Your next camping adventure should include a good night’s rest on a comfy camper bed. There are several easy upgrades available to improve your overall traveling experience. The most important components of a camper bed include your mattress (including pads and toppers), bedding, and pillows. These tips below will work if you have a tent trailer, travel trailer, or any size motorhome.
Mattress Pads and Toppers
Your mattress is key to your RV sleeping experience. One easy option is to add pads or toppers to your mattress for better comfort and support. This is a great idea for a quick upgrade that you can tailor to your needs.
Tip: The terms “mattress pads” and “mattress toppers” are often used interchangeably, however, there are differences. Mattress pads are self-securing (like a fitted sheet), while toppers are a layer of foam or other materials. Toppers are usually thicker and require a fitted sheet on top to secure them. Pads are better at protecting the mattress (especially waterproof options), while toppers provide more comfort and support.
Adding a mattress pad to your RV bed is the cheapest and easiest option to upgrade your night’s sleep.
- Cotton: Cotton mattress pads are easier to clean than other types of pads, and are typically softer (which may not be a good option for people who need more support). These types of pads may not last as long, unless you spend more for higher quality.
- Down filled: These options are comfortable and insulating. However, down mattress pads aren’t a good choice for people with allergies. They are also one of the priciest options and can be a challenge to wash.
- Latex/wool: Both latex and wool are hypoallergenic and environmentally friendly (if you choose wool or natural latex). These options are more expensive and you have to be more careful when washing. It also may be harder to find latex or wool toppers for odd sized beds.
- Polyester/microfiber: Polyester and microfiber pads are light and easy to wash, but not as environmentally friendly. They also don’t last as long as other options, but they tend to be cheap.
- Bamboo: Bamboo mattress pads are hypoallergenic and can help keep you cool while you sleep. They are a bit more expensive than other types of pads, and harder to clean.
The best mattress pad for your camper bed depends on your personal and travel needs. Polyester/microfiber mattress pads are good cheap options that won’t add weight to your RV and can be easily washed. This cotton/polyester blend pad is a good choice. However, if you want to go with a luxurious option you can go for this hypoallergenic environmentally friendly bamboo pad.
Choose a mattress topper if you want to take your bed upgrade to the next level. Toppers are typically more expensive than pads, but they also offer more cushion.
- Latex/Wool: Similarly to latex and wool mattress pads, these toppers are hypoallergenic and environmentally friendly. Latex has a springy quality, so this is a good choice for people who prefer firmer support. Wool is soft, so a wool topper is preferable for people with sensitive backs. Both latex and wool are a bit pricey but durable.
- Memory Foam/Gel: Memory foam is also on the pricier side, but offers unparalleled comfort for those who like to sink into their mattresses. Memory foam is heavier, so take this into consideration if you’re trying to reduce weight in your RV. Some memory foam toppers are not well-ventilated, double check when purchasing!
- Polyester Blend: Polyester is cheap, light, and easy to clean. However, these toppers have a shorter lifespan and are not as comfortable as more luxurious options. This is one of the easiest options to launder.
- Feather: Like down-filled mattress pads, featherbeds are comfortable and will keep you warm. This isn’t a good choice for people with allergies, or for those who prefer firmer support. Featherbeds aren’t cheap, but are usually less expensive than memory foam, natural latex, and wool.
Memory foam/gel mattress toppers are very popular right now due to the level of comfort that they provide. This mattress topper from Lucid is an affordable option sized specifically for RVs. If you want to splurge on a sustainable and durable option, check out Cuddle Ewe’s luxurious wool toppers.
Tip: Check the thickness of your mattress topper before purchasing! Thicker toppers offer more support, and are capable of handling more weight. In general, 3-4 inches is recommended. You can also put a topper in between the mattress and frame (usually plywood) for additional comfort and support.
Mattress Upgrades & Air Mattresses
Buying a new mattress is always a possibility, however, this is will cost you on average around $200-$500. For those spending the majority of their time traveling, or who have back problems, it may be worth the investment. Just like with mattress toppers, gel/memory foam mattresses are the most popular right now. Here are some options from Mattress Insider.
If you want a luxurious brand with great reviews, you can check out Zinus’ gel and hybrid mattresses. You can also find mattresses for a variety of price points on Camping World. They even offer an extremely pricey Sleep Number mattress for RVs! A new mattress is an investment, but a good mattress should last you years and provide the comfort you need for your adventures.
Air mattresses are cheap, light, and versatile. They also allow you to adjust firmness to your comfort level. The downside is reliability (make sure you have materials to patch in case of a hole!) and a lack of insulation. Also, some people do not find air mattresses comfortable, and if you’re used to a normal mattress at home this may not be a good transition. It’s also difficult to find air mattress specifically made for RV sizes. Coleman offers a good selection of airbeds, but you may run into issues with sizing, depending on your RV.
Tip: Remember, before choosing any of these options, make sure you measure your camper bed! These beds are sized differently to regular beds. Here are size guidelines and instructions for measuring.
It’s smart to choose your RV bedding like you would your bedding at home. This will provide additional comfort and make you feel less like you’re on the road and more like you’re tucked into your own bed. Make sure to purchase a duvet and cover, along with good quality sheets.
- Down Comforter: You have a lot of flexibility when it comes to choosing a down comforter for your camper bed. You don’t have to purchase one that is RV specific (size restrictions won’t matter as much; your duvet might just be a little long). You can even get the same duvet you use at home! Some things to consider are breathability, allergies, and the temperature/climate of your travel destination. There are a wide variety of duvet options to choose from including down, microfiber, wool, and even silk. One of our favorites is this egyption cotton model.
- Duvet Covers: You can pick your duvet cover based on your duvet and sheet selection. Have some fun, choose one like this Airstream Camper duvet cover to bring out your inner child!
- Sheets: Microfiber is a great choice for breathability and durability. Egyptian cotton or bamboo sheets are also highly rated, but more expensive. You can check thread count to determine softness, just like with your sheets at home. These affordable microfiber sheets are soft yet sturdy. One other interesting option is zippered sheets, like these from Beddy’s. Just like a sleeping bag, zippered sheets will keep you comfortable and warm, and won’t slide off the bed when your RV is on the move!
Tip: if you have an RV Queen sized bed opt for standard Queen sized sheets- they are more comfortable and roomy.
Picking pillows for your RV is easy because you don’t need to worry about size. It’s a good idea to choose similar (or even the same) pillows that you use at home. This will ensure your comfort and make sleeping in your RV less of a transition.
- Memory Foam: Memory foam pillows shape to your head and offer extreme comfort. Most are fairly expensive, but here is a cheaper option. For a more luxurious choice, check out this bamboo memory foam pillow. But remember, memory foam can add weight!
- Down pillows: Down Pillows are soft but may cause allergies. Brooklinen offers down pillows in different levels of firmness. Also, if you’re sensitive to smells make sure to check how much duck versus goose down is in your pillow. Duck tends to have more of an odor.
You’ve invested in your RV, now make it a true “home away from home” by investing in comfortable bedding. This will make your travels more pleasant and help you avoid unnecessary aches and pains. There are many options which allow you to customize your bed to your needs and journey.
Sweet dreams and happy trails!
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