Best RV Mattress
Many people feel the call of the open road at one point in their lives. For people interested in a cross-country trip, an RV is usually the way to go. RVs bring the comforts of home with you while allowing you to get closer to nature. One amenity that many of us can’t do without is a good mattress.
However, the mattresses included with an RV usually feel too firm or thin for a good night’s sleep. Instead of getting a good night’s rest, RV travelers may struggle to fall asleep. Aside from the dangers of driving when sleep-deprived, no one wants to feel too tired to enjoy the sights as they travel.
People often choose to replace their RV’s original mattress with a far more comfortable one. The best mattresses for an RV are just as good as a mattress you’d sleep on at home. It’s also important for an RV mattress to be hypoallergenic. After all, the bed is more exposed to weather, moisture, dirt, and allergens than a typical bedroom mattress.
Our First Recommendation: Zoma Mattress
Our Zoma Mattress was designed to boost recovery after an active day, so it’s perfect to have in your RV after a long day spent hiking or traveling across the country. The restorative foams and cooling features encourage undisturbed sleep, enabling you to wake up refreshed and eager to seize the day!
We offer standard size mattresses suitable for your bedroom at home and inside an RV’s bed frame. You can also toss one of our smaller sizes in the back of your truck so you can experience the great outdoors without any obstructions, free to look up at a starry sky until you’re ready for sleep.
Standing 11 inches tall, the Zoma Mattress is thick enough to provide durable cushion and support, yet slim enough to fit inside an RV comfortably. Our Zoma Mattress is also relatively lightweight, minimizing drag on your vehicle. Mattress weight by size is as follows:
- An unboxed twin size Zoma Mattress weighs about 53 pounds
- A twin XL mattress weighs about 57 pounds
- A full mattress weighs around 73 pounds
- A queen mattress weighs about 88 pounds
- A king weighs about 111 pounds
- A California king weighs about 110 pounds
Every Zoma Mattress is made up of three layers, all wrapped in a stretchy, breathable AirCloth cover. Each layer is certified safe by CertiPUR-US®, ensuring it’s free of potentially harmful chemicals.
The first layer is 2 inches of gel memory foam, a material made to conform to the body in any position. Memory foam is well-known for its ability to ease aches and pains that build up over a long day, and our comfort layer offers even more flexible cushion through our unique Triangulex™ technology.
Triangulex™ incorporates triangular cutouts under the head, shoulders, and legs to increase pressure relief. The cutouts flex when a person lies down, contouring closely to the body’s curves.
The top layer’s gel infusion is beneficial on a hot summer’s night when you’re likely to sweat and struggle with falling asleep. Plus, the cutouts that make up Triangulex™ increase airflow through the top layer to remove heat faster and create a cooling mattress.
The middle layer is 2 inches of Reactiv™ foam, an adaptable material that responds to your movements. This poly-foam buoys up your body, keeping you from bottoming out on the mattress’s stiff support core.
The base layer is 7 inches of Support+foam, a resilient material we designed to withstand years of nightly use. Our Support+ foam resists compression and sagging, so you’re unlikely to wake up to a permanent indentation in your mattress.
The Zoma Mattress is $799 for a queen size and ships free to your home. Every Zoma Mattress is backed by a 100-night sleep trial and a 10-year limited warranty. The sleep trial starts when the mattress arrives at your home and allows you to return the mattress for a full refund. We do ask you try to give yourself 30 days to adjust to the mattress before deciding that it’s not for you.
Our warranty protects against defects and offers a repair or replacement for any mattress that sags beyond 0.75 inches.
Our Second Recommendation: Zoma Hybrid
Sleepers looking for a bed capable of responding to their every movement might want to consider our Zoma Hybrid. It’s a newer model featuring the same restorative foams that made the original Zoma Mattress great, with a bouncy twist.
