The Best RV Mattress for 2021
(Camp Addict does NOT accept payment from any company to review or endorse their products.)
There can be... let's just say... more than ONE good reason to crawl into bed, ya know what we mean??
KNOW WHAT WE MEAN??!
(Wink wink, nudge nudge!)
Any experience in bed will be diminished if your mattress feels less than desirable.
You are probably here because your RV mattress is less than stellar and you are looking to replace it.
First, let's learn more about the many different types of mattresses there are out there along with the pros and cons of each material type. We discuss bedding options as well as RV mattress sizes.
You will learn here what you are looking for in terms of a new mattress for your RV.
Let's dive right in!
Already know all about this subject? Just looking for the reviews? Click the button below to jump down to the product reviews.
Guide to RV Mattresses
Crawling into bed to watch your favorite show can be the best part of your day. It's my favorite lots of the time (this is Kelly).
However, the 'mattress' (aka futon + foam 'thing') that came with my rig was pretty ridiculously BAD.
Still, I endured it for almost three years. See below.
Yikes, right?? Why did I endure? It just wasn't something I wanted to spend my precious dollars on.
I put a band-aid on it by getting a Tempur-Pedic foam topper. Then I thought it was fairly comfortable until the futon started to dip in the middle.
After that, 'comfortable' sleeping became a crazy regimen of assorting pillows and sleeping positions.
It was time to get a real mattress for my RV. Mattresses seem like a simple thing.
Traditional mattresses were made out of springs with some cushioning on top of the springs. Many are made similarly today, but the better ones use a new type of pocketed coil system
The pocket system is far superior as far as motion transference goes.
Now there are various types of foam mattresses as well, many with no springs whatsoever. Some are hybrids, sporting a combination of springs and foams.
Getting down to the bottom of the RV mattress rabbit hole of information proved mighty challenging.
Still, we did the wading for you and hopefully this helps you to understand the lingo and the important stuff a little better.
There are mattress sizes specifically made for RVs, but there are also conventional sized beds in RVs. Many online makers don't offer custom sizes.
In our research, some that DO offer custom sizes had such bad customer support we couldn't even begin to consider recommending them for a good mattress to purchase.
Yet we did find very good companies with mattresses that are very clean as far as them not using harmful chemicals to fire-proof their mattresses.
We rated mostly for excellent customer service and superior products with the least chemicals used possible.
What's This Fireproofing About?
Back in 2007, the government got their hands on the mattress industry, claiming that the mattresses needed to be fire-resistant.
This was due to the deaths of sleepers, mostly from smoking in bed and falling asleep.
The rule is that the mattress has to pass the Consumer Product Safety Commission's (CPSP) test. All mattresses have to meet or exceed their open flame fire test.
To make this happen, many companies use fireproofing chemicals since chemicals are the cheapest way to fireproof a mattress.
However, these dangerous chemicals off-gas from the mattress and into your body. No doubt about it, the chemicals used are dangerous for your health.
Some mattress companies opt to use mattress cover materials that are innately fire-resistant.
Materials such as wool, fiberglass, and kevlar can meet the standards that must be passed.
In terms of health, at the very least you want a company who uses ZERO chemicals to make their mattresses fireproof.
None of our recommended mattresses use chemicals for fireproofing.
It's thought that when people switch over to a fire-protected mattress, as much as 75% of the deaths and injuries related to mattress fires can be avoided.
You can probably conclude that if you have a mattress older than 2007, it's in your best interest to upgrade to a new one.
RV Mattress Topper
An alternative to buying a brand new mattress for your RV is to purchase an RV mattress topper.
This is a foam (generally memory foam) piece somewhere in the 2-3 inches thick range that you put on top of your old mattress.
The hope is that the foam topper will make your horrible mattress bearable enough to continue sleeping on.
This is the route that Camp Addict Co-Founder Marshall took in his Lance travel trailer. He purchased a 3-inch thick memory foam camper mattress topper (seen below).
This made his stock RV mattress a lot more comfortable, but let's get real, for the price of a good quality RV mattress topper, you are half-way to a new mattress. And it might not do the trick.
JUST BUY A NEW MATTRESS!
Or, you can certainly purchase an RV mattress topper. Good luck finding the best RV mattress topper as Amazon is full of options.
After spending waaaaaaay too much time researching the subject, Marshall ended up purchasing a queen sized topper from ViscoSoft (also available in all standard mattress sizes).
Update 12/2019: He finally got a new mattress (Brooklyn Bedding). No more topper.
Mattress... In A Box?
Foam mattresses AND spring mattresses are being shipped this way these days. SO much more convenient and cheaper than sending one full-sized!
