One of the best and easiest upgrades you can make to any RV is replacing that lackluster stock mattress you received the day you bought your RV.
Your sleep should not be compromised just because you’re on the road.
With more options than ever before, the goal of replicating, or exceeding, your sleep quality at home is no longer out of reach—with the the exception of sizing, what you look for in an RV mattress is the same as selecting a quality sleep solution for your bedroom.
This guide is broken down into 3 main categories: mattress size, sleep profile, and mattress type. Within these categories are the steps to replace your old mattress, and gain the knowledge to choose the perfect RV mattress for you and your many adventures ahead.
Measure for best fit
Unlike at-home sleep solutions, RV mattresses come in some very unique sizes. The most common sizes are listed in the graphic below. It’s very important to get exact measurements to ensure your custom-crafted mattress actually fits in your RV.
In order to get the best fitting mattress for your RV you will have to measure…twice. Begin by measuring the entire sleep space (the platform or frame your old mattress is resting on). Make sure to measure the length, width and the space available for the depth of your mattress.
Your second measurement should be of your existing mattress. Again, you will measure the length, width, and the depth of your existing mattress. Use your existing mattress measurements to help you visualize what your options are with a new mattress. Make sure to look at all of the space around the bed. Check and see if there are any obstructions that would hinder you from choosing a thicker mattress, such as a bend in the back wall of your RV. Headspace can be another limiting factor.Make sure to look at all of the space above the bed to see if there are any obstructions that would hinder you from choosing a thicker mattress, such as a bend in the back wall of your RV. While thicker mattresses often result in a more comfortable sleep experience, headspace can be a limiting factor. If sitting up in your bed is a tight fit, you’ll need to balance your need for wiggle room with the depth of comfort and support when picking out your new mattress.
RV Mattress Sizes
Now that you know the size of the RV mattress you will be replacing, it’s time to decide which RV mattress is best for you—this includes choosing your firmness level. Determining your sleep position is an important step in choosing the right mattress. Are you a side, back or stomach sleeper—or a combination sleeper? Here are a few general tips for each type of sleeper:
- Back Sleepers: Back sleepers require full support of the entire body, including proper spinal support. Back sleepers need to avoid excessive sinkage in the mattress, which can result in back pain. A medium firmness level is recommended for sleepers who weigh under 250 pounds—a medium will provide ample support for the shoulders and lower back while still cradling the natural arch of the spine. A true firm is recommended for sleepers who weigh over 250 pounds. The goal, again, is to provide ample support for the entire body—including the natural arch of the spine—while taking into account the greater displacement of the mattress due to a heavier body type. Important tip: Back sleepers who choose a firm still need contouring—all of our mattresses feature some form of a top comfort layer, including quilting, to ensure pressure point relief.
- Side Sleepers: Side sleepers need optimal pressure point relief for their shoulders, hips and knees with equal distribution of weight throughout. The overwhelming majority of average-sized side sleepers prefer a medium firmness level for its combination of adequate support, coupled with contouring relief. Sleepers with a smaller body type though—weighing less than 130 pounds—tend to experience more of a sleep-on-top feel. To ensure adequate pressure point relief, truly lightweight sleepers should opt for a soft firmness level. Important tip: Side sleepers should never choose a firm mattress.
- Stomach Sleepers: Stomach sleepers face unique challenges related to proper spinal alignment and neck support. They need equal distribution of weight while avoiding excessive curving in the spine. Sleepers who weigh less than 250 pounds should opt for a medium mattress—which creates a level sleep surface for adequate support. Sleepers who weigh more than 250 pounds should opt for a firm mattress, with less give—this also ensures a level sleep surface but takes into account the greater displacement of the mattress due to a heavier body type. Important tip: Stomach sleepers should never choose a soft mattress. Stomach sleepers should also opt for a thinner pillow to ensure the neck and spine are aligned as they sleep.
- Combination Sleepers: Most combination sleepers partially sleep on both their sides and stomachs. They may shift to the extreme of each position while they sleep, or even move to their backs. Combination sleepers of all weights should opt for a medium mattress, allowing for proper spinal alignment during their most prevalent sleep positions and motion—all while getting adequate pressure point relief for areas like shoulders and hips. While combination sleepers may occasionally roll to their stomachs, a firm mattress is highly discouraged. Important tip: Combination sleepers should pay attention to the position they’re in when they fall asleep and when they awake—this will help in choosing the right pillow to complement the most prevalent sleep style.
Your weight is one of the most overlooked factors when finding the perfect sleep solution. An RV mattress that is not firm enough can lead to improper spinal alignment, causing problems like lower back issues in the morning. It’s difficult to enjoy your next big destination with debilitating back pain. Independent studies by SleepLikeTheDead.com have found that, the heavier you are, the more you will benefit from a thicker and firmer mattress. This does not necessarily mean all low-profile mattresses are suitable for lighter individuals, but it is a strong recommendation for plus-size individuals to choose a more substantial sleep surface.
