Can You Put A Regular Mattress In An RV? [Extended Guide]

family standing in front of an RV

Trading a traditional home or apartment for life in an RV can be an exciting period whether it is a temporary or permanent move. The freedom these motorhomes provide may recharge and infuse adventure into a previously disillusioned life.

Getting restful sleep can be a vital component of RV life and often, one of the biggest complaints new RVers make is the lack of quality in their sleeping surface. Whether you purchase a brand new or second-hand motorhome, RV mattresses are not known for providing comfort.

With the latest advancements in foam technology, mattresses are offering better sleep and becoming more affordable by the day. This is why many consumers are being tempted to shop regular mattresses for their RVs but this move can backfire spectacularly.

Can you put a regular mattress in an RV?

Regular mattresses are not usually compatible with RV beds due to differences in shape, size, and weight requirements. Shelling out on deluxe RV mattresses or enhancing the feel of the current one may be the best option for transformative sleep.

What Are The Typical Dimensions of RV Mattresses?

There are no standard RV mattress sizes due to the myriad of bed shapes in the industry. This is why experts recommend that each RVer takes the time to measure the dimensions of the bed manually before going out mattress shopping.

With the accurate dimensions of what to buy in hand, finding the right mattress can become much easier. Some of the popular RV mattress types and dimensions are as follows:

RV Twin – 38 x 75 inches 

RV Full Size-  53 x 75 inches 

Short Queen – 48 x 75 inches

Three-Quarter Queen – 60 x 75 inches

RV King – 72 x 80 inches

Reasons Why Regular Mattresses May Not Be Good For RVs

You’re now aware that regular mattresses may not always be a good fit for RV beds. Shall we take a deep dive into a few reasons why that is the case?

1. Durability (Extreme RV Weather )

If you’ve ever spent time in an RV, the extreme weather conditions can leave a lasting impression. These campers or trailers may get extremely hot during the summer and cold during winter.

The dramatic fluctuations between different weather elements can take a heavy toll on mattresses. The result is significant wear and tear which may lead to indentations and quicker disintegration within a few years.

This is why getting a durable mattress is so important. The good news is that RV mattresses are integrated with foam technologies and materials specially designed to thrive under these conditions, unlike regular mattresses.

So buying a regular mattress for a Campervan can rob you of getting value for money.

Have you read the article we wrote on how to find the best RV mattress? Click here for a comprehensive buying guide as well as the top-rated models available today.

2. Size

Buying a mattress for a regular bed is easy because beds come in universal sizes. All you have to do is walk to your favorite mattress showroom or online retailer and start searching. Once you find the right model, just choose the size that fits your box spring or foundation and you’re good to go.

Unfortunately, the situation can be quite different when selecting a mattress for motorhomes. Due to the limited space in RVs, manufacturers typically reduce the dimensions of their mattress, especially in length.

For instance, while a standard queen mattress has dimensions of 60 x 80 x 11 inches, a Short Queen which is the standard for RVs, is 5 inches shorter at 60 x 75 x 11 inches.

So ordering a standard mattress for your RV can lead to a host of problems when it comes to fitting into the RV bed.

3. Weight 

One of the biggest advantages of living in Fifth Wheels, Trailers, and RVs is the ability to drive them to any destination. RV manufacturers try to limit the overall weight of these motorhomes as much as possible because every pound counts during driving.

Lightweight mattresses help these campervans promote speed and fuel efficiency during driving. Removing the mattress is also easy whenever the need arises, which can be convenient for solo travelers.

Unfortunately, regular mattresses can weigh up to 180 pounds. This can be a prominent fraction of the total Gross Trailer Weight Rating (GTWR) of your motorhome. Since trailers need to have lots of vital stuff onboard for comfort, skimping out on the weight of the mattress can be a necessity.

And this is why a regular, typically heavyweight mattress may just not cut it.

4. Shape

brand new mattress in an RV

Have you paid attention to the shapes of RV beds? They can be very different from the beds we’re all used to in regular apartments and homes. In essence, ordering a regular mattress for a motorhome can be a terrible idea.

The majority of beds in trailers, Fifth-Wheels, and RVs have one corner or the other cut to fit the space needs. The result is some awkward dimensions impossible to find in homes and ordering a regular mattress means you may be forced to cut certain corners to fit the bed.

This can deform the mattress and rip up any warranty guarantees offered by the manufacturer.

5. Thickness

The average person sleeps on an 8 or 10-inch mattress at home. This is because box springs and other types of foundations make it possible to choose the thickest mattresses available.

Unfortunately, the opposite may be true concerning RV beds. These motorhomes may require 6-inch or even 4-inch mattresses to meet space constraints.

Finding 4-inch or 6-inch models for small-sized beds like a Twin or Twin XL may not be a problem. However, the same cannot be said for Full, Queen, or King mattresses since their thickness levels often start from 8 inches.