Mattress companies as a whole are 'springing' up EVERYWHERE these days. (heh)
You can order a camper mattress online and have it shipped right to your door, vacuum-sealed, in a box. We live in an amazing time, friends!
There are RVs with regular size beds and RVs with custom mattress sizes and shapes. We wanted to showcase both types as both exist in the RV industry.
Bad RV Mattress, Or Is It You?
Here are some causes (and possible solutions) if you can't sleep in your RV:
- You're way off-level. (Well, level it or move!)
- You're parked at a Wal-Mart. (Earplugs. Buy 'em at Wal-Mart.)
- You're parked next to 'those' neighbors. (Try running around outside naked.)
- You have kids. (Duct tape? Haha)
- Maybe you're sleeping next to the wrong person? (Match.com. )
- Your mattress is concave. (You're on the right page.)
Popular RV Mattress Types
Most mattresses made today are made of these various materials.
Most are a hybrid of two or more:
These are some of the more popular types of materials that make up a mattress.
Let's start with latex mattresses.
'Natural' latex foam is made from the sap of the rubber tree, so it's 'natural'. It's simply a plant product.
There are two types of natural latex foam materials. They differ only in how they are processed. These mattresses will either be 'Dunlop' foam or 'Talalay' foam.
The difference between them is how they are 'cooked'.
Dunlop latex mattresses are made by filling up a mold with the product. It is then 'cooked' in a vulcanization oven.
After the vulcanization process is complete, the foam is washed of soap and excess material. It is then dried at high temperatures to assure that the mattress gets fully dried.
(This is kind of boring, but if you're a little geeky about this stuff, well, these descriptions are for you.)
The Dunlop is a simpler process, and the Talalay process is a little more involved. What's the difference?
The Talalay mattress foam will have open vertical columns in the material, allowing for air-flow in the mattress, creating a somewhat cooler product.
Also, air and synthetic materials are added to the Talalay. There is NO SUCH THING as an all-natural Talalay foam.
Most would call the Talalay foam 'springier' than the Dunlop foam. Still, the two look and feel very similar to the untrained consumer with the Talalay being a little softer.
Because there is more of a manufacturing process involved in making talalay, if you are looking to reduce your carbon footprint, Dunlop will be the way to go.
If you are a hot sleeper, the Talalay will be a better choice for you, if it's the top layer. Because of the extra processing, Talalay mattresses are typically more expensive than dunlop.
If you are on a budget, the Dunlop mattress will be the more affordable option.
Some benefits of natural latex are that it is resistant to dust mites. It's also anti-microbial, antifungal, and hypo-allergenic.
Synthetic latex is any latex that has been mixed with other materials or chemicals. Most commonly this will be polyurethane foam, which is a petroleum by-product.
This kind of latex will off-gas chemicals and will also break down sooner than natural latex.
Some synthetics also have little capability to absorb and release moisture, causing heat issues. Additionally, they can invite molds, dust mites, mildews and more.
Synthetic will also be cheaper than pure latex foams.
It is commonly found in hybrid mattresses to keep the price down. True organic latex is very expensive.
So when it comes to a cheap RV mattress, you are looking at synthetic latex.
About 60% of mattresses sold are still traditional innerspring mattresses. These mattresses are built with steel coil springs as a base with many different topper configurations.
Tops may be covered by foam, pillow tops, memory foam, poly foam, or any given combination of these materials.
The biggest downfall of the innerspring mattress is that if you sleep with a partner, oftentimes your sleep can be disturbed by their movements.
Most foam mattresses (foam base, no springs) are far superior to innerspring mattresses in this regard. Motion transference in a foam mattress is usually less than a spring mattress.
One way companies have tried to overcome this issue is to have the spring coils individually wrapped in fabric.
They are called 'pocket coils'.
For shipping, some companies are even able to compact their spring mattresses without any ill side effects.
The More Coils The Better?
More coils don't necessarily mean higher quality. In fact it is likely to be the other way around.
If a manufacturer uses more coils and cheaper foam on top, you are still going to get that sag after a while. Look for an average of about 800-1000 coils.
More importantly, look for very good quality foam covering the springs.
Polyurethane foam or 'poly' foams are among the most inexpensive and lowest quality of mattress foams.
It is made from chemicals.
Polyurethane foams are derived from petroleum products with many added fillers.
Because manufacturers can use so many different variations of chemicals and additives, they can come up with a plethora of different types of poly foams.
They like to then give them fancy names, like 'memory foam', or 'dream foam', or whatnot.
How do you know if the foam in your bed is good or not so good? It's not the easiest thing to get answers from a salesman on the floor of a mattress company.
However, there are two main things you need to look for.
