Best Campervan bedding for excellent Vanlife sleep
As with all vanlife sleep gear, it pays to choose your campervan bedding as carefully as you would for a house or apartment.
If you can get away with a simple sleeping bag, more power to you, but if you’re looking to make your van a home, invest in dedicated bedding.
Putting some effort into finding the perfect bedding for your van and your unique sleep needs will pay off in priceless, quality rest while you’re on the road.
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Bed design informs bedding choices
If you fold up your bed every morning (or you hate doing laundry), you might choose sleeping bags or simplified bedding such as a single outdoor/camping blanket.
Because I live in my van full-time, I like to make it feel as much like home as possible.
We have a transforming bed: during the day, we turn it into couch-mode and stash our sheets in a cupboard.
It takes up more space, but it makes a big difference in making our van feel like home.
You can go all-in on a fancy bedding set if your bed doesn’t fold up, and if you don’t mind doing regular laundry and tidying up.
Campervan bedding and power usage
If you’re like most Vanlifers, you’re probably very conscious of power use in your van.
Your Campervan bedding sheet and blanket choices can have significant impact on energy use and the associated costs.
Warmer bedding can save you fuel and propane in colder climates. Keeping an extra blanket or two on board can really make a difference in how much you need to run that campervan heating system.
And of course cooler bedding will mean less need for running your air conditioning system during the night time.
What is the best material for campervan blankets and sheets?
There are a number of different material options for campervan bedding, and your sleeping style can help you choose what to buy.
Wool blankets are great in cold climates and can even help you stay cool when it’s warmer.
Wool is breathable, resistant to bacteria, and durable and so it’s our Top Pick for campervan blankets.
Cotton blankets are very easy to clean, are lightweight, durable and breathable. Cotton can be a great option for traveling in both warm and cool climates.
Down (feather material) will be a very warm option. There are some quality down camping blankets that can serve as your standalone blanket if you want minimal bedding.
If you’re not interested in shelling out extra for down filling, a synthetic option might be best.
Synthetic can be moisture wicking, durable, and washable — the best of all worlds.
What is the best travel blanket?
While it’s nice to have just one or two big blankets, opting for a few blanket options from thin to heavy will provide options for all temperatures, conditions, and climates.
Layering with multiple blankets gives you options, and allows for multiple different temperatures throughout the night.
Many Vanlifers prefer Campervan blankets that are easily washable and durable.
If you’re not likely to wash your blankets often, you might opt for wool, as it’s anti-bacterial.
For ease of washing and maximum durability, choose a well constructed synthetic blanket specifically made for camping.
If you’re not averse to doing laundry and have a larger campervan, you might just go hog wild with full sheets, duvet covers, accent pillows, the whole nine yards.
If this is you, choose the materials you most love to sleep in.
Our travel blanket Top Picks
Do you need sheets for your Campervan bed?
We recommend creating the most comfortable sleep environment you can for your vanlife adventures.
This is especially important if you’re a light sleeper or suffer from insomnia. Many people find that having nice, clean, soft sheets helps them fall asleep, and to sleep more soundly.
A full set of both top and bottom sheets will save your blankets, and have the added bonus of not having to wash your blankets as often.
Plus, it’s far easier to wash a sheet than a blanket.
When we’re in hot regions, we often sleep under a single top sheet with no blanket, so sheets are integral to our campervan bedding gear.
What’s the best material for campervan sheets?
Travel regions and climate will inform sheet material choices.
Flannel sheets would be a terrible choice if you’re traveling in warm climates, or a great choice if you love snow sports and cold climate locations.
We prefer mid-weight microfiber sheets as they’re the most flexible in terms of temperatures.
Your campervan mattress type will also be a factor in choosing sheets.
If your mattress is a traditional type, covered in heavy nylon, you may opt for very breathable cotton sheets in combination with a mattress pad cover.
A full cotton futon provides great breathability, so you’ll have more freedom in choosing sheet material.
The most durable sheets will be synthetic or cotton/synthetic blend.
If you have a dog or other pet, you’ll be washing your sheets a lot, so go for synthetics such as Microfiber, or blends.
Our Top Picks for Campervan Sheets
Please note that on the listings for both sheets and pad cover Top Picks, there are size options to fit your mattress
What does a mattress pad do? Do you need one for your campervan bed?
Another layer of breathability can come from mattress covers aka mattress pads.
We use a padded, mostly cotton mattress cover to protect our cushions, which also serve as our couch cushions.
And, an added bonus is the extra padding it provides to cover the breaks in the jigsaw puzzle of cushions that make up our bed.
Mattress covers will substantially increase the lifespan of both your mattress and your bottom sheet.
If your bed is a non-traditional size, it will pay to have a mattress cover custom-fitted to your mattress.
Use a blanket under your bottom sheet at a minimum, if you can’t be bothered to find a mattress cover that fits your bed size.
Our Top Picks for Campervan Mattress Pad Covers
What’s the difference between a mattress pad cover and a mattress topper?
Bed toppers are for adding depth and softness to your mattress. Many people use mattress toppers to improve a campervan mattress that is too thin or firm.
A mattress pad cover is mostly for extending the life of your mattress and your bottom sheet as well as improving breathability of your bedding.
How to make your fitted sheet and mattress pad cover fit your Campervan mattress
Many Campervan mattresses are custom cut to fit your unique van build. The most obvious solution is to have your sheets adjusted, or do it yourself if you’re good with a sewing machine.
Check out our post on Curtains for Campervan windows to learn more about DIY sewing projects.
That’s great, but it adds some expense, especially if you have more than one set to go with a large bed.
We stumbled on to this cool gadget called “Sheet suspenders” or “sheet tensioner”.
It clips to the sheet and or mattress pad cover and keeps the bedding tight, even if it’s not a perfect fit.
Sleeping bags as campervan bedding
We’ll do an in-depth post in the near future, as there’s much to cover when considering what to buy.
Sleeping bags can be a great, simple solution for part-time vanlifers, kids, or van guests.
And, it may be all you need if you’re an easy or heavy sleeper.
Consider getting a square sleeping bag rather than a mummy bag, because then it can be used as an extra blanket when unzipped.
Bonus Campervan Bedding tip: Wear pajamas
A layer of comfortable pajamas can be helpful for temperature control while sleeping.
If you have a warm pair of pajamas, you’ll need less blankets.
And, pajamas can reduce how often you’ll have to wash your sheets.
While hopefully not necessary, pajamas can be good for stealth campers who may need to get up and out in the night — you’ll already be dressed and ready for action.
In keeping with our advice on Vanlife sleep, it can really help your campervan sleep to duplicate your home sleeping situation. So if you sleep better in pajamas at home, bring them on your vanlife journeys.
What’s your favorite campervan bedding?
Please comment or ask questions below and we’ll do our best to answer or find resources for you.