Today we are going to find the best solution for a mattress for your campervan or converted van.
We have primarily included:
- Versatile mattress toppers that are thick enough to be used as mattresses.
- A memory foam bed-in-a-box, which is perfect if you have the space.
- How to cut a sheet of memory foam to make a custom shaped mattress.
If your project is converting a VW T4 van or you want your next trip away to be much more comfortable.
This post will help!
The Panda Topper
This is our best overall because it’s a memory foam and bamboo topper that can be used as the mattress or make any mattress more comfortable.
The custom-made Hydro-foam™ provides perfect alignment of your back, neck, and hips. As you sweat, its gel-infused technology cools you. In addition, the hypoallergenic and breathable bamboo cover is kind and gentle to your skin.
You’ll get the next-level orthopaedic support, and it’s guaranteed for 10 years because Panda stands behind the durability of the product.
A neat feature is the straps on each corner that can be used to keep it in place. And if that wasn’t enough, it also has an anti-slip dotted silicone on the bottom to make sure of it!
Check out more features of the 5cm thick topper by clicking below.
The Simba Hybrid Topper
Perfect for anybody who needs more than just memory foam. This hybrid topper combines the cooling open-cell Simba-Pure with 2,500 Aerocoil springs and a zoned Simba-Pure base.
This high-end topper brings you next-level comfort and durability to your existing sleep set-up. It’s designed to retain heat at night, which is a drawback to standard memory foam.
It’s also quick to roll up, so you can store and use it wherever you want. The product is on the pricier side than the others on our list, but you can use it easily for your camper, tent, van, or home.
Simba mattresses and toppers are made with CertiPUR-certified foam. This means no heavy metals or dyes that are harmful to the environment or you.
For more information on this 7cm thick topper, click the check price below.
Octaspring Body Zone Mattress Topper
This Dormeo topper is unique in the fact it has memory foam springs. This makes it 8x more breathable than a traditional memory foam topper.
Octaspring® foam springs make up the Octaspring® Body Zone Mattress Topper, divided into five support zones. Zones in the bed are a little firmer where you’re heavier, whereas zones that are more comfortable where you’re lighter.
The idea of comfort is not just how soft, or firm a mattress is but how the structure of the mattress supports your body, ensuring proper spinal alignment and back support.
Like the other two products above, it has a no-slip base, and it’s 7cm thick. Check out the other features by clicking the button below.
This topper is the best seller on Amazon with over five thousand reviews and an overall 4.5/5 stars. Usually, the Amazon choice is the best budget, but it’s a similar price to most of the other options on the list.
With their egg-crate shape and its zonal cutouts, these toppers will provide additional support or not as much as needed. The main disadvantage and advantage of the egg crate design are that it is essentially just a sheet of memory foam cut in half. Yes, there’s more airflow, but the drawback is that the memory foam is less dense.
It’s 7cm thick, weighs 5.5kg, and it’s straightforward to roll up.
Nectar memory foam mattress
If you have the space, then this is worth it! The memory foam mattress by Nectar is a quality product; it comes with a 365 trial period and a forever warranty (the longest in the industry for both).
The 25 cm thick medium-firm mattress has 3 layers of foam and a quilted top. The durable base has zonal support, which is built to last (as you probably can tell from the excellent warranty).
The brand is massive in America and has won over many people in the UK as the mattresses sold here are also made in England. The mattress has excellent minimal motion transfer, so you won’t wake up if your partner moves around a lot at night.
Nectar itself is a 100% carbon neutral company, and the foams and materials are certified to contain no nasty chemicals.
If you have the space for a mattress in your camper or van, I can’t recommend getting a quality product like this enough. It will undoubtedly make vanlife more comfortable and enjoyable.
For the latest deal, click the button below.
Mattress or Topper?
If you have the space and want to make a permanent fixture, I say mattress every time. If you want a temporary solution or just want to make your mattress more comfortable go with a topper.
Many people say a 2.5cm topper will do the job. We think that might be too thin to get the proper support for a decent night’s rest. Most of the mattress toppers on our list are 5cm to 7cm thick, and the mattress is 25cm thick.
Why Use a Mattress Topper?
As discussed above, it is a substitute for a mattress. It’s a mini mattress. Easy for rolling up, packing away, and setting back up at night to sleep in reasonably great comfort.
Nowadays, most of the toppers available on the market are so good that you will end up using them to put on top of your mattress at home after your trip.
What are the advantages of using a mattress topper?
The big advantage is getting comfort and proper spinal support when away from your mattress at home. Most mattress toppers are washable or have a removable cover to wash so you can keep your bed fresh.
If you have an old mattress, you can get a topper to instantly change the feel without spending boat loads of cash instead of buying a new one.
Are there alternatives to using a mattress topper?
