An RV mattress should be replaced every 7-10 years. The main factors that determine how often an RV mattress should be replaced are usage, mattress quality, and mattress type. In general, RV mattresses that receive regular usage should be replaced every 7 years. And, mattresses that are not used very frequently should be replaced every 10 years. This article covers everything you need to know about how often an RV mattress should be replaced.
How Long Does an RV Mattress Last?
An RV mattress has a lifespan of 7-10 years. The length of time an RV mattress lasts depends on the level of usage, type of mattress, quality of mattress, and level of maintenance it has received. Each of these has an impact on the expected lifespan of the mattress, see below.
Level of Usage
How often do you use your RV? Mattresses that receive regular usage need to be replaced sooner. And. Mattresses that receive infrequent use last longer. If your RV is in use most weekends or for extended periods during holidays you can expect the mattress to wear out more quickly. On the other hand, a mattress that’s rarely used will stand the test of time and should last up to 10 years.
Type of Mattress
The length of time an RV mattress lasts will also depend on the type of material used to construct the mattress. Most RV mattresses are made from one of three types of foam – polyfoam, memory foam, or latex foam. Polyfoam is the least durable option and you can expect these to wear out most quickly.
Latex foam is the most durable and if treated with care a latex RV mattress should easily last 10 years. Memory foam falls somewhere in the middle. Other mattress types include hybrid and innerspring mattresses. The length of time these will last largely depends on quality – more on this below.
Quality of Mattress
Mattress quality is one of the most important factors in determining ‘how often should you replace an RV mattress’. And, unfortunately, many RVs are equipped with poorly made, custom mattresses that are manufactured on a shoestring budget.
One of these low-quality RV mattresses rarely provides the support and comfort needed and you can expect them to wear out within 7 years. Higher-quality RV mattresses do a much better job. If you’re lucky enough to have gotten your hands on an RV with a high-end mattress you’re in luck.
You can expect a well-made, high-quality RV mattress to perform for at least 10 years. The best memory foam, latex, innerspring, and hybrid RV mattresses are well-known to deliver a decade’s worth of comfort and support before they begin to fade.
Another contributing factor to how long does a RV mattress last – is mattress maintenance. How well has the mattress been taken care of over the years? Mattresses that have been neglected and received little TLC will quickly show signs of wear and tear and begin to function below par.
If the mattress has been bashed about, has visible signs of staining, and isn’t smelling too well – then you can expect it needs to be replaced sooner rather than later. RV mattresses need more care and attention compared to a regular household mattress due to the elevated levels of moisture found in a camper van or motor home.
If an RV mattress is not properly ventilated and aired out you can expect the formation of mold and mildew over time. The area around the base of the mattress and along the surface of the bed frame are worst affected. Once this takes hold it’s difficult to eradicate. Check out our guide to RV Mattress Moisture & How to Prevent It for more information.
A great way of prolonging the life of an RV mattress is to use a mattress protector. This is a protective waterproof sheet that sits between the mattress and the bed sheet. It creates a physical barrier that prevents accidental spills, dirt, and debris from reaching and seeping into the mattress.
Signs You Need to Change an RV Mattress
So, you think your RFV mattress might need to be replaced? But, you’re not too sure. What are the telltale signs that it’s time to replace your motorhome mattress?
Lack of Support
The most telling sign that it’s time to replace your RV mattress is when you notice a lack of support. If the RV mattress is no longer providing the comfort and support it once did, then you will struggle to get a good night’s sleep. A mattress has two jobs – cradle your body weight and provide soft cushioning.
When it stops doing either of these its days of value and service are over. If you notice you can no longer find a comfortable sleeping position n the mattress, the chances are it has lost its ability to support your body weight. It’s time for out with the old and in with the new.
Is the mattress sagging in the middle? This is one of the clearest signs that it’s time to replace an RV mattress. Once a mattress begins to sag it is no longer fit for purpose. Sagging can be recognized as a depression or indent in the mattress surface.
It usually occurs in the center of the mattress where you normally sleep. Sagging is a sign that the mattress is no longer capable of bearing body weight and has collapsed in on itself. If your RV mattress is sagging – it’s time to get a new one.
Wear & Tear
Are there any general signs of wear and tear? Are there any springs poking through the surface of the mattress? How about puncture wounds, tears, or rips? There’s only so much patching up you can do with duct tape and cable ties. And, at some stage, you will be faced with the realization that it’s time to replace your RV mattress.
Minor wear and tear are fine if the mattress still provides the level of comfort and support needed. However, there comes a point when it begins to have an effect on the mattress’s ability to perform.
Mold & Mildew
Are there any signs of mold and mildew on your mattress? Mold is a real problem for RFV mattresses. It is caused by condensation that forms on the base of the mattress during the night while you sleep. This creates a layer of moisture – that is not properly dried out – creating an ideal environment for the formation of mold and mildew.
Great care must be taken to keep RV mattresses dry and mold-free. If your camper van mattress is showing signs of mold and mildew it’s time to dump it and get a new clean one.
Is there an unpleasant odor coming from your mattress? If there is, this is definitely a bad sign. A well-maintained and clean mattress should have a neutral odor. If there’s a noticeable pong from your RV mattress this is a sure sign that something is not right.
Unpleasant mattress odors are caused by the accumulation of dirt and grime over the years. This builds up within the mattress fibers and can become a breeding ground for nasty microbes such as mold and mildew. It’s time to change your mattress.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
JESSICA GABEL – MCG Contributor
Jessica joined the MCG team in 2021 and is our in-house sleep expert. She is a fountain of knowledge on sleep cycles, sleep hygiene, and sleep-related disorders. Jessica is a graduate of the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of New Mexico and holds a B.S in Sociology.
When she’s not educating us on sleep-related matters she is continuing her studies at the University of Arizona. Outside of work and study, Jessica likes to explore the great outdoors. Her favorite places to visit include the White Sands National Park, Chaco Culture National Historical Park, and the Carlsbad Caverns National Park.