Choosing RV Mattresses For Kids: Factors To Consider

Kelly Headshot

By Kelly Beasley

Selecting the right mattress for your child to use in your camper is essential for their comfort and growth, development, and general well-being.

With so many options available on the market, knowing how to choose an RV mattress for a child can be daunting.

Kids with dog on hike

In this guide on how to choose an RV mattress for kids, we will walk you through the factors to consider when choosing the right bed for your kids, as well as recommend ideal mattress types and accessories to ensure a good night’s sleep for your little one.

Short Summary

  • Fulfilling your child’s sleep needs is essential for their growth and well-being, even in a recreational vehicle.
  • Size, firmness, materials, durability, and ease of cleaning are essential during selection.
  • Benefits of investing in high-quality RV mattresses for kids with certifications to ensure eco-friendly safety for children, along with accessories like waterproof protectors or foundations to create an ideal sleep environment.

Understanding Your Child's Sleep Needs

Sleep is vital for a child’s growth, development, and overall well-being.

It enables brain development, supports a robust immune system, and promotes cognitive abilities, memory, and learning.

Understanding their sleep habits and preferences is crucial to provide your child with the best possible sleep environment.

Before researching, parents should consider their child's age, weight, preferred sleeping position, and personal preferences.

Factors To Consider When Choosing RV Mattresses For Kids

When choosing an RV mattress for your child, there are several factors to consider, including:

  • Mattress size/shape
  • How long you'll have the camper
  • How often you go out camping with it
  • Firmness
  • Materials
  • Durability
  • Ease of cleaning

No matter how much you camp, you want your kids to be comfortable in their beds.

However, if you don't go out often or know you won't have the recreational vehicle for many years, you probably don't want to spend a ton on mattresses.

If you're on a tight budget, consider buying dense foam to use as their bed. You could even double up on it to make it a softer mattress.

On top of that, if a child sleeps on it enough and it starts to compress, you can buy that same foam again if you bought it cheap.

Two kids on bunk bed with grandma standing next to it

Foam density comes in levels, so you can easily choose a medium or firmer mattress.

Now, in homes, twin mattresses are a popular choice for children’s bedrooms. They are a great space-saving design and are a perfect children's mattress.

Most people spend between $300 and $1,000 for a high-quality twin mattress. That said, your camper bed area probably doesn't accommodate a twin-size mattress, meaning you may have to get a custom-size camper mattress.

Many mattress companies offer custom-sized mattresses that fit your kid's bed easily. Examples are Tochta, Mattress Insider, and Brooklyn Bedding.

In addition to size and budget, the firmness of the mattress plays a crucial role in supporting your child’s growing body.

You should determine whether a soft or firm mattress is more suitable for your child’s needs.

Last but not least, selecting a mattress made from safe, non-toxic materials is vital for your child’s health.

Ideal Mattress Types For Children

There are four ideal mattress types to consider for children:

  1. Memory foam
  2. Innerspring
  3. Latex
  4. Hybrid mattresses

Each mattress type offers unique benefits and drawbacks, which we will discuss in more detail in the following subsections.

Memory Foam Mattresses

Memory foam mattresses are known for their:

These features make them an excellent choice for children with allergies or sensitivities.

However, choosing a memory foam mattress that provides adequate support is essential, as traditional memory foam can be too soft and lack sufficient edge support for children.

Corner bunk mattresses

When selecting a memory foam mattress for your child, look for high-quality options that offer the right balance of support and comfort.

Consult independent reviews and consider your child’s weight and sleep preferences.

Innerspring Mattresses

Innerspring camper mattresses are a popular choice for children’s beds due to their firm support and edge support.

These mattresses consist of a layer of coils and comfort layers of foam or fiber. Innerspring mattresses tend to be cost-effective, making them an attractive option for the budget-conscious.

A medium to firm innerspring mattress can relieve pressure and support proper spinal alignment for growing children.

Latex Mattresses

Latex mattresses are eco-friendly, hypoallergenic and provide a bouncy, responsive feel, making them ideal for active children.

Constructed from natural latex extracted from rubber tree sap or synthetic latex materials, these mattresses conform to the body without the excessive embrace associated with memory foam.

Latex foam

Sleeping on a latex mattress offers the following benefits for children:

  • It provides a sensation of sleeping on the mattress rather than in it.
  • Offers excellent support and pressure relief for growing bodies.
  • Naturally hypoallergenic and resistant to dust mites and mold.
  • Durable and long-lasting, making it a good investment for the long-term.

Note that latex mattresses can be more expensive than other types, making them less cost-effective for growing children.

However, if you have smaller kids that will age into that mattress in the child's room in the camper, it can be the big kid bed they grow into.

Hybrid Mattresses

Hybrid mattresses offer a combination of innerspring and foam or latex layers.

These mattresses feature a soft foam comfort layer and excellent edge support while providing a plush feel.

The Avocado Eco Organic Kids Mattress is an example of a hybrid mattress tailored for children.

