Best Mattresses For Truckers And RV’s
Looking for the best mattresses for semi trucks? I designed and manufactured mattresses for 25 years and built quite a few for long haul truckers and learned a lot by speaking with them. Mattresses for truckers need to be supportive, comfortable, breathable, and easy to handle and maneuver.
If you are a trucker looking for a comfortable, supportive, and durable semi-truck mattress, I’ll help you out with the details, explain the features and benefits, and even hook you up with some reputable online vendors I’ve reviewed that are well established in the long haul trucker mattress category.
A few years ago, the best mattresses for semi trucks were pretty much the same, being slabs of uncomfortable and rigid polyurethane foam that didn’t offer much support, or relieve back pain for that matter.
That’s changed a lot thanks to specialized materials and advancing sleep technology, with today’s trucker mattresses not only providing you with restorative and restful sleep, but also helping with lower back pain, neck pain, and even numbness and tingling.
Look, there’s no reason why your rig shouldn’t be as comfortable to sleep in as your home. After designing mattresses for 25 years, I’ve picked out some brands you should consider.
Big rig drivers have specific problems that an over the road mattress should address, including pressure from sitting, back pain from constant vertical compression, and fatigue.
Standard Industry Sizes For Truck Mattresses And The Importance Of Taking Accurate Field Measurements
There are a variety of standardized truck mattress size in a variety of dimensions. First thing to remember is that residential and RV mattresses are different and upper and lower berths also have varying dimensions.
The most commons truck mattress size is 42” wide x 80” long, and of course the height will vary depending upon the level of firmness you like, the components inside, the cost, and how much overhead space you need. I always advise taking a field measurement and remember to allow a small amount of additional space around all sides, because foam mattresses, even mattresses that have pocketed coils, will slightly compress over time (this is normal) and expand ever so slightly.
You don’t want bunching to occur, or have the mattress create a hump that is caused by attempting to cram it into a smaller space. Here’s a chart which describes typical mattress sizes by manufacturer in the USA.
|Freightliner||Common Bottom Berth Size (Inches)|
|Freightliner Condo Couch Series||42×80|
|Freightliner – all other models||38×80|
|International Pro Sleeper||35×79|
|International 9900i 72 Sleeper||42×80|
|Kenworth T2000 and T680||38×80|
|Kenworth – most other models||42×80|
|Peterbilt Unibilt Ultra Sleeper||51×75|
|Peterbilt 397 and 587 Mid Roof||32×79|
|Peterbilt 397 and 587 High Roof||42×80|
|Volvo VNL 430, 630, and 670||35×79|
|Volvo VNL 730, 770 and 780||38×80|
The most truck mattress size is 42”x80”, but other common sizes include 38” x 80”, also called twin long, and RV sizes include RV Queen which is the same as a residential queen.
The one notable distinction with RV size mattresses, and the occasional super cab trucker setups is that a residential King is 78”x80” and an RV King is 72”x75”, a full 6” less wide.
It is likely that you are placing a new mattress on a deck type surface built into the sleeper area, and you don’t want your mattress extending beyond the deck. Get good measurements, as having to deal with return shipping issues is kind of a pain- even though the dealers I’m going to share with you have easygoing policies when it comes to exchanges and returns.
Soft or Firm, Pressure Relieving And Cooling? Choosing The Right Mattress For Your Rig
Once you’ve taken your field measurements, you need to focus on what king of mattress you prefer. Let’s get into a variety of options, beginning with a nutshell description of what is popular these days, and what other truckers generally like to focus on. The best mattresses for semi trucks are not just designed for comfort, but also to provide better support during the night by allowing your body to replenish and heal.
Look, I’m going to be honest with you, not that you need to be lectured, but long haul drivers face far more musculoskeletal and neurological problems caused by excessive sitting that virtually any other profession. The DOT published this detailed report about the health risks of being a long haul trucker. It ain’t for sissies.
It might be that you are looking for a decent mattress to help with issues like back and shoulder pain, arthritis and even deep vein thrombosis.
Two of the most important things you can do for yourself as a long hauler is get of your cab every 300 miles and walk the lot for one half mile (use an app, like Runkeeper- I’ve used it for years) and buy yourself a worthy mattress for your sleeper.
Also, you might want to invest in a really great seat cushion, too, but for now, let’s stick to mattresses.
Sleeping on a mattress that can reduce pressure and also help improve circulation is mission critical to increasing lifespan. I know this for a fact, having designed mattresses for people who have to either sit all day or lie on their backs 24/7.
For pressure relief, a mattress generally needs to have a few ingredients that provide for buoyant support, a bit of cradling, and the ability to transfer weight away from your body to the sides of the mattress.
So, memory foam, contoured or convoluted foam, gel foam, and even something called “micro-coils” can improve the pressure relieving abilities and overall comfort and support a mattress delivers.
Why Memory Foam Is An Excellent Component Inside Of A Sleeper Cab Mattress
Memory foam and gel foam can offer excellent pressure relief and should be a key ingredient in a trucker mattress. Typically, memory foam and gel foam do not sleep hot, and have a subtle, melting sensation. It allows your body to sink in very slightly, without making you feel like you are trapped.
