RV Mattress Materials And Construction- A Comprehensive Guide

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By Kelly Beasley

Lord we love to sleep, don't we?

Have you ever wondered what materials they use in an RV mattress?

Clothed lady sleeping in bed

And do they use specialized or different materials for them than they do normal mattresses?

And what kinds of RV mattress materials and construction make up a good one?

Understanding these things help you make an informed purchase.

Short Summary

  • Uncovering the parts of an RV Mattress provides a comprehensive guide to essential components, support layers, comfort layers, and customization options.
  • Memory foam mattresses are popular due to their lightweight composition and conforming comfort layers, while innerspring mattresses provide traditional support with coils and springs.
  • Latex foam is an eco-friendly option that offers customizable levels of support, while hybrid mattresses combine both for enhanced durability and breathability.

Components Of An RV Mattress: The Essentials

Much like the human body, an RV mattress also has a backbone and skin, metaphorically speaking.

RV mattress comfort layer options are many.

And yes, they make these mattresses from the same materials that they make regular mattresses from. There's no 'special sauce' that they need to be or have! (Comparing RV and regular mattresses.)

RV Mattress Materials Guide

The mattress has different layers. The uppermost layer is the ‘comfort layer’ or the skin. It’s what you feel when you lie down.

This layer is all about providing that soft cushion that cradles you to sleep.

The backbone, or the ‘support layer,’ provides much-needed stability and proper body alignment while you sleep.

Pillow top mattress

This is the foundation of your mattress. It holds everything together.

Both of these layers are found in all types of RV mattress construction.

The quality of these components plays a massive role in not only guaranteeing optimal comfort but also in ensuring the durability and support of foam beds and other types of RV mattresses.

Support Layer: The Backbone Of Your Mattress

As stated before, the support layer in a traditional foam mattress furnishes the groundwork for the bed, guaranteeing steadfastness and suitable body alignment.

But what exactly does a support layer consist of? In all foam mattresses, the support layer is typically comprised of either springs and coils or dense foam.

Each of these materials has its pros and cons, and choosing the right one depends on your specific needs and preferences.

For example, foam provides a softer feel and better motion isolation, making it a good choice if you share your bed with a partner. (RV mattress motion control explained.)

On the other hand, innerspring offers better edge support and can be more durable, making it a good choice for heavier individuals or those who prefer a firmer feel.

Ultimately, the right layering of RV mattress materials that provide support can enhance the bed's longevity, minimize motion transfer, and provide additional benefits.

Comfort Layer: Customizing Your Sleep Experience

Moving on to the comfort layer - the layer that has the crucial role of making your bed COZY!

This layer can be constructed from a range of materials, including these sturdy RV mattress materials:

  • Memory foam
  • Latex
  • Cotton
  • Wool

Each material brings something unique to the table.

Memory foam, for instance, offers contouring support, molding to your body shape for a customized feel.

Latex, on the other hand, is breathable and robust, making it a good choice for those who tend to sleep hot or for those who value durability.

Cotton is soft and permeable, providing a soft, cozy feel.

And wool? It’s a natural temperature regulator, ensuring you stay warm in winter and cool in summer.

In addition, materials like mini coils, micro-coils, and nano-coils are also employed in comfort layers to offer pressure relief, breathability, and bounce.

BT Cruiser 5210 small Class C RV exterior

Memory Foam RV Mattresses: A Popular Choice

Now let’s delve into one of the most popular choices among RV owners - the memory foam RV mattress.

These mattresses are known for their comfort and the ability to conform to the specific size requirements of recreational vehicles. But what makes them so favored?

Memory foam RV mattresses can adapt to the body and provide pressure relief.

They generally consist of a combination of high-density foam and memory foam layers.

The high-density foam offers support and resilience, while the memory foam layer molds to the body and provides pressure relief. So they offer:

  • Conformability
  • Pressure relief
  • Lightweight nature (sometimes)
  • Unique size requirements

These features make memory foam mattresses a preferred choice for RVs.

Memory Foam: Conforming Comfort

For those wondering what memory foam is, it’s a material that conforms to the body while giving support, thereby providing a comfortable and supportive sleep surface.

Today’s modern mattresses often contain memory foam. It’s like a piece of clay that molds itself to the shape of the object pressing into it.

When you lie on a memory foam mattress, the foam compresses and contours to your body shape, providing precise support and comfort.

RV foam mattress layers

Layers In A Memory Foam Mattress

A memory foam mattress is not just about memory foam. It typically comprises a comfort layer and a base layer.

For reference, picture a sandwich.

The bread on top and bottom represents comfort and base layers, and the filling in between is memory foam. Each layer serves a purpose in providing comfort and support.