The Zoma Hybrid’s construction is similar to the original Zoma Mattress, though it stands 12 inches tall instead of 11. While the hybrid isn’t quite as lightweight as the classic memory foam mattress, it’s still suitable as an RV bed:
- A twin size Zoma Hybrid is about 58 pounds when unboxed
- A twin XL size hybrid is around 66 pounds
- A full size hybrid mattress weighs about 79 pounds
- A queen size hybrid mattress weighs about 91 pounds
- A king size hybrid mattress weighs about 115 pounds
- A California king size hybrid weighs about 114 pounds
The top layer is 2 inches of gel memory foam. Thanks to the airy coils that support the mattress, the Zoma Hybrid is even better at maintaining a cool sleeping surface. Triangle-shaped cutouts in the mattress’s head and foot creates more pressure and pain relief, perfect after a day on the road or roaming outdoors.
Underneath the gel memory foam is a 2-inch layer of Reactiv™ foam, which supports a sleeper’s body and helps the mattress adapt quickly to their movements.
Instead of a thick foam layer at the bottom, an 8-inch layer of coils and a 1-inch foam base form the hybrid mattress’s support core. Every coil is wrapped in fabric to decrease motion transfer. If you share the bed with a partner, you’re unlikely to disturb their sleep as you change positions or get out of bed to use the bathroom.
A protective foam surrounds the coils, forming the mattress’s perimeter. The foam protects the coils, promotes a durable mattress, and provides edge support for easier movements in and out of bed.
A queen size Zoma Hybrid costs $999 with free shipping. Like the classic Zoma Mattress, a Zoma Hybrid comes with a 100-night sleep trial and a 10-year warranty.
What’s the Difference Between an RV Mattress and a Regular Mattress?
The most significant difference between an RV mattress and one you might use in your bedroom is that an RV mattress is usually lighter and smaller.
How much an RV mattress weighs is an important factor when determining if a bed is right for you. When it comes to a standard mattress for the bedroom, most customers need to only ask themselves two questions when considering a mattress’s weight:
- Will they be able to lift the mattress to put on sheets and rotate it regularly?
- Will their chosen bed base be able to support their mattress?
However, an RV mattress’s weight is important because of the vehicle’s gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR). The GVWR is the weight limit the RV can safely handle once it’s fully packed with everything, from mattresses to your linens and luggage. There’s also the gross combined vehicle rating (GCVR), a term used when a vehicle is towing a separate trailer. So when packing, it’s important to consider whether you’ll be using a motorhome or hauling a travel trailer.
Heavier vehicles take longer to stop and place more wear and tear on tires. Your vehicle’s weight also affects your gas mileage. All of these are good reasons to keep your load as light as possible.
As a side note, we strongly recommend weighing your RV before you set out on the road. Most truck stops have scales you can drive onto for precisely this purpose, with a small charge for the service.
Now, RV mattress manufacturers have several tricks to create a lighter mattress. They may use a low-density foam and leave out the gel infusions, softer coils, and other features that make a mattress feel more comfortable.
Mattresses also come in unique RV sizes. The reason RV mattresses are often smaller and thinner than a typical mattress is to not only fit in an RV’s limited space but to reduce the mattress’s total weight.
While these methods do lighten the mattress’s weight, many sleepers find an RV mattress uncomfortable. If your RV has space for a regular mattress, you may want to consider leaving some stuff behind so you can get a good night’s sleep.
RV Mattress Types
You have a variety of types to consider when looking for an RV mattress. There are many all-foam mattresses, such as memory foam, latex foam, and poly-foam beds. Then there are traditional spring mattresses and newer hybrid models. Finally, there are air mattresses you can blow up and deflate.
Memory foam is a type of polyurethane foam that responds quickly to heat and pressure. So when a warm body lies down on a memory foam mattress, the mattress adapts to its shape within seconds.
Traditional memory foam does have the drawback of retaining too much body heat. Many mattress makers ensure heat can escape by mixing in cooling additives like gel beads, copper, graphite, or green tea extract. Brands may also advertise an improved or advanced open-cell design. This means the memory foam has plenty of air channels to wick away accumulated heat.
A new memory foam mattress may also have a noticeable chemical smell when it’s first unboxed. This odor usually vanishes in a few days, especially if you let the mattress air out in a ventilated area before placing it inside your RV.
You can find memory foam mattresses at all price points. Many high-quality memory foam mattresses cost under $1000, and memory foam RV mattresses are usually less expensive than standard mattresses because they’re smaller, thinner, and lighter.