Have you read the article we wrote on how to choose the perfect mattress thickness? Click the link to discover the right mattress height for you depending on weight, age, and other personal factors. It is a must-read.

How To Improve The Comfort Of Your RV Mattress

Now that you know that ordering a regular mattress for your Camper may not be a realistic option, it is time to get creative if you’re serious about improving the comforts of your RV mattress.

Here are a few ways to achieve just that.

1. Order A Deluxe RV Mattress

If the current mattress in your Fifth-Wheel, Trailer, or RV just does not cut it in terms of comfort, ordering a new one could be a great option. Several deluxe RV mattress models can fit your space, shape, and weight concerns flawlessly while providing amazing support and comfort at night.

The downside is that these RV mattresses can set you back over a thousand dollars, if not more. For consumers with tight budgets, a deluxe RV mattress may not be a realistic move especially after shelling out tens of thousands of dollars on the motorhome itself.

I love retiring to bed on my Zinus Deluxe RV Mattress since I ordered it on Amazon 6 months ago. It provides world-class comfort year-round and available at an affordable price too. Additionally, it features conforming memory foam for refreshing sleep all night long.

2. Plush Mattress Pad or Topper

A plush mattress topper or pad can be a smart way to transform the feel of your RV mattress without spending thousands on a brand new model. These toppers come in a wide range of materials including memory foam, latex, and egg-crate foam models.

Mattress toppers are lightweight and available in thickness levels ranging from 2-4 inches. The fact that these toppers are simply placed atop mattresses means they do not have to strictly fit the dimensions of the RV mattress.

Mattress toppers are also quite cheap and even with a budget of under $200, finding one that fits your needs should not be a problem.

The Sleep Innovations Dual-Layer 4-Inch Mattress Topper from Amazon has transformed my mediocre RV mattress into a cloud-like sensation that provides blissful sleep. I cannot recommend it highly enough.

3. Egyptian Cotton Sheets

egyptian cotton sheets on a bed

RVers desperate for amazing nights invest in Egyptian cotton sheets in addition to sleeping on comfy mattresses. These sheets can offer heavenly rest even during the harshest weather conditions.

Certified organic Egyptian cotton sheets come with generous thread counts which is a good indicator of their quality. Remember, authentic Egyptian cotton fibers are the longest on the market, resulting in the finest yarns that feel soft on the skin and ultra-comfortable all night long.

These sheets are durable and offer greater value for money compared to mediocre options that may be available at a cheaper price but begin disintegrating within the shortest period.

Besides, Egyptian cotton sheets offer superior breathability meaning cozy nights even during the harsh summer months.

Have you checked out our Ultimate Guide to Choosing the Best Egyptian Cotton Sheets? Click the link to discover our comprehensive buying guide as well as the top-rated models available on sale right now.

4. Comfy Pillows

 The right pillows can make a huge difference in the quality of sleep one can gain in a Recreational Vehicle. Depending on your preferred sleeping position, firmer or softer pillows may be what you need.

Always choose pillows that can offer the right neck and head support without inhibiting the natural curvature of the spine. Additionally, look out for pillows that offer natural properties for repelling dust mites, bacteria, and other allergens that may interfere with the quality of your sleep.

I always look forward to retiring to bed on my Milemont Memory Foam Cervical Pillow from Amazon after a hard day of work. It has transformed the quality of my sleep by eliminating neck stiffness and shoulder pain since I ordered it 3 months ago. I cannot recommend it highly enough.

5. Plush Blankets 

Do you struggle to catch some Zs without blankets during the hot summer nights? If yes, you’re not alone. Choosing plush blankets can supercharge anyone’s sleep comforts significantly. This is why care must be taken when shopping for blankets.

Materials such as fleece, microfiber, and wool can work well so it is up to you to choose the comfiest option. If you decide to shop online, don’t forget to go through customer reviews from past buyers.

You’ll be amazed at the level of insights you can gain from these reviews alone.

The Bedsure Sherpa Fleece Blanket from Amazon offers a distinct sense of softness to improve sleep whether at home or in RV. It provides the ultimate feeling of warmth on the winter nights when you’re practically freezing. The blanket is highly recommended.


Ordering a regular mattress for an RV, Trailer, or Fifth-Wheel can be a terrible idea that may end up being a time and money-wasting decision. This is because the bed frames in these motorhomes typically come with shapes and dimensions which are vastly different from the standard ones in our homes.

Even if your RV bed looks like a standard bed, taking the time to measure its length and breadth can provide some meaningful confirmations. Who knows, it may a few inches shorter than the closest standard bed size.


Gabriel Smith

Hello, my name is Gabriel and I LOVE to sleep. Okay, you’re right, a lot of people do like sleep. But my passion is actually not sleeping. My interest lies in the “theoretical part”. What to do before bedtime. What a good night’s sleep is. etc. In short, how to sleep well. I hope you share the same interest as me, and enjoy reading everything about sleep.

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