RV Sofa Bed Mattresses: What’s the Deal With Them Anyway?

Sofa beds in a motorhome

It’s hard enough to get a good night’s sleep when traveling in an RV, but compound onto all the other problems — like unusual sounds, irregular and abnormal diet, and anticipation for the next day’s travels — a poor RV sofa bed mattress, and you’ve got yourself a recipe for an uncomfortable trip.
But, what really makes an RV sofa bed mattress different than a regular store-bought mattress?

A Different Foundation
Ignoring the actual mattress for a moment, let’s consider the bed’s foundation: the frame.
A sofa bed frame is meant to be folded away and pulled back out over and over and over again. Obviously, a standard mattress isn’t meant to be folded, so the construction of a sofa bed frame involves braces, joints, bars, and other parts that a standard bed doesn’t have, thus when manufacturing a regular mattress such characteristics don’t have to be taken into consideration.

These differences mean that a sofa bed mattress must be constructed in a way that it won’t be damaged during the folding-unfolding process, including being thinner (usually 4″ – 5″) than a standard mattress.

Which leads us to the issue related to RV sofa bed mattress types. Innerspring mattresses don’t have enough room within the 4-5″ depth of a standard sofa bed mattress to allow them to offer much “spring”, leading to little support and lots of backache and uncomfortable sleep (read more on this subject here). Foam mattresses are a very good option for sofa beds, but sofa bed mattresses have to be made out of high density in order for them to be comfortable and for you not to feel the bar (read here about foam specifications). However, memory foam mattresses aren’t a good option for RV sleeper sofa mattresses; the main reason being that memory foam is a so-called “contouring foam”, not a support foam, and you need to use as much support foam as possible given the height limitations for your RV sofa bed mattress. Thus, choose memory foam mattresses only for your regular RV mattresses, not your RV sofa bed mattresses.

A Different Dimension

Other than the frame it sits on, RV sofa beds are all different sizes (sometimes even compared to regular sofa beds). Each RV manufacturer designs its sofa bed based on the dimensions available within the RV itself; therefore, there is no industry standard when it comes to RV sofa bed mattresses, meaning that RV manufacturers usually custom-order the RV sleeper sofa mattress.

For individuals like you and me to order a custom size mattress can be expensive in some cases. For example in the case of the innerspring sofa mattresses, apart from not being comfortable due to the limitation regarding mattress thickness, customizing innerspring mattresses is highly costly, so it’s even less rentable for RV sofa bed mattresses. However, customizing foam mattresses is much-much cheaper, making it affordable to anyone to replace their RV sofa sleeper mattress.

Other Differences
In addition to these reasons why RV sofa bed mattresses are unique, when it comes to buying a RV sofa bed mattress replacement, instead of heading to your local mattress store or your RV dealer (they don’t regularly offer custom size RV mattresses), you have to purchase a replacement custom-size sofa bed mattress online, which using our sofa bed mattress customizer can be done with ease and at factory prices!

Benefits of online purchase include reduced cost, convenience of shopping, and making sure you’re getting exactly what you need (e.g. size, material) and what you want (e.g. comfort rating, mattress accessories) all in one place. However, do make sure the mattress you’re buying only is actually made in the US, apart from smaller shipping fees (compared to shipping it from abroad), the US has stricter regulations on mattress manufacturing than other countries, thus you can be sure that you are getting a quality product of a better value, with a longer life.

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