It provides adequate support and comfort while using eco-friendly and safe materials.

Selecting The Right Firmness Level

Selecting the correct firmness level for your child’s RV mattress is crucial for their comfort and support on your trip.

Factors to consider when determining the appropriate firmness include the child’s age, weight, and sleep position.

RV memory foam mattress

The best thing to do is ask your child what they prefer. And how they sleep. Older stomach sleepers tend to want a firmer mattress.

Side sleepers might want a soft mattress. But ask your kiddo- they will tell you what they do and don't like if they have a preference.

You probably already know what you use for them in the house, whether they are sleeping on bunk beds or a twin XL mattress.

It is important to ensure the mattress provides adequate support to maintain proper spinal alignment, especially for side sleepers.

RV Mattress Sizes For Different Ages

Choosing the appropriate camper mattress size for different ages is essential for your child’s comfort and safety.

For infants, crib mattresses should be firm and snug-fitting to ensure safety and reduce the risk of suffocation.

As your child grows, they may transition to a toddler bed mattress, which can offer adjustable firmness levels to accommodate their growth.

The following subsections will explore crib mattresses and toddler bed mattresses in more detail.

Crib Mattresses

Crib mattresses are designed specifically for infants and toddlers, with standard dimensions of 28 x 52 inches. 

These mattresses should be firm and snug-fitting to reduce the risk of suffocation.

A good one is dual-sided, non-toxic, and designed with safety and individualized sleep requirements in mind.

Often, they have two sides, one for babies and the other for toddlers.

Toddler Bed Mattresses

Toddler bed mattresses, or toddler beds, can be the same size as crib mattresses but may offer adjustable firmness levels to accommodate growing children.

These mattresses are typically made from memory foam or innerspring coils and often feature a waterproof casing for easy cleaning.

As your child grows, it is essential to adjust their mattress size accordingly.

Transitioning from a crib or toddler-size mattress to at least a larger mattress is generally recommended by the time a child reaches their preschool years.

Eco-friendly And Safe Materials

Though many RVs are NOT fire-resistant, eco-friendly and safe materials are a good idea when choosing a child’s mattress, especially in such a small confined environment.

Materials such as organic cotton, natural latex, and certified foams benefit the environment and ensure your child's safety.

Children with allergies may be sensitive to synthetic mattresses, leading to skin irritation and respiratory problems.

Dog with family of four husband wife two kids

When selecting a mattress for your child, consider RV mattress certifications like GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard), Greenguard, or CertiPUR-US to ensure the materials used are eco-friendly and safe.

Prioritizing these certifications will help you choose a mattress that is not only comfortable but also beneficial for your child’s health.

Durability And Lifespan Of A Child's RV Mattress

The durability and lifespan of a child’s mattress are influenced by factors such as:

  • Wear and tear
  • Accidents, such as bed-wetting and spilled sippy cups
  • Growth spurts
  • Bouncing

You might want to select a firmer, durable mattress that can withstand these factors to provide long-lasting support and comfort if you're keeping your recreational vehicle for decades.

Utilizing a mattress protector can help safeguard the mattress against stains and damage.

Investing in a high-quality mattress and taking preventive measures can ensure your child's mattress remains supportive and comfortable throughout their growth.


Educating yourself on how to choose a mattress for a child is essential for finding the perfect fit for Jane or Joey. It's important to get right for their growth, development, and well-being.

By considering factors such as size, firmness, materials, durability, and eco-friendliness, you can select an RV mattress that provides your child with the perfect balance of support and comfort.

Additionally, appropriate camper mattress accessories can enhance their sleep environment and ensure a restful night’s sleep.

By making informed decisions and prioritizing your child’s needs, you can create a sleep sanctuary that promotes their health and happiness while on vacation.

Kids petting dog

Frequently Asked Questions

What Type Of RV Mattress Is Best For A Child?

A firmer hybrid mattress with high-edge support is the best option for children, offering both spinal support and excellent edge support while still providing a plush sleeping experience.

It is important to consider the type of mattress when selecting one for a child, as it can significantly impact their sleep quality and overall health. Edge support is especially important for kids, as it helps to keep them from rolling off.

Can A Child Sleep On A Memory Foam RV Mattress?

Memory foam mattresses are suitable for children older than 12 months, as long as they are made with high-quality foam such as CertiPUR-US certified ones.

However, it is important to consider the price, as good quality memory foam ones are often expensive.

What Are The Four Ideal RV Mattress Types For Children?

For children, the four ideal mattress types are memory foam, innerspring, latex, and hybrid mattresses.

What Is The Difference Between A Crib Mattress And A Toddler Bed Mattress?

With toddler bed mattresses, the mattress size is the same as a crib mattress but offers adjustable firmness levels to better accommodate growing children.

How Can I Prolong The Lifespan Of My Child's RV Mattress?

Protect your child’s mattress with a mattress protector and buy quality materials to increase its lifespan.

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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