Touring is never boring.
Especially when you’re driving your own RV and hitting the road to new horizons every day.
Despite all the joys of traveling, even the most hardcore adepts of RV lifestyle agree that a lack of proper sleep can easily ruin the experience.
In this post, I’ve come up with some shopping tips to help you choose the best bed for your vehicle along with our reviews of 3 best RV mattresses we tested ourselves.
A Quick Preview
|Live & Sleep Resort Classic Mattress||Memory Foam||memory foam;|
high-density foam base.
|Medium Firm||30 days||20 years||7|
|Zinus Memory Foam 6 Inch Green Tea Mattress||Memory Foam||green tea infused memory foam;|
high-density base support foam.
|Firm||100 days||10 years||8|
|DynastyMattress CoolBreeze Gel Memory Foam Mattress||Memory Foam||gel-infused open-cell memory foam;|
convoluted foam (2 layers).
high-density foam base.
|Medium Firm||120 days||20 years||8.5|
What Are the Differences Between a Mattress for RV and a Regular One?
Commercial mattresses with their variety of sizes, materials, layers and firmness gradations are really hard to beat. And if you’re seriously concerned about the quality of your rest, you’ve probably already wondered:
Can I just put my regular mattress inside the vehicle?
The answer is:
Of course, yes, if you want to.
But there’s always a ’but’.
An RV mattress differs from a regular one in a number of important ways.
And you should bear these small differences in mind, while you’re choosing the right bedding for your mobile home.
First of all, mattresses for RV tend to be lighter than the regular ones. This has a direct connection to the GTWR, or Gross Vehicle Weight Rating. The GTWR is the total mass of your vehicle when it’s loaded to capacity, including the weight of the trailer itself. So, if you’re driving an RV that has the low class of GTWR, you certainly will notice that а 90-pound mattress is a significant fraction of your load.
And what if you’re traveling with a family of four people, and each of them needs a mattress?
Think about it.
Now, before buying your mattress, consider how you’ll swap them with the old one. The thing is, if you have a small RV, it was probably built around the bed, as it occupies most of the space. And the only way to change the bed is to cut the old mattress in half.
“Getting rid of your old mattress can become an issue in older RVs or smaller vehicles that have I or II GTWR class.”
Or — and this is where another RV mattress advantage comes in handy — you can choose the “bed in a box” memory foam mattress. These models are usually folded up in a small case, which will easily come through tiny corridors of your trailer and fit in your bed frame.
Note that they usually need from 48 to 72 hours to completely decompress and unfold after you put them in place.
Will It Fit? Choosing the Right RV Mattress Size for Your Mobile Bed
Let’s talk size.
Most vehicle mattresses, obviously, are built to fit RV bed frames. That means, the familiar Queen or Twin beds will more likely be shorter or narrower. To ease your shopping, let me list the most popular RV mattress sizes for you:
- RV Bunk (or Narrow Twin): 28” x 75”, 30” x 75”, or 30” x 80”
- Twin: 39” x 75” or 39” x 80”
- Full: 53” x 75” or 53” x 80”
- Short Queen: 60” x 75”
- ¾ Queen: 48” x 75” or 48” x 80”
- Queen: 60” x 80”
If you have a vehicle that comes with a king-sized bed, there are two options for you. Most manufacturers offer RV King mattresses with 75 or full 80 inches length, but the width will more likely be only 72 inches instead of 76 inches in regular mattresses.
Measure your RV mattress size by hand before you go shopping so that you would know exactly what you’re looking for.
What Materials Are the Top-Rated RV Mattresses Made Of?
Whatever size you will end up shopping for, you will most likely choose between the following options:
These are the cheapest and easiest to modify. I mean, in many cases, if a mattress doesn’t fit, you can simply cut it with an electric knife to adjust to the dimensions of the bed frame.
But there’s one major drawback:
Most models are made from petroleum, so the air circulation is poor. This means a cooling mattress topper is a must-have, and it costs money. Besides, poor airflow promotes mildew development, which leads to allergies.
“Note that if you dig into the topic, you can always find some eco-friendly mattresses.”
Now, RV Memory Foam mattresses are a bit different from other types of foam mattresses. Although having the same thermoregulation issue, they usually are more durable and resilient. And they offer you that “sinking” feeling, which some users adore and others hate.
Another option for you if you’re on a budget, these beds have a coil base and one comfort layer (mostly foam). They usually offer decent support and good bounce. But their biggest disadvantage is poor movement isolation, meaning they are not the best choice for couples. Plus, the coils are prone to rust and might start making squeaky sounds over time.
Innerspring mattresses are somewhat heavy, so fitting them in your tiny trailer space might become a problem.
In terms of feel, these are the opposite to foam mattresses. Latex has a quicker response time and is very bouncy. So, if you’re not a fan of that hugging memory foam feel, this is your option. Some latex models are 100% organic. Because latex usually has an open-cell structure that helps withdraw body heat evenly, mattresses made of this material sleep naturally cooler.
The most significant drawbacks of latex beds for RVers are high price and heavy weight.
