An RV is all about comfort, right? That’s why you bought it: so you could travel and see the world but still have the comforts of a bed and a sink and stove. There’s a reason you didn’t choose a tent, and we bet that a big part of that reason is because you’re looking for a better night’s sleep. So why are RV mattresses so uncomfortable, and what can you do about it? Well, let’s look at the difference between RV mattresses, why they’re uncomfortable, and how you can find a better solution.
What’s the Difference Between an RV Mattress and a Regular Mattress?
RVs have a weight limit for when they’re being towed, and everything in that RV--from the steel frame to the food in the refrigerator to the gear you’ve packed--all counts toward that weight limit. RV companies know this, so they try to make the RVs weigh as little as they can, and they cut corners. And one of the biggest places for an RV manufacturer to cut corners is on the mattress.
Think about it: a mattress weighs a lot (a good mattress, that is). If you’re content with the flimsy foam that the RV manufacturer sells standard with their mattress, that’s fine, but if you’re uncomfortable on that and want something better, then you’re going to need to find a new mattress--one that’s more substantial.
But there’s another place where RV manufacturers cut corners on mattresses: they literally cut the corners off the mattresses! Well, to be more precise, they make the mattresses shorter than a standard mattress. This is done both to cut weight (because less mattress means less weight) but also because there are space constraints in an RV, and if they can shave off 6” or 8”, then that’s extra space in the living area.
So, generally speaking, the mattress that comes with an RV is going to be flimsier than what you’re used to at home, and it’s going to be an irregular size--you can’t simply swap it out for a mattress you already have at home, because that just won’t fit.
What Sizes of Mattresses Fit in RVs?
You can’t fit just any mattress into an RV--they’re just not made that to fit them that way. But the following mattress sizes are what you’ll typically find in an RV:
Twin beds are common in RVs because the RV manufacturers are trying to save space as much as possible. Twin mattresses in RVs come in two sizes: 28” x 75” and 28” x 80”. If you’re looking to replace an RV twin make sure you get the correct measurements when purchasing a new one.
An RV Full mattress is 53” x 75”, which makes them an inch narrower than the full mattresses you would use at home.
A Short Queen is kind of what it sounds like: a queen sized mattress that is shorter than standard. This mattress is 60” x 75”, which makes it 5” shorter than a standard queen.
While a Short Queen mattress is much more common in an RV than a standard queen. But in this case an RV queen is the same size as a standard queen. So if your RV fits a queen, the mattress you use at home can swap out with it.
As with the Short Queen, an RV King Short is 5” shorter than its standard counterpart, making it 72” x 75”.
The RV King is the same size as a standard King, coming in at 72” x 80”.
How to Get a More Comfortable RV Mattress
If you’re dissatisfied with the mattress that came with your RV--and odds are good that you are--then there are definitely options. An RV mattress bought from a third party retailer (like Dynasty Mattress) will offer a wide selection of RV mattresses that fit the proportions of your specific RV and also have considerably more comfort.
Made specifically for RVs, with the size and weight restrictions in mind, these mattresses will give you a much better night’s sleep than what you’d get from the basic mattress.
A Gel Memory Foam mattress offers the best of two worlds: made from memory foam, which conforms to your body to fit you snugly, like a cocoon, it eases all the pain of your pressure points. But to combat the big downside of memory foam--that you are TOO wrapped up in the mattress and start to sweat--it has a layer of gel that keeps you cool and comfortable all night long.