Memory Foam Saves the Night

Paul and Taggart watch the topper expanding by our site..I was definitely the most excited of the 3!

A few weeks ago I moaned about our Sleep Number bed on the blog. I’ve had issues with that darn thing since we bought the rig, but have always felt that the issues weren’t quite bad enough to warrant spending the money on a new mattress (especially with RV mattresses being so expensive). This dilemma has kept me in a semi-poor state of sleep for 2 years. I know, I know…it’s ridiculous. Sleeping is such an important part of life that we should have thrown that mattress out the window right after we got it, but I HAVE been known to be on the stubborn side and I kept thinking that I just needed to fiddle with the number (the commercials do say you need to find your number, right?)

Our new topper!
Will Memory Foam make me feel like this? Picture from

Well sometimes you just need a little push in life…

First was the meeting with blog readers Richard & Ginger who (most generously I thought) invited us over to try their bed. Next was all the comments I got on the blog giving me all kinds of great new ideas on the matter. The final result of all this was giving me the kick-in-the-butt I needed to go do something about it. Bottom line (from everything I tried and read and heard) was to go try Memory Foam.

Now Memory Foam (for those geeks out there like me who just need to know) was actually originally invented for space travel. Around the 1960’s NASA needed a special material that could withstand the G-forces of launch and re-entry during space missions. Research came up with a visco-elastic heat-sensitive material which was dubbed T-Foam. The cool thing about the material was that it softened & moulded to the body with heat (i.e. body-heat), but stayed firm elsewhere, and would spring back to original shape when you moved (as a material scientist I do love this kind of stuff!).

In the end it was never actually used in space travel (due to off-gassing issues), but it DID make it to the consumer market.

I’ll drink to this solution!!

And that’s where Nina’s night salvation comes into the picture. I looked around at buying a full memory-foam mattress, but decided it was easier and cheaper to try my luck with a memory foam topper. There are lots of spots you can buy these, but I’ve seen the best deals at and Costco. Costco has a great return policy so went there and snagged the NovaForm® King-Size 2.5″ topper for $160. I left it outside for a few days to fluff up and release any smell, then took it in for the test.

The Foam Topper….oh yeah baby!! Picture from

And the result? The BEST NIGHT’S SLEEP I have had in 2 years!! With the sleep number bed pumped to very firm and the topper on top it’s simply fabulous! The topper is firm, yet soft at the same time. It gives support yet doesn’t droop. There is no longer any “cave” in the bed, I don’t feel the stupid partition in the middle anymore. And best of all, I never wake up with pins and needles in my arm anymore (I’m a side-sleeper). It does sleep a bit “warmer” than the old set-up, but that doesn’t bother me at all.

It may not work for everyone, but if you’re like me and have been having issues w/ the Sleep Number Bed I highly recommend giving this a try. Just goes to show that blogging is a great way to learn new stuff. Thanks for the tips everyone! It’s saved my night!

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We LOooVE Comments, So Please Do

  1. Linda Z says

    When we bought our new-to-us MH, I wanted a memory foam mattress. But you are right — they are horribly expensive for an RV. So I bought a lovely mattress from (no affiliation – just a satisfied customer) in King and we cut it to size with an electric knife. So easy to do. Was like a warm knife through butter. Perfect solution!

  2. Dan and Pat says

    Glad to see you finally can sleep at night. We chose the memory foam topper for the cheap “box springs” mattress that came with the coach. Made all the difference in the world. Comfort and no motion when one or the other of us gets up. Ours was inexpensive when purchased at Kohl’s during one of their 50% off sales. Add the sale price to one of their in store scratch off discounts of 10-30% and what a deal! Have had ours for two years and sleep well every night.

  3. says

    I just replaced my memory foam topper and the new one came with a quilted cover. I did NOT like the new cover since it would bunch up underneath my hips and coping with wrinkles in the sheets was one of the reasons I bought a topper in the first place. (I know; I’m the prototype for the princess and the pea.) So I put the old cover on the new topper and slept very well again. Warm, but well.

    • libertatemamo says

      Makes total sense. The one we bought comes with a nice, tight, smooth cover which keeps everything nicely in place.

  4. jil mohr says

    I was going to ask if it would work well with a regular rv matress whih is what we have…and it is about 9 years old…

    • libertatemamo says

      I guess it would depend how firm the mattress is. My thinking is that this solution works best on a firm mattress since you got the support underneath but the cushy memory foam ontop (I pumped up our Sleep Number to super-firm). If your old mattress is soft or sagging it may not work quite as well. Just thinking out loud here…
      Costco has a great return policy so you could always try it and see. Make sure to air that topper out for a few days outside before bringing it in tho’.

