RV Mattress Thickness: What Is The Best Size For Maximum Comfort?

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By Kelly Beasley

When nighttime rolls in and you're ready to call it a day, your RV mattress thickness can make or break how comfortable an experience you have.

This guide will show you the best type of thickness option for you, tailored for maximum comfort while traveling with an RV.

Trailer mattress at front

Including what factors to consider when making this decision, we'll ensure that you'll learn everything you need to have a good night's sleep while on the road!

Here's our RV mattress thickness guide!

Short Summary

  • Choose mattress thickness based on individual sleeping position, space restrictions, body type, bed-sharing needs, and medical considerations.
  • Pros and cons of different mattress thicknesses vary from thick mattresses providing superior cushioning but being expensive to thin mattresses offering lightweight structure but potentially insufficient support.
  • The type of material used in the bed is also an important factor when considering its ideal level of thickness for maximum comfort in an RV.

Thickness In RV Mattresses

As you search for the best RV mattress, know that all mattresses come in different thicknesses.

These can range from low profile (2-5 inches), slim (5-8 inches), standard (8-12 inches), and thick at 12 - 16 inch capacity up to extra thick (>16 inches).

Every option offers unique features, and comprehending them will enable you to make an informed decision based on both personal needs and preferences.

Ultimately, this could make or break your comfort level while on holiday!

Low Profile (2-5 inches)

Low-profile mattresses of 2-5 inches are a feasible option for bunk beds where space is limited.

While these mattresses may not be the most suitable for everyday use, extra cushioning can be obtained through mattress toppers to enhance sleeping comfort levels.

Low profile RV mattresses are most suited for lightweight individuals (young children).

Slim (5-8 inches)

Slim mattresses, which come in a thickness range of 5-8 inches, are the ideal choice for children to get adequate support due to their low body weight.

They can benefit individuals with reduced mobility or small stature by giving them easier access on and off the camper bed.

Those whose slim mattress lacks the comfort level they desire may find an additional layer, such as a latex RV mattress topper, useful, providing more cushioning and thus improving overall coziness levels.

Standard (8-12 inches)

Most campers prefer the standard mattress thickness of 8-12 inches as it provides ample cushioning and support for various body types.

Mattresses with this measurement are typically composed of memory foam, innerspring coils, or latex, allowing customers to pick a sleep setup that suits their needs best so they can get a restful slumber in the campground.

Thick (12-16 inches)

Thick mattresses 12-16 inches deep offer increased support and comfort for those who need it.

Side sleepers, notably heavier individuals, can benefit the most from this additional cushioning they provide.

When selecting a thick mattress, though, other factors such as slide restrictions, health conditions, bed base height, and if you are sharing your sleeping area should also be considered.

Keep in mind that mattresses this thick are going to be fairly heavy, which can be an issue if your camper doesn't have much spare cargo carrying capacity to play with.

Extra Thick (16+ inches)

Extra-thick mattresses are the perfect choice for a luxurious sleeping experience.

Measuring 16 inches or more in thickness, these plush beds provide maximum comfort and pressure relief for larger people and side sleepers alike.

There are an array of options available, too - foam, latex, hybrid, or innerspring - all with that added thick support layer to ensure a great nightโ€™s rest every time.

One should be aware that there can come at quite a hefty price tag due to its increased material usage compared to thinner mattress models.

Also, keep in mind the maximum weight of your recreational vehicle, and don't go over it! This thick of a mattress can be adding many more pounds than the bed it replaces.

Pillow top mattress

RV Mattress Thickness Factors

When selecting the correct mattress thickness for your rig, keep in mind certain RV mattress thickness considerations that may affect the comfort and support of your sleep experience.

These include sleeping position, body type, bed-sharing circumstances, and health conditions or age. All should be considered when deciding on an appropriate mattress size.

You need to think about potential issues with bunk beds and Murphy beds, along with slide-out considerations related to adequate clearance levels before making a choice.

Sleeping Position

When selecting a mattress, consider the sleeping position to ensure optimal comfort.

Side sleepers will benefit from an 8-10 inch thick model for adequate cushioning of hips and shoulders.

Back sleepers may prefer something 6-8 inches thick that keeps spinal alignment intact.