You can read more about the development of memory foam here, but it’s probably the best thing ever invented to be included in the “cake recipe” of a really good trucker mattress. The best mattresses for semi trucks that I’ve reviewed, along with comparable mattresses for home, usually contain “visco-elastic” material, short for memory foam.
If you want to learn more about memory foam and its origins, along interesting facts about how it is made, check out my detailed memory foam mattress page here.
Memory foam topper pads are also very popular with truckers and with RV owners as well. Let’s say you already have a mattress in your sleeper cab, and it’s not terrible. It might be that you want to freshen it up a bit, or add a little bit more softness to it. In many cases, as drivers get older, pressure point issues get worse, and adding a topper pad to your existing mattress might solve the problem.
A topper pad might be the solution you need if you do not want to replace your entire mattress, and it’s easy to install. Simply remove the product from the shipping box, unfurl and set on top of the existing mattress.
I always recommend using a waterproof yet breathable mattress protector as well (you can order them here). Be advised that with mattress protectors, they are not typically available in trucker mattress sizes- so measure your topper or mattress, and order the next size up.
Most topper pads are sold in standard mattress sizes, so you may want to order the closest size comparable to properly cover your existing mattress.
Best Mattresses For Truckers We’ve Found
Sleep Dog® Trucker/RV Mattresses
A company called Sleep Dog® is getting a lot of attention because they largely focus on two mattress specifically designed for semi truck and sleeper cab applications.
Offered in a variety of sizes, thy have two models, a 7″ version which is slightly firmer, called The SleepDog ® , and a 9″, more plush version, called The BigDawg ® .
Both are offered with a 120 day no questions asked trial period, meaning you can send it back at no charge to you if you don’t love it.
Either mattress includes a 10 year factory warranty, and is shipped directly to your door or any predetermined location via ground shipping.
1. The Sleep Dog ® 7″ Semi Truck Mattress
Sleep Dog also offers a really easy to use size chart to help you visualize and choose the correct size for your semi truck of RV unit. When you visit their site using our exclusive links, you simply use the letter number drop down for your size to find the price.
Depending upon the model you choose, the prices vary from around $423-$523 for the most commonly ordered sizes, and that includes free shipping as well.
The Sleep Dog ® 7″ Semi Truck Mattress is DOT approved, and is built with a supportive underlying firm bottom layer topped off with a 2″ layer of pressure and pain relieving memory foam.
I would describe this option as having a medium firm feel, but even though it is only 7″ thick, at at 200 lbs., I didn’t have the sense I was bottoming out on it.
Using what SleepDog describes as Plush CoolRest® memory foam, it contours nicely to your body and minimizes motion transfer, as well. It is designed to support your spine, and keep it leveled up in any sleep position.
The Sleep Dog Mattress is built with a 5″ underlying foundation layer of supportive high density foam, topped with a pressure relieving layer of CoolRest® Gel/Memory Foam.
These foams are CertiPUR-US® certified to insure that you won’t be laying on anything that is off gassing VOC fumes, formaldehyde, or other toxic materials. The Sleep Dog Mattress is reasonably priced, and truckers who have reviewed them give good marks for pressure and pain relief, and a good night’s sleep.
“What a difference in sleep for me after placing this mattress in my truck. No complaints.”Jerome T. veteran long haul trucker
2. The Big Dawg 9″ Pillow Top Truck Mattress
I’ve spent a lot of time reading reviews that truckers post after buying a new mattress for their rig. Most of them are 2-4 star reviews, and the biggest complaint is that foam mattresses often “bottom out”.
Many drivers complain that their cab mattresses are too firm and offer no beneficial support. Typically that is because manufacturers often use the cheapest foam possible, and the worst textiles for the outer cover.
Sleep Dog is actually owned by a company called Bed In A Box, which has been designing and manufacturing foam mattresses for decades, and has access to better quality components and the skill to build a better, more comfortable semi truck mattress.
Tito J. purchased a Big Dawg mattress for his company, T&J Trucking, and had this to say about his decision:
“This mattress is by far the most comfortable I’ve ever slept on!! I would encourage every driver out on the road to get one of these in your truck; you will not regret it!!
Now, when my wife and kids come with me, all they do is sleep while I drive, and I just look out the front window wishing I was laying on the SleepDog mattress getting some ZZZ’s!!”
Starting at just $495, The Big Dawg 9″ Pillow Top truck mattress is also DOT approved, but features a multilayer 9″ plush memory foam
construction that can be flipped for soft or firm support.
It’s a bit like getting two mattresses in one, so you can choose the best fit for you. Made with body contouring CoolRest® gel/memory foam and SureAlign®
high density support foam that minimizes motion transfer.
Specifically designed to relieve pressure, reduce pain, and properly align your spine while sleeping in any position.
It also features a pillow top, quilted outer encasement which provides a bit more luxury than the Sleep Dog 7″ Mattress.