I was just reading a review on Nomadic Do-It-Yourself FB group for a mattress. It was titled “The Sleep You Get Is Only As Good As The Mattress You Sleep On”. The mattress they reviewed (Casper Mattress) is $750 for a full sized on on Amazon. I, for one, would not pay $750 for a full sized mattress.
I sleep on a full sized air mattress ($18) from the camping section of Wal-Mart with a 3 inch thick memory foam mattress topper ($90 from Sam’s Club) on it plus a heated mattress pad (queen size, it fits around the air mattress and topper better – $65 from Sam’s Club). For a whopping total of $173.
My husband & I slept on a waterbed for 25 years. This setup is like sleeping on a waterbed, without the “wiggle”. The trick to it was I had to allow the air mattress to stretch so I was putting air in it every few days for about a month when it was new. That is how long it took for the vinyl to stop stretching. I haven’t added air to it in several years. This particular air mattress was bought in 2010. The previous air mattress was bought in 2002.
At the time David was working in another state and was having problems sleeping on a regular mattress (whereas I was sleeping on the water bed). The memory foam topper did help with the cat punching holes in the bed. Although not completely. I think she did it deliberately since she did not put holes in the waterbed.
I know that some folks seriously object to air mattresses. Mostly because they appear to lose air when they are, most likely, stretching. I have an old quilt under the air mattress because my mattress sits on a plywood deck. One day I may get around to putting the blue sleeping bag pad under the mattress in place of the old quilt. I think it would help to keep the air mattress warmer.
A decent 4lb foam topper like I have should last between 4 – 8 years. Since 2002 I have replaced toppers. I am on the third one (previous two were not as dense). Downside to the memory foam toppers is when the weather is cold, the topper is hard. I turn the bed heater on about 15 – 30 minutes before I plan on going to bed. Much better. In the summer, the memory foam can be a bit warm.
The memory foam tends to collect moisture from both body sweat and humidity. The heated mattress pad seems to eliminate that problem. Also, I have read complaints about the smell. I have yet to have one that smelled, either when new or after a few years. I only had the mold/mildew problem once. That was during our first cold winter in the Class C. I think the deck got freezing cold because it was over a storage bay, which kept the air inside the air mattress very cold which then caused condensation between the cold air mattress and the warmed up memory foam. This resulted in mildew developing between the flocked top of the air mattress and the bottom of the memory foam mattress. A mild bleach solution cleared up the mildew. Insulating the deck the air mattress sat on took care of the freezing cold air mattress.
Since moving into the bus, I also have not had any problems with mildew on the air mattress. This may be due to the fact that I am sitting in a desert. But the humidity does rise fairly high during what is referred to as the “monsoon season”.