First things first, take measurements! RV mattresses have specific sizes for beds. Unlike your bedroom at home, you won't be able to account for the extra space if the measurements are off. Some custom made RVs have low ceilings too. Depth needs to be taken into consideration as well. And you're going to be gravely disappointed if you have to return it and buy another one!
Folding Mattress - A folding mattress can be a great option for smaller camper vans and custom made RVs. But there are a variety of other benefits too! A folding mattress, also called a futon or Japanese style tatami mat are designed for those who don’t mind sleeping on beds with less padding. Unlike the traditional futon used for folding sofas, tatami mats are typically very thin, lightweight and made of natural materials.They are easily transportable and can be easily taken in and out of your RV. Some even suggest sleeping on a mat mattress balances weight and provides better back support. They are especially good for travelers who want to use their mattress outside of the RV when camping and for those who have low ceilings in the area where their bed is placed.
Lightweight Mattress - The lighter the RV mattress, the better! According to the EPA, every 100 lbs taken out of a vehicle, increases the fuel economy by 1-2 percent! The size of the vehicle itself is going to change the percentage too. In a large RV, that percentage may decrease, whereas in a smaller camper van, it will make more of a difference. Aside from gas, it can be a two or more person project lugging a heavy mattress into your RV. Especially if you ever need to take it out again for RV maintenance or upkeep.
Cooling Mattress - Most RV travelers aren’t going to be running the power all night long while they are asleep. A camper can get stuffy even when keeping the windows cracked open. Some people are naturally hot sleepers already. A cooling mattress will help offset the heat as you rest. Many are made of hybrid foam construction with other cooling features such as inner coils to keep you cool at night.
Bacterial Resistant Mattress - Bacterial resistant mattresses are designed to prevent bacteria, mold and other germs from gathering in the mattress fibers.They are definitely better for longer trips, especially if you plan on traveling to destinations with very humid temperatures and places with fluctuating temperatures.
Shallow Depth Mattress - The thickness of your mattress doesn’t necessarily add to its comfort. Thicker depth is usually for those with either a low-profile bed frame or for those who don’t want to use a bed frame at all. Chances are your RV has a platform to place your mattress on top of it. Opt for a RV mattress with a shallow depth to avoid having to climb into bed and to prevent feeling like you’re in a coffin every night.
Balanced Support Mattress - Balanced support mattresses are normally on the firmer side but aid in balancing weight if you and your partner are different sizes. For example, an entirely foam mattress will sag on the heavier person’s side before it begins to sag on the lighter person’s side. Similar to cooling mattresses, having a combination of foam with pocketed or coiled springs is your best bet for compensating the weight difference. It is also a wise choice as many RVs don’t come with a place for a boxspring.
Mattress Covers - We recommend buying a separate mattress cover for any RV mattress you intend on buying. Preferable a combination waterproof and bacteria resistant cover. If you plan on storing your RV for periods of time, natural deterioration can happen from factors such as lack of ventilation, changes in temperature and condensation. Unless you plan on removing your RV mattress after every trip and storing it elsewhere, it is in your best interest to invest in a cover for your mattress when not in use.