Truck camping has become a big thing over the last few years, especially after the surge in camping popularity due to COVID. Truck tents are now available for basically every truck model on the planet. But if you’re going to put a tent on your truck, there’s one vital piece of equipment: a truck mattress.
In this article we’ll break down what to look for when selecting a pickup truck mattress and give an overview of the most popular types of truck mattresses.
What’s a Pickup Truck Mattress?
A pickup truck mattress is just a mattress that fits into the truck bed of your vehicle. These mattresses can come in one of two varieties: normal non-truck specific air mattresses or semi-custom truck specific air mattresses.
Using a generic air mattress that you pickup from Walmart or Costco has one particular problem when trying to be used with your truck. Most trucks, such as a Ford F150 or Dodge Ram are 62″ wide in the truck bed (and about 44″ wide between the wheel wells) and anywhere from 65″ long to 96″ long (depending on if you have short box, regular box, or long box). A double air mattress that you’d use in your spare bedroom, on the other hand, measures roughly 54″ wide and 77″ long. This means it’s too big to fit between the wheel wells of most trucks and can either be too long or too short for your truck. A single air mattress will fit between your wheel-wells but leave huge gaps.
Semi-custom air mattresses like Offroading.com’s own Offroading Gear Mattress, Airbedz, or Rightline, all solve the above problem by providing mattresses custom designed for your pickup truck.
Types of Truck Air Mattresses
When you pick a truck mattress there’s basically three options:
- A truck air mattress that fits between your wheel-wells but leaves gaps in front and behind it
- A truck air mattress that fits between your wheel-wells and covers the entire truck bed (including the gap in front and behind the wheel-wells) but does not have fillers for the spaces left between the wheel-wells
- A truck air mattress that fits between your wheel-wells and covers the entire truck bed (including the gap in front and behind the wheel-wells) but does have fillers for the spaces left between the wheel-wells allowing it to be used as a full double/queen mattress outside of the vehicle
A truck mattress that fills your entire truck bed will optimize the entire area of your truck bed but you will pay slightly more for this option in most cases.
If you plan to use your air mattress in other situations outside of your truck such as in tents or at home, having fillers that cover the gap between your wheel wells is more or less a necessity, unless you prefer rolling into the gaps left in the mattress to accommodate for the wheel-wells.
How to Pick a Truck Air Mattress Depending On What Truck Model You Have
What truck air mattress you select will be fairly dependent on what size of truck box you have. It will not really depend on the year or make of your truck.
Truck box sizes normally come in one of three lengths and most truck mattress manufacturers will have a mattress suitable for that size of truck box. Here are the normal truck box sizes:
- Short Box (5.5′ Box to 5’8′ Box)
- Regular Box (6′ Box to 6’6′ Box)
- Long Box (8′ Box)
Again, the model of truck you have and the year will not be a factor – simply the size of your box.
How Much Do Truck Air Mattresses Cost?
Most truck air mattresses will range in price from anywhere from $80-$100 for the Rightline Air Mattress that has gaps in front of and behind of the wheel wells, $130-$150 for the Offroading Gear Truck Air Mattress that covers the entire truck bed and has fillers but is manual inflation, all the way up to $300 for the Airbedz Truck Mattress with an automatic air pump.
If your planning on turning your truck into a sleeping area during your next outing, an air mattress in the truck box is a necessity. It’ll make sleeping in your truck far more enjoyable.
What other accessories have you found invaluable when sleeping in your truck? Let me know in the comments below.