• Camp Addict
  • /
  • 🛏️ Foam vs. Innerspring RV Mattresses

Foam vs. Innerspring RV Mattresses: Which One Is Best For You?

Kelly Headshot

By Kelly Beasley

Are you overwhelmed by the many choices when selecting the perfect RV mattress? Specifically foam vs. innerspring RV mattresses?

As seasoned RVers, we’ve experienced first-hand the importance of a restful night’s sleep on the road.

In this comprehensive guide, we delve into the world of recreational vehicle mattresses, comparing the two most popular types. There are distinctive RV innerspring and memory foam differences.

So, should you get an RV memory foam or innerspring? We will help to help you make an informed decision based on your unique needs and preferences.

Kelly's van and Gizmo boondocking in Utah

Key Takeaways

  • Foam and innerspring RV mattresses offer distinct benefits regarding breathability, support, cushioning, and motion isolation.
  • Hybrid mattresses combine the best foam and spring support features for a comfortable sleep experience.
  • Consider budget, warranty & trial periods when selecting an RV mattress to ensure a secure investment in a long-lasting product.

Understanding RV Foam Mattresses

Foam mattresses, or foam beds, have gained popularity in the RV world due to their soft contouring sleep surface that adjusts to your body weight and temperature. They are made only of foam layers and have no springs.

Available in various foam materials such as memory foam mattresses, poly foam, and latex foam, these products provided by top mattress manufacturers ensure unparalleled pressure relief and comfort.

Knowing this, which is the best RV mattress: foam or innerspring? It depends on the user and their needs. Let's dive deeper.

Types Of Foam Materials

RV mattresses predominantly use traditional memory foam, open-cell foam, and gel-infused foam. The closed-cell design of traditional memory foam contributes to its soft, contouring feel.

Open-cell foam, on the other hand, offers better breathability and responsiveness due to its interconnected cell structure, facilitating air circulation throughout the mattress.

Gel-infused foam incorporates tiny gel beads for cushioning and support, cooling, and providing superior pressure relief and comfort.

RV foam mattress layers

Foam Mattress Construction

Foam mattresses are constructed with layers of foam, often consisting of a polyurethane foam base and additional higher-quality layers of memory or latex foam in the middle and on top, offering support, comfort, and durability.

Foam mattresses' open bubble cell structure facilitates air circulation, which can help regulate temperature during sleep.

Though foam mattresses might be pricier than spring ones and offer less ventilation, they are lightweight and easy to transport, making them an attractive option for RV owners.

Kelly has tested two different all-foam mattresses and one hybrid in her RVs. She prefers her all-foam mattress by Tochta.

Understanding Innerspring RV Mattresses

Also known as innerspring RV mattresses, spring mattresses have been a long-time favorite, offering sleepers a firmer feel and better ventilation.

These mattresses use metal coils or springs as their primary support layer, topped with a comfort layer of foam or fabric to enhance the overall sleeping experience of an innerspring mattress.

The coils provide a supportive base, while the comfort layer helps to reduce pressure points and provide a bit of cushioning for your body.

Road through grasslands with hills in distance

Types Of Spring Systems

Four types of spring systems are used in RV mattresses: Bonnell, offset, continuous, and pocketed coils, each offering different levels of support and motion isolation.

  • Bonnell coil mattresses feature hourglass-shaped coils and are the most economical option, though they may be less durable than others.
  • Offset coil mattresses provide a firm foundation.
  • Continuous coil mattresses are made from a single large wire twisted into thousands of coils for support.
  • Pocketed coil systems offer enhanced comfort and motion isolation, making them ideal for those who share their RV bed with a partner.

Spring Mattress Construction

Spring mattress construction typically includes a high-density foam base, a layer of coil springs, and additional comfort layers made of natural fibers, foam, or latex.

The quality of the construction and the maintenance of the mattress can significantly impact its lifespan, which is generally expected to be between 5-10 years.

Regular rotation, about every three months, and using a firm mattress foundation or box spring can help extend the lifespan of a spring mattress.

Marshall used a spring RV mattress in his travel trailer for a few years but now uses an all-foam mattress by Tochta.