For the longest time, it has been expected that sleeping in an RV could never be as comfortable as sleeping in your own bed at home. With many mattress companies like Brooklyn Bedding converting their premium at-home mattresses into RV sizes there’s no reason to get anything but the best sleep ever on the road. When it comes to getting optimal sleep, remember, you know your preferences better than anyone else. If you’ve preferred sleeping on a firm mattress for 20-plus years at home, it’s probable you’ll enjoy a firmer feeling mattress in your RV. With the constant evolution of technology and materials, there’s also never been a better time to explore your options. If you’re unsure about the best fit for you, a quality mattress company can give you a professional recommendation based on your unique sleep needs and profile.
Traditional Innerspring and Hybrid Mattresses
There are two main types of innerspring mattresses: traditional innerspring and hybrid mattresses. Traditional innerspring beds are made with an interconnected “grid” of coils covered by a layer of wool or padding. Hybrid mattresses, made with individually pocketed springs, tend to minimize motion transfer better than other types of innerspring mattresses while delivering deep compression support—and they’re the most common type of innerspring mattress on the market today. Hybrid mattresses feature one or more layers of foam on top of the base of individually pocketed springs. This combination allows manufacturers to pair the advantages of coils with the key benefits of foam, including contouring, responsiveness, quilting and even surface infusions for cooling.
- The types of coils used in a mattress will change the way it feels. Many high-quality hybrid mattresses use individually encased coils, which reduce motion transfer while enhancing support. Consequently, hybrid innerspring mattresses with individually pocketed springs are great for couples who need some extra support.
- Hybrid and innerspring mattresses allow for greater airflow, allowing you to sleep cooler than other types of mattresses.
- Hybrid innerspring mattresses that blend springs with comfort foam layers are usually the most versatile type of bed, providing targeted pressure point relief with variable foams and surface treatments for those who have unique sleep needs.
- Quality hybrid and innerspring mattresses have heavier gauge coils on the perimeter of the bed, offering superior edge support compared to most all-foam beds.
- Both hybrid innerspring and traditional innerspring mattresses tend to be more affordable than other types of mattresses — though you can still expect to pay more for certain types of hybrid beds with higher quality technology and materials.
All-foam mattresses come with a variety of features and benefits. Some foam mattresses are made using one or two types of foam, while others can feature up to five different layers. Contrary to popular belief, the number of layers does matter — that’s because foam mattresses with three or more layers can create more dynamic support, a gentler transition from top comfort layers to core support layers and provide enhanced breathability with transitional layers. Foam mattresses can also be made of many different types of foam, including memory foam, or quick response foams. More advanced mattress construction will offer key benefits like cooling gel infusions to enhance breathability and moderate sleep temperature.
- Quick Response Foams are exactly that—meaning they respond quickly to movement. Consequently, these foams are great for sleepers who want contouring pressure point relief but want to avoid the sinking feeling of memory foam.
- They are naturally breathable, making them a great choice for hot sleepers and those that suffer from night sweats.
- Quick response foams offer a distinctive blend of pressure point relief with a “sleep on top” feel.
- Memory foam is best-in-class for motion isolation, memory foam beds are great for couples who want uninterrupted sleep, even if a partner is tossing and turning.
- Since memory foam is a slow-response foam, memory foam mattresses are a good choice for light sleepers who have a hard time getting comfortable.
- Memory foam is extremely adaptable to the curves of the body, making them particularly good for side sleepers and people with chronic pain near pressure points.
Sleeping too hot is one of the chief complaints nationwide—it’s even more problematic if you’re trying to get shuteye in an enclosed RV with less temperature control than your home. If you tend to be a warm sleeper anyway, or if you deal with warm sleep environments while traveling, invest in a mattress that has specialized cooling technology. Many mattresses now feature cooling gel foams and surface layer infusions. Mattresses with advanced cooling technology can help draw excess heat away from the body and deliver cooling on contact. They can even moderate body temperature. These technologies can make your mattress feel like a true respite on the road.
When you switch to a new mattress or mattress material, it can take two to three weeks to adjust to a different type of comfort and support—a great night’s sleep is worth the wait!
To replicate your best sleep at home, choose a mattress you love and don’t compromise. Sleep is one of the biggest factors when it comes to enjoying yourself on the road. Make sure to choose a mattress built to the specifications of your RV or camper frame. Companies like Brooklyn Bedding offer their most popular sleep solutions in all the right sizes for your home away from home. Best of all, as an American made company, they handcraft your mattress on demand in their very own factory in Phoenix. Among their offerings is the highest value, number one selling Brooklyn Signature Hybrid mattress, along with their most popular hybrid with advanced cooling, the Brooklyn Aurora. For those on a budget, they offer the all-foam Brooklyn Wanderlust and the Brooklyn Arctic Dreams.