You’ve been out all day hiking, sightseeing and enjoying the outdoors and now you want to get a good night of sleep in your RV. Having the right RV mattress for you is just as important in your camper as it is at home. But which one do you choose? In our Ultimate RV Mattress Guide, we’ll answer that question and many more.
RV Mattress versus Regular Mattress
Let begin by going over the differences between an RV mattress versus a regular mattress like the ones found in your home. At first, you might think that they are the same but actually there are major differences that you should know about.
RV mattresses are lighter than the typical residential mattress. You might not think that’s important but depending on your camper it can make a substantial difference. The wight of the mattress directly impacts your camper’s Gross Vehicle Weight Rating. So if your travel trailer has a GVWR of 2,500 pounds, a 120-pound king-sized mattress is going to eat up quite a bit of the allowable weight. Don’t forget GVWR includes everything in your camper, from gear to fuel and fluids.
Shape and Size
RV mattresses tend to be slightly shorter or narrower than their residential counterparts. The reason is RV bed frames are not made the same as regular bed frames. Some have curved edges so the RV mattress has to conform to that shape as well. If your camper has a slide the mattress has to be thin and flexible enough to not impede the in and out the movement of the slide-out.
Can You Use a Regular Mattress In Your RV?
Yes, you can use a residential mattress in your camper. You just need to be aware of the weight, flexibility, and shape of the mattress you are getting. Knowing your GVWR is key to making sure it will work in your camper.
RV Mattress Sizes
Below is a chart with some common RV mattress sized.
Most RV mattresses are going to fall into one of the types below. We’ll take a look at each as well as the pros and cons.
Foam RV Mattress
Regular polyurethane foam is used widely in the bedding industry. It has been for almost a century. You will find both low-density and high-density foam used in mattress fabrication. The top layer or the comfort layer is usually made from low-density foam to create a soft feel. High-density foam is used for the core of the mattress to provide support to the more pressing parts of the body.
When it comes to durability low-density foam will last a couple of years whereas high-density foam will last much longer without any significant deterioration in performance.
Foam RV mattresses are the most commonly found mattresses on RVs. They are cheap ranging in price from $150-$400. The typical RV foam mattress is about 5-6 inches thick. If you decide to buy one make sure to get one with a foam density of 2 lbs. These tend to be more durable and hold up well to more bodyweight. Any density under 2 lbs will break down quicker over a long period of time.
Most foam mattresses are 100% Petroleum-based however a new trend is the use of soy instead of petroleum making the soy-based mattress more eco-friendly.
Pros and Cons of Polyurethane Foam
- Mostly inexpensive
- Huge range of firmness ratings
- Easy to maintain
- Generally cooler
- Memory foam is more durable
- Does not eliminate motion transfer
- Conforming support is not available with his type of foam
We don’t recommend low-density polyurethane foam RV mattresses as they do not provide the support and resiliency needs for a comfortable sleep. If you need a mattress for periodic uses than a low-density foam mattress is a good choice since it is relatively inexpensive and light. You are better off choosing an HD (high-density) foam RV mattress since they are more comfortable. However, you need to be careful that the mattress is not overly thick and heavy or your RV.
Memory Foam RV Mattress
A viscoelastic material memory foam is known for its ability to conform to your body and sleeping style. It redistributes body pressure away from your hips and shoulders if you are a side sleeper, making the sleep experience more comfortable.
The memory foam itself does not provide full support it is more of a pressure relief material. You still require a stiffer, more resilient core such as high-density polyfoam. The difference between viscoelastic foam and regular polyurethane foam is that viscoelastic foam use chemical to achieve its viscoelasticity. High-quality memory foam is able to retain its ability to conform to your body way longer than other types of foam.
Memory foam RV mattresses are very comfortable and with that comfort comes a higher price tag. Memory foam RV mattresses are typically in the price range of $400-$800, sometimes a lot more. Generally, they are about 8 inches in thickness and density ranges from 2.5 lbs to over 5 lbs. The best memory foam mattress density if about 4 lbs. Some models are available with zippered, washable covers and like foam mattresses can be either petroleum-based or soy-based.
You might also want to consider gel-based memory foam as it is usually much cooler than regular memory foam.