Comparing Foam vs. Spring Mattresses

Understanding the differences between foam vs. spring mattresses, especially regarding temperature regulation, motion isolation, and lifespan, is key when searching for your perfect RV mattress.

Foam mattresses are known for their contouring support and motion isolation, making them ideal for couples sharing an RV bed.

On the other hand, traditional spring mattresses provide better support, ease of movement, and improved airflow, making them a preferred choice for hot sleepers.

RV mattress pocketed coils

Foam vs. Innerspring Mattresses: Temperature Regulation

When it comes to temperature regulation, the open-cell design of spring mattresses allows for superior airflow and heat dissipation compared to foam mattresses. This is also beneficial for keeping mold from forming under the bed.

Foam mattresses, particularly those made of memory foam, may retain heat and cause discomfort for some sleepers.

However, many foam mattresses now incorporate cooling technologies, such as gel memory foam, to help regulate temperature and improve sleep quality.

Foam vs. Innerspring Mattresses: Motion Isolation

RV mattress motion isolation is vital for those sharing their camper bed as it determines the amount of movement transferred across the mattress.

Regarding foam vs. spring mattresses, foam mattresses excel in motion isolation, ensuring that one partner’s movements do not disturb the other’s sleep.

In contrast, spring mattresses may transfer more motion due to the interconnected coil systems, potentially interrupting a peaceful night’s rest.

Yellowstone National Park Grand Prismatic hot springs

Foam vs. Innerspring Mattresses: Lifespan And Durability

In the debate of foam vs. spring mattresses, the foam wins this one. Foam mattresses outlast spring mattresses, with premium options enduring for several decades.

On the other hand, spring mattresses may start to cave in or sag with regular use, leading to a shorter lifespan.

However, both types of mattresses can last for several years with proper care, including regular rotation and the use of a mattress protector.

Choosing The Right Camper Mattress For Your Sleep Position

The ideal RV mattress for you largely depends on your sleep position. Given the varying support and comfort levels of foam and spring mattresses, choosing a type that best suits your preferred sleeping position is important.

Considering your sleep position can help guarantee a peaceful night’s sleep, no matter if you sleep on your side, back, or stomach.

Side Sleepers

Side sleepers may prefer foam or pocket coil spring mattresses, as these options provide pressure relief and contouring support for the hips and shoulders.

These mattresses adapt to the body's natural curves, distributing body weight evenly and ensuring optimal spinal alignment.

A supportive yet soft mattress can significantly improve sleep quality for side sleepers, offering relief for pressure points and reducing the risk of discomfort throughout the night.

Clothed lady sleeping in bed

Back Sleepers

Back sleepers can benefit from the firm support provided by Bonnell or continuous coil spring mattresses, as well as medium-firm foam mattresses.

These options offer adequate support for the lumbar region, preventing the lower back from sinking too far into the mattress and ensuring proper spinal alignment.

Ultimately, the choice between foam and spring mattresses for back sleepers comes down to personal preference and the desired level of support and comfort, making the foam vs. spring debate a matter of individual needs.

Stomach Sleepers

Stomach sleepers may find a firmer spring mattress more comfortable, as it provides better support for the spine and prevents sinking.

A mattress that’s too soft can cause discomfort and misalignment of the spine for stomach sleepers, leading to potential issues such as back pain.

By opting for a firmer spring mattress, stomach sleepers can ensure they maintain proper spinal alignment and enjoy a comfortable night’s sleep.

Hybrid Mattresses For Your RV: The Best Of Both Worlds?

Hybrid camper mattresses present a balanced feel, combining the advantages of both foam and spring mattresses, making it an ideal choice for those who find it difficult to decide between the two.

Utah highway winding through red rocks

By blending the contouring support of foam with the enhanced airflow and support of pocketed coils, hybrid mattresses provide a versatile option for sleeping in your camper, ensuring a comfortable and restful night’s sleep.

When it comes to foam vs. spring mattress comparisons, it's the hybrid mattresses that are designed to provide the best of both worlds.