  5. Lew says

    We purchased a used TT about six months ago and it has a 7 year old regular RV queen size mattress in it. My wife complained that sleeping on it hurt her hips (side sleeper) so we bought a 2″ memory foam topper for it. It helped a lot and now my wife is a happy camper. I think the 2.5″ Costco topper would probably be even better.

    • libertatemamo says

      As a fellow side-sleeper I completely understand your wife’s situation. I think memory foam is fabulolus for side-sleepers (in fact, now that I’ve tried it I can’t imagine how a regular mattress could compete). Good to know it made a significant difference on a regular mattress too.

  6. Lew says

    I have a question for you Nina that’s off the subject. In your photo at the top, Paul is sitting in one of your lounge chairs. We are in the market for a pair of chairs and I was wondering how much you like the ones you have?

    If you like them can you let us know the brand and where you purchased them? Thanks a bunch. Love your post.

    • says

      Hope Nina doesn’t mind me interjecting here…… but we just got a pair of chairs like you see above for our outdoor setup. They are AWESOME!! Highly recommend them.

      You can get them in all sorts of places – our parents got ours at Sports Authority as our Xmas gift. And I just happened to cut the tag off the chairs (cuz they are so comfy that we kept getting distracted) and have it handy – Ours are called ‘Infinity Zero Gravity Chair’ by Caravan Outdoor. We’ve also seen them called ‘Anti-Gravity’ chairs.

      We did test some out at Walmart and Bed Bath Beyond.. and didn’t like them as much as what we have now. So worthwhile sitting in them before buying.

      • libertatemamo says

        Don’t mind at all!! In fact Zero Gravity was the name I was looking for (many people love those).
        Ours are a no-name brand that we bought on sale at Camping World a few years back. Just like Cherie we LOVE them. Use them constantly (even our cat has taken to them). I also agree that it’s worth taking time to check different ones out and sit in them. We tried some chairs at Walmart that were terrible, but as soon as we sat in the CW ones we were hooked.

  7. Jerry B. says

    We also have the Costco topper but on top of the factory mattress on our Winnie. Sold the Sleep Number on craigslist, hated it. You do a lot of traveling in different areas as we do and I hated changing the pressure as we changed altitudes. I think if we went up to 10,000 feet it would probably explode! Kidding, but they’re really over-hyped and overpriced. Glad your setup works for you. The best thing about the SN was the light weight for the underbed storage but that’s about all.

    • libertatemamo says

      Yup, I feel you. YET another thing I hate about that darn Sleep Number bed. We are always having to change the pressure w/ altitude. I may have to get rid of it yet….

  8. says

    So glad this worked for you. Nothing worse than a bad mattress no matter how expensive it was. Not sure what sort of mattress I have. I know I’ve looked when I change the sheets but can’t remember now but it seems good thank heavens. HOWEVER, I will keep this testimonial in mind should things change. I too like a firm mattress. Guess I should also say that those orthopedic pillows with the rolls at the neck are also excellent. Made a big difference for me. But don’t buy a cheap one. In this regard you get what you pay for. I bought one that wasn’t cheap but I bought it at a bedding shop and didn’t like it at all. Then I got one for less at a chiropractor and it has been amazing how wonderful it is. I wouldn’t even think of sleeping without it.

    • libertatemamo says

      I used to have one of those pillows when I was younger and loved it. I’ll have to look into that again!

  9. says

    Nina, I think I went all the way to Durango sleeping on the cushions to the dinette. It was not comfortable, but I can sleep on nails if I’m tired enough. I couldn’t believe the difference when I got the memory foam. It’s like floating on a cloud. Glad you’ll get more rest, now.

    • libertatemamo says

      Seems everyone knows the memory foam secret :) Thank goodness for blogging. I would never have found out otherwise.

  10. says

    Memory foam toppers are the way to go! Before I hit the road, I had a high-end TempurPedic mattress at home that I loved. We’ve always had at least a 3″ topper on all our RVs since.

    When we bought the bus, we actually budgeted for just putting a TempurPedic in. But when it came down to it, we just couldn’t justify the cost. Went with a 4″ ventilated topper from for under $200 – and put that money into Lithium Ion batteries :)

    The one downside to memory foam is that it retains body heat. Nice in the winter, but not so great in the summer. Especially when boondocking and trying to conserve energy by not running the A/C. So thus why we’ve gone with a ventilated model to help.

