Can You Put a Regular Mattress in an RV?

Freedom. Adventure. Excitement. The open road. A lumpy mattress.

Well, the first three were a plus to camping, but who says your RV mattress can’t also be something to look forward to? With more options than ever before, there’s actually a pretty decent variety of mattress types and sizes that can make sleeping in your RV downright comfy and help you get a great night’s sleep, night after night, allowing you to rest up for those days filled with family fun and adventure. In fact, you can come pretty close to replicating your at-home sleeping experience if you do it right. Let’s take a look at how you can get top-notch sleep while RV traveling.

RVs come in almost unlimited sizes and configurations, but there are a few typical mattress sizes that you’ll see in an RV. We’ve put together a list of some of the most common ones below. You’ll notice that some RV mattresses can be quite different from the mattress you use at home, even if they have the same name.

RV Mattress Sizes

● Twin Mattress

● Truck Size Mattress

● Bunk Mattress

● Three Quarter Mattress

● RV Full or Double Mattress

● Short Queen RV Mattress

● Standard Mattress

● Queen Mattress

● RV King Mattress

What makes traveling by RV so great? It largely comes down to the fact that you’re driving around in what’s essentially a traveling house. You can stop and stay wherever you like and enjoy many of the same comforts of home, including the ability to sleep in your own bed.

You’re in full control of your adventure. But one of the myths associated with traveling the world in your RV is that you’ll have to get used to sleeping in tight quarters on a hard, thin foam mattress (or worse: an air mattress that always seems to deflate in the middle of the night). Historically, RV mattresses have been notoriously stiff, thin and uncomfortable. But that doesn’t have to be the case.

Depending on the design and layout of your RV, along with your preference of mattress, you might be able to fully enjoy your travel adventures after a healthy, restful, comfortable night’s sleep every night. And that’s important, because as you’re driving off into the sunset, heading toward new adventures, you need to be well-rested in order to drive you and your loved ones to your destination safely.

Whether you’re just thinking about purchasing an RV, or you’re a seasoned traveler looking to replace a well-worn RV mattress, you might be surprised by the amount of choices you have when it comes to picking your new RV mattress. Mattress technology has come a long way toward ensuring your comfort, no matter where you’re sleeping. We’ll walk you through everything you need to know about picking a reliable, comfortable RV mattress that can help you get a great night’s sleep as you make amazing memories with your loved ones.

RV Mattress Sizes

First, we’re going to go into detail of common RV mattress size specs. Every inch of space matters when it comes to RV living, so you’ll find RV mattresses in a wide variety of shapes and sizes to accommodate just about any kind of RV size and layout.

Twin mattresses

Twin mattresses are very commonly found in RV setups, given their narrow width and ease of fitting into tight spaces. You can usually find RV twin mattresses in two different sizes: either 28 by 75 inches or 28 by 80 inches. You can place them side by side or use them as bunk beds if your RV allows for that setup and can accommodate the dimensions.

Truck size mattress

The truck size mattress gets its name from the fact that it’s often placed inside the cab of a semi-truck, but you can also use them in an RV. Truck mattresses measure either 35 by 79 inches or 42 by 80 inches. If you’re dealing with tall sleepers, a truck size mattress may be a better option than the standard twin mattress because of the extra length. While primarily marketed toward semi-truck drivers, truck size mattresses also often fit well within certain RV layouts.

Bunk Mattress

If you’re looking for a family-friendly setup with lots of sleep space for kiddos, bunk RV mattresses are an excellent choice and come in a wide range of mattress sizes and dimensionsto fit many sleepers’ ages and sizes. We’ve outlined your choices below:

RV Bunk Bed: 28 inches by 75 inchesRV Bunk Bed: 30 inches by 75 inchesRV Bunk Bed: 30 inches by 80 inchesRV Bunk Bed: 34 inches by 75 inchesRV Bunk Bed: 35 inches by 79 inches

Whatever the measurements of your particular RV layout, you’re likely to find a bunk bed setup that can accommodate you and your family while sleeping everyone comfortably.

Three Quarter Mattress

The three quarter mattress is a little smaller than a standard full size mattress, but slightly larger than both twin and bunk RV mattresses. If your RV is a little on the smaller size, without room for a full size mattress, then this may be a good choice for you. A three quarter mattress usually measures 48 by 75 inches and can comfortably sleep two children or one adult, depending on their ages and sizes.

