Replacing the RV Mattress: Sleeping as Comfortably on the Road as You Do at Home

Jayco Whitehawk Master Bedroom

Still sleeping on the standard RV mattress that came with your rig? You’re not alone.

When we bought our first travel trailer, we made two big rookie mistakes:

  1. We went out and bought discount store, cheap bed-in-a-bag sheets and blankets for all our beds.
  2. We slept on the original RV mattress for over three years.

Now think about this. We had invested in a brand new, bunkhouse travel trailer in order to have the comforts of home while we were on the road and at the campground. But then for some reason, we skimped on the beds and bedding.

This makes zero sense, folks.

We just accepted that we would come home from our extended trips with achy backs and necks.

And then the light bulb went off.

I could sleep as well in the camper as I could in my bed at home with a pretty minimal investment. In fact, I was shocked when I realized how affordable some of the internet mattresses were.

RVers are now catching on to this way more quickly than we did. There are frequent posts in our forum, Facebook Group, and on social media from people looking to upgrade their sleeping arrangements. All we can say now is: Do it now. It’s worth it. You will NEVER regret investing in a good night’s sleep.

I’m going to share the products that we have purchased and used for the last two years in our RV. But first, I want to explain a couple of no-no’s.

No-No #1: DO NOT buy cute camper bedding from big camping box stores just because you like the print or it is specially fitted for RV mattresses. Comfort is the number one priority and I have never seen a great quality sheet or blanket from these outlets.

No-No #2: Don’t assume a mattress topper is going to be cheaper than a mattress. Compare and research price points carefully. There are now mattresses you can buy online for close to the same price as a quality topper.

Now onto the recommendations…

The Mattress

When I first started shopping for an RV mattress, I figured I was in for a big investment.

Not true.

I found out that one of the best reviewed “Short Queen” mattress online came in at about $200. We ended up purchasing the Zinus Sleep Master Ultima Comfort Memory Foam Mattress and absolutely love it. In fact, I like my RV mattress more that my more expensive one at home.

The Zinus Sleep Master Short Queen mattress comes in an 8-inch model for $199.99 and a 10-inch model for $229.99. We went with the 10-inch version, because…live a little, you know?

Many of our podcast listeners have purchased this same mattress, and we have only heard positive feedback so far. We have also received a lot of other recommendations from the RVFTA community and wanted to pass along the expertise (price listed is for queen, however other sizes are available):

Bottom Line? You bought an RV for all the comforts of home. Now you need to buy the mattress, so you actually have all the comforts of home.

The Bedding

Jayco White Hawk Bunkhouse

Bedding is a bit more simple than choosing an RV mattress. Basically, whatever you love at home, replicate in your trailer. I’ve gone through a couple of rounds of RV bedding, mostly because my boys’ preferences have changes as they have gotten older.

Top Tip #1: Look for great sales during the off season. I wanted a down comforter in the RV, but didn’t love the price tag. I ended up scoring a great deal on clearance at Target. We also love lightweight flannel sheets, and I waited until the end of the winter season to find a new set for 50% off.

Top Tip #2: Coordinate all the bedding in the camper, especially if you have a smaller RV. This will help your tiny space feel comfy and tidy, instead of chaotic. You can read about my ‘one-pop-of-color’ rule in our post about Easy RV Makeover Tips.

For the kids, I am in love with the Pillowfort Line from Target. They have some fun outdoorsy, animal prints that won’t make your camper look like a kid’s room.

This year, the boys decided they were too old for prints (sniff.) and wanted solid colors. They really like cozy bedding, so I got them each a set of the Room Essentials Jersey Sheets in a denim color, which gels nicely with my new blue-pop-of-color for the Toy Hauler.

I also found these Pillowfort Comforters for 50% off on clearance. Seriously. Stalk those Pillowfort aisles.

Wesley liked the Rugby Stripe

And Max and Theo chose the Navy Triangle Stitch Quilt

The Pillows

I’m going to admit it. Last camping season we were still carrying pillows back and forth from the camper to the house, because we all love our house pillows so much.

So this year, the family bedding splurge was a complete set of camper pillows. We bought 5 bamboo pillows and the boys are wild for them. They actually call them their panda pillows, which is an adorable mix up that I just can’t correct.

If you make spring camping resolutions (because, don’t we all???) let this year’s be about creating the most comfy, cozy camper bed that you can possibly imagine. If you’re not sleeping well in your RV, then there is no way that you’re fully enjoying the RV experience. How do we know? Because we finally fixed our camp bedding years into RVing, and just can’t believe it took that long.

Sweet dreams at the campground…

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