For stomach sleepers looking for support, opt for one no less than 10 inches thick, which helps prevent excessive sinking.

Body Type

When it comes to choosing the best mattress thickness for your RV, body type should be taken into consideration.

Heavier people may want a thicker option (12-14 inches) that provides adequate support and won't sag too easily over time.

On the other hand, those of lighter build donโ€™t have to give up comfort or stability by opting for a thinner mattress โ€“ they can still enjoy just as much quality sleep. (Overcoming sleep challenges in an RV.)

Bed Sharing

When two people are sleeping together, a mattress 10 to 12 inches thick is recommended to properly distribute the weight of both sleepers and thus provide adequate support without sagging.

Health And Medical Conditions

When considering the ideal mattress thickness for an RV, also consider medical factors.

10 to 12 inches of bedding is recommended for those with back pain to relieve pressure and provide stability. (RV mattress to relieve back pain.)

Those experiencing arthritis or joint discomfort can benefit from a softer mattress (typically between 12 and 14 inches thick) which redistributes weight along the sleeping surface more evenly while cushioning sensitive spots on their body.


Consider a thinner mattress when shopping for children and senior citizens. (How to choose an RV mattress for a child.)

For young children, a thinner bed will help reduce the risk of falls while providing adequate support appropriate for their lighter weight. A thinner bed may not be so far off the ground.

In regards to elderly individuals, this type of sleeping surface offers additional security with rising or reclining in bed.

The lower profile helps accommodate any possible physical limitations getting in and out that they may experience. There is less give at the edge of a thinner mattress than with a thick one.

Kelly Solis van mattress

Bed Base Height

When determining the correct mattress thickness, it is important to consider the height of your bed base.

This will ensure a comfortable sleeping environment where, say, elderly sleepers can position themselves with their feet firmly on the ground and form an approximate right angle at their knees when sitting on its edge.

Having an appropriate bed height for each individual helps guarantee easy access to restful slumber while on vacation.

A thick mattress may elevate the top of the bed to such an extent that you have to climb up on it rather than just easily sit down on the bed.

Slide Considerations And Mattress Thickness

When it comes to fitting slide-out beds in recreational vehicles, remember that they may not accommodate mattresses thicker than 6 inches.

Getting one taller than that may inhibit your camper's slide from retracting, especially if you have a lot of bedding on your mattress.

A thinner mattress may be the way forward if you want an efficient and practical fit while still enjoying comfort from your camper bedding set.

Do your measuring to find out what thickness WILL work for you.

Murphy Bed Considerations

When selecting a mattress for your RV Murphy bed, thickness is a huge concern.

The ideal range is wide, and it's between 9 and 12 inches, according to the specifications of each particular bed type (how much room there is for a mattress when the Murphy bed is folded in the stored position).

Ensure you measure to make sure everything fits snugly and functions correctly and your bed can still fold.

Bunk Bed Issues

For bunk beds, usually found in RVs as a sleeping area for kids, the appropriate RV bunk mattress replacement thickness is dependent on how heavy of a person is sleeping on it, and the available room (height).

Your mattress can be of whatever thickness you want, but children usually run light, so thinner mattresses work here.

Just be sure not to go so thick that they cannot sit up in their RV bunk bed.

Corner bunk mattresses

Pros And Cons Of Different Mattress Thicknesses

Let's review the pros and cons of different mattress thicknesses. RV bed thickness importance can be a personal choice.

That said, thicker mattresses provide better cushioning and support but can come at a higher price point or be hard to access.

On the other hand, thin mattresses may not offer enough comfort for some people, yet they are great options for children or those who have difficulty moving due to mobility issues.

Thick Mattresses

Thick mattresses, between 12 and 16 inches in height, provide superior cushioning and support to heavier people or those who prefer sleeping on their side.

Though they may be more expensive due to the extra materials required to make them and difficult for some users to manage, these mattresses are popular among individuals requiring them.

Side sleepers especially tend towards thicker options when looking at mattress choices.

Thin Mattresses

Thin mattresses have their benefits as well as drawbacks.

They are great for situations like camping or RVs, thanks to being light in weight and fitting into small spaces easily.

On the other hand, if used frequently, they might not give enough support and may also be less resilient compared to thicker mattresses.

