RV Mattress Replacement: The First Thing Smart RV Owners Do After Buying!
(Camp Addict does NOT accept payment from any company to review or endorse their products.)
By Kelly Beasley
RV Mattresses are kind of like the unicorn of the RV world if you aren't familiar with the 'animal.'
This is because camper beds aren't exactly like home beds.
RV beds sit on a platform, don't have box springs, and are sometimes not the same size as traditional home mattresses.
They even require different sized sheets and camper bedding sets if you have a wonky size or cut corners.
Worse, the stock mattresses that come in recreational vehicles are usually so poor even the kids will likely complain about their camper bunk mattress!
Replacing the RV mattress or adding a memory foam topper to it is usually one of the first upgrades new RV owners do.
Even so, it's not hard to replace your travel trailer or motorhome mattress in the event you want to.
You came to the right place to learn just what you need to know to make the right decision for your replacement.
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How do You Know When To Replace Your RV Mattress?
Asking when to replace your RV mattress is a great question, and it's not a hard one to answer.
Here are a few good reasons to replace your RV bed:
You could have a different reason, but no matter the reason, a new bed for your RV is easy to get.
But first, we will look at options that don't cost much or anything.
Can You Replace Your RV Mattress With A Regular Mattress?
You might immediate wonder if replacing an existing RV mattress with a regular (residential) mattress is possible. The answer is yes, maybe.
You might have a mattress at home that works OK, but you would rather invest in a new bed for your bedroom.
Q: Can't you just put your bedroom mattress in the RV and buy a new one for your regular bed?
A: Only if your home mattress meets one of these requirements:
- It's the same size as your RV bed platform (or smaller).
- It's a bed made from foam that you can cut to fit your RV mattress platform, if needed.
Otherwise, you're out of luck.
RV mattresses and the platforms they sit on are almost always NOT the exact sizes as traditional mattresses.
Where Do You Buy A New Camper Mattress?
Where you buy a new camper mattress will depend on what size bed you need. You're likely going to need a custom-sized mattress OR a fairly common-sized "RV mattress size."
There are companies, primarily online, that sell both custom and "traditional RV-sized" mattresses.
(The ones we like best are listed below.)
You can also check with your local mattress dealers to see if they have the size you need.
That way, you can test your replacement mattress before buying it instead of buying it online.
Factors to Consider When Buying a Mattress for an RV
Before you rush and buy just anything that fits, consider these factors:
How often will you use your RV camper replacement mattress?
If not so much, you can probably get a lower quality type of mattress that won't need to endure nightly use or even half a year of use at a time.
If you're living full-time in your rig, you should probably upgrade to a higher-quality mattress.
Most new RV owners don't ever think about this factor but there are definitely some RV mattress weight considerations you should be aware of.
ALL RVs have a limited number of pounds that you can safely put into it before you go over what is called the GVWR (gross vehicle weight rating).
GVWR is simply the maximum weight your rig can be after you add yourself and other passengers (if it's a motorhome), all your stuff and things like water and propane.
Going over this weight is dangerous and can cause an accident.
It will even likely negate your insurance if you have an accident and determine your RV was overweight.
Keep this in mind when choosing a replacement mattress as some can be quite heavy and max weight on smaller recreational vehicles can be quite eye opening on how low it is.
If you're replacing bunk beds or a truck camper bed, Class C motorcoach overhead bed, or ANY bed with a low ceiling, you may not be able to go with a thicker mattress.
You'll lose headroom.
Consider this before replacing.
The other interference that can happen is a slide that goes in over the bed.
Make sure you have room for that slide to come in still and that it will not run into a thicker mattress.
This one is so subjective. You had better know what you like before you buy.
These days you can get just about any level of firmness or softness, so be sure your RV replacement mattress has a top layer that suits you well.
These days, we have more options than ever for what materials you want in your new RV mattress.
From foam, to memory foam, to latex, to pocketed coils, look at what it's made from.
Materials determine longevity, how clean or 'dirty' your mattress will be concerning the chemicals used to make it, and it also determines weight.
Need A Folding RV Mattress?
In other words, it needs to fold in half.
Some mattresses are made for certain types of sleepers.
You may be a back sleeper, a side sleeper, etc., so don't make the mistake of getting one made for how you do NOT like to sleep.
Can You Get It Through The door?
If you're replacing your mattress with one that is NOT compressed down into a box, consider whether it can get through the door, and can it get through any hallways, etc., to get to the bed platform.
This is especially true with an innerspring mattress which tends to bend less than memory foam mattresses.
When getting new RV mattress replacements, don't just measure the old RV mattress to get the correct size.
Measure the platform upon which it rests. The old mattress may not take up the entire area.
This is more important when you are ordering custom sizes.
Common RV Mattress Sizes
Not all RV beds will fit these measurements, but here are some common and 'named' RV mattress sizes.
RV King Mattresses: 72" x 80"
Queen Mattress: 60" x 80"
Short Queen RV Mattress: 60" x 75"
RV Full or Double Mattress: 53" x 75"
Three Quarter Mattress: 48" x 75"
Bunk Mattress: 42" x 80"
Twin Mattress: 38" x 74"
Where To Purchase Custom Shaped And Sized Mattresses
A couple of companies stand out when it comes to customer support, ease of use of their website, and quality.
Here are the two we highly recommend:
Tochta Mattress Company
Tochta is a smaller company that has been around for 25+ years.
They care about the customer, which is pretty unheard of these days.
They also care about their product and their reputation.
Kelly has their Utopia mattress, and she wants to never sleep on any other mattress again. No joke.
The comfort and luxury it provides her are unsurpassed, in her opinion.
You can customize just about any configuration using their mattress builder page.
Consider Tochta for any sized mattress you need, whether for home or your recreational vehicle.