RV Full or Double Mattress

While they share the name, RV full or double mattresses are actually a bit smaller than the full size mattress you’re used to sleeping on at home. Instead, these RV mattresses measure 53 by 75 inches. This is usually the standard kind of mattress that will come with an RV when you first purchase it, depending on the size and layout of the interior. The RV full or double is generally a pretty comfortable size for one adult sleeper.

Short Queen RV Mattress

You may also sometimes see this mattress size referred to as “RV queen” or “RV Queen Mattress”. The short queen mattress also differs from the queen size mattress you’re used to at home, measuring five inches shorter at 60 by 75 inches. With this kind of bed, you can sleep two adult sleepers fairly comfortably without taking up too much valuable space. The shorter length makes it easier to squeeze into tight spaces, while also making it a smidge lighter than the standard queen size mattress you sleep on at home.

Standard Mattress

You’ll also see the standard mattress referred to as a full mattress. It typically measures 54 by 75 inches. You can also find a short full mattress that measures 48 by 74 inches. A full size mattress from Purple measures 54 by 76 inches, and it’s 9.75 inches thick. If your space can handle it, incorporating a Purple mattress into your RV adventures can help guarantee that you sleep great every night and wake up ready to seize the day during your travels. Just make sure to measure your space and give some thought to how you’ll maneuver your amazing Purple mattress safely into your sleeping space.

Queen Mattress

While not nearly as common as the short queen size, you will find some RV models equipped with a queen RV mattress. And when we say, “queen,” we mean it—we’re talking about the same queen mattress you’d use in your bedroom at home. Measuring 60 by 80 inches, a queen size bed may fit in some RVs that have platforms large enough to support them. Make sure to be accurate on your measurements before you go with this option, since it’s not a typical size an RV can accommodate.

RV King Mattress

An RV king mattress might be considered the height of luxury: the perfect big bed for big RVs, big people, big families, you name it. RV king mattresses usually measure either 72 by 75 inches or 72 by 80 inches and can sleep everyone from individual big and tall sleepers to entire families. And if you’re lucky enough to have a pop-out camper, you may even be able to fit two RV king mattresses on either side.

You should note that it might be difficult to find a store that carries either RV king or RV queen mattresses and mattress toppers on a regular basis unless the location serves a large RVing community. So you may have to special order those larger RV size mattresses.

If you’re dealing with a situation in which none of the bed dimensions listed here can work for your RV’s space constraints, you can also find companies that can manufacture a custom mattress that fit your space exactly. Some RV sleeping platforms might require a mattress with special features like curved edges or even a custom shape in order to fit effectively.

If you have the space, you may even be able to hire a woodworker to reconfigure the platform of your RV bed to accommodate a bigger mattress (and could also come in handy if you’re looking to convert a sofa bed into a regular mattress).

Can You Put a Regular Mattress in an RV?

As with so many things, it depends on your specific circumstances: the size and layout of your RV, the number of sleepers in your family, the ideal RV mattress size for you, along with what’s comfortable for you to sleep on. And your definition of “regular” also matters. Most RVs tend to come with standard memory foam RV mattresses that are usually about five or six inches deep. We think you’ll find that they’re generally less comfortable than the bed you’re used to sleeping on at home. But you can replace your standard foam RV mattress with anything you’d like, including your favourite LOTUS mattress.

How to Replace an RV Mattress with a Regular Mattress

Measure Your Mattress and Bed Frame

One of the things you’ll need to take note of is the size of the sleeping platform in your particular RV. If it’s the right size, you can easily use a standard home mattress size in your camper, or even a regular queen size, depending on the dimensions of your particular setup. Just be warned that most RV sleeping platforms are sized differently than standard home mattresses. That means you have to carefully measure your sleeping space so that you know exactly what you’re working with before you start your RV bed shopping.

Make sure to measure your bed frame, not just your mattress, especially if you’re replacing an older mattress that may have expanded or contracted over time. Also make sure to measure the depth that your frame allows between the frame and the RV’s ceiling. If you’re the proud owner of an older fifth-wheel style camper, you may be looking at a flat ceiling that doesn’t give you enough room for a thicker mattress or mattress topper without bumping your head constantly when you try to sit up in bed.

Measure Tight Spaces Around Your RV Mattress

You’ll also need to think about how you’ll get your mattress into place in your RV. Mattresses designed specifically for RV use are often more flexible than their traditional counterparts, to account for the twisting and bending you might need to do to wrestle it into place. Just make sure that whatever bed you pick provides enough bend and flexibility that you can successfully maneuver it into the right spot within your RV.