Thin ones should be your choice if you want a lightweight mattress with space-saving structure.

Keep in mind it could possibly lack sturdiness when put through constant use than more robust and thicker beds.

RecPro bamboo mattress

Camper Mattress Thickness And Types

It's worth looking into how mattress type and thickness work together.

Foam mattresses are typically soft, innerspring models tend to be firmer, while latex beds offer a bouncy feel and are hypoallergenic. (RV mattress firmness considerations.)

Hybrid mattresses combine all these materials for an even balanced sleeping experience that could suit many sleepersโ€™ needs equally well.

The importance of considering the two aspects is clear.

You want a surface that allows you to enjoy comfort but provides support when needed โ€“ this means choosing the correct material type and ideal height!


Foam mattresses constructed from layers of resilient polyurethane or memory foam create a soft, yielding experience that contours the body.

Such qualities are popular for relieving pressure points and for adequate support while resting.

Bear in mind that all foam mattress thickness levels may differ.

Some thinner options might not offer as much reinforcement when compared with thicker ones.


Latex mattresses are renowned for their hypoallergenic qualities and springy, responsive feel.

Unlike memory foam beds that sink under your body weight, these mattress types offer comfortable support without feeling weighed down.

Plus, they boast natural aeration allowing a cooler sleeping environment than other bedding materials.

Thicknesses may range from 6 inches to 14 inches, so thereโ€™s something out there that caters to individual preferences and needs when selecting latex mattresses as an option.


Innerspring mattresses provide a firm yet supportive sleeping surface due to the layer of coil springs situated between two thin foam layers.

These are great for those needing extra support, such as back sleepers or heavier individuals who rest on them.

The thickness of these bedding options varies from 6-14 inches offering various amounts of comfort and cushioning based on preference.


Hybrid mattresses combine materials, such as foam, latex, and springs, for an ideal support system.

This construction provides both comforts in the form of pressure relief while being more substantial than other mattress options today.

The thicknesses vary from 8 to 14 inches, so users can choose according to their own requirements and preferences.

Though these hybrid RV beds may not be quite as budget-friendly compared with others on offer, they are considered worth it due to offering outstanding levels of pain relief combined with strong durability features.

Kelly trailer mattress

Frequently Asked Questions

How Thick Should Your RV Mattress Be?

Opting for one 8-12 inches thick is best when picking out a mattress.

Heavier sleepers may benefit from mattresses thicker than 12 inches in order to get sufficient support and cushioning while sleeping.

Consider factors such as the position you usually sleep in and the size of the RV mattress material when deciding what thickness in RV mattresses provides optimal comfort levels for you specifically.

Keep in mind that the thicker the mattress the heavier it is going to be. Weight is always a consideration with a recreational vehicle.

How Thick Is An Average Camper Mattress?

The thickness of an average mattress in a camper is usually around 10-12 inches, although sizes and styles can differ from 8 to 14 inches in height. Most adults find this comfortable enough for their needs.

Is A 9-inch Mattress Thick Enough?

For those under 225 lbs, a 9-inch mattress should provide enough thickness for support.

If your body weight exceeds this limit and is somewhere between 225 - 275 pounds, then you may benefit from the extra cushioning of a 10-inch (or more) thick mattress to receive more comfort and long-lasting aid.

Is A 8-inch Mattress Too Thin?

Given the consensus, an 8-inch mattress may be too thin to provide sufficient support and comfort for most people.

It could work for smaller, single sleepers with lighter bodyweights, but thicker mattresses are generally recommended for optimal neck, hip, and back support.

For example, Kelly's Murphy bed mattress in her van is only about 6.5 inches thick. She's only 120 pounds, and it works, but she'd prefer a little more squish.

Thicker mattresses are typically more comfortable and provide better support for the spine. They also tend to last longer than thinner mattresses, making them a better investment in the long run.


When looking for the best mattress thickness to fit your RV, you must consider several factors, such as body type, RV slides, and sleeping position, along with the advantages and disadvantages of different types of mattresses.

This will help ensure a good night's rest throughout all your journeys!

Ultimately, RV bed thickness importance is something some need to consider when buying a new bed.

But selecting an appropriate mattress thickness can play a significant role in achieving optimal comfort levels no matter where life takes you.

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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