Imagine a home you can take anywhere, from glittering cities to quiet towns to isolated mountains. Imagine having the comforts of a real home even though you are in the middle of nowhere. Well, you don’t have to imagine it because an RV, or recreational vehicle, makes this imagination a reality!
Because an RV is your home in the great outdoors, it is essential that the amenities inside offer you a great degree of comfort. Your mattress is one of these important amenities. The right one will make your RV escapade the adventure of your dreams. The wrong one will make it a daily nightmare.
Check out what are the best RV mattresses to kickstart your on-road or off-road journey!
A Cozy Home You Can Bring Anywhere
RV stands for Recreational Vehicle, and it has become quite popular in many parts of the world. It can either be an entire self-motorized vehicle or a trailer towed by another vehicle (such as a car or pickup truck). Whatever the case, an RV contains amenities similar to that of a home. Thus, this wheeled wonder is not just for “recreation” as its name implies but also for “accommodation.”
A standard RV may include a kitchen, bathroom, and a sleeping area. The cheapest RVs can be spartan, having only a single mattress and a basic cooking area in addition to the driving compartment. The most expensive ones can have amenities that rival 5-star hotels. These mega-RVs may have powerful HVAC systems, water heaters and satellite uplinks, and granite countertops. There are even ultra-luxurious RVs that have garages for a smaller vehicle, such as a sports car.
Although most RVs have single deck beds, there are others that consist of double decks. In addition, some large RVs have canopies or extendable sides, called slide-outs, to expand their interior space.
A Brief History of the Modern RV
The dawn of the RV first shone around 1745, an era where horse-drawn wagons dominated transportation. Adventurers and merchants spend many days or even months going to and across the frontier. Stop-over towns may be days away from their route, so these brave frontiersmen spent the nights in their wagons.
More than a hundred years later, the combustion engine was invented and paved the way for the modern car. Just like any other invention, vehicles started to have variants, one of which is the RV. By the 1920s, the RV became popular in the US. Even with bad roads and inadequate camping facilities, many people began establishing RV camping clubs all across the country.
At that time, people own usual homes; their self-motorized RVs are purely for touring and recreation. It was not surprising, therefore, that the RV-owning public wants a more versatile option. After all, buying and maintaining two separate vehicles (a standard car and an RV) can be very expensive.
As such, various companies began making house trailers. These are non-motorized wheeled accommodations that can be attached to a car, van, or pickup. Sales picked up tremendously. In fact, the RV industry was interconnected with the mobile home industry until around the 1950s.
Later, as mobile homes became larger and required bigger and more powerful vehicles to tow them, the mobile home market gave birth to its own industry. The RV industry took off on its original path, and manufacturers began building both trailer homes and self-contained motorhomes.
Presently, 85% of RVs sold in the US are built in Indiana. Well over two-thirds of that production happens in Elkhart County, the self-proclaimed “RV Capital of the World.” The RV industry contributes around 32.5 billion dollars in the country’s economy and supports more than 126,000 jobs.
Trying Out Your RV
Having an RV is a great opportunity to awaken the adventurer in you. With an RV, you can travel all around the country, all with comforts and amenities that a standard home provides! Wonder at breathtaking landscapes, experience exciting adventures, witness different local cultures, meet interesting people, and visit faraway towns without having to check-in at a hotel. And you can do all these anytime, anywhere without anyone stopping you; after all, you’re driving your own home! No more cancelled or rescheduled trips, or check-in times. It’s an adventure-filled, freedom-induced, nomadic lifestyle at its best!
Many people who own RVs also use them as accommodations during rural festivals such as Burning Man or multi-day Woodstock concerts.
Perhaps you’re an older person whose fire of freedom, adventure, and independence still blaze inside your heart. Perhaps you feel that you belong on the road, not in the suburbs, condominium, or worse, a retirement home. Then an RV might be perfect for you. In fact, if you choose an RV lifestyle, you may want to try out “snowbirding.” That is, each winter, you and similar other old folks drive south across the country to warmer states. Once winter has passed, you drive back up north.