If you are looking for something else other than a topper or a mattress, you could try:
- Thick duvet.
- Mattress pad.
- Air mattress.
- Tri-folding mattress
You properly have a spare duvet handy you can use as a base for sleeping on. While this will be comfier than a hard surface, it won’t offer much support as a mattress or a topper.
A futon is basically a topper. It’s the go-to sleeping product of the Japanese instead of a mattress. It can be easily cleaned and hung up after use to air out. The filling is generally a thick layer of polyester, and the cover is cotton.
A mattress pad is a fitted sheet but with a quilted top for extra comfort. This can be a great option for those with a mattress and just want more comfort without breaking the budget.
Air mattresses are great for stowing away after use, and some of them are surprisingly comfortable. However, there is the drawback of inflating it and running the risk of popping it in the night.
Tri Folding mattresses are a bit of a cross between a mattress and a topper. They fold up in three sections to be stored relatively quickly, and they are slighting thicker than a topper. The Milliard is 10cm thick and works great for mini vans. However, the sizing can be a pain, and most of the time, you’ll need to makeshift two together.
Best Mattress For VanLife and Campervan?
You have a few options with mattresses. We have a list of the best mattresses on our homepage. Generally, we recommend mattress in a box brands because they are usually of better quality and save money.
However, if you’re thinking, “what mattress should I buy for my van?” We think Nectar is best. Its drawback is that it cannot be packed away, so you might want to check the alternative options we provided or look at the Panda Topper.
How thick should my van mattress be
According to some people, a 2.5cm topper is enough. However, we recommend 5-8cm toppers for a more comfortable night’s sleep. If you are looking for a mattress, the thickness should be over 10cm.
Many VW vans like the T4, T5, T6 or sprinters have enough space for a 25cm deep mattress. However, this depends on how permanent you want to make your sleeping setup and other recommendations say 15-20 cm is best, but that usually requires a custom mattress.
What size bed fits in a van
Every van has different dimensions, so make sure to measure twice order once when seeing what bed fits in your van. Below is the mattress size of the Nectar to double-check with the space you have.
|SIZE||DIMENSIONS (IN)||DIMENSIONS (CM)|
|Single||35.5″ X 75″||90cm X 190cm|
|Double||53″ X 75″||135cm X 190cm|
|King||59″ X 79″||150cm X 200cm|
|Super King||71″ X 79″||180cm X 200cm|
What’s the best mattress for a minivan?
Converting a minivan into a camper gives you surprisingly a lot of room. However, most of the time, you won’t have the space for a permanent mattress and will opt for a topper or an alternative.
Many people find folding the seats down and using a topper or tri fold-out mattress to do the job.
Custom Mattress for the van
As with building a campervan, there are always mods and changes you might need to cut down your mattress or topper to fit snugly on your bed. Below are a few ways on how to shape your mattress.
Is it OK to cut a memory foam mattress?
Yes, it will be okay as long as you are careful with it. Avoid compressing the material or applying too much force when using the knife to prevent damaging its texture. You can shorten the mattress to the perfect size following the steps below.
Follow these steps to cut your memory foam mattress or mattress topper:
- Measure the mattress and determine its size.
- Remove the mattress cover.
- Mark and measure where you want to cut. Use a ruler, a pen, and a sharp knife.
- You shouldn’t compress the memory foam mattress or mattress topper after cutting it.
- Remove the excess mattress cover and (re)fit it.
Here are some illustrations on how to cut memory foam.
Can you cut memory foam with a hot knife?
It is possible, but you may damage the foam and cause it to lose its shape if you use a hot knife. There is no need to use a hot knife if your regular knife is sharp enough.
Can I cut a gel memory foam mattress?
Sure. When you cut your mattress, the gel particles are infused with foam, so you won’t have to worry about gel leaking.
What is the best tool to cut a memory foam campervan mattress?
- Electric knife. The easiest to use is probably this one. It won’t take much effort for you to slide the knife through the foam. An electric knife is more likely to produce sharp, clean edges. You can pick one up for £20. Find it here.
- Carving knife. When using this type of knife, you must cut through the foam using short back and forth motions. Carving knives with long, sharp blades are also a great option.
- Craft (utility) knife. Knives of this type are usually sharp enough to cut through the foam. In addition, their pointed tips make it easier for them to go through thick material. You should, however, avoid sawing motions in this case. Start by making a shallow cut on a small foam section, and gradually deepen the cut until you reach the bottom and cut through it. After that, you can move on to the next section.
- Long serrated bread knife. Bread knives can easily cut through memory foam if they’re sharp enough. To cut through the material, you will need to use sawing motions. You might notice a bit of raggedness around the edges, but if you plan to encase your mattress in fabric, that shouldn’t be an issue.