Pros and Cons of Memory Foam
- Easily conforms to your body
- Excellent at isolating motion
- Personalized pressure relief
- Tends to be hot compared to polyurethane foam, but gel-based is quite comfortable
- Can be affected by extreme temperatures
- They smell initially but the smell does dissipate
A memory foam RV mattress is what we recommend for your RV. Yes, they tend to be more expensive but they provide much better comfort and durability than a regular foam mattress.
RV Air Mattress
RV air mattresses are similar in function as the ones your pull-out for your home guest. They are constructed of two air chambers so each side can be adjusted for the sleeper. Often times layers od polyurethane foam, memory foam or in some cases latex are placed on them to act as the comfort layer.
We don’t recommend RV air mattresses because they do suffer from air leakage. I don’t know about you but I don’t want to wake up in the middle of the night to a deflated air mattress. It can be time-consuming and costly to repair them if needed.
5 Tips for Buying an RV Mattress
- Determine how much you want to spend
- Decide which type of RV mattress you want (Polyurethane or Memory foam)
- Do you prefer petroleum or soy-based foam
- Consider the foam density. 4-5 lbs density is recommended.
- Make sure the vendor has a decent return policy. Our preferred vendor has FREE pickup if you are not satisfied with your RV mattress and donates the mattress to a local charity.
Why Choose the Bear RV Mattress?
There are many RV mattress vendors that you can purchase from, you can even buy travel trailer mattresses on Amazon. But like everything else, there are some vendors that are better than others. After researching dozens of RV mattress vendors we have selected Bear Mattress as our preferred vendor. Here is why.
Bear RV Mattress Advantage
Faster Recovery – The mattress is woven with Celliant’s Sleep Technology which helps promote recovery and over-all good sleep.
Cooler Sleep – Bear RV memory foam mattresses allow you to sleep cooler than regular memory foam because they include graphite-gel and open-cell response foam. This increases colling by up to 7X more than a traditional foam mattress.
Friendly to the Environment – Bear Mattress utilized CertiPUR-US certified foams and a water-based solution for the bonding. This also helps lessen the smell substantially that is usually associated with typical memory foam mattresses.
Bear RV Mattress Features
- Breathable Celliant cover helps improve recovery
- 1-inch graphite cooling gel. It helps remove unwanted heat during sleep.
- 1-inch responsive memory foam
- 6-inch high-density support foam
Bear RV Mattress Return Policy
As I mentioned in the body of this article having a vendor with a legitimate refund policy of important. Bear Mattress has one of the best return policies in the industry. Here are some of the highlights of their RV mattress return policy:
- You have a maximum of 100 nights to test your RV mattress. They require you to test it for a minimum of 30 days before a return can be requested. Your request for a return has to occur within the 100 nights after delivery.
- Only one return per customer, household or delivery address.
- A return mattress has to be donated or disposed of. Proof of either has to be sent to Bear Mattress’s support email.
- If the mattress is unopened you can return it directly to Bear Mattress. Contact them for a return shipping label.
Common questions about the Bear RV Mattress
What is the firmness?
On a scale of 1-10 with 10 being the most firm the Bear RV mattress is about 6.5 to a 7 or medium-firm.
What sizes of RV mattresses does Bear Mattress make?
They make the following sizes:
- RV Bunk – 33.5″ x 74″ x 8″ / weight 34 lbs
- RV Queen – 60″ x 74″ x 8″ / weight 59 lbs
- RV King – 72″ x 80″ x 8″ / weight 74 lbs
How thick is the Bear RV Mattress?
This RV mattress is 8-inches thick. It has a total of 3-layers. a 1″ graphite-colling gel memory foam, a 1″ responsive transition foam layer, and a 6″ HD support foam.
Where is the Bear RV Mattress made?
All materials are sourced in the USA and manufactured in South Carolina (covers) and Mississippi (foam).
Is shipping free?
Yes, Bear Mattress doe not charge shipping. They ship to all 48 states via FedEx Ground. There is an additional charge for shipping to Alaska and Hawaii.
What is the warranty on the Bear RV Mattress?
They have a 10-year limited warranty. You can read all about it here.
If you enjoyed this article why not check out our list of the best travel trailer brands.
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