RV Mattress Firmness - How To Find The Perfect Comfort Level For Your Camper

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By Kelly Beasley

Imagine the perfect road trip in your RV, exploring the great outdoors and creating unforgettable memories.

Now imagine returning to your camper after a long day of adventures, only to spend the night tossing and turning on an uncomfortable mattress. Sounds awful, right?

When choosing the right new mattress, firmness is crucial to ensure a good night’s sleep so that you can wake up refreshed and ready for more adventures.

In this RV mattress firmness guide, we dive into the world of mattress firmness, helping you find the perfect comfort level for your camper.

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Short Summary

  • Choosing RV mattress firmness properly is vital to a good night’s sleep in your camper.
  • The mattress firmness scale provides a standardized way of measuring and comparing different mattresses so you can pick what suits your needs, whether it’s a plush mattress or a medium mattress.
  • Consider factors such as sleeping position, body weight, and pain relief when selecting the right RV mattress for you.

Understanding RV Mattress Firmness Options

Selecting the right mattress firmness is a vital aspect of RV life. After all, a good night’s sleep is essential for your physical and mental well-being.

The firmness of a mattress is typically measured on a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being the softest and 10 the firmest.

To help you find your perfect fit, we’ll explore three main categories of firmness: soft, medium, and firm mattresses.

Remember, your ideal mattress firmness is highly personal, influenced by factors like your body weight, sleeping position, and pain relief needs.

Young woman sleeping in bed

Soft Mattresses

Soft mattresses are well-known for their cushiony and comfortable feel. They provide a deep sinkage that contours to your body, giving you the necessary pressure relief.

With a firmness level of 3-4 on the mattress firmness scale, they are usually constructed with cushioning materials like quilted pillow tops or thick sections of memory foam.

These mattresses are ideal for side sleepers and lighter-weight sleepers, as they provide deep pressure relief and a plush feel.

However, extra soft mattresses might not provide enough support for everyone, especially those with specific pain relief needs or heavier individuals.

In such cases, it’s essential to find a balance between comfort and support, considering your unique requirements.

Medium Mattresses

Medium mattresses strike a delicate balance between comfort and support, making them suitable for most sleepers.

With a firmness level ranging from 4 to 6, these mattresses cater to moderately weighted sleepers (all positions), lightweight sleepers who sleep on their stomach or back, and some heavy sleepers who sleep on their side.

Couples with different sleeping positions and body types may find medium soft to medium firm mattresses (4-6 out of 10) a great option, as they can provide broad appeal across weight groups.

Medium-firm mattresses offer a great balance between pressure relief and support, ensuring a comfortable sleep experience for most people.

Firm Mattresses

Firm mattresses, with a firmness level between 8-10 on the scale, provide strong support and minimal sinkage.

Comfortable RV mattress firmness levels for stomach sleepers might differ from comfortable firmness levels for back sleepers. So these firmer mattresses are ideal for stomach sleepers and heavier individuals, as they ensure proper spinal alignment and prevent the body from sinking too far into the mattress.

Kelly's Tochta mattress with bedding peeled back from corner

Firm mattresses usually feature a thin layer of soft foam atop high-density poly foam or springs that offer deep compression support.

While firm mattresses can provide excellent support, they may not be suitable for everyone. Side sleepers or those with pain relief needs might find firmer options too hard and uncomfortable.

It’s essential to consider your unique sleeping position and preferences when choosing a firm mattress.

The RV Mattress Firmness Scale Explained

As you can see, RV mattress firmness significance is important. That said, the mattress firmness scale is a handy tool that can help simplify your search for the perfect recreational vehicle mattress.

RV mattress firmness options are wide. Ranging from 1 (extra soft) to 10 (extra firm), the scale provides a standardized way to measure and compare the firmness of different mattresses.

By understanding the scale and your preferences, you can narrow your options and find the ideal mattress to suit your needs.

When shopping for a camper mattress, it’s essential to consider your comfort preferences. Consider the following on the RV mattress firmness scale:

Ratings 1-3: Extra Soft To Soft

Extra soft to soft mattresses, with a firmness rating of 1-3, provide plush comfort but may lack support for some sleepers.

While offering a luxurious feel and deep pressure relief, these mattresses might not be suitable for everyone, especially those who require more support or have specific pain relief needs.

A softer mattress could be an option for those prioritizing comfort over support.

It’s essential to consider your unique preferences and requirements when choosing a mattress with a firmness rating of 1-3.

The plush comfort may be enticing for some, while others may require a more supportive option to ensure a comfortable and restful sleep.

Ratings 4-6: Medium Soft To Medium Firm

Medium-soft to medium-firm mattresses, with a firmness rating of 4-6, cater to a wide range of sleepers and are often preferred by couples with different preferences.