Having multiple layers ensures enhanced support and comfort, as well as increased durability. It’s like having a team where each member has a specific role.

Together, they work to provide a sleep experience that is nothing short of perfect.

Innerspring RV Mattresses: Traditional Support

Next on the list are innerspring RV mattresses, providing traditional support through coils and springs.

This bed works like a trampoline. The springs in the trampoline give it the bounce.

Similarly, the coils and springs in an innerspring mattress give it the support and bounce many sleepers enjoy.

Innerspring mattresses are a type of mattress that features a coil core, a fabric cover, and minimal cushioning material.

They’re like a classic car - reliable, tested over time, and providing a familiar comfort many of us grew up with.

Coils And Springs: The Heart Of An Innerspring Mattress

Delving deeper into the heart of an innerspring mattress, we find the coils and springs.

These metal coils or springs offer resistance and support, acting as the mattress's core.

RV mattress pocketed coils

They can be interconnected or individually wrapped and encased in fabric with cushioning material placed on top.

The firmness feel of a coil mattress is determined by several factors, including:

  • The type of steel used
  • The number of turns in each coil
  • Coil construction
  • Tempering of steel
  • Layers of insulation

Types Of Innerspring Coils

There are different types of innerspring coils, each possessing distinct characteristics and advantages.

Apart from all foam beds, hybrid and innerspring mattresses can also be made using various types of coils, such as:

  • Bonnell Coils
  • Coil-on-Coil
  • Continuous Coils
  • Offset Coils

These coils and thin layers of micro coils and nano coils are included as a comfort or transition layer.

They can enhance responsiveness, support, temperature regulation, and sturdiness of the bed.

In standard spring mattresses, each type of coil offers different benefits.

For example, pocketed coils are great for reducing motion transfer, making them a popular choice for couples.

On the other hand, continuous coils are known for their durability and are often found in firmer mattresses.

Understanding the differences can help you choose the right innerspring mattress.

Latex Foam RV Mattresses: Natural And Eco-friendly

Latex foam RV mattresses are another popular choice, especially for those who prioritize eco-friendliness.

These mattresses are crafted from natural or synthetic materials.

Natural latex mattresses are derived from rubber tree sap, making it a green and sustainable choice. But it's more expensive than synthetic latex.

Latex foam

The advantages of a latex mattress are numerous. It offers a supportive, breathable, and environmentally friendly core.

Additionally, it can help to alleviate pressure points and is cooler to sleep on than regular memory foam.

A latex mattress is like a breath of fresh air in your RV, offering a comfortable sleep experience while being kind to the environment.

Natural vs. Synthetic Latex: Understanding The Difference

While natural and synthetic latex are used in mattresses, there are significant differences between the two.

Natural latex, as the name suggests, is derived from rubber tree sap, whereas synthetic latex is comprised of petrochemicals.

It’s like comparing a fresh, juicy orange to orange-flavored candy. Both have their unique properties and advantages.

Natural latex is more resilient and environmentally friendly, whereas synthetic latex is more economical.

Regarding the support layer, latex is an ideal material, and when combined with other materials, it further enhances their qualities.

The choice between natural and synthetic latex depends on your preferences and values.

Latex Foam Layers: Support And Comfort

A latex foam mattress typically comprises a support core consisting of two or more layers of latex foam of varying firmness and a comfort layer constructed of various materials, such as memory foam or HR foam.

It’s like a multi-layered cake, with each layer adding a different flavor and texture to the overall experience.

Latex foam layers can customize the sleep experience through varying firmness levels.

So whether you prefer a firm mattress that provides robust support or a plush mattress that cradles you to sleep, a latex foam mattress can be customized.

Hybrid RV Mattresses: The Best Of Both Worlds

Now, let’s talk about hybrid RV mattresses.

As the name implies, these mattresses feature both foam and coils.

They typically consist of a coil support system with layers of memory foam on top, providing multi-layered support and comfort.

The advantage of a hybrid RV mattress is that it offers a combination of innerspring mattress support and foam mattress comfort.

This blend of materials also provides increased durability and breathability.

With a hybrid mattress, you don’t have to choose between the bounce of innerspring and the contouring comfort of foam - you can have it all!

nuCamp Tab S interior sleeping area converted

Customizing Your Hybrid Mattress

One of the significant advantages of a hybrid mattress is its customizability.

With some companies, you can tweak the choice of layers, materials, and the firmness levels to create a bed that is truly tailored to your comfort requirements and choices.

This way you can devise a mattress that offers the best of both worlds in support and comfort.

