Can A Motohome Innerspring Mattress Still Hold Its Own Against
The Newer Designs?

Using An Innerspring Mattress In A Class C Motorhome May Not Offer The Best Sleeping Solution

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The modern RV mattress is an improvement over the basic bed that had been used for thousands of years. This modern camper mattress achieved more softness and conformity than anything available at the time of its invention.

However, coil springs will always have a basic problem: They can only cushion a downward force. They cannot push up. This means that they cannot give you uniform conformity. Without uniform conformity RV mattresses will not properly support your body.

Coiled spring RV mattress designers have attempted to compensate for this inherent design flaw by using individually wrapped coils.

These wrapped coils will give better support when sleeping on your side, and most people, according to research, sleep on their side.

This also takes away from the popular theory that a firm RV mattress is a better mattress. A firm mattress is only better if a person sleeps on their back or stomach.

Research Has Shown That A Firm Mattress May Not
Be The Most Comfortable

However, many salespeople still promote the idea that a firm camper mattress gives better performance over a softer, more conforming type mattress.

This is not necessarily true. The "firmer is better" idea also leads to the misconception that the more coils the RV mattress has, the firmer the mattress will be.

This also is not true. How firm or soft a mattress is will be determined by the gauge of wire used to make the coils. Heavy gauge wire will give you a firmer surface than would a lesser, or lighter gauge wire.

A larger number of coils will contribute to the consistency of the mattress throughout the surface area. This contributes to the overall comfort level.

Do You Sleep On Your Side, Or Your Back... It Matters

As I’ve said earlier, most people want to be supported by their RV mattress when they are sleeping on their side. The mattress must also provide support to the small of the back for people who sleep on their back.

Therein lies the problem. It is very difficult, if not impossible, to achieve universal pressure. There is a contradiction in this because side sleepers have smaller contact areas that must absorb more pressure, which requires a softer mattress. A back sleeper requires more firm support due to larger contact areas that need to absorb less pressure.

The result: a too-firm camper mattress would feel like a board, while one that is too soft gives away like a hammock. A mattress that can conform around you will offer the best compromise in both of these positions, allowing for proper alignment and a better night's rest. This is a very subjective goal and not easily fulfilled.

There are three types of coiled spring RV
mattresses on the market today

  • Interlocking type coil mattress

    • This type of system usually has fewer coils because they are all tied together with wire and share support.

    • You will find these most often in the lower-level and some mid-range RV mattresses.

  • Independent coil mattress

    • This type of system has more coils because each coil acts alone in offering support.

    • The advantage is less movement when your partner moves in the bed.

  • Hybrids:

    • You can get this mattress with memory foam (these are sometimes referred to as Pillow Top Mattresses), or they can also have water chambers in them. This is a good way to camouflage the fact that you are potentially sleeping on steel wire.

The trend in RV mattresses today seems to be going with the hybrid type Pillow Top configuration

Pillow Top Mattress

What is happening is that the new guys on the block, the memory foam and air mattresses, have been taking over the market. In fact, they have been the fastest growing segments in the market for the past 10 years… and the RV innerspring mattress companies want a piece of that growth.

They are attempting to lure customers back to their side of the equation by making the Pillow Top Mattress. This is nothing more than a standard RV innerspring mattress that has been surrounded with a version of one of the new comfort layers available on the market: either memory foam, latex, etc.

The problem with this is, companies are always trying to cut costs. One of the dirty little secrets in the mattress business is that you can take a good, average RV innerspring mattress and layer it with inferior foam.

This will give you a comfortable bed… for a while. It seems that if top quality foam material isn't used, the mattress will soon suffer compact and breakdown. Basically, your innerspring mattress will no longer be comfortable after a period of time.

The way to get around this is to purchase a decent RV innerspring mattress and a top quality memory foam mattress separately.

This is less expensive than having the manufacturers combine the separate mattresses and sell them as a package. By purchasing each item separately, you have the choice of the degree of quality you desire and you will end up with a superior product.

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