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Getting a great night’s sleep can be a struggle anywhere, especially in the cramped quarters of a boat. When you add in the complication of finding a mattress that fits on your boat and is actually comfortable, sleeping on your sailboat or yacht can seem impossibly difficult.

At Slumber Ease, we understand your frustration. We’re here to help you find the right solution to help you sleep well on your yacht or sailboat. Below, we explain the differences between buying a boat mattress and a regular mattress, what mattress characteristics you should look for, and how to deal with the ever-present threat of mold in a marine bedroom.

What Are the Differences Between Boat Mattresses and Regular Mattresses?

Boat mattresses are just what they sound like: mattresses specifically designed to be used on a boat. Since boats often have cramped and unevenly-shaped sleeping areas where a regular mattress wouldn’t fit, boat mattresses are made in various shapes and sizes that may look a little odd at first glance.

Boat mattresses are also typically made from aquatic-friendly materials that help prevent mold from forming. While the materials used in the top and weight-bearing layers may be similar to what you would see in a home mattress, many boat mattress manufacturers use special mold-resistant material such as vinyl on the bottom to ensure the user’s health.

One common boat mattress shape is the V-Berth mattress, which is made to fit in sleeping spaces in the extreme forward end of the hull. V-berth mattresses can be made as one-piece mattresses or in two or three pieces to allow for easier access to storage space.

Top Things to Look For When Buying a Boat Mattress

You can’t buy just any mattress for your sailboat or yacht and expect it to fit your needs. Be sure to check these mattress characteristics before you make a purchase:

  • Measurements. Your boat mattress needs to fit in your sleeping quarters! Be sure to carefully measure your sleeping area or bed frame before you buy a mattress, especially if you are buying for a boat or yacht. Measure any odd angles as well as the lengths of each side, and take note of any curves in mattress sides. For unusually shaped sleeping areas, you may need assistance from a custom mattress manufacturer.
  • High-quality materials. Many prefabricated boat mattresses are made with cheap, low-quality foams. For a high-quality, long-lasting, and comfortable mattress, your best bet is to buy your boat mattress from a custom mattress factory.
  • Mold resistance. Never buy a boat mattress that isn’t mold-resistant! If mold forms on your mattress, which can easily happen in a moist aquatic environment, it may become unhealthy to sleep there.
  • Delivery assistance. Not all mattress sellers will deliver and install your boat mattress. Before you buy your mattress, make sure you know whether you will need to install it on your boat yourself.

How to Make Your Boat Mattress More Comfortable

If your boat mattress isn’t as comfortable as you’d like, but you don’t want to replace it just yet, there are a few things you can do to make for a better night’s sleep. A foam mattress topper can make for a much softer-feeling surface. Depending on the shape of your mattress, you may be able to buy a prefabricated mattress topper or create one with the help of a custom mattress factory.

Keep in mind that sleeping comfortably on a sailboat or yacht requires more than just a good mattress. The supporting bed frame can also make a difference: Many boat owners who have a plywood bunk find that they sleep more comfortably after drilling breathability holes in the top of the plywood or replacing it with wood slats. It also helps to stock up on extra blankets, as it can get chilly on a boat at night.

If your mattress is worn out or you already tried everything we suggested above, it’s likely time to invest in a new boat mattress. Many boats come with bedding that is nothing more than a slab of thin foam over plywood, which is rarely comfortable and doesn’t last long. For better sleep, consider purchasing a longer-lasting boat mattress made from high-quality materials and customized for your sleep preferences.

How to Care for Your Boat Mattress

The best way to keep your boat mattress from becoming moldy is to choose one that is mold-resistant in the first place. Ideally, you should also have good ventilation and airflow in your boat’s sleeping area, but this isn’t always in your control.

If there is mold on your mattress, you can clean it by vacuuming both sides of your mattress (even if the mold appears to be only on the bottom) and then cleaning the dust catcher of the vacuum cleaner to avoid spreading the mold spores. Then, take a cloth soaked in a mixture of equal parts rubbing alcohol and warm water and scrub the mattress in a circular motion. Wring out the cloth, get a second container of warm water only, and scrub again to rinse the mattress. Finally, spray a disinfectant evenly over your mattress to kill off any remaining mold. Your mattress will need to dry in the sun.

Are You Looking For a Custom Boat Mattress?

Slumber Ease Mattress Factory is a custom mattress manufacturer that has been creating made-to-order mattresses for homes, boats, and RVs since 1962. We source and purchase materials of only the highest quality, and we combine them to produce the most comfortable sleeping experience for each individual. Visit our factory showroom or check out our blog to learn more about our custom mattress fitting process.