How to Make an RV Mattress Comfortable

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It’s hard to live in an RV fulltime when you are dealing with something uncomfortable like the RV mattress. Over the years, we’ve tried several methods of trying to make our RV mattress bearable including trying many rv mattress toppers and I’m sharing those with you today.

It's hard to live in an RV fulltime when you are dealing with something uncomfortable like the RV mattress. Over the years, we've tried several methods of trying to make our RV mattress comfortable. #rvmattress #campermattress #diycampermattress

How to Make an RV Mattress Bearable

It’s been a while since I posted more about Fulltime RV Living. We are currently living in an RV, but even if you aren’t a fulltimer, it’s still a pain (literally!) to have to sleep on a hard or uncomfortable RV mattress when you are out camping. Nothing ruins a great camping trip like waking up with a severe backache and having to deal with it the whole weekend.

That mattress.

Those of you that live in campers or have a camper or have ever stayed in a camper know exactly what I mean! You want to get a good night of restful sleep! But when that thing has so many springs poking into your back that you end up tossing and turning all night.

Now, let’s get to those ideas on how to make your RV mattress bearable so that you can get a good night’s rest, either on your next camping trip or just in general if you are a fulltimer.

IntelliBED Mattress Topper

I learned about IntelliBED from reading another blogger’s article about their awesome mattresses. I’ve been skeptical about “fancy” mattress for a long time. I’ve known a few friends that have spent some good money on a name brand mattress. But when I laid on their mattress to see what all the fuss was about…I still wasn’t sure.


Of course, I wasn’t about to buy a brand new mattress for our camper with our current layout. Plus it is much more cost effective to go with a mattress topper. We’ve looked at an tried many different toppers over the past 8 years. Memory foam always makes me sweaty and makes it difficult to turn over. Cotton toppers don’t seem to have enough support. Some of those plastic toppers on the market are plain scary. They smell so much like chemicals when you open the package.


IntelliBED makes several different sizes of mattress toppers. There is even one that even fits perfectly on an RV bed! (Just ask them for the short queen.) If you’ve ever tried to fit sheets on an RV mattress you know what I mean by never being able to find anything that fits it. 🙂


The IntelliBED Mattress Topper is made with patented, medical-grade Intelli-Gel and a layer of top-quality soy foam encased in an organic cotton zipper cover. IntelliBED products are made with high quality, natural, hypoallergenic material which means you won’t have to worry about off-gassing. For those that tend to be sensitive to chemicals (like me and my son), this is very welcome news.

Mattress Topper Warranty

The IntelliBED Mattress Toppers also includes a 10-year warranty. Something that is notable since I’ve had to toss every topped that we’ve tried after a year at most. Being able to keep this topper for at least ten years will be better on our budget in the long run.

So far, we are enjoying our new mattress topper from IntelliBED! I’ve actually been able to sleep through a full night, even laying on the floor…something I wasn’t able to do before. I’ve even tracked my sleep with a sleep app and I tend to sleep better in the RV than I do at home! We’ve had many guests sleep on the topper as well (since we previously used our camper as a guest cabin) and they’ve all told us that our camper bed is so nice. Little do they know, right? 🙂

A Special RV Mattress Topper Discount!

Interested in an IntelliBED Mattress or Topper? IntelliBED is offering 10% off their products when you use the coupon code LittleHouse at checkout.

Foam & Plush Mattress Toppers

There are a variety of foam mattress toppers available that could be a great budget option. Although we love our Intellibed topper, it doesn’t always make sense if you are just using your RV for weekend camping, unless you have severe back issues.

For something with substance, you could go with a Memory Foam Mattress Pad. These pads are thicker and will fit your body better than a plain egg carton mattress topper. They do tend to run over $100 for one that will be a good fit (short queen) but if you have a regular residential size queen mattress in your RV it might be possible to find a less expensive version.

A Plush Mattress Topper is another good option depending on the type of softness you want to add to your bed. If you do not like a firm mattress and prefer something that feels like a soft pillow top, a Plush Mattress Topper may be the way to go. The run about the same price at the Memory Foam Toppers but they come in a large variety of sizes and aren’t so big and bulky to try and fit in your RV.

Yet another mattress topper that falls into this category would be the Gel Memory Foam Topper. This one will be similar to the Memory Foam Topper I mentioned above, however, since it’s filled with a gel-like substance it will be better for those who prefer to feel cooler at night.

The final option in this category would be the “Egg Crate” Foam Topper. This is a good option if you are on a tight budget. I haven’t seen many of these that are a short queen size and made to fit in an RV, but since they are just foam, you can easily buy a regular queen size and cut it to fit your mattress. This topper definitely won’t match the longevity and comfort of the other toppers, however, if you are on a tight budget and need something, this is better than not using anything.