Density- the denser the foam, the better quality because the more structure it has.
Therefore, it will last longer and hold weight better.
Densities for a foam core typically range from 1.5lbs to 3 lbs (measured in a cubic square). Densities for a spring mattress topper might range between 1.3 and 1.8 lbs.
A higher density foam does NOT mean that it is firmer. They can make them either way.
Firm or soft.
IFD- This is the firmness factor of the foam (interface pressure). It's like a comfort measurement.
What you choose will depend on how firm or soft you like for your mattress to be.
Viscoelastic 'Memory' Foam
This is a polyurethane foam with added chemicals that make it have a signature melting into it effect. They also call it 'memory foam'.
This foam has qualities that are nice and some that are not so nice. It's meant to be a top 'comfort' layer.
A mattress made entirely with memory foam would likely be hot and hard to roll over on.
Therefore, most memory foams are just a top layer (or somewhere near the top layer) with either springs or some other foam beneath it.
Memory foam is a personal preference. Some like it and some do not.
Memory foam was first created for cushioning the astronauts while experiencing major g-forces during takeoff.
Today it is found in mattresses and many other products. Memory foam does not 'snap back' into the original form.
It takes a bit longer to return to normal, hence the imprint of the hand in the above photo.
ALL mattresses, even those made ENTIRELY of organic products, will off-gas.
The amount of chemicals they off-gas varies depending on how many chemicals were used to process the product.
The general rule of thumb is to let it air out for 24-48 hours after you unpackaged it. Even if you let it air out, your mattress will continue to off-gas for years to come.
But the biggest percentage comes out when you first unpackaged your mattress if packaged.
Better to let it off-gas in your garage or other covered areas out-of-doors.
This video below shows you how much MORE off-gassing occurs in the first 24 hours of opening the packaging.
Mattress Off-Gassing Over a 24 Hour Period
RV Mattress Sizes
RVs come in a multitude of sizes. Not only do they come with traditional sized mattresses, but they also come with their own 'personal' set of custom sizes as well.
They can all vary by width and length as WELL as depth.
Be sure to note what will or won't fit as far as depth goes. Below we list some of the most common sizes.
Listing traditional sizes here will help you learn if you have a custom size or a tradational size.
Again, DO measure how high your mattress is or can be, in case you are trying to fit a new traditional mattress in there.
(There may be a limit such as a lip at the end of the bed that overhangs the mattress.)
Traditional mattresses come in many different heights depending on the manufacturer.
RV Twin Mattress
Starting off with the smallest beds, RVs can come with twin beds. They are almost ALWAYS a traditional sized twin at 39 x 75 inches.
They are sometimes used as daytime seating, which can be nice for a double purpose.
RV Full Mattress
Full beds are the same thing as double beds. An RV full mattress measures 54 x 75 inches, and a domestic full mattress is 53 x 75 inches.
Not much different.
RV Queen Mattress
An RV queen mattress can come in a variety of dimensions.
A regular 'house' queen mattress measures 60 x 80 inches. You could have a typical 'house' queen mattress in your RV.
If so, yours is called a regular RV queen mattress.
RVs also have a three-quarter queen, which is 48 x 75 inches (narrower), and an RV short queen mattress, measuring 60 x 75 inches.
- Regular queen: 60 x 80 inches
- Three-quarter queen: 48 x 75 inches
- Queen short: 60 x 75 inches
RV King Mattress
A regular king is 80 long and 76 wide. An RV king mattress is only narrower by 4 inches.
So, RV king mattresses are a little narrower than a king 'house' mattresses.
Measuring Your RV Mattress Size
If you really want to know what size to get, don't measure the mattress.
Measure the platform it will rest on.
If you have an older mattress, it may have shifted or spread some due to age and might give you a false read.
If you measure the platform, you can also see and measure if you want to allow the mattress to hang over the edge at all and IF you can have it a little longer or wider.
Making it wider than the platform may not be a very good idea (imagine being close to the edge, and having the feeling you are going to roll off) but you COULD potentially make it longer than your platform.
We HAVE heard of other RVers who have MADE a traditional mattress fit into a space by literally cutting off whatever portion of the mattress needed to be shortened.
We hear it works, but have no experience with it.
You can find videos on YouTube of people cutting their mattresses.
Obviously a mattress must be a foam-only mattress to do this.
What do you do when you have a special sized mattress to have to cover? If yours is not a standard size, you need special sheets and bedding.
There are also alternatives to traditional sheets which we will also cover. (No pun intended. Heh.)
There are RV sized sheets for sale out there. Some are made like traditional sheets, and others are made sort of like a sleeping bag.
Some people (like CA Kelly, below) opt to use no sheets whatsoever.