A medium-firm mattress balances comfort and support, ensuring optimal sleep quality for most people.

Whether you’re a side, back, or stomach sleeper, medium soft to medium firm mattresses can accommodate various sleeping positions and body types.

You can select a mattress within this range that meets your comfort and support requirements by understanding your unique preferences and needs.

Ratings 7-10: Firm To Extra Firm

Firm to extra firm mattresses, with a firmness rating of 7-10, offer strong support but may be too hard for some sleepers.

Ideal for stomach sleepers and heavier individuals, these mattresses ensure proper spinal alignment and minimal sinkage.

However, choosing between a firm or soft mattress depends on personal preference and individual needs.

However, firmer options may only be suitable for some. Side sleepers or those with pain relief needs might find these mattresses too hard and uncomfortable.

It’s essential to consider your unique sleeping position and preferences when choosing a firm to extra firm mattress.

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Factors Affecting Your Ideal RV Mattress Firmness

Now that we’ve explored the various mattress firmness levels and the mattress firmness scale, it’s time to consider the factors that affect your ideal RV mattress firmness.

These factors include sleeping position, body weight, and pain relief needs.

By considering these factors, you can make an informed decision and choose the perfect mattress to ensure a comfortable and restful sleep in your RV.

Sleeping Positions

Your sleep position plays a crucial role in determining the ideal mattress firmness. As mentioned earlier, side sleepers prefer softer mattresses to accommodate pressure points and ensure proper spinal alignment.

On the other hand, back sleepers often find medium firmness mattresses most comfortable, as they provide adequate support for the spine without causing discomfort.

Stomach sleepers usually require firmer mattresses to prevent their midsection from dipping too much and causing spinal misalignment in their sleeping position.

Understanding your sleeping position and its impact on mattress firmness preference can help you narrow your options and select the perfect RV mattress.

Remember, personal preference plays a significant role, so don’t be afraid to test different firmness levels to find your ideal fit.

Body Weight

Body weight is another essential factor to consider when selecting the best firmness for your mattress.

Heavier individuals typically require firmer mattresses, which provide the necessary support to prevent excessive sinkage and maintain proper spinal alignment.

This may mean getting a thicker mattress, but be aware if there are things that limit how thick you can go, like beds on some slides or Murphy beds.

On the other hand, lighter individuals often prefer softer mattresses, as they can provide adequate pressure relief without feeling too firm.

It’s important to remember that personal preference plays a significant role in your firmness preferences.

By understanding how your body weight affects your firmness preference and testing out different options, you can find the perfect mattress to suit your needs.

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Pain Relief Needs

If you suffer from pain, such as back, hip, or shoulder pain, your mattress firmness choice can play a significant role in providing relief.

For instance, people with back pain may benefit from firmer support, like an ultra-firm mattress that offers better structural support and keeps the spine aligned. (Choosing an RV mattress for back pain.)

On the other hand, those with hip pain may find relief with a medium to soft mattress, which can provide adequate pressure relief and support.

A soft mattress is often recommended for shoulder pain, as it can alleviate pressure on the shoulder area.

When selecting your ideal RV mattress firmness, it’s crucial to consider any pain relief needs you may have.

By understanding how different firmness levels can address specific pain concerns, you can make an informed decision and choose a mattress that provides the comfort and support you need.

Memory Foam And Mattress Firmness

Memory foam mattresses have gained popularity for their contouring properties, providing pressure relief and support to various sleepers.

These mattresses can be all foam or hybrid mattresses with foam and innerspring. (What are hybrid RV mattresses?)

Memory foam firmness ranges from extra soft to extra firm, depending on the type and density of foam used.

Memory foam mattresses typically feel softer than other materials like latex or coils, providing a unique sleep experience for those who prefer a more plush feel.

When selecting a memory foam mattress, it’s essential to consider your firmness preference and how it relates to the memory foam’s unique properties.

By understanding how memory foam affects firmness, you can choose an option that provides the comfort and support you need.

Choosing The Right Mattress Type For Your Firmness Preference

Selecting the perfect camper mattress goes beyond just finding the right firmness level. You also need to consider the type of mattress that suits your firmness preference best.

Several mattress types are available, including memory foam, latex mattress, hybrid, and innerspring mattress.

Each mattress type offers its unique benefits and drawbacks, so it’s essential to understand their characteristics and how they align with your firmness preference.

For example, memory foam mattresses are known for their contouring properties and can offer a softer feel compared to other materials like latex or coils.

On the other hand, latex and innerspring mattresses can provide a firmer feel for those who prefer more support.

By considering your specific firmness preference and the advantages of various mattress types, you can find the perfect option for your RV.

