Sunday, March 26, 2023


Around the Campfire: Plenty of discussion about replacing the RV mattress

One of the “newbies” around the campfire the other night was really out-of-sorts. In fact, he, Matt, admitted to his grumpiness. The cause (according to his wife) was their RV bed. Specifically, their RV bed mattress. “It’s a joke,” Mara said. She rolled her eyes. “I’ve been telling Matt since our first camping trip three weeks ago that we had to get something better. I figure after this weekend, his sore back will convince him better than I can.”

The fix

Almost everyone around the fire agreed. The mattresses RV manufacturers install are junk. What we didn’t necessarily agree upon was the best way to “fix” this predicament. Here are some comments and suggestions heard around the campfire.

Replace the original RV mattress

George insists, “Just toss out that sorry excuse for a mattress—the one that came with your RV. Get yourself a new household-type mattress. One you can actually sleep on!” Sleep is important. Whether on vacation or living in your RV full time and holding a regular job, you need sleep. It’s important for your physical health and emotional health, too!

Things to consider

Buying a replacement mattress can be a big expense. Before you pull the trigger on that idea, be sure to consider:

  • Type. Is it best to get an upgraded RV mattress? Some people think so, especially if your bed platform is an unusual size. (Many RV beds feature a non-standard-size platform.) Then there are folks like George who insist that a mattress manufactured for sticks-n-bricks homes is best. Compare costs and warranties for both types to help you form a decision.
  • Use. How much use will your RV mattress get? If you’re living in your RV full time, it’s worth it to purchase a better mattress. If, however, you only plan a few weekend camping trips in the summer months, you may get by with a less-expensive mattress.
  • Materials. There are so many different choices in mattresses today: foam, memory foam, innerspring with plush top, etc. You also have air beds and adjustable beds to consider. Your choice is a personal one, of course. Most folks tend to purchase a mattress that is similar to the one they have in their sticks-and-bricks home.
  • Weight. Consider the weight of the mattress you want to buy. (This isn’t something you think about when buying bedding for your sticks-and-bricks home.) Be mindful of your rig’s gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR). A heavy king-size mattress just may tip the scales in the wrong direction.
  • Thickness. If you are replacing the mattress for an overhead truck cab bed, you must consider the thickness. Too tall a mattress may mean you lose headroom and vertical height. Also, think about whether a thicker mattress will impede your slide from retracting as it should. Finally, be sure that you and your sleep buddy can get in and out of the bed safely. (A high-profile mattress may make it difficult to safely get in/out of bed.)
  • Length and width. If you’re replacing your RV mattress with a typical home model, you’ll need to know the size of your RV bed platform. If the replacement mattress is just an inch or two larger or smaller than the platform’s dimensions, it should still work. A size difference of much more than that may require modifications.
  • Access. Check that the new mattress will fit through your RV’s entry door. Foam mattresses can bend. Innerspring mattresses are trickier. Once you get the mattress through the door, will it fit down the hallway and make the turn into the bedroom (or whatever floor plan you have)? Think about it before you buy.

Get a “topper”

Tina disagreed with George. She said, “I can’t afford a new mattress. I got a foam topper at Walmart and I’m good.” I agree with Tina. Toppers can be a good alternative to purchasing a whole new mattress. We’ve had good luck with the topper we recently purchased. We used an electric knife to trim it to fit on top of our standard RV mattress. Our topper is four inches thick and is really comfortable. It works well for us.

Custom order an RV mattress

You can go online and search “RV replacement mattress.” Or search on Amazon for “RV mattress.” There are reputable companies based in the USA that get good reviews. At the campfire, Candice mentioned that she ordered a mattress for her home and used the same online company for her RV mattress (Tochta). MattressInsider® was also mentioned at the campfire. While I have no firsthand knowledge of either one, they may be worth checking out.

So, add your opinion to those shared around the campfire. Have you replaced the mattress that came with your RV? If so, what did you do? Tell us in the comments below.




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3 months ago

We bought cheap foam mattresses from both Walmart and Amazon. They always send up breaking down relatively quickly. We finally decided to give a try. What a difference!

8 months ago

Sleep Number in the last 4 RV’s we have owned. For us the perfect and only answer.

10 months ago

Had a Sleepnumber in the sticks and bricks and 3 months on the original mattress convinced us to buy one for the rv. They make rv compatible sizes and they are ez and comfortable and ADJUSTABLE.

10 months ago
Reply to  Ozzie

sleep number queen, Jackery 400 watt power pack for boondocking…ZZZZZZZ

10 months ago

In 1998 we replaced our mattress with a RV select comfort air mattress. It is lighter than origional one. Its been in 3 different RV’s. Had 2 failures of air pump and 1 air bag leak. fixed air bag with tire patch. Leak was in a fold and not a punture. Both air pumps were replaced under warrenty but still cost me over $300.00. We full timed for 8 years and camp a lot now. Probably would not buy one again due to warrenty costs. Sleeps great.