How to Make an RV Mattress Bearable

Other Options to Make the RV Mattress Bearable


Something else to not forget when you are creating a comfy bed in your RV is to find a decent set of sheets. I can’t tell you how many cheap sheets we went through that were so slippery and staticky that they fell off the bed at night before we finally got a nice set. We’ve been buying the Ultra Soft Sheets from Target for the last several sets we’ve needed and found them to be both budget-friendly and very soft and comfy.

The Comforter

Do you still have the comforter that your RV came with? It doesn’t matter if it matches, get rid of it! Those are so uncomfortable! When choosing a good comforter for your RV bed, be sure to choose something that’s not too heavy or it will tend to slide off the bottom of the bed while you are sleeping. A soft, thick blanket can make a great comforter, or something light-weight but still cozy like this Down Alternative Comforter.

Replace the Mattress

If none of the topper options will work for you, or if your mattress is already very standing up very tall and you don’t want to add any extra height to it, consider just replacing the mattress. You can probably find a perfectly comfy brand new mattress for a decent price. Just be sure and measure the entrances and doorways to your RV before you buy and bring it home.


Which of these options have you used or do you plan on trying in the future? Which specific products and brands have worked the best in your experience?


Want to learn more about Fulltime RV Living?


IntelliBED provided me with a product for this review, however, it in no way influences my decision on the product. This post on RV Mattress Toppers was originally posted on Little House Living in October 2015. It has been updated as of October 2019.

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  1. Gosh this post caught my eye since I’ve been suffering sleeping in our vintage Shasta Trailer. I bough a 5″ memory foam but it doesn’t work at all. This sounds fabulous but unfortunately way out of my price range. I’ll keep in mind for the future.

    1. I got an 8″ memory mattress for about $ 100 at walmart. It was a little long so I got the bread knife out and cut 6″ off The end. Plenty of pillows, sheets and comforter and I’m set!

  2. Thanks you so much for this post. This looks like just what I need, and I’ll just have to save up for it. The 10% discount will come in handy.
    I’ve been disabled with multiple chemical sensitivity for over thirty years, and I’ve gone through several mattresses. I moved into a noxious-chemical free tiny house on wheels built for me, and I’m on my second mattress already. I’ve been struggling with a shoulder injury, too, so I’m not sleeping well. Sure hope this is the answer. This gets expensive fast!

  3. The mattress in our 5th wheel was the first thing to go out the door. It was junk. The salesman told me that they don’t put good mattresses in RVs because it is usually the first thing that is replaced. I refused to sleep even one night on it. While at the dealership before we picked it up, I noticed they had little “samples” of mattresses there, probably about 2×3 feet in size, just enough you could lay on it and pull your legs up. I tried it and told hubby to try it, telling him it felt just like the one we had on our bed. He did and said “go find out how much it costs’. I did, and he said “tell them to order one”. The same thing we had on our bed would have cost us over a grand. This was $650 with our dealership discount. We just love it. I took the old one which was just 3 pieces of foam, cut one up and used it as a pad under the pad up in the loft. The other 2 I glued together and used as a pad under the queen pad on the Happy Jack bed. At least it wasn’t “wasted”.

  4. We replace the OEM full mattress in our trailer with a Comfort Tech (10″) Serene Foamone from Costco. Once it expanded and aired out (2-3 weeks), it was so comfortable that we keep in in our guest room during the winter. it weights 15 more lbs that the original but is the Best Upgrade!

  5. This is all fine and good if money is no object. I was excited and hoping to get one until I searched and found the cheapest one is $500. Hello??!! I don’t have $500 to put toward a mattress topper, thats how much my car payment is, and how much our space rental is. You should have mentioned it was expensive, and more importantly you could have mentioned the others you used and what a more economical alternative would be. This post makes me angry that you assume everyone in an RV can drop $500 on a luxury item.

  6. CHEAPER IDEA….. And we love it! Mypillow makes mattress toppers. The best ever! Never too hot. Great for pre existing back pain or joint pain. Still costs some money, but not as much as this one. They make one for the r.v., but we have actually taken the one off out bed at home and taken it on trips with us.

    I’m pregnant and big! and it helps me sleep so much! Especially in the r.v. My hubby gets back aches and joint pains….. He even has a steel rod in his leg. This is the only thing where he sleeps thru the night and doesn’t wake up hurting. We’ve tried over expensive mattresses etc… This topper is a godsend!

    1. I was curious about the mypillow mattress topper. Thank you for the review! We actually need something for our everyday bed and possibly our camper later on. I love the mypillow pillows.