It’s like building your dream home, where every detail is designed according to your needs and preferences.

Brooklyn Bedding Signature Hybrid RV mattress

Edge Support: Maximizing Sleep Surface

Another critical factor to consider is edge support.

Much like a picture frame holds a picture, the edge support in a bed acts as an encasement that surrounds the perimeter of the mattress, providing resistance around its edges.

Why is this important?

Because good edge support ensures that the entire sleep surface of the RV mattress can be used. And most RV mattresses are smaller than the norm.

So whether you’re an edge sleeper or simply like to sit on the edge of the bed, a mattress with good edge support ensures you can make the most of every inch.

High-Density Foam: Durability And Support

High-density foam is another material often found in RV mattresses.

With a density approximately double that of low-density foams, high-density foam is more resilient and supportive, great for withstanding pressure and weight.

Not only does high-density foam provide exceptional support for the body, alleviating pressure points, but it also facilitates an even weight distribution.

This is a beneficial choice for individuals of greater weight.

Plus, its resistance to wear and tear makes it a durable choice for mattresses that get regular use.

Top view of women curled up in bed

Choosing A Mattress For Your Camper: Special Factors To Consider

Choosing the perfect mattress for your camper goes beyond the type and materials.

There are special factors to consider such as the size and dimensions of the mattress and unique design features that may be required for a custom fit.

Remember, an RV is not the same as a home bedroom.

Space is at a premium and every inch counts.

So whether it’s the size of the camper, the number of individuals that will be utilizing the trailer or motorhome, or the mattress type, every detail matters.

Sizes And Dimensions

Regarding RV mattresses, one size does not fit all.

Camper bed platforms come in a variety of sizes and dimensions for beds, including occasionally regular sizes, plus these common RV sizes:

It’s like clothes - you need to find the perfect fit for your body, or in this case, your camper.

So choosing the right size and dimension for your RV mattress is important.

Not only does it need to fit on your RV bed platform, but it also must accommodate your sleeping needs and preferences.

Two kids on bunk bed with grandma standing next to it

Mattress Height vs. Clearance Issues

Another important factor to consider is the height of the mattress.

This can have an impact on the clearance between the bed and the ceiling of the RV or bunk area.

If the mattress is too tall, it may interfere with a slide or other components of the RV, causing clearance issues.

It’s all about finding the perfect balance to ensure a comfortable and practical sleep environment.

Hinges, Cut Corners, Curves, And More

Lastly, consider the unique design features of your mattress.

This could involve hinges, cut corners, and curves.

If your camper comes with a mattress with a unique custom shape and you need a new one, one money-saving solution is to get you an all-foam mattress and cut it to fit.

But if it needs a hinge to fold up, your options are likely more limited to getting one from a custom RV mattress manufacturer.

Remember that the mattress may have to be smaller and thinner than regular-sized mattresses to accommodate the restricted space in your RV.

When it comes to RV mattress thickness, most campers prefer a bed to be 8-12 inches thick. Remember, it’s not just about comfort but also practicality and making the most of your space.

Tochta Cortana RV foam mattress cut corner


In conclusion, choosing the perfect mattress for your RV is a journey.

It involves understanding the various types of mattresses, the different parts of a mattress, the materials used, and how these factors contribute to your sleep experience.

Whether it’s the support provided by an innerspring mattress, the contouring comfort of memory foam, the eco-friendliness of latex, or the best of both worlds with a hybrid mattress, the choice ultimately comes down to your personal needs and preferences.

So next time you hit the open road in your RV, you can rest assured knowing you’ve made the best choice for your sleep comfort.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Are The Parts Of A Mattress Called?

A mattress usually comprises of three layers:

  • Comfort layer
  • Transition layer
  • Support layer

These components provide comfort and support for the sleeper while also helping to regulate temperature and reduce motion transfer. They also help to extend the life of the mattress.

What Is The Hard Part Under A Mattress Called?

The support underneath the mattress is known as a mattress platform, foundation, or base.

What Are Mattresses Made Of?

Mattresses are composed of various materials, such as coils surrounded by layers of comfort material like latex, foam or natural fibers, and even metal springs.

Various materials allow people to select the mattress that suits them best.

What Are The Essential Components Of An RV Mattress?

An RV mattress always consists of a support layer and a comfort layer, providing the necessary foundation for a good night’s rest.

The support layer is usually made of high-density foam, while the comfort layer is usually made of softer foam or a combination of foam and fiberfill. This combination of materials helps to provide the necessary materials.

What Is A Hybrid RV Mattress?

A hybrid RV mattress combines a coils AND foam, providing extra support and comfort layers for RV owners.

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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