10 months ago
Reply to  Cordell

Sleepnumber has a 20 year guarantee and they stand behind it. I’ve replaced air chambers twice at zero cost.

10 months ago

I stay in my travel trailer for about 3 months for work..the mattress that came with my trailer lasted less than 6 months..i found a short queen at Brooklyn bedding and i absolutely love it..and best of all it was very reasonable

10 months ago

Full-time RVer now. We bought a Sleep Number and will never own another type again. I’m 65 and have never had a better mattress.

Gayle V.
10 months ago

Our RV came with a Sleep Number bed.
That’s what we’ve used in the house for the past 25 years. Hard to sleep on anything else.

10 months ago

We bought a sleep number. It is pretty comfortable.

Eric J
10 months ago

Denver Mattress Doctor’s Choice. I have one in the house and one in the camper. My son just bought one for their new to them toyhauler

10 months ago

We have replaced a few RV mattresses, always with a 10″ memory foam queen short from Walmart online. Perfect fit, comfy and durable. We are on year 8 on this mattress and we are full-time in our travel trailer.

Irvin Kanode
10 months ago

If you have a storage area under the bed accessed by a hinged platform with struts, make sure the new mattress will bend in the middle and isn’t a lot heavier than the factory one.

10 months ago

The mattress in our Tiffin Allegro Bus is great! It’s memory foam, and our only complaint is that it gets warm. We sleep great on it!

Lorraine Chorazy
10 months ago
Reply to  Christine

You can buy a padded mattress protector with cool gel. I have one and it really does help you sleep cooler.

Cody Gaved
10 months ago

The first thing I do when getting home with a new RV is to junk the original mattress.I order a Signature Sleep Memoir 8″ High-Density, Responsive Memory Foam Mattress – Bed-in-a-Box, Queen from Amazon. The current cost is $395.00 with free shipping. It has
over 14,000, 4 1/2 stars. They also make it in 10″ or 12″, twin, full or king size. I love it.

10 months ago

Yes every camper we had was just Junk. We always bought a memory foam 2” thick and the last one was 3” and solved the problem. Its a std Queen and the 3” was the exact same size where all the others were a few inches less that the queen size so with the 3” we got a full width and length. What a surprise with our new Lance it had a pillow top so it must of had a upgrade when built and we have used it for 3 months this year and is great so if you need the 3” memory foam its for sale.

Jeff Abrams
10 months ago


Lou Pauly
10 months ago

When my wife and I got tired of trying all the “solutions” to get a better nights sleep, we decided to replace our mattress in our 5th with the same brand and style of mattress we have in our house. Now we are always in the same bed, either at home or on the road.

Thomas D
10 months ago

Next campfire, drag out that piece of junk they call a mattress and burn it. That way it’ll serve one purpose.
Makes pretty flames.
Why even supply that junk. Deduct the cost and have the salesperson explain, we dont include mattresses anymore because most people would rather choose their own.

Michelle Austin
10 months ago

We replaced our 5th wheel mattress after spending 2.5 winters with the original mattress. We spend 6 months in SW Florida so I consider 180 nights as high usage. By the time we replaced the original mattress, both my hubby and I were sleeping in individual trenches in that mattress. After talking to several other campers who had replaced their mattresses and doing some research, we ordered a Casper on-line. We love it. Yes, it is heavier than the original but I have no problems lifting the bed platform to get to the under bed storage box. In fact, we sleep so well on it, we replaced our home mattress with a Casper.

Dawn H.
10 months ago

We replaced the bed in our Micro Minnie 1700BH with a new one from Mattress Insider. Although our bed was listed as a “short queen” the measurements are exactly the same as a regular full-sized mattress, so we saved money by buying the full. Below that we added a moisture barrier and one layer of the stock mattress that came with the trailer. (That was a mess to take apart, but gave us an extra couple of inches of height without adding a lot of extra weight. Because our entire bed is hinged for inside access to storage below, height was a factor.
When we converted our dinette into a daybed we ordered a custom sized mattress from Mattress Insider that fit perfectly in the space, gives us a more comfortable sitting and sleeping area, and is light enough to flip up out of the way to access storage. The bunks have very thin “Teddy Bear” mats, so we keep an extra self-inflating sleep mat to add if anyone needs. They are used mostly as a storage loft and a reading nook.

George H
10 months ago

After placing a topper on top on our mattress, in our Class B+, we then placed one under our mattress. I could still feel the ribs of the foundation. We ended up ordering CostCo’s foam RV mattress. What a relief, we now get a good night’s sleep. Reasonably priced too!

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