RV Mattress vs. Regular Mattress: What’s the Difference?

A high-quality RV mattress is essential for really enjoying your RV. But not all mattresses are created equal. But are they as comfortable as what you have at home? If not, can you use a home mattress? Let’s check out the differences between an RV Mattress vs. Regular Mattress.

RV Mattresses are usually lighter, thinner, and 5-6″ shorter than a regular mattress, even when using the same size description, such as a queen. And often, they are foldable and can only be fully extended when a slide-out gets extended at a campground.

But there’s a lot more to know.

In this article, we’ll find out how the sizes differ compared to a regular mattress. We’ll check out if it’s possible to use a regular mattress in an RV.

And we’ll look at the best mattresses out there in addition to ways to improve the comfort of the stock mattresses.

Let’s dive right in.

rv mattress vs reg lg

Is an RV mattress the same size as a regular mattress?

An RV mattress is not the same size as a regular mattress. While the width of RV mattresses is often the same as regular mattresses, RV mattresses are often 5-6″ inches shorter.

They are also typically thinner as well.

In an RV, every inch counts, and every pound counts. After all, these things are designed to be very space and fuel-efficient.

Every vehicle, be it a car, truck, or an RV, has a maximum weight it can bear.

Technically, it’s known as Gross Trailer Weight Training (GTWT). It’s the maximum total safe weight of your RV. It includes the RV’s weight and the weight of the cargo, passengers, and animals.

It stands to reason, therefore, that in order to make the best of the limited space they have to work with, RV manufacturers make RV mattresses a tad shorter and thinner than regular mattresses.

If you plan to live in an RV full-time, it’s smart to get the best mattresses you can get for you and your loved ones and to also know about the pros and cons of deciding to go full-time.

What are the pros and cons? In a recent article, I shared 25 pros and cons of living full time in an RV.

Is an RV cheaper than owning or renting a home? Are its maintenance costs lower than that of a home? How do you earn an income while on the road? These and more are what I addressed in the article.

Just click the link to read it on my site.

Can you use a regular mattress in an RV?

As a general rule, many regular mattresses will not work in an RV. In most cases, a regular mattress will hang over the end of the bed by at least 6 inches. Additionally, if the bed has to fold up with a rear slide-out pulled in, there is no easy way to fold a regular mattress in half.

At least without damaging the mattress.

Regular mattresses are usually longer. In fact, those who insist on using a regular mattress have to cut off parts of it to achieve a “perfect fit.”

Or just accept it will hang over the end of the bed.

The sizes for regular mattresses are more standardized than those for RVs. An additional factor is that regular mattresses are usually thicker than those made for RVs.

Weight is a vital consideration in RVs because, as we saw earlier, each has the maximum safe weight it can bear. Now, regular mattresses often weigh a lot more than those made for RVs.

And when you’re at home, that’s no issue at all.

But in an RV, every pound counts. This is why light mattresses, not their heavier innerspring cousins, are preferred for RVs. Because they’re lighter, they do not put much stress on the RV.

And you can easily carry them around or lift them with ease when you have to.

Having said that, if the size of your RV’s bed platform is the same as the one for the standard household mattress, then you can go ahead and use a regular mattress.

By now, you’re probably wondering how to make those RV mattresses comfier if you can just swap it out for a regular mattress.

Interestingly, this is what I explored in a recent article. I shared tips on how you can make your RV bed more comfortable. I also spoke about whether RV mattresses are different. I even revealed the best RV mattress to buy.

Just click the link to read it on my site.

RV and Regular Mattress Sizes

Here is a handy chart showing all the most common mattress sizes both for regular mattresses and RV mattresses:

TWIN 28 by 75-80 inches 38 by 75 inches
38 by 80 inches
FULL 53 by 75 inches
54 by 75 inches
55 by 75 inches
54 by 74 inches
QUEEN 60 by 80 inches 60 by 80 inches
KING 72 by 80 inches 78 by 80 inches

To learn more, check out a recent article of mine that delves specifically into queen-size mattresses.

After all, queen mattresses are the most common in RVs. In it, I shared the difference between a regular queen mattress and an RV queen mattress. I also spoke about whether you can put a regular queen mattress in an RV. And I shared the difference between a queen and a queen short.

Just click the link to read it on my site.

What makes an RV mattress different?

RV mattresses are shorter by 5-6″, thinner, and lighter than regular mattresses so that they can fit into bed platforms that are smaller or unusually shaped. And often, they also are able to be folded in the middle to save space when the rear slide out is pulled in.

There’s only so much that an RV can contain.

So, manufacturers employ space-saving designs to maximize the space available. The bed platform in an RV is often shorter and narrower than what you have at home, and mattresses are made to fit these platforms.

RV mattresses are made to be lightweight. This is so that they do not make the RV unnecessarily heavy. And in some cases, they have to fit into unusual spaces which may not conform with a normal mattress.

They may also have rounded corners to make the best of the space available.

A lot of manufacturers also prefer to use foam compared to innerspring, latex, or hybrids because foam is lighter and would not make the RV mattress heavier than necessary.

Apart from the traditional bed, RVs often have sofa beds, convertible dinettes, narrow bunk beds, bed ends, Murphy beds, and overhead bunks (in Class C RVs).

Naturally, the mattresses for these unusual beds differ from regular ones.  

Because they’re often smaller and lighter, most RV mattresses may not be as comfortable as the mattress you use at home. But you don’t have to settle for something that’s not up to par.

There are brands that are every bit as comfortable as the ones you use at home.

What is the most comfortable RV mattress?

Travel Happy makes one of the best and most comfortable queen-size RV mattresses on the market. It measures 60″ x 75″ and has 2 inches of graphite gel memory foam on top to provide a really comfortable sleep, and it is cooler than most mattresses.

CLICK HERE to see it on Amazon.

The TRAVEL HAPPY RV mattress is 8 inches thick and is hand-crafted by the Amish. And it has a 2″ top graphite gel memory foam top.

It comes in a vacuum-sealed package.

Open and leave it for a day for it to off-gas, and you’re good to go.

A reduced motion transfer allows better sleep for you when someone else may be moving around while they sleep.

It has over 100 ratings on Amazon, and most of them are 5-star.

CLICK HERE to see it on Amazon.


In the article, we found out whether an RV mattress is the same size as a regular mattress. We looked at the possibility of using a regular mattress in an RV.

And we compared the sizes of some RV mattresses to equivalent regular mattresses.

We explored what makes an RV mattress different. Lastly, we wrapped things up by looking at the most comfortable RV mattress.

Image by Ebowalker from Pixabay and Image by Rachel C from Pixabay

Top Related Posts