warranty over 5 years doesn’t have a lot of additional value. It’s important to mention that the customer is usually responsible for returning the mattress and any charges associated with the return shipment.

Return Policy

Before placing the order, check if there is a return policy. If there is, read the fine print because there might be disclaimers. Usually, special sizes and custom orders are not returnable. All standard sizes can be returned within the first 30 days from the date it is delivered to your home. The customer is responsible for all the return shipping charges, and all returns must be stain-free and sanitary.

Post-Purchase Advice

Putting the Mattress in the RV

As mentioned, coil mattresses can be tricky to install in the RV. Concerning foam mattresses, we recommend bringing the mattress into the RV before removing the packaging. Also, packaging should be removed within 15-30 days at the latest. Due to how it is packaged, foam RV mattresses will take some time to regain their original shape. Foam mattresses will take a couple of minutes, while memory foam mattresses will take longer (approximately 1 hour). Lower-quality foams (below 1.8 density) might not regain their shape as fast or at all.

RV Mattress Maintenance

Where regular bed mattresses are concerned, you might have heard that it’s advisable to flip (top to bottom) and rotate (head to toe) the mattress. In the case of RV mattresses, this is impossible if you have an irregularly shaped mattress. If you have a rectangular camper mattress, you can rotate the mattress; however, please note that not all mattresses are “flippable.” For example, if you have a memory foam RV mattress, these don’t usually have a memory foam layer on both sides of the mattress. Thus, you won’t get the same feel if you flip the mattress. On the other hand, if you have a rectangular foam RV mattress, you can flip and rotate it every three to six months or so to prevent sagging in the areas you sleep the most.

Pro Tip: Consider using a mattress protector or mattress pad to maintain and protect your RV mattress from stains and harmful substances!

RV Mattress Storage

When you’re not using the RV, temperatures can vary from very hot to very cold, with changes in humidity as well. The environment affects most furniture, cabinetry, and bedding, which is why quality is important. We recommend leaving your trailer mattress uncovered so air can circulate. Running a dehumidifier would be a good idea if you live in a hot and humid area.

From winding mountain roads to serene lakeside stops, every RV journey is about making memories. Ensuring you’re well-rested with the right replacement RV mattress means you’re always ready for tomorrow’s adventures. Dive deep, ask questions, and prioritize your comfort. This guide is but a starting point; your perfect mattress awaits discovery!

If it’s time to replace your RV mattress, Replacement Mattress has a wide range of standard and custom RV mattresses available. Our shipping is fast and free, and we are committed to your satisfaction, always going above and beyond for our customers.  

Get in touch with us at (888)889-2812 or fill out our contact form online to learn more about our services and custom mattress ordering today!

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