Firmness vs. Support: Understanding The Difference

When selecting the perfect RV mattress, it’s crucial to understand the difference between firmness and support.

Firmness is all about the initial feel of the mattress when you first lay on it, while support is about how well the bed maintains proper spinal alignment and relieves pressure points.

Finding a balance between firmness and support is essential when choosing your ideal RV mattress.

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A mattress that’s too firm might not provide enough pressure relief, while a bed that’s too soft may not offer adequate support for proper spinal alignment.

By understanding the distinction between firmness and support, you can make an informed decision and choose a mattress that provides the perfect combination for your unique needs.

Tips For Selecting The Perfect Camper Mattress Firmness

Selecting the perfect camper bed may seem daunting, but with the right approach, you can find the ideal fit for your needs. Here are some tips to help you make an informed decision.

  • Consider your personal preferences: Everyone has their unique comfort preferences, so it’s essential to consider what feels best for you.
  • Test out different options: Visit a mattress store or try out a friend’s mattress to better understand your firmness preference.
  • Utilize trial periods: Many mattress companies offer trial periods, allowing you to test the mattress in your home for a certain period. This can be a great way to ensure you’ve chosen the right firmness of a mattress before committing to a purchase.

By considering these tips and considering the factors discussed in this guide, you can confidently select the perfect camper mattress to ensure a comfortable and restful sleep.

Partner Considerations: Finding An RV Mattress That Suits Both Sleepers

For couples sharing an RV mattress, finding a bed that suits both sleepers’ preferences can be a challenge.

Considering both partners’ needs and preferences is essential when selecting the ideal firmness.

Discuss your individual preferences and consider trying out a mattress with adjustable firmness or dual-firmness options, allowing each partner to customize their side of the bed to their liking.

Another option is to choose a mattress with a medium firmness level, as these mattresses cater to a wide range of sleepers and can provide a comfortable compromise for couples with different preferences.

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By considering both partners’ preferences and exploring adjustable or dual-firmness options, you can find an RV mattress that ensures a comfortable and restful sleep for both sleepers.

Lastly, if your partner likes extra firm beds, you can get one and then put an ultra-soft twin RV topper on the side you need for a softer rest.

Or add a topper to add a deep cushion to your existing mattress. This is important to get right because there's a big chance that your RV mattress firmness impact on sleep will be huge.


In conclusion, selecting the perfect RV mattress is a vital aspect of ensuring a comfortable and restful sleep during your travels.

By understanding the different firmness levels, considering factors like sleeping position, body weight, and pain relief needs, and exploring various mattress types, you can make an informed decision and choose a mattress that provides the ideal combination of comfort and support.

We hope this RV mattress firmness guide helped. Now you're armed with knowing your RV mattress firmness preferences a little better. Happy shopping!

Frequently Asked Questions

How Do I Know What Firmness Of Mattress I Need?

It largely depends on what kind of sleeper you are - side, back, or stomach. Side sleepers will want to look for Medium Soft to Medium Firm mattresses so they can cushion their impact points.

For back and stomach sleepers, a Medium Firm to Firm mattress is advised to provide adequate support with only light conforming. Ultimately, this is the best way to determine what firmness of mattress you need.

Balancing RV mattress firmness is important to get right!

How Firm Should A Mattress Be For A Side Sleeper?

Regarding side sleeping, the best mattress should provide both comfort and support. Look for a sort of firm mattress that is medium-firm - not too soft and not too firm - so that your spine stays aligned as you sleep. This will allow you to get the restful sleep your body needs.

For side sleepers, the ideal mattress should be on the firmer side of medium-firm in order to provide optimal support for your hips and shoulders while allowing your spine to remain correctly aligned. That way, you can wake up feeling refreshed and pain-free each morning.

As a side sleeper, you need to look for a mattress that offers the right balance between comfort and support. To ensure optimal alignment and comfort throughout the night, choose a medium-firm mattress- right between a soft bed and a hard bed. This provides the cushioning and support you need for a good night’s sleep.

How Does Body Weight Affect Mattress Firmness Preference?

Generally, heavier individuals benefit from firmer mattresses for better support, while lighter individuals may find softer mattresses more comfortable.

It’s essential to select a mattress that meets your body weight needs in order to maximize comfort.

What Is The Difference Between Mattress Firmness And Support?

When it comes to mattress firmness and support, the main difference is that firmness is all about comfort and feel, while support is all about keeping your spine properly aligned.

The mattress’s construction and materials determine firmness, while support is determined by the mattress’s design and construction. Firmness is usually measured on a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being the softest and 10 being the firmest.

How Do Memory Foam Mattresses Compare To Other Materials In Terms Of Firmness?

These mattresses are generally considered to be softer than other mattress materials like innerspring, providing a more comfortable and luxurious sleep experience.

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.

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