Once you’ve measured your RV space, considered available mattress size dimensions and settled on what size mattress will work best for you, you also need to consider the mattress type that will be most comfortable for you.

For example, if you’re traveling in hot and humid areas, you’ll want a mattress that can help you sleep cool at night, especially since your RV doesn’t likely offer as much temperature control as you’re used to at home. You can dress lightly for sleep and leave your windows open if your RV doesn’t have air conditioning, but it’s still easy to overheat during the night. If you have the right space and layout for it, a mattress from LOTUS is as breathable as you can get, and will help you stay cool all night long, even in the hottest and most humid conditions. With Arctic Ice gel foam, a LOTUS mattress not only feels cool when you first lie down, but it also continues to neutralize your temperature all night so that you don't overheat.

How to Choose an RV Mattress

When you’re deciding on the bed you want to sleep on as you adventure, you should keep in mind qualities like comfort, durability, weight and affordability. Because you’ll often need to repurpose space in your RV, you want to make sure that the mattress you choose can stand up to use, not only as your sleep haven, but also as a sofa, workspace, kids’ play area or even dining table. Your mattress needs to have staying power too. It has to be tough enough for all your RV adventures, no matter what kinds of extreme heat, cold or fluctuations in temperature and humidity it experiences. Your new camper mattress also needs to be resistant to mold and mildew.

Keep Weight in Mind – you don’t want a mattress so heavy that it weighs down your RV as you drive around the world. You’ll want to make sure to check on how much your bed weighs before settling on your final choice. An innerspring mattress will be a lot lighter than a latex mattress, and the lighter the mattress, the easier your driving experience will be (not to mention your fuel economy). That’s one advantage that RV mattresses usually have over their standard counterparts—since they’re designed specifically to be part of an RV setup, they are designed to be super light. What you trade for that lightness, though, is often comfort, so that’s why you have to decide what the sweet spot is for you when it comes to balancing weight and comfort.

Find Something Durable – You need to find something that’s durable enough to stand up to your adventures, while being affordable enough to replace whenever it starts to show significant signs of wear and tear. If you only sleep on your RV mattress occasionally, you’ll use it a lot less than someone who lives in an RV full-time or travels more frequently. You’ll likely want to replace your mattress at least every eight years or so, especially if you’re a frequent traveler. You’ll also want to make sure to take proper care of it.

Make Sure It’s Easily Washable – You’ll want to wash that RV mattress every single time you get home from your adventures. How to clean a mattress is a key skill for any RV owner so that your mattress is clean and fresh every time you set out for a new destination. To keep this chore from getting too onerous, you may also consider investing in a good mattress protector or mattress cover that you can remove and throw in the washer on a regular basis.

Firmness and Support is Important – You’ll also want to keep firmness in mind. RV mattresses don’t offer nearly as much support and customization as standard mattresses. Back sleepers need a firm mattress, so they may find that a standard RV mattress just doesn’t cut it. If that’s the case, we highly recommend upgrading to a firmer mattress so you can enjoy your adventures to the fullest extent. If you’re waking up during your RV trips with an aching neck or back, it may be a sign that your current mattress isn’t supportive enough, and you should think about replacing it.

Recycle Your Old RV Mattress – Think about connecting with a good mattress recycling program so you can say goodbye to your old mattress and hello to a brand new one.

Don’t Forget About Bedding – If you really want to up your comfort factor, don’t forget about bedding. You don’t have to use cast-off sheets from your bed at home. Don’t be afraid to go for cool, comfy, breathable sheets and pillows that you’ll look forward to sleeping on every night as you’re away from home. 

Your RV Mattress Can Make or Break Your Adventure

Maybe you’re a free spirit, living in an RV full time, enjoying the adventure of the open road and the excitement of a new location every night. Or maybe you use an your RV for an occasional family vacation. Whatever your story, we do know that you need to get a great night’s sleep on the road to fully enjoy your trip and to make it to your destination and back safely.

Today’s mattress technology means that if you do your research and make a smart choice, you can ensure that your sleeping on the road is just as restful and healthy as catching those Zs at home. If your RV layout can accommodate it, we think adding a LOTUS mattress to your RV setup can help ensure that you and your family sleep great, night after night. Let the adventures begin.