Campervan mattresses

Some considerations for a mattress in a campervan. I have left out options such as a rock and roll bed as I’m not considering this. I’ve heard about these that they tend to be uncomfortable to sleep on and I’ve found some people who are looking for at least a mattress topper to put on top of one of those when used as a bed. My layout is different.

Of course, it’s not just the balance of negatives versus positives which is important – the number of items. The weight or importance of each of these is important in making a decision as well. For some people price may be a deciding factor over comfort, for other people it’s the other way round…

Disclaimer: the products and companies mentioned are for reference only and I haven’t been asked or paid to mention them.

High Density Foam:

Eg.: from

https://www.thefoamshop.co.uk

Good Less good
  • Cost: Cheap
  • Easy to find
  • Easy to order/cut to different sizes
  • Easily adaptable to different circumstances.
  • Available in different gradations, qualities and levels of hardness
  • Can be combined with memory foam
  • Takes up no space stored as it’s used for seating when not in use as a mattress
  • Can be made up by anyone who can handle fabric and a sewing machine competently.
  • Materials are (petro)chemical based with possible expulsion of toxins and in addition treated with fire retardant – especially relevant when sensitive to this and when in a vehicle in hot weather.
  • Needs to be upholstered

Memory foam mattress:

Eg.: from

Good Less good
  • Possible to have this made in any size and shape by specialist dealers
  • Easily adaptable to different circumstances.
  • Takes up no space stored as it’s used for seating when not in use as a mattress
  • More expensive than other foam. Possibly costing several hundred pounds if made up professionally by mattress company.
  • Bed of chemicals – especially relevant when sensitive to this and when in a vehicle in hot weather.
  • Needs to be covered when used for seating
  • may not be comfortable seating (too soft) anyway

Latex – natural materials:

Eg.: from

Good Less good
  • Natural if bought from reputable source
  • Expensive – made to size. Possibly the most expensive option costing several hundred pounds.
  • Heavy; especially important in case of accident. A light projectile, if unavoidable, is better than a heavy one. Needs to be secured while driving ideally.
  • May need a cover of some sort when used for sitting on.
  • Will need negotiating with retailer as this is not their natural (sorry for the pun) area.

Futon – natural materials:

Eg.: from

Good Less good
  • Natural if bought from reputable source
  • Cheaper than the other option with natural materials
  • Heavy; especially important in case of accident. A light projectile, if unavoidable, is better than a heavy one. Needs to be secured while driving ideally.
  • May need a cover of some sort when used for sitting on.
  • Only allows a small number of ‘bed configurations’ for the van. Difficult to customise.
  • Can be or become harder to sleep on – not for everyone – but buying a good quality futon helps.

Airbed (bog standard):

Good Less good
  • Cheap and cheerful
  • Very easy to find and buy from a very wide range of retailers
  • Softness can be adjusted
  • Takes up very little space stored
  • Specifically light weight
  • Possible leaks
  • Relatively uncomfortable
  • Takes time and effort, as well as space, to inflate and deflate
  • Difficult to find in standard width (tends to be narrower
  • Can’t be used to sit on and has to be stowed away. Possible other cushions of some sort needed to sit on.
  • Cheaper ones can be lumpy

Self inflating mattress:

Eg.:

  • Outwell Dreamboat Single XL 12cm Self Inflating Mat
  • Exped MegaMat 10 LXW
Good Less good
  • Comfortable, so I’m told. Some said it’s a better option than their mattress at home (??!! – maybe they should be a new mattress then?)
  • Easier to inflate than airbed
  • Softness can be adjusted when needed.
  • Specifically light weight
  • Expensive if good quality and thick, compared to bog standard airbed
  • Difficult to find in standard width (tends to be narrower
  • Can’t be used to sit on and has to be stowed away. Possible other cushions of some sort needed to sit on.
  • Can leak but would be less disastrous than for normal airbed and can be repaired
  • Needs to be stored ‘inflated’ or open when not used so the memory aspect of the foam in the mattress lasts longer – takes up space in the house and ideally cannot be left in the campervan stored or rolled up when not in use.

 

Other options and solutions to consider:

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