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From Sore Backs to Sweet Dreams: How to Replace Your RV Mattress

| Updated Feb 28, 2023

Are you tired of tossing and turning on that old, uncomfortable RV mattress? Do you dread spending another night on it during your travels? Well, fear not! In Episode 436 of the RV Podcast, we'll share how to replace your RV mattress and get the best sleep of your life on the road.

We just did that ourselves and in researching RV mattress replacement, we learned a lot.

You can watch a video version of the podcast on our RV Lifestyle YouTube Channel below. Our guest is John Merwin, One of the founders of Brooklyn Bedding, makers of the RV Mattress.

If you'd rather just listen, you can catch an audio version on your favorite podcast app or listen right now by clicking the player below.


Why Replace Your RV Mattress?

replace your rv mattress

Before we get into the nitty-gritty of choosing a replacement mattress, let's talk about why it's important in the first place. Simply put, a bad mattress can wreak havoc on your body and your sleep.

It can cause aches and pains, disrupt your sleep cycle, and leave you feeling groggy and exhausted in the morning.

The benefits of replacing your RV mattress go beyond just improving your RV sleep quality. A good mattress can also provide better support for your body, help prevent back pain and other health issues, and even improve your overall mood and well-being.

Let's face it, RV manufacturers are not known for cutting corners. And an easy corner to cut is by skimping on the RV mattress. They make it as light as possible and it seems like it's always on the too-firm side.

It's cheaper and more time efficient during production to put the same mattresses in each RV that comes down the assembly lane. So if you want a better mattress, that will most often be totally up to you after you take the RV home.

Choosing the Right RV Mattress

There are three key factors to consider when shopping for a replacement mattress:

  1. Size: The first thing you'll need to determine is the size of your current RV mattress. RV mattresses come in a variety of sizes, so be sure to measure yours carefully to ensure you get the right fit.
  2. Type: RV mattresses come in a range of types, including foam, innerspring, and hybrid. Each type has its own benefits and drawbacks, so it's important to consider your personal preferences and needs when choosing a type.
  3. Firmness: The level of firmness you prefer in a mattress is largely a matter of personal preference. Some people prefer a soft, plush feel, while others prefer a firmer, more supportive feel. Be sure to try out different levels of firmness to find the one that's right for you.

But there are some guidelines you can follow, depending on your sleep style.

replace your rv mattress

If you're a back-sleeper, a medium-firm mattress is a good choice because it prevents the heavier portions of the body from dropping too deep into the mattress, so it limits over-flexion of the spine while still cushioning your shoulders, hips, and lower back.

If you're a side-sleeper, you push deeper into the mattress and need a cushy mattress to relieve pressure on your shoulders and hips. But it shouldn't be too cushy because the gravitational pull will strain your spine. For most side-sleepers, that means choosing a medium-soft to medium mattress. Lighter weight side sleepers may choose soft.

Stomach-sleepers should look for mattresses that are supportive enough to hold their spines in proper alignment but soft enough to cushion the chest, belly, hips, and knees. Typically, that means buying a mattress that toes the line between medium-firm and firm.

Other Features to Consider when you Replace your RV Mattress

Other things to look for include the following:

  • Cooling features – a special foam also offers dynamic cooling, which is ideal for hot sleepers. 
  • Look for a layer of coils that provides pressure point relief where you need it most – for lumbar support. Some RV mattresses have over 1,000 of these tiny coils. These are great for decreasing motion transfer between sleep partners.
  • Watch the weight of the mattress. A high-quality RV Mattress in a king size weighs 145 pounds. The standard king RV mattress most manufacturers provide are in the 110-115 pound range.

Making the Switch

unrolling the rv mattress replace your rv mattress

Once you decide to replace your RV mattress, expect it to arrive on a box – all compressed in a tight roll.

It is heavy! You'll need four hands (two people) to bring it into the RV. But before you bring it inside, take the old one outside. You'll need the room.

Remove the new mattress from the box, put it on the bed platform, remove the clear plastic that is wound around to beep it tightly compressed, and then roll it out over the platform.

It will take a couple of hours for it to “inflate,” or lose the compression.

There is also a strong new mattress odor when you first unroll it so run the AC or a fan and open the windows. It goes away in a short time and you should be able to sleep on that new mattress that same night.

Our experience

enjoying the rv mattress replace your rv mattress

We recently replaced the RV mattress in our Arcadia Fifth Wheel with one from Brooklyn Bedding.