Latex foam feels similar to memory foam. The material is whipped from rubber tree sap and possesses a springy yet conforming feel. However, latex can also feel firm to some sleepers, so many latex mattress makers add on a pillow top.
Some people enjoy sleeping on a latex mattress while traveling because the material naturally keeps cool. Others find peace of mind because latex naturally resists bacteria and dust mites, which helps keep the bed clean even when it’s close to nature.
However, latex beds have their drawbacks. Latex mattresses are often heavier than other mattress types, so choosing one may mean lightening your load when you travel. Plus, they’re usually more expensive than other types of mattresses.
For more information, read our memory foam vs. latex guide.
All memory foam mattresses are poly-foam beds, but not all poly-foam mattresses are memory foam beds. Basic polyurethane foam isn’t as comfortable or responsive as a memory foam mattress, but they typically have bargain prices. Many RV mattresses come with a simple poly-foam mattress you can choose to keep or replace.
Innerspring mattresses are the traditional mattress. They remain a popular choice for people familiar with their bouncy feel. However, even if you love innerspring mattresses, you may not want to keep one in your vehicle.
An innerspring mattress inside an RV mattress is often too exposed to the elements to stay in good condition. The bed’s thin comfort layers don’t offer the supportive coils much protection. Dust, dirt, and allergens can settle inside the mattress and irritate your senses. Moisture can also collect inside the mattress, rusting the springs and giving mold spores the chance to flourish.
If you choose to sleep on an innerspring mattress, we strongly recommend covering it with a mattress encasement.
Hybrid mattresses mix qualities from a foam mattress with an innerspring bed. They have a conforming top with at least 2 to 3 inches of foam and a base of supportive coils. Many sleepers find a hybrid mattress strikes the perfect balance between a cushion and support.
Unlike a traditional innerspring mattress, each coil inside a hybrid mattress is encased in foam or fabric. Wrapping the coils muffles any squeaks or creaks the coils might make and prevents motion transfer. The wrappings may also provide some protection against the elements when the mattress is kept in an RV, although we still recommend covering your mattress with a protector.
Hybrid mattresses are generally heavy beds. On average, they weigh more than memory foam or innerspring mattresses. Remember your RV’s weight limit when you consider a hybrid mattress.
Air mattresses span a wide range of prices and quality. At one end, you have low-cost camping beds that inflate with an air pump. At the other end, you have expensive smart mattresses with adjustable feels and temperature control.
You should only choose an air mattress specifically designed for use in an RV. We also recommend keeping a puncture kit on hand in case your air mattress develops a leak.
RV Mattress Sizes
While many campers have the space needed for a traditionally sized mattress, this isn’t a universal feature. So not only will we go over the standard mattress sizes, but we’ll also discuss the sizes that are uniquely suited for an RV.
A standard twin mattress is 38 inches by 74 inches, but RV twin mattresses can vary widely. Some may be as thin as 28 inches, just barely wider than a typical crib mattress. Other RV twin beds are closer to a twin XL size mattress, measuring 40 inches wide and 80 inches long.
Twin size mattresses are common in pop-up trailers and RV bunk beds.
A standard full size mattress is 54 inches wide and 75 inches long, although an RV full mattress may be an inch narrower or wider than the standard full bed. You may also see the size referred to as a double bed. Fold-out sofa beds, a common feature in RVs, often contain a full mattress.
Some mattress manufacturers may also sell a full XL size mattress, which is 5 inches longer than a standard double bed.
We typically recommend full beds for single sleepers only. When two people share a full size mattress, each partner has a sleeping area roughly 27 inches by 75 inches. That’s 11 inches narrower than a standard twin mattress!
While not strictly labeled a queen size, RVs’ three-quarter size mattress draws upon a traditional queen for inspiration. Its width is 48 inches or ¾ that of a queen size mattress, hence its name.
The narrow width helps the bed fit into small or oddly shaped sections. However, a three-quarter mattress is too small for two people to comfortably share, unlike a traditional queen size bed.
The typical queen size mattress is 60 inches wide and 80 inches long. Many RVs and campers have a traditional queen size mattress in the main sleeping area, though you’ll also find vehicles with subtle variations.
One of the more common variations is the aptly named RV queen. Also called a short queen mattress, an RV queen is usually 60 inches wide and 74 or 75 inches long. The shorter size means the mattress doesn’t take up too much space while still being big enough for most sleepers.