Hybrid Mattress Construction

Constructed with a blend of foam layers and pocketed coils, hybrid mattresses provide:

  • Superior contouring support.
  • Motion isolation.
  • Balanced feel, providing sleepers with the comfort and support of a foam mattress while maintaining the enhanced airflow and durability of a spring mattress.

Pros And Cons Of Hybrid Mattresses

Hybrid mattresses combine the benefits of both foam and spring mattresses, including the pressure relief of memory foam and the cooling ability of spring mattresses.

However, they may come with a higher price tag and increased weight compared to other options, making them less suitable for those on a tight budget or those with limited space in their RV.

Ultimately, choosing a hybrid mattress depends on your preferences and requirements.

Couple sitting camp chairs toasting

Budget Considerations

Budget plays an important role when selecting an RV mattress, with both foam and spring mattresses available in a range of prices to accommodate different budgets.

Generally, spring mattresses are more affordable than memory foam options, but the cost of either type depends on the quality of the materials used.

By considering your budget and prioritizing the most important features, you can make an informed decision on the ideal RV mattress for your needs.

Warranty And Trial Periods

When purchasing any mattress, considering warranty and trial periods is vital as they provide an opportunity to test the mattress and assure its quality and durability.

A trial period allows you to test the mattress for a specified time, with the option to return it for a full refund if you are unsatisfied.

At the same time, the warranty on an RV mattress is a guarantee from the manufacturer that the mattress is free from defects in materials and workmanship for a certain period of time.

By considering these factors, you can make a confident decision and invest in a mattress that will provide you with years of comfort and support.


In conclusion, the choosing memory foam versus innerspring RV mattresses, the choice ultimately comes down to personal preference, budget, and sleep position.

By understanding the differences in construction, temperature regulation, motion isolation, and lifespan, you can make an informed decision and select the perfect mattress for your needs.There is no right answer for innerspring vs. memory foam for RV use. It's up to the user.

Whether you opt for a foam, innerspring, or hybrid mattress, investing in a high-quality option will ensure you enjoy countless restful nights on the road.

Couple sitting in front of a vintage metal travel trailer

Frequently Asked Questions

Do Foam Or Spring Mattresses Last Longer?

Foam mattresses usually last between six to seven years, while innerspring beds have a shorter expected lifespan of around five to six years.

Memory foam is typically more durable than springs, lasting up to 12 years, though thicker coils may increase the lifespan of spring mattresses.

Overall, foam mattresses tend to last longer than spring mattresses. But if you’re using one in an RV, you only use three times a year, well, you get the picture.

What Are The Disadvantages Of Sleeping On A Foam Mattress?

Sleeping on a memory foam mattress has disadvantages, such as heat retention, lack of edge support, and off-gassing, which may deter some people from choosing it.

What Are The Disadvantages Of Spring Mattresses?

Spring mattresses require replacing within a few years when used regularly, making them expensive in the long run. Additionally, they lack motion isolation, resulting in movement from one person being felt by the other, and can also be quite noisy due to their springs.

Are Memory Foam Mattresses Good?

Memory foam mattresses provide excellent comfort by contouring to the individual body, evenly distributing weight, and relieving pressure points.

They also have a high durability of 7-10 years and help reduce chronic back and neck pain through long-term use.

Overall, memory foam mattresses are a good option for most sleepers.

What Is The Main Difference Between Foam And Spring RV Mattresses?

When it comes to memory foam vs. innerspring RV mattresses, differences are these: foam mattresses offer contouring support and motion isolation, while spring mattresses provide a firmer feel with improved ventilation.

Kelly Headshot

I dedicated myself to living the full-time RV life for over 6.5 years, immersing myself in the unique quirks and joys of the boondocking lifestyle and gaining a wealth of knowledge and experience along the way. In December 2020, my business partner and I made the transition to part-time RVing, but in January 2023, we hit the road once again, this time in our trusty vans. My mission is to help others embrace the RVing lifestyle with confidence and excitement, armed with the knowledge and resources needed to make the most of their adventures. I believe that the more you know, the more you can truly appreciate and enjoy the freedom and flexibility of the open road.

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}