We chose the company's Aurora Luxe Queen, a hybrid luxury mattress with the cooling technology we mentioned. It's the most comfortable mattress we've ever had in all the many different RVs we've had over the years.

We like it so much that we have ordered a second one for our home mattress.

If you listen to the podcast, you'll hear an interview we did with John Merwin, the CEO of Brooklyn Bedding. He explains some of the technology involved in the manufacture of modern mattresses.

There's a lot of science involved.

For example, in our research, we learned that the average skin temperature is 91 degrees, but the ideal skin temperature for sleep is 88 degrees.

The mattress we chose has cooling gel beads that liquefy at higher temperatures to deliver heat relief during those hot summer nights. Those same beads then solidify at lower temperatures to ensure the perfect sleep environment when it's cold out.

We thought that a cooling mattress was perfect for our life on the road.

BONUS POST: How to Replace the Mattress in Your RV or Camper where we go into greater detail about bed sizes and the ONE thing to measure before you order!

rv lifestyle weekly news

RV News of the Week

South Dakota legislature kills bills that would have prohibited full-time RVers from declaring state residency

Two bills in South Dakota that would have ended a common practice of allowing full-time RVers to claim South Dakota residency even though they live full time on the road are dead, according to a report in RVBusiness.

South Dakota is a state with no income tax and low vehicle registration fees, so many private mail-box services have established programs to help full-time RVers with no permanent home establish residency there for the purpose of voting, getting mail, registering their vehicle, and other things.

Two weeks ago we reported here on two bills working through the South Dakota legislature that would have changed all of this, removing the right to vote in South Dakota unless the person physically lives in the state and requiring a true physical address in the state for other legal purposes, too. Many full-timers were very concerned.

The Escapees RV Club had members in this situation contact South Dakota legislators, and according to RVBusiness, the bills are now dead.

To learn more about how full-timers use a South Dakota residency to handle mail and other issues, see our story here

Heading to Great Smoky Mountains National Park? Don't forget your parking permit!

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park will begin requiring parking permits on all vehicles parked more than 15 minutes beginning Wednesday (March 1).

Calling it “Park it Forward” the special tag, which must be displayed in the lower passenger side front window, costs $40 for a year, $15 for a week, and $5 for a day.

The price is the same for all vehicles, such as RVs, trucks, motorcycles or cars, and it is non-transferable, meaning the tag must match the vehicle's license plate.

All revenue generated from the parking permits will go towards the park's operational and maintenance costs.

To learn more click here. To see why the Great Smoky Mountains National Park made our list of 13 best national parks for RVers, click here.

50-year-old campers message in a bottle found at Pennsylvania state park

A 50-year-old message in a bottle was found at a Pennsylvania state park recently by a man who happened to notice a clear bottle that contained a piece of paper.

The bottle found at Fowlers Hollow State Park contained a campground receipt written to Bernard Moore for $6 dated Aug. 31, 1973, and a paper plate with five messages from the Moore family left during their camping trip.

The man who found the 50-year-old message is trying to find Bernard Moore's family to return their message in a bottle.

To see the story, click here.

Three RVs fall into California's Santa Clara River after embankment collapses in middle of night

Three motor homes belonging to campers at California's Valencia Travel Village RV Park were swept into the Santa Clara River over the weekend after the river's embankment suddenly collapsed.

The incident happened around midnight at the RV park, and many hours later when a news crew was out, parts of the river bank continued to collapse in the area's wet, soggy conditions.

No one was inside the RVs when they fell into the river, and no one is reported injured. 

12 rescued manatees released at Florida's Blue Spring State Park

One of our favorite Florida mammals to see this time of year is the manatee, and so it was with great interest we read of an unprecedented release of 12 rescued and rehabilitated manatees to Blue Springs State Park.

The manatee is an endangered mammal native to Florida that is sometimes called a gentle giant for its docile, even curious disposition and large size (9-10 feet and about 1,000 pounds).

The mammals can often be found in Florida's hot springs trying to stay warm during the winter, making now a great time to look for them.

Manatees typically end up at rehabilitation centers after they are hit and injured by boats or if they get sick and are dangerously thin.

New Travel Tech

solar lanterns new travel tech

This week, we talk about solar lanterns.

Remember those smelly, messy kerosene lanterns that used to be synonymous with camping?

Then came battery lanterns. But those batteries were heavy. And expensive.

Now comes solar lanterns. 

They are smaller, super lightweight, and very affordable.