Another mattress variation seen in RVs is the Olympic queen bed. The Olympic queen is 6 inches wider than a standard queen, bringing its full dimensions to 66 inches by 80 inches. The size is a good choice for plus-size couples who don’t have space for a king mattress.
A regular king size mattress is 76 inches wide and 80 inches long, and it’s typically the largest size a mattress company carries. Sometimes, you’ll see a standard king size mattress called an “Eastern king” to separate it from the normally smaller RV king.
An RV king mattress is often a few inches narrower and shorter than a standard king mattress. Expect dimensions such as 72 inches by 75 to 80 inches.
There’s also the standard California king size mattress, the most common variation on the traditional king bed. A California king mattress measures 72 inches wide and 84 inches long and is usually better suited for a proper bedroom than an RV.
These RV mattresses, strictly speaking, aren’t made for a typical RV. Instead, a trailer bed is shaped to fit inside the back of a regular pickup truck, giving sleepers the unparalleled experience of falling asleep under the stars. These mattresses are usually 35 inches wide and 79 inches long or 42 inches wide and 80 inches long.
If you don’t have a trailer bed but want to capture the experience of sleeping outdoors in comfort, you can throw a standard twin mattress in the back of your truck. Trailer beds are also best reserved for warm summer nights with little to no chance of bad weather. There’s little worse than waking up to the cold and the rain.
We strongly recommend taking steps to protect your mattress from the elements by encasing it in a waterproof mattress protector.
RV Mattress Thickness
A mattress specifically for an RV bed is usually thinner than your everyday mattress. Many RV mattresses are as thin as 6 inches and may not provide enough comfort for a good night’s rest.
Normally, we strongly advise against buying any mattress under 10 inches because thinner beds are usually less comfortable and supportive. However, since your mattress’s weight is an important factor when it comes to staying under the RV’s weight limit, it may be best to sleep on a mattress that’s 6 to 8 inches thick.
You can opt for a thicker mattress if you want to maximize your chances of getting a good night’s sleep. Just keep in mind that your mattress’s added weight will limit what else you can bring on the trip.
RV Mattress Firmness
No one wants to sleep on a mattress that’s too soft or too firm, whether they’re on the road or at home. The right firmness for you depends on your sleeping position and bodyweight.
There are three possible sleeping positions. You can lie on one of your sides, your back, or your stomach.
More people choose to sleep on their side than any other sleep position. Pressure points tend to build up in a side sleeper’s shoulders and hips, and these pressure points can develop into stiffness and aches. A mattress for side sleeping should provide a soft to medium feel to cushion the shoulders and hips.
As a rule of thumb, we don’t recommend innerspring mattresses for side sleepers. Their supportive coils and thin comfort layers tend to create a firm sleeping surface, too firm for a side sleeper to feel comfortable. People interested in a bouncy mattress should instead consider a hybrid mattress for side sleeping.
Back sleepers have the benefit of keeping their spine naturally aligned. While lying down on your back, your posture is exactly what it would be if you were standing straight. A mattress for back sleeping should have a medium-firm to firm feel. However, medium mattresses are acceptable if the bed has targeted lumbar support features.
Many experts call stomach sleeping an unhealthy sleep position because of the risks it poses to the spine. When a stomach sleeper lies down, their belly is pushed into the mattress by gravity. If their stomach sinks too far, it misaligns their spine and causes back pain. If you’re a stomach sleeper who can’t feel comfortable in another position, we strongly recommend choosing a firm mattress.
If you’re a combination sleeper, you might wake up in a different position than the one you fell asleep in. Combination sleepers tend to switch between two or three positions in the night. A mattress for combination sleeping should accommodate a change in position with a responsive medium feel.
Your bodyweight determines how much you push down on a mattress. The more you weigh, the more pressure you place on your mattress. This pressure affects your mattress’s feel—for example, a bed on the firmer side feels softer and more conforming under a plus-size person because of the added pressure.
A mattress for a heavy sleeper over 230 pounds should have a firmer than average feel. For example, a heavyset side sleeper may find a medium or even a medium-firm mattress feels right, while a softer mattress might feel too unsupportive.
