RV mattress

Why Are RV Mattresses so Horrible? And What to Do About Them

Some of the links listed on this page are affiliate links. This means that, at zero cost to you, we will earn an affiliate commission from the vendor if you click through the link and finalize a purchase. We strive to always keep all our content free to the reader. Thanks.

The excitement is building for your first RV camping trip. You may feel yourself just itching to get out there. You’ve purchased all the essentials and can’t wait for your first adventure. After arriving safely, you are ready to hit the hay. That’s where the problems begin. 

Your RV mattress is creaky, lumpy, and uncomfortable. You and your partner are both rolling to the middle, sandwiched together. By the time you finally fall asleep, morning has arrived and your back is aching.

If you’ve ever tried to sleep on an original RV mattress, you know exactly what I am talking about. When given the choice between the ground or the mattress that came with your rig, the ground might be more comfortable. If you haven’t already, you’re going to want to upgrade your mattress before your first trip. RV mattresses are notoriously awful. Let’s cover why that is and what to do about it. 

Why are RV Mattresses so Horrible?

The short answer to this question is because horrible mattresses are cheap to manufacture. RV manufacturers naturally want to make the most profit. That is why you often hear stories about poor-quality material and workmanship in RVs. 

This poor quality is the unfortunate truth of the matter, and RV mattresses are just one especially noticeable area. Probably because your aching back will be the casualty. 

Fortunately, you don’t have to throw in the towel and sell your RV. There are some options to improve or replace your RV mattress instead. 

RV Mattress Toppers

If you don’t want to splurge on a totally new RV mattress, one solid option is to purchase a mattress topper. While it generally won’t offer as much comfort as a mattress upgrade, there are several positives to this option. 

First, you can choose a variety of thicknesses depending on how much support you want (and how uncomfortable your mattress is to start with). Another wonderful thing is that often RV mattresses come in strange sizes. Sometimes there are corners cut off to fit into the space, or they may be shorter or narrower than traditional mattresses. Purchasing a traditional mattress to fit the space can be a challenge. A mattress topper, on the other hand, is usually easy enough to cut to size. 

One popular option for purchasing mattress toppers includes shopping at big box stores like Walmart, Sam’s Club or Costco. This is one of the best ways to shop if you need a mattress topper quickly, such as before an upcoming RV trip. Lots of RVers have had success with going this route.

You can also purchase many mattress toppers from Amazon. Common household names offer memory foam mattress toppers including Serta, Sealy, and Tempur-Pedic

Also Read:  Times RVers Saved the Day: Feel-Good Stories to Brighten Your Mood

RV Mattress Replacements 

If you want to experience an even better night’s sleep, upgrading your RV mattress is hands down the way to go. There are some generic RV mattresses you can purchase. If you have a strange layout or size, you may need to get a custom RV mattress made. One custom RV mattress company is Mattress Insider. They can make a mattress in any size or shape to fit your needs. They also offer a risk-free trial on most purchases. 

If you’re lucky enough to have a regularly shaped RV mattress, you have more options. After spending one miserable night testing out our original RV mattress, Joel and I knew we needed an upgrade. We opted for the Zinus Short Queen RV mattress. It is wonderful and we sleep even better in the RV than we do when we stay with family on a “real” bed. 

In our experience, the only downside to the Zinus mattress is that it can sometimes get a little hot. It isn’t a problem for me; my feet are typically ice cubes, but Joel sometimes has trouble sleeping if it is too warm outside. 

There are many other options for RV mattresses on Amazon and some on Overstock or even from regular mattress companies. I haven’t tried any of them out myself, but I rounded up some recommendations from the Cool RV Stuff Facebook Group. 

Several RVers raved about the Montana Hybrid RV Mattress. Although spendy, it has 4.9 stars across over 2,000 reviews. If you have a bad back or difficulty falling asleep, the extra money might be well spent. They also designed these mattresses specifically for RVs.

Another popular option is you have room for a residential size mattress is Purple. These mattresses are especially popular for a few reasons. First, they are extremely comfortable. Additionally, they are designed to keep you cool. Since lots of camping happens in the warm months, this is a definite benefit over other mattresses.


If you have the space, you also can’t go wrong with a Sleep Number bed. The major consideration here is weight. This type of bed will probably be much heavier than what your RV came with. 

Another highly recommended brand that comes in a short queen size is LUCID. These mattresses are reasonably priced and come highly recommended on Amazon. It will most certainly be a step up from the awful lumpy RV mattress you currently have! 

Before purchasing anything new, be sure to measure your space to make sure your new purchase will fit. 

RVers, which RV mattress do you have? Leave us a comment below with your favorite!

One moment, please. If the comments fail to load, FB may have been too slow responding so try reloading.

Kathryn Mancewicz

Kathryn Mancewicz is an RV expert who has been a full time RVer since 2019. She has bylines for her RV related content on major publications including MSN, MSN Canada, and AOL. She has also been featured on Yahoo and quoted on KOA. Kathryn is also a regular RV content writer for Cheapism.