Manufacturers use durable materials to make the base of roof top tents, so they can often feel hard and unyielding. Some people successfully sleep with inflatable camping pads and a sleeping bag. This isn’t a bad idea for a barebones and lightweight setup, but why choose that when you can have a real roof top tent mattress instead?

What Is a Roof Top Tent Mattress?

Some manufacturers build mattresses into the design of the roof top tent. These tents often cost more money. Budget-friendly manufacturers make their tents more modular, so owners can supplement some parts with things they already have. Consequently, if you have an existing mattress or can find one, you can use it in your tent instead.

Ideally, look for a mattress built specifically for camping or roof top tents, but this isn’t a hard rule. If you know the main requirements for an RTT mattress, you can find alternatives that work as well.

Why Do You Need a Roof Top Tent Mattress?

The short and easy answer is that without a mattress, you’ll be sore in the morning. It’s hard to enjoy any camping trip without a good night’s rest, so choosing a comfortable mattress is good common sense. Here’s why you need one specially designed for camping or roof top tents.


The mattress must fit the dimensions of the sleeping space inside the rooftop tent. Many RTTs do not conform to the predictable standard used for beds. Always measure the dimensions of your RTT before looking for a mattress.

Weight and Space Requirements

The least amount of weight you chuck onto your roof, the better. Stick to lightweight options with no extra parts. Ideally, your RTT allows you to keep the roof top mattress inside. Hard-shell pop-up RTTs often do. If yours doesn’t, choose something that takes up very little space in your rig when folded.


Do you like a firm mattress or a soft one? Unlike a furniture store, you might not find many camping mattresses to try at your local REI. Instead, check out reviews on popular sites like Amazon to get a good idea of what your next roof top tent mattress feels like.


The mattress must comprise breathable materials. The covers used to protect the mattress should also be made of breathable fabrics, such as cotton. Failure to choose a material that meets this requirement could lead to mold and mildew inside your RTT. Not only can these cause terrible smells, but they can also negatively impact your health.

How Can You Find a Good Roof Top Tent Mattress?

The best place to start is the manufacturer of your tent. Most tent makers also sell mattresses and might include one at a discount compared to buying one separately at a later date. However, these mattresses tend to cost more than you might find on Amazon or other alternatives.

Shop around before buying your RTT, so you can decide whether bundling a roof top tent mattress with your order is the right thing to do. Check out our blog for more information about finding the right gear for your setup.