Sleeping while traveling once meant tent camping, taking a trailer, or staying in a hotel. The recreational vehicle, or RV, has changed all that. Millions of Americans now own RVs, which have made sleeping on the road not just comfortable, but luxurious. If it’s time to furnish your RV with a new mattress, take a look at my top 4 picks for RV mattresses. I’ve tested some great models in different price ranges and materials to help you find a RV mattress that rivals the comforts of home.
Best RV Mattress 2021
- Best Cooling RV Mattress – Zinus Green Tea Memory Foam Mattress
- Best RV Mattress Topper – Best Price Mattress Trifold Mattress Topper
- Best RV Mattress for Sensitive Sleepers – Fortnight Bedding Foam Mattress
- Best RV Mattress for Side Sleepers – DynastyMattress CoolBreeze Mattress
Zinus Green Tea Memory Foam Mattress
A Comfortable, Cooling Option
This bed-in-a-box is a great choice for sleepers who love the plush feel of memory foam but want to sleep cool on vacation. This Zinus short queen mattress comes in 8 additional sizes and 4 thickness options to fit just about any RV.
- Breathable material. If you’re used to feeling overheated on a different RV mattress, check out this model’s airy memory foam. The comfort layer cradles the joints without absorbing heat and makes sleep more comfortable.
- Odor control. This mattress is infused with green tea to help eliminate odors, a nice feature to have while sleeping in a smaller space.
- Reduced motion transfer. The memory foam comfort layer helps to absorb motion, making this a nice choice for partners.
- Price. The price tag on this mattress may be a bit high for folks who only use their RVs on occasion.
- Firm. This mattress may feel rigid to sleepers who are used to a softer mattress.
The Zinus Green Tea Memory Foam Mattress is breathable and has a plush feel that's great for side sleepers.
Best RV Mattress Topper
Best Price Mattress Trifold Mattress Topper
A Light and Convenient Choice
This medium-firm short queen size mattress is available in 9 sizes and comes with a 5 year warranty. The Best Price mattress is easy to fold up and transport and comes with a machine washable cover.
- Compact. This mattress is a cinch to fold up and stash in a camper or motorhome.
- Great for sensitive sleepers. This topper’s plush foam layers are CertiPUR-US Certified, making them a good choice for folks who prefer safer bedding materials.
- Affordable. This mattress topper is not only comfy and convenient, it’s a great value.
- A bit soft. The memory foam comfort layer may feel too plush to heavier sleepers or folks who sleep on their stomachs.
- Thin. People who use their RV mattress frequently may find this model a bit thin and lacking in support.
The Best Price Mattress Trifold Mattress Topper is compact and affordable.
Best for Sensitive Sleepers
Fortnight Bedding Foam Mattress
Great for Folks with Allergies or Asthma
The Fortnight Bedding CertiPUR-US Certified memory foam mattress can be folded for easy transport and is available in 7 sizes. This mattress features a 5 inch supportive base foam layer and a stretch knit cover.
- Safety. This formaldehyde-free mattress is made without flame retardants, ozone depleters, and heavy metals.
- Made in the USA. This model is CertiPUR-US Certified and made in the United States.
- Lightweight. If being able to move your mattress quickly and easily is important, this is a good choice.
- Durability. This mattress is made from high-density poly foam but no memory foam. Time will tell if it can stand up to prolonged use.
- Not for heavier folks. If you weigh more than average, the lightness of this model’s materials may cause it to fold up a bit.
The Fortnight Bedding Foam Mattress is lightweight and made in the USA.
Perfect for Side Sleepers
DynastyMattress CoolBreeze Mattress
Plush and Supportive
The majority of us sleep on our sides, making a great RV mattress for this popular position a necessity. This medium-firm mattress cradles the joints and features open-cell memory foam technology to help you sleep cool.
- Cloud-like support. The memory foam comfort layer cradles the hips and shoulders while the 3.5 inch dense foam base aligns the spine
- Ventilation. If you think memory foam always sleeps hot, this model’s plush, gel-infused material may change your mind
- Warranty. This mattress includes a 30 year warranty, one of the most generous I’ve seen from RV mattress manufacturers
- Not for stomach sleepers. The comfort layer may be too soft for stomach sleepers, who usually sleep best on firmer surfaces
- Affordability. This model’s features justify the price tag, but the cost may be steep for some folks
The DynastyMattress CoolBreeze Mattress sleeps cool and comes with a great warranty.
How We Picked
The mattress you choose for your RV will be determined by the firmness, support, and size you usually prefer. Price is also a factor for many folks. When choosing RV mattresses to review, I focused on a few key metrics that are important to consider regardless of the mattress brand or model. These points can help guide you through the buying process and help you select the perfect mattress for your next road trip.
