There are myriad challenges when living in a van with pets. Like infestations
and losing our lunch
But the element of van life with pets that I want to explore in this post is the mattress.
We don’t get much sleep with these bedfellows anyway, so we at least want to be comfortable in whatever space we can find in the bed. We haven’t found a mattress that really works, yet.
A traditional mattress is most comfortable on our metal frame bed, but doesn’t work for converting the bed to a couch - and that’s essential because otherwise we can’t sit up comfortably in the van.
We used inflatable sleeping pads for months, and even though Phillip occasionally had to patch a hole, we were generally comfortable. I’d expected them to slide over each other and require frequent resituating, but this wasn’t a problem. They were expensive and high-quality (and would have been worth it).
The kittens pounced into our lives and soon Phillip was patching every day - but the slippery side of the pads doesn’t hold a patch. Eventually we couldn’t keep the pads blown-up for 8 hours, and we started over.
At 4”, this mattress topper sounded like it would be thick enough to use as a mattress. Phillip is comfortable, but I notice the tines of the bed frame sometimes. But cats can’t deflate it and it stays in place as a couch, with occasional yanks (like you’d do with a futon pad in couch position).
Turns out the mattress isn’t really a full queen - or not the same queen-size we’ve had before? Because there are gaps on the sides and top and/or bottom, which worries me for Max, since he might end up breaking a leg getting in and out (think about him sliding through that bedframe).
But we’ve had it for months without injury.
A mattress cover as an overall bed cover makes a big difference with all our muddy paws, Max’s poopy butt, Hannah’s dirty face (from burying bones)….
This won’t last forever.