Looking to sleep in the bed of your pickup truck? Sleeping in the back of your truck has a lot of advantages to sleeping on the ground. In this article I'll walk you through the options for mattresses in your pickup truck including DIY solutions and store-bought air mattresses.
Your Three Options for Truck Mattresses: DIY Sleeping Pads, Regular Air Mattresses & Truck Air Mattresses
When it comes to mattresses for your truck, you basically have three options:
- DIY Sleeping Pads
- Regular Air Mattresses
- Truck Air Mattresses
A DIY sleeping pad is normally just a piece of foam cut to the shape of your truck bed. This is actually a relatively comfy and cheap solution and you can cut it to fit your truck bed exactly. The major drawback to this is that the foam can be huge when rolled up.
Air mattresses deflate to a much smaller size than a piece of foam. However, the challenge comes down to fitment in the back of your truck. The width between most pickup truck wheel-wells is about 44-48". The width of most double air mattresses is 53" and a single bed is about 38". So basically, a regular camping air mattress is either going to be too wide or be about 10" too small.
The final choice is an air mattress custom built for the back of a pickup truck. These give a better fitment than a regular camping air mattress although not exact fitment as most truck mattresses are built for a relatively wide selection of truck models (which have some variance between them). They also tend to be pricier than regular camping mattresses.
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. Truck box sizes, as you probably know, come in three sizes: short, regular and long.
Here are the typical truck box sizes:
- Short Box (5.5′ Box to 5’8′ Box)
- Regular Box (6′ Box to 6’6′ Box)
- Long Box (8′ Box)
Ford F150s, Dodge Rams, etc. come in all 3 sizes above. The Toyota Tacoma (and we know there are a lot of you guys in the audience!) actually comes in an even smaller truck bed size, a 5' box (as well as a 6' box).
Again, the year of your truck doesn't normally matter - just the model.
Don't know what size pickup truck box you have? Well, go get a tape measure and measure from the back of the box to the front NOT including the tailgate.
How Many People Can You Sleep in the Back of a Pickup Truck?
For most people and most trucks, two adults can sleep comfortably in the back of a pickup truck. Hypothetically you could sleep more, but not very comfortably! A smaller dog or child can also fit relatively comfortably with two adults, although things start to get a bit cramped.
Sleeping in the back of your pickup truck is a great alternative to both sleeping on the ground or buying a roof top tent. When picking a mattress, be sure to keep in mind the length of your pickup box and the width in between the wheel-wells. Other than that, picking (or making) a mattress for your truck is relatively easy.