They make their mattresses right here in the USA.
This company is also very well known for its RV mattresses.
Just like Tochta, they do any custom mattress size you can imagine.
However, the only beef we have with them is that you cannot do ALL of the customizations on their website.
For instance, if you need a notched corner, you must call.
If you want a notched corner and you go to Tochta, you can do it right there on their mattress design page, and it's SO easy!
Even so, they are another good choice for getting a replacement camper mattress.
Their custom RV mattresses are also made in the USA.
Which Mattress Type Should You Get?
Mattresses aren't made out of the same old materials anymore.
These days there are many different new and innovative materials that can make up your motorhome mattress replacement.
Here are the most popular choices.
Latex RV Mattress
Latex is a natural material made from the sap of rubber trees.
However, you won't normally buy a mattress made from JUST latex.
Usually, there's a blend of materials because natural latex is pretty expensive and very dense, so you'd have a way too heavy mattress that you probably cannot afford.
But having synthetic latex or latex in the bed is a sign of a good-quality mattress.
Being all-natural, there's less chance of chemicals disturbing your sleep.
Memory Foam RV Mattress
Memory foam used to have a bad name.
It was the hot new thing, but it also slept hot!
These days, look for memory foam infused with gel. It could be gel beads, gel, however they want to label it.
This cools the foam and also makes it less 'huggy.'
In my opinion (Kelly), this is the most comfortable bed type.
Like any foam mattress, the good gel foam is on top, while the poly foams will make up the base.
A hybrid mattress is an innerspring mattress with a foam top of some sort.
Hence, the name hybrid.
Foam (Polyurethane) Mattresses
If your RV foam mattress replacement ONLY claims 'high-density foam' as the ingredient, it's cheap and nothing special.
It's VERY LIKELY made from polyurethane, which is made from petrochemicals.
So yes, it can be somewhat toxic, depending on how it was manufactured (Look for the CertiPUR certification for at least some peace of mind).
Keep in mind just about ALL mattresses have this kind of foam somewhere in them, usually as a base layer.
This kind of foam is found in many places in our lives, from mattresses to couches and chairs.
If you buy a bed made only of this foam, it will be inexpensive, but don't expect it to perform well or last long. (How long does an RV mattress last?)
This is probably the type with which you are most familiar.
A coil mattress is likely heavier than foam-based mattresses, and you may not be a fan of this style anymore.
Also, getting a custom shape from an innerspring RV mattress is just about impossible.
RV Air Mattress
Beware of the air mattress.
We don't recommend this for an RV replacement mattress.
You CAN, but there's nothing worse than your night of sleep interrupted by a flat or deflated mattress.
Keeping a pump with you would be non-negotiable.
But yeah, air mattresses are good for when you cannot add more weight to your camper or you need to take weight out.
Other than that, save yourself the headache and get a real RV replacement mattress.
On A Budget? Look Here
There are a few choices for those on a budget:
Inexpensive Internet Options
Sleep Dog makes fairly inexpensive foam mattresses for RVs and for Semi truckers.
For a short queen, you're looking at starting at just under $500.
MI has a 'best value' option, sized RV queen for $449.
To go even cheaper, you might consider buying the cheap poly-foam from the internet and cutting it to size and shape if necessary.
Lastly, some people, more for bunk-type beds, will use ONLY a foam topper as the mattress.
The Zinus line on Amazon offers mattresses around $200-$500.
Be sure you're getting what you want as far as quality is concerned for your replacement RV mattress.
Another Inexpensive Option: RV Mattress Topper
Speaking of using RV mattress toppers as a replacement mattress for RV's, you COULD try throwing a topper on top of your existing bed.
They offer MANY different sizes, so you can probably find one that works on top of your mattress.
Confused if this is the right choice for you? Learn about using an RV mattress topper versus buying a new mattress.
Need The Lightest Mattress? Look Here
The lightest mattresses we have found are from Sleep Dog.
Some of their mattresses are about 20 lbs lighter than other traditional RV mattresses found online.
Where To Buy An RV Sleep Number Mattress
Camping World offers Sleep Number beds for purchase on their website in traditional RV mattress sizes.
They even offer a few radius sizes for those platforms with rounded corners at the end.
This is an excellent type of RV camper mattress replacement for those used to sleeping on a Sleep Number.
Can You Put A TempurPedic Mattress In An RV?
You can put a TempurPedic mattress in your RV as long as you have a traditional-sized bed platform.
They do not offer RV sizes nor custom sizes, so you're out of luck if you have a wonky-sized platform, which is not uncommon.
Where To Buy Sheets For An RV Mattress
Naturally, if you have a regular queen, full, twin, or king-sized mattress in your RV, you can get your RV sheet sets anywhere.
If you need RV mattress sized sheets or custom sheets, you have a few choices:
Where To Buy a Mattress Pad For The Bed In Your RV
Again you have a few choices, similar to the sheets.
If you have a regular-sized mattress, you can use any mattress pad of that size.
If you have corner cuts or an irregular sized mattress, you can either try to force the pad to work or get a pad from one of these places:
When looking for RV replacement mattresses, it's crucial to consider more than just the dimensions and price.
Replacement RV mattresses should fit the platform, not overweigh the vehicle, and should not impede anything such as a slide.
There are a few places online where you can buy, or you can try to find a local store that makes standard mattresses but also caters to RV mattress replacement.
There's nothing 'magic' any manufacturer does to a mattress to make it 'RV friendly' aside from making it the correct dimensions to fit into an RV.
It can be a latex mattress, a cheap foam mattress, or you can even get a TempurPedic bed if it fits!
Find a quality RV mattress that suits you for your motorhome or travel trailer mattress replacement, and you should end up a happy camper!
Author: Kelly Beasley
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.