  7. In 2014 I ordered a Spa Sensations 12″ Theratouch Memory Foam Mattress from Walmart. I read many reviews over the course of a year and decided this would work for our 1997 25′ Allegro motor home. It was a full size and cost under $250.00 with free shipping. I ordered it @ 4:30 am on a Friday morning, and found it on the front porch the next afternoon @ 2. Read the directions completely two or three times and followed them to the letter. It said the mattress would take a little time to rise to full height, but it expanded to 11″ in less than 5 minutes. it’s super comfortable and when moving to South Carolina from California in November we lived in the RV for 6 weeks. Best sleep in an RV ever! Now we have a 2013 Newmar and here we go again. It’s a traditional RV mattress. The previous has done well with a luxury topper from Costco, so that will do for a while. My daughter is still enjoying the full size mattress in the Allegro we gave her family. We are not cheap, but truly enjoy a good bargain. Saving money is a good thing. Bless you and your family. Thanks for sharing

  8. We bought a queen 3” memory foam topper at Costco for around $80. Then, we bought a 2” cotton topper through Groupon for around $30. This made our travel trailer bed comfy, and cool. I also bought linen sheets from Amazon which makes it even more luxurious…but those sheets will last 30 years and fit the queen bed in our guest room, too. They were around $90. Cheaper than a new mattress!

  9. I bought a bed in a bag…actually, a box. I bought one from Tuft and Needle, ordered it on a Saturday and was sleeping on it Tuesday. I am very happy with it.

  10. We have a 2003(ish) Palomino pop up camper we bought used, and surprisingly, the mattresses are actually quite comfortable! They are also heated, which is quite useful on those cold nights.

    But when we had a larger camper, I always piled comforters on top of the mattress to make it more comfortable. At one point, we even just put a regular bed mattress on the bed. Yes, it hung over the edge of the bed space a little, but it was worth it for a little more comfort.

    Definitely appreciate all the suggestions in the article and comments!

  11. Have you ever cut a Gel Memory Foam mattress topper? We have queen that we need to cut down for our camper van. I really enjoyed this post. Thank you.

    1. If it’s for your RV, most likely it’s a short king but definitely measure your current mattress first to compare sizes to know for sure.

  12. Love this post! We are renting an RV for a week and you really gave me some helpful, cost saving bedding ideas! When we buy our own RV I’ll definitely look into your replacement suggestion. I’m adding your blog to my Pinterest RV idea board.

  13. We bought a topper from Costco for about $100. Very comfortable. We also have a down duvet with a cotton cover and good quality sheets. No trouble sleeping in the rev.

      1. Fitting it thru the door would be no problem – the Sleep Number mattress is flat and folded until filled with air once put on the bed inside the RV.

  14. Ok I have done it all from toppers to better support under the mattress you name it. Until I saw a compressed style on Amazon, free shipping free returns no chance to take ! The mattress make is ” Zinus ” , free plug and I don’t get a kick back. The mattress is the usuall foam combination and comes in all sizes and different thickness. We have a Tempur Pedic at home ,due to back issues, and at first I wasn’t a fan of foam mattressses with the overheating complaints ect. I was so impressed with ours at home but the cost was a bit high so I investigated all sorts of brands of foam mattresses at all different prices. I decided to take a chance on an inexpensive one with the return guarantee so we have a 12″ thick king Zinus and both my wife and I like it as good if not better than the one in our house. We have slept on it for the whole season last year an no issues such as hot nights or sagging and compacting. So I say at just over $300 Canadian delivered to my door in a 3′ x 1.5′ x 1.5′ box, just open it on the frame and give it a day to swell, this is my opinion of the way to go !

  15. I noticed that all the suggestions are for the bed in the bedroom, any ideas for a hid-a-bed couch. That bar in the middle is a back/hip pain. Any ideas would be great, loved the article.

    1. Some of the foam toppers will work on the hide-a-bed but they are really hard to fold up. In our last camper we replaced the hide-a-bed with a regular futon that had a good mattress on it.

  16. What is the mattress topper shown with the flap at the end? The picture with the lettering How to make an RV Mattress Bearable

  17. Hi hope all is well,

    I was not able to find the Intellibed mattress topper on their website. Do you know if they discontinued it? I did find some archived results talking about their use of Intelli-gel.

    That elastomer material would be great if there was a way to buy it.

  18. Would sure like to look into one for our camper but no longer available. 😞 Disappointing for sure after posting this pin.

  19. Can you please let me know if the mattress topper is no longer available? I clicked on your link and couldn’t find it. Thank you.

  20. Our mattress is a RV shirt king. It fold to allow the slide to retract. Our mattress is useless. Where can I get a mattress that folds or a two piece that is two different thicknesses to allow the slide to close?