Comfort isn’t necessarily the first thing you think about when dreaming of your campervan and life on the road. Everything is crammed into 60 square feet and you are trying to make every inch of space multi-purpose. Especially if your bed serves a dual purpose and turns into a table during the day. It simply doesn’t scream cozy. The good news is that it doesn’t have to be this way. You can have a comfortable bed by choosing the best mattress for your campervan.
For our van conversion, we decided to have our bed convert into a table by using the Lagun table mount. This means that the bed can be taken apart and the base is used as a table with the Lagun mount. After two years of meeting other people and seeing what options they have chosen, we realize how much more comfortable our bed could be.
For our next build, although we will be doing a fixed bed, we will be paying special attention to the mattress we use and how we ensure that our bed is just as comfortable as it would be in a house. Read on to find out all the different mattress options available for your campervan.
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Campervan Bed Options
When you are designing your van, one of the top items on your list should be what kind of bed you want to have this ranges from a fixed bed, convertible bed/table, or a futon. There are several other options of course, especially in the van conversion world where you can make your van exactly as you want it, but for now, these are the most popular options.
1) Fixed Bed
A fixed bed is one of the most common layouts in a campervan. It is great as you always have a bed available. You don’t have to break down a table to turn it into a bed. This also means that it will be easier to make your mattress comfortable. Even if you don’t have the proper dimensions for a typical sized mattress you still have the option to add a mattress topper that you do not have to store when you convert it into something else.
In our next build, we have every intention to have a fixed bed instead of our current bed/table combo. The main reason, being comfort and easibility.
2) Convertible Bed/Table
Another very popular option for a van conversion is the convertible bed/table. The table essentially turns into a bed by moving the tabletop down into a flat position and all of the cushions then move from the side to the bottom of the bed. You throw a sheet on there and suddenly it’s a bed! The downside is that you do have to convert it every time you want to change it back into a table and then vice versa. Although it is not difficult to do, storing the blankets can be annoying as well as converting it every day.
A pro for this style of bed is the ability to have a workspace when it is in table mode. You can have people over, play games, eat dinner and it feels more like a living room compared to a place you sleep.
An option Shawn really had considered for our build, was a couch that turns into a bed. It’s nice because you have a couch space that feels so much like a home. This allows you to have more room for a long walkway with a big kitchen and storage space. The downside is that you will likely need to use a futon mattress and it may not be as comfortable as you want.
Best Campervan Mattress Options
Now that you know what kind of campervan bed layout you want and the dimensions, it’s time to pick out a mattress. These mattresses coincide with each type of campervan bed option. Use these to find the best mattress for your campervan build.
1) Zinus 4 or 6 in Gel Foam Mattress
A gel foam mattress is the most commonly used mattress for campervans simply because it’s low priced and easy to cut. It’s a great option for all of the van conversion bed types if you need to cut your mattress to fit at all. Most Campervans simply don’t have a standard bed which means you have to improvise.
If you plan on having a fixed bed but the dimensions don’t allow for a standard or RV sized mattress then add an extra topper for layers of comfort! They also have toppers up to 12 inch’s which means if you like this mattress it can be used for a fixed bed as well as a convertible bed.
Pro Tip: Make sure and open the mattress IMMEDIATELY when it arrives. If you do not then the bed will not rise fully and will not be as comfortable. We did not open it immediately and it’s firmer than anyone else’s that we have experienced.
2) RV Mattress
If you plan on having a fixed bed then you might be able to have an RV Mattress. The great thing about using an RV mattress is that you are able to have off sizes such as a short queen which is 60″ x 74″. If you decide to go with a regular mattress make sure the measurements are correct as it may bed difficult to cut if need be!
3) Ghost Bed
If by some beautiful miracle you are able to have a standard dimension bed then go big. My brother bought the Ghost bed and I immediately fell in love with it. It’s a super comfy bed under $1000 and it is delivered right to your door. It’s a pricier option but I believe it is fully worth it. The Ghost bed is known for its cooling technology, which is a great option in your campervan since it’s hard to avoid the heat at times.
4) Futon Mattress
If you decide to opt for a convertible bed/couch then I recommend going with a standard futon mattress. I find them to be a bit more comfortable when in couch mode and are easy to transition when going from couch to bed mode. However, make sure the dimensions are going to work for your couch!
How to Cut Your Own Mattress
When we decided to cut our mattress we were more than a little hesitant. We had just spent $200 on a mattress and were definitely scared that we would cut incorrectly and it wouldn’t fit into our custom mattress cushions. With a little Youtube and a lot of luck, we were able to cut the mattress and it fits perfectly in our space.
Tools Needed to Cut Your Mattress:
- Measuring Tape
- Ruler or Straight Edge
- Electric Knife (We bought one from Amazon for $20)
Standard Mattress Measurements
|Twin||38″ X 75″|
|Full||54” X 75”|
|Queen||60” X 80”|
|King||76” X 80”|
Measure Your Space
First things first, make sure you know with 100% certainty what your measurements are inside of your campervan. The last thing you want to do is to have cushions that are too small and do not fit into a full bed. If you do then you will have gaps which will make sleeping very uncomfortable. We went a little larger just to make sure when the cushions were in mattress mode that it was an extremely tight fit.
Then measure out your couch dimensions to ensure that the cushions are correct for when your mattress is in bed mode. This means the part you sit on as well as the part you lean up against.
Measure Your Cushions
Now that you have your dimensions, it’s time to mark them out on the mattress itself. We used a black sharpie marker and a long ruler. We made sure and measured several times before we decided we were ready to cut.
Cut the Mattress
It’s showtime and you need to cut your mattress. Before cutting make sure that every layer that can be taken off, is off. Some mattresses come with a regular cover and a flame retardant cover. If you don’t remove these it will end up being messy and likely burn out your electric knife.
To cut we used an electric knife that we bought on Amazon. Full disclosure this method was not perfect, the knife was basically ruined by the time we were done but it provided with a fairly clean cut that would be hard to achieve with a regular knife.
When cutting, move extremely slow with a bit of pressure. It will take you some time but is well worth it in the end.
At the end of the day, your vanlife mattress can be comfortable, fit your budget, and make sense for your build!
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