The majority of RV mattresses are made from memory foam, latex foam, or poly foam. All-foam mattresses do not contain steel coils as hybrid and innerspring mattresses do. This can make them lighter, more flexible, and less bulky, all features that make for a great RV mattress.
Latex, poly, and memory foams differ in terms of feel and support. Let’s take a look at the unique features of each type of material.
- Memory Foam – Memory foam is a viscoelastic polyurethane that reduces motion transfer and has a slow response to pressure. As a mattress material, memory foam is best known for sinkage and contouring to the body. Memory foam comes in a range of firmness options, from extra soft to extra firm. To counteract memory foam’s tendency to retain body heat, many RV mattresses infuse this material with gel, copper, or other cooling material to improve ventilation and comfort.
- Poly foam – Poly foam is made from a type of polyurethane that lacks the viscoelastic properties of memory foam. Poly foam has a quick response to pressure and is typically used to complement memory foam or latex as a support or transition layer. Poly foam is generally one of the more affordable materials used in mattresses.
- Latex – Latex foam is a natural product made from the sap of the rubber tree. A mattress made from latex will provide bounce, quick responsiveness to pressure, and cooling properties. Comfort layers made from latex can be cooler and cause less sinkage than memory foam or poly foam.
Firmness describes how a mattress feels when you lie down on it. A firmer mattress provides more push-back against the body and has a level sleeping surface. RV mattresses are typically thinner than traditional mattresses and may feel firmer. Plush memory foam or poly foam comfort layers can improve the cushioning of RV mattresses and make them more comfortable to those who prefer a softer sleeping surface.
Mattress firmness is rated on a 1-10 scale, with 1 being the softest and 10 being the firmest. 6.5 is the mattress industry standard for medium firmness. The best firmness level for you will depend on your sleeping position, weight, and personal preferences.
Firmness and support refer to different mattress characteristics. Firmness describes the degree of push-back of the mattress surface, while support refers to features that help keep the spine aligned and the neck in a neutral position. In a RV mattress, these features typically include high-density foam support layers. A supportive mattress also prevents excessive sinkage or “bottoming out” of the materials under body weight.
Heavier folks and stomach sleepers usually sleep best on a mattress with more support and firmer surface layers. Back and side sleepers are often most comfortable on a soft to medium-firm mattress that cushions their joints and helps keep the spine aligned.
RV Mattresses Vs. Traditional Mattresses
Though many RV mattresses utilize materials found in traditional mattresses, let’s take a look at the differences between the two types of models.
- Size – RV mattresses are typically smaller to fit into a more condensed sleeping space. RV mattresses may be described as “short,” which means they are a standard width for their size but somewhat shorter depending on the brand and model. The majority of RV mattresses are approximately 5 inches shorter than their standard counterparts.
- Thickness – The thickness of a RV mattress may also be different from a traditional mattress. Most RV mattresses are between 4 and 8 inches thick, though some luxury models may be thicker.
- Weight – While the average mattress intended for home use weighs between 50 and 150 pounds depending on size and material, the average RV mattress weighs no more than 75 pounds.
- Price – Their reduced size often means that RV mattresses cost less, but higher end models can rival standard mattresses in terms of cost. Materials like latex that typically cost more when used in a traditional mattress can bump up the cost of a RV mattress, as well.
- Toppers Vs. Mattresses – Some RVs may not provide space large enough for a mattress. In this case, a 1-3 inch topper can fit well into small compartments or on a sofa or bunk bed. When shopping for a topper, look for models made of the same materials as quality RV mattresses.
Still on the fence about which RV mattress is best for you and your family? Keep these tips in mind to help demystify the shopping process:
- Know how often you’ll use it – Some folks use their RV beds only on occasion while others live in their RVs year-round. The more you plan to use your mattress, the more durable and supportive it should be.
- Go with what you know – If you love the mattress you use at home, look for similar features and materials when browsing for a model for your RV.
- Shop sales – If price is a factor, shop when RV mattresses are on sale. This may be during traditional holiday mattress sales or off season when fewer folks are outfitting their RVs.
- Grab the measuring tape – RV bedding compartments differ widely, as do RV mattresses. Make sure you know how much available space you have and the mattress size and thickness you need.
Last Word From Sleepopolis
A night on the right RV mattress can be reminiscent of the comfort and quality you experience at home. When choosing a mattress for your RV, remember key factors such as support, firmness, and your preferred sleep position. Look for the materials you prefer in your everyday mattress and, if price is a factor, try to time your purchase for sales season. Sleeping on a great mattress is an excellent way to boost your health and well-being, and it’s even better under the stars.
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