The RV culture has also given rise to facilities known as RV parks. Sometimes called caravan parks, these are established sites where RV owners can stay overnight or longer. In some places, these parks are popularly referred to as campgrounds, although many are not designed for true tent camping. However, there are RV parks that offer tent camping areas or log cabins.
RV parks look like glorified parking lots. Each allotted space for an RV may include conduits for electric power, drinking water, sewage, or phones. All you need to do is to connect your RV to these conduits. RV parks are often WiFi hotspots so you can access the Internet while “camping.” In most cases, the park administrator charges you for the use of these facilities.
RV parks may have other facilities as well. Rudimentary ones may consist of a common barbecue area, some picnic tables, a few restrooms, and bathhouses. Bigger—and more expensive—parks have convenience stores, gift shops, bars, restaurants, laundromats, recreation halls, and swimming pools. It wouldn’t surprise us if you want to stay here months at a time!
Anatomy of a Camper Mattress
Your RV is your home on wheels. As such, it must be comfortable. Otherwise, what’s the point of having an RV if you’re not going to be comfortable with it?
If you have an RV, you’re going to spend most of your nights sleeping in it. Therefore, it is important that your RV’s sleeping space must be cozy so you’ll have a wonderful and restful sleep. And just like a normal home, a good sleep starts with the right mattress.
Unless you are a millionaire and you want your vehicle’s interior to spell luxury in upper-case letters, you usually settle on the stock mattress that comes along your RV. But you get what you pay for. These stock mattresses feel lumpy and stiff, and can get worn out easily.
If you want your daily—or nightly—RV experience to be pleasant, you need to invest on a high-quality camper mattress. Thankfully, there are several types to choose from:
A high-tech foam originally developed by NASA, memory foam is a viscoelastic polyurethane foam that adjusts to your body’s contours when you lay down on it. Because of this ergonomic characteristic, memory foam mattresses are ideal for people who are suffering from body pains. Earlier versions tend to be hot, but newer generation memory foams have infused cooling gel to help cool you down as you sleep.
This kind of air-breathable foam is made of organic and natural substances. It’s perfect for RV owners who are prone to allergy attacks. However, latex is not exactly the most comfortable mattress to sleep on due to its rigidity.
Similar to that on a standard bed, innerspring mattresses have springs within the padding. They are thick and heavy. If your RV is not well ventilated, this might collect condensation.
The main advantage of air beds is that they are portable, easy to carry, and can fit small spaces. Simply deflate the bed so you can keep it in your RV’s storage drawer. Or you can bring it with you outside for a night under the stars. Need it again? Simply re-inflate it. The biggest disadvantage is that changes in altitude, temperature, or pressure from a heavy body can cause the air bed to deflate. Lastly, like all inflatable products, air beds can be punctured easily.
This is a very low-quality mattress. Essentially, this is the material used in sofa cushions. Although quality polypropylene foam is fire retardant, it is hot, itchy, and a haven for bed bugs! Unless you are absolutely desperate, stay away from mattresses with this kind of material.
Best RV Mattresses
Looking for a new mattress for your RV? Here are our 7 best picks!
The Serenia Sleep has one of the highest ratings of customer satisfaction when it comes to RV mattresses. Its soft and comfortable 2.5 low-density memory foam layer rests on a firm 6-inch support foam base. The construction makes it a tough yet comfortable bed designed for the rigors of RV life. The foam has an open-cell construction, which allows air to flow freely through the foam structure. This makes the Serenia Sleep temperature sensitive, which means, a cooler, more comfortable trip to dreamland.
Dynasty Mattress Deluxe
Another great memory foam mattress specifically designed for RVs. Its 3-inch memory foam layer has anti-mite and anti-allergy properties. That’s great considering that you will be out on the road most of the time. The coolest (literally) feature about this mattress though is the 2-inch AirFlow layer between the memory foam and the high-density support base. The AirFlow layer “pumps” out hot air from the memory foam, ensuring you a cool, motion-free, and comfortable sleep.