    Enjoy your newfound sleep !

    • libertatemamo says

      Ooooo…ventilated memory foam. Now that’s a new one for me. I REALLY like that idea!! I definitely noticed the foam sleeps a bit hotter…I’m a cold sleeper so I like it (especially in winter), but Paul runs hotter than me and I can totally see how it might run a tad too hot in summer. Well worth looking into!

  11. says

    Our 5th wheel came with a deluxe pillow top mattress that was still just like sleeping on a cement slab but the memory foam mattress I got from Walmart works just dandy. Only thing to keep in mind is that if you are boondocking without any heat and it gets real cold inside, your foam will not be cushy at all. My cousins traveling down from Canada in winter found that out the “hard” way.

    • libertatemamo says

      Makes sense. The material is meant to firm up in colder temps so I can see how a really chilly night might be a bit on the hard side hehe

  12. Brent says

    We have one of those and love it. Even bought one and put it on the bed we use when visiting my parents…..a good night’s sleep is worth it.

    • libertatemamo says

      Gassing???? There ain’t no gassing going on in this house…we are classy non-gassers and a lady would never…… :)

  13. Mel says

    Just a quick tip for users of Memory Foam Toppers. We have had 2 and really like them except we found that if you don’t use the cover that comes with them or if you put a mattress cover or some other cover over them, then they will tend to be real warm. The way it was explained by the manufacturer to my Daughter, you have to use the cover that comes with them. She did that and presto no more to hot or warm problems. I am warm blooded anyway soooo!

    • libertatemamo says

      Good tip Mel. We did use the cover that came w/ the topper. It still feels somewhat warmer than without the topper, but I’m doing fine with it.

  14. Jesse Morrison says

    When we bought our used Winnebago, the mattress was a disaster. After one trial run, we had to have a new one. Since the class C had a special shape, I made a drawing of the mattress with dimensions and went to our local Mattress Outlet to check prices. We purchased a 6 inch memory foam mattress and it was made in one week. For our queen size in our MH, the cost was $320. Very reasonable and the quality is same as that found in the name brand mattresses. And no more nights of tossing trying to find comfort on a lumpy mattress.

    • libertatemamo says

      Wow…that’s an AWESOME price! Thanks for sharing that idea! It’s a great tip for others dealing w/ this problem.

  15. says

    We recently added a 4-inch memory foam mattress for our RV bed. Got it at WalMart for quite a bit less than you paid (of course, it’s a queen-size). It’s remarkably comfortable, but only two problems: (1) it makes the bed so tall, Suzy had to buy a step to get onto the top of the bed, and (2) because the head of our bed is slightly elevated, the topper eventually slides down over the foot, leaving a gap at the head. It requires a major restructuring every few days! Love it anyway!

  16. Jeff says

    Hi Nina, this comment is for Jerry and Suzy regarding the foam topper sliding down. Get a large piece or two of the non-skid shelf-lining material and put it between the mattress and the foam topper. I am thinking about the rubber material that is about 1/8 inch thick or so and is a loose weave.

  17. says

    Hi, Nina — so glad the topper from Costco is working out for you! I couldn’t believe what a difference ours made. We use the original cover on it — so far, so good re: temperatures.

  18. says

    I’m surprised no one has mentioned the latex toppers. We love ours, no worries about off-gassing and it holds it shape longer. We bought it online and then just trimmed it to fit our crappy camper mattress! Also, dust mites do not like latex so it solves allergy problems as well.

  19. says

    Memory foam is the best no doubt about it. I bought the expensive Tempurpedic for hubby a few years ago (for our home bed). After spending the first two nights on the mattress supplied when we purchased our used RV, we knew right away we had to have a memory foam topper. Glad you will be getting a better nights rest now. More energy for all that exploring and adventuring. www/

  20. says

    Well, just let me add to the mix…With my ouchy back problems we finally, after 15 years, started buying Costco’s memory foam toppers every couple of years. We actually have to cut off a couple of inches to fit our RV-sized queen bed, but it works!

    • libertatemamo says

      Yeah, our topper is just a “tad” long for our RV king-size bed. I haven’t bothered to cut it yet, but probably will give it a little trim soon. It’s almost a perfect fit.

  21. says

    Memory foam is amazing!!!! So glad you’ve discovered the joys of a foam topper – it’s what saved us in Mayhem. I use a memory foam pillow as well and it offers great support for my neck. I used to get a ton of headaches, but the pillow has helped… I even bring it with me when we travel, lol.


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