There are a few main benefits of solar lanterns over battery-operated or fuel lanterns. For one, they are much safer to use than fuel lanterns! I’m sure Smoky the Bear would agree with me.

More so, they are rechargeable with nothing but the sun’s rays. You don’t have to plug into an electricity port to recharge or rely on batteries, propane, butane, etc.

This makes solar lanterns ideal for camping, backpacking, and other outdoor travel. Furthermore, they are a great asset for emergency preparedness, even when you’re home.

If you want to look at some of the best solar lanterns, check out the story you can find on

RV Questions of the Week

QUESTION: We got a new mattress for our camper because the one it came with was hard as a rock. We have storage space under the bed and never considered the new mattress might be heavier than the old one. Now when we lift the bed up, it doesn’t stay open. Has anybody ever dealt with this type of problem? – Ashley

ANSWER: Yes, we had the same problem when we got our new RV Mattress. The solution is to replace the two struts. It's super easy to do. Measure the ones you currently have and then replace them with similar-length struts. Here’s a link to a bunch of different ones available from Amazon –

They come in lengths of 12 to 20 inches. Look for struts that will hold 100 pounds, and you can be sure that they will hold that bed in place when you look underneath. 

QUESTION: I saw a video a long time back where Jennifer said you don't pack the clothes you take on an RV trip in a suitcase. She instead showed something like a duffle bag as I recall. What is it you use? – Marci

ANSWER: We use something called eBags. We’ve been using them now for almost 12 years. We bought a set of three eBags, different colors for Mike (blue) and for me (rose). We can get so much in those eBags.

Now that we're packed – where to next?

Explore Florida's Atlantic Coast with our RV Adventure Guide

From Sore Backs to Sweet Dreams: How to Replace Your RV Mattress 1

From “The Historic Coast” of St. Augustine to “The Space Coast” in Cape Canaveral and “The Treasure Coast” of Port St. Lucie – the Atlantic Coast of Florida has something to offer for everyone.

We cover a variety of areas in this guide, from sugar-sand beaches along the coast, inland to Florida’s magnificent first-magnitude springs, to the largest lake in the state and the subtropical wilderness of the Everglades.

Florida’s Atlantic Coast does not disappoint… we hope you’ll take the time to see for yourselves!

We recommend Hollywood Racks for your RV Lifestyle…

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If you want to look at everything they offer, not just the RV Rider rack — go here and explore all the options!

Mike Wendland

Published on 2023-03-01

Mike Wendland is a multiple Emmy-award-winning Journalist, Podcaster, YouTuber, and Blogger, who has traveled with his wife, Jennifer, all over North America in an RV, sharing adventures and reviewing RV, Camping, Outdoor, Travel and Tech Gear for the past 12 years. They are leading industry experts in RV living and have written 18 travel books.

6 Responses to “From Sore Backs to Sweet Dreams: How to Replace Your RV Mattress”

December 08, 2023at4:32 pm, DEB DRAGER said:

I read you all the time..great job!!! Recently I read about 2 types of bedding that were like a sleeping bag with sheets inside. Also they make custom sizes so I could get for my Unity Rear Island bed. I cannot seem, to find that write again but would like order. Ca you help me. Thanks


December 09, 2023at11:32 am, Team RV Lifestyle said:

Thank you for reading here all the time. We so appreciate your encouragement! Jen really likes Beddy’s …. she showed people how they work, and also discussed some other good options in this story: . Hope it helps! Team RV Lifestyle


March 07, 2023at3:05 pm, Joseph Leatherwood said:

We have a Vibe18RB that has a Murphy bed.
The mattress folds in two places. A small area at the head and a larger area at the feet.
We have added a memory foam pad, but the mattress is still just too soft. Who make a Murphy bed mattress replacement?


March 02, 2023at9:38 am, Annette Lare said:

“From Sore Backs to Sweet Dreams”- Did you mention how to replace a mattress that folds or bends for the slide in? Or a mattress for a bunk that can only be a certain thickness when raised? These types of beds are more common for RV owners than a standard mattress you would have at home.


March 02, 2023at10:09 am, Team RV Lifestyle said:

Hi Annette – Mike also wrote this article not too long ago – Sharing in case it helps. Team RV Lifestyle


March 01, 2023at9:52 am, Dale Figgins said:

You did not mention the best mattress – one from Select Comfort. You can adjust the firmness of this bed so that you can get anything from firm to soft. We had one in our home, so we got one also for the RV.


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