Hitting the open road in an RV or travel trailer lets you experience the great outdoors and create lasting memories by visiting national parks and important landmarks. To be ready for all those adventures, you want a good night's sleep, and a quality RV mattress helps you get all the rest you need in your home on wheels. Sized just right to fit in compact RVs, these mattresses offer all the comfort you expect from a standard mattress. Trusted brands, such as Select Luxury, Innerspace, and Fortnight Bedding, use memory foam, gel foam, and protective covers to create durable mattresses that support your body and withstand the rigors of life on the road. Read on to learn how RV mattresses provide peaceful rest and make your rig feel like a home away from home.
RV Mattress Features
Your RV probably came with a mattress, but when it's time to find a replacement, a standard mattress typically won't fit the space. RV mattresses are usually several inches smaller than standard mattresses, which means a standard mattress hangs over the frame and possibly interferes with the footpath around the bed or with a slide-out that must open and close. In addition, some RV mattresses are specially designed to fit highly compact sleeping spaces, such as narrow bunk beds.
Variety of Thicknesses
RV mattresses are available in several thicknesses, depending on the amount of support you need and the configuration of your bed and its surrounding cabinets or shelving. Most mattresses range from 6 to 10 inches thick. Although standard mattresses are often much thicker, RV mattresses aren't as deep because they must accommodate lower ceilings and storage cabinets built into the area above the bed.
Comfortable Memory Foam, Gel Foam, and Pillow Tops
While RV mattresses are unique in size, they incorporate many of the same comfort factors you find in standard mattresses. Many are made with memory foam, which molds to your body as you lie down or turn over. Standard memory foam often retains heat, keeping you warm if you travel in cold climates. Gel memory foam is a bit firmer than standard memory foam, providing additional support. Gel foam also lets your body heat ventilate away from the mattress for cooler temperatures. Both types of foam limit motion transfer, which prevents the amount of disruption you experience when your sleeping partner turns over. Pillow-top mattresses have an extra layer of comfort and support without adding much depth, a helpful feature in such a limited space.
Travel rigs that expand while camping and then fold up in storage often require folding mattresses to fit in the tight closed space. Foldable mattresses typically fold into three sections for easy storage, and this style is usually thinner than other RV mattresses. An added bonus of a foldable mattress is it's easy to remove from the RV and take inside the house to use as extra bedding when you have overnight guests.
Protecting any mattress from damage is important, but it's an especially big concern in an RV, which has less insulation and more exposure to the elements than a house. Many RV mattresses incorporate a water-resistant vinyl cover to keep out moisture and help prevent mildew, which is particularly helpful if you're unable to store your rig under cover and away from rain. Some have removable covers you can wash for thorough cleaning. Most RV mattresses are made from some type of memory foam, which is naturally antimicrobial, helping to keep out dust mites and other common allergens that can damage your mattress and disturb your rest.
RV Mattresses FAQ
Are RV mattress sizes different from regular mattress sizes?
RV mattresses are typically about 5 to 6 inches shorter than standard mattresses for the same bed size, and some are slightly narrower. For instance, a standard queen mattress measures 60 inches wide by 80 inches long, but a queen RV mattress usually measures 60 inches wide by 74 or 75 inches long. The shorter sizes accommodate the compact bed frames found in RVs and travel trailers.
How should you measure for a replacement mattress?
The exact size of an RV mattress varies by manufacturer, so it's important to measure your bed frame before purchasing. To determine whether a new mattress is the right fit for your bed, measure the inside of the bed. Also measure the depth from the frame to any cabinets or drawers located in the area above the bed. A mattress that's too thick can prevent you from opening these storage spaces. It's not recommended to simply measure your existing mattress, which may have shrunk or warped, giving you inaccurate dimensions.
How much density do you need in an RV mattress?
A memory foam mattress has a density rating that refers to the amount of support it offers. The higher the rating, the more effectively the mattress conforms to your body. Most RV mattresses have density ratings of 1.5 to 2.5 pounds per cubic foot. Mattresses with a lower rating often provide plenty of comfort in a rig that's used only a few times each year. Higher density ratings are recommended if you use the RV several months each year or on a full-time basis.
How should you install a new RV mattress?
Putting an RV mattress in place is a little trickier than doing the same sort of task at home because of the tight floor plan inside an RV. In fact, it may be nearly impossible to manhandle a large mattress into place once it's open and expanded. RV mattresses arrive tightly packed in plastic, so it's best to lay the packed mattress onto the bed and then open the package and allow the mattress to expand in place. Before sleeping on a memory foam mattress, allow it to expand for 72 hours to maximize its shape. Most RV mattresses don't require turning.
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