This may apply for you especially if you have a wonky sized mattress.
Traditional Bedding Alternatives
Kelly quit using sheets in 2017.
She uses a quilt/bedspread to cover her RV queen mattress, and a covered duvet to sleep under.
With a bed area that has zero walk-around space, and only one little section to get into the bed area, making the bed was a back-breaking event.
This lack of accessibility to all sides of the mattress was the major reason Kelly decided to go without.
If you want to go the traditional route and you have an 'RV sized' mattresses, you may have to get special sheets to fit your mattress.
Possible Alternative Mattress Sizes
Please note that we each have had friends who had an RV with an 'RV Queen' (smaller) sized mattress, but they had enough room at the end to still put in a regular (longer) 'traditional' queen mattress.
The only requirement is you would need enough room at the end of the bed for it to fit. It will hang off the platform, but that part of the bed only holds your feet, so it actually works out.
You may not be able to get to the sides of the bed (standing) but that's your prerogative to choose.
Can you believe how much there is to know about mattresses?
When we started researching, we thought it would be a simple, short page. Not so.
Now you know the difference between RV bed sizes, synthetic and non-synthetic, foam and springs, bedding choices, and more.
If you are in the market, we have reviewed the mattresses below. Keep on reading to find your perfect night's sleep!
RV Mattress Reviews
There are literally HUNDREDS of companies out there making mattresses for online orders these days.
Sifting through them was not an easy task. Still, we found the best RV mattresses for your specific need so you don't have to do all the research.
We give you the best choice for a traditional innerspring mattress that you can use when your RV mattress size is standard dimensions.
There is also the best memory foam mattress (again, available only in standard bed sizes).
And finally, if you are looking for a more affordable option, and one that is customizable as far as size, shape, and thickness, we review the best budget & customizable RV mattress (the Tochta).
Best Budget + Customizable RV Mattress
(FULL DISCLOSURE- Tochta provided Camp Addict with a Tochta 'Utopia' RV mattress for review. Kelly is currently using this mattress. UPDATE: Kelly has been using it since April 2019 and she is still 100% in LOVE with this mattress.
Kelly can attest- this is a VERY comfortable mattress that feels like you're floating on a cloud.
The gel memory foam topper feels like a pillow top or the perfect form-fitting mattress.
Fast to ship and very customizable for your RV, this is the perfect AND affordable RV mattress.
Continue Reading Tochta RV Mattress Review
Best Innerspring Mattress
Avocado Green is a very 'green' eco-friendly choice when it comes to a standard-sized RV mattress.
They don't use harmful chemicals to make any part of the mattress.
They're made from latex, wool, and other non-toxic materials.
User reviews are phenomenal. This is a great health-conscious mattress to replace your RV junk mattress.
Continue Reading Avocado Green Mattress Review
Best Memory Foam Mattress
Essentia is a favorite of many who want a mattress designed to suit their sleeping comforts specifically.
They offer quite a few mattresses, all created for different needs.
Please note that Essentia memory foam mattresses only come in standard sizes.
Continue Reading Essentia Mattress Review
Mattresses, like people, come in many shapes and sizes. Confusing as it seems, all you need is one that fits and one that you feel is comfortable.
Educating yourself about the different types of RV mattresses out there is your first step in figuring out what kind will likely work the best for you.
RV mattresses don't help the confusion much since most new rigs come with a less than desirable mattress. Then you add in weird sizes and it gets more complicated.
This is why we chose Tochta as our #1 pick for budget AND custom.
They are VERY easy to order, have fantastic customer support, and you can make it ANY size you want (within some very reasonable constraints).
He-llllo. I'm the co-founder of Camp Addict, which my biz partner and I launched in 2017. I frigging love the RVing lifestyle but in December of 2020, I converted to part-time RV life. Heck, I lived in my travel trailer for over 5.5 years, STRICTLY boondocking for pretty much all of it. Boondocking is a GREAT way to live, but it's not easy. Anyway, I'm passionate about animals, can't stand campgrounds, I hardly ever cook, and I love a good dance party. Currently, I can be found plotting and scheming whether or not to start collecting farm animals (or plotting my next RV trip!) at my beautiful new 'ranch' named 'Hotel Kellyfornia', in Southern Arizona.
Camp Addict co-founder Marshall Wendler brings his technical expertise to help explain RV products in an easy to understand fashion. Full-time RVing from April 2014 - December 2020 (now RVing about 50% of the time), Marshall loves sharing his knowledge of the RV lifestyle. Marshall spends the majority of his RVing life boondocking. He is the part of Camp Addict that knows 'all the things'. He's good at sharing his technical knowledge so you can benefit.