Petite sleepers under 130 pounds typically sleep best on a soft mattress. Because of their relatively low weight, a petite sleeper doesn’t press down hard enough to make the average mattress fully conform to their body. If the mattress can’t completely conform to their curves, then pressure points can build up. The softer a mattress is, the more it naturally conforms to the body.
Your bodyweight isn’t an important factor if you weigh between 130 to 230 pounds. This is considered the “average” range for most sleepers and doesn’t place unexpected pressure on a mattress.
Other Ways to Make an RV Bed Comfortable
Having the right mattress is a significant component of getting a good night’s rest, but it’s not the only thing worth considering. The right pillows and bedding are also important.
Plus, what do you do if you can’t afford a new mattress right now? You can always make do on a budget by investing in a mattress topper.
The Right Pillows
Sleeping on the wrong pillow often means waking up with a stiff neck or a headache. The best pillow for you will depend on your sleeping style.
The best pillows for side sleepers have a high loft to bridge the gap between the head, neck, and mattress. Firm pillows often provide more neck support, but some side sleepers may prefer a flexible filling they can fluff and flatten as they want.
A pillow for a back sleeper ensures the head and neck are aligned with the rest of the spine. A mid-loft pillow often works best.
If you choose to sleep on your stomach, you want a thin head pillow so that your neck isn’t raised out of alignment. Stomach sleepers may even benefit from forgoing a head pillow entirely.
The pillow’s fill is another important trait to consider. Some fills are more breathable than others. Shredded foam, down, feather, and buckwheat are all good fills for a hot sleeper.
Many people also benefit from sleeping with a secondary pillow. For example, side sleepers prone to waking up with sore hips may want to slip a knee pillow between their legs. Stomach sleepers can prevent back pain by keeping a pillow under their abdomens. Back sleepers prone to back pain may want to slip a wedge pillow under their knees to reduce pressure on their lower back.
The Right Bedding
RVs are often more susceptible to outside temperatures than in your bedroom at home. The thin walls aren’t always the best at keeping out chilly winds, particularly if there are any cracks where a draft can slip through. Summer nights can be hot and sticky, and while you can run the air conditioner or a small fan, it uses up precious energy to do so.
Having the right bedding makes it easier to fall asleep while on the road. It’s also important to understand what bedding you’re likely to need. After all, an RV’s weight limit means you can’t just pack every conceivable piece of bedding, so you’re set in any weather. We recommend researching what weather conditions to expect along your trip.
For the summer months, we recommend keeping your bedding light. Pack breathable sheets and a thin blanket or all-seasons comforter.
During winter months, inspect your RV for any leaks where the chill can get in before you hit the road. Take along warm bedding that won’t trap body heat—wool blankets are a good choice.
Instead of stoking an RV’s furnace or turning on a heat pump when the night’s cold, you may enjoy an electric blanket. However, we do not recommend sleeping with an active electric blanket for safety reasons. Instead, use the electric blanket to warm up your bed, then shut it off. You will feel nice and toasty as you drift off to sleep.
Are you stuck with an uncomfortable mattress in your RV but can’t afford to buy a new one? You can compromise by adding a mattress topper. Toppers can also improve the feel of mattresses you can’t easily switch out, such as sofa beds.
Toppers add 2 or 3 inches of material to your mattress and span the whole range of firmnesses. You can firm up a too-soft mattress or make a firm mattress feel plush.
Mattress toppers are relatively inexpensive, usually costing a few hundred dollars at most. Be careful not to confuse a mattress topper with a mattress pad. While some brands may refer to their toppers as pads, a true mattress pad is essentially a fitted sheet with a quilted top. While a mattress pad can soften up a mattress, they don’t change a bed’s feel as much as a topper does.
Did We Help You Find an RV Mattress?
The right RV mattress provides a good night’s rest without tipping your packed weight over the RV’s limit. The mattress should suit your sleeping needs. It should also be durable enough to resist not only expected wear and tear but also mild exposure to the outdoors.
As an extra precaution, travelers may want to cover their RV mattress with a mattress protector. A protector will keep pests, allergens, moisture, and other unpleasant things from settling inside their bed.
This article is for informational purposes and should not replace advice from your doctor or other medical professional.