These models combine different materials, e.g. latex, memory foam, and coils. This allows for better performance in all respects, starting from thermoregulation and up to pain and pressure relief. So, a hybrid bed will be a worthy choice when it comes to the level of comfort on the road, especially if you’re traveling long distance. Keep in mind, though, that it will also cost more.
Plus, in order to provide you with the best features of every material used, hybrid mattresses usually are comprised of at least 4 layers (and up to 8!). This means they are quite thick and heavy.
This option will suit occasional travelers. Air mattresses can be deflated when not used, so they won’t take up much space in your RV. They are usually firmer and not very comfortable, so be prepared for sore back and other minor inconveniences the next morning. But again, if you’re an occasional camper, this might be a bed of choice for you. They are significantly cheaper than other mattresses.
Our Reviews of 3 Best RV Mattresses
Best RV Short Queen Mattress
Live & Sleep Resort Classic Mattress
This Short Queen RV mattress has deserved its place in our review due to several reasons. It’s very affordable and will fit any Short Queen trailer bed frame. It also comes compressed in a box, so you won’t have a problem with putting it in place even in a small van.
The Live & Sleep Classic is 10 inches high and has two layers, which altogether create a medium feel and help you achieve the decent level of comfort in any sleeping position.
The top memory foam layer provides gentle cradling and pain relief, while the bottom high-density polyfoam layer provides even support and great motion isolation. If your partner has troubles with falling asleep, you won’t feel it on your side of the bed. It’s also worth to note that the layers offer better edge support than most memory foam beds in this price category.
The cover is made of soft, breathable knitted fabric to help you feel as cozy as if you’re in your bedroom. As, a bonus, the mattress comes with a nice memory foam pillow.
I feel that this Short Queen RV mattress is a great choice for couples who are on a budget but might be not the most suitable mattress for someone who tends to sleep hot.
Best RV Bunk Mattress
Zinus Memory Foam 6 Inch Green Tea Mattress
This Bunk RV mattress by Zinus is on this list because of its versatility. This bed can work for any family member and almost any sleeping position.
I was testing the 6-inch Zinus Green Tea Mattress, as this is the only option available in Narrow Twin (Bunk RV). Comprised of two layers, this model is pretty basic. It has quite a firm feel, which is optimal for kids, as their body is still developing. Yet, it provides a decent amount of sinkage, so adult travelers with back pain, particularly back and stomach sleepers, will also find this mattress pretty comfortable.
The foam foundation layer has a convoluted design for improved airflow. Plus, instead of traditional petroleum foam, Zinus uses their patented BioFoam, which is infused with green tea extract, charcoal, and castor seed oil. This means that your bed will stay fresh for much longer. The knitted Jacquard cover allows air in to enhance the cooling effect.
Family travelers will find this model a worthy investment, as one can get four mattresses (for a family of four people) under $400 only! Eco-friendly enthusiasts who love the pressure relieving properties of memory foam but don’t like the chemical smell typical of this material will find the Zinus Green Tea a good option too.
Best Memory Foam RV Mattress
DynastyMattress CoolBreeze Gel Memory Foam Mattress
Last, but not least. Everyone is familiar with the most common memory foam mattress issue: they sleep hot, which directly affects the quality of your rest. So, for everyone traveling somewhere around Arizona deserts and not excited about drowning in sweat every night, I present this memory foam RV mattress by DynastyMattress.
The CoolBreeze model literally stands for its name, providing you the comfort level we’re describing as ‘Mediterranean villa vibes’.
How is this possible?
Well, the model has a 2.5’’ layer of open-cell CoolBreeze gel memory foam. The open cell structure is perfect for heat withdrawal, so you will never have the feeling like you’re boiling alive. Furthermore, two 2’’ layers of Cool AirFlow foam provide great air circulation thanks to their convoluted design. The base foam is sturdy and supportive. The overall feel of the mattress is medium, which is optimal for most people.
The cover is removable and washable and looks really luxurious due to the brown suede design.
The DynastyMattress CoolBreeze is literally worth every dollar. If you’re looking for a comfy RV mattress that has a more similar feeling to your regular bed, go with this one. Especially if you tend to sleep cool.
I know, the vast range of the vehicle mattresses can easily make your head spinning.
So, when you’re shopping, I recommend that you start with finding the right proportion between cost and quality. All the models I reviewed offer very good value for money.
Family travelers with kids will probably enjoy the Zinus Memory Foam Green Tea Mattress for their bunk beds, as it’s good for both kids and adults and comes at a very low price.
If you’re traveling as a couple and value overall comfort for an affordable price (as we do!), you may stick with the Live & Sleep Resort Classic Mattress.
And for fans of hardcore trips and hotter climates, the DynastyMattress CoolBreeze Gel Memory Foam Mattress is the best option. It offers great comfort and pressure relief levels typical of memory foam models but, unlike most of them, sleeps cool.
How often do you travel in your RV? What mattress size do you think will fit into your vehicle best? Please feel free to comment below and share your thoughts!