Best Price Mattress
Feeling tight on the budget? Then choose an RV mattress with the best price. Yes, literally the brand “Best Price.” The product provides excellent comfort and quality, giving you great value for your money. What’s more, the Best Price Mattress foam is infused with active charcoal. The ingredient helps prevent bad odors and bacteria build-up as it effectively absorbs moisture around the air.
If you are particular about natural fabrics and material, then the Zinus Deluxe is for you. The bed is made up of BioFoam, which uses organic plant-based oil rather than petroleum-based oil. In addition, Zinus Deluxe is CertiPur-US certified, which assures you that there are no harmful chemicals in the product. Like the rest of the products above, the mattress is made out of memory foam with a foundation of thick, high-density support foam.
Memory Foam Solutions
It can be uncomfortably hot sleeping in a closed RV, especially during warm summer nights. If you are traveling in a warm place, it might be a good idea to make Memory Foam Solutions your dependable RV mattress. Its comfortable and ergonomic memory foam layer is infused with cooling gel. This cooling gel absorbs body heat, making your snoozes cool and comfortable. The mattress also passes PURGreen Certification standards, which means it is made of environmentally friendly and sustainable raw materials.
Plushbeds Natural Latex RV Mattress
Different from the memory foam mattress featured in this list, Plushbeds is made out of 100% natural, high-quality latex foam without any added fillers, additives, or synthetic fibers. The latex core is designed to give you optimal distribution of body weight by lessening pressure points, especially on your hips, back, and shoulder. Finally, say goodbye to your old mattress’s awful moldy smells. That’s because Plushbeds’ patented Fresh Foam Technology makes it odor-free!
Zinus Sleep Master Ultima Comfort
Some people are not comfortable sleeping in incredibly soft memory foam. What they want is the ol’ classic spring bed that they grew up with. Well, if you’re one of these people, then you need to check out the Zinus Sleep Master Ultima Comfort. Patented iCoil Pocketed Springs form the core of the super comfy CertiPur-certified Pressure Relieving Comfort Foam, making the bed extremely durable yet comfortable. The hundreds of independent coils in the iCoil system get rid of any uncomfortable motion transfer as you shift your position during your sleep.
Frequently Asked Questions
Absolutely! Just like ordinary mattresses, there are different sizes available. There are king, twin, double, single, and camper queen mattresses, for instance. You simply need to measure your RV’s bed frame or bed space then choose the right size of mattress. Ideally, the mattress should be around an inch smaller than your bed frame so it can fit snugly.
It really depends on your RV, but in general, the answer is no. That’s because RV mattresses are usually a number of inches shorter than standard home mattresses to account for the smaller space in an RV. For example, a typical queen size bed measures around 60 by 80 inches. This is 5 inches longer than its RV counterpart.
Note though that bigger RVs can take standard-sized residential mattress. However, do check the height of the cushion. That’s because residential mattresses are so thick that you might lack headspace if you use one in your RV.
The camper queen short mattress is the most common and popular size for RV beds. It measures around 60 by 74 or 75 inches. Most purchases of RV mattresses are within these dimensions.
An RV is your shelter out there in the wild, and on the road. Of course, it doesn’t really compare with a real house unless you’re a diehard nomad. As such, it should be as comfortable as it gets. It should be your rolling sanctuary, a place of reflection, and an abode for relaxation in a big world.
Having the right RV mattress makes your camper feel like home—and sometimes—even more! Just imagine: your RV is parked in a quiet, secluded meadow. Your vehicle’s sunroof is open, giving you an uninterrupted view of a beautiful starry night. Every now and then, a shooting star streaks across the sky. Topping it all off, you enjoy all these wonders while lying down on your comfortable, cool, and body-hugging mattress! Now that’s truly a night to remember, don’t you think?
Do you own an RV? If you do, is your mattress making your adventure a less-than-pleasant experience? Then perhaps it’s time to change into a new RV mattress that will beautifully cap your amazing road trip!