Semi Truck Mattress Guide: What to Consider for Your Sleeper
A good night’s sleep is important to your health, regardless of your profession. However, if you’re a long-haul truck driver, sleep is even more critical because of the hours and concentration the job demands.
To catch up on a few hours of sleep during a shift, many semi truck drivers add a mattress in the sleepers of their trucks. Not all semi truck mattresses are alike, and you need to choose the right size and type of mattress to ensure a comfortable rest.
What is a Semi Truck Mattress?
There’s a compartment behind the cabin where the driver sits, called a sleeper. This compartment contains a bed, allowing the driver to rest at a designated parking spot without booking a hotel.
A big truck mattress is designed to allow the driver to sleep more comfortably on the truck bed, turning the vehicle into a home away from home.
What to Consider When Selecting a Mattress
When you’re searching for a new semi truck mattress or a mattress replacement, you’ll need to consider a variety of factors to find the best fit for your needs.
The most common size for a semi truck mattress is 42” W × 80” L. However, there are three semi truck bed sizes: Short, standard, and long. The dimensions of each size can vary from one vehicle to another. For the best results, measure the inside of your sleeper to ensure you purchase a mattress that fits.
Also, ensure you have enough overhead clearance once the mattress is inside your vehicle. The mattress should be no more than 10” to provide the perfect balance between support and headspace.
It should also be relatively lightweight and easy to maneuver in and out of the truck sleeper. Portability is especially important if you rent your semi truck and need to transfer the truck sleeper mattress between vehicles.
Mattress firmness refers to how resistant the mattress structure is to compression. A soft mattress contours to your body, so you’ll sink into the mattress. This can be good for those who need pressure relief on specific body parts, such as the shoulders or hips.
A firm mattress requires more pressure to achieve the same compression, providing more support. Whether you need a mattress that’s firm, soft or something in between depends on your body weight, shape, and what position you sleep in.
Mattress manufacturers use a scale of 1 to 10 to denote mattress firmness. However, everyone’s experience and comfort level differ, so while this scale can be a useful guide, it won’t necessarily be 100% reflective of your needs.
Your preferred sleeping position affects both the quality of your sleep and the firmness rating of your semi truck mattress. If you’re a side sleeper, you may benefit from a soft to medium firmness rating between 3 and 7.
Those who sleep on their backs can benefit from a medium to firm mattress, between 5 and 8. Stomach sleepers should select a mattress with a medium to firm rating, between 6 and 9.
Motion transference refers to the amount of movement detected across the mattress when a sleeper changes position while sleeping. Though this is primarily an issue for sleepers who share a bed with a partner, it can also affect truck drivers.
Because the truck’s cab is not as stable as a traditional bed, minor truck movement and shifting during sleep can reverberate along the mattress and disrupt the sleeper. If you are a light sleeper or share your truck bunk with a partner, it is crucial to consider whether your mattress model offers motion isolation features.
Types of Truck Mattresses
There are several types of mattresses for your semi truck sleeper. Each model uses various materials and offers different features to provide comfort, support, and durability.
Innerspring mattresses use a network of springs to provide comfort and firmness. Innerspring designs are durable, last for years, and provide a high degree of general support to the sleeper’s body. However, they’re heavier than hybrid or foam designs, requiring more effort when flipping or relocating. They also transfer more motion.
If you’re concerned about motion transfer, an innerspring system probably causes the greatest disturbance because the whole system moves with you.
Pocket spring mattresses differ from innerspring designs because there are multiple pocket spring coils that are individually wrapped in fabric. While innerspring mattresses provide general support, pocket spring mattresses can contour themselves more effectively to your body for a custom feel.
These designs also offer increased airflow, allowing you to sleep at a cooler temperature. Because each spring absorbs energy independently of the others, a pocket spring mattress offers better motion isolation than other semi truck mattress types.
A foam mattress may be made from several different synthetic foam materials. Polyurethane foam, or poly foam, is a relatively low-density material that can be used as either the top layer or base layer. While soft and inexpensive, low-density poly foam doesn’t last as long as other materials and won’t provide the same support as memory foam.
Memory foam is a type of high-density polyurethane foam developed by NASA in the 1970s. While more expensive than low-density poly foam, it has three primary advantages: It’s more durable, lasts longer, and provides superior support.
Memory foam mattresses provide superb pressure relief because they contour to your body. If you have joint pains or muscle aches, a memory foam mattress is often one of the best choices.
How Much Does it Cost?
Top of the Line
Innerspring and pocket spring
$250–500 for basic models
$1,200–1,500, depending on topper material and number of springs
$300 for a basic poly foam model
$3,000+ for high-quality memory foam and hybrid models
Mattresses for semi trucks can vary considerably in price. The price often reflects the build quality and the level of features the mattress offers, so more expensive models typically provide you with more support and comfort for better quality rest.
When you need to drive for long hours and stay focused, poor-quality sleep can seriously harm your health and performance.
Budget mattress models
Inflatable mattresses are usually the least expensive type available; however, they’re also less durable than other designs and leak over time. As the mattress leaks, it will gradually deflate, offering less support and comfort until it collapses. However, these types of mattresses can be deflated and stored in confined spaces, increasing their portability.
Mid-range mattress models
For a more expensive but still affordably priced option, consider an innerspring or foam mattress. These designs offer a good balance of durability, comfort, and firmness, depending on the quality of the materials and construction. Innerspring and memory foam mattresses last longer and provide more support than poly foam and inflatable options.
Top of the line mattress models
The most expensive mattresses generally use a pocket spring design with a high number of springs per square meter for increased comfort. Or, choose a combination of pocket springs and high-density memory foam for the perfect balance of support and comfort.
Preparing Your Semi Truck Cab for Sleeping
Semi truck sleeper cabs can become soiled and damaged over time. Moisture damage from built-in showers and fridge lines can lead to corrosion and rust. You can protect the floor and bed frame inside your sleeper cab with Durabak — a polyurethane-based paint.
Durabak is easy to apply to fiberglass, epoxy, and metal surfaces, like your semi truck cab, with a roll brush or pump sprayer. It is available in smooth and textured varieties.
For floors and shower bases, use textured Durabak to provide exceptional grip. For the mattress base, opt for smooth Durabk to prevent the mattress from snagging and fraying.
As Durabak is resistant to chemicals and UV radiation, it won’t crack, peel, or fade when exposed to cleaning products or direct sunlight. All these qualities ensure your truck mattress is protected against damage for up to 5 years before the cab needs a new coat.
How to Apply Durabak to Your Semi Truck Sleeper
After sanding and cleaning the surface with xylene, apply a thin coat of Durabak and allow it to dry for at least 1 hour before adding the second coat. After the Durabak has cured for 5-6 days, your cab is ready for your semi truck mattress.
When applying Durabak to your semi sleeper’s interior, ensure the space is well-ventilated. Only open one can at a time to avoid the paint becoming too thick to aply evenly. If the paint is overly thick, add xylene to thin it out.
Try Durabak to Protect Your Semi Truck
A semi truck mattress is crucial for helping you get quality rest between long-haul shifts. But to get the most out of your mattress and protect your investment, you need a solid protective base inside your sleeper cab.
Give Durabak a try on the inside of your semi truck cab sleeper to protect your mattress for years. Durabak gives the interior of your semi truck a long-lasting finish that protects against corrosion and general wear and tear. You can also choose from a variety of colors to create a custom look.